Posts tagged "new jersey"

alcoholism madness and recovery blog for featured alum damien a

Damien’s Story of Alcoholism, Madness and Recovery

March 12th, 2019 Posted by Blog, Featured Alums, Treatment 0 comments on “Damien’s Story of Alcoholism, Madness and Recovery”

The day that Damien arrived at Serenity Springs, he was near rock bottom and looking for any kind of answer to get his life back on track. Today, after a long road back, Damien is approaching a year and a half of sobriety from drugs and alcohol. He is an alumnus of Serenity Springs, where he was able to find healing in the mind, body and spirit.

Drinking & Struggling Became Alcoholism & Madness

Damien’s journey through addiction was a slow progression. It started in high school at the age of seventeen, when he was a member of the party-goer crowd. At that time, his family didn’t recognize himself as having an addiction.

“They didn’t notice until I was about 20 because I was just drinking like everyone else.”

Then Damien started to realize he was going harder and longer than most of his friends. He recalls being the last one to stop drinking, to the point where he passed out. This alcoholic behavior became daily alcohol abuse or alcoholism. It was in 2010 that Damien went to recovery for the first time, but it was seven more years of struggling before he found a real, long term answer in Serenity Springs. There was no fear of detox or treatment itself.

“I did it not because I wanted to but because I thought I would get in trouble otherwise.”

He described his alcoholism as having evolved to a level of madness. His only friends at the time were those who were involved in it as well. He saw that he had gone down a dangerous path, but like many struggling with addiction, it took a true breaking point to bring him to truly open his eyes. For Damien, that moment came one night watching his mother.

“I had moved back into my Mom’s house at age 40. I saw her praying on her knees at 2 A.M. and I had the feeling she was praying for me”

Serenity Springs Solution

When asked what he liked most about Serenity Springs, Damien referred to his introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous as one of the most valuable benefits he gained from his time here.

“Serenity Springs offered me a real solution to my problem, which I came to find out was actually me.”

This was something he had not been able to find in past recovery attempts a step-by-step roadmap to real recovery and a long term solution. However, it was not all easy breezy during his time at Serenity Springs. The road to recovery can often have roadblocks and setbacks to overcome. The initial challenge for Damien was realizing the truth of his situation.

“Admitting I was an alcoholic was the hardest part about Serenity and the recovery process… because I had to finally start accepting it.”

After leaving Serenity Springs in November of 2017, Damien was somewhat reluctant to participate in Serenity’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Today, he realizes that it helped him out during his transition from rehab to the real world. Our IOP program has a unique approach. We provide services such as acupuncture and yoga while continuing to focus on the idea of healing mind, body, and spirit (three-part disease of addiction). It was in this program that Damien continued to work through things that he found most difficult during recovery.

“It was hard training myself to stop doing what I was taught before recovery. I felt weird when I was doing things in recovery like I was wrong.”

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Freedom from the Chains of Addiction

Today, Damien is living in Daytona Beach and enjoying his new life of sobriety and freedom from the chains of addiction. As an alumnus, he is always trying to give back what Serenity Springs gave to his life. When asked what the most rewarding part of his recovery, Damien explained that he now has an understanding of what peace of mind really means. Sobriety has allowed him to find and keep relationships that are not centered around alcohol or other negative influences. Like many of our alumni, Damien has a desire to help others that feel the hopelessness that he once knew too well. Serenity gave him a way out, a viable and lasting solution. If Damien could quickly describe what he has been doing after his time here at Serenity Springssimple-living.

WELCOME TO DAYTONA BEACH sign with palm tree on International Speedway Blvd - Serenity Springs Recovery

Damien says he has continued to employ the habits and techniques he learned while he was there that have allowed him to remain sober and happy.

“I focus on prayer and meditation, as well as regularly attending meetings to keep myself on track.”

Serenity taught him viable alternatives to alcohol when feeling the urge, including a reliance on God and being open with others about his struggle. Unlike many recovery centers, Serenity goes beyond just helping one heal physically and get away from the addiction. Our recovery plan also focuses on the mind and spirit, because believe recovery must be all-encompassing to truly break free from it.

