nj.com: The 15 N.J. towns with the highest rates of heroin treatment


Stephen Stirling | NJ Advance Media for NJ.comBy Stephen Stirling | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com 
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on August 19, 2015 at 3:26 PM, updated August 19, 2015 at 4:34 PM

New Jersey's heroin crisis is likely closer to you than you think.

Much has been made of the deadly drug's crawl into suburbia, but it isn't until you take a closer look that this becomes completely clear. 

Statewide statistics on New Jersey's heroin problem paint a grim picture:

But when you take New Jersey town populations into account when analyzing treatment figures, heroin's reach in the Garden State comes into clearer focus.

The state's larger urban centers like Newark, Jersey City and Atlantic City will always have higher raw numbers when treatment figures are counted by virtue of the fact that they have larger populations.  

But when you calculate the per capita rate of heroin treatment admissions in each municipality, something changes. 

Newark, which had the highest number of heroin admissions becomes Ocean Gate, which had 53 admissions for every 1,000 residents. Jersey City becomes the borough of Sussex. Atlantic City becomes Seaside Heights.  

While virtually no part of New Jersey is left untouched by the state's epidemic of heroin use, the highest concentration of people seeking treatment last year came from some of the state's smallest communities. 

The map below shows the per capita rates for every municipality in New Jersey, in addition to raw admission numbers and population figures.  The gallery at the top of this page includes the 15 towns with the highest per capita rates. 


Data on heroin admission to New Jersey substance abuse facilities were taken from the New Jersey Division of Addiction Services' annual report on licensed state substance abuse facilities for 2014. Population figures were taken from the U.S. Census Bureau's most recent population counts for municipal New Jersey.

The admission data only includes patients who were admitted to treatment facilities in New Jersey. Those who sought treatment out-of-state were not included. Admissions data used patients' reported municipality of residence against permanent population to account for seasonal communities.


Stephen Stirling may be reached at sstirling@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @sstirling. Find him on Facebook.