Newark is New Jersey’s largest city, but it’s been plagued by socioeconomic problems for a long time. Among these issues are the rate of drug addiction and overdose. Increasing access to treatment and making drug rehab available to the people that need it are important factors in increasing public health. Learn more about the scope of drug use in Newark and the important facts about addiction treatment.
According to the Newark Community Collaborative Board, Newark has the highest prevalence of substance use in the state. Substance use is often related to other public health issues like infectious diseases. Because intravenous drug use can expose users to health risks like HIV, Newark also has the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the state. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, poverty, drug availability in schools, and drug use among peers are risk factors for addiction. Conversely, academic competence, anti-drug use policies in schools and parental monitoring are all protective factors. However, as much as 42 percent of Newark residents over 24 haven’t completed high school.
In 2017, there were more than 70,200 overdose deaths in the U.S. Around 47,600 of these deaths involved opioids. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, was a major factor in the recent increase in overdose. That same year, New Jersey experienced 30 deaths for every 100,000 people.
Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the country, followed closely by heroin, which is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription opioids. Alcohol is the most common drug for which people seek addiction treatment. Other common drugs of abuse include prescription benzodiazepines, synthetic opioids, methamphetamine, cocaine, and psychedelic drugs.
Though Newark is the largest city in the state of New Jersey and the governmental seat of Essex County, it has long had a problem with substance use and economic issues. The average annual household income is $13,000, while the national median income is around $62,000. The opioid epidemic has hit New Jersey hard in the last few years. Opioid overdose deaths increased by 29 percent between 2016 and 2017. However, in 2017, healthcare providers wrote fewer opioid prescriptions than the national average at 44 prescriptions for every 100 people.
Addiction treatment is a complex process that addresses multiple needs that may be related to a substance use disorder. Effective treatment doesn’t just look at substance abuse. Instead, it will address physical, psychological, and social issues that are directly or indirectly related to drug abuse.
Effective addiction treatment should also be personalized, depending on your individual needs. There is no one universal treatment plan that works for every person. Substance use disorders are complicated, and treatment should adapt to what each person needs.
American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2003, October). What are risk factors and protective factors? from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/preventing-drug-abuse-among-children-adolescents/chapter-1-risk-factors-protective-factors/what-are-risk-factors
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, May 22). New Jersey Opioid Summary. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/opioid-summaries-by-state/new-jersey-opioid-summary
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
Newark Community Collaborative Board. (2016, September 4). The Role of Drugs in Newark, NJ. from http://newarkccb.org/projects/the-role-of-drugs-in-newark-nj/