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Substance Abuse and Treatment in Trenton, New Jersey

There are two types of care that can be provided to individuals battling drug abuse and addiction. These are inpatient and outpatient care. A look at these two types of care can help just about anyone determine what is best for their own care or that of a loved one. There are plenty of options for drug rehab in Trenton.

Trenton is the capital city of New Jersey in the United States of America. With a population of over 85, 000 this city boasts of a vibrant economy and wonderful weather.  The unemployment rate in this city is estimated to be at 7.10% while the job growth is placed at approximately 3.17%. However, beneath these wonderful issues lurks a disturbing trend of drug addiction and abuse. A rising rate in crime and countless families breaking up as a result of addiction create a worrying trend when it comes to parenting and holding together of the general social fabric.

As at the end of 2015 substance abuse treatment providers had compiled records that placed cases of abuse treatment at an alarming 70, 000 people in the whole of New Jersey. As if that was not enough a third of the number of people treated were noted to be residents of Trenton. Marijuana is the most commonly abused substance in this city with alcohol and heroin following in that order. Individuals in this city were also reported to use various other drugs albeit in lesser amounts or isolated cases.

When it comes to alcohol abuse most studies show that women in Trenton are increasingly becoming vulnerable as compared to men. Binge drinking which the CDC defines as consuming more than five drinks by men and four by women in a single session was noted to be quite prominent in New Jersey as a whole. A study carried over the period of 2002 to 2012 by researchers from the University of Washington showed that women were taking to the bottle more frequently with each passing month.

Effects of substance abuse

While the use of alcohol by individuals that have attained the age of 18 is allowed by law anyone that is found in possession or use of marijuana and heroin can be prosecuted and sentenced to jail term. However, even if users manage to evade law enforcers it is inevitable that they will have to deal with the health, social and economic effects of substance abuse.


Being the most used substance in South, North, Mill Hill and other Trenton neighborhoods, Marijuana is regarded as one of the leading causes of substance related complications including abuse and overdose. The use of this substance starts off in teens out of curiosity and peer pressure while adults may abuse it to get away from stress or enjoy a few moments of pleasure derived from being high. What most people are oblivious of are the negative effects that often develop in a slow but sure manner. The use of this substance can result in:

  1. Severe anxiety or paranoia that may end up compromising the ability to make sound judgements or relate to other people.
  2. Hallucinations that may involve seeing or smelling things that do not really exist.
  3. Psychosis which basically means that the individual is unable to differentiate between reality and imagination.
  4. Compromised reaction times leading to issues such as accidents.
  5. Sharp decline in intelligence quotient up to 8 points.
  6. Increased aggression or violent behavior.
  7. Reduction in productivity at school or workplace.
  8. Antisocial tendencies including theft and lying.
  9. If not provided with proper treatment individuals may end up overdosing and dying.


Alcohol presents a complex mix of issues which is why it is frequently reported as a problematic substance. It is available legally and therefore cannot really be controlled by the State. Individuals that abuse this substance in Trenton may end up experiencing issues such as:

  1. Increased aggression or violent behavior.
  2. Self-destructive behavior or loss of self control.
  3. Feelings of loneliness and guilt.
  4. Craving of alcohol.
  5. Trembling or shaking unusually.
  6. Dizziness and blackouts.


The fact that heroin is able to react with the body relatively fast makes it quite problematic because individuals end up getting addicted in a matter of days or weeks depending on the amount they use. Some of the effects of this substance include:

  1. After a short time of use individuals may become dependant on the substance. This means they are unable to engage in daily activity unless they get the substance into their system.
  2. Reduced sensations of pain which may lead to multiple injuries on the body.
  3. Lethargy which is defined as being without enthusiasm and energy.
  4. Drowsiness leading to unproductive life both in academics and career.
  5. Development of itchy skin and light sensitivity.
  6. Death resulting from overdose.

Substance addiction in Trenton, New Jersey

While the initial stages of substance use may seem fun and exciting the truth is that these happy moments quickly fade away and turn the lives of users and their families upside down. Continual use of any of the substances mentioned above is likely to lead to dependence. This means that the user will have an extremely difficult time continuing with normal activity unless he or she takes the substance of choice. Those that are addicted to these substances may end up developing extreme symptoms when they try to stop use. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Extreme trembling
  • Uncontrollable cravings
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Self inflicted harm
  • Mental confusion
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Hallucinations
  • Death

While these symptoms may paint a grim picture the truth is that with the help of friends, family members or concerned members of the society any individual that is engulfed in the trap of addiction can find help regardless of the extent or substance to which they are addicted.

Help for individuals addicted to substance use

During the initial stages of drug use or abuse it is difficult to know whether or not an individual requires help. However, when the symptoms or effects that are mentioned above seem to be getting severe it may be time to reach out for help. While some users may be able to make the right decision and seek help on their own there are those who may not realize how serious their substance abuse problem may be. Following the process laid down below can be an effective way to help.

Assessment and Intervention

An individual can assess his or her substance abuse through the use of freely available online resources or talking to a professional medical expert. During this stage a health or rehabilitation official involved may have to examine some of the physical signs that are developing. The professional may also have to compile a list of the symptoms that the individual affected exhibits. A look at the general results can give a clear picture of whether or not an individual is addicted to a substance or hurtling down that road.

In situations where the substance user is unaware of the problem intervention can be the best way forward. It is important to note that drug abuse does not only affect the user but also has a negative impact on the family and society as a whole. This is why each member of the family should lend a helping hand with regards to intervention. Reaching out for help through a drug abuse hotline or talking to a local social worker can be the ideal way to get advise on how to provide effective intervention. The social worker is likely to meet various members of the family and formulate a strategic plan to help the individual that is addicted. Proper intervention will enable the addicted individual to realize the problem and open up for professional help.


Before a patient is admitted to any rehabilitation center a pre-intake assessment is done. This may involve recording of the patient’s history when it comes to substance use, documenting of signs and symptoms and physical examinations. In certain cases doctors may conduct lab tests to determine the amount of substance that is in the patient’s system. The professional responsible for handling the pre-intake process takes note of the age, gender and religious beliefs of the patient. It is at this stage that family members are also consulted on what their opinions are with regards to providing the best care for their loved one. Once their concerns and opinions are taken the professional counselor will give recommendations on whether the patient should be admitted to inpatient or outpatient care.


At this stage the patient has been tested and diagnosed with addiction making it necessary for them to be admitted into a treatment program. This may either be on an inpatient or outpatient basis. The individual and the family members will be given details regarding the costs that are involved in treatment and how to make payments. Some rehabilitation centers accept insurance while others only admit patients that make direct payments. It is worth pointing out that there are certain institutions that give details on how to get financial assistance from third party organizations.

Understanding inpatient and outpatient treatment

There are two types of care that can be provided to individuals battling drug abuse and addiction. These are inpatient and outpatient care. A look at these two types of care can help just about anyone determine what is best for their own care or that of a loved one.

Outpatient substance addiction treatment

Outpatient treatment basically refers to care that is provided to a patient without having them stay at the facility or rehabilitation center. During the assessment stage of treatment professional health workers take into account the current condition of the individual together with the signs and symptoms that are experienced. If they determine that the individual is not severely affected by the substance used they may enrol the individual in this type of treatment program.

Benefits of outpatient treatment – one of the main benefits of getting this form of treatment is that it is quite affordable. Unlike inpatient care the individual does not stay at the facility and does not have to pay for 24 hour services that may include nurse supervision and food provisions. The patient can attend various treatment sessions without interfering with daily work or studies meaning that he or she does not have to put anything on hold. It is also important to note that patients are able to go on living with family members and mingling with friends.

Disadvantages – while receiving treatment patients still have the freedom to do whatever they want. This means that they can easily slide back into drug abuse. It is difficult to track progress because no one observes the patient’s behavior or symptoms on a daily basis. Another disadvantage is that doctors may not be able to respond quickly when the patient slides back and overdoses on a substance.

Inpatient substance addiction treatment

This type of treatment is recommended when the patient is experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. It is ideal for people that have been using drugs for an extensive period of time and are extremely dependant on the substance. This type of care can further be classified into two categories:


  1. Residential treatment – this is care that is given to individuals that are no longer capable of carrying on with normal life on their own. They are so affected by their drug use that all they think about is how to get the next dose. These individuals no longer have self control and must therefore be kept under intense watch and provided with specialized medical treatment on an ongoing basis. Such individuals run the risk of experiencing severe withdrawal effects that can lead to organ damage or death. This treatment is provided at a Residential Treatment Center or RTC.


  1. Partial hospitalization program – this can also be referred to as PHP treatment. It is almost the same as residential treatment except it does not involve a lot of restrictions on movement or special medical care. In this case the patient may live on the facility but has the freedom to leave during the day and come back before nightfall or as stipulated by the rules of the facility.


Benefits of inpatient treatment – one of the main benefits of this type of treatment is that the patient is able to get immediate help in case of severe withdrawal effects. Caregivers are always on hand to provide company and make life as comfortable as possible. It is worth noting that there is no alcoholic drink or drugs in the rehabilitation facility meaning that there is no possibility of relapse during treatment. Doctors are also able to observe each patient individually and come up with a unique treatment program that is likely to produce exceptional results.


Disadvantages – one of the downsides to this type of treatment is that it costs more than outpatient treatment. The patient is only allowed to interact with family members during designated times and within a limited period. Additionally the patient cannot continue with daily activities such as studying or working.

What is involved in drug addiction treatment?

There is no standard way of treating addiction because individuals are unique and go through different experiences. However, after careful assessment of a patient doctors are able to come up with a personalized treatment plan that may involve a number of standard  and innovative procedures. Some of the things that may be involved in treatment include the following.

Detoxification – this is the process through which the body gets rid of drugs or alcohol. While under specialized detox doctors are likely to provide the patient with guidelines on what to do and what not to do. There are also various prescription medications that are administered to help reduce or eliminate side effects that may be problematic.

Counseling – this basically refers to a process where a patient is given advise and guidance on how to resolve personal or psychological issues that may have led to drug abuse and addiction.

Medication – there are special medications that are prescribed for individuals battling with addiction to opioids, tobacco and alcohol.

Evaluation – professionals continually carry out evaluations with regards to progress. This process allows doctors to simultaneously treat mental health problems such as stress, depression and anxiety.

Spiritual teachings – individuals that are religious may be provided with relevant teachings to nourish their spiritual needs.

Aftercare – this refers to the supervision that is done after a patient has completed his or her treatment program. Aftercare is aimed at providing continual support to the patient and encouraging them to pursue a path to better living. This technique helps ensure that the patient does not relapse or go back to abusing substance.

Sober Living in Trenton, New Jersey

After completing treatment an individual is allowed to go back to normal life. However, the temptation to go back to drinking alcohol or use marijuana is always real in the lives of people that have recovered. Such people are encouraged to form or join support groups that allow them to mingle with others who may be going through similar experiences. Their family members are advised on the best practices and how to make the home conducive for recovery and eliminate the risk of causing the patient to relapse. To help reduce the temptations that can lead to relapse sober living houses may be an ideal option to consider. Such facilities are designed to support sober living and reinforce the teachings that were given during treatment and recovery.