HEALTH

Outpatient Rehab Offers Another Option for Addicts

By Erin Delmore
Correspondent

No beds here. Just chairs. This is the first licensed, outpatient rehab center in the state.

“I can go back home, go to work, go to the gym and then I come back here and I do my therapy and my treatment,” said Justin Bosch, a 27-year-old patient from Warren.

“A typical day, a patient will come in at 9 in the morning and stay here until 7 p.m. and get the last dose of medication and we sign them out to family members, and they go home to a safe environment with family support,” said Dr. Indra Cidambi, medical director at the Center for Network Therapy.

Supporting the family: 24-hour, on-call nursing staff. The Center has treated patients for alcohol, opioids and benzodizepines over the last three years. The Center for Network Therapy boasts a 60 percent success rate — that is, staying 90 days sober — among its 600 patients over the past three years.

“The person who’s sitting here today isn’t the person who walked in here a year ago,” said Brandy Bamber, a 35-year-old Middlesex resident who completed treatment.

Bamber owns one of those success stories.

“I was very sad. I was a shell of a person. I wasn’t a mother. I didn’t care. I didn’t care about myself. I didn’t care about you. I only cared about what I could get from you, and just one more. I would leave my kids home alone for an hour or two. To go cop, I wouldn’t be able to deal with my life if I wasn’t high. My life centered around getting, using and nothing else mattered,” she said.

She says her downfall was a prescription for Percocet to treat a hernia. She got hooked.

“Pills were just too expensive, I just knew that, so I just went to the source that was cheaper for me. So when I’m 30 years old I’m sniffing heroin. By 31 I’m shooting heroin. By 32 I wanted to die,” she said.

Bamber completed five weeks of outpatient treatment at the end of 2014 — a last resort, after a few weeks in jail — and two stints in inpatient rehabs.

“You don’t have to worry about anything but getting clean, so then when you get home, you are faced with the pressures of school work, the chaos of kids fighting, cleaning the house it gets to be very overwhelming,” she said.

Not everyone meets the criteria for treatment. You can have no active psychiatric illnesses, or medical complications like seizure and stroke. Dr. Cidambi said most patients come in after they’re rejected from inpatient detox.

The Center for Network Therapy says that insurance covers most of their patients at 100 percent. The out-of-pocket cost, without insurance, is around $400 a day, but the team here says that’s only about a third of the cost of a traditional inpatient facility.

Bamber’s treatment was covered. She told me she wanted to do this interview to give back, and to move forward.

“I’m proud to be who I am, I’m proud to have gone through what I’ve gone through. I’m proud to be the mother I am today, and my struggles have taught my kids what not to do. I have a 15-year-old son that I am very proud of, I mean he’s not that 15-year-old kid that’s in high school smoking weed, he’s not. I have beautiful daughters who are growing up to be amazing women. And that’s only because of what I’ve gone through and what I can teach them today. So as long as I keep growing, I can continue to teach them things,” she said.

Teaching not just from the past, but on tackling the future.

For more stories that are part of the initiative Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis, click here.