New Jersey’s Addiction Crisis
The State of New Jersey has been experiencing an addiction epidemic, particularly an opioid addiction epidemic, for several years. Many communities have developed task forces and alliances to combat the addiction crisis. The demand for addiction treatment has surged in direct correlation with the surge of individuals suffering from addiction in the Garden State. The admission to addiction treatments centers in New Jersey has risen 700 percent in the past ten years. In 2017, Governor Chris Christie made it a mission to make efforts to combat the addiction crisis during his last year in office. This $200 million dollar mission primarily focuses on increasing access to addiction treatment.
Governor Christie’s Addiction Treatment New Jersey Plans
- Creating an incentive-based treatment program that will allow individuals without health insurance to access addiction treatment.
- The Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services will provide addiction help and shelter to adult individuals who are suffering from addiction.
- Creating several programs to help mothers addicted to opioids, their children, and their families.
- Expanding The Recovery Coach Program, which is a program that unites individuals in recovery with individuals who have recently survived overdoses to help them get into recovery.
- Making addiction treatment accessible to young people struggling with addiction. SOBA New Jersey is one program that is strictly geared toward treating young people.
- Creating a 24/7 addiction help hotline for individuals who have questions about addiction and treatment.
- Hosting and promoting suboxone training programs in all communities and distributing free suboxone kits.
- In addition to efforts to expand access to addiction treatment, enacting laws for doctors and pharmacies regarding prescribing prescription painkillers.
The Havoc Wreaked in New Jersey by the Addiction Crisis
Opioid addiction, especially heroin addiction, is the primary addiction that is wreaking havoc in New Jersey. The primary havoc that it is wreaking is the most severe repercussion of addiction, which is death. Death rates from drug overdoses are at an all-time high in New Jersey. In fact, the first cause of accidental death in New Jersey is drug overdoses. The heroin overdose rate in New Jersey is three times the national average.
Contrary to popular belief, the New Jersey addiction epidemic is not mostly prevalent in the cities of Camden, Newark, and Atlantic City. The addiction epidemic is most prevalent in the White middle-class suburbs. The prevalence of addiction in the White middle-class suburbs is the reason Governor Christie is promoting the fact that addiction does not discriminate as part of his mission. Addiction can afflict anyone, regardless of his or her nationality, religion, socioeconomic class, education, family background, etc. The kids who live in the suburban large homes, have doctor and lawyer parents, and are honors students are just as susceptible to becoming addicted as the kids who live in decrepit houses in the inner city, have parents who are unemployed and living on government assistance, and barely attend school.
Prescription Pain Pill Addiction Fuels The Opioid Epidemic
Prescription pain pills are the main culprit for the New Jersey opioid addiction epidemic. The downward spiral of opioid addiction commonly starts out with people receiving prescriptions from a doctor after an injury or procedure, finding prescription pain pills in someone’s medicine cabinet and taking them, and/ or being introduced to prescription pain pills through friends at a pharm party. Prescription pain pill addiction becomes an expensive habit, which is the reason people who are addicted to prescription pain pills often turn to heroin. Heroin offers the same high as prescription painkillers for a significantly lower cost. When one prescription pain pill can cost anywhere from $40-$100 dollars on the street, one hit of heroin can cost as little as $10 dollars.
Education on Substance Abuse is Needed
The lack of drug education in New Jersey schools and communities is another culprit for the general New Jersey addiction epidemic. Many teens and young adults are not privy to the long-term consequences of experimenting with drugs and underage drinking. They often view drug and alcohol use as a joke. High school health class curriculums tend to gloss over drug education.
Simply telling young people to not do drugs and drink alcohol under the age of 21 is not effective in decreasing the likelihood that they will experiment with drugs and alcohol; it is often counterproductive because it tends to make young people more intrigued to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Fully educating young people on drugs, alcohol, addiction, mental health, and their family history of addiction is effective in decreasing the likelihood that young adults will experiment with drugs and alcohol because of their education will enable them to make informed decisions.
Unfortunately, it is bound to happen that at least some young people will become afflicted with addiction regardless of the amount of education that they receive, but they will know from their education that if they do become afflicted with addiction, there are resources such as SOBA New Jersey that they can turn to for help. Education on substance abuse is at the heart of our Founders goal at SOBA.
The Best Addiction Treatment Centers in New Jersey
Effective addiction treatment centers are not only limited to Florida. New Jersey has many outstanding treatment centers to cater to the addiction epidemic in the state. The best addiction treatment centers in New Jersey use a variety of therapy techniques such as yoga, acupuncture, equine therapy, etc. to take a holistic approach to treat addiction.
At SOBA New Jersey they focus on the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of addiction. They use many different treatment approaches along with Twelve-Step philosophies. They also have a family program to help the entire family recover because addiction is a family disease.
Located in New Brunswick, SOBA New Jersey specializes in treating young people who are suffering from addiction. The location is in a community setting, and once the clients have shown enough progress, they are given more freedom to gradually teach them how to function in the community as a sober member. The exceptional family program is intended to help the family recover.