Drug use in Newark is a serious problem that impacts some of the country’s most disadvantaged citizens.
The Newark Community Collaborative Board implemented a study in 2016 focused on the connection between community distress and widespread substance misuse. According to the study, the average household income in Newark was just over $13,000, and 42 percent of residents had not completed high school.
In addition to low income and low levels of education, Newark also has the highest rates of substance use and HIV/AIDS, two risk factors that often go hand in hand, in New Jersey.
Overall, the people identified in this study demonstrated poorer health and socioeconomic outcomes than people from more affluent neighborhoods in New Jersey with lower rates of substance abuse.
The influence of drug use extends beyond the health and economic risks faced by individual drug users. As rates of drug use continue to climb, the community struggles to provide a safe environment for its youth and to support one another.
Additional ways that drug use impacts the Newark community include:
Just as in Newark, drug use impacts communities across New Jersey.
According to the New Jersey Substance Abuse Monitoring System (NJ-SAMS) 2017 report, thousands of people struggle with substance use across the state. The primary drugs of abuse that led to substance abuse treatment admissions in 2017 were:
One of the greatest public health concerns in New Jersey is substance abuse.
Similar to the spread of the opioid overdose epidemic across the United States, New Jersey also struggles with opioid misuse. Prescription opioids and illegal opioids, like heroin, cause thousands of people to experience medical complications and seek substance abuse treatment every year.
Alcohol is the second most commonly abused substance in New Jersey, according to the NJ-SAMS. It is frequently abused concurrently with other drugs.
The people in the above counties were most likely to be seeking treatment for alcohol, marijuana, heroin, or cocaine addictions.
Many rehab facilities that cater to every type of substance use disorder exist across the state.
The most common types of treatment programs people participated in 2017 include:
All the above forms of treatment programs aim to help people with a variety of substance use disorders gain control over their lives again and re-enter their communities as healthy and productive members of society.
Drug use in Essex County, to which Newark belongs, is very reflective of the statewide drug use trends.
Of the people who were admitted to substance abuse treatment programs in Essex County in 2017, 61 percent were male and, 39 percent were female.
The majority of people seeking treatment in Essex County are between the ages of 25 and 54.
There were 7,314 admissions for substance abuse treatment in 2017, with over 800 people being admitted for a repeat time.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction relapse is a fairly normal part of the recovery process. Not everyone will relapse after completing a treatment program, though 40 to 60 percent of people are expected to do so.
Addiction is a treatable condition, but it is a chronic disease of the brain that needs continual attention. Relapsing following treatment does not mean that the program failed, but that the person needs an updated treatment plan that more effectively addresses their treatment needs.
According to the study completed by the Newark Community Collaborative Board, popular drugs to abuse depend on what is available and most affordable.
In general, prescription drugs are preferred over illicit drugs, as recreational drug users often feel they are safer to consume than drugs bought off the street. Their cost, however, deters people from using them regularly. Illicit drugs like heroin, for example, are cheaper and easy to obtain on the street.
Treatment admission statistics for Newark in 2017 provided by NJ-SAMS show that Newark has a disproportionately high rate of substance abuse and people seeking treatment when compared to the rest of Essex County. Out of a total of 7,314 admissions for treatment for residents of Essex County, 4,099 residents were from Newark.
According to the NJ-SAMS 2017 report for Essex County, 74 percent of all residents who sought addiction treatment got that treatment in Essex County. The levels of care available to people in Essex included:
Many of the people who entered the above treatment programs referred themselves to treatment (34 percent), or they were referred through the criminal justice system (27 percent). Other people entered treatment at the referral of a friend or family member, addiction services program, workplace program, or some other type of behavioral health program.
NIDA explains that there are many effective forms of drug treatment, as there is no one-size-fits-all treatment approach. The primary goals of all treatment programs, however, are to help people stop using drugs, remain drug-free, and become productive members of their families, places of employment, and communities.
Proven successful treatments for drug addiction include the following:
No matter what type of treatment program you decide to participate in, it should take a holistic approach to treatment and consider all your unique needs. Treatment planning should center around your personal set of circumstances, experience with substance use, and goals for recovery.
If you live in Newark and are looking for local substance abuse treatment options, there are many resources available to help you get started on your path to recovery.
Local programs aimed at helping people break free from the cycle of substance abuse include:
No matter what your addiction recovery needs are, there are people and resources available in the Newark area that are waiting to help.
If you have questions about where to start with addiction recovery, you can speak with representatives from any of the above organizations as well as your own health care provider. Any of these people will be able to get you on a path to recovery as soon as you are ready.
(July 2018). Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved February 2019 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
(2016). Newark Drug Role: Understanding the Impact of Substance Use in Newark, New Jersey. Newark Community Collaborative Board. Retrieved February 2019 from http://newarkccb.org/projects/the-role-of-drugs-in-newark-nj/
(June 2018). New Jersey Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Substance Abuse Overview 2017 Statewide. Department of Health. Retrieved February 2019 from https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmhas/publications/statistical/Substance%20Abuse%20Overview/2017/statewide.pdf
(June 2018). New Jersey Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Substance Abuse Overview 2017 Essex County. Department of Health. Retrieved February 2019 from https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmhas/publications/statistical/Substance%20Abuse%20Overview/2017/Ess.pdf
(January 2019). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved February 2019 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction