Saturday, December 3, 2022

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Drugs and Substance Abuse and Treatment in Paramus, New Jersey

Paramus is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey. It’s a suburb of New York City, and a few miles away from Manhattan, which houses the largest business district in the world.

Although Paramus has been named the “New Jersey Healthy Town,” much like the rest of the country, and especially New York City, the people still suffer a host of drug problems. Ranging from prescription opioids to amphetamines to cocaine to heroin, much of what’s traded in New York City bleeds into the local area, via the same mechanisms that led to its presence in the Big Apples.

Wherever there is money to be made selling drugs, drugs will appear. Paramus is no different.

Although the city’s population is fairly small, barely above 25,000, it is one of the largest shopping destinations in the entire United States; every year, more than 5 billion in retail sales are made in the city. Additionally, the city is ranked among some of the highest in annual household income, in the United States.

Nevertheless, there is a serious opoid problem in Paramus, and Bergen County more broadly. According to some, it’s the most drug-infested areas in the United States, with people driving all the way from New York City, in some cases, to pick up.

There were 308 overdoses in Bergen County in 2016. 246 of those overdoses were due to the primary problem-drug in the area: heroin. Heroin overdoses have been climbing for years.


In the face of these facts some people despair. But it’s unnecessary, and unhelpful. There are many treatment options in the area for you, no matter what your situation, or your needs. The first step is to recognize that you have a problem. The second is to set out to find a solution.  You’ve already taken the first two; a description of the steps that you can take next will follow.

There is help in Paramus for heroin users, there is hope. The following will describe a few  of the treatment methods and options that you can find in Paramus and the greater Bergen County area.



The first part of the process of rehabilitation is intake. There are many treatment centers in the area that you can apply to, but of course, some are better than others; and furthermore, some are better suited to your needs than others. In this part of the process, you can choose the rehabilitation center that you believe to be best suited to you.

The addiction treatment center will also likely ask you a series of questions, such as: what is your drug use history? What is your family’s history of use? What financial means do you have, to undergo this rehabilitation program? What’s the severity of your addiction?

            It’s important to remember, at this point, that intake is also the time for you to ask questions of the rehabilitation center. It is extremely important that you find the rehabilitation center best suited to your individual needs, the rehabilitation center that you will be most likely to persist in fighting your addiction with. And with the wealth of options available, the great number of addiction centers available, there is no reason for you to not try to find the perfect fit.

            One reason that it is so important to ask questions and try to understand everything you can about the various rehabilitative options available to you, is because one of the primary predictors of successful rehabilitation is the length of the time that you participate in the rehabilitation program. According to medical authorities, it is best to stay in rehab for 3 months, and even more, if possible.

            For this reason it is very important you find somewhere that you will be willing to stay at for a long time, because the amount of time that will stay is a big predictor of your success.

            Rehabilitation is a commitment, it’s a commitment to yourself and others; the more steadfast you are in that commitment, the more successful treatment will be.

            The intake process, when they ask you questions, can take many forms. Maybe you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding yourself and your situation; maybe you will be asked to participate in a phone interview; maybe you will have a chance to visit the rehabilitation center, and have an in-person interview, there.

            Whatever form the intake occurs in, remember that it is best to be honest with the counselor who is interviewing you. Your treatment program will be designed in accordance with the details of your needs, your health and your situation.

            Also, no matter how the intake begins, once you have decided to attend a certain rehabilitation center, you will be interviewed. Maybe this is your second in-person interview in the intake process, or maybe this is the first. In either case, as with any other stage of the rehabilitation process, it is in your best interest to be completely honest.

            It’s important also to bring whatever medications that you have been prescribed by a doctor, to the rehabilitation center that you attend, if you may need to use them during your stay. Your medications will be taken by the pharmacy at the rehabilitation center, and thereafter the pharmacy will administer the medication to you, in accordance with your prescription.

            Another thing to note, is that at many rehabilitation facilities, there are rules about what belongings you can and can’t bring. Obviously, drugs, including alcohol, are prohibited. Likewise, it is prohibited to carry a cellphone at many rehabilitation centers. Other electronic devices, as well as musical instruments and mouthwash, are prohibited at many rehabilitation centers, as well.

            When you arrive at the rehabilitation center, one of the counselors will bring you to your room, and together, both of you will examine all of the items that you have brought with you. Prohibited items will be taken, and kept by the rehabilitation center until your completion of the program. Items that are not prohibited you will be able to keep, and you can store them in your room, for the duration of your stay.

            The second part of intake, involves a drug test. You will be tested for drugs, and if you test positive for recent use, you will be taken to detox. Other the other hand, if you are clean, if you don’t test positive, then you will be immediately entered into the rehabilitation program.


Again, as with the interview, before undergoing detox it is important to let the rehabilitation center know of any and every medical problem that you may have. Do not be dishonest about your medical history; because by doing so, you are only endangering yourself. And you may also be endangering others. It is especially important to let the medical staff know if you have any infectious diseases.

            You may also be given medical care and testing, in addition to detox, in the case that there are other medical problems.

            After intake is detox. This is the scariest step, but a necessary one in your path to recovery. Detox is not the solution in itself, but the beginning of your healing process. Whereas before, you may have felt constantly unwell, after detox, a new world of health and renewed potential opens up to you.

            Undergoing withdrawals without medical supervision is not easy, and in most cases it is not safe; withdrawal from some drugs, such as alcohol, can result in death. But under the supervision and constant care of a team of medical professionals at your chosen rehabilitation center, you can go through this sometimes difficult but absolutely necessary period with the peace of mind that you will come out the other side alive and healthy.

