Tag: New Jersey

Why You Shouldn’t Go To An Opiate Rehab in New Jersey.

Opiate Rehab New Jersey? No, its time for a change.

You used opiates in New Jersey, does that mean you can’t stay sober in New Jersey… No. I will tell you though that it is much, much easier to get and stay sober in a place your body and mind isn’t already associating with Opiates. Going to an opiate rehab in New Jersey and returning to New jersey after your treatment is a recipe for disaster. This is not because New Jersey is a bad place. It is because the opiate rehab is in New Jersey.

That you want to go to is also in the same state you got high in. This is going to cause so so so so so many problems for you body mind and soul.

opiate rehab in New Jersey

Opiate Rehab in New Jersey Will Not Work.

Changing people, places and things is the first thing any opiate addict is told to do when entering an opiate rehab in New Jersey or heroin detox in New Jersey. So my question to these institution of recovery in New Jersey is, why do you take people from your home state? “Triggers, not drugs are shown to be longest lasting relapse risk” as told by Psychology Today. The places you used to cop heroin will make you want to shoot up. Seeing your old heroin using friends and dealers will make you want to use. The body and mind latch on to these familiar sights, sounds and smells of opiate addiction and use them against your recovery. Attending an opiate rehab in New Jersey is not going to yield a successful recovery. Going to an opiate rehab in Florida will.

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Heroin Rehab in Florida Will Work

Heroin and opiate addicts from all over the country have being moving to Florida in droves of the last 10 years. Instead of checking in to an opiate rehab in New Jersey or a heroin detox in New Jersey, opiate addicts are finding new life in the sunshine state. Opiate rehab in Florida has proven to work for people coming from outside Florida because for many it is drastically different than their home state and Florida has more people in recovery from heroin and opiates than any other state in the country. Many of these addicts in Florida have already tried the opiate rehab in New Jersey and the heroin detox in New Jersey. The results did not come because no attention was paid to the external factors that doctors have been warning us about since the 1940’s.

opiate rehab in New Jersey

Push the reset button on your addiction.

Can you back to New Jersey? Yes! You! Can! I just think and so do the doctors that starting your new life will be much easier in your forgo the opiate rehab in New Jersey and start fresh. Begin that life miles away from the old places and people that scientist say will be lodged in your brain for years. You can always go back home once you have some time under your belt. You can always visit, but you need to give your heart and your mind a break. Get to Florida, start over. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll be surprised to find that most of New Jersey’s former addicts are already there.

Hospital in New Jersey Says ‘Goodbye’ to Opioid Painkillers

Hospital in Jersey Finds Other Means of Treating Patients

It has been widely known for quite some time that the nationwide heroin epidemic is in large part a direct result of the vast over-prescription of opioid painkillers. More than half of all cases of heroin addiction reportedly begin with an introduction to narcotic pharmaceutical medications – and many of these fated introductions take place in hospital settings. The painkillers most frequently used in emergency rooms across the country are Vicodin, Percocet, and oxycodone, all of which have a long history of life-threatening abuse. It is extremely common for heroin addicts to initially be prescribed painkillers, usually to treat temporary pain that could easily be treated through other means. St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center has become increasingly aware of this, and recently announced that it would be the first hospital in the country to implement a program which will manage the pain of its patients without the use of opioid painkillers.

opioid painkillers

Big Strides in the War on Opiate Addiction

Dr. Rosenberg, the head of the emergency department at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, admits that the issue of over-prescription hits very close to home. His 93-year old mother-in-law went to a local emergency department after breaking her wrist. She received 5 Percocet from the emergency room and was directed to see her family doctor, who then prescribed her an additional 100 Percocet. Does a 93-year old woman need 100 Percocet for an injured wrist? Probably not. In 2012, there were enough opioid painkillers prescribed (nearly 260 million prescriptions in total) to give every American citizen (man, woman, and child), their very own bottle of high-potency pills. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that opioid painkillers are essential to treating some chronic pain-related conditions, such as those related to cancer. It is not realistic for all emergency rooms to completely eliminate the use of opioid narcotics, though increased awareness and a cessation of gross overprescribing certainly seems like a good place to start.

