Drugs and Substance Abuse and Treatment in Morriston, New Jersey
Morristown, located in Morris County is known as the military capital of the American Revolution based on its role in the war for independence against Great Britain. Morristown has a population of 19,016 and is the birth place of Game of Thrones actor, Peter Dinklage and Alfred Vail, the inventor of Morse Code.
Morristown is full of so much history and much of that history can be seen in the National Historical Park which consists of four important sites: Jocky Hollow, The Ford Mansion, Fort Nonsense and The New Jersey Brigade Encampment Site. The town is 44 percent safer than other U.S. cities, has a low unemployment rate of 3.90 percent and a median income level of $101,126.
While the historical landmarks and abundant green land is picturesque, there is a problem that Morris County is facing that isn’t so welcoming, drug and alcohol addiction. Much of New Jersey is facing a huge heroin epidemic. In fact, the Garden state has the cheapest and purest heroin for $5 a bag, which explains why the drug has increased in popularity. Next to heroin, prescription drugs appear to be a favorite in Morris County and both drugs are causing fatal overdoses. In 2016, 62 people died due to an opiate overdose. That number was expected to rise by the end of 2017. Currently, New Jersey has the 6th highest in youth overdoses in the United States. Morris County also has an alcohol rate of 33 percent.
New Jersey officials are trying to push back in the war against drug use by offering incentives like an “Earn While You Learn” program. This program, which starts in February of 2018, allows people to train for a certified profession for free while earning an income. This program is particularly designed for introducing new addiction professionals into the Garden state to help with cracking down on drug use. More professionals fighting drug and alcohol addiction are needed and state officials expect the need for more professionals to continue to grow by 20 percent over the next decade. This incentive is ideal for allowing people to help others and their state by hopefully, decreasing the heroin epidemic that the state is facing.
Also, in February, the Hope One Van will be making its way around Morristown in an effort to help raise awareness about drug and alcohol addiction but also about mental health issues as well. The van is decorated with a purple ribbon to show its support for recovery. Individuals can find a broad spectrum of information on detox, rehab, mental health and recovery services. The van also has information on free Narcan training and hands out free kits.
There are many ways that someone suffering with addiction can get help and with New Jersey facing such a bad heroin problem, help should be anyone’s mind who wants to see drugs kept out of the hands of our youth. More and more schools all across America are finding an increase in youth drug use and as mentioned above, teens are overdosing. When adults won’t ask for the help that is needed, most teens won’t either. The time to get help is now.
There are many inpatient and outpatient treatment centers all across New Jersey.
The Rehabilitation Process
Deciding to get help takes a lot of strength. It is not a small battle when one wants to fight against an addiction and sadly, sometimes the addiction wins out. That is not the case for everyone and many times it’s more about a person’s mindset. Positivity is everything when it comes to recovery and that’s not just based on drug addiction. That is on any sort of negative problem someone is facing. Knowing what to expect is also very helpful too.
Assessment/Pre-Intake/Intake- The very first thing that will happen when a person enters a rehabilitation center is an assessment. This can also be referred to as a pre-intake. An assessment is much like an interview. This is a time for a doctor or some other professional to ask a bunch of questions about drug use.
Expect these types of questions:
- What is your drug of choice?
- How long have you been using?
- What motivated you to get help?
- Have you ever been to a rehabilitation center before?
These are just a few questions, there will be many more. Everything that is said during the assessment will be used to figure out what sort of treatment is needed. Usually, a medical intake is also completed during this time to learn about family history, drug-related history within the family, mental health analysis, a drug screening, a urine, blood and other lab tests. If the drug test shows that there are drugs in the system, detox is needed. If there are no drugs present, the doctor may recommend a behavioral health program. It is also possible for financial arrangements to be made at this point.
Detoxification, more commonly known as detox is the very next step in the rehabilitation process, if drugs are present in the body. Detox is necessary so that the body can be completely cleared of drugs. This part of the process can be and is most often the worst part of drug rehabilitation. That is all due to the withdrawal symptoms. Not everyone has the same symptoms, however. For some, withdrawal can be painless and exhausting and for others, it can be a lot worse. However, it is not recommended to try to detox oneself before going to into rehab. Everyone should detox under medical supervision.
