teen vaping

Can the New Vaping Laws Help Curb Teen Use?

E-cigarettes, or “vapes,” have become a wildly popular substitute for cigarettes in the past four years. Their dangers have become so widespread that lawmakers have passed restrictions against them. Despite this, vaping seems to be a more popular practice than ever. Why are there laws against vaping? Can the new vaping laws curb teen use? We’ll explore this and let you know all the side effects of this new practice. Learn how you can get help with your vaping habit at Discovery Institute.

What is “Vaping”?

Vaping involves the use of vaping devices, which consist of electronic cigarettes, also known as vapes, e-cigs, vape pens or hookah pens. Users inhale aerosols out of these battery-operated devices, and they usually contain nicotine and flavorings. Many vapes resemble USB sticks, although have also been designed to look like cigarettes. Over the last few years, more than 460 vaping brands have come onto the market.

There are four different parts to a vape: 

  • A power source
  • A cartridge/pod/reservoir that holds a liquid solution containing nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals
  • A heating element, or atomizer
  • A mouthpiece for inhaling

Inhaling from the vape activates the heating device, which then vaporizes the liquid, allowing the user to inhale the aerosol and get high.

How Vaping Affects Your Brain

Vaping affects your brain in the same way that smoking cigarettes does. When you inhale the vapor, the nicotine inside it absorbs quickly into your lungs. Now that the nicotine is in your bloodstream, it stimulates glands that release adrenaline, which stimulates the central nervous system (CNS). In turn, your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure increase. Nicotine also increases the amount of dopamine in your body, activating the brain’s reward center. 

Because you feel good when you have nicotine, you usually require more and more of it to feel that same amount of pleasure. This is why people who smoke or vape often will crave nicotine when they are stressed or upset. Some people have used vapes as a substitute for cigarettes so they can quit, but there are few studies that show whether this is effective.

Health Effects of Vaping on the Body and Brain 

Vaping increases your desire for nicotine, which is no doubt an addictive drug. Once your brain craves nicotine constantly, it may lead you to try other substances that will give you the same effect. Vaping is a relatively new trend, so there aren’t enough studies to determine exactly how healthy a habit it is.

Teens and adults who vape may think that they’re inhaling a pure vapor that gives off a clean high, but that isn’t always the case. Although recent studies have shown that vapes may be less harmful than cigarettes, others say the other chemicals inside vapes that include flavoring aren’t healthy for your body. Some e-cig brands contain carcinogens (which cause cancer), toxic metal particles, and high levels of chromium and nickel. Also in the liquid is cadmium, which can cause disease and breathing problems in heavy smokers. 

Vaping vs. Smoking Cigarettes 

Even though vaping is considered a “healthier” alternative to smoking as vapes have fewer chemicals, it doesn’t mean it’s safer. Since lungs can’t filter out toxic chemicals, the inhalation of certain vaping oils has also led to lung illnesses and even death in some smokers. As of January 2020, there have been 60 deaths related to e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI). The main chemical of concern behind EVALI is vitamin E acetate, which is a thickening agent usually found in THC-vaping devices.

As we mentioned earlier, nicotine increases your blood pressure and adrenaline. This increases your heart rate as well as your risk for heart attack. Vaping has also been linked to cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease and asthma. One study found that students who vape are more likely to end up suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety.

“People need to understand that e-cigarettes are potentially dangerous to your health,” said Michael Joseph Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. “You’re exposing yourself to all kinds of chemicals that we don’t yet understand and that are probably not safe.”

Vaping and Teens: Why is it So Popular?

Vaping has skyrocketed among teens and young adults, and a big reason for this is the attractive flavors available in vaping devices. Vaping is now the most common source of nicotine among young people in the U.S. E-cigarette companies like Juul, Stig and NJOY have become masters at marketing their product so that it looks attractive to teens. 

With flavors like Blazberry Cream, Cotton Candy, and Apple Cinnamon Donut, who wouldn’t want to try a vape? These along with the wide availability of vapes and the illusion of them being safer than cigarettes has caused sales to boom. 

While cartridge-based vape brands used to be more popular, disposable e-cigarettes like Puff Bar are now taking over since teens won’t have to buy new cartridges. Many young people also find the lack of smoke from vapes appealing. Cigarette smoke tends to leave an unpleasant odor on people’s clothes and in rooms, and vaping doesn’t do this. 


About 2.5 million former smokers are now using vapes. More than 5 million teens in the U.S. are vaping, and about 88 percent of high schoolers who vape regularly (about 20 to 30 times a month) were previously cigarette smokers. This is compared to about 12 percent of vapers who had never smoked before.

