Rising Drug Epidemic in New Jersey
“To put it bluntly, today’s young Percocet, Vicodin, and OxyContin users are becoming tomorrow’s heroin junkies, and the demand for those drugs has spawned new levels of crime and violence.”
These words, uttered by the State Commission of Investigation Chairman Patrick Hobbs, further highlight the deadly drug abuse epidemic currently affecting New Jersey.
According to a state investigation released last Wednesday, crooked doctors, rogue internet sites, and deceitful smartphone applications within the state of New Jersey are roadblocks derailing the attempt to fight this epidemic.
- Just last year, in an investigation by the State Commission of Investigation, it was discovered that law enforcement has unfortunately been outpaced by the alarmingly advanced technology being used by drug dealers.
- The investigation also found that the surge in teenagers experimenting with prescription pain relievers, most of the time right out of their parent’s medicine cabinet; is in fact leading to an even more alarming and perilous behavior within New Jersey: heroin addiction.
In an effort to examine what drugs were being used, who was using them, where they were being obtained and how dealers were evading detection, a team of investigators used forensic analysis of more than a dozen front businesses, visits to pain treatment centers, and interviews with confidential informants.
One such informant, who sold 500 prescription pills per week in his New Jersey high school at the height of his addiction, stated that after starting to abuse prescription pain relievers at age 11 and after abusing them for three years, the prescription pain relievers no longer got him high.
So what did he do next? He switched from prescription pain relievers to heroin at the mere age of 14, and many of his customers followed. According to investigative agent Rachel Denno most teenagers consider prescription drugs easier to obtain than street drugs, with 3 in 10 not even aware that they are addictive. On top of that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more overdose deaths nationally from legal drugs than from cocaine and heroin.
Within New Jersey, drug dealers are adopting new and sophisticated technology at such a quick and efficient pace that it is leaving police and law enforcement scrambling.
- These drug cartels are not just simply only using bogus online pharmacies that peddle narcotic medications to anyone with a computer; they are branching out and using social networking sites and even video games to connect dealer and buyer right under authorities’ noses.
- They are even utilizing smartphone applications that allow users to mask their real phone number with any number they choose making tracking calls nearly impossible.
- And that’s not all that law enforcement has to deal with. They also have to contend with legal entities and professions that are co-opted for New Jersey’s drug trade.
As Detective James Scoppa Jr. of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s office puts it when referring to physicians who sell prescription pain relievers to drug-seeking patients, “We have a real problem with dirty doctors.”
Forensic analysis of business records show that it is legitimate businesses such as car dealerships, beauty salons, clothing retailers, and liquor stores, which are used to hide the drug money. By splitting up revenues into smaller amounts and then coupling them with the funds of front businesses, dealers seek to evade the Bank Secrecy Act which requires paperwork to be filed for all transactions exceeding $10,000.
Are you struggling with drug addiction from living in the drug heavy state of New Jersey? The best chance for successful recovery is to remove yourself from the environment associated with your drug abuse. Call us today and find out how The Recovery Place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida can help you even if you are from New Jersey—especially if you are from New Jersey stricken with an unfortunate drug epidemic.
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