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bus crashes into tree after driver overdoses on heroin in Newark, NJ - Serenity Springs Recovery

2 Drugged Drivers → 3 Deaths and School Bus Crash in NJ

February 21st, 2019 Posted by Disease of Addiction, News, Opioid Epidemic 0 comments on “2 Drugged Drivers → 3 Deaths and School Bus Crash in NJ”

A substitute bus driver, Lisa Byrd drove a school bus and twelve children into a tree after overdosing on heroin. She lost consciousness and the bus from 14th Avenue School in Newark, NJ slowly rolled off the road. According to CNN, she was arrested by the Newark police on Wednesday after being revived by Narcan.

1. School Bus Driver Overdoses, Crashes in NJ<br /> 2. Fiery Crash Leaves Three Dead in Wayne, NJ

On Tuesday, Jason Vanderee, a 29-year-old male from Glenwood, NJ crashed his vehicle into a gas station in Wayne, NJ, killing three in a vicious head-on collision. According to northjersey.com, He was high and driving reckless while under the influence of heroin. Again, he was revived with Narcan by local police. Police found 9 bags of heroin in his vehicle, arrested Mr. Vanderee and charged him with 3 counts of death by auto, 3 counts of aggravated manslaughter, and driving while intoxicated.

Drug Overdoses are Dangerous for Everyone

The two stories out of New Jersey occurred over the past few days. This is very frightening to think that these types of drivers are out there and we might have to dodge an oncoming, overdosed driver at some point. However, no one can live there lives like this. Drunk drivers have been on the loose for quite some time now. Please stay alert on the road!!

man opening green beer bottle with bottle opener while driving his car - Serenity Springs Recovery

We are again asking the same question here. Where are we right now in this country in terms of stopping this opioid epidemic? It seems to be doing a bit of a roller coaster routine again and not showing any signs of slowing down. Just when we thought it was cooling off, New Jersey strikes again.

Will the opioid epidemic slow down?

Stories like the aforementioned will put knots in your stomach or fear in your hearts. We are in a scary place as Americans for a number of reasons, but we are not going to get into politics. In terms of addiction and the epidemic, there is no clear cut answer. Obviously, as citizens or human beings, we wish these stories and epidemic would disappear for good.

The truth is drugs are here to stay and we have to hope that scientists continue to improve methods for combating the disease of addiction like our amino acid therapy or the bridge device. All we can do is continue to live our lives, focusing on our goals one day at a time. Writing this actually brought on some déjà vu from this blog post below where we asked very similar questions, and the results have not changed much!

An excerpt from, “Fentanyl Epidemic: Week in Review,” posted 10/16/2017:

What can we do to stop this?

As of today, there is really no answer for why, when or how this epidemic is going to end. It seems that drugs will always be a problem in this country and throughout the world regardless of the efforts made by police, armed forces, government, citizens, etc. of any country. At Serenity Springs Recovery Center, we do not worry about the numbers or politics involved, even though these are hot topics in America. We are here to offer a solution for addiction and change the lives of suffering addicts and alcoholics. These changes come from the knowledge and spiritual principles that we instill into their daily lives. This can and will happen for all that thoroughly work our program of recovery.

stop sign with trees in background

Recovery from Addiction is Possible

Not good when we are coming to the same conclusion from 16 months ago. However, we will keep fighting this thing from our corner, here in Volusia County, FL. We have seen many recover and will continue to recover opioid addicts, alcoholics, meth addicts, benzo addicts, we have even seen a few internet/pornography addicts recover at Serenity Springs. It is on the individual, if they want it, the solution is waiting for them and will always be available to those that seek freedom from addiction!

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Rutgers University Launches First Drug Counselor Program

December 29th, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog 0 comments on “Rutgers University Launches First Drug Counselor Program”

Rutgers Collegiate Recovery Program

In the midst of a drug epidemic sweeping the nation, largely fueled by opioid abuse, Rutgers Recovery Program Launches First Drug Counselor Program. Rutgers collegiate recovery program will initiate an apprenticeship program to train Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors. This will be the first time in the nation that such a program has been presented in the earn-while-you-learn model, according to the news site Patch.com. The state university of New Jersey will receive $1.3 million in state funding to secure this program.

