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:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Owners of Westfield’s "Watcher House" Still Hope to Knock it Down to Build 2 More

March 29, 2017

WESTFIELD, NJ — Maria and Derrick Broaddus, owners of Westfield’s now-infamous “Watcher” house at 657 Boulevard, are appealing the Westfield Planning Board’s decision in January not to let them subdivide the lot so that the existing home can be torn down and replaced with two new homes.

According to the complaint, filed recently, the board’s decision was ...

Photos: NHL’s Centennial Fan Exhibit Makes Stop in Newark

March 25, 2017

NEWARK, NJ –  Hockey fans of all ages enjoyed the first day of a two-day event on Saturday afternoon by participating in a variety of festivities at The Prudential Center’s Championship Plaza, at the corner of Mulberry and Market Streets in Newark as the NHL celebrates its centennial with an interactive traveling fan experience prior to the New Jersey Devils’ home game ...

Bright Lights, Big Difference

Every home has its own distinct personality and style. If the way we paint, furnish and treat windows in a home are like its clothing, then light fixtures are the jewelry. They sparkle and shine, set the mood, and help us to see everything else.

Light fixtures can add great impact as the focal point of a room. They can be as creative and interesting as works of art. Some truly ARE works of ...

In Opposition to the American Health Care Act

March 26, 2017

Dear Editor:

For over 48 years I have protested unfairness, war and inequality.  Over the years I have rarely felt as horrified as I do when contemplating the American Health Care Act. After seven years of promising us a better, more comprehensive, less expensive alternative to the ACA, the GOP has presented the American people with a bill that potentially leaves millions uninsured ...

Make Listening a Priority to Strengthen Your Relationships

March 28, 2017

Most of us are not good listeners. We listen at about 25 percent of our potential, which means we ignore, forget, distort or misunderstand 75 percent of what we hear. It’s hard to believe perhaps, but true.  Such listening habits can be very costly to our personal relationships.

Listening is a skill that anyone can learn, and it is also a gift that anyone can give. It is a ...

Greta's Run Early Registration Ends 3/28

March 27, 2017

Greta’s Run early registration is $25 and ends March 28. Only early registrants are guaranteed race shirts. The entry fee becomes $30 on March 29. Register online for Greta’s Run or learn more here.

Greta’s Run is Sunday, April 23, 2017, at Roosevelt Intermediate School on 301 Clark St. in Westfield, NJ. The course is USATF certified and sanctioned. Prizes and ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, March 30, 2:00 PM

Temple Emanu-El, Westfield

National "This is Hunger" Exhibit Tour in ...

Education Giving Back Law & Justice

Carousel_image_d54bfb663570b3cff4a7_mariella_foley

Thu, March 30, 6:00 PM

Round Table Wealth Management , Westfield

Women to Women Networking Event

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_8dbb30febbe030517f3c_jcc_origins_of_sports

Thu, March 30, 7:30 PM

JCC, Scotch Plains

A Conversation with Former ESPN Magazine ...

Sports