Source: New Jersey Patch
New Jersey has released its annual list of substance abuse cases reported by each school district, revealing the most recent data of reported cases. Here are the school districts with the highest number of cases in 2017-18:
10. Hillsborough Township, Somerset; North Hunterdon/Vorhees Regional, Hunterdon: 53
9. Newark City, Essex: 59
8. Middletown Township, Monmouth: 64
7. Jackson Township, Ocean: 71
6. Toms River Regional, Ocean; Old Bridge Township, Middlesex: 73
5. Jersey City, Hudson: 79
4. Passaic City, Passaic: 84
3. Elizabeth City, Union: 128
2. Paterson City, Passaic: 131
1. FREEHOLD REGIONAL, MONMOUTH: 148
And here are the districts that reported the largest decreases in the number of reported cases:
10. Gloucester City, Camden; Piscataway Township, Middlesex -9
9. Lakewood Township, Ocean; Ridgewood Village, Bergen: -10
8. Bridgeton City, Cumberland; Carteret Boro, Middlesex; Monroe Township, Gloucester; Ridgefield Park Township, Bergen: -11
7. Kearny Town, Hudson: -12
6. Robbinsville Township, Mercer: -13
5. Middlesex County Vocational, Middlesex: -14
4. Atlantic City, Atlantic; Jersey City, Hudson: -15
3. Pleasantville City, Atlantic: -17
2. Hopewell Valley Regional, Mercer: -20
1. CHERRY HILL TOWNSHIP, CAMDEN: -41
A number of New Jersey school districts had dramatic increases in substance abuse cases as drugs and alcohol continue to be a pervasive problem in both the state’s urban and suburban areas. According to school officials, teen vaping may also be driving up the numbers.
While Newark is routinely among the leaders of the list, it has been nearly dislodged from the top ten with the help of two districts in both Ocean and Passaic counties. Freehold Regional holds the top slot with more than twice its total number of reported cases since 2016.
On the positive side, the Atlantic City/Pleasantville and Cherry Hill districts are among those that can celebrate the biggest reductions in their number of reported substance abuse cases. In addition:
Of the 341 school districts (out of 590) reporting at least one case, 205 reported 10 or fewer cases, 137 reported 5 or fewer, and 40 reported only one case.
The New Jersey Department of Education cautions that each jurisdiction is responsible for reporting its results fairly and accurately, but they are required by law to report them.