Thursday, January 27, 2022

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Drugs and Substance Abuse and Treatment in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City, New Jersey is a resort city popular for its casinos, beaches, and boardwalks with an approximate population of 38,735 people. The city was integrated in the year 1854, from portions of Galloway Township and Egg Harbor Township. It borders Brigantine, Absecon, Ventnor City, Pleasantville, West Atlantic City, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Its unemployment rate is estimated to be at 6.7% while the job growth is approximately 0.2%. The city is regarded as the Gambling Capital of the East Coast and follows Las Vegas in yearly gaming revenue, number of casinos, and number of accommodations. However, besides these fantastic features and other development growth in Atlantic, drug addiction and abuse have been increasing at a fast rate. Statistics from Forbes indicate it has 3231 crimes per 100,000 residents most of which arise due to drug abuse and addiction.

Additionally, the city enthused the American version Monopoly board game and is home to the Miss America pageant. During 1976, voters from New Jersey legalized casino gambling in the city. These activities have increased rates of drug abuse in Atlantic City which are causing concerns.

Since Atlantic City, New Jersey is surrounded with busy seaports along the coastal line and beaches with resorts, it has become an essential element in drug trafficking activities. Many illicit substances enter Atlantic City through private vehicles, cargo ships, planes, and parcel delivery services.

Research from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice (NJDCJ) approximates that 70 percent of violent offences occur directly from influence to drugs. Atlantic has increased these figures significantly which is an issue that the criminal Justice is taking into account.

Atlantic City, New Jersey Substance Abuse Statistics

Like most other cities in the US, Atlantic most significant threat to public health is the widespread availability of illegal drugs such as opioids, cocaine heroin, marijuana and legal prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. However, thousands of Atlantic City residents also suffer from alcohol addictions and other hard drugs. Fortunately, there are thousands of drug and alcohol rehabs in Atlantic City, New Jersey and beyond to fit the particular needs of any patient.

Effects of some common substance abuse in Atlantic City New Jersey

The most frequently abused drugs in the Atlantic include:

  • Heroin.
  • Cocaine.
  • Marijuana.
  • Opioids such as hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl and oxycodone.
  • Tranquilizers and sedatives.
  • Stimulants.


Heroin is a hazardous and extremely addictive illegal substance that is produced from morphine. Residents of Atlantic City are frequently becoming dependent on the substance abuse. Most of them at times even after first-time use, suffer from intense psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms when the drug is unavailable. Withdrawal can bring intense physical pain, tremors, and fever.

Side Effects

As Atlantic City residents use heroin over time, the pleasant short-term effects exceed the numerous unwelcome side effects of the substance. The main side effects of heroin use include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Confusion.
  • Slowed respiration
  • Light sensitivity.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Constricted pupils.
  • Fatigue.
  • Lower than average body temperature.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Slowed heart rate.

Long Term Effects of Heroin Use

People who continue using heroin for long periods of time may experience:

  • Poor dental health indicated by gum swelling and damaged teeth.
  • A diminished immune system that leads to increased susceptibility to disease.
  • Severe constipation.
  • Peeled skin due to scratching.
  • Weakness and sedation.
  • Malnutrition and poor appetite.
  • Sleeping difficulties.
  • The decrease in sexual functioning.


Marijuana refers to the flowers, leaves, and extracts of the cannabis sativa plant and some closely related species usually known as hemp. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in Atlantic City. Most people give it a variety of names such as cannabis, weed, pot, hash, grass and many others.  In much of the Atlantic City, New Jersey State, smoking marijuana has become a dangerous criminal act and repeated as a dangerous drug. It is illegal to smoke marijuana regardless of what public opinion or research may dictate.

Signs and Symptoms

Marijuana intoxication produces effects including:

  • Euphoria.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Impaired memory.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Altered sense of time.
  • Relaxation.
  • Cognitive impairments.
  • Paranoia.
  • Slowed reflexes and impaired motor skills.
  • Bloodshot eyes.
  • Increased heart rate.

Effects of Marijuana Abuse

Besides negative and positive intoxicating consequences, marijuana abuse can also have an undesirable impact on an individual’s mental and physical health especially in someone who uses marijuana for an extended period.

