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Running For Your Life

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By February 19, 2019

Activity and physical therapy is an important component of holistic substance use disorder treatment in the best New Jersey rehab centers. Part of the treatment process when someone enters rehab in New Jersey, which includes emotional therapy and mental health, is to introduce patients to alternative behaviors they can replace addictive habits with that aren’t dangerous to their health and keep them focused on long term relapse prevention.

Judge David Reich, a judge in Bismarck North Dakota, realized even with his brief interactions with court cases related to drug offenses, that environment plays a large role in how people are able to handle their recovery, leading him to put together a running group called RADD, or Runners Against Destructive Decisions. The organization encourages and invites those battling with addiction, in treatment or already out of treatment to train and participate in multiple 5k runs per year. His goal wasn’t just to get people to exercise, but also to help build a community of support for people who might otherwise have been alienated from the actions they undertook while under the influence of their substance use disorder.

“After our Saturday runs, we have coffee and bagels and sit around and talk. I think that time might be as valuable as the exercise for many of the people in our program,” Judge Reich wrote in the Bismarck Tribune about the group. “RADD builds relationships and changes perceptions. One of our runners once told me that he never thought of a judge as a person before. Now he does!”

The group incorporates, as well, members of the law enforcement community who are more interested in the overall health and community relationship than ‘just doing the job’, with several ranking officials of both local prison and law enforcement agencies running alongside those who are there and often at the opposite end of the law.

“I think RADD allos them and our RADD participants in recovery to see each other in a different light, as people, and not as addicts or criminals. Judge Craig Mitchell said in an interview that if we could stop addiction by passing laws or spending money, we would have done that by now,” continues the Judge Reich’s article.

One of the main problems with tackling drug use at the policy level has been not only stigma but the adversarial nature of the entire operation. The cut and dry, simplistic approach of ‘drugs are bad and users of drugs are criminals and must be locked up and punished’ has been applied for over fifty years as policy. Yet, many individual cities and local programs continue to prove this approach exacerbates the situation, strains community relations and in the end does nothing to actually make a dent in the problem it claims to want to fix.

Discovery InstituteAs the culture slowly shifts towards one of community rather than criminality with regards of substance use disorder, we will continue to see more positive change in the way we as Americans treat our fellow citizens when it comes to beating addiction and finding treatment and achieving sober living in New Jersey.

If you or someone you know is at risk from their substance use disorder, call Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563.

 

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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