New Jersey

New Jersey doesn’t bring a pleasant association to mind for most Americans, or, for that matter, most residents of the rest of the world, either. It may be due to shows like “The Jersey Shore,” but many Americans think of the state as being trashy, obnoxious, dirty and crime-ridden.

If you speak to the actual residents of the state, you’ll find that many work across the river in New York City. Prices in Manhattan are expensive, though, so they make New Jersey their home. While the state does have issues with crime, this has been severely helped along by the wide-spread use of drugs. When people take drugs, they need a way to pay for the drugs, first of all, and committing robberies can be a majorly profitable means to do so. 

New Jersey Drug Use Statistics

The following are drug use statistics for the state of New Jersey:

  • New Jersey is one of the top ten states for past cocaine use among teenagers 12 or older.
  • 7.33 percent of New Jersey residents admit to using illegal drugs in the past month, while the national average is lower at only 8.82 percent of Americans in general.
  • The number of New Jersey residents that die as a direct result of their drug use is much lower than the national average. In New Jersey, 3.9 out of every 100,000 people die as a direct result of using drugs, whereas the national average is 12.8 people per 100,000.

The Drug Problem in New Jersey

When compared to the other states New Jersey falls in the middle of the pack as far as overall drug use.  When persons over the age of 12 were asked if they had used an illicit drug in the 30 days prior to the survey roughly 8% said yes.  States that had the highest drug use per capita had nearly 12% of persons over the age of 12 answer yes to this question, while states with the lowest drug use had around 5% of residents say yes.  

The survey provides specific stats for the use of marijuana, cocaine, all illicit drugs other than marijuana, and the use of prescription medications for nonmedical purposes.  New Jersey scores in the average to low range in all these categories, and the stats amongst young people in the state are relatively low.

While the number of young people using drugs in the state is on the low side, New Jersey is fighting the same battle as the rest of the country when it comes to prescription medications.  In both 2011 and 2012 prescription drugs were implicated in the deaths of more than 700 residents of the state.  For comparison this number is almost 10 times the number of deaths caused by Hurricane Sandy.  In November 2013 a state task force was put together to release a report to help make recommendations aimed at reducing deaths from heroin and other opioids, which also includes prescription medications.

The drugs that are being used in New Jersey are:

  • Heroin has long been the most popular drug in the state. It is trending downward, but heroin still accounts for about 45 percent of all treatment admissions in the state.
  • Marijuana has been steadily climbing upward in usage and in treatment rates. It now accounts for about 25 percent of all treatment.
  • Cocaine and crack are slowly but surely declining in usage and in treatment admissions. They now account for less than all other drugs in the state, at about 10 percent.
  • Meth has continued to stay flat along the very bottom of the graph in terms of drug treatment admission.
  • Prescription drugs such as opioid painkillers are also creeping upward in their reach and influence. These drugs are supposed to be subscribed by doctors only for extreme pain, but Americans are getting addicted to these drugs and mis-using them simply to get high.

New Jersey Drug Treatment Resources

WhiteHouse.gov: New Jersey Drug Control Update – http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_new_jersey_0.pdf

News Works.org: Doctors Hear Horrors of New Jersey Epidemic of Prescription Drug Addiction – http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/new-jersey/61398-doctors-hear-horrors-of-new-jerseys-epidemic-of-prescription-drug-addiction