Heroin and opiate addiction is at epidemic levels in the state of New Jersey. The problem has been out of hand for quite some time, and many different laws have changed to try and combat the issue. Health professionals along with law enforcement have made some pretty outstanding changes that have made it harder for addicts to continue abusing certain drugs. The scary part of addiction is that no matter how much you may try to deter, the addict will find a way to get their high.
New approaches are being used to try to curb the abuse. The Mental Health Association in New Jersey has launched a confidential call line dedicated to providing counseling specifically to people and families who are coping with addiction, especially to heroin and prescription painkillers.
Far too often addicts and their families are terrified to ask for help because of the negative stigma associated with drug addiction. The confidential help line will help those receive professional around the clock help. The comfort that a person can feel from calling these lines are indescribable. Speaking from experience, with the calls I take on a daily basis, having someone who can listen to you while you are going through a very tough time in your life can make the difference between life and death.
The helpline is unique because it offers a two-pronged approach, according to Robert Kley, acting president and Chief Operating Officer of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.
“First, it provides trained, professional counselors who can help someone who is in personal agony over their use of heroin or prescription painkillers and is starting to look toward seeking treatment. We can help them be referred to treatment. The second component provides peer counselors, family members who have had experience with addiction, who understand the unique and complex effect it can have on personal relationships,” he said. “The families are always neglected in these situations. They often don’t know where to turn, where to get information or how they can best help their loved one.”
According to a report published by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, heroin was the primary drug in 35 percent (26,794) of substance abuse treatment admissions in 2013, and 9 percent, or 6,651, were attributed to other opiates.
“The call line also is supported by the entire Mental Health Association’s call center which is a 24/7 helpline that provides referrals for a wide variety of behavioral health services. It’s also a state suicide prevention line and it provides other kinds of peer support services,” Kley said. “So it allows the person in need access to all the services the Mental Health Association has to offer.”
It looks as though New Jersey is making huge strides in this venture. The lives saved by this help line may never be counted but it will without a doubt make a giant impact on those that choose to reach out for help and support.
You can reach NJ Connect for Recovery at: 1-855-652-3737