            That said, there are different kinds of detox program for different people and situations. For example, if your addiction is immediately severe, you will likely be put into an inpatient detox program. An inpatient detox program is contrasted to an outpatient detox program, by the fact that in the former you remain constantly supervised and in the rehabilitation center. Whereas, in an outpatient detox program, while you may have access to medical resources at all times, you are not kept at the rehabilitation center for the entire duration of the process. Rather, outpatient detox can be undertaken in a variety of locations; for example, in the rehabilitation center, a mental health center, or a doctor’s office. The important difference between inpatient and outpatient detox programs, is that in an outpatient detox program you can spend the night at your home, or somewhere else outside of the rehabilitation center.

            Maybe, for you, an inpatient detox would be best. Maybe an outpatient detox program. It really depends on your situation, and in part the counselor’s assessment of you during the intake process. For example, for people who are highly motivated, willing and able to attend all of their appointments, an outpatient detox program might be better than an inpatient program. At the same time, if the withdrawal is expected to be especially severe, it still may be better to undergo an inpatient detox program.

            And these are just two detox programs. There are other ways of detoxing, as well.

            One way some people detox is at home. But this can be very dangerous, depending on the drug that they’re withdrawing from. It can also be less useful; because detoxing is just the beginning of the process of rehabilitation, it is necessary to consider what may come after the detoxification.

Whereas after detox in a rehabilitation center, you will have support, so that you can keep clean, even if you successfully detox at home, you still don’t have the same support you will have at a rehabilitation center. For this reason, also, detoxing at home is rarely, if ever, the best option.

            Rehabilitation is a process of change, rather than one or two events. In the end, like the rest of the treatment options, different detox programs are best for different people.

            The more honest you are with your counselor during intake, and yourself, the better your treatment plan can be fitted to your individual needs.


After detox is over, then begins the rehabilitation program, which includes resolving underlying personal issues, other than the physical addiction.

            There are many varieties of rehabilitation, each best suited for different sorts of patients, each suited to some set of needs. After the detox is over, and throughout the entire process of rehabilitation, you will continue to have consistent contact with the counselors at the rehabilitation center. Accordingly, your rehabilitation program will be modified as needed to best suit you.

            There are three main forms of rehabilitation programs: Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP), and Residential Treatment Center programs (RTC). A counselor will help you decide which is best for you.

            Intensive Outpatient Programs are the least time-consuming, of three forms. In Intensive Outpatient Programs, the patient is usually required to participate in the afternoons and evenings, a few hours every week. But in this program, the patient lives outside of the rehabilitation center, and the patient is involved for a minimum of three days, every week. This kind of rehabilitative program, like the outpatient detoxification program, is best suited for patients who are extremely motivated, willing and able to attend appointments. This program is also good for patients who are attending rehabilitation near where they live, so that they can continue to live in their house, while undergoing rehabilitation.

            The second form of rehabilitation is the Partial Hospitalization Program, which requires more immediate involvement than the Intensive Outpatient Program. Nevertheless, the degree of motivation required of the patient is still high, because like the Intensive Outpatient Program, the Partial Hospitalization Program is an outpatient program, too.

            An outpatient rehabilitation program is one in which the patient does not stay at the rehabilitation center overnight, but rather lives elsewhere over the course of the treatment program. Whereas, in an inpatient rehabilitation program, the patient lives at the rehabilitation center over the course of the treatment, usually in an environment which is very structured, and best suited for the successful rehabilitation of the patient.

            All outpatient programs, the Intensive Outpatient Program as well as the Partial Hospitalization Program, require discipline on the part of the patient, a strong will to get better, and consistent involvement with psychological and medical professionals. The difference between the Intensive Outpatient Program and the Partial Hospitalization Program, is only that the Partial Hospitalization Program requires more time and involvement from the patient.

            Whereas the Intensive Outpatient Program might only meet 3 days a week, and only for a few hours, the Partial Hospitalization Program meets at least 5 times a week, for at least 6 hours a day, and may meet on the weekends as well.

Residential Treatment Centers provide inpatient rehabilitation. They’re very structured, and every part of the environment and day is designed to be best suited to the patient’s rehabilitation. This program consists of intense and frequent treatment, including daily therapy and constant supervision. This treatment is best for those who suffer the most severe addictions, and probably not the best option for patients who are very motivated and consistently demonstrate that they are able to manage themselves reasonably well. In either case, Residential Treatment Centers offer extraordinary care, as well as an environment conducive to healing.

But undergoing rehabilitation is not the last step in resolving addiction. The goal is recovery, which is a process that begins in rehab, but must continue after as well, if the patient is to stay well in the long-term.  


Just like there are different kinds of detox programs and rehabilitation programs for different patients, there are a few different forms of aftercare as well.


One option, is to continue with a less intensive outpatient program. For example, a patient who was formerly attending an inpatient program may translation to an outpatient program, then a less involved outpatient program after that.


Another option, for patients who are very motivated and in relatively good situations, is the use of support groups, groups of people who were formally addicted, meeting together to share their experiences and feelings, to help each other.


Another option is sober residency, which is a kind of aftercare program. There are a few varieties of a sober residency programs, but what they all have in common is that they are for people who have successfully completed a drug rehabilitation program, and are intent on continuing on the path of recovery.


One sort of sober residency program is simply called sober living, which is a sort of program in which multiple people who have completed a rehabilitation live together in one home, without any care workers. The patients in recovery help each other, rely on each other. Sober living programs also usually require that residents attend regular counseling sessions outside of the home, and keep jobs, to pay their bills.

Treatment Centers

Which is all to say that there are a great variety of treatments available in Paramus and the surrounding areas, so that no matter what your needs are, there are treatment professionals that can guide you into the treatment that’s best for you.