Drug addiction is a serious problem throughout America – more than 72,000 Americans lost their lives in 2017 alone due to drug use. Sadly, data shows that deaths due to drug overdoses from benzodiazepines, cocaine, opioids, and psychostimulants, including methamphetamine, are all on the rise.
In the most recent data from the CDC, it was found that New Jersey showed a statistically significant increase in drug overdose deaths. We wondered why this was, so we decided to take a closer look at New Jersey government data to see just what this looked like on a county and individual level and we found some incredibly interesting, and eye-opening, results.
Looking at the available data for New Jersey as a whole
We can see that Essex County has the most drug-induced deaths with 390 in 2018. Camden County and Monmouth County follow closely behind with 329 and 221 drug overdose deaths respectively.
Interestingly, the counties with the lowest instances of drug overdose deaths are grouped together, comprising of Hunterdon County with 20 deaths, Warren County with 30 deaths, and Sussex County with 35 deaths in 2018.
If we go back to 2012 and move forward, we can see a staggering increase in drug overdose deaths throughout New Jersey. In fact, there has been a dramatic 154% increase in drug overdose deaths alone.
If we take a closer look at overdose deaths by individual drug types, it’s shocking to see the huge increase in overdose deaths brought upon by fentanyl abuse since 2012. In fact, fentanyl-related overdose deaths overtook heroin-related overdose deaths for the first time in 2017 due in part to cocaine-related deaths declining between 2016 and 2017.
Cocaine-related overdose deaths, alongside oxycodone-related overdose deaths, also seem to be in decline with cocaine dropping 5% and oxycodone by 35%.
Looking at existing 2018 data and newly released overdose data for January 2019, we can see that there is an 11% decrease in deaths between January 2018 and 2019. If this decrease were to remain consistent we would see an overall decrease in 350 deaths for the year.
In conclusion, it is clear that New Jersey has a fatal drug overdose problem which is mainly fueled by fentanyl and heroin abuse and is focused in hotspot counties of Essex, Camden, and Monmouth.
Illegal drug use is a major problem throughout the country with the effects of these drugs negatively impacting millions of lives. Just like many other chronic diseases, drug addiction can be managed and treated successfully, allowing people to counteract the disruptive and negative effects drugs have on their brain and behavior so that they can regain control of their lives.
If you know anyone in your life who is suffering from drug addiction find out more about how you can help.
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