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NJ’s heroin epidemic is ‘spiraling out of control’

New Jersey’s heroin epidemic continues to spiral out of control as authorities continue to look for ways to put a stop to it.

yangna, ThinkStock

Last year there were 781 heroin-related deaths in the Garden State, and the scourge shows no sign of letting up.

“The problem is huge, it affects us all and without the introduction of the heroin antidote drug Narcan, even more overdose deaths would be taking place,” Ocean County Prosecutor Joe Coronato said. “It’s something that we need to address, it’s something that we cannot ignore.”

Coronato said the heroin antidote drug Narcan has made a substantial difference since its use was expanded in New Jersey in April of last year, but it’s not going to solve the problem.

Click below to read stories in our recent “Heroin Wasteland” series and. Tune in or listen live on on Tuesday at 7 p.m. as we present a special installment of NJ 101.5’s Town Hall series on the heroin epidemic:

“What we really need to do is address the cycle of addiction and break the cycle of addiction. Unless you do that the numbers will eventually continue to climb,” he said.

In 2013 there were 112 heroin deaths in Ocean County, and that number dropped to 101 last year. So far in 2015 there have been 54 heroin deaths.

Coronato described Narcan as a “temporary save.”

“There’s been several individuals that we’ve sprayed two or three times already,” he said. But sometimes by the third time they’ve not survived, they’ve died. That’s not truly addressing the problem. The problem is the addiction.”

The prosecutor also said “everybody is going to have a friend, everybody is going to have a relative, everybody is going to have an acquaintance, you’re going to know somebody who has passed as a result of an overdose. It affects everybody, it affects all races all cultures, all age groups.”

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