Despite best efforts to combat the drug epidemic that plagues Ocean County, drug overdoses soared in 2016 to 205 possible cases by the end of the year. According to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, there were 195 confirmed deaths caused by drug overdoses with 10 additional cases pending autopsy reports.
In 2015, there were 118 deaths linked to drug overdoses, representing a 43% spike in deaths.
Those numbers could have been much higher. In 2016, the Prosecutor’s Office said the opiate reversing drug Narcan was used in 502 cases countywide by local law enforcement agencies and first responders.
In neighboring Monmouth County, 154 died from drug overdoses in 2016, a spike of 32 over the 2015’s total of 122, a jump of nearly 21%. There were 415 deployments of Narcan in the county.