Chris Christie

Chris Christie on Rutgers Collegiate Recovery Program

who has been a prominent voice of reform to address this epidemic, was present on campus for the announced plans of the program. “One of my priorities has been to put more certified alcohol and drug counselors on the ground to tackle the disease of addiction one person at a time,” Christie said. “This successful program creates a pathway for those interested in helping those with substance use disorder through paid on-the-job training. Thank you to Rutgers Collegiate Recovery Program and [Rutgers] President Barchi in seeing this need and partnering with us to provide this crucial training throughout the state.”

According to the same news article, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a growth of 20 percent growth in employment of substance abuse and behavioral counselors from 2016 to 2026, which far exceeds the projected average increase of all other professions.The state grant will allow for the school to train around 200 new Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors in 2018. New Jersey Labor and Workforce Development will contribute up to $6,000 per worker, with their employer matching half of the training cost. For its part, Rutgers will assist with job placement following completion of on-the-job training and passing of the certification exam.

Opioid Epidemic: New Jersey

While every state in the nation has been affected by the opioid epidemic, New Jersey has been hit exceptionally hard, with over an estimated 2,000 deaths in 2016 alone. While most of these deaths are attributable to heroin and synthetic opioids, new and incredibly dangerous opioid cocktails, such as “grey death”, have plagued the state as well.

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Serenity Springs Applauds NJ and Rutgers Collegiate Recovery Program

Serenity Springs applauds this crucial step in Rutgers Collegiate Recovery Program and New Jersey’s continued endeavor to fight the opioid epidemic. It is our hope the rest of our country’s local leaders, universities and institutions similarly follow suit to further efforts to bolster education and assistance to treat the disease of addiction, rather than relying on a punitive, non-rehabilitative approach that has proven to be both ineffective and misguided. Serenity Springs is proud of its New Jersey roots, with board members and employees having been born and raised there and we are pleased that important headway is being made in the Garden State.

If you or a loved one is battling drug addiction or alcoholism, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Heroin Addiction: Through a Mother’s Eyes

October 18th, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Opioid Epidemic, Treatment 2 comments on “Heroin Addiction: Through a Mother’s Eyes”

As an expectant mom, I ate healthily, did not drink coffee or alcohol, and I delivered my babies without any drugs, “Lamaze Natural Child Birth,” and that with 8-9 pound babies with big, round heads. I breastfed and even made baby food. I wanted my children to have a jumpstart on a healthy life. My husband and I encouraged healthy eating, exercise, being good students, and attending church. We were extremely involved in their lives.

My husband did a number of things with them: coached them in sports, Boy Scouts, fishing, camping, and taught them to be honest and loyal. He also taught them that hard work would result in success and satisfaction. So upon discovering that two of our three sons were dealing with addiction to opiates/opioids (Oxy, Methadone, Morphine) and benzos (Xanax & Klonopin), we frequently asked ourselves,

“What did we do wrong? What else could we have done to prevent this?”

Professionals, friends, and family reassured us that it was not what we did or did not do. THIS WAS NOT OUR FAULT! As responsible, supportive parents, this was very difficult to accept. We had no answers. Even after our sons reassured us that it was no fault of our own, but rather the poor choices they made, we felt like we failed as parents.

two brothers one mocking the other in matching plaid shirts - younger and older brothers

Life was Difficult

We sent them to detox after the two of them spent a week at our home, with much pain & discomfort on their end, and stress on our end. We did not know what to do! This was very dangerous!! Their detox from the staggering number of benzodiazepines they were ingesting was done without any medication or professional advice. They could not stomach much, they could not sleep, they couldn’t even put words or thoughts together. Out of our love and hope to “fix” their problems and “cure” their drug addiction, we sent them to a drug & alcohol rehab. This is what parents do, right? But their four-month stint in rehab was finished, what is next?

What came after rehab?

They came home to live with us after completing detox and rehab, and we lived on pins and needles. We worried every time they went out. We worried why they were struggling with finding work, both with college degrees. They were known in town for their athleticism, well-liked for their senses of humor and charisma. But their lives were so different now. They were not used to this lifestyle.

son is looking through the window
"They were not used to this lifestyle."

So many of their friends we dropping out of their lives, Several friends were struggling with addiction as well (NOTE FROM SSRC: This was 2012 and doctor shopping was over, which in turn meant fewer prescription opioids or painkillers on the streets at higher prices. Heroin addiction was rapidly spreading throughout the country, fueling the opioid epidemic). At one point, we had to hide purses and wallets, as we suspected money was disappearing. We were in denial about the power of opioid addiction and addiction in general, saying to ourselves,

“They wouldn’t steal from us… maybe we misplaced it?”

We were afraid to leave our home for long periods of time, unsure of what would go on in our home. The stress in our lives put a damper on living as we definitely imagined our lives would much easier at this point. The most difficult thing was learning the difference between assisting and enabling! To this day, we still do not know. It is a fine line between the two, and neither the assisting or enabling are defined (more about this here). I know we made plenty of mistakes in this area. Another mother, who lived with this for more than twenty years, said something I will never forget. She said,

“Addicts have mastered the skill of lying, and as parents, we really want to believe them.”

mother hugging happy son

I can honestly say that hindsight makes it easy to criticize our own actions and mistakes. One thing I know, I love them UNCONDITIONALLY. Most parents will continue to fight, love, and support their children. This thing called addiction is tough; we are forced to take it one day at a time. My youngest calls me every day now, knowing how the worry affects me.

Neither of us wants those feelings of shame (for him) and worry (for me) to happen again. Relapses have occurred, but he still calls regardless after he heard how this affected me as a mother. He is now in Florida and no longer lost or alone, 1000+ miles away, as we remain cold most of the year in New Jersey. His older brother, unfortunately, passed away two and half years ago.

We Appreciate Serenity Springs

Our son went to Serenity Springs Recovery Center in Edgewater, FL almost three years ago.The support of their staff, alumni, and even their owners/managers have helped him stay on track. It is remarkable to hear this after witnessing other treatment centers would send him right back into life without any type of structure to ease back in. Relapses occurred on both drugs and alcohol, getting worse each time. He even added a few new additions to his rough journey of recovering from his “pill problem.” At one point, he was convinced that his problem was strictly Oxy and Xanax. Everything else was fair game. That went on for a while, each time ending with state-run rehab, arrests and/or jail time. We believe he has finally stopped the bleeding and struggling to find happiness and fulfillment. Again I have to extend a big thank you from our family to Serenity Springs in Florida. That phrase that I was unsure of is making sense now!

STOP RECOVERING AND RECOVER

Want to know the real meaning?

STOP RECOVERING

AND RECOVERING

NEVER GIVE UP HOPE

We did not and will not give up on the daily struggle that addiction continues to be. We have taken our lumps in stride as a family. Our family is now stronger and our son’s second family has become larger in New Smyrna Beach, FL. One thing remains the same though: while our lives keep moving, we continue to live ONE DAY AT A TIME!

 

Written By: Louise (mother of a Serenity Springs Alumni)

KDA6Y7 Staten Island, NY, USA. 12th Oct, 2017. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announces support for a new bill that would categorize 11 different Fentanyl variations as controlled substances giving law enforcement the ability to pursue dealers and manufacturers of the drug across NY State in a press conference on Staten Island in New York City on October 12, 2017. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/Media Punch/Alamy Live News

Fentanyl Epidemic: Week in Review

October 16th, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, News, Opioid Epidemic 0 comments on “Fentanyl Epidemic: Week in Review”

On Wednesday, New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo held a press hearing to discuss a move implementing a significant crack-down on deadly pharmaceutical opioid drug fentanyl. Less than 24 hours before Governor Cuomo made the announcement; there were 14 overdoses in a four-hour time frame due to the synthetic opioid just down the road in Camden, New Jersey. Camden County, NJ ranks one in New Jersey’s heroin overdose frequency. [1]

Summary of the epidemic:

Drug overdose is the number one cause of death for Americans who are under age 50. Many state legislations report the overdose spike is related to the easily-accessible, synthetic opioid made by pharmaceutical companies. [2] FENTANYL is the name for those not paying attention to the opioid, AKA heroin, and for now, it is also the fentanyl epidemic. Puzzled parents and loved ones of opioid-dependent addicts now with more reason to fear a knock at the door or the phone ringing. They’re left to question, “What is fentanyl?” and “What are we doing to stop the never-ending, always-growing opioid & fentanyl epidemic?”

What does fentanyl look like?

There are really no distinct traits of fentanyl that make it stand out from heroin, cocaine or any other street drugs. The color is usually white or tan, when in powder form. However, there are many unique forms or “faces” of fentanyl. This is yet another reason it is so dangerous: the many ways it is produced, prescribed, smuggled, manufactured, and/or ordered into the wrong hands.

Not to mention, the staggering number of “research chemicals” that are coming from the internet, under the radar. These chemicals are shipped with a label, identifying them with a scientific formula. They also have a name, usually complex, with the drug name somehow mixed into it i.e. methoxyacetyl-fentanyl powder. The label will have something like, “USE FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY” or “NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION,” which is or once was a way of reducing penalties for possession. This is some frightening information. That means that anyone with internet access, an address, and credit card can simply click the “I certify that I am 18 or older” checkbox and “research chemicals” will be delivered! Most of these chemicals are made in a lab, usually in China, and shipped from the same place.

SOME FACES OF FENTANYL

pop/liquid

ACTIQ (oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate)
Fentanyl Citrate liquid (50 mcg/mL fentanyl) tiny brown bottle - Serenity Springs Recovery

molecule

chemist model of fentanyl (molecular make-up)
similar stickers appear on research chemicals

patch

fentanyl (transdermal patch) with cover on it

What is fentanyl used for?

Fentanyl is classified as an analgesic, commonly known as an opioid pain medication like morphine and OxyContin. The only similarity between fentanyl and morphine is just that, their classification. Differences, there are a bunch, the biggest being the strength of fentanyl. This lethal drug packs 50-100 times the power of morphine. Some forms of fentanyl analogs carry up to 10,000 times the potency levels we commonly see in prescription opioids, such as OxyContin, morphine, and Dilaudid. [3]

Celebrity Usage Exposed

Other common methods of delivery include gel patches and fentanyl lollipops. Media and many celebrities including pop princess, Britney Spears and the late music icon, Prince have been suspected of publically ingesting and referencing the opioid-laced lollipop. The death of Prince was said to be the direct result of his opioid dependence, which included fentanyl and fentanyl lollipops. Not only are the lollipops appealing to the youth of America, the media felt exposing dangerous drug use information about pop icons was necessary too. Just like any other addiction, this intimidating and deadly substance can grab a hold of anyone, anywhere.

Prince promotional picture early in his career (Died from fentanyl overdose April 21, 2016)

Overdoses Out of Control

Of the estimated 64,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016, the most significant increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl with over 20,000 overdose deaths. According to the New York Times, estimated deaths due to drug overdose went up 19% from 2015 to 2016. This unfavorable sweep of death and destruction by from opioid-induced drug addiction doesn’t seem like it’s decreasing anytime soon. Adding insult to injury on Wednesday, October 12, 2017, Camden, New Jersey reported fourteen overdoses in four hours as the result of fentanyl-laced heroin.

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Fentanyl Epidemic Eruption

Unfortunately, acute tragedies involving several opioid-related overdoses are reported nationwide every day. West Virginia who leads the country’s overdose rates by three times the national average, in 2016 communicated 27 heroin-induced overdoses in only 4 hours. Early this year West Virginia Public Broadcasting cited a 46 percent increase in overdose deaths in the state in just four years. They claim direct relation to the rise of fentanyl and the choice mixture among drug traffickers to increase potency levels of heroin.

Massachusetts has recently put most of its energy and effort in combating this drug over any other drug, including heroin. The Boston Globe this month ran a story in which they interviewed Michael J. Ferguson, a special agent who oversees the New England field division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In the article, they quoted Fergenson pleading, “Fentanyl is manufactured death, and it’s like no other epidemic that I’ve come across in my 27 years at DEA.” Mr. Fergenson and the rest of the state of Massachusetts saw that among the 1,899 death by opioid overdose in 2016, 69 percent of them tested positive for fentanyl.

