By Lauren Wanko
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is issuing a new warning about heroin ith a Bud Light logo. It can kill you.
“We were seeing this particular batch of heroin which was stamped with Bud Light to be the cause of at least two deaths,” said Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.
There have been four drug overdose fatalities already this year in Ocean County and 112 last year. Coronato calls it intolerable.
“In this instance, people have to understand what they’re doing is deadly and it’s not if, it’s when. What happens is the body is taken over by the heroin. It’s opium that drives it. There’s a chemical analyst that takes place within the body and the question really is at some point in time you’re really gonna lose your life as soon as you take heroin,” Coronato said.
Seashore Family Services of New Jersey treats as many as 200 clients a month for addiction and mental health.
Compared to years past, Executive Director Roberto Flecha said, “It has increased. Literally it’s duplicated.”
Flecha says drug abuse isn’t unique to Ocean County or the state and more funding and facilities are needed to treat clients.
“It’s not social stereotype. It’s people like you and me who hold work, hold a job, they have families, they have children, they take care of them and they are using it,” Flecha said.
The price of heroin continues to fall. One hit costs about $3 to $5.
“Apparently there’s a higher demand and apparently now there’s a high supply and as a result, the price is going down and also purity is going up,” Coronato said. “The heroin in the metropolitan area is purest in the whole entire U.S.”
Coronato says in Ocean County most users ultimately get the deadly drug from Trenton, Camden, Newark and Paterson. Most heroin found here is produced in Columbia. Afghanistan is the other major producer and distributor.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is tracking back to determine the heroin dealer and make that person accountable, but Coronato says it’s not just about making arrests. The office will continue to conduct drug forums, educational campaigns and other programs to help combat this deadly epidemic.