Officials in New Jersey (starting with the Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, in Toms River) are warning the public about possibly tainted heroin believed to be the cause of at least two deaths. Evidence at the scene includes wax paper folds stamped with a red “Bud Light” logo. Wax folds are commonly used to distribute individual “hits” of heroin.
The warnings come after 2 deaths that appear to be sudden and unexpected:
On January 10, 2014, a 42 year old male from Jersey City, NJ was found unresponsive in the bathroom of the Stop n’ Shop, located at 3208 Bridge Avenue, Point Pleasant, NJ. The victim had suspected heroin in his possession and five additional wax folds stamped “Bud Light” in red, on his person. He was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.
On January 11, 2014, Seaside Heights Police were called to a Blaine Avenue residence. A 32 year old male victim from Seaside Heights had been found unresponsive in the bathroom of the residence. Investigators found wax folds at the residence stamped “Bud Light” in red, containing suspected heroin. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
New Jersey, and especially Ocean County, has been experiencing greatly-increased levels of heroin addiction. This is widely believed to be a consequence of a clamp down on lax prescription pain killer prescribing.
Opioid (synthetic opiate) consumers are left physically and mentally addicted to the drugs, yet unable to maintain supplies of prescription pills. Drug dealers have provided low-cost and high-purity heroin as a substitute. In cases like these deaths, that heroin is believed to be tainted and deadly when compared to “normal” street heroin. In other cases, overdoses are caused by unexpected variations in purity levels of street heroin.
In related news, a new heroin addiction treatment center is opening this month in the same town (Toms River, NJ). The web site already includes a notice that the 38 bed facility will make a considerable contribution to heroin addiction treatment in New Jersey, but will not be “enough” to manage the NJ drug addiction epidemic.