The Changing Face of Addiction

Sporadic Science

New Jersey is known for plenty of things, some more desirable than others—the shore, bad traffic, an abundance of diners and population density, to name just a few. But lately, the Garden State has another dubious claim that’s making headlines—the site of a growing heroin and opiate epidemic, especially among young people.

The numbers are startling. According to the Star-Ledger, between 2010 and 2011, the number of 18- to 25-year-olds in New Jersey who were admitted to a treatment center for heroin increased by more than 12 percent. Patients under the age of 25 comprised more than 40 percent of the 8,300 New Jerseyans who entered opiate addiction centers in 2012. Scariest of all, the number of drug-related deaths has risen by more than half from 2010 to 2012, and more than two-thirds of those are related to prescription drugs. Now medical professionals, law enforcement representatives, and addiction researchers…

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