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Spike in Youth Drug Abuse Prompts Forum

Monmouth County had the highest number of residents admitted into alcohol and drug rehab facilities in 2011

Under the umbrella of the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the state Task Force on Heroin and Other Opiate Use by New Jersey’s Youth and Young Adults is holding its third public forum on the subject of substance abuse at the Monmouth County Library's main branch in Manalapan at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29. 

Dr. Lisa Marsch and Dr. Louis Baxter, authorities on adolescent and young adult opiate addiction and medication-assisted addiction treatment, will both be speaking to the Task Force.

Testimony also will be heard from Randy Grimes, a former lineman from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Grimes will be discussing sports injuries and his previous battle with prescription painkiller addiction.

Family members of young people currently in recovery from heroin and prescription pain-killer addiction will also provide testimony to the Task Force.

Last year, 7,338 Monmouth County residents were admitted into state alcohol and drug treatment facilities — the highest number of any New Jersey county. Out of those admitted to treatment facilities in 2011, 41 percent were taken in for heroin addiction or dependence on other opiates, including oxycodone, morphine and codeine.

“Many Monmouth County families are impacted each day by heroin and other opiate drugs,” said Barry W. Johnson, director of the county’s Office of Addiction Services. “We encourage Monmouth County residents to testify at the public hearing about their experiences with these powerful and dangerous drugs.” 

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