Officials in New Jersey have decided to be up-front about the rising number of people who are facing heroin addiction and opiate problems. The state will use $285,000 in a summer-long advertising campaign called “Addiction Does Not Discriminate.” This message will be plastered on billboards across the Garden State, in addition to “Your Medicine Cabinet Could Be the Gateway to Heroin.”
Since 2008, more than 750 people have died of opiate overdoses in Monmouth and Ocean counties. In 2013, nearly 6,700 people were admitted into certified treatment programs, representing an increase almost 300 percent over the last decade, according to the Attorney General’s office. Drug crimes are still pervasive both within the state and nationally.
The national and local heroin problem has been growing for years, as focus had shifted to prescription drug abuse. Nationally, drug overdose deaths have topped motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of injury deaths, according to the CDC.
The focus of the marketing campaign is outdoor advertising at the Jersey Shore. The program began running in May and will continue through September. Billboards will use a composite face to emphasize that heroin and opiate abuse and addiction affect all races, genders, ages and incomes. Campaign material will also be doled out at schools as well.
In addition, the website Knowaddiction.nj.gov was launched to add resources and provide information on drug abuse, recognizing signs and where to find treatment. New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program is going to share data with Connecticut in efforts to fight prescription drug abuse. On top of that, some police departments in Monmouth and Ocean counties are being armed with Naxalone, an opioid antidote. This antidote has already saved some lives in Ocean County.
The attorneys at The Wilton Law Firm are experienced criminal defense attorneys serving clients throughout New Jersey. If you’ve been charged with a drug crime or any other crime, contact us today to discuss your case and set up a free consultation.