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Substance Abuse and Treatment in
Trenton, New Jersey

 

Trenton
is the capital city of New Jersey in the United States of America. With a
population of over 85, 000 this city boasts of a vibrant economy and wonderful
weather.  The unemployment rate in this
city is estimated to be at 7.10% while the job growth is placed at
approximately 3.17%. However, beneath these wonderful issues lurks a disturbing
trend of drug addiction and abuse. A rising rate in crime and countless
families breaking up as a result of addiction create a worrying trend when it
comes to parenting and holding together of the general social fabric.

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As at
the end of 2015 substance abuse treatment providers had compiled records that
placed cases of abuse treatment at an alarming 70, 000 people in the whole of
New Jersey. As if that was not enough a third of the number of people treated
were noted to be residents of Trenton. Marijuana is the most commonly abused
substance in this city with alcohol and heroin following in that order.

Individuals in this city were also reported to use various other drugs albeit
in lesser amounts or isolated cases.

 

When it
comes to alcohol abuse most studies show that women in Trenton are increasingly
becoming vulnerable as compared to men. Binge drinking which the CDC defines as
consuming more than five drinks by men and four by women in a single session
was noted to be quite prominent in New Jersey as a whole. A study carried over
the period of 2002 to 2012 by researchers from the University of Washington
showed that women were taking to the bottle more frequently with each passing
month.

 

Effects of substance abuse

 

While
the use of alcohol by individuals that have attained the age of 18 is allowed
by law anyone that is found in possession or use of marijuana and heroin can be
prosecuted and sentenced to jail term. However, even if users manage to evade
law enforcers it is inevitable that they will have to deal with the health,
social and economic effects of substance abuse.

 

Marijuana

 

Being
the most used substance in South, North, Mill Hill and other Trenton neighborhoods,
Marijuana is regarded as one of the leading causes of substance related
complications including abuse and overdose. The use of this substance starts
off in teens out of curiosity and peer pressure while adults may abuse it to
get away from stress or enjoy a few moments of pleasure derived from being
high. What most people are oblivious of are the negative effects that often
develop in a slow but sure manner. The use of this substance can result in:

 

1.    Severe anxiety or paranoia
that may end up compromising the ability to make sound judgements or relate to
other people.

2.    Hallucinations that may
involve seeing or smelling things that do not really exist.

3.    Psychosis which basically
means that the individual is unable to differentiate between reality and imagination.

4.    Compromised reaction times
leading to issues such as accidents.

5.    Sharp decline in intelligence
quotient up to 8 points.

6.    Increased aggression or
violent behavior.

7.    Reduction in productivity at
school or workplace.

8.    Antisocial tendencies
including theft and lying.

9.    If not provided with proper
treatment individuals may end up overdosing and dying.

 

Alcohol

 

Alcohol
presents a complex mix of issues which is why it is frequently reported as a
problematic substance. It is available legally and therefore cannot really be
controlled by the State. Individuals that abuse this substance in Trenton may
end up experiencing issues such as:

 

1.    Increased aggression or
violent behavior.

2.    Self-destructive behavior or
loss of self control.

3.    Feelings of loneliness and
guilt.

4.    Craving of alcohol.

5.    Trembling or shaking
unusually.

6.    Dizziness and blackouts.

 

Heroin

 

The
fact that heroin is able to react with the body relatively fast makes it quite
problematic because individuals end up getting addicted in a matter of days or
weeks depending on the amount they use. Some of the effects of this substance
include:

 

1.    After a short time of use individuals
may become dependant on the substance. This means they are unable to engage in
daily activity unless they get the substance into their system.

2.    Reduced sensations of pain
which may lead to multiple injuries on the body.

3.    Lethargy which is defined as
being without enthusiasm and energy.

4.    Drowsiness leading to
unproductive life both in academics and career.

5.    Development of itchy skin and
light sensitivity.

6.    Death resulting from
overdose.

 

Substance addiction in Trenton, New
Jersey

 

While
the initial stages of substance use may seem fun and exciting the truth is that
these happy moments quickly fade away and turn the lives of users and their
families upside down. Continual use of any of the substances mentioned above is
likely to lead to dependence. This means that the user will have an extremely
difficult time continuing with normal activity unless he or she takes the
substance of choice. Those that are addicted to these substances may end up
developing extreme symptoms when they try to stop use. Some of these symptoms
may include:

 

?      Profuse sweating

?      Extreme trembling

?      Uncontrollable cravings

?      Nausea

?      Headaches

?      Restlessness

?      Irritability

?      Self inflicted harm

?      Mental confusion

?      Aggressive or violent
behavior

?      Depression

?      Nightmares

?      Hallucinations

?      Death

 

While
these symptoms may paint a grim picture the truth is that with the help of
friends, family members or concerned members of the society any individual that
is engulfed in the trap of addiction can find help regardless of the extent or
substance to which they are addicted.

 

Help for individuals addicted to
substance use

 

During
the initial stages of drug use or abuse it is difficult to know whether or not
an individual requires help. However, when the symptoms or effects that are
mentioned above seem to be getting severe it may be time to reach out for help.

While some users may be able to make the right decision and seek help on their
own there are those who may not realize how serious their substance abuse
problem may be. Following the process laid down below can be an effective way
to help.

 

1. Assessment
and Intervention

 

An
individual can assess his or her substance abuse through the use of freely
available online resources or talking to a professional medical expert. During
this stage a health or rehabilitation official involved may have to examine
some of the physical signs that are developing. The professional may also have
to compile a list of the symptoms that the individual affected exhibits. A look
at the general results can give a clear picture of whether or not an individual
is addicted to a substance or hurtling down that road.

 

In
situations where the substance user is unaware of the problem intervention can
be the best way forward. It is important to note that drug abuse does not only
affect the user but also has a negative impact on the family and society as a
whole. This is why each member of the family should lend a helping hand with
regards to intervention. Reaching out for help through a drug abuse hotline or
talking to a local social worker can be the ideal way to get advise on how to
provide effective intervention. The social worker is likely to meet various
members of the family and formulate a strategic plan to help the individual
that is addicted. Proper intervention will enable the addicted individual to
realize the problem and open up for professional help.

 

2. Pre-Intake

 

Before
a patient is admitted to any rehabilitation center a pre-intake assessment is
done. This may involve recording of the patient’s history when it comes to substance
use, documenting of signs and symptoms and physical examinations. In certain
cases doctors may conduct lab tests to determine the amount of substance that
is in the patient’s system. The professional responsible for handling the
pre-intake process takes note of the age, gender and religious beliefs of the
patient. It is at this stage that family members are also consulted on what
their opinions are with regards to providing the best care for their loved one.

Once their concerns and opinions are taken the professional counselor will give
recommendations on whether the patient should be admitted to inpatient or
outpatient care.

 

3. Intake

 

At this
stage the patient has been tested and diagnosed with addiction making it
necessary for them to be admitted into a treatment program. This may either be
on an inpatient or outpatient basis. The individual and the family members will
be given details regarding the costs that are involved in treatment and how to
make payments. Some rehabilitation centers accept insurance while others only
admit patients that make direct payments. It is worth pointing out that there
are certain institutions that give details on how to get financial assistance
from third party organizations.

 

Understanding inpatient and
outpatient treatment

 

There
are two types of care that can be provided to individuals battling drug abuse
and addiction. These are inpatient and outpatient care. A look at these two
types of care can help just about anyone determine what is best for their own
care or that of a loved one.

 

Outpatient substance addiction
treatment

 

Outpatient
treatment basically refers to care that is provided to a patient without having
them stay at the facility or rehabilitation center. During the assessment stage
of treatment professional health workers take into account the current
condition of the individual together with the signs and symptoms that are
experienced. If they determine that the individual is not severely affected by
the substance used they may enrol the individual in this type of treatment
program.

 

Benefits of outpatient treatment – one of the main benefits
of getting this form of treatment is that it is quite affordable. Unlike
inpatient care the individual does not stay at the facility and does not have
to pay for 24 hour services that may include nurse supervision and food
provisions. The patient can attend various treatment sessions without
interfering with daily work or studies meaning that he or she does not have to
put anything on hold. It is also important to note that patients are able to go
on living with family members and mingling with friends.

 

Disadvantages – while receiving treatment
patients still have the freedom to do whatever they want. This means that they
can easily slide back into drug abuse. It is difficult to track progress
because no one observes the patient’s behavior or symptoms on a daily basis.

Another disadvantage is that doctors may not be able to respond quickly when
the patient slides back and overdoses on a substance.

 

Inpatient substance addiction
treatment

 

This
type of treatment is recommended when the patient is experiencing severe
withdrawal symptoms. It is ideal for people that have been using drugs for an
extensive period of time and are extremely dependant on the substance. This
type of care can further be classified into two categories:

 

1. Residential treatment – this is care that is given
to individuals that are no longer capable of carrying on with normal life on
their own. They are so affected by their drug use that all they think about is
how to get the next dose. These individuals no longer have self control and
must therefore be kept under intense watch and provided with specialized
medical treatment on an ongoing basis. Such individuals run the risk of
experiencing severe withdrawal effects that can lead to organ damage or death.

This treatment is provided at a Residential Treatment Center or RTC.

 

2. Partial hospitalization program – this can also be referred
to as PHP treatment. It is almost the same as residential treatment except it
does not involve a lot of restrictions on movement or special medical care. In
this case the patient may live on the facility but has the freedom to leave
during the day and come back before nightfall or as stipulated by the rules of
the facility.

 

Benefits of inpatient treatment – one of the main benefits
of this type of treatment is that the patient is able to get immediate help in
case of severe withdrawal effects. Caregivers are always on hand to provide
company and make life as comfortable as possible. It is worth noting that there
is no alcoholic drink or drugs in the rehabilitation facility meaning that
there is no possibility of relapse during treatment. Doctors are also able to
observe each patient individually and come up with a unique treatment program
that is likely to produce exceptional results.

 

Disadvantages – one of the downsides to
this type of treatment is that it costs more than outpatient treatment. The
patient is only allowed to interact with family members during designated times
and within a limited period. Additionally the patient cannot continue with
daily activities such as studying or working.

 

What is involved in drug addiction
treatment?

 

There
is no standard way of treating addiction because individuals are unique and go
through different experiences. However, after careful assessment of a patient
doctors are able to come up with a personalized treatment plan that may involve
a number of standard  and innovative
procedures. Some of the things that may be involved in treatment include the
following.

 

Detoxification – this is the process
through which the body gets rid of drugs or alcohol. While under specialized
detox doctors are likely to provide the patient with guidelines on what to do
and what not to do. There are also various prescription medications that are
administered to help reduce or eliminate side effects that may be problematic.

 

Counseling – this basically refers to a process
where a patient is given advise and guidance on how to resolve personal or
psychological issues that may have led to drug abuse and addiction.

 

Medication – there are special medications that
are prescribed for individuals battling with addiction to opioids, tobacco and
alcohol.

 

Evaluation – professionals continually carry
out evaluations with regards to progress. This process allows doctors to
simultaneously treat mental health problems such as stress, depression and
anxiety.

 

Spiritual teachings – individuals that are
religious may be provided with relevant teachings to nourish their spiritual
needs.

 

Aftercare – this refers to the supervision
that is done after a patient has completed his or her treatment program.

Aftercare is aimed at providing continual support to the patient and
encouraging them to pursue a path to better living. This technique helps ensure
that the patient does not relapse or go back to abusing substance.

 

Sober Living in Trenton, New Jersey

 

After
completing treatment an individual is allowed to go back to normal life.

However, the temptation to go back to drinking alcohol or use marijuana is
always real in the lives of people that have recovered. Such people are
encouraged to form or join support groups that allow them to mingle with others
who may be going through similar experiences. Their family members are advised
on the best practices and how to make the home conducive for recovery and
eliminate the risk of causing the patient to relapse. To help reduce the
temptations that can lead to relapse sober living houses may be an ideal option
to consider. Such facilities are designed to support sober living and reinforce
the teachings that were given during treatment and recovery.

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