New Jersey State Drug Facts
There continues to be a major drug abuse problem in the state of New Jersey. Colombian and Dominican drug organizations take advantage of its international airport and major commercial shipping centers to distribute drugs across the Northeast United States. As Mexican traffickers from the West Coast expand their businesses, they have begun to move into New Jersey and New York as well. In urban New Jersey-(Newark, Elizabeth, Trenton, and Camden) crack cocaine and heroin abuse continue to be a major problem. There has also been a major upsurge in drug abuse around cities with an active nightlife throughout the state of New Jersey-particularly in the Atlantic City area.
Heroin continues to be the most common drug of abuse in the state of New Jersey, with crack-cocaine running a close second. However, New Jersey is not immune to the prescription pill epidemic which has plagued most of the nation. New Jersey State has seen a 290 percent increase in the number of drug treatment admissions for prescription pill addiction since 2005.
New Jersey State Drug Facts: Heroin
Since 9/11, there has been an increase in the availability of heroin in New Jersey State. This is largely attributed to the fact that there was a huge increase in the number of law enforcement officials in New York after the attacks. Heroin was re-routed through New Jersey to avoid them. Heroin continues to be the New Jersey’s biggest drug problem, with over 17,000 treatment admissions in 2010.
Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected. When used, heroin causes feelings of extreme euphoria. Users report an initial rush, a warm feeling on the skin, dry mouth, limb heaviness, and clouded mental faculties. After the initial rush of heroin, users fall into a state usually referred to as “nodding” when they are in a state between sleeping and waking.
Users of heroin are at risk for serious health complications. Intravenous use can result in the contraction of AIDS or hepatitis C, endocarditis, or abscesses. Heroin targets the part of the brain stem that controls respiration. Because of this, heroin use causes pulmonary complications. In addition, most heroin overdoses result from respiratory depression.
New Jersey State Drug Facts: Cocaine
Columbian and Dominican nationals primarily supply New Jersey’s cocaine. They sell it to street level distributers. Cocaine is transported by a variety of means in New Jersey, including shipping, tractor-trailers, commercial air and private vehicles.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant. It creates a feeling of euphoria, which makes it extremely addictive. The powdered form of cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and then injected. Crack is the street name given to the form of cocaine that has been processed to make a crystal, which is then smoked.
Cocaine has a potent effect on the brain, which is why cocaine’s effect on the body can be devastating. Cocaine, like most addictive substances, stimulates the reward system in the brain. With repeated cocaine use, the brain’s reward system begins to adapt and become less sensitive. This is why cocaine’s effects on the body include tolerance. The brain needs more and more cocaine to achieve the same high.