The 24% Other Drugs 6% Cocaine 5%

The heroin epidemic that is plaguing the nation has also hitSecaucus, NJ. In Hudson County, in which Secaucus is located, heroin accountedfor 33 percent of its substance abuse treatment admissions in 2016. Secaucus CityInformationSecaucus has a population of 18,311, and it continues to growevery year. The city is made up of 45 percent white, 27 percent Asian, 20percent Hispanic, and 2 percent black residents. Forty-one years old is themedian age in Secaucus. About half of the residents are married and around 7percent are divorced.

The main industries in Secaucus are finance and insurance;professional, scientific, and tech services; and educational services. The medianhousehold income is $98,000, which is about $20,000 more than the New Jerseyaverage and $40,000 more than the national average. The poverty rate is about 7percent, which is about half the national average.Despite Secaucus’ high standard of living and smallpopulation size, heroin is nevertheless the top drug problem the city is facing.Drug Problems inSecaucusMultiple heroin arrests have been made in Secaucus in thelast couple of years, with several of those being Mexican drug cartel and gangmembers. There were millions of dollars’ worth of heroin confiscated from them.

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Some of the other heroin arrests were Secaucus residents, while other arrestswere people passing through the city.Heroin busts may have become a frequent occurrence in Secaucus,but fortunately so have the residents’ requests for drug treatment. City-data.comlists Secaucus #28 in the top 101 cities with people in homes or halfway housesfor drugs or alcohol; that accounts for 1.8% of the population in Secaucus. In 2016, Hudson County had the following admissions to drugabuse treatment facilities:Percent of AdmissionsHeroin 33% Marijuana 28%Alcohol 24% Other Drugs 6%Cocaine 5%Other Opiates 4%Marijuana and alcohol aren’t far behind heroin in the numberof people seeking help for addiction. Medical marijuana is legal in New Jersey;however, there is only one dispensary in the city of Secaucus.

Unlike otherstates that are more lenient, New Jersey only allows medical marijuana forseizure disorder, glaucoma, cachexia, inflammatory bowel disease, terminalcancer, and PTSD. No home cultivation is allowed.HeroinThe National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that heroin useis 19 times higher in people who have used opioid painkillers than in those whohave never used them. This makes it important to note that other opiate abuse onlyaccounted for a small percent of people reaching out for help in Hudson County.Nationally, heroin has been called a public health crisis.

Youngadults between the ages of 18-25 are the group of heroin users that is growingthe most quickly. Smaller towns are not immune to heroin’s power, either. Ruralareas have seen an uptick in heroin addiction and overdoses in the past severalyears.It’s estimated that heroin was involved in 1,200 of NewJersey’s overdose deaths in 2016. In 2015, Hudson County alone had 64 heroin-relateddeaths.

Other OpioidsThe United States has had more than a 200 percent increasein opioid deaths since 2000. Hudson County had 47 deaths due to opioids otherthan heroin in 2015. In addition to heroin, one of the main causes of overdosesin Hudson County is fentanyl. Fentanyl is up to 50 times more powerful thanheroin. It is commonly found in combination with heroin in cases of overdoses.

In2015, fetanyl killed 18 people in Hudson County.New Jersey’s Anti-AddictionLawBecause of the high number of overdoses in the state, in2017, New Jersey passed legislation making it illegal for insurance companiesto deny substance abuse treatment to subscribers if it was prescribed by theirdoctor. Insurance waiting periods that could negatively affect a person’srecovery were also done away with. Insurance companies are now required toallow subscribers at least 180 days of substance abuse treatment, and treatmentfor substance abuse conditions must be treated in the same way as otherconditions, i.e., deductibles and copays must be equivalent.

Taking the First StepDeciding to take the first step and seek help is one of themost critical parts of substance abuse recovery. Recovery is not easy and it’sa lifelong process, but it’s one that your life depends on. If you aren’tfamiliar with drug treatment, the following may help you understand it a littlebetter. The types of treatment described are in general terms; no two treatmentplans are the same.AssessmentAn assessment is a series of questions that helps identifyrisk factors or red flags of substance abuse. It can be self-administered,given by a family member, or it can be administered by a professional,including doctors and therapists or counselors.You can find substance abuse assessments online if you wouldlike to take one yourself. Some treatment centers offer their own assessmentson their websites.

Pre-intakePre-intake is the process before drug treatment when theprospective patient answers questions online, on the phone, or occasionally inperson, about their drug use. This is usually done prior to the individualarriving at the facility. The intake professional can then assess whether thetreatment center is a good fit for that particular person. The person can alsodecide if it sounds like the right place for him or her.

The intakeprofessional can also give information on the types of programs available andthe financial obligation required. This step is basically to initiate and set the treatmentprocess in motion once a decision and commitment have been made to seek help.Some treatment centers require a more detailed pre-intake than others. IntakeDuring intake, a therapist or intake professional will ask theperson questions regarding their current drug use and their drug use history.He or she will also ask them questions about their home life and financialsituation.

