The situation in New Jersey as far as drugs are concerned is a bleak one. Last year, a bill proposing to give amnesty to those who reported drug overdose was rejected, and the restrictions on prescription painkillers pushed a large amount of the addicted population into abusing heroin. This switch has brought more people into rehabilitation facilities, hospital beds and even serving jail time due to drug related violence.
Now, heroin use is on a sharp incline in the area and the community is desperately searching for an answer to the growing problem. The added difficulty is found in the nature of heroin itself. Heroin is one of those hard drugs with a very big bad reputation; and this is all for good reason. Heroin is one of the most highly addictive drugs, needing in some cases, only one usage to instill dependence. It also carries one of the strongest highs, producing intense euphoria, relaxation and a dream like state. Just as it is powerfully addicting, heroin retains this grip through rehabilitation. Detoxification from heroin can be dangerous, coming off too fast or "cold turkey" can result in shocking the body, which in some cases can be lethal. Long after detoxification, cravings can persist. It is a general agreement amongst recovered addicts that heroin can be one of the hardest drugs to come off of, and remain sober afterward.
Heroin has recently begun taking the place of prescription painkillers. The medications are ranked as the second most abused drug nationally, with only marijuana succeeding it. As prescription painkillers were set with stricter monitoring and qualifications, and more ways were created to track how much and from whom it was being prescribed to, it's become increasingly difficult for addicts to obtain the pills. Due to this, and the fact that heroin produces much of the same effects, only stronger, many of the people who are struggling with paying for the more expensive and hard to find pills are switching to the cheaper and more abundant heroin.
The problem in New Jersey has become serious enough that children as young as 17 are selling it in inner city streets, and even have enough access to sell very large amounts of the drug. The community of New Jersey has experienced a huge upward fluctuation of drug abuse: from prescription pills to the shift to heroin. As a result, the state has experienced a high number of overdose incidents and a rise in addictions. Although local and federal laws are trying hard to improve the drug problem, it is as hard as ever to eradicate the drugs from the community in general. The step by step process of drug abuse prevention begins with awareness, education, and simple talks that parents and teachers can give to their children and students.
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