Interview With Laura Genco, Primary Therapist at RAC

4 weeks ago ·

Interview With Laura Genco, Primary Therapist at RAC

Laura is a bright new star and comes to us recently as a primary therapist. Laura finished her degree in December of 2019 and was hired full time at the start of the COVID-19 onset on March 23, 2020. Laura is from Manahawkin, Ocean County, New Jersey and attended Richard Stockton University for her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and completed her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Georgian Court University. Laura hit the ground running with us and was immediately active counselling our clients in a unique mix of in-person COVID-19 compliant social distancing and telehealth. Our agency in Blackwood never went Telehealth “only” and still maintains a balanced mix of in-person and Zoom HIPAA compliant telehealth counseling sessions.

I asked Laura, why Psychology? She said plainly that she always had a passion to help individuals and could always connect with people in a non-threatening way. Laura grew up loving the editorials of Carolyn Hax and Dear Abby. She likes to explore an individual’s strengths and see what makes people “tick”. She says whether biochemical or a faulty life issue through trauma, many people are not living their best lives. People get “stuck”. Laura wants to help people be their best selves. Clients tend to rediscover themselves through therapy and get better as they approach recovery.

Laura explained some of the challenges she sees during Shelter in Place and COVID-19. She sees personal growth and the lack of coping mechanisms hindering people. The isolation limits old habits, like going out with friends, a lack of touch, a hug, and social distancing taking away certain natural sensitivities. She thinks wearing masks limits facial recognition and hinders reading people’s emotions. She observes that the structure associated to helping stop the spread of the virus hurts the humanity and social nature in people and to a minor degree is counterproductive for good mental health.

Laura is also active in her counseling association. She is a volunteer with the NJCA New Jersey Counseling Association and seeks to recruit new members. Laura is an optimist and a pleasure to speak to. We wish her great success in her career and journey forward with Recovery at the Crossroads.

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RAC and Managing The Evolving COVID-19 Situation

4 months ago ·

RAC and Managing The Evolving COVID-19 Situation

Updates and news about Crossroads and Companies and how we are managing the evolving COVID-19 situation.

OUR CAMPUSES

Crossroads campuses in Atlantic County and Gloucester County, are open. Although we are temporarily suspending our Mental Health Partial Care program and our transportation services, we will continue to provide treatment services and are accepting new patients at Behavioral Crossroads Recovery and Greenbranch Recovery and Wellness in Egg Harbor Township, NJ as well as Recovery at the Crossroads in Turnersville, NJ. For all Substance Abuse Primary & Co-Occurring PHP, IOP & OP levels of care.  We are using state of the art audio and video conferencing software to stay in touch with our clients. We will continue to offer out-patient services through both video conferencing and in person sessions at each site under the strictest 10 person maximums and clear 6-foot separation as social distancing allows with the COVID-19 protocols.

The disease of addiction loves isolation – and while social isolation is needed in this time of crisis, it is a breeding ground for substance use disorders. Those with substance use disorder, mental health disorders and their families need us now more than ever, with the shutdown of bars, restaurants, retail stores, offices and industrial companies, many states will force some into potentially life-threatening alcohol withdrawal and emotional distress. This is an emotional trigger for all, increasing situational anxiety and other mental health disorders due to less external resources. There is a need to maintain prescription management for our clients, since access to many services will be limited. Currently, the safest place for those with substance use disorder and mental health disorders are in treatment.

PREPAREDNESS

Last week, we shared a message with you how Crossroads stays prepared to mitigate risk and reduce the spread of infectious diseases to continue to keep our campuses safe. Crossroads has well-established practices, policies, and procedures aimed at preventing the spread of infectious diseases 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Please note, all new patients will be pre-screened for possible COVID-19 exposure and symptoms associated with COVID-19 prior to admission.