What Are the New Vaping Laws? 

Before 2016, vaping wasn’t given much consideration. However, now that vaping has increased exponentially, law enforcement has been looking at it much more closely. All 50 states, including New Jersey, have banned the sale of vapes to anyone under the age of 21, and several states have taken the time to define exactly what a vape is. Many states have also placed a ban on vaping in most indoor workplaces. There are also some taxes on vapes, which vary by state.

The Trump administration issued a ban on all mint and fruit flavors in vapes in 2019. In Colorado, lawmakers enacted a ban on all flavored nicotine products to curb the teen vaping rate. 

Why Is There A Need for Vaping Laws? Are They Helping?

Schools have seen huge problems with vaping among students. Many have gone to the hospital for vaping problems. Laws have been created to curb vaping because of these health issues. Lawmakers believe that by enacting laws, they will be preventing teens from using these devices. The American Medical Association has called for a ban on all vapes, but banning vaping might actually be hurting more than helping. People have restricted the use of cigarettes, but they’ve never been outright banned. The interesting part is that cigarette smoking is now at an all-time low.  

Although Juul got rid of all of its mint and fruit flavors in 2019, many brands still have these kinds of flavors available. Teenagers have also found loopholes in the Trump administration’s flavor-banning law. The law technically only applies to refillable vapes like Juuls, which is why young people are now switching to disposable vapes like those offered by Puff Bar. Puff Bar offers plenty of fruity and minty flavors. As a result, young adults are still finding and using flavored vapes.

By raising the age at which people can buy vapes, more young people may actually be encouraged to buy cigarettes. This will make the smoking rate go up, and lawmakers have tried so hard for it to go down.

Instead of simply banning vaping, the best way to convince teens to not vape may be changing the way they think about it. Vaping is considered “cool” now. For a long time, cigarette smoking was considered cool, but marketing like The Truth Campaign portrayed tobacco companies in a negative light. If teens begin to see that vaping has a negative effect on their health, they’ll be less likely to buy an e-cigarette.

Treating Your Vaping Addiction

Like cigarette smoking, vaping is addicting. If your teen is constantly craving an e-cigarette, they may have a nicotine addiction. 

Treating nicotine addiction requires therapy and a will to quit. The most effective way to quit smoking is through over-the-counter nicotine patches and gums, as well as prescription nicotine replacement methods. Your child may experience serious withdrawal symptoms if they don’t have nicotine regularly. Signs and symptoms of vaping addiction include: 

  • Sweating
  • Constipation and gas
  • Sore throat
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

It is possible to quit your nicotine addiction with plenty of dedication. 

Get Help for Vaping at Discovery Institute

Is your teen vaping constantly without any regard for the consequences of their actions? Discovery Institute can help. We can provide individual therapy, group therapy and holistic therapy that will help your child get over their vaping addiction. We put our patients’ recovery first and won’t rest until you reach your goals. Contact us today.

COVID-19 Response at Discovery Institute

Read Our Full Statement Here

Discovery Institute has implemented several new policies to ensure the safety of our clients, staff, and their families. We are still accepting new clients and all programs will continue to operate as they normally would, except for outside activities. We will proceed with extreme caution during this time of increased risk and continue to update our protocols based on the CDC standards. Our number one priority is to stay in unity and continue to help individuals find long term recovery from substance use disorder. 

The CDC’s Page on COVID-19

New Admissions

  • New admissions will be screened for the Coronavirus prior to admitting to Discovery.
  • New admissions will also undergo an additional screening process once they arrive at Discovery and will be isolated until the screening takes place.  

Visitation/Family Programs

  • Family programming and visitation will still occur during the designated times but will be conducted over HIPAA compliant video chat or through a phone call.
  • Family may drop off items, those items will be collected wearing gloves and stored for 24 hours before given to clients.
  • Family therapy sessions will be done by phone or telehealth.

Outpatient Services

  • We are providing telehealth for all outpatient services. 


  • All staff and clients who enter and exit the building will have their temperature read by touchless infrared thermometers. 
  • Clients will not attend outside meetings, nor will outside presenters be allowed to bring in meetings.
  • Any outside urgent appointments for clients must be approved by the Medical and Clinical Director.
  • Clients will be rescreened upon re-entering the facility. 
  • Any employee who displays any of the identified symptoms, specifically a fever, or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive or with someone who has been to the identified countries, must contact Human Resources and Nursing Director. 

We would like to assure you that Discovery Institute’s main mission is to provide the best possible care for our clients. We will be continuously following the most up to date COVID-19 guidelines to maximize the safety of our clients and staff. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this turbulent time. We are all in this together. 

Nick Boatman
President of The Board

Stay Connected to Recovery

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Other Resources

24/7 Help Available 844-471-3870

Chef Kevin Giunta

Discovery’s Patients get Bit by the Cooking Bug, Thanks to the New Celebrity Chef

It’s likely that most people don’t think of cooking as an important skill for those who are overcoming addiction. But, believe it or not, life skills such as cooking a fresh and nutritional meal can help individuals in recovery to become more comfortable with their journey, helping them to find peace and contentment with who they are becoming!

Often, those who are working to recover from substance abuse struggle to feel a sense of belonging, a feeling of self-value and worth. As individuals recover from substance dependence, it’s important for them to also regain the ability to care for and love themselves. After all, emotional health is just as important as physical health. That’s why we strive to bring complete recovery and overall health to the lives of each patient here at Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders in Marlboro, NJ. 

We understand that our clients may be facing challenges they never knew they would face. So, our team is dedicated to walking with each individual on the road to a new and healthier life! One of the ways in which we work to help our clients find fulfillment in their newfound sobriety is by providing them with the opportunity to develop new and helpful life skills in a fun, engaging, and safe environment! Developing life skills can help people to develop a sense of security, confidence, and self-worth. So, we offer individuals the chance to grow and learn as they transition from a life that has been affected by alcohol or drug abuse into a life that is totally free from addiction.

Recently, Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders in Marlboro, NJ added a brand new cooking program to help our clients find the joy that comes with honing a new life skill! Through this program, we invite celebrity chefs who have worked for numerous public figures to teach our clients how to prepare healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals for themselves and their families. We have found that, by learning to take control over what they are eating, individuals actually gain more self-confidence and self-love as they learn to better care for themselves. These increases in self-esteem are absolutely critical to a successful recovery. 

Beginning with a lesson from celebrity chef Kevin Giunta, our program has begun to bring smiles to the faces and determination to the hearts of those who are on the road to recovery here at Discovery. Through engaging lessons from the patient and knowledgable Chef Giunta, our clients learned how to prepare an inexpensive and wonderfully tasting meal, a skill that they can continue to hone throughout their recovery! 

Addiction takes away from the lives of those who suffer from it, causing individuals to feel that they’ve lost nearly everything. But, here at Discovery, our goal is to add to the lives of each individual who comes to us for help. We are committed to making sure that our clients gain the strength, dignity, and overall peace that they deserve as they overcome addiction. We also want to ensure that each person leaves treatment having learned and grown in every area of life. That’s why we introduce programs such as this; even after treatment is over, our clients will continue to love themselves and the new skills they’ve worked so hard to develop!



family of addicts/what to do after a relapse

Rules for The Family of Addicts That Should Never Be Broken

When you have a loved one that is facing an addiction, it’s natural to fall into the behavioral patterns of enabling them. After all, you want to help their life run as smoothly as possible.

You might do things like pay their rent, buy them groceries, and allow them to use in your home. You probably think that it’s safer than seeing them use on the streets where there is no one there to help them if they overdose. 

Your loved one may also be manipulating you to take advantage of your kindness. Addicts will say what they need to say to get their next fix. But if you’re doing any of these things, you’re working against yourself. 

There are much better ways to respond. Read on for advice for the family of addicts. 

1. Don’t Offer Refuge from a Short Term Residential Program

When your loved one checks into a short term residential program, they may try to leave. When they call you and reach out, make sure that you don’t offer them a place to stay.

They need to go through the journey of recovery and sometimes that means realizing there is no way to go but forward.

2. Reach Out for Peer Support

There are millions of people in the United States that suffer from addiction. You’re not the only person who has to handle the tragedy of watching their loved one suffer from substance abuse. 

You should reach out for peer support from other people who are going through the same things as you. They will be able to share their stories and advice to help you make the best choices as you are facing your own struggle. It’s also nice to have a group of people that you can open up to that you know will understand what you are going through.

3. Choose the Right Time to Talk

When you want your loved one to start getting help for a substance abuse problem, you have to choose the right time to talk to them. Make sure that you choose a time when they are sober and able to discuss the issue. 

You should use open-ended questions to talk to them about their addiction instead of accusing them of having a problem. 

You should also use this time to set your boundaries and let your loved one know what your limits are when it comes to their future behavior. Be clear and ready to back up what you say with action.

