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!


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 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

Nonprofit Opens Rehab Clinic In Utah Targeted at Homeless

Utah has a new rehab center, and one of the most interesting things about it is its focus on the homeless population in the surrounding area. Valley EPIC (short for Evidence-based Programs and Interventions Campus) is owned by non-profit clinic network Valley Behavioral Health, is situated in West Jordan, and has 75 beds and rising.

This is not the only attempt by the  nonprofit to reach out to affect the homeless population. Valley Health has created several different programs to try to address the homeless population, and this newest attempt looks to be the most promising out of all off them.

For those of you who are looking up drug rehab centers in NJ, we are happy to help. Contact us at your earliest convenience with any questions or concerns.


A new inpatient drug rehab in West Jordan, Utah recently opened to assist the local homeless people struggling with addiction.


The drug treatment center, Valley EPIC (Evidence-based Programs and Interventions Campus) — owned by the nonprofit network of clinics Valley Behavioral Health — currently has 75 beds and will add 24 beds in the next few weeks.


Before the inpatient drug rehab opened, the nonprofit had several programs for homeless people in place. Valley Shorefront is an outpatient addiction treatment center that helps those suffering from a severe mental illness and substance use disorder. Safe Haven Transitional Housing has 25 temporary housing units for the homeless struggling with mental illness while Safe Haven Permanent Housing helps homeless people find a place to live. Valley Homefront Permanent Housing assists eight homeless people who need little to no supervision. Click Here to Continue Reading

$450,000 Worth of Drugs Seized in a NJ Hilton

After a large and involved investigation by the police in East Brunswick, NJ, they apprehended Jonathan Reyes and Alyssa Ugarte, both 24, back in February of this year. We’re only now discussing this story because the East Brunswick police kept especially tight lipped about the arrests. Reyes and Ugarte were also caught with a substantial amount of drugs with them, which was estimated to be worth around $450,000. By having so much with them, they practically gave up the chance that they could just go to a rehab in NJ and have the situation over with. The arrest was a coordinated effort between the East Brunswick police, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit, and the Hilton’s hotel security among other participating teams.


Two people were arrested and 24 pound of cocaine and marijuana were seized during a drug bust at a Hilton in East Brunswick, authorities said.

Jonathan Reyes, 24, of Kendall Park and Alyssa Ugarte, 24, of Brick were charged with distribution and possession or cocaine and marijuana, East Brunswick police said in a statement.

Investigators said the pair had 11 pounds of cocaine and 13 pounds of raw marijuana with a street value of about $450,000.

The arrests followed an “extensive” investigation by East Brunswick police with the help of the Middlesex County Narcotics Task Force, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit and hotel security. Click Here to Continue Reading

Atlantic and Cape May County Drug Court Partners with Casino Union to Land Graduates Jobs

Not only is Hard Rock Atlantic City going through a physical ($500-million) renovation, but thanks to the casino union and the Atlantic and Cape May County Drug Court – soon to be renamed to “Recovery Court” – they are also making a big, important change to their hiring policy. People who “graduate” from the drug court’s education program won’t be held back from the Hard Rock Atlantic City’s hiring process.

As noted by one of the major investors in the Hard Rock casino, why shouldn’t someone be able to find a job once they are sober? This is an idea we completely agree with and hope this type of policy starts extending to those who go through drug rehab in NJ and is adopted by even more industries.


Hard Rock Atlantic City is partnering with casino workers union Unite Here Local 54 to offer jobs to graduates of the Atlantic and Cape May County Drug Court.

Breaking AC, a local online news source covering New Jersey’s gambling beachfront town, reveals that Hard Rock executives are opening their doors to former drug court participants who have adequately proven their sobriety to county officials.

“If you’re sober and living a sober life, why wouldn’t we hire you?” asked Joseph Jingoli, one of two investors along with Hard Rock who is funding the casino’s $500 million renovation.

“We are hiring people as we speak,” Jingoli said Monday. “And when they go to their second interview, they’re not held back or rejected because of their past.” Click Here to Continue Reading

Discussing the Importance of Rehab Centers and Mental Health at Demi Lovato Concerts

After having her own run in with substance abuse and addiction in 2011, Demi Lovato has acted as a celebrity proponent for years. Lately, she has been taking her openness of being through rehab to new levels.

The Tell Me You Love Me tour she is on right now isn’t only sharing her music with the world, she is using it as an opportunity to discuss rehab centers and mental health to those in her audience who may need to hear that message most. Along with some brief comments to everyone, she is also holding much more intimate discussions about drug abuse, rehab centers, and mental health before her concerts, including one recently in NJ’s own Prudential Center.


Singer Demi Lovato is bringing discussions about drug rehab and mental health to a concert near you.

Her current Tell Me You Love Me world tour includes CAST on Tour, a speaker series that focuses on mental health and addiction. The idea is to attract concertgoers to the discussions of mental health that are often stigmatized.

Seven years ago, Lovato was a patient at a CAST facility in California and has since become a part owner. She and fellow co-owner Mike Bayer thought it would help Lovato’s fans to bring the for-profit organization on tour with her. Click Here to Continue Reading

To learn more about going into rehab and ending your own substance abuse addiction whether it’s drugs or alcohol, contact us with any questions.