Saturday, January 22, 2022

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Drugs and Substance Abuse and Treatment in Hoboken, New Jersey

Heroin use has become increasingly rampant in the New York Suburb of Hoboken, NJ, overtaking alcohol as the drug of choice. While Hoboken is still considered one of the safest cities in New Jersey, there’s been a significant rise in heroin and other opioid use, as well as trafficking of opiate drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.

Rated the ‘Best Suburb in New Jersey’ for millennials, Hoboken is a Manhattan suburb located across the Hudson river on the waterfront in New Jersey. This upper-class suburb is a prime example that the opioid crisis can catch people from all walks of life in it’s grip. The median household income is $114,381 which is 47% higher than the national average, yet it’s still seeing rising numbers of residents becoming addicted to heroin in both suburban and urban settings.

While Heroin is the primary drug of choice (accounting for 33% of total substance abuse treatment admissions in Hudson County, and 43% state-wide) other commonly abused drugs in the area include:




Other Opiates

The overwhelming majority of substance abusers seeking treatment are middle-aged Hispanic males between 30-55, while state-wide the majority of addicts are white middle-aged males.

Hoboken has the highest public transit use of any US city. 56% of employed residents commute via public transportation every day. Though Hoboken doesn’t have it’s own airport, The Hoboken Terminal is an origin/destination point for several modes of transportation including rail trains, ferries, and transit busses. It is a major hub within the NY/NJ metro region’s public transit system, which makes it an easy target for drug trafficking via land and water.


Along with heroin, Fentanyl is quickly rising in popularity and is making it’s way to the state via Mexican cartels. Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and even a tiny amount can prove to be fatal, even for first-time users. Dealers have been lacing heroin with the deadly, synthetic opiate to increase potency, often without the heroin users knowledge.


Recently, law enforcement officials conducted a drug bust in North Bergen, just up the Hudson River from Hoboken in Hudson County, seizing 45 kilograms (almost 100 pounds) of Fentanyl as well as 40 kilos of heroin. That’s enough fentanyl to kill 18 million people; more than the entire population of New York City and all of New Jersey combined. Four men were arrested in the bust.


With this incredibly lethal drug making it’s way to New Jersey in such abundance, there is no better time to seek help quitting heroin and opiates once and for all. Even one small dose of Fentanyl can be deadly. If you’re battling with addiction to heroin, we can help. Call us today and get on your path to recovery.


Hoboken appears to have the highest number of recorded law enforcement Narcan deployments in Hudson County, according to records from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. Although first responders in Hoboken and greater Hudson County are equipped with Narcan – an antidote that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose, there have still been record overdose deaths. Heroin laced with fentanyl requires much higher doses of Narcan to be effective. Narcan is effective roughly 75-80% of the time.

Heroin and Health

Aside from addiction and risk of overdose, using heroin and other substances intravenously can have life-long negative effects on your health. While the state of New Jersey does have needle exchange programs, they appear to be few and far between, putting drug injecting users at a risk for HIV and Hepatitis through sharing dirty needles. As of 2016, 32% of cases of HIV/AIDS in Hudson County are reportedly due to intravenous drug use.


If you are someone you know is struggling with addiction to opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, you’re not alone and there is help. In fact, up to 70% of those seeking help with heroin or opioid addiction are successful in kicking the habit, while relapse rates are a relatively low 15-30%. If you’re interested in seeking help, there are multiple program types available for Heroin and Opioid Addicts.


Rehabs and Treatment Facilities

While there are many reasons to seek help with heroin addiction, 37% of treatment admissions in Hudson County are referred or mandated by the criminal justice system, while 29% are self-referred. Outpatient Care accounts for 35% of substance abuse treatment admissions in Hudson County, and about 30% of patients are treated in IOP (Intensive Outpatient) facilities. Residential Detox, inpatient and outpatient Opioid Maintenance Facilities are also alternative options for people looking to kick addiction to opioids including heroin once and for all.


While getting free of addiction is often a main goal of treatment facilities, they can also help with other goals such as bettering or managing health due to co-occurring mental or physical illness. Other reasons to seek professional help with addiction include navigating legal situations brought on by addiction and substance abuse, bettering family and relationship situations, seeking employment, and meeting educational/vocational goals.