Here are some usual withdrawal symptoms:
- Severe depression and fatigue
- Muscle pain/tension
- Rapid heartbeat
- Trouble breathing and panic attacks
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- In some severe cases, withdrawals can cause strokes and/or heart attacks
Withdrawal is always supervised carefully by a professional and if symptoms become too overwhelming, a doctor may prescribe medication to help such as:
Once drugs are completely cleared from the body, the next part of the rehabilitation process can begin.
Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
This step in the rehabilitation process is really what sets the course for healing as a whole and it also allows for those important building blocks to be constructed to prevent a relapse in the future.
Inpatient Treatment consists of a couple of different types of therapy. The assessment completed earlier on dictates what type of therapy is actually needed. If a doctor recommends RTC (Residential Treatment Center), that means that an individual will need to stay at the facility for a certain period of time. During this time, a patient will be placed in different types of therapy such as individual, group and even family. The time in RTC will change from patient to patient but most people stay from 60-90 days, it’s all dependent on various factors. If a doctor recommends PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program), that means that a patient will have to attend a facility for six hours as a day for 5-7 days a week, for individual and group counseling. PHP is also a helpful time for patients to learn how to cope with their emotions and also learn how to adjust into their new lives. Usually, PHP is a step down from RTC. Some patients however are recommended for PHP from the start. If a doctor recommends IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program), that means that a patient will have to attend the facility for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week for group counseling. IOP is usually not recommended unless a patient has either been through RTC or PHP. IOP is usually the last stepping stone before full release from the facility.
Once a patient has met all the milestones that are necessary, they are released from the facility. This does not mean that a patient is now alone in their recovery. Recovery will be a life long process for anyone who had ever been addicted to something. Therefore, it’s important to think about aftercare. Aftercare means just what it says, what to do after leaving rehab. Aftercare means finding help on the outside and chances are, a patient was handed some documents with a list of support groups, AA meetings, NA meetings and even some people who are willing to be a sponsor. Now it’s time to reach out and make contact. Most importantly, it’s time to attend meetings. Aftercare is about doing whatever it takes to stay away from addiction tendencies so introducing a new hobby is perfect during this part of the rehabilitation process.
Support groups are really the backbone to this part of recovery because each person in that room knows exactly what another person in that room has been through and is currently going through. Therefore, it becomes a true safe haven between people weathering the same storm.
Staying busy is also another really important part of recovery. When the mind is busy and the hands are working, there is less thinking and that’s important because idle time makes for lousy decisions that get a lot of people in trouble. Stay busy by going back to school, taking up a new hobby or something else that keeps the hands and mind distracted. There have been many recovering addicts that have started a new hobby that someone else told them about and they found that they were really good at it. It could be cooking, bowling, reading, writing or whatever. All it needs to be is something that makes someone happy and keeps them busy.
A treatment center is not going to turn someone a way after they have been released so comfort can be found in knowing that someone is always there to talk to. They are just a phone call away. Support is everywhere and its important to reach out to it. There are many people willing to help others in their fight against addiction.
Sometimes, it’s very hard to adjust back into a life before rehab and that is why sober living houses or halfway houses are recommended for recovering addicts. Sober living houses are options for those who just are not sure if they can quite do it on their own and do not want to risk a relapse. Sober living houses has all the amenities that are needed as well as other housemates that are going through the same recovery fears. Group counseling can be done within the house but there are rules that must be followed such as no drugs, no smoking in restricted areas and no sexual relations with any other housemates. If these rules are broken however, a resident can be forced to leave the house so it is very important to follow any rules that are placed down and to read the contract that is signed upon moving in.
Addiction will remain a threat for anyone who has ever endured it but there are always different things that can be done to distract one from going back to that life and it’s important to do whatever it takes. There is so much strength in fighting for a happy life and everyone has the power to make their life whatever they want it to be. That is the message that needs to be taught to our youth who are taking drugs and overdosing. When adults stand up and fight at all costs, it makes the teen generation want to stand proud to. Heroin is too big of a problem to just be swept under the rug. Teens are dying before they have really even had the chance to live and all because heroin is so cheap and easy to get. It is time for us all to take a stand against the drug problem all of America is facing and do something to make life better for the generation that is after us and so on. If we won’t do it, neither will they.