Ali RosenJul 5, 2017, 7:37 pm

Continuing the battle against opioid addiction in Bergen County

FiOS1 speaks with County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal about the steps the county is taking to battle the epidemic

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So far in 2017, the total number of deaths from drug overdoses in Bergen County have declined dramatically.

"Our fatalities this year are 27 to date, and last year we probably had double that," said Gurbir Grewal, the Bergen County Prosecutor.

Grewal says he believes the number has dropped ever since police officers began using Narcan, a medicine that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose.

The county has recently started a campaign known as #StopTheODs on social media, and regularly posts a map of the county's overdoses online.

"More people are talking about this and I think that those communities that thought their communities were not affected by drug use, or overdose, or heroin issues are quickly realizing they are not immune from it and in fact it is affecting every corner of Bergen County," Grewal said.

Grewal says that this year, there have been more overdoses but less fatalities, likely due to Narcan. However, critics say that using Narcan may end up ultimately enabling addicts.

"We're battling addiction, period." Grewal said. "So I think the addicts are not going to make the judgement 'Let me go to a town where they're deploying Narcan as opposed to another town.'"

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