Fentanyl Epidemic Headlines:

States all over the country are starting to feel the crippling power that fentanyl has over its citizens. The fentanyl epidemic is starting to explode nationwide. These are just some of this week’s major headlines involving fentanyl [10.8.17-10.15.17]

MARYLAND: Police seize over 6000 fentanyl pills while serving warrant in Baltimore


NEBRASKA: Investigators capture more than 30 pounds of fentanyl


NEW JERSEY: Governor Christie passes legislation to combat fentanyl-laced heroin


COLORADO: Registered nurse arrested for stealing fentanyl intended for patients


VIRGINIA: Fentanyl Hazmat exercise held in Virginia Beach


PENNSYLVANIA: Drug rehab founder accused of providing fentanyl to addict patients


FLORIDA: Authorities find 11-year child dead from fentanyl exposure during a raid

What can we do to stop this?

As of today, there is really no answer for why, when or how this epidemic is going to end. It seems that drugs will always be a problem in this country and throughout the world regardless of the efforts made by police, armed forces, government, citizens, etc. of any country. At Serenity Springs Recovery Center, we do not worry about the numbers or politics involved, even though these are hot topics in America. We are here to offer a solution for addiction and change the lives of suffering addicts and alcoholics. These changes come from the knowledge and spiritual principles that we instill into their daily lives. This can and will happen for all that thoroughly work our program of recovery.

DO YOU NEED HELP WITH AN ADDICTION?

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REFERENCES


  1. Vicki Batts. “Drug Overdose Is Now Leading Cause of…” CDC News. 13 Sept. 2017. Web.
  2. “Fentanyl.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Oct. 2017. Web.
  3. Milo, Paul. “14 Overdoses in 4 Hours Linked to Fentanyl-laced Heroin.” NJ.com. NJ.com, 12 Oct. 2017. Web.
boy with whirlwind over head while parents talk (drug talk) - blog image for Serenity Springs

No Preparation: Our Son is an Addict

September 2nd, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Disease of Addiction, Opioid Epidemic, Spiritual Experience, Treatment 2 comments on “No Preparation: Our Son is an Addict”

Nothing could have prepared me for what I would encounter in my life. I was so fulfilled as a mother of three sons living miles from the infamous Jersey Shore in Monmouth County, NJ. They were all handsome, intelligent, athletic, and had the greatest senses of humor ‒ all of them. There were the normal hurdles, but our family was so happy and so very close. My husband and I, both teachers, were involved In our community serving on many different committees and actively participating in programs involving youth, including the Alliance Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Long Branch, New Jersey. Never did we imagine our lives would be so impacted by drug addiction.

This Wasn’t Our Son

Somehow we missed the obvious signs that existed in our home. Suspicions were often quelled more by what we wanted to hear and believe. The strongest medication in our medicine cabinet was aspirin. We knew that many of their friends and classmates were having issues, but certainly not our sons. Then the reality hit us hard; one of our sons was acting strangely ‒ no drive, unproductive, coming and going at strange times, and not associating with his good friends. He was not at all like the man we once knew.

“Suspicions were often quelled more by what we wanted to hear and believe.

The strongest medication in our medicine cabinet was aspirin.” -Louise B.

video from drug-alliance.org

What do we do now?

Upon discovering (another story for another time), we had no idea what to do, where to go, who to ask for help. My son was battling opioid addiction (i.e. Oxycodone, Oxycontin & Methadone) coupled with benzodiazepines addiction (i.e. Xanax & Klonopin); a dangerous drug combination that mirrors the effects of heroin. I turned to my computer to find help. A site came up offering help. I did not know what else to do, so I called the number that popped up when I entered… “son, drugs, help.” The next day, after an intervention with a young man who flew in from the program, our youngest son left for a program in California. I cried nonstop for days. I was never so scared. For many reasons, this program (based on Scientology methods) did not work. This was just the beginning relapses with months and years of bouncing around to different drug/alcohol rehabs. Finding facilities was still a trip into unknown territory. One facility claimed to take insurance, released him after two weeks… only to have him return to quickly using.