Crossroads is uniquely equipped to manage the situation at hand, as well as to forecast and adapt to whatever changes may come in the subsequent weeks and months. Over the years, our team in Atlantic County have developed seamless relationships with our local community providers in time of case escalation, should a patient require a higher level of care. Gloucester County’s connections with its local community providers also afford a similar layer of stability and safety that helps our families and patients trust that we have the strength, training, and ability to weather this storm.

PREVENTION

At the guidance of local and national officials, we have restricted visitation on our campuses, moved non-essential staff members to work remotely, and launched virtual programs and services throughout the continuum. In addition, our Recovery Centers in all locations are now offering all services remotely.

ADMISSIONS

We encourage you to connect with our Call Center Team to learn about what services are currently being offered in your area. During this unprecedented time, our team is here to help, from providing a referral to connecting you with resources to helping you facilitate an admission at 609-645-2146.

Stay Well,

The Crossroads Management Team

 

 

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Alcoholism the Family Disease

5 months ago ·

Alcoholism the Family Disease

When speaking to people in long term recovery from an alcohol use disorder and their families, you hear the heartbreak of active alcoholism as well at the joy to be found on the road to recovery.

Alcoholism is a disease. Because of its devastating impact on families, it is called a family disease, a disease of isolation, secrecy, guilt, and shame. The words often used in connection with alcohol use disorders are very punitive and often demeaning. Alcoholics are sometimes described as weak, dangerous, morally deficient, among many other unflattering terms. We describe their families as dysfunctional, possibly a home void of love and filled with abuse. Today we know that alcoholism and addiction do not only come from unhealthy homes but can develop in loving and functioning homes.

If we look at a comparison of the reaction to other life-threatening diseases, we do not find personal attacks on the person or look to their families for blame. No-fault is assigned to those diagnosed with Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Lyme, and other conditions, nor are their families automatically seen as dysfunctional. People rally support with praise of heroism as the affected person battles the disease. There is no shame. No blame.

The disease of alcoholism can equally affect the quality of life resulting in possible death as do other serious diseases. But unlike other diseases, the person is held responsible for having the disease. This incorrect fact often affects how people treat both the alcoholic and their family. More accurately, alcoholics like anyone that is diagnosed with a disease are not responsible for having the disease. They are responsible for making healthy choices in how to treat their disease and seeking treatment.

The story of alcoholism begins with both the person and their family believing that alcoholism could not affect them. The family member is in denial of their drinking, and the family joins them in the dissent, thinking their loved one could not be a problem drinker. Their denial becomes the barrier to addressing the needs for recovery. Rationalizations protect them from feeling the shame and fear experienced in acceptance of alcoholism in their family. Drinker and family offer explanations of why it cannot be true, they are just a social drinker, there are no alcoholics in the family, they never miss work, they are too young, they are too old, they don’t drink and drive, they don’t drink alone, on and on the reasons provide the faulty reasons of why this can’t be. The alcoholic and the family desperately want to believe there is no problem.

There is no religion, social standing, or love that gives full protection from the disease of alcoholism. Once the concern becomes real, families look for solutions. Sometimes they try having a “firm” talk with and bargain for sobriety. Negotiations result in disappointment and frustration. Co-dependency grows as the loved ones try various ways to control their drinking. Not understanding that alcoholism is a disease, not weak will power, makes attempts to promote sobriety fail. Families put off treatment and find excuses for why it is not needed. They look for short term solutions at first, not recognizing recovery needs time.

Not drinking is the first necessary step to recovery. It is a brilliant start but by no means the finish. Due to the shame and secrecy bred into the diagnosis, the strain can be devastating to the person suffering and everyone that cares about their life. Families often consider that the problem lies only with the alcoholic, and if they stop drinking, everything will be fine. Loved ones need to heal from the anger, frustration, shame, self-blame and broken hearts often surrounding alcoholism. This help can be found in treatment and family programs.

