New Jersey Addiction Treatment and Info

Like other mid-Atlantic and East Coast states, New Jersey has been witnessing a rise in the rates of opioid abuse - particularly linked to heroin and prescription pain relief medications. This is despite the high quality addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs that the state boasts.

Addiction in New Jersey

Known as the Garden State, New Jersey has a wide variety of attractions for visitors and residents alike. They include thousands of diners, heavily forested landscapes, and sprawling coastlines along the Atlantic. The state also has a population of more than 9 million people - making it America's most populous state.

To this end, it comes as no surprise that some people here struggle with substance abuse and addiction. According to the NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - for instance, substance abuse was predominant in New Jersey in 2015 and 2016.

During this period, the following figures were reported relating to the rates of drug and alcohol use among local residents:

  • 0.55 percent of this population comprised of 38,000 people abused heroin in the past year
  • 2.06 percent of the population - about 141000 people - above the age of 18 years also abused cocaine
  • 3.87 percent of the adults of the state abused prescription opioid pain relief medications, a figure that numbered about 265000 people
  • In terms of binge drinking, more than 25 percent of the population - over 1.7 million people - engaged in this form of alcohol abuse in the month prior to the study
  • More than 566,000 people - about 8 percent of the population of New Jersey - above the age of 18 years had abused illicit drugs in the month before the study

In 2018, the CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - released a report showing that New Jersey was among the 5 states that experienced a rise of over 30 percent in deaths linked to an opioid related overdose in the 12-month period that ended in 2017. During the same period, many states witnessed a decrease in these rates of fatality.

In 2016, New Jersey also lost 1695 lives due to a drug overdose involving opioids. the following year, it lost 34.7 percent more lives - a total of 2284 deaths in 2017.

The New Jersey Opioid Epidemic

Various studies have reported that opioids are among the most commonly abused drugs in this state. In recent years, this class of drugs has been responsible for a rise in the rates of fatalities reported among the residents of New Jersey.

This spike could have been as a result of the increase in the availability and distribution of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. This drug is a pain relief medication that is 50 times as powerful as heroin. However, some people mix it with heroin, making it even more deadly.

If you take fentanyl without a valid prescription from a doctor, it could kill you in a couple of minutes. It is for this reason that most emergency medical first responders have a difficult time treating patients who have suffered a drug overdose involving fentanyl.

Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

In 2010, the state admitted a total of 70121 people in its addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs. Of this number, 32.2 percent were female while the remaining 67.8 percent were male.

Years before in 1992, about 16363 people received similar treatment for abusing drugs only. However, this rate had more than doubled by 2006. At the time, the state had a total of 351 facilities offering addiction treatment and rehabilitation services.

Commonly Abused Substances in New Jersey

Like any other state, there are some drugs that are more popular in New Jersey than others. According to data from addiction treatment programs published in 2010 by the TEDS - the Treatment Episodes Data Set - these drugs include:

1. Alcohol

This report showed that alcohol was the drug that was 2nd most commonly abused in New Jersey. In 2010, it was responsible for 13710 admissions in a drug and alcohol addiction treatment program. Another 9254 people, however, were also enrolled in these programs for abusing both alcohol with another secondary drug.

2. Cocaine

New Jersey has one of the highest availabilities of cocaine. As such, this drug is often the primary substance of abuse for many people across the state. In 2010, to this end, it is not surprising that a total of 2873 people were enrolled in addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers for smoking cocaine. Another 1918 people received similar treatment for abusing the drug through other routes of administration.

3. Heroin

The same year, 22106 people checked into drug rehabs in the state for abusing heroin. This drug also topped the list of the drugs that were most commonly abused in New Jersey.

4. Marijuana

Marijuana is the third most widely available and frequently abused illicit drug in the New Jersey region with 11, 041 people seeking treatment in 2010. The misconception among adolescents that marijuana is a safe drug combined with the ability to get the drug for less money than many of the other drugs on the street explains the ongoing upsurge in marijuana use.

5. Methamphetamine

DAWN - the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) - reported that emergency departments mentioned methamphetamine 155 times in 2010. This drug has also been gaining popularity particular in Cherry Hill, where the supplies of cocaine have been waning and waxing.

6. Prescription Drugs

There are many people who abuse and are addicted to prescription drugs. in particular, medications such as fentanyl, phentermine, OxyContin, and hydrocodone products like Lortab and Vicodin are quite popular.

In 2010, to this end, these drugs were responsible for a total of 7234 admissions in addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers in New Jersey. Other medications that are commonly diverted and abused by local residents include methadone, Percodan, Percocet, and benzodiazepines such as Xanax.