4. Don’t Make Any Excuses for the Addict or Yourself

It’s hard to see your loved one go down the path of addiction. You may want to write off their bad behavior as circumstantial or make excuses for the reasons they use. This often happens when someone goes through a tragic loss or change of life circumstances. 

For a while, their use will seem normal. But over time, as they continue to use, the cracks begin to show. 

If you believe your loved one has an addiction, don’t make excuses for their behavior. Get them help today.

5. Don’t Offer Them Drugs or Alcohol

Drugs and alcohol are a common occurrence in the everyday life of most Americans. While your loved one is in the recovery process, they may be vulnerable to temptation. 

It’s important that you take steps to limit that temptation as much as possible by avoiding drinking around them and not offering them any alcohol in social situations. One drink on the weekend could be a real problem for someone who is struggling for control. 

6. Contact Law Enforcement When Necessary

Unfortunately, addicts commit a lot of criminal activity. They will steal money, drugs, make illegal purchases, and often drive when intoxicated.  

If your loved one steals from you or is endangering the lives of others, it’s important that you allow local law enforcement to intervene and do its job. You may think you are helping your loved one by not reporting their criminal activity, but you are only hurting yourself and prolonging the inevitable.

7. Reconsider Financial Support

Addictions are very expensive. Not only in the cost of drugs and alcohol, but also in loss of productivity. People who have addictions often lose their motivation to maintain their jobs. They are also less likely to look for opportunities for promotions or investment options. 

To help out, many families will chip in to pay for the basic living expenses for their loved one with an addiction. But when you do that, all you’re doing is freeing up more of their money for them to spend on their addiction. 

It’s important to protect the finances of your entire family by cutting off addicts from financial support as soon as you know they have a problem. Once they begin the path to recovery, you can begin to reach out again and encourage them. 

Final Words for the Family of Addicts

The advice for the family of addicts in this article will help you understand how your behavior plays a role in perpetuating the addiction behavior you’re trying to eradicate. It’s important that you talk to your loved one who is an addict and establish clear boundaries with them about what you will and won’t allow.

Encourage them to seek help for themselves instead of enabling them to continue to live the way that they have been. 

At Discovery Institute, we care about our patients and know the right steps to take to help them become sober. Learn more about our facilities today. 

Ohio’s Debate On Treatment Sets Stage For Country’s Policy Considerations

Seeking New a Jersey detox center seems like a single, easy step that anyone can do. However, behind the scenes, the medical community, the psychology community, the treatment community and policy makers are having a silent battle that is starting to overflow into the public spotlight, at least in Ohio. The debate there with professionals and representatives illustrates just how difficult the treatment options for people suffering substance use disorders can be to navigate as well as the shortcomings of the government when it comes to it’s stated goal of improving public health and wellbeing.

Much of the debate centers around the convergence of the three main concerns of the groups: funding, therapy and medication.  

From the therapy side, much research shows that many addictions form from environmental factors, traumatic events, depression, anxieties, family issues, and even dna can play a part. Therapists argue that treatment that doesn’t take into account these factors is only treating half of the problem and that the part treated isn’t what likely is the underlying cause of the substance use disorder in the first place. They also argue that a person’s behaviors change as a result of addiction and so simply applying medication doesn’t address habits and resisting triggers which maintain a long life of maintaining sobriety. They also argue that for medications for opioid addiction, for instance, without regulations, the drugs end up being shopped from physicians and sold for profit outside of the regulated medical field.

From the medication assisted treatment side, they argue that many patients for which medications exist, such as the mentioned opioids, which includes drugs like buprenorphine, this is all that’s necessary for many patients seeking sobriety. When confronting the argument of ‘black market sales’ of medications like Suboxone, they insist that more regulations will not fix the problem of small amount of immoral physicians and resellers and simply put more restrictions on their ability to help patients legitimately. Currently, medication assisted treatments have far more restrictions on prescription than the drugs they that cause addiction they are actually allowed to prescribe.

The monetary policy side and regulation side of the argument is charged with unravelling the complex web of causes and effects of each other sides concerns and arguments. The goal of policy is to avoid exacerbating existing problems, not waste money on ineffective options, or worse, wasting money on those aspects which actually contribute to making the problem of growing numbers of people suffering from substance use disorders worse.

Discovery InstituteAll sides in the argument agree that at the moment, the current setup is incapable of handling the problem and their public discourse is changing not only the conversation around addiction itself, but also bringing to light the push/pull that occurs with developing solutions to the country’s problems with drug use.

Regardless of where the debates are, finding treatment for substance use disorder is just a call away from the best New Jersey rehab, Discovery Institute. Call 844-478-6563 for treatment options.

Book Challenges Binary Idea of Addiction

Most, if not all, treatment centers that help patients with their substance use disorders, including facilities offering addiction treatment in New Jersey, take a very binary approach to the nature of addiction; either you’re an addict or you’re not. While it helps rehabs in New Jersey to identify addiction through common symptoms and behaviors, none of these are typically rated in a scale of severity. They tend to follow a pattern of assessment not unlike Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) in that all use is intolerable and constitutes a treatment ‘failure’.

AA and NA will use this definition as a large guilt factor in hopes that personal guilt of ‘failing’ will encourage people from using any substance again, despite the fact that research points to the opposite being true. In fact, without a range of measurement for addiction, a recovering alcoholic having a thimble of wine at church is considered on the same level as someone who drinks to blackout and gets into a wreck leaving a bar in 12 step programs. Most people looking at these two things will be able to discern the difference. Treatments, even clinical and research based, however, do not tend make a distinction between the two.

A new book by Paul Thomas, M.D., titled “The Addiction Spectrum”, aims to shift the conversation to create a more effective and actionable range of treatments based on severity. Most experts define addiction as disease and is indeed the working model for treatment centers. According to Dr. Thomas, there are multiple factors that constitute a problem and not everyone will experience all of them, even if they seek treatment. One of the goals of the book, as well, is to educate the public and treatment experts who currently operate on the ‘disease’/’binary’ model of treatment that with a range and severity spectrum, detecting the addiction before it gets out of control can lead to greater prevention.

The book also aims to make addiction treatment less aversive to those who might be on the spectrum but still wish to partake in use, such as a very common use of having a glass of wine before bed, for instance.  

Discovery Institute“What I’m really hoping to get across by talking about addiction as a spectrum is, again, you don’t have to hit rock bottom to change. Maybe your relationship with alcohol, food, screen-time, whatever it is, isn’t as healthy as you would want it to be. You don’t have to reach a tipping point to change it,” adds Dr. Thomas. He says not every addiction type will ‘destroy your life’, but many will have people concerned a little bit and those are the times when it’s much easier to correct a person’s behavior to avoid severe addiction, before the addiction does serious physical and emotional damage to themselves and people around them. Prevention is much less costly than repair.

If you or someone you know suffers from substance use disorder, help them find sober living in New Jersey by calling Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563.

The War On Drugs Takes A Turn

One of the biggest policy mistakes of American healthcare has been the incredibly ill-informed War On Drugs, signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1971, criminalizing the possession and use of many kinds of substances, addictive or not. The policy has increased a stigma associated with people suffering from substance use disorders from finding addiction treatment in New Jersey and other states.

While the criminality hasn’t completely changed, it’s clear that there are some barriers to the stigma finally falling, nearly fifty years later. In Connecticut, inmates who are in need of treatment for heroin and opioid use disorders, will be given an option for drug rehabilitation inside of prison and includes some of the more recent medication assisted treatment (MAT) options such as buprenorphine, a well documented medication that assists with curbing withdrawal symptoms and cravings that inevitably follow a person who quits using opiates and opioids. One of the promised purposes of prison is rehabilitation so that a person who serves time can be released back into society to live peacefully with other citizens, and so this development is definitely a step closer to meeting that stated goal.

The stigma left behind from public policy has been a long battle of the medical, psychiatry and psychological fields of study and practice. Even today, many practicing doctors have internalized their bias towards people suffering from substance use disorder, often citing the classic go-to dismissal of the complexity of the problem with the common phrase, ‘they made a choice, now they have to live with the consequences’.

The issue is never this cut and dry, especially with the explosion of people finding themselves in the throes of addiction from medications prescribed by their physician for, a typical example, pain management. It’s becoming more obvious that being a ‘hooligan’ or ‘failed person’ is rarely the entire story of why a person becomes addicted to a substance. When put into context with the stigma surrounding addiction, it’s no wonder that many people will try to hide it and avoid finding rehab in New Jersey and other states.

Discovery InstituteThis is not to say that some people do make bad choices, but as the fields of study interested in uncovering the mechanics of addiction advance their understanding of how it changes behavior as well as how it manifests, the idea of ‘choice’ being the sole factor involved in whether someone is addicted or not becomes ever diminished in the grand scheme of all of the contributing parts of the illness. Substance use disorder killed more people in 2018 than automobile accidents while the entirety of people suffering from addiction was just 1/15th of the total number of drivers, making the issue of changing stigma to properly address the situation one of extreme immediacy and for prisoners to have access to treatment is a sign of a culture change that can actually meet the challenge.

