FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2020
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Public Information Bureau (609) 882-2000
Major Brian Polite - ext. 6514
Lt. Theodore Schafer - ext. 6515
SFC Jeff Flynn - ext. 6516
Sgt. Lawrence Peele - ext. 6531
Tpr. Alejandro Goez - ext. 6527
Tpr. Charles Marchan - ext. 6513
Ewing Township, N.J. - The New Jersey State Police Drug Monitoring Initiative (DMI), the New Jersey Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner, and the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office are issuing an overdose alert after preliminary reporting indicates Sussex County experienced an increase in suspected drug-related fatal overdose incidents in the month of January 2020.
Eleven suspected drug-related fatal overdoses were reported for January 2020, a 175% increase from the 4 reported suspected drug-related fatal overdoses in December 2019. Naloxone administration reporting for Sussex County indicates a 50% increase in administrations by first responders (law enforcement and EMS) from December 2019 to January 2020.
Statewide, New Jersey experienced a 9% increase in naloxone administrations from 2019 to 2020. In addition, an increasing amount of heroin analyzed by state and independent forensic labs has contained fentanyl or fentanyl class compounds. Along with this increase, the presence of opioids (including fentanyl) that have been adulterated with stimulants also increased. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever is similar to morphine, but is 50 to 100 times more potent.
The purpose of this release is to provide life-saving information to those battling substance abuse and their loved ones, so that they better understand the drug environment and the resources and help available. Below is a list of tips for identifying a suspected drug-related overdose and how to provide immediate life-saving care:
Signs and symptoms associated with an overdose:
If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, follow these steps:
In 2013, the State Police developed the DMI, which employs a collaborative approach in combating the opioid epidemic at all angles by utilizing nontraditional partnerships. This approach pairs federal, state, and local law enforcement with non-law enforcement personnel, like medical professionals, to develop strategies that not only aid enforcement, but save lives and prevent addition.
In 2017, the Office of Drug Monitoring and Analysis (ODMA) was created to continue the expanding mission of the DMI. The ODMA is part of the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center (ROIC). With the support of the ODMA, the DMI has been collecting and analyzing data and creating intelligence products, which have aided law enforcement with removing highly lethal brands of heroin and fentanyl from our communities, saving lives and putting drug traffickers behind bars.
Contributing agencies include: New Jersey Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner, New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (NJDMHAS), New Jersey Office of the Attorney General’s Office of the NJ Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies, NJDMHAS Opioid Overdose Prevention Network, Morris/Sussex/Warren County Medical Examiner’s Office, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, and The Center for Prevention & Counseling (Sussex).
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