There may even be questions asked about the person’s parents’ andsiblings drug use. These may seem unrelated to drug treatment, but they are allimportant questions that help the addiction professionals treat the person inthe most effective way possible.During the intake procedure, any questions that areimportant to the person about the program, center, or treatment plan should beasked by him or her.

This will help to determine whether the center and programare right for the person.DetoxDetoxification is when all of a drug is removed or leaves aperson’s body. It is an important part of drug treatment, but by no means is ittreatment on its own.

Heroin is a powerful drug, and its withdrawal symptoms canbe brutal. Detoxing from heroin is dangerous, and it is best done under theguidance of medical professionals. Withdrawal symptoms include severe fatigue,vomiting, hallucinations, and even seizures. It’s an unpleasant experience, tosay the least.

Because of the risks, detoxing from heroin may be done in ahospital setting, where the proper personnel and tools are available. Symptomsmay start within hours after the last use of heroin, and they may continue fordays or weeks. Detoxing in a treatment center can be done using a drug,such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, or through behavioral therapy.

During the detox period, a patient is monitored and supervised around theclock. Professionals can reduce the risk of self-harm or relapse in the patient.Exactly how the detox is done is different for everyone and is based on thekind of drug, how long it was taken, and the patient’s body.Inpatient ProgramsA lot of people who treat their heroin addiction do so in aninpatient program.

There are two main types of inpatient treatment centers: residentialtreatment centers (RTC) and partial hospitalization programs (PHP). These programs may be located in a hospital or in aseparate, standalone building. Some inpatient programs have their centers onspacious grounds or in remote locations, while others prefer to be morecentered around a medical facility. There are inpatient programs that workaround patients’ job obligations, allowing them to perform their duties onsite.

Also popular are luxury treatment centers that are more like resorts thanmedical facilities.Because substance abuse and addiction affects both mind andbody, most programs use multi-pronged approaches to treatment. Patients mayeven receive a physical exam. Some even offer dual-diagnosis programs thattreat not only substance abuse, but also mental health conditions that theperson may have. Depression is commonly found among people with substance abuseproblems, and a dual-diagnosis program is able to deal with both the drug abuseand with the depression that may be more prevalent when the drug use isstopped.RTCsRTCs are centers in which a patient lives for a period oftime. They are sometimes referred to as rehabs.

Here patients are usuallyexposed to a 12-step program and group and/or individual therapy. It may besuggested that the patient and his or her family participate in family therapy,too. A patient may also see a psychiatrist while in an RTC. Some long-term RTCshave stays anywhere from six to 12 months, but it is more common for a patientto stay 30 days. The length of stay is also determined by the patient’sinsurance. This type of program is commonly recommended for peoplefighting heroin addiction since it is the most intensive treatment available.It’s important that the patient is away from people he or she used with and notin situations that may be tempting to use while newly sober.

Inpatient programsprovide a perfect opportunity for them to become immersed in recovery, with nooutside distractions. Contact with friends and family is usually limited.PHPsA PHP has the same drug program as an RTC, including groupand individual therapy, and 12-step meetings, but the patient is only in thefacility for six to eight hours a day, five to seven days a week. They returnhome in the evenings.

Counseling and aftercare are usually included in PHPs. PHPsare sometimes done after an RTC program has been completed. A PHP is a good choice for someone who has a lot of supportat home but cannot stay as an inpatient, perhaps because of insurance reasons. Outpatient ProgramsIntensive outpatient program (IOP) is a program similar to aPHP, but the patient is only in the facility a few hours a day, and lessfrequently during the week. These programs are good for someone who has alreadycompleted a more intensive program or cannot be a full-time resident due towork obligations, but the programs are usually not recommended as thefirst-line treatment for heroin addiction; however, every case is unique. Thetherapies and 12-step groups used in these kinds of programs are the same as inan inpatient program.AftercareAftercare, which is sometimes referred to as follow-up, isan important part of heroin recovery in order to prevent relapses.

It helps to solidifyand reinforce the principles that were taught during the treatment portion.Group 12-step meetings and group therapy, as well as individual and familytherapy, may be recommended after a patient completes a drug treatment program.Aftercare usually lasts anywhere from a few months to a year.If a drug such as methadone was used in detox and treatment,that therapy may continue indefinitely. Some people who are recovering from aheroin addiction remain on methadone, but others are weaned off of it afterthey leave substance abuse treatment.Sober LivingSober living facilities are sometimes called halfway housesor community residential treatment facilities.

They’re places in which peoplesometimes live after completing treatment. There, people in recovery areencouraged to attend 12-step meetings and possibly therapy. A sober livingfacility is a good transition from the protection of a treatment center backinto the same world the person used to use drugs in. They learn to live assober, drug-free people while living there. Drug testing is usually required,and the houses have rules that residents must follow. While they’re living there,people can usually return to work and have contact with their family.

 

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