Long-term harmful effects of marijuana in the body may include respiratory problems, cardiovascular risk, mental health effects, child development, and psychological dependence.


Alcohol is an addictive substance, but not everybody who drinks alcohol will become addicted to it. However, some people in Atlantic may be more vulnerable to addiction than others.

Also, one should note that alcohol addiction and abuse are two different issues. Alcohol addiction means a physical and psychological dependency on alcohol. People suffering from alcohol addiction may build up a tolerance to the substances, and continue drinking it even when problems related to alcohol become evident. Conversely, alcohol abusers are not necessarily alcohol addicts, but usually, they are heavy liquor users who continue drinking despite the adverse outcomes.

Signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse include:

  • Decreased participation in extracurricular activities.
  • Lack of interest friends or family.
  • Obsession with drinking.
  • Loss of interest in school work.
  • Violent behavior.
  • Inability to control drinking.
  • Erratic behavior.
  • Restlessness.

What are some substances and drugs addiction treatment options in Atlantic City, New Jersey?

By definition, drug addiction is the incapability to stop using drugs despite the consequences that a person may face for the drug or substance abuse. Although Atlantic residents addicted to drugs can abstain for short periods, they will often begin using the drugs again. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that efficient addiction recovery almost always needs assistance, especially from drug addiction rehab. There are also various rehabilitation centers distributed in Atlantic which help to recover from drug and substance addiction.

Why Is Drug Addiction Rehab Essential in Atlantic City?

Addiction requires physical dependence on drugs including emotional, mental and spiritual factors. Although it may be possible for some residents in Atlantic to tolerate with withdrawal symptoms produced by physical dependence, discontinuing the use of drugs doesn’t help to address the other factors that cause addiction.

Rehab programs involving recovery procedures in Atlantic take a comprehensive approach to address every part of addiction appropriately. The programs help residents to get a deeper understanding of themselves including their behaviors and acquire skills to help them remain sober even after completing their formal treatments.

Help for Atlantic residents addicted to substance abuse


To begin treatment, a rehabilitation professional asks a series of questions to the addict using an assessment technique. During the evaluation, the health professional may examine any physical or psychological signs which are developing. The professional may also have to gather a list of the symptoms that the affected person displays. The

 professional can then evaluate the results whether or not an individual is partially or fully addicted to drugs or substance abuse.

After the assessment, the rehab officer can know the addiction treatment required and whether you or your family members have any co-occurring disorders that resulted from addiction. People who get influenced by drug abuse does not only affect them, but there are also negative impacts on their family.

  1. Pre-Intake

Patients have to take a pre-intake assessment before they are admitted to any rehabilitation center. The processes involved include documenting the patients’ history with drug abuse usage, physical examinations, and recording of signs and symptoms. In some cases, a rehabilitation professional may perform lab tests to establish the amount of drug abuse that is in the patients’ body. Other factors considered include gender, age or even religious beliefs of the patient. Family members may also be consulted to give information about providing best health care for their addicted member. After obtaining these details, the rehabilitation professional can recommend whether the patient admission as an inpatient or outpatient care is necessary.

  1. Intake

During the intake process, a patient can meet a therapist, addictive specialist, or a psychologist. Intake is merely an interview procedure that admits a patient in a specified substance abuse treatment program. The admission may either be on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Reviews include medical history, physical and mental health screening exams, questions about conditions surrounding the substance abuse and what caused them.

The most important factor to consider during patients’ interview is whether they are telling the truth. Most patients may feel embarrassed speaking out their conditions which can hinder their development in a treatment program.

Remember that everything the patients reveal during their time and the rest of treatment course is held as private. Therefore, any information collected during the intake stage is what will be needed to develop their individualized treatment plans, since different patients have different needs. At this stage, financial situations and payment options and decisions such as insurance cover, direct payments, among others will also be reviewed.

Understanding inpatient and outpatient treatment


An inpatient program enables a patient to face addiction procedures in a healthy and safe environment. This allows him or her to undergo a medical detox through monitored medical supervision, and begin strategizing for re-entry without the daily temptation of drugs substance that causes addiction. Most inpatient programs can begin to 30 days, to allow an addict to perform full detox and start learning how to prevent relapse.

