In late February, the police arrested two drug dealers in Cape May County. They were not detained on regular drug-selling charges; rather, they were handcuffed for supplying drugs to Derek Clayton, which caused him to overdose. The 31 one-year-old had overdosed in his home, but the police have not advised what drugs were sold to him. 

Drug dealers like this do not care what happens after they sell their product and make a profit. They focus on their market without caring about who it affects. The drugs they sell are illegal, and without prescription, it can range from non-prescription opioids to cocaine. 

Drug overdoses continue to rise in the United States and New Jersey. In fact of 700,000 people died from 1999-2017 due to drug overdoses in the United States. 

Opioids tend to be one of the most prominent drugs that cause overdoses. The CDC advises that, on average, 130 people a day will die from an opioid overdose. It continues to be a nationwide and statewide problem. 

So how do we combat the war on drugs? 

The easiest way is to report suspicious activity that you see. If you see a drug deal occur, do not get involved as that could be potentially dangerous. Reporting these instances to your local neighborhood watch or the police helps them know where dangerous activity happens.

Talk to your children about drugs and how to avoid them. It is essential to keep your children informed, so drug dealers do not fool them or their fellow peers into “trying” drugs as that can be the gateway into substance abuse disorder. 

Make sure that when you take prescription drugs that you follow the instructions and do the same when helping your children take their medication. Sometimes prescription drug abuse leads people into taking more dangerous substances once they become addicted. It is a good thing to be aware of when trying to be more informed about drug abuse. 

What if someone I know is doing drugs? 

If someone you know is doing drugs or in contact with someone who sells drugs, there are a few things you can do to help them get to the road of recovery. 


If it’s possible to talk to the person who you know is dealing with substance abuse or in a place where they need help. Sometimes this can start by letting them talk about the situation. They must come to the conclusion that they need help, or ask you for assistance. It can be tough to help someone who does not want help. Try to be as supportive as possible. Substance Abuse Disorder can be very hard and isolating. Drug dealers will only be concerned about the money they get from selling drugs; they will not be worried about their customers going through trying times. Be a friend, a support beam, and someone your loved one can depend on so they know you can help them. Creating open channels of communication will allow them to feel safe. 

Find professional help

If you can set up open channels of communication, then the next thing to do would be to seek professional help. Most people who are dealing with substance abuse and are trying quit to be going through withdrawals and other issues that should be dealt with by people who have the background. 

It is also good to note that you may not have communication set up with the person you are trying to help. If you don’t have that kind of relationship, you can use this step to help start the discussion. Offer the individual with trouble help by finding them a recovery center that will help them in their situation. 

Some of the critical things to look for in a recovery center is drug-specific programs and outpatient, and residential option. Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is one of those places. 

They offer services for a variety of substance abuse disorders such as opioids, cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs.  They also cover a few other areas and have an excellent staff that is experienced in these disorders. Pinelands Recovery Center creates custom recovery plans that fit any life. If you are busy with work or if you need more attention than average, they can create the best plan that will help you recover from your substance abuse. 

It is crucial to find a center like this. The person you are trying to help does not want to feel like their whole world is being uprooted. If anything, that may hurt their recovery process if they believe everything is changing. They need to feel the positive effects of recovery and see how their health is vital to living a long and happy life. 

Is that all we need to do? 

Once you help the person who is dealing with substance abuse, you should not just stop there. Anyone can fall prey to drugs, even people who just recovered from them. Make sure you keep your communication network open so your loved one can let you know if they think they are falling back into their old habits or if they feel peer pressure by their previous cohorts that lead them to substance abuse in the first place.  

If possible, try to help them find new outlets for when they are stressed, angry, or sad so they do not fall back into substance abuse. Have your loved one avoid areas with drug dealers and if they notice any that are bothering them report them to your local law enforcement to keep an eye on that area. 

If you find that substance abuse is a significant problem where you live work with your community and set up anti-drug programs that help educate the public. Fighting the war on drugs can be hard. Drug dealers will not make it any easier. Still, if we can act as a community, we can help drive them out of business and protect our loved ones. Educating our communities on drug awareness helps people make informed decisions to lead a longer and happier lifestyle.