The reality that alcohol kills more people than all other drugs combined has faded into the background of many discussions on addiction. With statistics that record 88,000 deaths related to alcohol a year in the United States in comparison to 15,000 from all other drugs combined, the question becomes – how is the devastation of alcoholism and effects on families slipping off of society’s radar? Fifteen million people in the United States are suffering from alcohol use disorders, with only 7% receiving treatment.

We need to bring the truth about alcoholism from the darkness into the light.

Hope needs to replace the fear.

Good treatment is available, free self-help groups are prevalent, and recovery from alcoholism and the impact on families is possible.

Recovery is possible, get help today! https://www.racnj.com/contact-us/

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Health and Wellness at RAC

5 months ago ·

Health and Wellness at RAC

The Team at Recovery at the Crossroads introduced a wellness aspect into our client treatment plans in order to expand each individual’s recovery process. At RAC, we know if you want to do well in all areas of your life, you must make your health a priority. While coupled with a healthy lifestyle, wellness goes beyond the boundaries of general health. It encompasses a positive outlook on mind, body, and soul and is something we often have more control over than health.

There are various dimensions of wellness that can be viewed as a quality, state, or process. Emotional wellness deals with thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It allows you to clearly recognize and accept your feelings, both positive and negative. This includes adapting to stress, life changes, and difficult times. When recovering from alcohol or drug addiction there can be many aspects at play. That’s why health and wellness is a priority at Recovery at the Crossroads. We help clients improve their emotional wellness and teach them skills for daily living, for example:

  • Being optimistic and focusing on the positive aspects of life
  • Learning to accept your emotions, whether good, bad, or ugly
  • Building and maintaining strong relationships
  • Staying in the moment
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Smiling as much as possible
  • Maintaining a good work/life balance
  • Getting enough sleep at night
  • Seeking professional support when necessary
  • Managing stress through positive coping methods

Another dimension of wellness Recovery at the Crossroads focuses on is spiritual wellness. This can be achieved in a variety of ways including organized religion, prayer, meditation, yoga, along with a careful assessment of your morals, values, and beliefs. RAC also implemented Adventure Therapy which consists of martial arts, yoga, and Pilates to add a freedom from stress and build confidence and trust in your physical ability. A weekly spirituality group speaks in a general way to your soul, and the attitude necessary to facilitate healthy change.

Finally, we focus on wellness of the body. Neck and body massages are offered along with wellness consultations, including but not limited to topics of sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety relief. We also offer other options that can be used daily to improve overall health and wellness of the body, some of those options include:

  • Consuming a well-balanced diet
  • Eating breakfast every day
  • Scheduling routine physical exams with a medical provider
  • Getting enough sleep at night
  • Learning to listen to your body and recognize early signs of illness

Recovery at the Crossroads offers a warm and professional atmosphere enhanced by the commitment of our wellness program to treat all aspects of the client’s life. The program provides a variety of wrap-around services that incorporate a healthy mind, body, and soul. Our program supplies skills to complement state-of-the-art clinical treatment. If you or a loved one are seeking addiction & mental health treatment that focuses on all aspects of an individual’s recovery, then Recovery at the Crossroads is the place for you.

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6 months ago ·

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment: Choosing the Right Program

Inpatient VS Outpatient Treatment

Once you’ve decided to take the first step towards recovery and enter an addiction treatment program, you need to choose between inpatient vs outpatient treatment. Although both types of care are recovery-focused and often include elements such as detox, behavioral therapy and group counseling, inpatient treatment is exceptionally more intensive, while outpatient treatment allows the patient to attend rehab on a part-time basis, enabling them to continue working, attending school or dealing with other responsibilities.

What to Expect from an Inpatient Treatment Program

As mentioned earlier, inpatient care is intensive. It typically lasts a minimum of four weeks and in some cases can continue for even longer. In cases where addiction is severe, inpatient treatment is almost always the better choice. When comparing inpatient vs outpatient treatment, inpatient care allows patients to take more time to focus on their recovery without outside distractions or communication with those who many enable them to use drugs or alcohol.

What to Expect from an Outpatient Treatment Program

Outpatient programs are best for individuals who aren’t able to take time away from work, school or family life. While they generally have lower success rates than those in inpatient care, outpatients who dedicate themselves to the program do have the opportunity to successfully recover from their addictions. Outpatient programs consist of treatment plans that are similar to those created for inpatients; the major difference between the two programs is the intensity of treatment and the frequency at which it’s provided.

Considerations When Choosing a Rehab Program

Addicts who have a strong support system might find that they prefer to recover at home and attend treatment during the daytime. However, those who don’t have support at home or whose friends and family enable them to use should consider inpatient care, which ensures patients remain focused on recovery 24 hours a day. Outpatient care is also considerably less expensive than inpatient treatment; for some, the cost alone is the deciding factor.

Inpatient Treatment

  • Each day in treatment follows a rigid schedule
  • All patients are subject to strict rules while participating in the program
  • Medical staff is typically available to provide care around the clock
  • Peers provide motivation and support
  • Treatment is monitored by trained counselors 24/7
  • Best option for patients who experience frequent urges to use drugs or alcohol or are dealing with more than one addiction or mental health condition

Outpatient Treatment

  • Patients are responsible for their own recovery and must adhere to treatment appointments
  • Structured treatment programs are available for those transferring from a partial hospitalization program or inpatient care
  • Best option for patients who require treatment at a lower cost or a flexible treatment schedule

Making the Right Choice

The most important factor to consider when choosing inpatient vs outpatient treatment is your own health. Patients who are dedicated to their recovery can find success in an intensive or general outpatient program, while those who need more structure or medical attention are more likely to benefit from inpatient treatment or a partial hospitalization program.

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9 months ago ·

Getting Through Tough Times with a Reflection on Sukkot

Symbols of Sukkot Lulav Etrog Palm Myrtle Willow

For some, discovering new spirituality plays a part in recovering from addiction. Sukkot is a holiday that commemorates the many years the Jewish people spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land. During this time, they struggled through an arduous journey and made innumerable sacrifices until they eventually came to a land where they could live in peace and prosperity.

As you begin your journey through substance abuse treatment, you’ll be much like those people who once struggled to find the Promised Land. Like them, you’re on a journey that will lead you to a place of continued sobriety. At Recovery at the Crossroads, we’re here to help you reach the goal of becoming an independent person with control over your life, so you can give back to your community while finding fulfillment through your faith.

How Can Recovery at the Crossroads Help with Your Recovery?

At Recovery at the Crossroads, we want to help you through all stages of recovery, from the moment you arrive until the moment you walk out as an empowered, sober individual. We know your path to sobriety won’t be simple, which is why we offer treatments that help you recover from the ground up. We’ll encourage you to reflect on trauma and past events that may have impacted your decisions. We’ll also help you avoid giving in to the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that may lead to relapse.

We believe that a stronger connection to your heritage, family and community will help you become a more independent person with healthy relationships you’ll need to stay sober once your treatment is complete. Sukkot encourages you to examine everything you and your loved ones have done to get to where you are today. During treatment, you’ll be asked to look back and reflect on your life and what brought you to the Recovery at the Crossroads program.

The Torah tells us how the Israelites depended on God for protection during their 40-year journey in the desert, and at Recovery at the Crossroads, we believe that you can turn to Him for support and know He will lead you to recovery and faith. By the end of your treatment, we hope you will be able to look back on the time you’ve spent with us as a positive movement forward and away from the grip of addiction.

We will encourage you to take part in Sukkot and to eat in the Sukkah, when possible. We’ll develop a kosher meal plan that protects your faith while you focus on commemorating this important tradition in our community. As you celebrate, you will build strong bonds and develop healthy relationships with others who can support you as you continue along your journey to sobriety.

