Last month, Patch exposed the 20 communities in New Jersey with the largest number of reported heroin and opiate abuse cases in 2012, the most recent year available. The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, however, reinforced and illuminated how much the heroin epidemic is plaguing all parts of America.
Heroin abuse is no longer a scourge that's confined to the nation's crime-ridden areas. In some New Jersey counties, heroin abuse was a major factor in a steep increase in drug abuse cases over the past year. In Ocean County, the number of overdoses doubled from 2012 to 2013. Cape May County had the highest number of per capita heroin and opiate abuse cases in 2012.
In the wake of Hoffman's death, we expanded our list, based on statistics provided by the Division of Addiction Services in the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The list shows the town and the number of cases reported in 2012.There are 565 towns in New Jersey. These communities make up the top 7 percent.