May 26, 2019  Last Update: November 27, 2017, 8:52 pm

Suburban Heroin Epidemic Strikes Northern New Jersey

After an alarming spike in deaths from heroin overdose last year, police in Bergen County, New Jersey went out looking to curb the problem. What they found was an epidemic.

The number of adults charged to drug related offenses in that area have more than doubled between 2008 and 2012, according to a statement in the Mahwah Patch. Even more alarming, is there has been a 175% increase in charges related to the “most dangerous and addictive class of narcotics” – heroin.

On May 2, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli stood amongst posters displaying the faces of 90 alleged heroin buyers who had been caught in the preceding four months to talk about the rampant drug use that was invading their county.

According to the Mahwah Patch, the buyers came from towns all across Northern New Jersey. Teaneck, Wayne, Glen Rock, Wyckoff, Wayne, Hacketstown, and Fair Lawn.

The suburban heroin wave is unlike anything the area has seen before, according to Molinelli.

"There is a war out there. We have got to change our tactics.”
- Prosecutor John L. Molinelli

In spite of the crackdown, heroin sales continue. Just last week in Mahwah Township a high heroin user was arrested while walking on the turnpike begging for a ride. Using the man’s description of his dealer, police were then able to make another arrest the same day and seize several packets of heroin.

A Mahwah officer told a reporter that in the past year he has made more heroin arrests during traffic stops than in the preceding 13 years he has been working in Mahwah.

An April warrant sweep in Mahwah resulted in 24 arrests for drug charges involving heroin, molly, marijuana, oxycodone, and drug paraphernalia. New Jersey citizens of Mahwah, New City, Fair Lawn, and Ramsey were arrested in the sweep.



  • ref: ‘Stunning’ Spike in Bergen Heroin Deaths Prompts Drug Takedown, Prosecutor Says
  • ref: Alleged Heroin Dealer, User Arrested on Franklin Turnpike
  • ref: Mahwah Drug Charges Double in 5 Years
  • New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS)


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