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Opiate Addiction Recovery is Possible

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act could potentially provide federal grants to both local governments and state governments as a means of combatting what has become a national epidemic. While this piece of federal legislation is still pending, the future of continued prevention and remission will be greatly aided by grants such as this. On a smaller scale, personal awareness is key – if you are being prescribed painkillers, take a look at whether or not you really, really need them. Just because a medical professional prescribes a narcotic opioid, it does not necessarily mean that it is essential to your recovery. Can you stand the pain will a little high-strength ibuprofen? Then do it! Your future may hang in the balance. And for more information on opiate addiction and opiate addiction treatment, please call us at Lighthouse Recovery Institute today.

The Heroin Epidemic is Getting Worse in New Jersey

New Jersey’s Alarming Heroin Problem

new jersey heroin statistics

The heroin epidemic is still raging across the United States. In fact, a recently released Center for Disease Control study found that heroin use has more than doubled in the last ten years.

And bad as the situation is across the country, it’s even worse in New Jersey.

According to multiple reports, the percentage of NJ residents using, and dying from, heroin is much higher than the national average. According to NJ Advance Media, the rate of fatalities due to heroin overdose in New Jersey is upwards of three times the national rate.

As if that wasn’t enough, heroin overdoses claim more lives than murder, suicide, car accidents, and AIDs. In Camden and Atlantic counties, overdoses are deadlier than the flu and pneumonia combined, according to NJ.com.

There were 741 heroin-related deaths in 2013 alone. That number rose to 781 in 2014. This breaks down to just over eight deaths per 100,000 residents. The national average for heroin-related deaths per 100,000 people is 2.6.

These numbers put New Jersey at almost four times the national rate of heroin overdose deaths.

It’s clear something needs to be done, but what? Well, before we can begin to implement a solution, we need to take a closer look at the problem itself.

Why is NJ Being Hit So Hard?

Despite being deadlier than the national average, New Jersey’s heroin problem isn’t that different than anywhere else. They’ve been hit hard because the demographics of heroin abuse and overdose are rapidly changing.

For decades the “traditional” heroin addict has been male, African-American, in his late 30s to 40s, and of lower socioeconomic status. That’s all changing. Today’s typical heroin addict is either a man or woman, in the 18 to 25 age bracket, and solidly middle-class.

While this shift’s been occurring, “traditional” heroin addicts continue to be seduced by the drug. This all culminates in today’s heroin crisis. Men and women, black and white, rich and poor, in cities and in suburbs – they’re all using and overdosing on heroin.

New Jersey is a perfect microcosm of this current epidemic. With demographics ranging from poor, inner-city individuals to affluent families in the suburbs, they just happen to have become ground zero for heroin abuse.

So, what’s the solution? How do we combat heroin addiction when it’s become so prevalent? How do we shut the door once it’s been opened? Well, various New Jersey politicians have already begun to implement some proactive measures.

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What’s Being Done?

The newest laws, covered in detail here, were introduced by State Senator Joseph Vitale in 2014.

These include additional funding for state-sponsored addiction prevention, prescription drug monitoring programs, a dedicated opioid taskforce, and many more. A good start, to be sure, but what else is New Jersey doing?

new jersey heroin treatment

Well, Gov. Christie has launched a few programs of his own. As of July 1st, he implemented a statewide treatment hotline. Anyone can call in, at any time of the day or night, and be connected to help.

Christie has also pushed for first-responders to have easier access to naloxone and for a post jail integration program. It remains to be seen how effective these will be and whether, in the case of his “jail re-entry program,” they’ll be executed at all.

Still, these are all major steps that New Jersey’s taking to curb its heroin problem. While their impact on day-to-day overdose deaths is still uncertain, one thing is for sure – Jersey is fighting back. I’d wager that, as one of the states hit hardest by heroin addiction, they’ll also be one of the first with a real solution.

The Changing Demographics of Heroin Overdose

Younger Addicts are Overdosing More Often

There’s been a large shift in the demographics of heroin addicts over the last fifteen years. Coinciding with this demographic shift is another shift – the spike in heroin overdose rates among younger white individuals from the Midwest.

heroin fatalities

Consider that in 2000, way back in the halcyon days of heroin addiction, overdose and death rates were highest among older black men from the Northeast and West coast. Today, overdose and death rates are highest among young, white men and women living in the Midwest.

