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Prosecutor: 87 Opioid Deaths In Bergen Last Year A 'Somber Statistic'

The prosecutor and his 2016 Bergen County opioid OD map.
The prosecutor and his 2016 Bergen County opioid OD map. Photo Credit: MAP: Courtesy BCPO / Inset: DAILY VOICE photo

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Bergen County had 87 opioid deaths last year, which county Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal on Thursday called a "somber statistic."

At the same time, he said, local police made 180 Narcan saves.

"We must all join in the effort to #StopTheODs," the prosecutor tweeted.

Grewal has made fighting opioide abuse -- specifically, heroin -- a cornerstone of his administration.

"Opioids have always been an issue, but what has changed is the scope and severity of their danger," hesaid last year. "It affects young and old, rich and poor, and educated and uneducated alike."

The prosecutor often visits high schools to talk about the issue with teens. At the same time, he notes, the use of Narcan by first emergency responders has saved countless lives.

Still, more needs to be done, said Grewal, who has established and nurtured several unique programs.

Last year, for instance, his office secured several 5-day detox hospital beds, then conducted a five-day roundup of addicts. A dozen of the 40 people arrested took advantage of the detox option at Bergen Regional Medical Center, Grewal said.

The defendants ranged from 21 to 58 years old and came from various towns throughout Bergen County.

Several have jobs -- electrician, carpenter, graphic designer, recruiter, among others.

The prosecutor also supports a program that brings recovering heroin addicts into hospitals to counsel overdose victims.

MORE: https://twitter.com/bcponj

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