Drug Related Fatalities and Injuries in New Jersey

In 2007, the state of New Jersey lost a total of 797 lives as a direct result of substance abuse. The same year, motor car accidents claimed 719 lives while another 446 people died in incidents involving firearms.

Reports from law enforcement officials show that Dominican and Columbian drug trafficking organizations are responsible for most of the supplies of heroin and cocaine in New Jersey. However, Mexican traffickers have also started moving cocaine through New Jersey from the American west coast.

Addiction Prevention in New Jersey

Although there are many addiction prevention and reversal programs in place, New Jersey has mostly been focusing on opioid use disorders. This is because of the fact that the state has seen an unprecedented rate in the number of fatalities linked to this class of drugs.

Some of the strategies that have been put in place to target illicit opioids like heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil, as well as prescription opioid pain relief medications include:

- It has been funding and marketing various addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs, particularly those that offer medication management services in the treatment of opioid use disorders

  • New Jersey has increased enforcement of all drug related laws, as well as enhancing all the penalties that are related to these laws
  • The state has been stockpiling and distributing Narcan or naloxone among its residents, particularly those who abuse opioid and have a high risk of suffering a drug overdose that could turn out to be fatal

Lawmakers in New Jersey have also worked to toughen all regulations involving the writing of prescriptions for opioid medications. Today, for instance, these prescriptions can only be written for a maximum of 5 days.

Finally, New Jersey has made it easier for people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol to seek the recovery services that they need to overcome their substance use disorders. It even requires insurance companies to provide full coverage for the first 4 weeks - or month - of inpatient addiction treatment without requiring patients to be preauthorized.

Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

It can be difficult to overcome a substance use disorder unless you have the medical assistance and oversight. Luckily, there are highly qualified addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs in place in New Jersey that can help you deal with this condition.

These programs offer a wide variety of services, including therapy, counseling, relapse prevention skills, ongoing support, and life skills training, as well as the following recovery modalities:

i) Medical Detox

When you first enroll in an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program, you will be required to go through a medically supervised treatment program. The goal of this process is to ensure that you are as comfortable and as safe as possible.

This is because the first few days or weeks of your recovery might be accompanied by intense drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms might turn out to be painful or even life threatening in some instances.

It is for this reason that you would be required to first go through medical detox so that these symptoms can be medically managed and taken care of before you seek any additional recovery services.

ii) Inpatient Drug Rehab

At the end of a successful medical detox process, you may be asked to proceed to an inpatient addiction treatment program. Also known as residential addiction treatment, this form of rehab is provided on an inpatient basis. This effectively means that you will be living at the recovery center for anywhere between 30 and 90 days, or even longer.

Inpatient drug rehab is recommended if you have a severe substance use disorder and you have also been diagnosed with co-occurring mental health and medical disorders over and above your addiction. It is the most intensive form of addiction treatment but also one of the most successful too.

This is because it will completely remove you from your normal every day environment. Instead, you will be living at the rehabilitation facility, where you will no longer be able to access the drugs you used to abuse, or the conditions, situations, environments, people, and triggers that led to your substance use in the first place.

iii) Outpatient Drug Rehab

Apart from inpatient drug rehab, you also have the option of choosing outpatient addiction treatment. this type of rehab is similar in almost every other way to inpatient treatment. however, you will not be living at the recovery center. Instead, you can visit it a few times each week for several hours each time.

This effectively means that you can spend the rest of your time meeting your various professional, social, and personal obligations and responsibilities at work, school, or home. In the evenings, you will also be able to go back home or move into a sober or transitional living facility.

Outpatient treatment is recommended if you have a mild or short lasting substance use disorder and were not diagnosed with any other co-occurring medical or mental health disorders. It might also work if you have already sought inpatient treatment but still require additional help to ensure that you do not relapse in the early days of your recovery.

Both inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs similar or related recovery services and therapies, such as:

  • 12 step and non-12 step support group meetings
  • Aftercare programming
  • Alumni services
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Complementary therapies, such as massage therapy, yoga, animal therapy, meditation, art therapy, acupuncture, journaling, and equine therapy, among others
  • Couples counseling
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • Exercise
  • Family therapy
  • Gender specific therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Life skills training
  • Medication assisted treatment
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Nutritional education
  • Relapse prevention
  • Specialized addiction treatment
  • Stress management
  • Substance abuse and addiction education
  • Vocational training

Getting Help

If you suspect that you have been abusing drugs or drinking alcohol in excess - much more than you used to when you started - there is a high probability that you may already be struggling with a substance use disorder. In such a situation, it is recommended that you seek help from a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation program in New Jersey until you overcome this disorder.


For more information about treatment centers in New Jersey, Click Here.

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