Point Pleasant Borough, New Jersey
New Jersey is renowned worldwide for its beach towns, nearly all of which boast tranquil beaches, traditional boardwalks, delectable seafood restaurants, and amusement rides.
Among the charming beach towns in New Jersey is Point Pleasant, which attracts locals and visitors alike because of its stunning beaches and appealing architecture. Located in Ocean County, Point Pleasant is a borough with a population of 18, 545 and a median household income of $81, 720 as of 2017.
In spite of its popularity, Point Pleasant and surrounding towns, including Bay Head and Brielle face a serious drug problem within Ocean County. In fact, Ocean County is one of the top counties with high substance abuse rates with alcohol and heroin being the most abused followed by cocaine and marijuana.
In particular, heroin poses a serious drug threat to NJ because it’s readily accessible throughout the state. Here’s the impact of the drug in New Jersey.
Heroin Problem in New Jersey
The predominant type of heroin in NJ is the South American kind although Southwest and Southeast Asian types are also accessible but to a lesser degree. Since the 1990s, low cost and high purity heroin have drawn a new user population in NJ.
Users can smoke or inhale the high purity drug, making it appealing for those who would never consider taking the drug through injection. State and federal law enforcement seize the South American type more often than other types.
Colombia-based drug trafficking organizations supply Colombian, Dominican, and other criminal groups with multi-kilogram heroin quantities, which undergo direct transportation to NJ. However, some of the drugs that are destined for NJ undergo transshipment through Pennsylvania and New York.
The criminal groups use couriers on commercial airlines to move an average of 1-3 kg of heroin per trip. Users who commit felonies typically commit nonviolent property felonies to sustain their habits. However, distributors at every level engage in violence and other illegal activities to advance operations related to drug distribution.
Actually, the distributors use violence to maintain distribution control in a certain area or protect shipments.
Production and Transportation of Heroin
In terms of production, the cultivation and refinement of opium poppies don’t take place in NJ. Instead, smuggling of the drug into NJ occurs from four main source regions, namely: Southwest Asia, mainly Afghanistan; Southeast Asia, mainly Laos, Burma, and Thailand; South America, mainly Colombia and lastly, Mexico.
When it comes to transportation, land and air conveyances, both commercial and personal, are the major means of smuggling heroin to NJ. Couriers usually conceal the drug in clothes, on their bodies, or in luggage.
Newark International Airport is the main entry point for the direct shipment of heroin to NJ from overseas with numerous distributors opting to use airline passengers to carry out the smuggling. The couriers who undertake the smuggling receive between $10,000 and $20, 000 per kg transported.
Heroin Abuse Statistics in New Jersey
Opioid abuse is reportedly at epidemic levels across NJ, with reports indicating the existence of approximately 128, 000 heroin users in the state and health professionals fear that number is probably growing.
The epidemic, which is destroying states across the nation, claimed 918 lives in 2015; this figure represents the highest yearly death toll from heroin ever witnessed in NJ. Reports further indicate that drug overdoses increased by 21% between 2014 and 2015 in the state, with opioid addictions fueling the increase.
In particular, Ocean County has a high rate of overdose fatalities associated with heroin. The County’s officials cite that overdoses occur in people ranging from age 12-72. In recent years, NJ is among various states that have witnessed sharp increases in opioid-linked overdose deaths.
In 2015, heroin overdoses killed 281 in Wisconsin. Actually, 1 in every 1000 Wisconsin resident underwent hospitalization for an opioid or heroin overdose between 2010 and 2015. On a similar note, New York experienced a 135.7% increase in heroin-induced and synthetic opioid deaths between 2014 and 2015.
Heroin Laws in New Jersey
Heroin possession is charged as a state and federal offence because it’s commonly abused. Under federal law, a first-time offender should pay a minimum fine of $1, 000 and may face up to a one-year jail sentence.
In the event that the person is facing a second conviction, the person should pay a minimum fine of $2, 500 and should serve between 15 days and 2 years in jail. A third conviction, however, attracts a minimum fine of $5, 000 and a jail term lasting between 90 days and up to 3 years.
Heroin Arrests in Ocean County
Last year, the NJ State Police apprehended three people after a two-month investigation. During the bust, authorities seized 1,300 doses with an estimated value of $6, 700. The three faced charges of possessing heroin and paraphernalia.
The court also charged one of the three with intent to distribute. In a separate incident, which took place last year August, the police thwarted heroin delivery from dealers. The investigation led to the seizure of 50 decks of heroin.
In this case, the court charged them with possessing a controlled and dangerous substance, intent to distribute, and conspiracy to distribute a controlled hazardous substance.
Shortfall of Substance Abuse Care
Together with much of the U.S., NJ suffers a joint opiate and heroin abuse epidemic. Consequently, treatment providers and law enforcement agencies struggle to track associated statistics because they’re frequently mixed together.
Heroin addicts frequently start out with prescription medication for lawful reasons, for instance, chronic pain and exhibit addiction once doctors over-prescribe their medications or they participate in doctor shopping.
Although New Jersey has a prescription drug monitoring program, data collection isn’t always reliable. Sometimes, physicians, pharmacists, and other medical professionals don’t understand or receive the training they require to prevent prescription and heroin drug abuse.
Persons addicted to one drug, particularly heroin, frequently progress to new addictions. This is so in NJ where 18% of high school heroin users have previously used ecstasy, cocaine, meth, or hallucinogens. High school students often inject heroin and cocaine, leaving users susceptible to STDs, AIDS, and HIV through shared needles.
Unfortunately, most treatment facilities aren’t designed to handle multiple addictions or addiction-borne illnesses, so addicts obtain incomplete treatment.
Opioid Rehabilitation in Ocean County, NJ
Families of the affected persons often face the problem of having to decide between a short-term or 90-day rehab options. Outpatient programs typically last 4 weeks, and this time could be sufficient for some patients to recover and stay away from drugs after completing the program.
Nonetheless, an outpatient program isn’t sufficient for patients with deep addiction. The main goal of holistic addiction rehab involves calming the patient’s mind, getting his or her body on track, and eliminating the wayward morale that seeks to break away the entire process.
Once this happens, the treatment process starts. Certain inpatient rehab facilities in Ocean County provide group meetings for those who will be receiving treatment. This way, the patient can share his or her concerns and opinions with others who are going through similar situations.
Treatment Steps Involved For Addicts
An assessment is typically one of the initial treatment steps when entering an alcohol or drug rehab. The evaluation helps clinicians develop a suitable treatment and detox plan depending on the addiction severity and substances abused.
During this process, you’ll generally meet with a psychologist, doctor, or therapist. Intake is simply an interview process that seeks to admit you into a certain treatment program.
During detox, a nurse or doctor helps you manage the withdrawal symptoms that arise when you stop taking alcohol or drugs.
Inpatient treatment offers a superior level of treatment care with medically supervised detox and around-the-clock support and care.
Outpatient treatment refers to a type of program where an addict maintains his or her normal routine while still undergoing treatment for his or her addiction. Such programs attempt to have a close examination of the addict’s life and see how to manage the addiction in a holistic way.
Aftercare offers a continuation of support and counseling after the successful completion of the rehabilitation program.
A sober living facility functions as a supplement to your recovery. They’re an excellent option for persons in recovery because they encourage recovering addicts to form healthy coping skills when they return home.
While heroin addiction is a prevalent problem in New Jersey and surrounding environs, rehabilitation remains a source of hope for addicts and their families.
Addiction Counseling in Ocean County
Cognitive treatment is the most implemented approach to therapy because it’s an excellent way of hashing out your issues and concerns. This can take place individually or within a group context.
Getting a patient to share his or her problems and having the patient hear his or her complications compels him or her to give attention to the exact problem and identify how it prevented him or her from maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Drug rehabilitation counselors offer instruction on lifestyle skills and mental discipline, which play an important role in helping the affected individual remain drug-free and handle the adjustments in his or her life.
When selecting an addiction professional, it’s advisable to select one who offers private and community treatment programs.
Inpatient Drug Detox
An inpatient detoxification treatment enables you to spend time away from your customary environment, which is useful when your surrounding situations are responsible for the substance abuse that drove you to addiction.
At a residential facility, you can enjoy a comfortable environment while obtaining medical attention and substitute therapies that contribute towards your overall well being.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Detox
Numerous people select inpatient detoxification because therapists, doctors, and even nurses are available in the residential facility in case they require their service before their planned medical therapies and treatments.
However, when you opt for outpatient detoxification, you’ll still obtain the attention you require when you need it though you won’t have immediate access to your health care provider. Choosing an outpatient program doesn’t mean that you won’t obtain deserving quality detoxification service.
In the event that you opt for the outpatient method, you’ll still access drug substitute medication to fight the unpleasant withdrawal signs. The only difference is that the administration of the drug will take place at home depending on the doctor’s prescription.
Outpatient detoxification is a good option since you can obtain it at the clinic, doctor’s office, or your home. You can take this route when you decide to undergo rehab.
On the other hand, it could occur when you aren’t admitted to a detoxification facility after a therapist or doctor assesses the history of your substance abuse and reveals you must seek treatment. If you’re uncertain about the two services, seek professional advice.
The initial step of a detox procedure is patient assessment, which involves making a suitable diagnose of the level and type of addiction by various specialists (including psychologists, general physicians among others) to initiate a suitable treatment for every case.
The second step involves avoiding the drug to attain appropriate physiological healing in persons who’ve used drugs for a prolonged period. During this phase, it’s vital to attain the person’s stabilization and introduce qualified health care to prevent fatal or unpleasant complications throughout the abstinence process.
In fact, it may be essential to use prescribed medications and eliminate them slowly to overcome certain addictions. This is crucial because numerous drugs can produce changes in brain functioning. Therefore, having a period without drugs helps recover a stable state of mind and brain function.
A significant goal of this step is clearing the addict’s head, allowing him or her to identify his or her problem, avoiding the drug use on his own, and thinking about the future. Numerous patients favor a drug-free detox process, and findings reveal that such patients have higher rates of success upon completing the procedure.
In some instances however, there’s no alternative and the patient must obtain controlled and lawful drugs to prevent death. The third step involves teaching the patient the necessary tools he or she will require for re-integration into the society.
This step is very crucial because it comprises the tips to prevent a relapse once the patient completes the rehabilitation process, particularly if he or she was in an inpatient program. During this phase, the emphasis is on achieving the patient’s dedication to sobriety.
Although the patients and procedures are different and programmed depending on the patient’s needs, they’re all difficult, and not all are planned the same. Nevertheless, a patient will always require the support of his or her friends and family to avoid relapses and conquer the addiction.
The last step of the procedure or societal integration is also hard but important. In this case, friends and family must help the patient find acceptance into the society and recover his or her professional or educational activities.