Health & Wellness

Heroin Use on Rise in Suburbs


Editor's Note: Part 2 of The Alternative Press' three-part series on heroin use in New Jersey focuses on comments made by recently retired New Providence Deputy Chief of Police Scott Torre. Part 1 appeared on TheAlternativePress.com on Monday, Feb. 17, (http://thealternativepress.com/towns/scotch-plains-slash-fanwood/articles/heroin-abuse-and-availability-on-rise-in-new-jers), and Part 3 is scheduled to appear on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Heroin use is on the rise, and particularly in some of New Jersey's suburban communities, where easy access to prescription drugs can sometimes lead to dangerous addictions.

“Heroin has become a major problem in the state and is affecting all communities, including New Providence,” said recently retired New Providence Deputy Chief of Police Scott Torre. “We have seen a considerable uptick in heroin use in New Providence which mimics almost all of the communities in Union County. In New Providence, our Municipal Alliance took a very proactive stand in New Providence by exposing the fact that we have a problem in New Providence with heroin use at our Public Forum we held at Morris Union Jointure Commission on Nov. 11."

Sign Up for E-News

“At that forum, we had about 100 parents in the audience and we made a very significant impact on those who attended. One of the panelists was one of my former DARE students back in 1994, who, after high school, became addicted to heroin, which she was introduced to by a local boy. Parents were shocked to hear her tale of her cycle of addiction and the fact that she was like every other great kid that grows up here. The message was sent loud and clear that it can and does happen here. Thankfully, this young lady got her life together and is now married with two beautiful children and is employed at Daytop as a counselor.”

One of the catalysts for the increase in heroin use in middle- and upper-middle-class communities is the way prescription drugs sometimes serve as a gateway to a narcotic like heroin, according to Torre.

“One suggestion I would make to parents is to be very cautious with any medicines they may have been prescribed. In many cases, the first experience some of these kids have is with drugs they take from their own medicine cabinet,” Torre said. “This is the reason the NPPD has been participating in Operation Take Back, a prescription drug turn-in, for the past three years. We run that program twice a year and all drugs are turned over to the DEA for destruction. We have collected in excess of 100 pounds of drugs each time we run this program."

“Take a look at statewide statistics for overdose deaths,” Torre said. “In Union County, we have had about 30 countywide (in 2013), whereas Ocean County has reported 96, where they had only about 60 all of (2012). This is a huge concern to all law enforcement statewide.” 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Authorities ID Body Found in Warinanco Lake as 50-Year-Old Male

July 14, 2017

ROSELLE, NJ - Authorities identified the person who was found dead July 6 in a lake at Warinanco Park as a 50-year-old man, a Union County spokesman told TAP today.

Oday Abd-Ali, whose last known address was in Elizabeth, was pulled from the lake about a week ago, Union County spokesman Sebastian D'elia said.

The cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner, D'elia ...

Get a Real Loan Approval Before You Shop for a Home

Potential homebuyers benefit in several ways by consulting with a lender first and obtaining a pre-approval letter. This gives buyers an opportunity to discuss different loan options and budgeting for the upcoming home purchase. Lenders will also check their credit report and alert the buyers to any potential problems.

Guaranteed Rate’s high tech digital mortgage gives buyers an ...

Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month – Avoid Food Poisoning

This is the season for barbecues and outside parties. It’s a great time to get together with friends and share stories and good food while enjoying the great outdoors.  However, according to the CDC, approximately 1 in 6 Americans gets sick and 128,000 are hospitalized every year from food borne illnesses.

Hamburgers are a common menu item in the summertime. To avoid E. coli, ...

Mayor of Scotch Plains Invites All to the July 19th Downtown Redevelopment Meeting

July 17, 2017

Dear Editor:

When I ran for office last year, the second point of my Five-Point Plan was downtown redevelopment. If you have been watching the Township Council meetings or reading various news outlets, you know the Council has made good progress on downtown redevelopment. 

Specifically, the Township Council established a Scotch Plains Downtown Redevelopment Committee in March and ...

Establishing Healthy Boundaries with Self and Others

July 19, 2017

We all have personal boundaries. Our boundary defines who we are and determines how we are able to interact and relate to the world, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My boundary lets me know where I end and you begin. My boundary allows me to express who I am and allows you to do the same. Boundaries exist for our protection.

When our boundaries are intact, we know that ...

Imagine Welcomes New Volunteer Facilitators

July 22, 2017

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ -- “Volunteers are the heart and soul of Imagine and we could not be more grateful to all of the people who take on this commitment,” said Mary Robinson, Imagine Executive Director.

On July 7-10th for 32-hours 16 new volunteers were trained to take on a year-long commitment at Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss as volunteer facilitators. The training is ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, July 23, 4:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant Bar Private Events, Scotch Plains

Grillestone Prime Rib & Dinner Buffet

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_da7af9902b013e70ea14_raw_bar_wednesday

Wed, July 26, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant Bar Private Event Space, Scotch Plains

Raw Bar Wednesday

Food & Drink