Passaic, a city in New Jersey has a population of 70,635 and has
quickly earned its motto of “The Fastest Growing City in New Jersey”. The city
supports the cultural assets of its ever-growing Hispanic residents. There has
been an expansion of community gardens and farmer’s markets due to the
non-profit organization City Green and a $2 million bus depot has also opened
on Main Avenue improving the transportation needs for city residents.
Known as the birthplace of Television, Passaic is also the birth home
of actress Zoe Saldana of Avatar and writer Mitch Albom of Tuesdays With
Morrie. Passaic is a great tourist destination for those who love a scary
haunted house, Brighton Asylum or for
those who love outdoor activities like hiking or biking, The Garrett Mountain Reservation. A famous attraction on the
reservation is the English style castle built in 1892, Lambert Castle.
Passaic is full of fun sights to see, has beautiful culture and an
amazing nature setting. After all, it is located on the Passaic River in the
Garden State. Its neighboring areas include Clifton, Woodland Park and
Alternatively, like many U.S. cities, Passaic is also facing a drug and
alcohol problem. Addiction is a crippling factor in society, 21.5 million
people in America battle some sort of substance addiction, according to the
National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In Passaic, 24 percent of residents
have an alcohol addiction and heroin is a popular drug of choice followed by
prescription drugs and cocaine. In 2017, Passaic schools found 48 cases of
teens using drugs while state capital, Trenton has 12 cases. Heroin is a
popular drug for all of New Jersey and is responsible for 781 deaths in a
period of three years.
Drug use is high in many cities around the United States due to some
harsh factors like crime rate, unemployment rate and low income. Passaic is no
different, with a crime rate of 36 percent, a median income level of $ 33,081
and an unemployment rate of 10.63 percent drug use will increase. Genetics also
have a huge factor in drug addiction as well.
New Jersey is aware of the problem the state is facing with heroin
addiction. In fact, in 2013, The Overdose Prevention Act was signed into law.
This act states that both a witness and a person who overdoses will be give
immunity if they call the police for assistance. The Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
Prevention organization, founded in 1984 also encourages those fighting with a
drug or alcohol addiction to get help. The organization increases public
awareness for alcohol, drug and tobacco addiction.
There are many ways to get help with addiction in Passaic, New Jersey.
Rehabilitation and Treatment centers are fully designed and equipped for those
suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. Passaic and surrounding areas has
many inpatient and outpatient options when it comes to rehabilitation.
Inpatient means that a patient stays with the facility that is designed
to help a patient through their entire recovery from initial assessment to
detox, to therapy to aftercare.
Outpatient means that a patient only stays a partial amount of time or
frequently visits a center for therapy, detox and aftercare.
Deciding to get help for drug addiction can be very hard but extremely
rewarding. Drug and/or alcohol addiction can lead to many sacrifices in life,
loss of job, loss of marriage, loss of family and ultimately, loss of self.
Addiction cuts deep and that is why choosing to get help is important, but it
also shows strength. When a person who is addicted to drugs and alcohol wants
to get help, there’s a process that must be followed to ensure the best, most
Steps of The
That process starts with an Assessment. Many facilities refer to it as
an assessment, but some will call it a pre-intake. An assessment is a series of
tests that are required to ensure that a drug or addiction problem is present. Typically,
a doctor, psychologist and counselor will all be present when the assessment
takes place. This part of the process is
similar to a job interview where many questions are asked and answered.
Questions that pertain to medical history, mental health history and substance
abuse history. This will lead into another part of the rehabilitation process
known as an intake. Although many facilities wrap these processes together. An
assessment or pre-intake is meant as a “get to know” sort of meeting while
intake, dives further in with a physical examination and a mental health
screening. This whole part of the process allows doctors to get a better understanding
of what they can do to give a patient the most efficient road to recovery.
Once a road to recovery has been found, it is time to set it into
motion. The first stop is detoxification, very commonly known as detox. This is
the cleansing period of rehabilitation. All the drugs must be cleared from the
system so that the remaining steps in the process can work effectively. Detox
is the hardest part of the process since it can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Drugs make the brain feel good while also maintaining functionality. When the
drugs are gone so is that feel good feeling which can lead to different types
of withdrawal symptoms like nausea, physical pain, headache, hallucinations,
chills, fever, etc. The amount of and intensity of the symptoms are dependent
on a couple of factors: length of addiction, amount of substance used each time
a person got high and mental health status. Since everyone is unique,
rehabilitation and detoxification work differently. Some people will have very little
symptoms while others become very sick and require medical attention. At times,
doctors will prescribe medication to help with some of the overwhelming
symptoms like nausea or headache.
Inpatient and Outpatient
Inpatient treatment requires that a patient be admitted into a facility
for 24 hours to 30 days. Some patients can stay even longer. Inpatient
treatment is usually broken down into three different parts, RTC, PHP and IOP.
Residential Treatment Center
Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is for a patient that needs around
the clock care. Generally, this is the first stop for many people who are
addicted to alcohol or drugs. However, there are alternative approaches. The
assessment period of the rehabilitation process is usually the pivotal point in
deciding if patient goes to RTC, PHP or IOP. However, RTC and PHP are always
done before IOP. RTC can help a patient
to recover because the patient receives all the help they need, 24/7. A patient
resides in the facility to avoid temptation in the outside world. Therapy,
group and individual are a huge focal point during this part of the healing
process. Once a patient has begun to heal, doctors may decide to loosen up
their restrictions such as allowing for family visits or allowing a patient to
travel to the grocery store or out to eat at a restaurant.
Once a patient has successfully met all the milestones for RTC, usually
release and PHP happens next.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) is for a patient that isn’t
quite healed fully and still needs to have that one on one and group therapy.
This program usually allows for a patient to go home and come back to facility
5-7 times a week for 6 hours a day. Therapy is a huge part of this process but
learning how to cope outside the treatment center is another big part. Patients
are not free to fly on their own because support is still there for a large
part of day. However, relapse can and does happen for many patients and PHP has
been very helpful in preventing that from happening.
Once a patient has successfully met the milestones for PHP, which is
decided by a psychologist, a patient may be recommended for IOP.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
is for a patient who us just about ready to fly on their own but still
needs some support under them. IOP usually takes place outside of a facility
but can take place within the same facility that RTC and PHP were completed in.
IOP takes place 3 hours a day, 3 days a week and is focused largely on group
therapy. IOP is a place to get together with others who are recovering from
drug and alcohol addiction and talk about any issues that have come up and gain
the support needed to push on with recovery. IOP has been very helpful just as
PHP has in stopping relapse from happening with many people. Unfortunately,
relapse still does happen and RTC, PHP and IOP will all go over the signs and
symptoms of what relapse looks like.
IOP also has a family therapy option so that family members can show
their support in their loved one’s recovery. Family counseling has always been
rewarding for the entire family.
Aftercare and Sober
Recovery is a life long process, even when a patient has been released
from rehab and has gone through PHP and IOP. Relapse is a continuous obstacle
that those who suffer from addiction will face. Alcohol Anonymous and Narcotics
Anonymous are great places to continue to get the support that is needed to
push forward with recovery. AA and NA are full of people who are trying to do
the very same thing, recover and stay away from addictions. Support is huge in
places like these so when it comes to fighting off the urge, it’s important to
not fight it alone. The meetings are designed to keep people on the straight
Aftercare means taking care of oneself, flying solo or almost.
Recovering addicts do not ever have to be fully alone in their journey thanks
to these meetings. Within these meetings, sponsors can be found, and they are
available whenever needed to keep a person on track as well. There is absolutely
no reason to try to do it all alone. Aftercare is there for the sole purpose of
community people helping other community people. It’s a joint effort.
Sober Living Houses do the exact same thing. Sober Living Houses are
designed for recovering addicts who are not quite ready to try to fly solo yet.
Therapy can be implemented in these houses as well as living with others who
are going through their own battles with recovery. Sober Living Houses is great
place to find support while also trying to get back up on one’s feet. Addiction
takes a lot away from a person- friends, residence, family, marriage, kids, job,
etc. Sober Living Houses can help to give some of those back while also
offering the support needed to stay away from addictive behavior that leads to
relapse. Since there are multiple people living in the house, the feeling of
being alone will go down drastically.
Sober Living Houses have some rules that must be followed, and a
contract must be signed before moving in. Residents must smoke in areas
designated, there is no alcohol or drugs allowed and sexual relations with
other residents of the house is not allowed either. If these rules are broken,
a resident can lose their place in the house. Alternatively, depending on what
house rule is broken, sometimes a more lenient approach is taken such as
attending group meetings more regularly.
Sober living goes beyond these houses however. Sober living means
carrying the tools and techniques that were taught in RTC and PHP and the
affirmations learned in IOP and putting them to use. It means dropping old
friends who continue to push alcohol or drugs and won’t take no for an answer.
It means cutting out negative people from one’s life. It means choosing to
actively participate in meetings and talk about how one is truly feeling. It
means getting up everyday and making it a good one. Sadness sets in when a
person lay around without sunlight and without much movement which can lead to
depression, alcohol and drugs. It’s important to keep busy during recovery.
Find a hobby. Take some classes. Do something that allows a constructive
outflow. There are so many different great options for recovering addicts. Most
importantly, continue therapy.
Relapse is a reality that far too many people who are trying to stay
sober fall into. It just takes one little slip up to wreck months of therapy.
The desire to drink again or to do drugs will be there and sometimes it will be
so overwhelming, it’ll be almost impossible to resist it. Unfortunately, that
is why many people end up relapsing. But some people end up relapsing because
life after rehab is hard to adjust back to. Rehab takes care of a lot of the
human needs and so bouncing back can be hard. That’s why aftercare and sober
living houses is a great option. There are always people who are willing to
offer any sort of support that is needed and many of them do it without asking
a single question. They just lend their ear for listening or a shoulder to cry
on. Falling into relapse is not the end. If it happens, it’s important to get
back up and do what is needed to find recovery once more. Falling isn’t bad.
It’s just important to get back up and keep fighting a good fight and there are
so many people who will cheer a person on, as long as they know they are
willing to fight for it.
Heroin addiction is a real problem in the state of New Jersey, but
drugs as a whole is an even bigger problem for America. Facing addiction seems
too hard for many people and continuing to do drugs allows for the avoidance of
all the hard work it takes to get clean. So, people continue to take drugs but
now the problem has reached schools and more children are overdosing because of
it. A movement in the war on drugs in needed but that starts with a single
person admitting they need help. There is no shame in getting help and there is
no shame in asking for it either. Movements happens because one person chose to
stand up and fight. Addiction is a personal battle and one’s recovery is their
own personal journey but keeping the children of the world safe from drug
addiction should be everyone’s fight. Addiction is personal, but there is no
reward in keeping it a secret. Teaching the children of the world how to hide
addiction only creates a monstrous problem that we won’t be able to come back
It’s important to get help so children can get the help they need to.