WEST TRENTON- The New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center (ROIC), working in collaboration with New Jersey Department of Health and law enforcement agencies in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York through the Drug Monitoring Initiative, has identified three highly lethal brands of drugs identified by unique stamps, which are responsible for six recent overdose deaths in the region.
Wax folds containing heroin are typically stamped with text, images, or both. The potentially lethal drug stamps found in New Jersey are labeled, Power Hour, Taliban, and Strike Dead. Laboratory analysis on these particular drug stamps revealed highly potent and dangerous drug combinations not typically seen. Some of the drugs found within these wax folds will not respond to the administration of Narcan, which is used by law enforcement and first responders to prevent opioid-induced fatal overdoses. Some of these brands contain no heroin at all, and users may not be aware of what drugs they are consuming.
The N.J. ROIC’s DMI was created in 2009 in collaboration with the Office of Forensic Science to address the epidemic of the pervasive use of heroin, opiates, and the violent crimes and burglaries that are directly correlated to this nationwide crisis. The DMI’s ability to expeditiously collect and analyze seized drugs enables law enforcement and healthcare officials to quickly notify the public of potentially lethal batches of drugs in the region as overdoses are reported.
The New Jersey State Police recognizes that heroin and drug use is inherently dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Today’s public service announcement serves only to notify individuals who may be possession of this contaminated batch of drugs, which has proven to be lethal on several occasions.
“Nothing less than an all-out, multi-disciplinary approach will suffice to address the crisis of heroin abuse in New Jersey that is destroying lives and ripping apart our families and communities,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “The Drug Monitoring Initiative is a common sense, life-saving program that sounds the alarm when we identify lethal drug brands being peddled on our streets.”
“Since early last year, we have taken a fresh approach to combating the heroin epidemic in the region based on information sharing from the local through the federal levels. When we learn of clusters of drug overdoses, we immediately alert our law enforcement partners with details of the threat,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We are first and foremost interested in saving lives, and that is what this early notification protocol is all about.”
“The Drug Monitoring Initiative is an important tool to help warn the public and prevent overdose deaths,” said Mary E. O’Dowd, New Jersey Commissioner of Health.