If you or someone you know is possibly at risk for breaking the law due to their substance use disorder, don’t hesitate to call the best New Jersey rehab, Discovery Institute, at 844-478-6563.

Monmouth County Addiction

Ex-TSA Worker and Former Addict Gives Back During Shutdown

Living with a Monmouth County addiction is something you will always remember. Like the feeling of wondering if you will never overcome your cravings, or being unsure of what life will be like after you complete your addiction treatment.

What if instead you focused on remembering those who helped you most when you were at your lowest point? For former addict and ex-TSA worker, Mark Werner, that’s exactly what he decided to do.

Slices for Support

While working for the federal agency of the Transportation Security Administration, Mark Werner fell into addiction in Monmouth County. He needed help with his recovery, which is when the TSA stepped in and supported him through his detox and treatment sessions. Mark believes this is why he is still alive today.

Now an employee and representative for Discovery Institute, Mark is constantly helping others find their path to sobriety just like the TSA did for him.

Because he believes the TSA was a crucial factor in his recovery, he wanted to find some way to show his support during the government shutdown. Mark decided the best thing he could do was give back to the agency that once gave him so much. He donated 150 pizzas to TSA workers to encourage them to keep going and get through the tough times just like they did for them.

Ways to Support Recovering Addicts

There are many ways to give back to those going through addiction in Monmouth County. Some things you can do to support recovering addicts are as follows:

Volunteer. If you yourself have experienced addiction and have persevered through it, the best thing you can do is be an example for those currently struggling with their own addictions. Allowing them to see that a full recovery and normal life are possible after completing treatment is the best way to encourage them to keep going. You can volunteer to help out at an AA meeting or find other related opportunities to serve the community.

Donate. A lot of families cannot financially support their relative attending rehab. A great way to give back to someone battling with addiction is to fund his or her expenses while completing treatment. Sponsoring treatment for those who can’t afford it allows them to have a chance at a full recovery that they probably wouldn’t have had before.

Encourage. If you know someone working through their addiction, encourage him or her to continue their treatments and therapies despite the hardships. Enabling an addict only worsens their addiction. If they continue to have emotional support during this hard time in their life, they will ultimately succeed.

Monmouth County Addiction HelpMonmouth County Addiction

Supporting and encouraging those struggling with Monmouth County addiction to pursue treatment and get the help they need is an important factor in their recovery. Here at Discovery Institute, we have many treatment programs that fit any type or intensity of addiction. We are here to help determine which treatment plan is best for you.

If you believe you or a loved one are consumed by Monmouth County addiction, please contact us today at 844-478-6563. Our compassionate team of counselors are always ready to assist you.


A Celtic Story

When one thinks of professional athletics like the NBA, images of stadiums, highly skilled players sweating and playing their hearts out for a win, dedication to the sport and recognition for the display of talent on the court in every game. Rarely does a person think of a heroin addict in need of a top rated drug rehab center. For Chris Herren, it wasn’t just an image in his head, but a daily reality.

While in college before he even joined the team, Chris tried cocaine as a freshman and recalls, “I had no idea at 18 years old when I promised myself just one time, that one line would take 14 years to walk away from.” His cocaine use ended up causing him to be ejected from Boston College after failing multiple drug tests, resulting in his packing up and moving to Fresno, California.

Shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the Denver Nuggets as the 33rd pick in 1999. Unfortunately, Chris only made it through one season maintaining his sobriety, and calls his first season in the NBA “the best season I ever had in basketball.” However, that year was the same year he would be introduced to opioids, specifically oxycontin by a childhood friend of his.

“I had no idea that 40 milligram pill would turn into 1600 milligrams a day. I had no idea that 20$ would turn into a $2,500 a month oxy habit.”

Herren’s dream as a child growing up as both a basketball fan and native of Boston was to play for the Boston Celtics. “Since I was about four, I wanted to be a Celtic. I dreamed of that moment. I pretended to be a Celtic in my driveway,” he says. “What should have been a dream come true, I knew in my heart the nightmare was beginning.”

Instead of being excited that a lifelong goal had finally been achieved, his first reaction was to make sure his habit was properly being fed, making a phone call for more pills instead of sharing the moment with family and friends. His first day on the Celtics is barely remembered since he was so high during. He now has trouble recalling the milestone of having his name announced as a true Celtic in the Boston TD Garden arena.

