Posted on

Bergen County among hardest hit in N.J. epidemic of heroin deaths


Bergen County among hardest hit in N.J. epidemic of heroin deaths

MARCH 23, 2014    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 2014, 12:47 AM

The dead include a former high school football player, a mother from Oakland and best friends who died within two weeks of each other. Seven of them were under 30. Four were women. Nearly all died in their Bergen County homes.

So far this year, heroin has claimed the lives of at least 13 Bergen County residents — a rate of more than one per week. If the trend continues, by year’s end deaths would vastly exceed the county’s 27 fatal overdoses in 2013.

Caitlin Reiter, a 21-year-old from Franklin Lakes, died of a heroin overdose on Feb. 2 at her father’s home. Her addiction began in high school with prescription pills; no rehabilitation facility or family intervention could stop it.

The toll has alarmed county officials, who fear that opiate addiction is growing more entrenched in North Jersey.

Related story: Anti-drug ads aim to raise parents’ awareness about the rise of addiction in Bergen County

“It starts at a party with a painkiller and ends alone at night in your bedroom,” said Sgt. David Borzotta of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office narcotics task force.

In 2012, New Jersey saw roughly 800 opiate-related drug deaths, half of which involved heroin, a drug whose resurgence across the Northeast in recent years has been linked to the widespread availability and abuse of prescription painkillers.

– See more at: