.
News Alert
UPDATE: Massive Brush Fire Rages In Berkeley,…

Chatham Women Had Heroin, Ecstasy Police Say

Authorities were responding to a home on Hillside Avenue when they made the arrests.

Two Chatham residents were arrested on drug possession charges after responded to a Hillside Avenue home on Tuesday afternoon.

Police said they charged Julia Sickler, 23, with possession of heroin, a hypodermic syringe, and narcotics paraphernalia, and charged Jessica Villars, 20, with possession of ecstasy.

Police said Sickler was taken to the Morristown Medical Center by the Chatham Emergency Squad after apparently ingesting a combination of drugs.

The two were released pending further court action, police said.

John M. August 24, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Very scary and a real shame. I hope these women get the help they need to get their lives in proper order.
Jim D. August 24, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Sadly, these women will be forced to live a large portion of their lives with felony charges pinned to them, as well as the massive financial debt associated with going through NJ's court system. Their lives won't be returning to proper order for a long, long time.
Steve August 25, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Sadly? What's sad is that our tax dollars will be spent "treating" these junkies.
John M. August 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM
You guys really lack compassion. Any of our offspring could find themselves in this situation. There are no guarantees in life regarding what our children will do. Trust me, it doesn't pay to be too smug. I raised 5 children to adulthood and I thank God every day that so far they have made good choices in their lives.
Melinda Bennington August 25, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Yes it is sad. People don't intend to get addicted. I am a mom with 3 successful children and one dead due to an overdose of heroin. These young women have made some very unfortunate choices that have led them to this point and hopefully this will be a turning point for them. Have some compassion, you never know when it can be your family member.
Patricia Boettger August 25, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Very well said Melinda. You never know what can happen. You raise your children and just hope they make good choices. My heart goes out to their families.
Chatham Resident August 25, 2012 at 11:24 PM
It's funny to see uppity mothers and fathers scream "for shame!" and that "my child would never do something like this" when their own precious little children are railing lines of cocaine off their desks in every college across the nation. Don't kid yourself. A kid's life shouldn't be ruined because of a victimless crime like drug use. Which do you think is going to ruin these two women's lives more: felony possession charges or shooting up heroin? I'd say the answer isn't as obvious as you think, and I beg you to consider the situation from the perspective of their parents, or hell, even from the perspective of the united states. Who did they hurt? What right does the government have to dictate what they put in their bodies?
Chathams Own August 25, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Yeah Chatham resident! and parents should be able to give babies valium tyo get some sleep right? i mean who is the government to tell them otherwise? and to answer your question? Shooting up heroin is clearly the worse option in your little scenario. At least they may get help now.
Chathams Own August 25, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I also resent your assertion that every college kid is "railing cocaine", it is a simple minority and always has been.
Chatham Resident August 25, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I'm sorry, I don't see the words in this article that imply these women were injecting heroin into children's bodies without consent. So I reject your strange syllogism. The government should not be telling me what I put in my own body, because I can consent to it. Do you understand the distinction? I don't support parents dosing up their children. I don't support parents blowing marijuana smoke at their toddler's faces. I do support the right of every consenting adult to ingest any substance they desire though. The woman found shooting up heroin is now subject to "fines, prison time, suspension or revocation of a driver’s license, mandatory drug counseling, and mandatory registration as a drug offender" (as per http://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-jersey-law/new-jersey-heroin-laws.html and http://www.newjerseydruglawyer.com/drug-charges-crimes/possession/possession-of-heroin.html). Are you really trying to tell me that she's better off having a permanent red flag next to her name in addition to prison time and crippling fines than a stint at a rehab clinic? I find that hard to believe.
Chathams Own August 25, 2012 at 11:43 PM
for first time offenders, particularly young ones, it is rather common for a judge to sentence an offender to rehab as all or at least some of there sentence. Such laws are not in place just to protect the individuals from themselves, but also to protect other around them. drug addicts are known to steal and do whatever it takes to pay for their next high. not to mention the danger of one of those women shooting up and then operating a motor vehicle, endangering themselves and everyone on the road. and as for the red flag? frankly yes. Heroin statistics show that roughly 1/3 of intravenous heroin users will die within several years of treatment, 1/3 will get clean, and 1/3 will spend their lives in a vicious cycle of relapse and recovery. With odds like that, employers ought to know about it. With out it, she could get a job teaching young children, or at a pharmacy. Jobs an intravenous heroin user simply should not be allowed to hold.
Melinda Bennington August 26, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Yes, it is a choice. But sometimes a choice made by an overwhelming desire to numb yourself due to any number of environmental and or mental health issues. The bottom line is society should not be so quick to judge especially if you have never walked in their shoes. I am not condoning drug use, I am encouraging compassion and forgiveness.
Melinda Bennington August 26, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Drug use is not a victimless crime. Just ask my family, we are all victims of grief due to my son's drug use.
A_Chatham_Resident August 26, 2012 at 02:23 AM
My father is a heroin addict, that is a life I would not wish on my very worst enemy. I hope these women get the help they need and get clean.
SW in Chatham August 26, 2012 at 11:14 AM
I wonder how many of these parents vilifying heroin and ecstasy and coke are of the many parents in this town who allow and even support their children drinking alcohol. As the parent of a recent Chatham high school graduate and a mental health care professional working in a local hospital, I know of countless parents who sent their kids off to the post-prom weekend with alcohol they bought for their kids. That is a crime which should carry that permanent red flag, believe me--for the parent. And I can also assure you that there is plenty of drug use of every imaginable type in every town in this area. Substance abuse of this type at this age is a Systems problem: families, neighborhoods, school systems, towns. I wouldn't point fingers so quickly.
High school student August 28, 2012 at 12:24 AM
These guys failed to mention that Julia was already ruining her life with heroin and that she had overdosed. I would know because I called 911. Her life was in ruins and the amount of drugs she had taken was extremely fatal. Seeing my neighbor like that was not a pretty sight and heroin is no joke. Even though I am 17, it was a horrifying, but good experience for me because I know the road not to take.
Brian Boettger August 28, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Having gone to a school with people who have drug addictions, I've seen firsthand how addiction works. And the people here who are saying, "It's their fault, they need to live with the consequences and leave us out of it," are only 1/3 right. It's not their fault. I know people who have turned to drugs due to the cruelty of their peers. People who have become addicts because society classifies them as "abnormal." Perhaps it was their choice, but were it not for those around them, they may not have had this burden in the 1st place. And it is true, the consequences will be crippling, and they will persist for the rest of their life. But that's where others' help comes in. These women obviously need friends, or peers, or anybody to just reach out and lend them a hand. And that's just the first step. They will need help through their rehabilitation process. They will need someone to catch them when they slip up. And they will need support from the community, not people like "Steve" thinking more about themselves than others. We have a word for people like Steve, but I will not say it since this is a public news site. So, some people need to be more compassionate. And to those who are already helping people with their issues, I salute you for your kind hearts and selfless souls.
Melinda Bennington August 29, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Good for you for calling 911. It was the right thing to do. You saved your friends life and hopefully she will see what a lucky break she got. You are a brave young woman.
TCG August 29, 2012 at 04:57 PM
If only they'd gone to a high school basketball game drunk...then they'd have been rushed back to their parents with a slap on the wrist...and without having to live through the inconvenience of paying the price for breaking the law. I'd sure be curious to know if these girls started with heroin...or if maybe it all began with the one legal and socially acceptable drug for which parents and the police look the other way when it comes to underage kids - booze.
Libby V August 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Bravo to those that are supporting these girls, especially the neighbor who stepped in to call 911. They, and their families, need our compassion. It makes me sad to read so many cruel and judgemental comments coming from this community. Yes, these girls have a serious problem and yes, they could harm someone else due to this problem, but there are many in our community with similar drug and alcohol problems - and most get by with hiding, denying or justifying their own problems. I hope that this serves as a turning point for these girls and their families. My heart goes out to them.
Jimmy Armstrong September 03, 2012 at 11:58 PM
I grew up with one of these women. She is kind-hearted and generous and a beautiful voice. I wish her the best. As for Steve's asinine comment: "Sadly? What's sad is that our tax dollars will be spent "treating" these junkies." ... Like all drug warriors, you miss the forest for the trees. The real drain on tax dollars is the packing of prisons with non-violent offenders who must be fed, clothed, have access to toilets, run the electricity in the prison, I could go on all day Here, educate youself. But judging by your asininity you are a stubborn mule. Drug mule, ;-) http://www.alibertarianvent.com/2010/04/drug-war-is-war-on-society-and-private.html
Jane Doe September 08, 2012 at 04:03 AM
As a close friend of the Villars family and after getting permission from Jessica to discuss the issue, for a lot of young adults substance abuse is not simply a result of underage drinking, bad parenting, or some sort of depravity. The underlying problem here is mental illness, specifically for Jessica, bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a disease, like cancer or diabetes, and is not something we should criticize or judge. Mental illness and addiction are serious and devastating problems, but they are not things to feel ashamed of. So instead of alienating these women and passing judgement on their actions, let's accept that there is a lot to this story we don't understand and simply keep these women and their families in our prayers.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something