By the time he was 24, he had graduated to heroin. “At 24-years-old I had never seen a needle except at a doctor’s office. At 24 years-old, I had never seen heroin.” But there he was in Italy, shooting up every morning while trying to maintain what little there was left of his professional ball career until finally he was stripped of his chilren by social workers for his lack of functionality as a proper father.

Discovery InstituteSince then, he’s gotten treatment for his substance use disorder and travels anywhere that will have him to talk about how his battle with addiction cost him the dream he briefly lived. “I’ve had the responsibility of walking into auditoriums and presenting to a million kids and I truly believe in my heart, it’s made a difference to some of them.”

Chris’ story isn’t especially unique. If you’re seeking sober living in New Jersey, Discovery Institute offers addiction treatment in NJ. Call 844-478-6563 to speak to a specialist to help you or someone you know find a stable life free from substance use disorders.


Addiction in Culture – Glamorization or a Warning?

One of the most obviously influential elements of modern society is media; books, film, television, internet blogs, images, comic books, radio, etc. In fact, it’s very rare that information we come across these days didn’t originate in one of these areas. Specifically, film and television have an immense impact. Whether it’s a member of US Government delivering policy intent on the local news station, or a dramatized event about that very same thing in a Hollywood dramatization, a lot of other mediums will mirror and echo these thoughts and messages.

One of the things that many people struggle with in this landscape of the constant buzz-cycle is the image of drugs, especially in media works which try to tell the story of a person using drugs. The idea of ‘death of the author’ is one in which when the author of a piece of media releases their work into the public, whether they intend a reading of that text to be a specific way or not, they cannot control specifically how it will be received in the public. More careful authors will do their best to make sure that no matter who consumes their media the intent will be clear, but there’s absolutely no guarantee that the message will be clear.

Take for instance the rather well known 1996 film “Trainspotting”, directed by Danny Boyle and based off a book by Irvine Welsh. In it, heroin use is a prevalent plot device, with multiple characters not only describing how it makes them feel, but also tries to show the many downsides of addiction to the drug. Many have seen it as a glamorization of the drug, even though one of the opening scenes involves a character who treats his stash of heroin so sacredly, that he braves an incredibly disgusting toilet in a bar to rescue a small bag that he accidentally dropped in it. Critics have pointed out that much of the ‘downsides’ to their addiction seemed to be more centered around their selling and distribution of it, rather than the long term physical effects the drug has on the human body and how after a certain point, the only reason many people continue to use it after addicted is to escape withdrawal symptoms.

A recent autobiographical book by Seattle addict and dealer Tom Hanson goes into detail about rock stars, strippers and other ‘interesting characters’ he met using and selling heroin. In it, he even mentions that he had developed such a severe heroin addiction, he’d use four needles to inject 2 grams of the drug at every use and that it had destroyed his buttocks to the point where when he was finally in treatment, a physician told him that the skin had basically rotted off and his pelvic bones were exposed to the air.

Discovery InstituteSo how do should we interpret these stories? Are they warnings? Or are they giving out a message that ‘for everything that happens that is cool with drugs, something equally bad or worse happens?’ For each person that message is different, but one thing has seemingly been consistent through all of these kinds of stories; there is definitely a deep and dark side to heroin addiction.

Substance use disorders are a serious chronic illness that requires addiction treatment in New Jersey. If you or someone you know is looking for sober living in New Jersey, call the best New Jersey rehab, Discovery Institute, at 844-478-6563.

‘Doctor Shopping’ May Include Vets

Often times, people suffering from addiction will go to great lengths to obtain the substance they’re addicted to, including crafting seemingly clever plans at times to achieve this goal. One of an addict’s primary parts of the brain that has been medically linked to addictive behavior, dopamine, can compel a person suffering from substance use disorder to put priority to obtaining more of the substance they’re hooked on to the detriment of their personal life and even their safety. For instance, some alcoholics with extreme codependency to that substance may try to consume forms of it that aren’t intended for consumption such as isopropyl alcohol (known colloquially as rubbing alcohol) or even alcohol based hand sanitizer mixes, which is neither safe nor sane under normal conditions.

New trends in ‘doctor shopping’ show similar signs of determination, ingenuity, risk averse behaviors and grip of opioid addiction on those addicted to it. A new study revealed that as states implement prescription monitoring services which can help both keep doctors from over-prescribing opioid class painkillers such as oxycodone while also assisting with early identification of addicts, prescriptions of opioids of veterinarians has been increasing. Animal physicians have no such oversight services in place in any state, which has created what is essentially a ‘blind spot’ for the medical and addiction focused communities tasked with tackling the public health crisis.

