There are multiple factors playing into the recent news about heroin. From overdose deaths due to heroin cut with fentanyl to the death of Philp Seymour Hoffman. All of it has given us the ability to take a long hard look at what is going on in this country and around the world. We have stopped to realize that too many people die everyday and that something has to be done. And it seems like the first to do something are also the first in numbers for heroin use. We are talking about the state of New Jersey.
Which brings us to Vineland where the documentary “Kids are Dying” is not only the title but also the exploration of a heroin problem in the state. It looks at the grim reality, affecting people of all economic and social settings.
“It’s in a rural community and the people he interviewed are real people, from upper middle class neighborhoods who are now in the streets and the pits of their addiction,” said Melissa Niles, Assistant Director of Cumberland County Mental Health and Addiction Services.
“It’s literally destroying young people and it’s particularly bad in South Jersey,” said State Senator Jeff Van Drew.
“This is a potent, awful, destructive drug.”
And it seems like everyone is starting to finally notice. Community members are beginning to act, starting with a bill sponsored by Senator Van Drew and 9th district Senator Chris Connors. Senator Van Drew is proposing to punish distributors based on unit dosage rather than weight of the drug. The bill will increase penalties for those that distribute heroin. It also calls for better youth education and more treatment centers for victims.
“I think we need more detox centers and more treatment centers in South Jersey, we’re woefully short in our area,” said Senator Van Drew.
And when it comes to treatment the experts and we agree, ongoing and continuous treatment is necessary. Recovery support services are detrimental to addicts becoming well again.
And the time to stand back and do nothing has passed. The problem is here. It can happen to you. Community members are taking a stand before any more lives are lost. What are you doing?
“Denial is not the anecdote, the anecdote is taking positive action, being proactive, prevention,” said Niles. “If we can prevent the problem from starting that would be ideal.”
But if the problem has already started for you or your loved one, it isn’t too late. Call us now. If you know someone who is using heroin or has overdosed, or needs help please tell us. We want to hear your story. Maybe you have a son or daughter dealing with addiction or maybe your friend overdosed. Tell us your story. Let us help! We not only want to hear your experience but can also provide treatment in an area that is lacking it. If you don’t do it now, then when?