Officials: Heroin use on the rise in Ocean County

Heroin use and overdose deaths are at a crisis level in areas of Ocean County, according to officials. May and June saw four overdose deaths

A man died of a heroin overdose last week in Toms River after being rushed to a local hospital.

A man died of a heroin overdose last week in Toms River after being rushed to a local hospital. (6/15/13)

TOMS RIVER - Heroin use and overdose deaths are at a crisis level in areas of Ocean County, according to officials.

May and June saw four overdose deaths each related to heroin. In April, there were 11 overdose deaths taking into account different types of drugs.

The latest heroin overdose death was on Thursday after a 25-year-old man and 29-year-old woman were rushed from their home in Toms River to Community Medical Center. They were able to save the woman, but the man died.

Terry Cronin, who helps run Advance Health and Education, says the popularity of heroin may be due to its affordability.

"Not only is the heroin extremely addictive, but it's cheap,” said Cronin.

Cronin says there are ways of beating addiction with detox drugs, treatment sessions and an extensive outpatient program.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is allowing detectives to work outside the county to track drug dealers connected to these heroin deaths. They report that for 2013, there have been 57 overdose deaths accounting for all types of drugs. There were 53 in 2012.

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