New York

NJ County Offers Detox or Jail to Heroin Offenders

Detox or jail. 

Those were the two choices 40 people arrested on heroin possession charges in New Jersey's Bergen County were given in a drug sweep conducted by authorities over the last five days as part of a unique approach created by authorities and public health officials.

"If we can get one person out of the cycle, then it is worth it," said acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal. 

Alleged offenders weren't offered deals or dropped charges for entering detox, but authorities still said 22 chose to go to Bergen Regional Medical Center over county jails. 

Authorities said the program is aimed at giving people a start to kicking addiction in a county hard hit by heroin and opioid abuse. 

So far this year, 48 people have died from drug overdoses in the county. Last year, there were 71 fatalities. 

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