Brick Police Report Fewer Overdoses

Photo by Jason Allentoff

BRICK – Programs that have been recently instituted seem to be paying off, police said, as the number of overdoses is slowing down.

  The county is in the grips of a serious epidemic as heroin mixed with fentanyl has become more accessible, officials have said. Brick police said that the township has been in the top ten New Jersey towns impacted by opiates, based on statistics from the New Jersey Department of Human Services.

  While the number of overdoses is rising across the country, Brick saw a reduction of 35.5 percent in the past two years, according to a press release sent out by the police.

  There are a number of programs that have been instituted, including BlueHART, where people in need of addiction can come to the police department, turn in their drugs and needles, and ask for help without any fear of arrest.

  “We’re out here trying to help people,” said Brick Township Chief James Riccio. “It’s not just Blue HART, it’s education. We have programs now in the elementary, middle, and high schools. We do senior citizen education and business communities, PTAs.”

  The active D.A.R.E. presence in schools, the #NotEvenOnce school program, the use of Narcan (a chemical spray used to reverse overdoses), Lead and Seed school program, Neighborhood Watch, senior outreach, and the drug take-back program are also seeing results.

  “Although these numbers are encouraging, the Brick police see this problem as something that must continue to be addressed,” the press release continued. “No number of deaths from overdoses is acceptable…the work towards the ultimate goal of zero is ongoing.”

  For more information, visit Brickpd.com, or call 732-262-1100.

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Chris Lundy is News Editor at Micromedia. He has covered Ocean County news and features in various publications since 2003. Lundy worked for Gannett with articles in The Beacon, Observer and Asbury Park Press. He's also written for the Community Connection, Patch and ShoreBeat.