20 Towns With The Most Heroin And Opiate Abuse; Toms River Is Eighth

These are the communities - both large and small, urban and suburban - with the most reported heroin and opiate abuse cases in New Jersey

For some New Jersey counties, heroin abuse was a major factor in a steep increase in drug abuse cases over the past year. In Ocean County, the number of overdoses doubled from 2012 to 2013.

We wanted to take a look at how the drug has not only infested New Jersey’s urban areas, but the more unlikely places where suburban stories of abuse have developed into a sad, profound narrative: Brick, Toms River, Lacey, South Toms River, Cherry Hill and Woodbridge.

So we dove into statistics provided by the Division of Addiction Services in the New Jersey Department of Human Services that show the 20 communities with the largest numbe

Linda Maloney January 02, 2014 at 08:40 AM
Six of the places listed here are New Jersey's largest and most populated urban cities. Five of the places here are in Ocean County. I don't see any correlation here, there seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to why Ocean County has this horrific problem. So many of you say it's because of Section 8 Housing, but I can think of a number of smaller urban areas in northern New Jersey that has a large number of Section 8's but not on the list. Notice that Lakewood isn't listed here! Just don't get it???
Frank Schapitl January 02, 2014 at 09:07 AM
Thank you linda because we are not the only town with section B section 8 housing so there's more to it than that This is why crime is through the roof so this effects everyone not just those who overdose
Joseph January 02, 2014 at 10:00 AM
The Barber shop on rt 9 and Bamberry,with all the traffic in and out,WHEN WILL THEY SHUT IT DOWN.
Meghan Anyz Regodon January 02, 2014 at 10:17 AM
It has nothing to do with section 8 - people everywhere have taken up this habit due to pain killer addiction...I have many friends who went that route and were in wealthy families, not seection 8 - it has always been in ocean county...now instead of section 8 people doing it, all social classes are getting hooked
Chief Wahoo January 02, 2014 at 10:30 AM
It has everything to do with selling to pay the bills or taking to escape the bleakness. 2 parents have to work to pay the bills, barely !!! Leaves no discipline at home. Then the public takers and politicians trick you into paying them more to keep you safe and the pressure gets even higher .....the system is broken and yet no one wants to talk about the real truths. Highest paid cops and yet this is what you get. Highest paid teachers and yet this is what you get. Highest paid politicians and yet this is what you get.
Linda Maloney January 02, 2014 at 11:09 AM
@Chief I understand your argument, but there are crooked politicians and municipal employees throughout the state. Two of the most corrupt counties that come to mind are Hudson and Essex Counties. Yet Hudson County (very urban, very poor) only has 1 city on the list (Jersey City). Essex County has only 2 (Newark and East Orange). My question is why does Ocean County have 5 communities on the list? There are 21 counties in NJ and Ocean County has 5!!! I don't know the answer and it is quite perplexing and disturbing!
JasperRam January 02, 2014 at 11:38 AM
Several of the 'suburban districts' you list are in the top ten largest popluations in New Jersey (Brick, Toms River, Woodbridge, etc.) so it would seem that a percentage presentation would be more useful. The problem with this as printed is that people who live in small towns who could never make the list because of simple numbers might feel they are escaping the epidemic.
grace January 02, 2014 at 12:06 PM
all that money doesnt keep the town safe right mastro???
grace January 02, 2014 at 12:08 PM
my take on lakewood is this..the jewish population has run the crime and drugs and gangs out of town!! they are now in jackson and toms river and so on..just the police chief in tr hasnt yet acknowledged this and let them in with free reign..
grace January 02, 2014 at 12:09 PM
also with the drugs we are located close to these cities..just hop in a car or bus and down or up the drugs come
Bo Jackson January 02, 2014 at 12:12 PM
Drugs have flooded Ocean Country since the mid-90s. This is nothing new, only the choice of drug has changed. And it has very little to do with poor people. Middle-class white kids are the predominant users. We all know it. Because of years of demand, the market simply moved to town, rather than having droves of suburban white kids driving up to Newark every week to score. Either way...the drugs will always find a way into that area.
Chris Buono January 02, 2014 at 12:30 PM
The more you think Section 8 is to blame the faster this will become a bigger problem. While I understand the ease of going there you have to look at what's right in front of you. I grew up in Brick and live in Toms River. My family has been around here (and still is) since the 50's. As much as I loved and respected those "junkyard dogs" and "pineys" that built these areas most of them had what we'd call today serious addictions. For them it was booze. For their kids it was booze and reefer and in my time it was all that plus coke and acid. Now, it's all that plus heroin and other pain killers. My point? It's ALWAYS been here. The "it" being an seemingly insatiable appetite for getting fucked up. We Ocean County people - the ones rooted here - work and PLAY HARD. Always have. Problem is somewhere this went out of control. How? Maybe this way: Yes, incoming vagrants, a shitty economy that causes things like cutbacks in youth programs, the sludge that is the internet and all that it glorifies, the inarguable decline of western civilization where we trumpet shitheads and ignore good and honest people and - most specific to us - an area that was just decimated by a storm making many communities look like Detroit. The latter I know first hand. When I go back in Silverton and drive by a home I had to leave and never go back to I'm floored at the state of things. STILL. That doesn't sit well with people and can just add to the need for a release. Finally, and going back to the drinking history of this area, I'd like to see the stats on drinking related incidents in this county as compared to others. All of it: accidents, domestic disputes, bar fights, etc. I put my money we're right at the top. My point is what I said originally: This area has ALWAYS had a problem. And, to many it was never seen as that. The current crop of those who want to play hard have just chosen something a bit scarier sounding and a helluva lot more addictive and dangerous. Or, is it?
Project Bluebeam January 02, 2014 at 12:51 PM
Teen unemployment. Deadbeat parents. Lack of morals. Drifting away from religion. Reality tv. Porn. Rap and hip-hop music. Section 8 housing. Video games. GMO's. Entitlement abuse. Take your pick.
Deryusorh Fountain January 02, 2014 at 12:57 PM
Hi I'm Oxycodone, but Call ME "Blues" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNhbC57LqMA Inspirational video about the pain killer epidemic in NJ **A MUST WATCH**
kingjester21 January 02, 2014 at 01:52 PM
The majority of this heroin use comes from the prescription drug problem that people in this area seem to ignore. All these other insane reasons listed (video games, section 8, crooked politicians,etc) have nothing to do with it and to keep railing on such things takes important time away from the real issue at hand. If you do that, you're now part of the problem.
Chris Buono January 02, 2014 at 02:23 PM
I agree - many times it starts at the prescription drugs right in your medicine cabinet and escalates from there. The other reasons are not at all insane. It ALL contributes to opportunity and environment. To ignore that is a big part of the problem. My #1 is deadbeat parents. This society has gone to shit because parents have taken their eyes of the ball, err, their children. Put down the phone and go outside have a catch with your kid!
Mac January 02, 2014 at 03:16 PM
Fourteen of the top 20 locations touted for the most heroin abuse from within NJ’s 566 communities didn’t come as much of a surprise to me as they are regularly named on the downside of any positive community list that is created. And despite regular drug shootings, Asbury Park, Neptune and even Lakewood amazingly didn't make this tragic mostly-for-life-addicted-loser’s list. But 5 of our 33 basically Ocean County bedroom communities are solely and shockingly highlighted in this report. While drug abuse is not limited to any particular section of our society, generally speaking, Republican communities maintain a higher class of respect for their entire neighborhoods. Then again, most NJ Republican communities aren’t embarrassingly saddled with Gilmore and his sloppy herd of ‘yes-yes do-nothing-but-what-you-are-told goo-goo dolls.’ Keep voting for these third-class bacon factory boardwalk empire candidates’ folks and within a couple of more years Ocean County won’t have to be broken down by its individual towns. The next list will consist of just 19 other NJ communities and Ocean County as a whole period. NJ is stronger than the storm perhaps if you don't live in Governor Christie’s crime-protected and roach-infested -double-triple-and-up dippers Ocean County. Even Norcross-controlled Camden demanded that Christie help reform police enforcement to deal with its drug crime problems. Maybe our new public pilfered welfare boardwalk in Seaside Poop and Seaside Wish You Would Scoop will offer junkie discounts to their customers who purchase drug-supporting novelties at the numerous boardwalk head shops that encourage such area drug usage glamour. They can call it the South Toms River Thrill-Injected Hurricane Sandy Fun Town Boardwalk Fire Relief Thank-You Pass. I wonder what our boy wonder Freeholder Bartlett will have to say about his lifetime leadership of NJ’s heroin county. Probably about as much as our other lifetime boy wonders can flaunt.
Cardinal January 02, 2014 at 04:14 PM