The study was prompted after the author, Dr. Jeanmarie Perrone, director of medical toxicology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, by several veterinarians  when asked how to deal with late night calls for prescription refills for their pets. It revealed a stark difference in amount of vet visits and amount of prescriptions. The annual number of visits to veterinarians rose only 13 percent between 2007 and 2017 while the issue of prescription opioids designed for animals increased 41 percent.

“I think it would come as a surprise to everyone, the quantities”, Perrone said of the findings. “Before I went to talk [with the veterinarians] I asked them to pull all of their opioid prescriptions so I’d have an idea how often they actually prescribed opioids. To their shock and our shock, there were about 3,000 prescriptions per month.”

Other veterinarians outside of Pennsylvania, however, have suggested that the state might be an isolated incident and includes other factors to consider. Dr. John de Jong, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, claims to have not seen any data to suggest the study’s findings are happening elsewhere.

“The period of this study overlaps a period of significant growth in understanding pain and it’s impact on veterinary patients,” de Jong pointed out. “It is reasonable to expect that as knowledge grows, so will efforts to address related concerns. So it’s very possible that this study doesn’t reflect over prescribing, but instead reflects appropriate prescribing representing better pain management in veterinary patients.”

He did admit, however, “There appear to have been [a] few confirmed cases of owners deliberately injuring their pets to obtain opioids.”

Discovery InstituteAddiction is a life-long illness that alters behaviors and can lead to death if left untreated. If you or someone you know desires to return to sober living in New Jersey, or is seeking New Jersey detox centers, call Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563, one of the best New Jersey rehab centers in operation today.


Fatal Car Accidents Officially 2nd to Overdose Deaths in 2018

Car fatal car accidents happen just about everyday. They’re unfortunate and a risk we take when getting behind the wheel in a huge metal box traveling down the freeway with other people in their boxes right next to us. 227,754,100 drivers are expected to be on our roads this year and the fatal accidents that occurred in these dangerous conditions were just 34,247, or less than 0.001percent.

Many of those come from the involvement of alcohol use, which would nearly cut the number in half if discounted from the totals. Compare this to the amount of people using dangerous addictive substances like heroin and meth, 20 million, or less than 1% of the number of car drivers. Overdose deaths are over 70,000 for illegal drugs and that number increases dramatically when including drug related deaths such as the aforementioned drunk driving fatalities. This number is made all the more sobering considering that car accidents themselves were at a 10-year high for 2018. This is the first time in United States history that drug overdoses have ever totalled more than car accidents.

But overdose deaths only talk about one aspect of the problem and why it’s responsible for a multitude of problems that society is having a hard time grasping and dealing with, especially when it comes to how addiction is viewed. America imprisons more than 2 million people with a majority of them involving drug related incidents, which reinforces the false idea that drug use and drug addiction are personal or moral failings personified. Furthermore, drug overdoses still occur even in prison which shows that punishment of the severity of living in a cage fails to deter users from still seeking out an addictive substance.

As states like New Jersey continue to look for solutions, the epidemic continues to grow each year. Some Universities are looking into ways to prevent addiction through research into vaccines and the very nature of addiction while funding for overdose prevention drugs for heroin like naloxone is getting priority in state budgets. Some state courts are expanding their ‘drug court’ programs which send drug users with minor offenses into rehabilitation programs instead of prison, sometimes out of necessity due to prison overcrowding from previously incarcerated addicts. Some state and federal politicians are noticing the ties between mental illness and drug addictions and are starting to show support for expanding insurance coverage to mental illnesses in hopes that it will have some positive effect on drug use rates.

While there is no singular case as to the rate of increase, many experts have cited multiple contributing factors that can lead a person to be vulnerable to addiction and drug use. Trauma experienced at a young age has often been cited as a contributing to risk of drug use as has the economic downturn that’s been relatively ongoing since 2008 when a spike of drug use occurred. Over administering prescription drugs of certain types has also been cited as having an effect, especially with heroin usage.

Discovery InstituteModern drug rehab centers in NJ, taking these things into account, are largely offering holistic treatments in order to ensure all possible causes are addressed properly. If you or anyone you know might be suffering from the chronic illness of addiction and are in search of drug rehab in NJ, your first step to sober living in New Jersey is a call to Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563.