There are many addiction recovery programs in New Jersey available to help people overcome substance abuse. Addiction is a chronic disease that causes you to feel strong cravings that increase the difficulty of controlling addiction, despite knowing that addiction is causing problems in your life. The addiction recovery centers in NJ provide addiction counseling, therapy, medications, and other treatments to help patients live productive lives while recovering from substance abuse.

Between January and June 2021, 1,626 New Jerseyans passed away due to an overdose. According to the state Attorney General’s office reports, nearly three dozen more deaths than were recorded by that point last year. After a peak in 2018, overdose deaths have steadily risen for more than a decade in New Jersey, some 3,118 residents lost their lives in this way. Drug addiction centers in New Jersey are there to support those in dire need, despite the stigmas and barriers.

Some types of resources used through addiction treatment in NJ include:

  • Contingency management
  • Psychotherapy, group or individual drug counseling
  • Medication-assisted treatment (I.E. methadone maintenance program for opioid addicts)
  • Alcohol detoxification services

What is Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder is a mental health disorder that diminishes a person’s self-control regarding drug and alcohol abuse. Overall, it affects a person’s brain behavior and leads to them not being able to control their impulses. Regardless of the negative results that drugs and alcohol have on a person, if they are addicted, it becomes difficult to say no. Some substances of abuse include alcohol, marijuana, heroin, and cocaine (though there are many more).

What’s dangerous about substances of abuse is that they could lead to addiction merely by being introduced to them. Some people start experimentally because they’ve never done a certain drug. Curiosity gets the best of a person and before they know it, they’re hooked. When this happens, drug or alcohol abuse becomes more frequent; a person needs more and more of it because of a tolerance they’re building. This is when substance abuse and addiction take over a person’s life. 

For others, a substance use disorder may come as a result of using the medicine that they’ve been prescribed. If they’ve been prescribed by a doctor, it’s not their fault. They’re trying to get better, but the substances are too strong to overcome their dependency. If, however, it wasn’t prescribed by a doctor, they may have obtained these substances from another individual with access to them. This is referred to as self-medicating.

Addiction’s intensity depends on a variety of factors, including the substance itself. Other factors may include frequency of use, the chemical makeup of the individual, environmental factors, peer pressure, or family history. Some drugs, like opioids or opiates, put a person at a higher risk of addiction. This is because when a drug is strong, the brain’s reward system needs more of the drug as time goes on (tolerance). The longer this goes on, the more difficult it is to come off of the drug because the body has become dependent. 

What Kinds of Substance Abuse Are There?

Some different kinds of substance abuse include the following:

The worst part about substance abuse is that there isn’t just one type. Everybody’s addiction is unique to them, therefore a cookie-cutter explanation for addiction is not a reality. This can be scary because we want so badly to fix things. However, it’s best to understand an addiction before trying to combat it. 

What is Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse, otherwise known as alcoholism, is a form of substance abuse characterized by overindulgence in alcohol. Alcohol abuse is not, however, when someone is at an occasional party and has more than two drinks. Those who abuse alcohol use any opportunity they can to drink as much as possible. They often can’t stop thinking about their next drink. If someone wants to quit drinking but has been doing so consistently, they may find doing so to be difficult.

Struggling with alcohol abuse is a tough hand to be dealt. Sometimes a person deals it to themselves; other times it’s dealt to them. Some people have more of an inclination to develop an alcohol use disorder. When someone has dealt with alcohol abuse for a while, it’s difficult to quit, no matter how badly they want to. Sometimes a person isn’t even aware that they’re suffering from an alcohol use disorder. The warning signs could be plain as day, but sometimes, it’s more difficult to see than one may realize.

How Does Alcohol Abuse Happen?

Alcohol is a depressant; when it is abused, intentionally or not, the person’s central nervous system is depressed. This has a massive effect on the brain. This may be evident in several different ways. For example, a person might exhibit a lack of judgment due to being drunk. Another way alcohol abuse may be visible is through poor motor function.

When this happens, a person may stumble, slur their words, or not be able to walk straight. Why does this occur? This is because alcohol slows down the signals the brain receives; it instead increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signals.

GABA signals have a wild effect on brain function. This is what causes slurred speech, stumbling, loss of coordination, or even a loss of memory. This is why people have blackouts when they drink way too much. If a person does this for a long amount of time, they may develop a tolerance for alcohol. As a result, dependency may ensue, worsening a person’s addiction to alcohol.

What Is Marijuana Abuse?

Marijuana abuse is what happens when a person partakes even when it has a negative consequence for them. This could relate to relationships with their family or loved ones, their social lives, or their careers. The more a person uses marijuana regardless of the consequences it has on their life, the more likely they are to become addicted. When this happens, they have a hard time getting through the day without thinking about the next time they can use. In regards to long-term health, marijuana abuse can lead to using stronger, more illicit substances.

Why Can’t I Stop Using Marijuana?

There’s no question that marijuana is a substance that alters the mind and body. When a person abuses these kinds of substances for a long period, they may develop a dependency. If a person recognizes that they’re addicted, they may try and cut themselves off. This could prove to be difficult because the more dependent the body becomes, the more likely it is to experience withdrawal.

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Prescription drug abuse is when a person uses prescription medication that was not intended for them. Prescription drug abuse could also be a person taking more of their prescription than a doctor has instructed them to. For example, if a person has back pain, and the doctor has given them 25mg of pain medication, and they take 100mg, it’s considered abuse. Another way this could happen is someone borrowing their friend’s Adderall to perform well on an exam. This type of substance abuse is nothing short of problematic.

It is even harder to come off of prescription-strength medication than it is to come off of alcohol; this is a big problem. Prescription drug abuse, or any drug abuse for that matter, isn’t just limited to one demographic or age group; it has no respect for a person’s age, gender, race, or life experiences. Generally, opioid painkillers or anti-anxiety medications are the most abused prescription drugs. 

Abusing prescription medication is a dangerous path to tread. These drugs have the potential to be dangerous when not used under the close supervision of a medical professional. When taken in high doses or combined with other substances, danger looms over the abuser. This type of abuse could lead to dependency, addiction, or death.

What’s the Difference Between Dependence and Addiction?

Dependency and addiction are often confused with one another. Dependency is when the body adjusts to long-term substance abuse and expects the substance to function. Those who become dependent on a drug may need more of the substance to achieve the desired effect. Physical symptoms of withdrawal could make themselves known if a person tries coming off of a substance. When this happens, someone has developed a dependency.

Addiction is when a person continues to crave and seek out drugs despite the negative impact it has on them. Those who struggle with addiction seek and crave drugs compulsively. It is possible to have a dependence, but dependence and addiction are not mutually exclusive.

What is Illicit Drug Abuse?

Illicit drug abuse is when someone so much as consumes an illicit substance. Because these substances are so bad, it’s considered abuse to even use them, regardless of the quantity. Illicit drugs include the following:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Fentanyl
  • Ecstasy
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Ketamine

Usually, using an illicit substance is a conscious decision a person makes. However, addiction is not a conscious decision, and it can happen with so much one hit. After that, a person may realize they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.

Illicit substances come with a price. Even in minimal amounts the substances are dangerous and pose health risks. Substances like fentanyl are so strong that the person could become addicted after one-time use. What’s worse about all of this is that those who develop an addiction to illicit substances put themselves at a high risk of overdose.

Most overdoses happen as a result of relapse. Someone may have the best intentions trying to come off of a drug, but when they relapse it may be fatal. Not only that but relapsing with even a small dose could have detrimental effects on a person’s well-being; it could even take their life. This is because the body is no longer able to handle the substance and responds by shutting down.

Illicit Drug Abuse and Opioid Overdose

Illicit drug abuse could result in overdose. Not only that, but excessive abuse of illicit substances can have a detrimental impact on the brain. This could potentially disrupt a person’s psychology to the point where they are unrecognizable from the person they were before. Deaths as a result of heroin abuse and other opioids have increased in the last decade or so.

Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse

Considering the different substances and their effects, the signs and symptoms of substance abuse may vary. However, addiction or substance abuse is characterized by:

  • Using more substances than one intends to use.
  • The inability of the person to control the use of drugs. It becomes a compulsive behavior; addiction has taken over their life and they discard negative consequences such as loss of job, friends, family conflicts, etc.
  • Habitual drug or alcohol seeking and addiction despite knowing that it causes harm in different aspects of one’s life. This addiction can lead to addiction with other drugs, which may increase the chances of potential overdose and related injuries and illnesses. 
  • The decline in personal hygiene and care for one’s appearance and health. 
  • One can experience withdrawal symptoms that may cause serious health problems such as seizures, addiction to other drugs, and alcohol addiction (if abstinent from alcohol addiction). 

People who have been addicted to a specific drug tend to abuse any other drug available since they are unaware of how it affects them in different ways. For example, marijuana addiction users tend to become addicted to painkillers if they were prescribed by their doctors before addiction. There’s a tendency for some people who had experienced addiction before to start abusing alcohol and/or drugs again after quitting the habit due to certain triggers such as stress from work, financial distress, or relationship conflicts.

What are Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms can be defined as a set of physiological and psychological symptoms that result from an end of, or reduction in the use of drugs or alcohol. 

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Headache
  • Hallucinations
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Problems concentrating
  • Intense cravings

In addition to general withdrawal symptoms from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, some drug addiction treatment programs in NJ also include a medical detox phase where patients are medically monitored for any negative effects of withdrawal. Medicines may be given to ease the symptoms which would allow for a more comfortable transition through addiction recovery. 

Depending on addiction severity, certain addiction treatment centers in New Jersey may use an outpatient treatment program that allows addicts to live at home while receiving addiction counseling. Addiction is largely due to uncontrolled cravings that come with addiction which leads one’s whole life to be altered by addiction even though it does not occur until addiction has reached its highest.

How Do I Know Which Addiction Recovery Programs Are Right for Me?

Depending on the severity of your substance use disorder, you may need addiction treatment. The addiction recovery programs in addiction treatment centers in New Jersey are used to treat your addiction symptoms and prevent addiction from returning. There are many influential risk factors for addiction. Although there is no cure for addiction, treatment is an ongoing process with marked goals for your lasting metamorphosis. 

In the addiction recovery program, different types of therapies that help people recover from addiction are used, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy among others which would depend on addiction severity. Treatment also involves counseling, peer support groups, and follow-ups to ensure that the addict’s addiction symptoms do not return. Treatment aims to get addicts off drugs or alcohol so they stop destroying their family life, work-life, relationships with friends, etc.

The Continuum of Care

The continuum of care (TCO) is a model of recovery that practices evidence-based care for recovering individuals. The TCO helps addiction treatment providers give better care. 

Among Americans aged 12 years and older, 31.9 million are current illegal drug users (used within the last 30 days). 11.7% of Americans 12 and older overuse illegal drugs. 53 million or 19.4% of people 12 and over have used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs within the last year. 31.9 million use illegal drugs. As a result, 8.1 million of 25.4% of illegal drug users have a drug disorder.

The continuum of care model consists of five levels:

  • Prevention 
  • Risk Reduction 
  • Screening and Assessment 
  • Early Intervention
  • Treatment/Rehabilitation/Recovery Support

All programs are required by law to have a written addiction treatment plan, which should include what addiction treatment modalities are being used to treat addiction symptoms. This addiction treatment plan must be reviewed with each patient throughout their addiction rehabilitation. 

When you see an addiction counselor, they will go over this addiction treatment program with you so that you understand what addiction symptoms you are struggling with. They will also go over addiction treatments that are being used to treat addiction symptoms you are facing.

Effective addiction treatment programs in NJ do not just use one type of addiction treatment modality. An addiction treatment program should be using many different types of addiction treatments to treat all kinds of addiction symptoms. 

Some common addiction treatments are:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Family counseling
  • 12 step facilitation therapy
  • Relapse prevention education and training (for maintaining long-term sobriety)
  • Medication (in combination with other things like psychotherapy)

Addiction counselors or therapists may use other types of therapies as well depending on the person’s circumstances. These various forms of addiction treatment can help reduce risk factors for developing addiction symptoms. 

Medical Detox

Medical detox is the first phase of addiction recovery after an initial evaluation. It is a necessary step in addiction recovery because it can be potentially fatal to go through addiction withdrawal without medical supervision. Medical detox helps reduce the symptoms of addiction withdrawal and may include the administration of certain medications to help with specific addiction-related symptoms. 


Inpatient treatment or residential programs are addiction treatment programs where patients live at the facility full-time while getting addiction treatment, addiction counseling, and various other addiction recovery amenities. The cost of treatment will reflect this – Inpatient addiction treatment is usually more expensive than outpatient addiction treatment because it provides more comprehensive addiction treatment (more services that are provided on an ongoing basis). 

It includes medical detoxification to manage withdrawal symptoms; group and individual addiction counseling; education about addiction; therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management (CM), motivational interviewing (MI), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT); relapse prevention training for maintaining sobriety once they reintegrate into society after completing their addiction treatment program. 


Outpatient addiction treatment is where patients meet with addiction specialists regularly while continuing to live at home. They are given instructions for coping skills and treatments during their meetings including detoxification if needed. While many choose outpatient addiction treatment due to its convenience, it is not an effective program for addiction recovery by itself (especially if you have a severe substance use disorder).  

This type of addiction treatment includes individual counseling, group counseling, 12-step facilitation therapy (TSF) which helps people recover from addiction by using the 12 steps originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Other types of addiction support groups include non 12 step approaches.


IOP (Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program) addiction treatment is a good option for people who have completed a residential addiction treatment program and are ready to return home but still need addiction support. It provides addiction counseling two to five times a week during the day or evening hours depending on the addiction center. The addiction therapists work with their patients to identify triggers that may cause them to use again. They assist in developing sober activities that help reduce these stressors and avoid relapse through a structured approach, blending the benefits of outpatient and inpatient treatment.


PHP (Partial Hospitalization Programs) is also known as “day programs”. They are addiction treatment that runs five days a week, Monday through Friday. PHP addiction programs provide addiction counseling two to five times per day whether it is in the morning, afternoon, or evening hours depending on the addiction center. PHPs allow people to receive addiction rehab during their regular work schedule without having to go away for an extended period. 

PHP addiction treatment typically runs from 9 am-3 pm or 12 pm-6 pm with two meals provided each day. Treatment by addiction professionals who specialize in addiction counseling and can identify the warning signs of addiction relapse. Weekly group therapy sessions where patients share what they have learned about themselves and how they plan to avoid relapse. 

Sober Living

Sober living is recognized as a safe home for recovering addicts that have completed addiction treatment and are going through the recovery process. Many addiction centers offer a sober living environment where patients who have finished addiction treatment can reside until they feel comfortable moving on to a new stage of their lives. In general, addiction recovery programs usually last around 3-6 months depending on an individual’s substance use disorder.

Abstinence from drugs and alcohol is considered necessary to achieve long-term sobriety from addiction. Recovering addicts do not always get physically addicted to drugs or alcohol but instead fall into addiction due to a lack of coping skills, emotional issues, and other forms of psychological problems that lead them down the same path. However, this does not mean that they never experience any sort of physical withdrawal.

Support Groups

Support groups offer recovering individuals the opportunity to discuss addiction problems with others who are struggling, share addiction stories, and offer suggestions for coping. There are support groups available in addiction treatment centers throughout various local communities. These groups also help people who have family members or friends that are addicted because they can relate to common concerns and problems that addiction brings into the lives of their loved ones.

Recover With North Jersey Rehabs

Battling substance abuse can seem like a hurricane of consequences and side effects. Seeking support requires your patience and determination to withstand this marathon. There are addiction treatment centers in NJ that will work with your budget for you to be admitted. 

You don’t have to bear this fight alone. At North Jersey Rehabs, we prioritize your specific needs and tailor your recovery for a steady timeline. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact one of our facilities.