Reflecting on Sukkot Helps You When Times Get Hard

On the hard days, it can be tempting to give up and fall back into addiction, but that won’t help you reach your goal. Although you may stumble on the path to sobriety, you can continue moving forward with the help of those who are surrounding you with love and guidance. The Sukkot holiday embraces the idea that hard work eventually pays off at the end of a difficult journey, and we believe this is true in substance abuse treatment as well. The efforts that you put in today will help transport you to a new place tomorrow, so you can look back on where you once were and be proud of how far you’ve moved forward.

If Rough Times Are Impacting Your Journey to Sobriety, We Can Help

At Recovery at the Crossroads, we are ready to help you as you begin your journey toward sobriety. Like your ancestors who traveled across the vast Sinai Desert, you also have a challenging task ahead of you. Our expertise and treatment programs will get you on track toward living the life you’ve been praying and hoping for. At Recovery at the Crossroads, we know that life isn’t easy, and recovery isn’t easy either. That’s why we’re always here to lend support. Contact us online or call us at 856-644-6969 to speak with one of our substance abuse counselors about how we can help you today.

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The Reality of the Opioid Epidemic!

1 year ago ·

The Reality of the Opioid Epidemic!

Just because you are not a suffering addict doesn’t mean another person’s actions during their addiction won’t affect you. The world we live in today has been taken over by an opioid epidemic. A real crisis throughout our nation and its consequences come in many different forms. One thing we can do to help is bring awareness to this issue, share information, educate ourselves, and provide options for ones who suffer from addiction. Our society is struggling, it’s almost as if you can’t wake up in the morning without hearing that someone overdosed, got arrested, was involved in a serious car accident or even died because of being intoxicated or high. You see it on the news, internet, and in the paper. Addiction is something we should not ignore, especially when the traumatic headlines are in our face everyday.

Newark, N.J. (February 20, 2019)

School bus driver high on drugs crashes bus with students onboard.

The bus driver was transporting students around 1 p.m. when the driver went off the road and hit a tree, suffering from a drug overdose. The bus driver was revived using Narcan.

RARITAN, N.J.  (February 8, 2019)

Driver sentenced in drug-related crash that killed infant. 

A driver who was high on heroin when he struck three people on a sidewalk, killing an infant and seriously injuring the child’s mother and 5-year-old brother, is headed to prison.

New Jersey (January 7, 2019)

Drug overdoses reach beyond 3,000 in N.J. for the first time.

People in New Jersey are still dying from overdoses in extraordinary numbers. While state officials recorded the largest year-end total yet. 

These are just some examples of what this epidemic has caused. We need to reach out and offer help to addicts who are struggling, so that their or someone else’s future isn’t destroyed or taken from them too soon.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out and ask for help.

TO GET HELP NOW! click the link below or call us directly. www.racnj.com/contact/

888.342.3881 (Option 2)

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1 year ago ·

Speaking out on Mental Health.

What does mental health mean? Simply defined mental health is a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.

In todays society the topic of one’s mental health is becoming more openly discussed, as it should. For some of us we go along in life never being extremely impacted by our own state of mental health, but that is not the case for everyone. Mental health problems can cover a broad range of disorders, but the common characteristic is that they all affect the affected person’s personality, thought process or social interactions. For example, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder can cause someone to have impulsive behavior or difficulties remaining focused. Some more openly discussed are Anxiety and Depression, in serious cases these can be life threating if not treated properly.

There is not one single factor to cause a person to have a mental health disorder. Some may stem from a family history of mental health disorders. Others can be caused by changes in brain chemistry from substance abuse or a drastic change in one’s diet. Social exposure can also form the foundations for harmful thought patterns associated with mental health disorders.

What ever the cause, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. These issues effect many of us, even celebrities, Lady Gaga said it best during this year’s 2019 Grammy Awards.

“If I don’t get another chance to say this, I just want to say I’m so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues. They’re so important,” she said at the mic. “A lot of artists deal with that and we gotta take care of each other. So, if you see somebody that’s hurting, don’t look away. And if you’re hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody and take them up in your head with you.”

