The National Survey on Drug Use and Health is an annual, nationwide survey that collects data on the use of drugs and alcohol. The 2015-2016 survey revealed that substance use is a problem nationwide—particularly when it comes to opioids—and New Jersey has been impacted particularly hard.
Fortunately, comprehensive addiction treatment programs are available throughout the state. Healthcare professionals, lawmakers and non-profit organizations are also working together on prevention and treatment programs that provide support to vulnerable populations.
New Jersey Substance Use Statistics
According to the 2015-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, New Jersey residents experience substance use in multiple ways:
- The rate of illegal drug use among those over the age of 18 in the month preceding the survey was 8.26 percent or approximately 566,000 adults.
- New Jersey residents over the age of 18 reports using cocaine at a rate of 2.06 percent, representing 141,000 people.
- The percentage of adults who have used heroin in the past year was .55 percent or 38,000 people.
- Heroin use is directly related to use of prescription opioid pain relievers, which is at 3.87 percent of New Jersey’s adults – a total of approximately 265,000 individuals.
- New Jersey residents report binge drinking in the past month at a rate of 25.06 percent, which is approximately 1,718,000 people.
In a 2018 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that New Jersey was one of five states to experience an increase of more than 30 percent in opioid-related deaths during a 12-month period ending in 2017. This is a direct contrast to many other states that saw the number of deaths decrease during the same period.
Specifically, the state lost 1,695 lives to opioid-related deaths in the 12-month period ending July 2016. New Jersey then experienced 2,284 deaths for the period ending July 2017, an increase of 34.7 percent.
The spike observed in New Jersey drug-related fatalities is attributed to the increased distribution of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a painkiller that is 50 times more powerful than heroin, and it’s often mixed in with heroin. It can kill in just minutes, making it difficult for first responders to successfully treat overdose patients.
Addiction Prevention Programs In New Jersey
While prevention and treatment of all substance use disorders are available in New Jersey, opioids are currently the primary focus of most lawmakers and healthcare professionals. The alarming increase in overdose deaths has brought the nationwide opioid crisis into the spotlight for New Jersey residents.
New Jersey is implementing three primary strategies to curb the overuse of prescription opioid medications and illegal opioids:
- To decrease overdose deaths, stockpile and distribute naloxone (Narcan), a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
- Fund and market drug treatment programs that use proven medications to treat opioid use disorders (medication-assisted treatment)
- Increased enforcement of drug trafficking laws and enhancement of related penalties
New Jersey lawmakers are working to toughen regulations for opioid prescriptions. The state passed one of the strictest laws in the country when it limited opioid prescriptions to just five days. The same piece of legislation makes it easier to seek addiction treatment, requiring insurers to cover the first four weeks of inpatient substance use programs without preauthorization.
New Jersey Addiction Treatment Programs
Recovering from a substance use disorder is challenging, and most people require professional help to achieve lasting recovery. Experienced addiction treatment providers in New Jersey offer counseling, life-skill development, relapse-prevention techniques and ongoing support to help clients craft fulfilling lives in sobriety.
Treatment plans are customized based on each person’s unique circumstances and may include some or all of the following levels of care:
For some, the biggest obstacle to beginning treatment is making the decision to seek help. Intervention services assist family members and loved ones through difficult conversations with the person experiencing active addiction. Professional interventionists in New Jersey will help the group prepare for the conversation, guide the intervention to ensure the meeting stays focused and assist in selecting an appropriate addiction treatment program.
For the best chances of long-term sobriety, addiction treatment programs should be customized to meet the individual patient’s needs. Clinical assessments are performed by addiction treatment experts to evaluate the extent of the addiction and identify any co-occurring disorders. The results of the assessment are used to determine the best treatment strategy for successful management of the substance use disorder.
Drug and Alcohol Detox
Drug and alcohol detox is a common first step of treatment programs. Medical professionals supervise the detox process to ensure that patients are safe and as comfortable as possible.
In some cases, sudden detox can present significant health risks. Physicians carefully monitor patients through the most dangerous withdrawal period and provide appropriate medication to alleviate or prevent withdrawal symptoms as necessary.