When Toms River in the span of 20 or so years goes from 100,000 people to 300,000 it's not surprising that a town with that kind of rapid, explosive and detrimental population growth now has the imported problems that the bad elements that North Jersey brought with them. In addition when a TV reality show with North Jersey imports is allowed to camp out long term at the shore and glamorize dirt bag, crude, lewd and ignorant behavior and attracting more and more of the same, it's also bound to have a negative affect on the local population. But if it means big money to local business people, business people who are also North Jersey imports than I guess it's Okay with the Politicians. One way to change it is for people to stand up and make Seaside a Dry Town like Ocean City. So that's the challenge Toms River, people, the voters, not the businessman and politicians with money interests, have to make that happen.
grace January 02, 2014 at 04:26 PM
speaking of barber shop the one on rt 9 in bayville where the fake purse store used to be..long time known/dealer word has it
grace January 02, 2014 at 04:27 PM
entitlement without working for it is a factor
Frank Schapitl January 02, 2014 at 04:56 PM
This general idea is a good point by Mac-----"customers who purchase drug-supporting novelties at the numerous boardwalk head shops that encourage such area drug usage glamour." It probably doesn't help that the area over the Mathis Bridge is promoted as a haven for sloppy drunks and drug users all summer.
JasperRam January 02, 2014 at 05:17 PM
I hear all this stuff about 'white trash'. If you thing drug abuse is limited to poor white kids you are seriously disillusioned. There is a really good chance it is more predominant with rich white kids in private and Christian Schools. That was certainly my experience as long as 40 years ago with Shore area high schools.
Frank Schapitl January 02, 2014 at 05:52 PM
I'm not saying it is all "white trash" that are users. I'm saying that this area does not have a predominance of rich white kids living here(compared to other areas in the state with lower reported usage) and I am always reading that they are only paying $3. If there were a relationship between wealth and specific drug use it would likely be related to more expensive drugs such as coke. It is not limited to poor white kids but there are more of them in the area and we have more heroin use. When I see the pictures in the media or read about the use or the drug related crimes its easy to make that correlation. Is it very possible that we have all these poor white kids but maybe the rich kids are the users? Maybe but I doubt it. At $3? Hmmmmmmmmmmm
BN January 02, 2014 at 05:54 PM
It's the school system. When union thugs teach our kids to be entitlement whores instead of inspiring imagination and creativity, this is what you get.
JasperRam January 02, 2014 at 05:57 PM
the only difference is in prosecution. poor white kids have less chance than poor black kids because prosecutors want to look unbiased and cops don't want to deal with the hassle of rich parents. Real problem is that all this drug prosecution doesn't work. What can we do to help our kids not to go down that path.
Frank Schapitl January 02, 2014 at 06:01 PM
Here we are in total agreement "Real problem is that all this drug prosecution doesn't work. What can we do to help our kids not to go down that path" which is why after 50+ years of the war on drugs you and I (and many many others) are still having this discussion
Vic Rattlehead January 15, 2014 at 01:50 PM
Where did these kidds learn this behavior. From their baby boomer parents. Don 't do herion son as you reach for your painmanagement RX for your back ache, smoke yor ciggs, drink your booze and some still smoke weed? We're all doomed
jerseytomato January 29, 2014 at 01:10 PM
Think about where the heroin originates, and then take a look around. That gardener or housekeeper that doesn't speak English, but drives a brand new F150. Where do you suppose he/she gets the money? I'm not one who blames parents for their children's behavior, but frankly, most parents don't know that their child is slamming heroin, never mind smoking it because the parents are self medicating. The mall has become the new babysitter - parents drop their kids off by the carloads, and never bother to wander in to see what their children are up to. The parents who don't want to be bothered. There are the parents who began getting high when they themselves were kids - and still do. The most pathetic are the parents who live in denial. Complete enablers. What's really pathetic are some of the posters on this thread who bash our Police Chief, entire Police Departments, School Teachers, etc., for the drug addicted mess our county has.
Dan Guerriero February 07, 2014 at 08:21 AM
Those who take heroin are nothing but criminals. The habit in and of itself requires a lot money. All these drug programs and community warnings help not. Prison is the answer.
Mark Wendell February 09, 2014 at 11:03 AM
The big problem is that the stuff is cheap and we have become a wal mart economy. Dad doesn't work at the factory no more. Mom and dad work in retail hawking asian made crap. Billionares moved everything away to save another dollar. Not like in the old days when Henry Ford gave a fair wage so his employees were able to buy what they were making. Thanks right wing, be proud of what you made.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »