Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Dea Agent Offers Lessons on Heroin's Deadly Grip

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Dea Agent Offers Lessons on Heroin's Deadly Grip

Article excerpt

RAMSEY - Illegal drugs, particularly heroin, create a quick slide into addiction and tolerance that has become so prevalent that officials are now addressing it as a public health crisis.

That was the message to students Tuesday at Don Bosco Prep, where an agent from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and a substance abuse counselor took part in an 80-minute presentation titled "Choices: Considering Risks and Rewards in Life."

"It only takes one time with that one drug that came from the wrong person, and life as you always knew it is over - in fact, life in general is over," Dean of Students Ed Nekel, a retired Paramus police captain, said in his opening remarks.

In the past year, deaths of people 18 to 25 years old from heroin have risen 24 percent in New Jersey. In Bergen County, the number of deaths is expected to double from last year's 27, said Christopher A. Jakim, an assistant special agent in charge of the New Jersey Division of the DEA.

Jakim told the students that people often get hooked on prescription pills that they steal from medicine cabinets or are prescribed for an injury. When pills - which typically sell for $1 per gram -- become too costly, many people switch to heroin, which typically sells for $5 per bag, he said.

"The stigma, as far as taking heroin, is pretty much gone," he said. "It's not your typical junkie in an inner city with a needle sticking out of his arm that we envision from movies in the past. This is you."

Today's demographic for heroin addicts is white, male, and middle to upper class, he said.

"This is truly a public health crisis," Jakim said. "It's a problem that needs to be addressed at every level."

Glenn Duncan, executive director of the Hunterdon Drug Awareness Program, told of a female soccer playerwho had become addicted.

She had suffered an injury and was given a prescription for pain, he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.