Heroin addiction in NJ and why we still ‘have a long way to go’
One of Gov. Chris Christie's few remaining bright spots as governor is his fight against addiction. I asked Kevin Meara, co-founder of City Of Angels — an organization founded in 2009 to guide people with addiction and support them in recovery — how far we've come battling heroin addiction in New Jersey.
"We've come along way, as far as awareness, as far as getting this out to the public, but at the same time when you look at the overdosed deaths, up about 22 percent over last year, we've still got a long way to go," he said.
Will we ever get there? Meara says, "It's all about hope."
"The kids were getting addicted to the pills, the opioids, now they're dying from heroin. We've got to find a way to break the cycle. What would help is if addiction were treated like a disease. Washington says it's a chronic disease, it's not a behavioral failure yet it's not handled like a disease," Merara said. "How many diseases are not handled in the hospital? Addiction is handled in a treatment center."
"We have a long way to go," Meara said, adding that he's "grateful for the strides that we've made."
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