Inpatient Drug Rehab In New Jersey
Once the detox process is complete, residential addiction treatment can begin. New Jersey inpatient drug rehab is effective because it focuses on the underlying emotional, psychological and behavioral factors that led to the development of a substance use disorder. New Jersey residential addiction treatment programs provide a variety of benefits that aren’t available in other settings.
Benefits of inpatient treatment programs include:
- Lack of access to drugs and alcohol
- Structure and routine
- 24-hour support from recovery specialists
- Protection from many environmental triggers
- Consistent access to high-quality nutrition, sleep and exercise
New Jersey Outpatient Addiction Treatment
While outpatient drug rehab programs don’t offer all of the same benefits as an inpatient facility, they can still be effective. Typically, daily activities and therapies are comparable to inpatient programs. The primary difference is that patients return home or to a sober living home after treatment each day.
Outpatient addiction treatment in New Jersey may also be used as a follow-up to inpatient care, offering additional support and guidance through a newly recovered patient’s first weeks back in their home environment.
New Jersey Aftercare And Alumni Services
Aftercare and alumni services offer ongoing support for those who have completed an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program. Aftercare helps to ensure that recovery is successful long-term.
Specialized Addiction Treatment Programs
The use of medication in the treatment of substance use disorders may extend beyond suppressing withdrawal symptoms during detox. Medication-assisted treatment combines medications to either prevent withdrawal or deter substance use with behavioral therapy. Studies show that in many cases, the use of medication in addition to tailored therapy can help sustain recovery long-term.
Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders
Many individuals experiencing addiction have additional mental health conditions requiring treatment, known as co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis.
Common mental health issues include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
Any mental health condition may exacerbate addiction issues. Patients diagnosed with co-occurring disorders require specialized treatment plans that address all of their needs.
Gender-Specific Therapy Groups
Group therapy is a staple of substance use disorder treatment, and in many cases, the groups include both men and women. However, this type of setting isn’t right for every patient. Many treatment centers offer gender-specific therapy groups to ensure that participants are comfortable exploring their feelings during the sessions.
Addiction Treatment Therapies
Many types of therapy are available to treat substance use disorders. Some programs may limit their focus to certain solutions, so it’s important to gather information about possible treatment plans when determining which treatment center best fits a person’s needs.
Behavioral therapies are one-on-one therapy sessions that explore the principle that behaviors are learned and therefore can be changed. These may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and motivational interviewing, all of which have been proven effective in helping people suffering from addiction to reduce unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors.
A variety of complementary therapies have been shown to support and sustain recovery efforts. Activities such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, equine therapy and journaling focus on whole-body wellness and can enhance well-being.
One-on-one counseling is an opportunity for patients to explore the factors that underlie the addiction with a professional who specializes in recovery.
Sharing the day-to-day struggles of recovery and receiving support from peers in a professionally guided group session fosters a connection with others who are building lives in sobriety.
Family therapy supports those who have been impacted by the addiction of a loved one. Family members receive addiction education and work to improve communication within the family unit.
Nutrition Education and Exercise
Healthy eating and physical activity are proven mood elevators, and related therapies can transform patients’ physical and mental health.
Everyone faces stress at one time or another. Creating healthy habits for coping is critical for long-term recovery.
High-quality addiction treatment programs ensure patients leave prepared with the skills they need for long-term success, such as finding employment, finishing an education and managing finances.
Paying For New Jersey Addiction Treatment
Most health insurance plans include coverage for substance use disorder treatment. Benefits and copays vary by provider.
Providers offering health insurance in New Jersey may include:
- AmeriHealth New Jersey
- Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
- NJ FamilyCare
- Oscar Health
Many treatment centers offer additional programs to assist with any remaining out-of-pocket expenses. These may include sliding-scale fee structures, grants, scholarships, and monthly payment plans.
Length Of Treatment
New Jersey drug rehab programs vary in length, depending on the treatment methods used and how quickly the person progresses through treatment. While some are short-term, lasting a month or less, others can extend for a year or more. Aftercare and alumni services may last a lifetime.
Traveling For Treatment
It is common for people to travel for drug and alcohol addiction treatment, and many New Jersey residents participate in programs outside of their home cities. In some cases, the most appropriate treatment center is located in another part of the state.
By participating in treatment away from home, patients have an opportunity to leave old routines, acquaintances, and neighborhoods behind. Traveling for treatment means a fresh start, making it easier to concentrate on recovery without any distractions.