Although we have before taken notice of some good things that the state of New Jersey has done when it comes to treating drug abuse and the opioid epidemic, that doesn’t necessarily mean our state is all that great when it comes to treating prisoners with substance abuse addictions. While we would love if there was some kind of sober living NJ program available in every prison, which would likely drop the return rate of inmates substantially, the truth of the matter is that New Jersey, for the most part, views prison only as a means to punish people for breaking the law – even if that law didn’t hurt anyone else.
Because of all this, we strongly recommend that if you or a loved one has an addiction of some kind, particularly one that involves an illegal substance, that you seek help from Discovery as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may end up spending far more time away from loved ones than is arguably reasonable.
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Rich Wilder spent over ten years of his life in and out of prisons in New Jersey. As an addict, Wilder said he’s had to detox in a “rubber room” in Ocean County Jail as his body fought off anywhere from 30 to 50 bags of heroin along with countless Xanax pills and other dangerous drugs. He’s relapsed multiple times and has been to several rehabilitation facilities. He’s even tried to kick his habit through willpower. But now, Wilder is celebrating four years clean this August and he said he owes it all to his experience with prisoner re-entry programs in the state.
“I did do something remarkable, and every day I battle the disease of addiction,” Wilder said at last week’s annual re-entry conference hosted by the New Jersey Reentry Corp. (NJRC), a nonprofit run by former Gov. Jim McGreevey. “[Re-entry] was a pivotal moment in my recovery because it gave me purpose. It gave me a job, it gave me some type of direction. Without that program I don’t know where I might have been.” Click Here to Continue Reading