The road to kicking heroin addiction usually starts with an assessment or evaluation by a healthcare and/or mental health professional. Multiple professionals, including doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists and/or psychiatrists may assess you if you’re being cared for at an addiction treatment facility or detox center.


The purpose of the assessment is to evaluate whether physical and mental addiction is present and to what extent, determine any co-occurring conditions present, and develop a personalized treatment plan that will meet your needs. Substance abuse assessments take place in private settings, and information you provide is kept confidential and used to aid in your personalized treatment plan.


Substance addiction assessments usually consist of a standardized evaluation regarding your current substance abuse and patterns, health history, treatment history, symptoms and the effect addiction has had on your life (job, relationships, family, etc). The assessor may then ask clarifying questions to get a better idea of what treatment will be right for you. It is extremely important to answer these questions honestly, as a proper assessment will assist the professionals in recommending proper treatment.


Mental health care providers may refer you to a doctor for a physical evaluation. Some medical problems may impact your treatment plan, so a physical health examination is an important part of the addiction evaluation. The physical exam may include blood and urine tests, as well as standardized questionnaires about your physical health and substance abuse history.


Many people struggling with addiction also battle co-occurring physical or mental health disorders. In fact, it is estimated that over half of substance abusers have a co-occurring mental illness of some type, such as depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder or psychosis of some kind. Others struggle with physical ailments that are either pre-existing or brought on by the substance abuse itself. Abusing drugs is often a way to “self medicate” as an attempt to cope with, or mask mental health issues, and a proper diagnosis is essential to treating both the addiction and co-occurring illness. Untreated mental or physical health issues may impair your recovery, leading to relapse.


While acquiring an official diagnosis is recommended, another option is to perform a self-assessment to establish if you’ve got an addiction to drugs or alcohol. You can find tests online or from local mental health clinics. The main advantage of self-assessment is the privacy it provides. Many self-assessments can be conducted from the comfort of your own home, and provide you with instant feedback about your substance abuse habits and addiction. It is important to note that self-evaluations should be seen as a tool, and are not to replace an assessment by a licensed healthcare or mental health professional.



Detoxing is the process of of becoming sober and ridding your body of the chemicals and toxins found in drugs and alcohol. The process of heroin/opioid detox can take anywhere from a couple of days to a a couple of weeks, depending on your addiction habits and severity, and varies from person to person. However, the average opiate withdrawal period is around seven days, with the most severe symptoms occurring around 72 hours after the last use. Due to the intensity and length of opioid withdrawal, it’s both dangerous and difficult to detox without assistance and/or guidance of a professional.


There are a number of heroin and opiate detox centers that serve the Hoboken area. Opting for a detox-only program allows you to go through the process of withdrawal as quick and comfortable as possible. While easing into sobriety through a detox program is a good idea, it’s just the first step on a journey to kicking addiction. It is highly recommended to participate in either an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, and potentially even an aftercare or sober-living solution to help with continued sobriety.



CarePoint Health Detox Facility

CarePoint Health is a detox facility in the Hudson County/Hoboken area. They understand the process of detoxing can be uncomfortable and at times, dangerous, and do everything they can to make it as quick and painless as possible. While some detox centers operate with a “cold turkey” method, CarePoint Health doesn’t recommend it, and instead assists patients in the detox process by utilizing a mainly buprenorphine-based medication. This medication helps to control symptoms of opioid withdrawal, including those brought on by synthetic opioid addiction. With the aid of Buprenorphine, patients will be clear-headed and comfortable during detox, and will leave detox experiencing almost no symptoms of withdrawal.


CarePoint Health can be found at 
Hoboken University Medical Center

308 Willow Avenue

Hoboken, NJ 07030



There are two primary approaches to treatment programs – inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient programs are seen the most rigorous, but often prove the most successful when it comes to heroin and opioid addiction therapy.


SOBA College – 18-30 year old



Assessment begins at the first point of contact at SOBA College. Each patient is assessed for their immediate and long-term recovery needs. There’s an initial clinical evaluation, and standing weekly individual counseling is established, which continues through the length of the patients stay. A full psychiatric assessment is also conducted upon enrollment. Physical and mental health, personal safety, and past and current legal issues are evaluated as well. Each patient is assigned a case manager who performs a separate assessment on where they are at the beginning of the intake process, and where they’d like to be once they complete their personalized treatment, tailoring a personalized treatment plan that will help meet the patients individual goals.


