In January we opened Sunrise Detox Toms River, an in-patient drug and alcohol medical detox center for substance abuse treatment. We selected this location over a year ago, committing resources to completely renovate the old Country Manor Nursing Home site on Whitesville Road. After excellent local and regional contractors, vendors, and work crews worked hard even through the Super Storm Sandy interruptions, the detox center is now ready to accept patients.
Based on our three years of experience serving Northern New Jersey, and after monitoring substance use trends in the two states where we have facilities, we planned for 38 beds in Toms River. In 2012 and 2013, while we were building Sunrise Detox Toms River, the Ocean County region experienced nearly epidemic levels of prescription medication and heroin abuse. In early December the Ocean County Prosecutor released data showing over 100 overdose deaths in Ocean County, and we are now over 104 for the year.
Charts were recently circulated showing Toms River at the top of the list of towns counting overdose deaths in 2013. Twenty-four of the 102 deaths allocated to Toms River, even when South Toms River was reported separately (see enclosed figure).
We re-analyzed that using census data for town populations to normalize it for population density. From that analysis, we learn that the real "hot spots" for overdose deaths per-capita are towns with high numbers of tourist and transient visitors. Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, and Beachwood all suffered at least twice the incidence rate as Toms River. Seaside Heights suffered the most deaths, assigned nearly 3 times as many per-capita than the second highest town.
There are many factors contributing to overdose deaths, but the epidemic of substance use and abuse leading up to those tragic deaths is a state-wide problem. My associate John Moriarty of Sunrise Detox in Stirling has been reporting on the growth of prescription drug abuse in Northern New Jersey for the past year on his New Jersey Detox Blog.
John and I witnessed the rapid rise of prescription drug abuse in Florida nearly 3 years ago, and are familiar with the signs of the growing problem. Sunrise Detox added a premiere South Florida Detox Center in 2012, which has been serving the communities around Southeast Florida and Ft. Lauderdale, as well as travelers.
The Sunrise Detox facility at Toms River is an important addition to New Jersey, and will be immediately helpful to Ocean County residents. But what does "38 beds" really mean in terms of treatment capacity?
A detox bed is capable of serving one inpatient resident for the duration of his or her medical detox. We are a licensed medical detox - we can't release someone unless they sign out on their own, or our medical staff certifies them as detoxed. The actual length of stay for medical detox will vary, depending on the type of substance dependency involved (alcohol, heroin, pain killers, etc) as well as the status of the person coming in for help (how long they have been using, nutrition and fitness levels, etc).
On average, across all patients, it is safe to estimate 6-10 day average length of stay for medical detox in New Jersey. With each bed serving one client for 6-10 days, the 38 bed facility can serve close to 150 people per month, or close to 2,000 people per year.
If we view the total population of Ocean County alone as the "crowd" in this archival print of the Atlantic City boardwalk, the small circle of people represents the 104 overdose tragedies suffered in 2013.
If we consider the potential to serve 150 or more people per month with our new medical detox center, we can project up to 2,000 residents receiving medical detox in Toms River, every year.
This could represent helping 2,000 New Jersey residents caught up in the spiral of substance abuse and out of control addiction, helping them return to normal levels of function, and to continue into treatment (rehab) to address the root causes of the substance use and abuse.
That contribution comes from the Toms River facility alone. We continue to operate the Stirling, New Jersey detox center in Northern New Jersey as well, which serves up to an estimated 1200 clients per year.
Considering that same historic photo of the New Jersey boardwalk crowd, the 38 bed Toms River facility potentially helps nearly twenty times the 104 overdose victims in ocean County in 2013. A significant swipe of the need can be met with a well-run, efficient and professional medical detox center convenient to the families of Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Of course more resources are needed. Sunrise Detox is a provider of professional, medical detox for alcohol and substance abuse. We pride ourselves in our dedication to both professional, medical services and excellent customer service.
Our speciality is successful medical detox. We have pioneered work that shows a safe, comfortable detox is the best start to successful rehab. We know that those who detox comfortably are more compliant in treatment, and more likely to succeed. So we strive to deliver safe, dependable, detox which is also the most comfortable detox available.
Detox is the first step of almost everyone's rehab or addiction treatment. We hope everyone can start their treatment at Sunrise Detox, for the best start possible. Our new facility helps us deliver that treatment, and help up to 2,000 more New Jersey residents make a positive transition from dependency into counseling and recovery.
With the Stirling, New Jersey and Toms River locations, Sunrise Detox is capable of helping nearly 3,200 NJ residents each year break free of physical dependency on substances like drugs and alcohol, in preparation for treatment.
We invite you to come and tour the facility, experience our brand of detox and treatment, and meet our leadership, professionals, and staff.
About the Author: Joseph Horrocks is the Director of Admissions for Sunrise Detox. Sunrise operates 4 medical detox centers in New Jersey and Florida. Contact Joe via the Press Page.