Monmouth County sheriff holds heroin abuse forum for high school students

Monmouth County students attend a heroin addiction forum. Monmouth County students attend a heroin addiction forum.

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office held a heroin abuse forum with high school students Tuesday, to continue the ongoing battle against heroin addiction in the Garden State.

The forum, hosted by Sheriff Shaun Golden, brought together young minds and professionals to talk about the issues present in New Jersey.

“We want to hear the voice of our young leaders. What are we doing wrong? What are we doing right? Maybe come up with some strategies that we can use effectively to address this initiative and issue,” says Drug Initiative Coordinator Douglas Collier.

Wall Township high school junior Lindsay Vigus says she thinks a meeting with parents telling them about what is going on in the community could be helpful.

“Yes, I would say there is a problem,” Vigus says.

Statistics show that 164 people died from drug overdoses in Monmouth County last year; 148 from opiates. This is over three times more than highway fatalities and more than 23 times more than homicides. The anti-overdose drug Narcan was used 424 times in 2016, with an 87 percent survival rate.

“We have to educate and prevent so we don't have these deaths and that's why we are here,” says Collier. “We have to come up with out-of-the-box thinking."

This was the second such forum hosted by Sheriff Golden. A third one is scheduled for next year in Monmouth County.

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