This new information is based a report from the Center for Disease Control, complied from 2013 information. So, what exactly does their report say? Well, without sugar coating the information, it says there’s still very much a heroin epidemic raging across the United States.

The government is in favor of Suboxone?

New Overdose Rates

Find information from the CDC’s new report, distilled into a few key bullet points, below:

  • In 2013 there were 8,257 heroin related deaths. This is a sharp increase from 2012 (5,925 overdose deaths) and 2010 (approximately 3,000 overdose deaths).
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  • Overdose deaths related to heroin have increased across all sections of the population. Men, women, all age brackets, and all races have seen an increase in heroin overdose.
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  • African-Americans between the ages of 45-64, living in the Northeast and West Coast, made up the bulk of heroin overdose deaths in 2000. By 2013, white men and women between the ages of 18-44, living in the Midwest, had overtaken them in heroin overdose deaths.
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  • In fact, more than half of all fatal heroin overdoses in 2013 occurred to white individuals in that age bracket. That breaks down to over 4,100 deaths.
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  • There were more than 16,000 opioid painkiller related deaths in 2013. That’s about double the number of heroin related deaths.
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  • Despite the high number of painkiller fatalities, the overall rate of painkiller overdose remains static. Heroin overdoses, however, continue to rise.
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    Why are Heroin Deaths Climbing?

    The above numbers don’t paint rosy picture. Rather, they show a county in the midst of a storm of opioid abuse. Some of that abuse takes the form of using heroin, while the majority still revolves around painkillers.

    But why are heroin overdose rates climbing while painkiller overdose rates remain static? This, my friends, is the million-dollar question. And the answer lies somewhere between stricter regulations on opioid medication and less social stigma associated with heroin.

    As individual states increase control over how powerful opioid pills are prescribed, and as the nation as a whole reacts to this painkiller epidemic, it makes sense that people are shifting to heroin. After all, if an addict can’t find the pills they need, but they can find heroin that will produce the same effects, well, they’re going to use heroin.

    Here we come to the second part of why more and more people are using, and overdosing on, heroin – decreased social stigma. In days past, heroin addicts were thought of as homeless, mentally ill, depraved, etc. In today’s climate, that isn’t the case at all.

    heroin overdose deaths

    Rising purity levels mean that heroin users don’t need to inject the drug. They can simply smoke or sniff and achieve the same high. Removing the needle from heroin abuse has gone a long way to making it more acceptable. Of course, the needle is still involved. As dabblers find themselves moving from use to abuse to addiction, they also find themselves moving from sniffing or smoking to shooting up.

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    What’s the Heroin Overdose Solution?

    Here’s where things get tricky. What’s the solution to the ever-increasing number of heroin overdoses? Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. There’s no magic pill that will cure heroin addiction and overdose. There are, however, some very promising options on the horizon.

    First, there’s naloxone. The popular “anti-overdose” drug, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, is saving thousands of lives each year. Naloxone removes heroin molecules from an individual’s body in minutes. It’s literally a lifesaver.

    Several states, notably New Jersey, have increased first-responders access to this life saving chemical. The results have been astounding to say the least! Since mid-2014, over 800 New Jersey residents have been administered Narcan. That’s 800 saved lives!

    Going hand-in-hand with increasing access to naloxone is an overall increase in the Federal budget for drug abuse prevention and treatment. In his 2016 budget, Obama has earmarked over $26 billion for various drug programs. While much of this money is being funneled into fighting prescription drug abuse, make no mistake that heroin overdose prevention will see an increase in federal dollars.

    Finally, hope for the rising numbers of heroin overdoses comes from a rather traditional channel – twelve-step fellowships. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have been helping individuals break their addictions for decades. Surely they offer a beacon of hope for the shifting demographics of heroin overdose.

    Learn more about Narcan and the benefits it offers!

    New Jersey Laws Seek to End Heroin Epidemic

    New Jersey Laws Target Opioids & Overdose

    In the fight against heroin and prescription painkillers, few states have battled as hard as New Jersey. Often regarded as New York’s younger sibling, New Jersey has been in the limelight frequently over the past decade thanks to a skyrocketing number of opioid addicts.

