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Prosecutor: Bergen's Heroin, Opioid Crisis More Lethal Than Ever

Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal.
Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal. Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

HACKENSACK, N.J. — An updated report on the the effect that the heroin and opioid crisis had on Bergen County in 2016 released by Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal reveals that 2017 could be the worst year yet.

The revisions are based on new data received from the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office and improved reporting methods that were recently implemented.

As detailed in the revised 2016 report, there were 320 drug overdoses in Bergen County in 2016, 98 of which were fatal.

This represents an 11.1 percent increase from 2015 with respect to overdoses, during which 288 were reported.

With respect to overdose fatalities, the revised data reflect a 12.6 percent increase from 2015, during which there were 87 overdose fatalities reported.

As in 2015, however, the majority of overdoses and overdose fatalities in 2016 were heroin and opioid related.

"While we always anticipated updating our initial reporting because toxicology results can sometimes take months to receive, it is alarming that the number of overdoses between 2015 and 2016 rose at the rate they did," Grewal said.

"What the updated numbers underscore, however, is that a collaborative effort comprised of innovative criminal enforcement, treatment options for those suffering from the disease of addiction, and educational programming to deter substance abuse is required to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic in Bergen County."

As a result of additional data from the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office and improved reporting, the following numbers have changed for last year (the first number is the originally reported number, the second is the updated number)

Reported Overdoses

  • 308
  • 320

Overdose Fatalities

  • 87
  • 98

Opioid Related Overdoses

  • 246
  • 259

Narcan Deployments by Police

  • 207
  • 208

Narcan Saves

  • 180
  • 180

The year-to-date statistics for 2017 have been updated as follows:

  • Reported Overdoses: 244
  • Overdose Fatalities: 57
  • Opioid Related Overdose: 206
  • Narcan Deployments by Police: 165
  • Narcan Save: 132

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