SOBA College Recovery has a strong focus on personal hygiene, self-care, health, and legal needs. Each patient forms an initial treatment plan which outlines their long-term goals. Mental and physical health are priority at SOBA, so each client receives a gym membership and access to a personal trainer. The staff at SOBA believe in building a solid foundation outside of treatment while simultaneously working on addiction and co-occurring illness within the safe space of treatment. To aid in building that foundation, SOBA offers many recreational and cultural activities ranging from museum trips and dances to outdoor events. SOBA integrates the 12 Steps into treatment plans from the first week, taking patients to meetings in nearby areas in an effort to introduce patients to the range of recovery happening all around them. Personal and group clinical therapy, case and medication management, and education opportunities continue, as the patient works their way through the 3 Phases of treatment at SOBA. Nearing a patients graduation or completion of SOBA, Outside mental health and healthcare professionals, 12 step sponsors, potential employers and resources for continuing education are all pulled together to make sure the graduates continued sobriety and success.


SOBA Outpatient

SOBA also offers outpatient programs such as College Success which helps addicts in recovery pursue further education, Family and Multi-Family Education Groups, Addiction and Recovery Education, Men’s & Women’s Groups, Relapse Prevention, Health & Wellness, Anger Management, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Stages of Change, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (behavioral modification), Matrix Group (for those with co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, bi-polar, or ADHD), Motivational Enhancement, Trauma, Coping with Emotion, Self-Esteem and Mental Health Groups, as well as Spiritual and Meditation Groups, and Art, Writing and Music Expression Groups are also offered as outpatient therapy.


One of the most common forms of treatment is outpatient treatment programs. While they can be effective, they do require personal conviction and dedication to sticking with the program, as they operate with much less supervision than inpatient programs. Because of this, they do tend to have smaller success rates compared to a more intensive inpatient treatment, but they can be more accessible and cost-effective for those dedicated to a life free of heroin addiction. Out patient programs can also be a useful as a continuing recovery tool once a more intensive inpatient treatment has been completed.


Alpha Healing Center


Alpha Healing Center is an outpatient facility that incorporates holistic and natural recovery plans. Alpha Healing offers both an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and outpatient program.



The first step on the path to recovery is to be admitted into a treatment facility with knowledgable health care professionals. Alpha Healing Center has a 24- Hour admissions department which can be reached at 844-244-4325. You can arrange a tour of the facility prior to committing, verify your insurance, set up a payment plan for treatment and even set up transportation to the facility if needed.


Subuxone Detox

Alpha Healing Center uses a buprenorphine-based medication known as Subuxone to help with opioid withdrawal symptoms. The benefits of using Subonxone during detox include:
Milder Withdrawal Symptoms

Safer than traditional opiates

Fewer health and addiction risks
Patient stays alert during recovery and detox process

Longer lasting than traditional opiates.


Subuxone treatment consists of a detox stage, a therapey stage, and a long-term recovery stage (including post-treatment aftercare). 


Intensive Outpatient Program

The Intensive Outpatient Program at Alpha Healing  focuses on Individual, group and family therapy sessions between 9-12 hours per week, depending on your personalized treatment plan formed as part of your initial intake assessment. Alpha “promotes personal healing and recovery through holistic care”. Specialty groups such as trauma and gender-specific groups may also be a part of your personalized treatment program.


Traditional Outpatient Program

The traditional Outpatient Addiction Treatment Program at Alpha Healing Center is a relapse-prevention based therapy program and focuses on weekly Individual/group therapy sessions, and treatment interventions such as “Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Motivation Enhancement Therapy, and Cognitive Analytic Therapy”. Mental Health professionals


Discharge and Aftercare

Upon completion of your personalized program, Alpha Healing Center will help prepare you for the future with an personalized comprehensive aftercare plan. They will provide you with resources to aid in continued sobriety and regularly follow up with you to ensure  complete recovery.


To find out more about your addiction treatment options, give us a call today.