    Consider that upwards of 5,000 New Jersey residents have overdosed and died during the last decade.

    christ christie
    image via AdWeek

    Consider that 741 people overdosed and died in 2013 alone. New Jersey officials say that number is likely to rise once 2014’s figures are released. So, what’s being done to stop this scourge of heroin and painkillers?

    Well, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has long been a vocal supporter of innovate approaches to treating substance abuse. He continued this patter when, on February fifth, he signed into law three bills aimed at increasing heroin and painkiller treatment.

    The laws, which I’ll touch on below, are the first step in a revolutionary, statewide shift. New Jersey is poised to move from a state decimated by opioid addiction and overdose, to a state at the forefront of the medical and social treatment of addiction.

    In fact, State Senator Joseph Vitale, who first introduced these bills, had the following to say about New Jersey and Christie –

    “It’s been years since this [opioid addiction and overdose] has been a crisis. The solutions and the ways to treat people suffering from it are going to take time to implement, but these are significant steps” (NJ.com)

    Learn why there’s no difference between pain pills and heroin

    What Do The New Laws Say?

    The bills that Gov. Christie signed into law promise real change in the often fraught world of opioid addiction. Sounds good to me! But what do they actually say? What specifically are these new laws?

    The first law offers increased immunity to first responders who administer Narcan, a popular “anti-overdose” medication. These are people like police officers, paramedics, needle exchange program workers, and many others who interact frequently with heroin and painkiller addicts.

    Narcan has a pretty good track record in saving New Jersey residents’ lives. Since March of 2014, when Narcan use first became popular, it’s reversed upwards of 800 overdoses. That’s 800 saved lives!

    Gov. Christie, in a statement, had the following to say about Narcan –

    “Today, we are cementing in our laws those same protections for our first responders who are doing this incredible, lifesaving work every day under our statewide Narcan program. By doing so, we will have an even greater ability to save lives, reverse the effects of overdose and prevent tragedies with this life-saving treatment” (NJ.com).

    The second law will require treatment centers to submit regular performance reports to the Department of Human Services. This will help to streamline the care offered at rehabs across the state. This’ll also cut down on the use of non-evidence based practices. These are things like equine therapy, which, while certainly helpful, doesn’t have a scientific basis.

    The third law requires state jails to offer addiction and mental health services to inmates. Inmates will now be offered treatment by “the agency with the most appropriate expertise and experience” (Bill S-2380).

    Not only will this offer increased mental health and substance abuse treatment to inmates, it will also allow the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services oversight in New Jersey’s jails. This is a wonderful step towards jails offering real rehabilitation, rather than simply housing criminals.

    Michael Botticelli, the new White House Drug Czar, had the following to say about recent changes in how America is treating addiction –

    “We have made important progress against the raise of prescription drug misuse and related deaths since we released our plan in 2011, but much more work lies ahead of us” (NJ.com).

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    The Future of N.J. Drug Policy

    Speaking of the continued work Botticelli mentioned above, New Jersey has many more drug reform bills currently in the state legislator.

    State Senator Joseph Vitale didn’t only introduce the three bills Gov. Christie signed into law, he introduced a total of twenty-one bills this past fall. While a complete list of all twenty-one would be far too long for this article, find some below.

    • S-2366

    This would require general practitioners to inform patients of the dangers inherent to various prescription drugs (notably many opioids).

    • S-2368

    This would increase New Jersey state funding for addiction prevention by $5 million.

    new jersey drug policy

    • S-1998 & A-3129

    These would require all physicians to register for the Prescription Monitoring Program. This allows law enforcement to identify addicts going to multiple doctors and doctors who are overprescribing opioids.

    • S-2372 & A-1436

    These would create a Statewide Opioid Law Enforcement Task Force. Their job would be to investigate and prosecute those involved in the distribution of opioids.

    These would found the Behavioral Health Insurance Claim Advocacy Program, which would offer assistance and advocacy with insurance claims for those seeking addiction or mental illness treatment.

    • S-2377

    This would require all colleges in New Jersey to offer substance abuse recovery housing options (think a “dry dorm,” but one that’s actually dry).

    Click here to view a complete list of all the bills Vitale introduced!

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