Four Cape May County men have suffered fatal heroin overdoses since Sept. 1, the county prosecutor announced Thursday.
A 24-year-old from the Rio Grande section of Middle Township, a 60-year-old from North Wildwood, a 30-year-old from Dennis Township and a 46-year-old from Lower Township have died from overdoses since the start of September.
Prosecutor Robert Taylor said drug-related overdoses are spreading throughout the county, and called heroin use a “growing epidemic.” Since Jan. 1, there have been 95 documented drug overdoses, 23 of which have been fatal, he said.
Police said they found the Rio Grande man Sept. 9 after being called to a motel. They found evidence that indicates the death was caused by a heroin overdose, according to a news release.
On Sept. 18, North Wildwood police responded to a residence to check on the well-being of a 60-year-old. Police said they found the man dead in his bedroom, along with evidence that indicated a heroin overdose, authorities said.
New Jersey State Police and the county prosecutor’s office responded to a home in Dennis Township for an unresponsive 30-year-old man Oct. 6. Police said they found the man dead in his bedroom and evidence at the scene that heroin was used.
On Oct. 8, police responded to a report of an unconscious man in need of assistance at a home in Lower Township and found the man dead on his living room floor, according to reports. Again, evidence at the scene indicated the death was also caused by heroin use.
Police said an autopsy is scheduled in each of the cases, and the investigations are ongoing. Taylor said that information from the public about these deaths or any drug-related crimes is appreciated.
“The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force, along with detectives from each of the local municipalities within the county are working vigorously to identify the origin and suppliers of these illegal drugs, such as heroin, to help prevent any further deaths and prosecute these dealers,” Taylor’s office said in a release.
Taylor added that heroin use “affects everyone who comes in contact with it, including the users and their family and friends.” He urged families to educate their children about the dangers of illegal drug use and to report any information regarding drug activity.
Tips can be reported anonymously at cmcsheriff.net or through Cape May County Crime Stoppers 609-465-2800 or 877-465-2801, or to the prosecutor’s office at 609-465-1168.
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