Man’s Voluntary Arrest Highlights Need for Treatment Reform in NJ
In a partly familiar story with a decidedly tragic twist, a New Jersey man was purposefully arrested last week week in an effort to get treatment for drug addiction. The 56-year-old Troy Crane first demanded that a bank-teller cash a forged check and started getting aggressive and upset when the teller refused. He returned a short time later and, claiming in an affidavit that he would say anything to get arrested, reportedly told the teller that he would “attempt to rob this place”. After actually giving him some money, Crane remained at the scene and asked how long it would take for the police to arrive. After being arrested Friday on charges of uttering a forged document and false public alarm, Crane told police that he wanted to get arrested in an effort to get treatment for his drug addiction.
Despite the fact that there are more and more treatment resources emerging to help those suffering from drug and alcohol dependency, there still exists cases like Crane’s, in which addicts have to resort to drastic measures to get help. States like New Jersey have been hit the hardest by this supply-and-demand crisis because they have high populations of addicts and long waiting lists for county-run facilities. Heroin deaths in the garden state are up 160 percent since 2010 and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. There are also significant insurance roadblocks, despite present and future national reforms.
In 2015, according to professionals, more than 28,000 New Jerseyans sought treatment for heroin or opioid abuse, which significantly outpaces previous years’ figures. The recent establishment of drug courts and the shift to treatment over incarceration for low-level drug offenders means that Crane just might be able to get the help he needs. It is not known if he has plans to enter a specific program, although his bail has been set at $15,000. From a macro perspective, State officials are increasingly mindful of the problem. Last week Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez hosted the US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy who recently declared heroin to be a national crisis.