If you are in the Paterson, New Jersey area and are seeking help with substance abuse and addiction, please call our hotline now. Representatives will guide you through a variety of personalized options to get you back on track to the life you once lived.As the largest city in Passaic County, Paterson’s population is approximately 146,199. Of all cities holding over 100,000 residents, Paterson is the second densest, falling only behind New York City. When hurricane Irene hit New Jersey in August 2011, flooding of the Passaic River caused extensive damage to Paterson. Unfortunately, this is not the only major destruction Paterson has survived, large scale fires struck the downtown area on several occasions, with the most recent occurring in 1991.
Drug Abuse and Addiction in the Paterson, New Jersey Community
Sadly, Paterson has experienced another crisis, apart from natural disasters. In Paterson, all across New Jersey, and throughout the nation, drug abuse and addiction has become an epidemic. Over the years, doctors have dolled out an increasing amount of prescriptions for pain medication such as Oxycodone, for anything from surgery, to sports injuries, and toothaches. During the course of the prescription, some individuals may become addicted. Also, some do not finish their prescription, and the remaining pills may get into the wrong hands. As the prescription no longer becomes available to the addict, they often turn to the street. With the exorbitant cost of illicit painkillers, unfortunately, many turn to cheaper alternatives, such as Heroin. Like the rest of the country, Paterson has seen its share of abuse. Just recently, dozens of drug dealers have been arrested with large amounts of Heroin. These arrests often involve statewide or even nationwide drug trafficking organizations. Not only were many of these individuals dealing Heroin, but they were also mixing the drug with Fentanyl, which is an extremely lethal combination. The deals sometimes took place in front of children, and a juvenile was even roped into dealing. For these and similar arrests, charges often included:
- Possession with intent to distribute;
- Conspiracy to distribute;
- Conspiracy to possess;
- Conspiracy to commit foregoing crimes; and
- Distribution of a controlled substance.Apart from drug-related charges, many were also charged with collateral crimes related to weapons, gang activity, violent crimes, theft, prostitution, child endangerment, and food stamp fraud. In areas of Paterson, these acts are frequently played out in plain sight.The initial downfall began when mills and factories closed in Paterson, leaving residents unemployed and homeless. Then, as the violence, drug trade, and gang activity ramped up, many other businesses, programs, and even churches packed up and left.This left Paterson with approximately 1,200 abandoned buildings, which have become a hotbed of drug abuse and crime. Homicides and shootings are not a rare occurrence in Paterson, and officials are often worn thin, without resources. A recently introduced bill is projected to help reduce drug abuse and crime in Paterson. The bill would allow agencies to foreclose on abandoned properties and repurpose them for productive use. This change comes after years of mismanagement by city officials, who are just now switching to computerized records. Furthermore, action is being taken at a larger scale to stop the unnecessary dissemination of prescription medication before it starts. Recently, a “Do No Harm” Symposium was held in New Jersey to educate the medical community, including physicians and pharmacists, about the progression of prescription medication use to Heroin abuse and how it impacts the prison system. Furthermore, Governor Chris Christie has taken the stance that non-violent drug offenders should be given the opportunity for treatment, instead of simply drying out in jail.Several coalitions also received federal grants in 2011 to combat the drug crisis in New Jersey. These programs include:
- Bernards Township Municipal Alliance;
- Burlington County Coalition for Healthy Communicates;
- Community Action Partnership of Warren County;
- Community Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Morris;
- Cumberland County Healthy Communities Coalition;
- Hudson County Coalition for a Drug Free Community;
- Hunterdon County Safe Communities Coalition;
- The Middlesex County Substance Abuse Coalition;
- The Prevention Coalition of Monmouth County; and
- Vernon Coalition.
Living a Healthy, Happy, and Drug-Free Life in Paterson, New Jersey
If you or a loved one are ready and willing to accept the help you need with drug abuse and addiction, call the hotline right now. In an area such as Paterson, where drug abuse and crime happen daily in the streets, it may be difficult to stop the cycle of abuse. With just one call, however, you can learn the options available to help you live a clean life. Don’t be ashamed by the stigma that is attached to substance abuse. Addiction can happen to anyone and impact any family. You have the dignity and self-respect necessary to make the first step towards recovery.