Treatment

Life After Narcan

Everyone living in New Jersey these days is aware of the ongoing heroin epidemic. It is impossible to escape the daily news of overdoses, deaths, and crises related to drug use and heroin in our communities, sprinkled with occasional news of actions taken to address the problem.

More Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

Sunrise Detox opened 2 new full-sized treatment centers in New Jersey to help address this epidemic. With medical detox centers in Stirling (Long Hill), Toms River (Ocean County) and Cherry Hill, Sunrise Detox manages 79 beds in New Jersey, helping over ten thousand people per year get needed addiction treatment.

Increasing use of Naloxone (Narcan)

Many New Jersey municipalities were overrun with urgent demands for emergency services related to heroin overdose. They have increased use of naloxone, commonly known as Narcan.

Naloxone is a drug which reverses the effect of narcotic pain killers and heroin. It can save a life if administered in time. While naloxone has been available to emergency medical staff and physicians for over 30 years, until recently it was very tightly regulated under the law. It was not available over the counter, and was illegal to possess by anyone other than those supervised by a physician.

In 2013 the NJ Overdose Protection Act (S2082) was passed to allow even citizen first responders to administer naloxone in an emergency. In 2014 Sunrise Detox worked closely with the Ocean County Prosecutor to bring a Narcan pilot program into Ocean and Monmouth counties, greatly increasing availability of naloxone in those counties.

The pilot was a great success. Over 200 overdose reversals were recorded in the first 7 months in just those two counties.

Naloxone availability has since expanded throughout the state, driven by the need to respond to thousands of overdoses. But a significant problem remains : people continue to die.

Narcan is an emergency response tool, but not an answer to heroin addiction. Overdosing addicts saved by emergency use of Narcan are still dying after they return to their lives, often just days after being saved.

They need addiction treatment.

Life After Narcan — Understanding Addiction

Sunrise Detox collaborated with the Narcan pilot program to provide expertise and professional addiction education to the entire team, and by dedicating treatment center beds to the program for those saved by Narcan.

Sunrise Detox representatives worked closely with the entire team while the pilot program provided medical detox and addiction treatment to those saved by administration of naloxone, at several facilities serving Ocean and Monmouth counties.

Narcan is a great way to prevent an overdose death, but effective addiction treatment is the only way to save the lives lost to addiction, including the deaths from overdose that cannot be saved by naloxone.

If there is to be Life After Narcan, that life must include addiction treatment. It is essential to get individuals into a treatment program immediately, at the moment they are willing to accept help, and before withdrawal sickness drives them to resume using drugs.

Understanding Addiction Treatment

After treating over 70,000 individuals and their families in New Jersey, Atlanta, and Florida, we have learned that a respectful, comfortable medical detox under the care of an experienced addiction treatment team is the absolute best start to a successful recovery. We now want to help all New Jersey stakeholders understand what that entails, and how to best prepare for success addressing the addiction epidemic hurting our communities, beyond the improved emergency response.

Please watch the websites for Sunrise Detox in Stirling/Long Hill, Toms River, and Cherry Hill for a series of informational articles and blog posts in a new category labeled “Life After Narcan“.

We are dedicating this effort to raising awareness of the important issues that must be addressed as we continue to make progress in the battle against addiction in New Jersey, including the use of naloxone.

If you would like to contribute, or have additional questions, please contact us by phone or an email address setup specifically for this activity : AfterNarcan @ SunriseDetoxTomsRiver.com

Opening Camden County Drug Treatment Center ASAP

heroin deaths Camden County, NJ

The Camden County regional heroin addiction reatment center will open ASAP, as Camden County leads the State for heroin overdose deaths. New Jersey is now experiencing 3 TIMES the national rate for heroin overdose deaths.

Cherry Hill Detox Center : Open House Next Week!

Sunrise Detox is opening in Cherry Hill, New Jersey to help serve the growing demand for heroin addiction treatment services in New Jersey and Philadelphia. The timing is helpful, as today the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released data showing that Americans are increasingly choosing to engage with heroin, and the dangerous, addicting drug is taking a serious toll : death  rates from heroin overdose have increased 4 fold over the past ten years.

As noted on the Cherry Hill Detox blog, an even more alarming statistic is the relative number for the State of New Jersey : 3 times HIGHER than the national average!

The Cherry Hill Open House and Networking Event is July 15 at the new Cherry Hill detox center. Please RSVP.

Camden County among the Hardest Hit

Camden County, situated between the Pine Lands and the Delaware River/City of Philadelphia, is aligned with a major traffic corridor between Philadelphia and the southern Jersey Shore. Cherry Hill is itself a transportation corridor for Northern New Jersey and the northestern US to the west. Close to the central government districts in Trenton, and convenient to both the Jersey Shore and urban cultural areas, Camden County is home to professionals, suburban families, and the full spectrum of New Jersey residents.

Heroin Addiction following Pain Pill Abuse

Heroin is an opiate, very similar to the prescription pain killers (Percocet, Vicodin) found in almost every medicine cabinet in America. The synthetic pharmaceutical versions may be derived from the same natural sources as heroin (known as opiates) or created as manufactured molecules with similar chemical structure, causing almost identical effects (opioids).For dependent users of these drugs, there is little difference between clean heroin and prescription pain killers.

Unfortunately, there is very little “clean” heroin. Virtually all street heroin is tainted with other chemicals, and very often those chemicals are dangerous and often deadly. Even if there was a “clean” heroin, however, the addiction process does not stop and rarely slows down. Opiate abuse leads to more opiate abuse almost always, with no end in sight. The only way for an addict to avoid painful and possible deadly sickness, is to keep using, and to kep using more.

In many cases, prescription drugs are optimal combinations of opiates and opioids, designed specifically to impact the brain the same way heroin does – by activating a reward cycle that encourages addiction, and leading to a physical dependency which deters quitting. If a heroin user stops using, they start to feel sick. The more advanced the addiction, the stronger that sickness will be, moving from discomfort like and queasyness to including paranoia and serious mental disorders.

Heroin addiction, as America is learning, is more than irresponsible recreational drug use out of control. Today's heroin addiction is advanced prescription drug addiction, which is now out of control for many, many people.

Heroin Addiction Treatment vs Substance Abuse Treatment

Heroin addiction must be treated the way other drug addictions are treated – individually. Each person has a unique set of physical, emotional, mental, and social conditions supporting an addiction disorder. While the chemicals abused may be the same, the circumstances surrounding any given addiction are unique. There is no single “solution” to drug addiction, but instead there is a process of rehabilitation and recovery which leads to a hopeful life worth living, without addicting substances.

That rehab process always starts with a medical detox, which can last from 3 to 10 or more days, depending on physical and mental status, chemical dependency, and history of drug use. During detox the medical and professional staff prevent and manage the sickness that would come from withdrawal and the co-ocurring mental, physical, and emotional issues that may be unmasked as the substances are cleared from the body. They provide a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment that is technically designed specifically to support the detox process, and encourage recovery. The detox experts beging the process of educating, training, and supporting each individual as needed, while securing appropriate medical or psychological support as needed, and help the guest find an appropriate rehab for after care.

Sunrise Detox will even help make sure every guest gets to that rehab, following successful detox.

Sunrise Detox Job Fair : Cherry Hill Detox Center

Sunrise Detox Job Fair June 3-5 at Regus Executive Suites Towne Place at Garden State Park 923 Haddonfield Road Suite 300, Cherry Hill, NJ

June 3-5 at Regus Executive Suites 923 Haddonfield Road Suite 300, Cherry Hill

Sunrise Detox is expanding in New Jersey, with a new state-of-the-art medical detox center opening in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This 30 bed inpatient substance abuse treatment facility (medical detox center) brings over 30 career positions into New Jersey.

On June 3-5, we are holding a Job Fair to match outstanding candidates to new positions in Cherry Hill. Please view the attached flyer about the event, and share this with your friends and collegues in the region.

We are excited at the opportunity to bring additional substance abuse treatment resources into New Jersey at this time, and look forward to building an outstanding team of committed individuals to bring our patient-centered, quality “Detox with Dignity” to Cherry Hill.

Click to view a large version of this important job fair announcement.

Click to view a large version of this important job fair announcement.

Substance Abuse Treatment Jobs in New Jersey

We're looking for qualified individuals to join our team, including Chemical Dependency Techs, Admissions staff, Administrative Assistants, Counselors, Nurses, Kitchen Staff, Maintenance staff, and more!

Please bring your resume and dress to impress, for an on-site interview!

Note : Please read the flyer. This is a registered healthcare facility. Pre-employment drug testing and background screening are mandatory. Two years clean and sober are required for consideration. Minor charges may be overlooked if disclosed honestly.

For more information contact chase@ValeoResources.com or visit our Career Opportunities page.

Can't make this one? Sign up for our Sunrise Detox notification list, to learn more about opportunities as they become available at Sunrise Detox.

Drug testing with Fingerprints : Cocaine in Fingerprints

Cocaine use can now be reliably detected via fingerprint testing, according to scientists.

Cocaine use can now be reliably detected via fingerprint testing, according to scientists.

If there weren't enough good reasons to stop using drugs, we now have another. Scientists have successful demonstrated that cocaine use can be detected in fingerprints.

