Drugs and alcohol have affected New Jersey significantly throughout the years. While the Northeast has experienced its fair share of abuse, New Jersey seems to have been hit the hardest. Fortunately, the state is working to find resolutions for the addiction crisis affecting the state.
It is doing this by increasing the availability of drug and alcohol treatment in New Jersey. The opioid crisis has been at the center of angst throughout the state, but it is not the primary substance of those abused in New Jersey.
Not everyone who drinks alcohol or uses drugs will develop a substance use disorder (SUD). Still, the possibility that some people can is genuine, especially if they’re considered “high-risk” due to a family history of substance abuse, genetics, or their social or home environment.
An estimated 16 million people across the United States are affected by alcohol use disorder (AUD), according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
An estimated 67,300 overdose deaths took place in 2018, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). An estimated 46,802 of these deaths were opioid-related, and the uptick in these deaths in recent memory is largely in part due to fentanyl, which is an opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin.
In New Jersey, nearly 90 percent of the 2,900 overdose deaths involved opioids. Despite the figure, physicians in the state wrote only 38.9 prescriptions per 100 persons, which is significantly less than the national average of 51.4 per 100 persons. This is the lowest since the information became available in 2006.
A report released in 2017, known as the Substance Abuse Overview report, showed that alcohol was the primary drug for residents admitted into drug and alcohol treatment in the state. It accounted for 27 percent of facility admissions that year. New Jersey has also witnessed a binge-drinking trend emerge recently. Binge drinking is defined as heavy alcohol use in a short period. Women who consume four or more drinks per hour and men who consume five or more drinks are considered binge drinkers.
New Jersey State Health Assessment Data (NJSHAD) shows that 16.7 percent of adults in New Jersey reported binge drinking in the past 30 days in 2017. Other estimates for the year showed that 17.0 percent of adults in the United States reported binge drinking in the past month.
Binge drinking is a real concern because it is an indicator of potentially severe alcohol abuse and is often linked to drunk driving. It’s always associated with violence and injuries, fetal alcohol syndrome, chronic liver disease, and other acute or chronic health conditions.
Each year, 88,000 deaths are linked to alcohol abuse across the United States, making it the third leading preventable cause of death, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
If you’re struggling with drug or alcohol use, it’s vital that you reach out and get the help you need before it’s too late. Alcohol and drug abuse can be harmful to your health and well-being. Some of these issues include:
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Drinking and drug use can lead to chemical dependency issues and addiction that requires professional help to overcome. You may start drinking in a social setting and see no problem with it, or you’ve been prescribed opioids after surgery that you feel are safe because your doctor prescribed. However, your social drinking may lead to waking up and needing a drink to feel normal or taking more of your prescription than the doctor intended. It’s OK to admit that it started innocently and led to a dark place.
Fortunately, New Jersey offers some of the best drug and alcohol treatment in the country. A facility-guided program helps provide the focus for those committed to sobriety and the recovery process. The benefits of seeking help are finite compared to getting help by yourself. In the short-term, attempting to abstain from drugs or alcohol may seem like the best option. Still, it’s not a feasible solution when trying to cope with triggers and environments not conducive to sobriety. Not only is it dangerous because of potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms, but a majority of people will relapse without help.
Drug and alcohol treatment in New Jersey should never take a “cookie-cutter” approach, meaning it should take into consideration the unique issues facing the client. Drug and alcohol treatment must meet every single need of the person for it to be successful. Effective drug and alcohol treatment must offer customized treatment plans that follow the continuum of care.
If the client is diagnosed with a mental health disorder during their time in treatment, a dual diagnosis program will help to treat both the substance use disorder and their mental health issues at the same time.
NIDA states that drug and alcohol treatment must last for a minimum of 90 days, which includes detox and beyond. There are many different treatment programs available, including on-site residential treatment that requires a minimum of 30 days or longer in a facility providing 24-hour care. A client may also have the choice of attending outpatient treatment that allows them to receive treatment services for a specific period while living at home.
An addiction care specialist will meet with the client or their loved one to determine which treatment program will have the best results. The specialists may create a plan that includes medication to help you abstain from drugs or alcohol, including antidepressants, Suboxone, acamprosate, or other medicines that help foster long-term sobriety.
It will also include counseling and guided programs like 12-steps. Each case is unique and will be treated as such moving forward. Speak to a professional today to learn how drug and alcohol treatment in New Jersey can help get you on the path toward a better life.
NIDA (September 2020) New Jersey: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/new-jersey-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms
NIAAA (September 2020) Alcohol Use Disorder. from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders
New Jersey’s Public Health Data Resource (September 2020) Complete Health Indicator Report of Alcohol Consumption – Binge Drinking. from https://www-doh.state.nj.us/doh-shad/indicator/complete_profile/AlcConBinDri.html
NIDA (September 2020) Overdose Death Rates. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
New Jersey Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment (2017) Substance Abuse Overview Statewide. from https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmhas/publications/statistical/Substance%20Abuse%20Overview/2017/statewide.pdf
NIDA (September 2020) How Long Does Drug Addiction Treatment Usually Last? from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-long-does-drug-addiction-treatment-usually-last
CDC (September 2020) Binge-Drinking. from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm