Currently, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in New Jersey. This means that drug overdose kills more people than car accidents and gun violence. Furthermore, the rate of a heroin overdose is three times the national average. Essex Fells is among New Jersey’s cities with the highest instances of opioid use.
According to the Department of Human Services, there were a total of 76,509 admissions to substance use treatment in 2016. In Essex County, the majority of treatment admissions, 44%, were for heroin use. In addition, 19% of all admissions were for IV drug use.
Heroin in Essex County
A well-known heroin ring was thriving just down the street from a Newark High School. Drug users from all over New Jersey came to these heroin dealers at all hours of the day. In January of this year, Essex County law enforcement arrested 3 men in conjunction with this heroin operation.
Heroin accounts for the majority of opioid overdose deaths. This drug is very potent on its own, but it is often laced with other, more powerful synthetic opioids. Just two months ago police in South New Jersey spread a warning about a lethal batch of heroin which killed four people in less than 24-hours.
Essex County Drug Treatment
In 2016, outpatient treatment accounted for the majority of treatment services. Generally, outpatient care consists of individual and group therapy. Some facilities also offer visits with a psychiatrist. In addition, some physicians prescribe replacement drugs, such as Methadone or Suboxone, on an outpatient basis as part of Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT). These drugs are opioids which help reduce cravings and stop withdrawal when patients attempt to come off heroin or painkillers.
Inpatient residential treatment usually involves a 30, 60 or 90-day commitment and includes detox and therapy. The Essex County Health and Human Services reported that less than 10% of patients attended residential treatment and none attended medical detox in 2016. Typically, residential programs offer supervised detox where clients experience the full extent of withdrawal while staff monitors them. These are not medical facilities and some offer physician support or MAT.
Medical Assisted Treatment in Essex County
Doctors most commonly prescribe Methadone and buprenorphine-based drugs, like suboxone for MAT. In Essex County, 26% of patients in MAT were prescribed Methadone and only 3% were prescribed Suboxone. Methadone is a powerful, long-acting opioid which the body stores in fat cells and within the bones. As a result, it is one of the most difficult drugs to detox from. The symptoms are severe and can last months. Some patients also use their drug of choice in addition to methadone which increases their risk of overdose.
Suboxone is also a powerful semi-synthetic opioid which contains buprenorphine and a blocker. The goal of the blocker is so patients cannot use drugs like heroin with the replacement drug. However, it is possible and dangerous for some to use drugs like heroin or fentanyl in addition to Suboxone. This drug is also very difficult to detox from as the symptoms can last weeks and are more severe than symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Therefore, patients often feel trapped and hopeless about becoming opioid-free.
Rapid Opioid Detox and Medical Detox
The lack of effective medical detox options in New Jersey can leave patients feeling lost, like they will never break free of their opioid dependence. However, there is a successful treatment for all opioids, including Suboxone and Methadone detox. New Jersey residents have been flying to So. California for treatment at The Waismann Method® for 20 years. We have an unsurpassed success rate and offer the safest detox options available in a full service, accredited hospital.
Every patient receives personalized care, based on a comprehensive assessment, in the comfort of their own private room. Our trained professionals and quadruple board-certified medical director are there to support you every step of the way. In addition, we offer transitional support after discharge from the hospital at our exclusive Domus Retreat. During this time, clients receive 24-hour care, a number of holistic services and individual psychotherapy. This additional time is critical during the physical and emotional transition to an opioid-free life.