online addiction treatment resources

Social Media Provides Accessible Addiction Help Online

The time in which we’re currently living is both challenging and even frightening. Uncertainty surrounds us all, both here in the United States, and throughout the entire world. People from all walks of life are facing the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But, as the world struggles to return to a state of normalcy, questions continue to linger. These questions are also plaguing the minds of those who are in recovery from addiction.

As recovering individuals were prohibited from gathering in group meetings due to safety concerns, many people who are working to overcome addiction have been left wondering what to do. Accountability and togetherness are both necessary components of the recovery process.

So, how can individuals continue to receive addiction help throughout this time? Well, social media platforms have teamed up with Google to make online addiction help both possible and accessible to those who need it. According to a recent report, recovering individuals may be able to find addiction help online, a welcome and needed resource at this time.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google: Bringing Hope and Help

Social media often gets a bad reputation. Many people find themselves struggling to maintain a healthy self-image due to the pressures that come with keeping up with the social media Joneses. But, what if Google and social media joined forces to provide people with hope? What if there was a way for people who struggle with addiction to gain access to addiction help through these platforms?

Apparently, the individuals behind Twitter, Facebook, and Google have thought through these questions. Recently, these platforms shared the news that they partnered with the nonprofit Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies. In doing so, they have launched Tech Together, an online platform that works to help those suffering from substance dependence.

About Tech Together’s Approach to Online Addiction Help

The Tech Together site launched by Facebook, Twitter, and Google threesome is meant to create a safe space for those who are struggling with addiction or dealing with the stigma of getting treatment for substance use disorders. The website (TechTogether.co) is a resource where individuals can find the help they need as they work through addiction.

This resource might prove to be very helpful, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic our world is currently experiencing. Since the coronavirus has halted addiction recovery group meetings for now, more and more people are taking to telehealth and telemedicine approaches to get help. 

As previously mentioned, accountability is a critical part of the journey to recovery. Those who are attempting to remain free from addiction need a support system, complete with like-minded peers and compassionate professionals. But, as the world continues to take safety measures by carrying out social distancing precautions, recovery meetings and support groups are unable to meet. This makes accountability and support systems less and less accessible.

Thankfully, however, more individuals, communities, and corporations are finding ways to provide addiction help online for those who need these services. 

Tech Together offers people in recovery a platform where they can find resources as they move toward a life without substance dependence. These resources include tools that can help people find treatment services near them. Also, individuals can help family members of struggling individuals to find helpful resources. So, the spouses, children, and parents of those suffering from substance use disorders may be able to benefit from Tech Together, as well.

What Does This Mean For People in Recovery?

With the COVID-19 virus running rampantly throughout the world, many people are facing intense feelings of fear and uncertainty. Emotions are running high and countless families are trying to navigate through this new normal. While everyone is truly hoping that this current normalcy is only temporary, there is no real way to be sure.

Those who are trying to terminate addiction’s grip on their lives and begin a new and healthier life are likely to feel a different kind of uncertainty than others. It can be difficult to take the first step toward recovery in a regular world. So, attempting to do so in a world that is plagued by chaos and “the unknown” can be even more challenging. 

This is why support and resources are so important for those in recovery. Perhaps, one might even say that these components of recovery are even more essential now than before the coronavirus pandemic struck the globe. 

Finding hope and help is absolutely necessary while in recovery. Having access to resources like those provided by Tech Together may prove to be a critical part of the recovery process, both now and in the future.

While local and federal government officials sort through the sea of unresolved issues regarding the virus, individuals around the world are simply trying to make it through another day in recovery. Fortunately, Google, Twitter, and Facebook have recognized this truth. By working together, these platforms in combination with the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies have provided people with effective and useful solutions and tools.

Finding the Best Resources for Your Needs

No doubt, if you or someone you know needs addiction help, you are wondering if online addiction resources are really enough. This question is one that probes at the minds of many individuals seeking to recover from alcoholism or drug misuse. The truth of the matter is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment.

It is certainly true online resources can be both convenient and effective. It’s also true that this approach can help those who are unable to attend group meetings or find treatment services and facilities near them. But, these tools and resources are only helpful in cases where people are truly willing to end addiction in their lives.

Many people who suffer from substance use disorder may not recognize the severity of their struggle. Others may simply be unsure how or if they should even go about finding help for substance use disorders. But, by learning more about substance misuse and the available resources, individuals may become more comfortable with seeking addiction help.

If you are currently dealing with drug use or alcohol use and you’re not sure where to start, know that we are here for you! At Discovery Institute, we are dedicated to providing individuals with the tools they need to recover from addiction. Our staff is working to create a safe and secure environment, taking great care to follow the best coronavirus prevention precautions. So, please reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you find true freedom. We look forward to walking with you on this journey!

addiction and the coronavirus

Addiction and Coronavirus

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is a respiratory disease that has rapidly spread across the globe over the past few months. With more than 123,000 deaths as of April 2020, it hasn’t only affected our health; it’s also undoubtedly impacted our way of life. Many stores, restaurants, and parks remain closed to “flatten the curve” and lessen the number of COVID-19 cases.

This sudden disruption of daily life can be devastating for people who are recovering from addiction, who depend on routines to stay sober. We’ll break down how COVID-19 affects addiction, as well as any virtual mental health resources that can help them during this time.

How Does COVID-19 Affect an Individual’s Body? 

In a healthy person, COVID-19 attacks the lungs by infecting cells in their lining. The first symptoms you’ll notice are a dry cough, headache, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue and muscle pain. As the virus moves from the upper respiratory tract to the lower, these symptoms will get worse. Serious COVID-19 cases can cause bronchitis or pneumonia, and sometimes even acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

When we look at how addiction impacts the body in general, it wreaks havoc on it. Addiction weakens the immune system and destroys internal organs. Methamphetamine can damage blood vessels in the brain and heart, tooth decay and respiratory problems, while excessive alcohol consumption can cause cirrhosis of the liver, brain damage and cancer. Opioid use disorder can result in pulmonary damage. Smoking marijuana can also put pressure on the lungs, weakening them.

In healthy patients, the immune system might be able to contain COVID-19 to the upper tract. However, if addiction has already affected your body, COVID-19 could do even worse damage since your immune system is weak.

How Does COVID-19 Affect Mental Health?

A sudden disruption in routine is already hard enough for healthy people, leaving them depressed, anxious and stressed. For those recovering from addiction, this change can be especially surprising and confusing. Those recovering or suffering from addiction might already deal with mood disorders, which results in co-occurring disorders. They usually self-medicate to deal with depression or bipolar disorder, and this can make their mental health symptoms worse.

People who are at a high risk of contracting COVID-19, such as healthcare workers, first responders, people with mental health issues and addicts (both current and recovering), might be more stressed about the virus.

Coping with COVID-19 and Addiction

People on the front lines of the virus can develop secondary traumatic stress (STS) during this time. Symptoms of STS include fatigue, guilt, fear, and social withdrawal.

To avoid developing STS, it’s important to do the following:

  • Avoid using alcohol, drugs or tobacco to cope with the stress of the crisis.
  • Allow time for self-care.
  • Take a break from social media and watching the news.
  • If you’re a healthcare worker, create a buddy system with a coworker to monitor stress and workload.

By maintaining healthy habits and social distancing, you can avoid contracting COVID-19 and also keep yourself from relapsing back into addiction.

Get Virtual Help for Addiction During COVID-19

Many 12-Step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) that gather in person are moving online to free video platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet. Having virtual meetings when you can’t meet in person can help you maintain your recovery and keep a somewhat normal routine. Check the AA and NA websites for any virtual meetings that are near you.

If you’re in recovery and you regularly attend therapy, many licensed mental health counselors are holding virtual “telehealth” sessions via webcam and phone calls. Ask your therapist if he or she is offering these alternatives to in-person sessions.

The following is a shortlist of virtual resources for addiction recovery:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has provided a full list of virtual recovery programs.

Contact Discovery for Addiction Help Today

We know this is a difficult time for you and your family, especially if you’re suffering from addiction. Discovery Institute is still accepting patients in light of the pandemic. Contact us now to peak with a representative about how you can recover from substance use disorder.

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. 

Statistics

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. 

Operations

  • 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

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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!

Reference:

https://patch.com/new-jersey/marlboro-coltsneck/new-celebrity-chef-program-stirs-hope-patients-recovery

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.

 

New Jersey’s Opioid Data Dashboard

On November 13th, the New Jersey Department of Health announced a new online research and informational tool called the Opioid Data Dashboard. It’s provided free of charge for public health clinics, researchers, policy makers and the general public to assist in the overall national fight against the opioid crisis. The resources is located at https://www.state.nj.us/health/populationhealth/opioid/ for anyone with an internet connection to access.

According to the Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the Opioid Data Dashboard features information on opioid drug related deaths, a Prescription Monitoring Program statistical analysis, information about and availability of opioid canceling agents like naloxone, hospital visits, treatment admissions and discharges surrounding opioid addiction and administration. In a statement by Elnahal when unveiling the tool, he revealed “More than 100 people die every day in the United States from opioid related drug overdoses and it is our sincere hope that information contained in the dashboard will guide prevention efforts and lead to data-driven decision making in combating this devastating epidemic.”

 

New Jersey Addiction Stats

Multiple sources are compiled and organized on the dashboard originating from the Department of Health itself as well as the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and other independent records. Part of the data comes from the already established New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Response and Enforcement (NJCARES) website, which documents count-specific accounts of overdose deaths, counter-agent administration (naloxone use) and active opioid prescriptions. The Opioid Data Dashboard contextualizes that information with more specific information such as discharge data, crime reports and substance abuse treatment data.

In addition to this information, it also provides basic information about types of opioids and effects, statistical trend analysis of specific prescriptions of benzodiazepine, stimulants, naloxone, drug-related hospital visits and drug related deaths such as complications from overdose. All of the information provided has the ability to be searched, filtered and organized to the visitor’s needs as well as custom formatting for printing or feeding into other analyzation tools. Most of the data will serve healthcare specialists, researchers and addiction treatment centers with up-to-date information which will allow a more effective way to handle the current problems associated with opioid use, it’s ties to unintended addiction from prescriptions and monitoring resources needed to handle and distribute treatment effectively across the state.

Discovery InstituteThe project is funded through the Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DPPI) Grant received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This and it’s parent site NJCARES are the latest additions to the increased resources being created to help Americans and New Jersey residents actively prevent and treat opioid abuse and addiction.

 

For the Best in NJ Detox Centers…

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a serious illness that can result in permanent injury or death if untreated. If you know someone who may be suffering from their addiction to prescription drugs like oxycodone or hydrocodone, please call Discovery Institute New Jersey to speak to a counselor about treatment options at 844-478-6563.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages To Suit Your New Sober Life in New Jersey

Restaurants and bars are some of the biggest hurdles you’ll face in your sober life. They are hard to avoid and even harder to deal with after going through their doors. There is social pressure to drink, a feeling of not wanting to be odd man out, and it can feel awkward to say “Just water for me”. If you’re looking for a new non-alcoholic beverage to suit your sober life, try one of these:

  1. Sparkling water with lime – This drink is light, refreshing, healthy, and, if served in a rocks glass, visually indistinguishable from a gin and tonic or vodka soda. It’s a great way to slide under the radar if that’s what is called for at the present occasion. It’s simple and classy, a great way to mocktail your way through a more formal evening.
  2. Bar ginger ale – Most bars and restaurants these days have some actual form of ginger ale or ginger beer these days, but a decade or so ago that was pretty uncommon. If a guest requested a drink that called for ginger ale, canny bartenders would often sub “bar ginger ale” in the recipe with none the wiser. The recipe is as follows: a couple of dashes of bitters (angostura or similar), a splash of sour mix, fill most of the glass with lemon-lime soda, and add a splash of coke on top. You’d be surprised at how convincing this mixture can be (right down to the color!) and there’s many people who still order it even when bottled ginger ale is available. Give it a try – you might have found a new favorite.
  3. The Mocktail Trinity – Of course referring to the old standbys of Shirley Temple (lemon-lime soda and grenadine), Roy Rogers (cola and grenadine) and Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade). They’re all classic flavors, and fun to order too.
  4. Brown Pelican – This lesser known drink is sure to impress, particularly around the holidays. It’s 2 parts apple cider to 1 part ginger ale, served over ice. It’s bright and snappy with a complex blend of spices. The sharp notes of the ginger and mulling spices with an overall clean flavor means it’s a great palate cleanser between courses as well.

Take the time to find non-alcoholic drinks that you genuinely enjoy. Going out should be a treat for everyone involved, and you deserve that too. If you’re happy with what’s in your cup, it will show in your company as well.

 

Addiction Treatment in New Jersey With Discovery Institute, The Best New Jersey Rehab and New Jersey Detox

Maybe you haven’t yet sought help for your addiction to alcohol but you feel like you are beginning to get a little too dependent on taking a drink anytime you need a relief from the pressures of the day, the world around you, or just the news stream. If you think you may have a problem with alcohol call Discovery Institute today to learn about our holistic approach to alcohol addiction recovery.

Customs on High Alert to Prevent Fentanyl, Other Drugs From Entering U.S. Thru Mail

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is one of the main ports of entry for packages entering the country through mail, making it the front line of defense against mail-order opioids. The U.S. Mail service got indirectly insulted by cartels and other drug mailers, by suggesting not to use Fed-Ex or other, more secure package handlers, and instead use the mail service.

You’d never think that was a good idea looking at the sniffer dogs and the inspectors carefully poring over the X-rays and anything written or personally handled. Customs agents proudly note that they can spot the most interesting packages almost at a glance.

Though dangers to one’s health is itself enough of a reason to seek drug rehab in NJ to quit abusing opioids, maybe this kind of thing is what some people need. Troubles with the law, throwing money away from packages being intercepted, and possible jail time are certainly excellent reasons to contact us to learn more about NJ drug rehab.

 

The front line of the campaign against the dangerous opioid fentanyl can be found in a cavernous hangar at O’Hare International Airport patrolled by drug-sniffing dogs and sharp-eyed X-ray machine operators.

Their job: figure out which of the tens of millions of parcels that pass through here each year might contain the powerful synthetic drugs blamed for a soaring rate of fatal overdoses.

Does the package come from a sender known for shipping fentanyl? Is it wrapped with what seems to be an excessive amount of tape? Is its manifest written in a scribbled hand, or folded over to foil an easy read? Does the X-ray image show a blob that could be a bag of powder?

“After a while, you’re able to identify which packages are most interesting,” said Officer Francis Byrne of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency responsible for screening international mail. Continue Reading at Chicago Tribune