OCEAN COUNTY – The opiate epidemic continues to intensify, police said. Although heroin is commonly considered the main culprit, it is the mixing of heroin with fentanyl that creates a longer and more dangerous effect.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office records numbers of overdoses and Narcan reversals. Narcan is a chemical spray that first responders and school districts have that can cancel the effects of an overdose. According to their figures, this is the status of the opioid epidemic in Ocean County:
- 2012: 53 overdoses.
- 2013: 112 overdoses.
- 2014: 101 overdoses. The county began using Narcan in April, and had 129 reversals.
- 2015: 118 overdoses. 272 Narcan reversals.
- 2016: 209 overdoses. 502 Narcan reversals. The number of overdoses is higher than previously reported, because earlier articles were published before the toxicology investigations were done on some deaths.
- 2017: 84 overdoses. 201 Narcan reversals. This number is accurate as of Aug. 1. Similarly, this number might go up after toxicology results are in.
It also means that in the first 185 days of the year, there have been approximately one death every two days.