Ocean County Among Top Counties in New Jersey for Drug-Related Deaths

A recent study investigated drug-related deaths in each of the 21 counties in New Jersey. Ocean County was ranked number two in the state for drug fatalities, marking a catastrophic increase from the prior year.

The investigation’s results were recently released by NJ.com, which evaluated drug overdose deaths for 2016 and 2015 in each county in NJ. Comparing population data and tracking the evolution year-over-year revealed some startling results. Although Ocean County is the sixth-most populous county in the state, it is the second-highest county in New Jersey when it comes to number of drug deaths.

Specifically, in 2016 there were 253 drug-related deaths in Ocean County, amounting to 4.27 deaths per 1,000 people. This represents a 61.1 percent increase when compared with 2015. Opioids like Oxycontin were involved in an astounding number of deaths during the time frame studied. In fact, among the 2,200 drug-related deaths in the state as a whole in 2016, opioids were involved in at least 1,900 cases, or approximately 85 percent of drug fatalities.

One of the contributors to the increase in deaths related to opioids is the prescription drug fentanyl. Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid that is much stronger than heroin. Fentanyl is increasingly being used in New Jersey and sometimes, drug users aren’t even aware the drug they’re ingesting contains fentanyl.

Cocaine is also being used more frequently in New Jersey, particularly with opioids. A dangerous combination of “uppers” and “downers” like cocaine and opioids is responsible for hundreds of drug-related deaths each year in New Jersey and across the United States.

Considering the fact that drug overdose deaths in Ocean County have increased over 60 percent in a single year, it is not surprising that drug arrests are also occurring with astounding frequency. Whether you’re in Toms River, Manchester, Lacey Township, Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Lavallette, or another town in Ocean County, there is a good chance that if you have drugs, police will be looking for them.

Law enforcement officers in Ocean County are constantly searching for people in possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), including heroin, cocaine, Oxycontin, Percocet, Adderall, Xanax, and Ecstasy (also known as Molly). Police also conduct searches of cars, homes, and other property in the hopes of finding drugs. Charges for possession of CDS with intent to distribute and drug distribution are also issued on a regular basis at the Jersey Shore.

Charged with Drug Possession in Ocean County, NJ?

If you are facing drug charges in Ocean County, New Jersey, it is highly advisable to seek knowledgeable legal counsel. The highly experienced criminal defense attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law represent clients arrested for drugs in Beach Haven, Brick, Barnegat, Ocean Township, and surrounding communities. Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate the evidence in your case to find weaknesses and violations of your rights. We use our extensive knowledge to identify unconstitutional searches, lack of probable cause, and errors in police protocol that we can use to have your charges dismissed. The next step is simple: call our offices in Toms River at (848) 238-2100 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation. A member of our team is available at all times to assist you.

William Proetta

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.