This type of care can further be classified into two categories:

  1. Residential treatment center (RTC)

A residential treatment center is sometimes known as rehab, is a healthcare facility providing therapy for patients that are unable to live a healthy life on their own. It may be considered as the last approach to treating abnormal psychopathology or psychology. These patients may lack self-control hence full intensive care, and specialized medical treatment is relevant all the time. Such patients are at risks of developing severe withdrawal symptoms which may cause organ failure or death.

2. Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

A partial hospitalization program is also sometimes referred to as “day rehab.” Focus more on patients in a residential treatment program, while allowing them to spend evenings at home. The PHP for substance abuse or drug addiction consist of the same elements as a full-time residential inpatient program which is also useful. The patients usually can get access to all counseling, therapies, and aftercare support, for a minimum of six hours daily, five days per week.

Outpatient treatment program.

This treatment program allows substance or drug addicts to reside at their home or in any other supportive environment. In an outpatient program, addicts can attend the rehabilitation center at frequent periods to receive therapy. For instance, the treatment can be available once a week, or several times per week and they can last approximately three hours daily.

This treatment also allows patients to continue doing their daily activities, which can have positive or negative effects, depending on their conditions. One of the main benefits involves addicts enjoying strong support network, especially with family members or friends. It is also affordable since there is no cost incurred such as the 24-hour services that may include food provisions or nurse services from inpatient programs. The disadvantages include low recovery success rate since the patients are not monitored regularly. Some patients can also slip back to their old substance abuse behavior again since they have the freedom to do what they want since there is no monitoring care provided.

The outpatient program is further categorized into Intensive Outpatient Program/Treatment (IOP)

IOP is the main treatment program recommended by a medical and clinical assessment in some circumstances especially for patients who do not need a medically-administered detox. IOP can also allow recovering patients to continue their therapies following effective detox, on a part-time but intensive program, planned to accommodate family life and work.

With the IOP patients can establish foundations for long-term recovery support in their local community just as they start treatment, rather than waiting until they return from staying away in a rehabilitation center.

What is involved in substance and drug addiction treatment?

Detox Program

This program involves a medically managed procedure of helping a patient’s body to eliminate addicted substances or drugs while maintaining the withdrawal symptoms effectively. It can either be inpatient or outpatient when administered.


It refers to people receiving treatment for drug or substance abuse from a professional through guidance and organized treatment programmes to overcome their addiction and resist using the drug in the future. Advice is given oh how a sufferer can resolve psychological or personal issues that caused drug addiction.


It involves a health profession prescribing drugs to help people struggling with substance abuse that led to addiction.


Health professionals regularly perform assessments on people affected with substance abuse to determine their progress as they recover from addiction. Many disorders involving addictions affecting the physiological or psychological are monitored.


Practicing spirituality has been a basis of substance and drug treatment programs. It means pure belief in a superior power, connecting to your faith of origin, or exploring new faith to help patients to get sober and stay sober. Tapping spirituality power can help addicted individuals find their way back to their real self and their infinite potential. There are several ways addicts can use spirituality to become more present in themselves and the environment. These include prayer, meditation, socializing, exercising, and having fun, among others.


Recovery from drug addiction and substance abuse doesn’t end if the treatment period is complete. Essentially aftercare is regarded as continuous treatment, which follows a somewhat shorter time of addiction treatment care immediately. It is significant for health professionals to focus on a patients’ post-treatment time interval since this is a period where effort made during recovery is strengthened. Different types of aftercare treatment choices are available to help in preventing relapse and increase coping approaches learned during the rehabilitation process.

Sober Living in Atlantic City New Jersey

In early addiction recovery following successful treatment, one can probably continue struggling to imagine how to cope with life without reverting to addiction. Sober living is new and challenging, but it is amazingly rewarding. Whatever advantages you thought you achieved from using drugs and substance abuse will be put to shame after discovering that nothing matches the benefits achieved from living sober. Some great tips which can help one to maintain sober living include:

  • Maintain healthier relationships with family and friends
  • Embrace change
  • Don’t live in fear of relapsing to addiction
  • Be good to yourself
  • Keep your mind and body engaged
  • Create goals
  • Live a stress-free life