  • Lady Gaga

Fortunately, there are ways to treat a mental health disorder. One being prescription medication in conjunction with behavioral therapy or cognitive therapy So, if you or a loved one has signs of a mental health disorder, it’s important to seek help or treatment. Don’t feel like this is something you have to go through alone.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, we can help!

Recovery at the Crossroads – 888.342.3881

Contact

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Loving Someone In Active Addiction

2 years ago ·

Loving Someone In Active Addiction

There is a constant overwhelming feeling of fear and worry when you love someone in active addiction. Whether it be a friend, child, parent or spouse the nightmare is the same. I say nightmare because that’s what it feels like, and anyone who has been in this position I’m sure would say the same.

When you love someone, who is actively in addiction you tend to blame yourself. Was there something I could have done to prevent this? I should of know, why didn’t I see this coming? While they refuse to take responsibility, they will proceed to tell you, and everyone around them it’s their fault. We may or may not know this, but we must understand that there is no control over an actively addicted mind. As much as we want to shake that person and ask them why. The truth is they don’t know why they allow their lives to spiral so far out of control. Most of the time when they do realize the damage has already been done.

Every addict has their own rock bottom, and even though we think about all the destruction, broken promises, this “nightmare” has caused. If they do not see it as their rock bottom and are willing to get help as their loved ones we cannot fix them. I know this from experience. I have been on both sides, the addict and loving an addict. Through my experiences loving an addict can be far more painful than being in active addiction. I am not trying to minimize what an addict goes through but for the loved ones, we stay up all hours of the night wondering if their okay. Try to put on a fake smile and hold it together just to make it through our work day. Continuously waiting for the dreaded phone call that they were in an accident or worse dead. While they are out running around, all we can do is sit wait, and hope they are safe, and pray for this to end.

For anyone who has a loved one in active addiction please remember this is not your fault, and you are not alone. We may need to love them from a far but they are still loved, and when they are willing and ready to receive help the best thing we can do is be there.

 

Looking for Help

Contact Us

888-342-3881

https://www.racnj.com/contact/

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A Mark of Disgrace or Infamy

2 years ago ·

A Mark of Disgrace or Infamy

The stigma of addiction. Most of us have dealt with addiction in one form or another, and even with the severity of opioid addiction becoming more prevalent in the recent years, we still label addicts as junkies, crackheads, criminals, and fiends just to name a few. What most of us seem to forget is that junkie is someone’s mother, that criminal is someone’s child. We are all human and come in to and leave this world the same way.

I myself am an addict in recovery, and for so long struggled with the stigma around addiction. It made me feel different from everyone else, like I was beneath them. The simplest daily tasks I didn’t want to do, because I felt like anyone who looked at me saw me as a junkie. That all they had to do was take one look at me and could tell. This happened even after having some time in recovery.

My addiction started when I was 17 years old, 6 months after my 18th birthday I had managed to destroy my car, lost my job, got arrested, and while all my friends were preparing for collage I was trying to figure out how to get more drugs. I battled active addiction on and off for 8 years, I struggled with everyone’s perception of me, and as human beings do, I was so worried about what everyone else thought. One day I sat down and really thought about it. Why did I feel this way? Why was I so worried about what everyone thought? You know what the answer was I wasn’t okay with myself. I wasn’t proud of everything I had done in my recovery. I didn’t truly love myself. At this point I realized yes there is always going to be a stigma around addiction, but I am proud of myself, and we as recovering addicts need to change this stigma the powerful, negative perceptions commonly associated with substance abuse and addiction. In doing so we can change thoughts and ideas others may have about addiction. We can show them how powerful, recovery is, and if they just have compassion for the suffering addict, then maybe they won’t feel unwanted, different, embarrassed to ask for the help. I fight every day for another day sober. Let’s drop the stigma and help someone take the first step and get one day.

Looking for Help

If you or someone you know is looking for help Contact us 888-342-3881 or https://www.racnj.com/contact/

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