Spike in New Jersey Youth Heroin Use Raises Concern, says Passages Malibu

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Young people in the Garden State are turning to heroin in alarming numbers. The most affluent counties appear to be the hardest hit.

New Jersey heroin use

Heroin is a very serious substance and the thought that young people in New Jersey are not able to get the treatment they need is deeply disappointing. - Pax Prentiss

A recent story in the New Jersey Star-Ledger published February 24th underscores the surging problem of heroin among young adults in the Garden State. Roughly 30% of the 33,000 heroin users who have checked themselves in for treatment are under 26 years of age. The highest rate of recent hospital admissions for heroin overdose came from Monmouth and Ocean counties, housing some of the state’s more affluent communities.

In a mark of notable frustration among many parents who seek treatment at local rehab centers, state insurance company guidelines limit their admissions to patients who use extreme amounts of the already dangerous drug.

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger story, in 2006, insurance agent Alice Silverman from Maple Shade Township tried to admit her son to a detox center in Cherry Hill, reporting that her 19-year old, Danny, was using two or three bags of heroin per day.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that she was dismayed to find out from a nurse that in order to get her son a bed, he would have to be using eight or nine bags per day, or demonstrate suicidal behavior. Danny later perished from a heroin overdose.

“State numbers don’t even capture how bad the problem is,” said Frank Greenagel, a clinical social worker at Rutgers,” because so many addicts try out of state treatment facilities.”

The New Jersey Star-Ledger also reported that the number of New Jersey residents between the ages of 18 and 25 seeking help for heroin at treatment centers spiked by more than 12% from 2010 to 2011. Data from 2012 is not yet available.

“Heroin is a very serious substance and the thought that young people in New Jersey are not able to get the treatment they need is deeply disappointing” says Pax Prentiss, CEO of the world-renowned Passages, “My father worked with me for years trying to help me overcome my own addiction to heroin. When we were unable to find a treatment center that address the underlying causes of addiction, we created our own program, which saved my life. We then went on to found Passages. I am happy to report that through the application of our diverse treatment methods, I have enjoyed sobriety for more than 12 years.”

At Passages Malibu - Addiction Ends Here™

About Passages Malibu & Passages Ventura:

Father and son team Chris and Pax Prentiss founded Passages Malibu in 2001. Its second location, Passages Ventura, first opened its doors in 2009. The two alcohol & drug addiction treatment centers offer an alternative to the 12 step/AA model of addiction treatment by utilizing a holistic program that focuses on the underlying issues of substance dependency, rather than attributing addiction to an incurable disease.

Both Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura accept insurance and each have earned the coveted Joint Commission (JCAHO) accreditation, which has only been given to 6% of the nation’s behavioral health treatment programs.

Passages Malibu was named the “Number 1 Treatment Center in the World” by Healthcare Global and one of the "Most Luxurious Places to Dry Out" by Forbes magazine. The co-founders are also authors of an acclaimed series of addiction treatment books, including their groundbreaking, flagship title, The Alcoholism & Addiction Cure.

For general inquiries about treatment, contact: 866-233-1753.

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