Scientists developed a method of examining the residual material left behind in fingerprints, and discovered adequate amounts of cocaine, benzoylecgonine (BZE) and methylecgonine (EME). The levels detected were adequate for testing. Once tested, the mass spectrometry results correalted well with oral samples, meaning fingerprint testing may be a suitable method for detecting cocaine use.

Anyone needing help breaking free of substance abuse and addiction should come in for detox and treatment as soon as possible. There is everything to gain from acting immediately when a problem is acknowledged. There is a lot to lose… and now even more, such as your job, security clearance, or other important aspects of your life, if you cannot stop abusing drugs and get scrutinized.

This new research on detecting cocaine in fingerprints is soon to appear in the journal “Analyst”, as reported by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Ocean County DART Coalition Event May 27

Tonight is the Ocean County DART Coalition Forum “Can We Talk – Are You Listening?” at the Pine Belt Arena from 5pm to 9pm. The event is being organized by Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato, and will focus on the heroin epidemic that is sweeping through New Jersey's communities.

I will be there, along with Ryan Singer from Sunrise Detox Toms River, to answer questions and do everything we can to help support the mission of raising awareness of the heroin problem. Some of what we do in person, that might not be well known:

Answer specific questions about specific situations, such as loved ones with dependencies, concerns about past treatment efforts that didn't work well, state-of-the-art detox and rehab for addiction, family issues when dealing with addiction in the home, etc.
Discuss the nuances of insurance coverage for substance abuse, including real-world facts that are not in the insurance company brochure, or not common knowledge.
Provide direct, honest, informative talks about substance abuse, addiction and treatment, beyond what is normally published or mentioned in public discussions.

Here are a few snapshots of the stage being prepped for tonight's show, which will feature Richie Sambora (guitarist for Bon Jovi). It should be a fun night out with community, addressing an issue that needs as much attention as it can get these days. Sunrise Detox is a proud sponsor and participant.

Sound checks on the stage

Sound checks on the stage while preparing for tonight's DART Coalition Forum on Heroin Addiction in New Jersey

dart-coalition-forum-setup-may2014

Sunrise Detox is a proud supporter of the DART Coalition and Prosecutor Joseph Coronato's efforts to raise awareness of substance abuse and addiction in New Jersey

 

Paterson, NJ Heroin Bust : 300 “Bricks” Won’t Change Much

While I commend all law enforcement in what they do and in their battle against this heroin epidemic here in New Jersey, April's first heroin bust is just a pin prick in the fight.  Police report having seized 300 bricks of heroin, said to have a $120,000 street value. The heroin bust took place in Paterson, which is in Passaic County and central to Northern New Jersey.

To add some perspective, a “brick” of heroin is usually 5 bundles. A “bundle” of heroin usually leans  10 “bags” of heroin.  Heroin users consumer heroin “by the bag”.

According to a vast majority of our clients at Sunrise Detox in Northern New Jersey and Toms River at the Jersey Shore,  a New Jersey heroin addict seeking treatment (for whatever reason) is using 7-10 bags of heroin a day. Roughly one bundle of heroin, per day.

So 300 “bricks” is 1500 bundles, or 1500 “days” of heroin addiction. In a state with 9 million people, is this a big deal?

Yes, it is. It can take just one  dose to kill a son or a daughter (or mother, or father, or teacher, or someone you loved). For an addict suffering under addiction, it takes just one more dose to stave off the effects of withdrawal, and continue the addiction instead of seeking help with heroin addiction treatment. We all know that heroin addiction doesn't get weaker over time — heroin consumes lives, because active heroin users are driven to need increasing amounts of the drug over time.

Each bag of heroin is important. Every single one. But we have to do much, much more.

The seizure and arrests are hopefully the start if a trend here in New Jersey in this fight. Too often in the fight against drugs we are always talking in quantities of heroin and dollar values of sized drugs “kept off the street”. Rarely do we talk about the number of actual lives affected, or in this case saved by the enforcement action.

Tuesdays arrests in Paterson, if we use the math above, saved the lives of 5 individuals consuming a bundle a day for the next 300 days.  Unfortunately in a state with tens of thousands of individuals addicted to heroin, the user will find another dealer, and then another. The loss of 300 bricks is not likely to impact the street price except perhaps in the short term, in Paterson, as dealers rearrange their turfs and supply chains.

Authorities broke up a drug ring over the weekend, seizing semi-automatic handguns, $20,000 in cash, and more than 300 bricks of heroin in a bust that brought down two heroin mills and saw six people arrested in Paterson, New Jersey – UPI news report

We are entering a delicate time here in New Jersey with heroin. Public awareness is being raised due to recent public figures taking active roles, which is a plus. But more needs to be done with awareness, law enforcement and treatment.

Comfortable living room of the Toms River Sunrise Detox center. Comfort, safety, confidentiality, and expert medical detox.

Comfortable living room of the Toms River Sunrise Detox center. Comfort, safety, confidentiality, and expert medical detox.

At Sunrise Detox we strongly advocate for insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment, and increased access to funds that will enable safe and comfortable detox for individuals to start their journey of healing in treatment. We know that a safe, respectful, and comfortable initial detox from heroin, is the very best start to a successful recovery.

For every brick or bundle of heroin seized and taken off the streets, we must also provide treatment for substance abuse, especially heroin addiction treatment, to help addicts get off of the drug and stay safe in recovery. Any unbalanced approach to the heroin epidemic may end up raising prices and increasing the risks associated with addiction, without saving as many lives.

Reference: 2011 East new York heroin bust reported by NJ.com

Krokodil Drug (desomorphine) in the USA: Why It Matters

Krocodil has been observed since early reports such as this one from Russia in 2011, when the practice of deriving crude desomorphine from codeine using petro chemicals emerged from Siberia.

Krocodil has been observed since early reports from Russia in 2011, when the practice of deriving crude desomorphine from codeine using petro chemicals emerged from Siberia.

We are hearing reports that the dangerous and hideous drug krokodil is here, in the US. Initial reports of possible krokodil use started 2 years ago, but this week we are facing what may turn out to be the first confirmed death from krokodil in Oklahoma, after several reports in Illinois.

In 2010 we first heard graphic reports of “Krokodil” abused by addicts in Russia. The horrific images and stories of addicts so lost to hope that they willingly inject themselves with visibly destructive chemicals, while drug dealers watch them die, drew media attention. To addiction treatment professionals, this was evidence of the severe end game of an addict abandoned by society, left to rot, and powerless under the forces of chemical addiction and commercial manipulation.

Krokodil, or desomorphine, is an opioid derived from morphine. It is also known as dihydrodesoxymorphine, once sold under the brand name Permonid. When codeine was deregulated in Russia a few years ago and sold over the counter, addicts seeking lower cost opioid highs experimented with codeine-containing medicines. They used any available chemical solvents to formulate desomorphine from codeine products, including gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner — or the cheapest of all: red phosphorous scraped off the heads of matches pulled from “free” matchbooks given away with cigarettes.

Krokodil is made from over the counter products containing codeine. The Russian government returned codeine to controlled status in 2012, reportedly due to the abuse of krokodil.

Drug users injecting krokodil are expected to live less than a year or two, due to the severe damage caused by injecting the drug. The horrific skin damage that leads these addicts quickly to disease and death, is caused by the solvents injected into the skin. The solvents cause blood vessels to burst, interrupting blood flow to the skin around injection sites on the arms and legs and wherever the addict injects, killing the skin.

While the media seems fascinated with the imagery of deformed and hideous addicts literally falling apart as they continue to inject, what is the real problem with krokodil? It comes down to two main issues: economics, and substance abuse treatment policy.

Krokodil is the cheapest high these addicts can find, by far. That economic fact… that these addicts cannot afford any other satisfaction from their addiction than an obviously suicidal injection of krokodil, tells the primary story behind the drug. The consequences of injecting krokodil are clear to all who witness it, which we can see from the Russian reports. Addicts surrounded by other addicts dying of the consequences, continuing to inject it. Krokodil is a high of last resort. And that fact highlights the second reason we must pay attention to krokodil: co-occurring mental disorders are behind many addictions, and must be treated.

The addicts we see with krokodil have abandoned all hope. They see no alternative to life under their addiction, except death, and choose death by krokodil over death by something else. This behavior reflects the mental state of the extreme addict left alone to die of addiction.They accept that since they have no hope, and no help, and are dying, they will die one way or another, which may include via the damage done by krokodil.

“While one can say the krokodil addict died of infection or another consequence of the skin damage caused by injecting desomorphine mixed with toxic petro chemicals, I can equally state they died of untreated mental illness, concurrent with terminal addiction”.Ira Levy, Sunrise Detox in Florida

We eagerly await news from the scientific and policy agencies on these current reports of krokodil in the US. As the investigations get under way, we hope that everyone will look at the true root causes of the problem, which is untreated behavioral disorders associated with the disease of addiction, and the economics of drug abuse and treatment.

No addict in the US should ever be left alone to conclude there is no hope, and our society should not allow the criminal conditions of drug sale and encouragement witnessed in the early Russian video reports about krokodil.