One of the five women who overdosed on Fentanyl at a Bergen County mall died over the weekend. According to published reports, two people have been arrested in connection with the fentanyl overdoses that left the five women unconscious. Fentanyl usage has become a growing problem, both in New Jersey and across the country. Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton says they’re seeing a rise in fentanyl use among young people. “It’s becoming a little more common amongst the younger generation and those in the middle generation between 30 and 40 years of age,” Cureton says. These young folks are taking it to another level to try and achieve this high, for lack of a better phrase.”
Another concern for law enforcement dealing with the problem is the potential for dangerous exposure to fentanyl.“[Our] officers have been reminded to make sure they put their protective gear on, because fentanyl could go through your palms,” Cureton says.
Sheriff Cureton adds they need to engage with the community and emphasize treatment over punishment.“It’s a disease,” Cureton says. “The only way you’re going to treat a disease is to stay on top of it, and making sure we can try to eradicate it.”