by Dr. Alexander Wright
Heroin Related Deaths in New Jersey:
- Have tripled since 2010.
- Heroin related deaths have surpassed homicide, suicide, car accident deaths, and AIDS as causes of death in New Jersey.
- The number of heroin overdoses and deaths in Bergen County, New Jersey is staggering and increasing.
- If Bergen County continues at this pace, it will surpass the Ocean and Monmouth New Jersey communities, which have been plagued and lead the pack in heroin related deaths.
And these discouraging facts are certainly not exclusive to New Jersey as they are echoed throughout the country. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported “each day, 44 people in the United States die from overdose of prescription painkillers.”
Tragic? YES. Epidemic? Clearly. But this will not be a story of tragedy; this is a story of hope; this is a story of boldness, this is a story of perseverance. I would not presume to narrate this story, as it is not mine to tell. However, I wanted to introduce the story, which will be featured as a series on the Full Fathom blog in the very near future. This is a story close to my heart and one that has inspired me to be more hopeful, bolder, and more persistent on my own path.
I wanted to express my humble gratitude for the courage of our future author and willingness to tell his story. Addiction is a story that people are afraid to tell, embarrassed to acknowledge, and ashamed to admit. Unfortunately, people and society have denied this story and put it away in a shameful pocket for too long. The stories of addiction are very important and very real. And like every other human being, addicts and drug abusers deserve and desire the same support, the same humanity, and the same voice as anyone else. For change and recovery to improve, it is vital to start talking about addiction more openly and with great honesty. From the streets of our poorest cities to the mansions of our wealthiest suburbs, heroin and other drugs exhibit no bias partial to race, socioeconomic status, or any other demographic factor or human quality. Prepare to be inspired by the voice of hope, boldness, and perseverance on a journey with addiction.
– This post is written with thoughts of all individuals struggling with addiction, in memory of all who have lost their struggle, and in admiration of all those on the path to recovery.