This time when I discovered what he was doing, I knew I had to find a better program. Ironically, the NJ News channel was doing a story on a new rehab center in Florida started by a father and son from New Brunswick, New Jersey. They believed that a successful program would be one that had just a few clients, all the same sex, and the program encompassed treatment for mind, body, and soul for the three-part disease of addiction. It sounded like a perfect fit. Certainly worth a try!

Serenity Springs is Different

The attention Serenity Springs gave to my son was just what he needed. The staff was professional and caring. They kept us informed and allowed our son to call us. (That first program did not allow any contact for weeks, and then calls could only be made from a pay phone on the site with an expensive card we had to purchase). I loved that they knew that healthy family involvement was a factor in healing, and it helped us as well.

A family hugs outside addiction treatment center
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New Jersey’s “Grey Death” Heroin

September 1st, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Opioid Epidemic 1 comment on “New Jersey’s “Grey Death” Heroin”

While the issue of heroin addiction has made headlines in New Jersey as of late, a new and even more frightening trend is shocking the state and the nation. Heroin addicts and others hooked on prescription drugs are turning to this highly potent mixture for their next fix known as “Grey Death,” and the result is lethal.

"Grey Death" heroin siezed from streets (buzzfeed.com)

“Grey Death”

According to experts, Grey Death is a mixture of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and U-47700, producing a drug that can kill within seconds. Even one tiny grain of the cement-like substance is enough to be lethal. Some say that even touching it can be dangerous.

So, what exactly is this substance that New Jersey heroin addicts cannot wait to get their hands on?

Heroin, a natural opioid, is dangerous enough on its own. When you add fentanyl, which is known to be 100 times more powerful than heroin, and carfentanil, which is a synthetic opioid used to tranquilize large animals like elephants, it is no wonder that the result can so quickly cause fatalities.

U-47700

To top it all off, U-47700, or “pink”, is another synthetic opioid, one so powerful that less than 1 mg not only produces a high, but it can be instantly fatal. In October 2016 Serenity Springs’ Clinical Staff was interviewed by NBC News Orlando about the extreme dangers of this new potent opioid.

Get Help for Opioid Addiction

As one of the top drug rehab centers in Florida, Serenity Springs’ addiction center continues to treat heroin users who have all experienced a brush with these deadly new opioids. Serenity Springs’ Admissions Coordinator, Thomas Fain explains, “heroin use is like playing Russian Roulette regardless, but now it is more severe than ever. I am seeing more and more of these synthetic opioids, but more than ever they remain consistent with the Northeast tri-state area (New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut).”

With such a dangerous drug making its way to the streets of New Jersey, it is important that heroin users know there are options for opioid addiction. Current heroin users are more prone to try Grey Death and other deadly substances. Getting separated from the streets and admitted into a treatment center with a solution is vital!

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XANAX spelled in foam letters - Serenity Springs Recovery Blog image

Xanax: New Jersey’s Silent Epidemic

August 30th, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Opioid Epidemic 1 comment on “Xanax: New Jersey’s Silent Epidemic”

While an issue for the nation as a whole, perhaps no other state is feeling the opioid crisis as much as New Jersey. To help take action towards fighting the issue, in 2016 over thirty doctors in the state were disciplined for being too lax with prescriptions. Although just part of the problem, doctors that do not adhere to guidelines strictly enough should face disciplinary action. Four out of five new heroin users start off their habit with prescription drugs.

Doctor holding a prescription Rx that says XANAX - Serenity Springs blog

Among the prescription drugs most abused is Xanax. Used to treat anxiety and panic attacks, Xanax is highly addictive if not taken properly.

Xanax withdrawal can be fatal

For people who have become dependent on the drug, a difficult Xanax withdrawal is ahead. Xanax withdrawal symptoms, which include headaches, blurry vision, aggression, and seizures. These are among the most dangerous symptoms of all prescription drugs. It is not uncommon for a withdrawal to be life threatening or even fatal.

New Jersey isn’t alone in this issue, with several other states in the nation dealing with people who have become addicted to the dangerous prescription drug. In order to help ensure that new, even more, lethal street drugs aren’t sought after to get a fix, individuals must look for effective and safe treatment centers that can help them safely get through withdrawals.

For more information on benzodiazepine addiction and the best resources to get help; please call Serenity Springs.
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Outside of the famous Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ - Sober Sons of Monmouth County - Serenity Springs

Sober Sons of Monmouth County, NJ: Stephen G

August 24th, 2017 Posted by Blog, Disease of Addiction, Featured Alums, Spiritual Experience 2 comments on “Sober Sons of Monmouth County, NJ: Stephen G”

My name is Stephen G and I am from Monmouth County, NJ, and today I am a free man. I am a person who has recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body. Serenity Springs Recovery Center not only showed me a way out of the insidious disease of addiction but also made a long-term investment in me as a sober, recovered man. This was a far cry from where I was when I arrived in the quaint little fishing and surfer town of New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Jersey Shore to Florida Coast

For years I suffered from low self-esteem and had difficulty with relationships and life in general. My insides and outsides did not match. I never developed my own sense of identity. I had grown up as normal as normal can be; surfing along the beaches of Sea Bright, playing ice hockey on the banks of the Navesink River, skateboarding in Long Branch, hanging out with buddies on Broad Street in Red Bank, rock concerts at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. All the normalcy of an all American boy growing up in Monmouth County, New Jersey. What I did not know at the time was that there was a lingering beast inside me; hidden and dormant waiting to ravage my whole world along with everything and everyone around it. I had achievements in life such as an honors student at Rumson Fair Haven High School, Dean’s List at Rutgers University, and a promising career in investment banking on Wall Street. Although one looking in might say I was a very successful man, there was always the lurking feeling that I was creating a facade and I would be found out; I was a fraud.

Times Square in Manhattan, New York City filled with people - Serenity Springs (Sober Sons of Monmouth County blog image)

Drinking, drugs, and material possessions never filled that empty hole inside. I could not find a kind word for myself. Somehow my life took me from working off Park Avenue in New York City to living on a park bench in Daytona Beach, FL. I was slowly dying. How did this happen? This is the disease of addiction.

My New Identity

One day a group of guys was placed into my life while I was at my lowest. These men had found the solution to my problem. These guys were sober and I wanted what these guys had. And guess what? These guys were from the same beaches of Monmouth County I spent my summers on. One thousand miles away. Coincidence? Definitely not! I was asked to follow their lead. I did so, and my life has never been the same.

The twelve steps these men walked me through awakened me to a side of myself I had never experienced nor dreamed off. I realized that my identity is not in the world’s belongings or materialistic things, but lives in my soul. I came to know that I am a spiritual being. Altruism, mindfulness practices, and working with others who suffer have a profound impact on my choices today.

“Little New Jersey in Florida”

Who would have thought that a large group of guys from the beaches of Monmouth County, NJ would transcend to a sleepy little surfer village, recover from addiction, and create a life beyond their wildest dreams? There are so many of us guys from Monmouth County in the recovery community that even the local grocery store now stocks up Taylor Ham pork roll!! We often joke about becoming mayor to change the town’s name to Long Branch, Asbury Park or Belmar, Florida. But we don’t have to.

Serenity Springs Surf Team - brotherhood at the beach in New Smyrna Beach, FL

We have created a brotherhood here in Florida that binds us together as recovered men helping the next guy from Monmouth County to land on our beach. Today I learned to open my heart, my mind, and spirit. I am utterly dumbfounded at the abundance of love in recovery. Today I can be gentle and kind to myself. I attribute my new found successes in life and my happiness to recovery, and the men during my recovery from addiction at Serenity Springs Recovery Center.

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Kyle Fleming standing in front of the pond at serenity springs recovery center

Featured Serenity Springs Alumni: Kyle Fleming

February 2nd, 2017 Posted by Blog, Featured Alums, Recover, Spiritual Experience, Treatment 0 comments on “Featured Serenity Springs Alumni: Kyle Fleming”
Kyle Fleming is an alumnus of Serenity Springs Recovery Center and has about two-and-a-half years of sobriety. A native of New Jersey, consequences weren’t enough to keep Kyle sober, but they were instrumental in getting him the help he needed. (more…)

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