Treatment Center Setting
SOBA College Recovery Philosophy
Substance Abuse Treatment and Counseling for Young Adults
SOBA College Recovery’s specific motivation is to help those in a community setting who may have a problem with substance abuse or other mental disorders commonly associated with substance abuse. At each phase of treatment, clients receive certain levels of care, with a gradual step-down process proven most effective for recovering adults in this phase of their lives. When enough trust is built, clients are stepped-down from their level of controlled supervision and given more responsibility and privilege. Throughout treatment, our clients are to receive personalized attention and therapeutic care for addiction and the underlying co-occurring disorders associated with drug abuse and mental health issues. The simple idea is that the more a client works through the program the more they become self-sufficient and learn to care more about their actions and take responsibility for their own futures.
Areas of Specialization
This Program is the second part of family night, which takes place every Thursday at SOBA College Recovery to address family issues surrounding addiction & mental health disorders, and strategies for the entire family system to benefit from the client’s recovery. Family members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Customized Individual Treatment
Almost any program will claim to tailor treatment to the specific needs of the individual client through both group and one-on-one counseling. Yet, traditionally, all clients are made to attend the same groups, some of which are not relevant to their specific needs. SOBA College Recovery goes above and beyond to ensure that the unique needs of each individual are addressed through specialized group treatment plans. Treatment for all clients will consist of nine to twenty one-hour group therapy sessions per week. Upon intake, licensed clinicians will assess which of the groups currently offered are most relevant to the individual. They will then determine a personalized group therapy plan that will provide the client with the most effective treatment possible. This groundbreaking approach is unique to our program and will have a profound, positive impact on our clients’ success.
Family Education Program
This is a Program specifically for the family members, loved ones and friends of clients at SOBA College Recovery. Group members learn about boundaries, self-care, communication and how to best help their loved one. The concepts of enabling are discussed at length, and parents of young adults receive the wisdom and experience from other families that have been dealing with these issues for an even longer period of time. Family members are also taught and encouraged to attend Al-Anon or Nar-Anon.
Assessment & Evaluation Of Co-occuring Disorders
Substance use disorders can present in complex ways. It is often difficult for mental health professionals to tease out co-occurring mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an eating disorder, bi-polar disorder, depression, and borderline personality disorder. As a result, there is a great deal of misdiagnosis and over-medicating of individuals with substance use disorders. At SOBA College Recovery, our staff consists exclusively of clinicians that are dually licensed in mental health and substance use disorders, and psychiatrists that are certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Upon admission and thereafter all clients will be re-assessed for co-occurring mental health conditions and our psychiatrists will collaborate with clinicians to develop individualized treatment plans.
Individual Case Management
SOBA College Recovery implements a comprehensive individualized case management program to fit each client’s specific needs. Issues stemming from Legal, Work, Financial, School sometimes need development. Case mangers work with clients Probation officers and or court systems to help resolve any legal issues. Resume building, Job searches, interviewing skills, filling out job applications along with work ethic and job skills training are all part of improving clients current or future employment status. Case managers work on practicing financial wellness, budgeting, bill payments, debt serving and the utilization of incentive programs.
Trauma & Associative Awareness Therapy (AAT)
Associative Awareness Therapy (AAT) uses the brain’s innate ability to adapt to change in a healing way, essentially “retraining” the brain to respond differently to familiar memories of trauma or pain.
Client & Family Support Groups
Group therapy is a vital component of addiction recovery treatment, considered as important and effective (sometimes even more so) than individual therapy. Benefits include reducing isolation and loneliness and providing the opportunity to learn from others in recovery. In the addiction setting, group therapy is run by trained professionals who guide participants toward a shared goal of recovery.
Emphasis On Enjoying Life In Recovery
Addiction affects every area of an individual’s life, from interpersonal and romantic relationships, to work and education, to identity and recreation. At SOBA College Recovery, our team focuses not only on treating addiction and sustaining recovery, but also on helping clients rediscover themselves by finding out who they are and what they like to do. Clients will find new, healthy ways to fill their time through the many recreational activities our program offers, all in a safe, supportive environment with people who understand what they have been through and where they are trying to go in the future.
If you’re on this site looking for help in a dire situation (maybe for yourself or a loved one) you have come to the right place. Let me fill you in on my story! My son R— is a 23-year-old boy who has been suffering addiction for the past six years. At first, I was in total denial about reality. After his whole mind, body and soul started getting infected by this disease, I had no other choice but to acknowledge his pain and suffering and try to help him out as any mother would. Believe it or not trying to get him into treatment was when my real trouble started! Trying to find a truly caring facility was a downright nightmare and a disaster! So that you understand: my son has been through more than 15 treatment facilities. Here is just a portion of our story: The first facility that I “chose” for R— was not really my choice. The insurance company dictated where and for how long my son was to go and recover! How sad that day was for me and my family, and also for our son, to learn he only qualified for a five-day detox (which did nothing by the way). When I spoke to the facility, their first question was what kind of insurance do you carry and that we were responsible for everything insurance didn’t cover. I started to shake, cry, and I felt alone with this family disease that I was not prepared for or educated to battle. Now, the first place I took my son wanted money first instead of worrying about my son’s well being. The addiction continued to grow fast and furiously. R— grew into it. Again, I tried calling every type of facility from New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania trying to find an “open bed” that would take him. All the staff cared about was the money and not my son. We sent him to what we thought was a good program in Florida, and after the twenty-eight days of the PHP phase, they put my son in a halfway house that was filthy, dirty, smelled, and–to top it off–was next to a motel where dealers would try to entice him. After my son relapsed again–because of the poor treatment offered at the facility and their incompetent help–he was told to leave. This literally happened: R— was left on a side of a road in Florida, 1300 miles from home with no food, water, money, shelter or phone to call his family! He wanted recovery, however. So on his own he somehow got another facility to pick him up and house him. R— then was able to contact me. As you could only imagine my concern now was that my son was alone and suffering in this lion’s den of crap! I called the facility where R— had been told to leave and the director yelled at me and said, “You are R—’s problem, not R—!!!!” After, many unpleasant exchanges of words, I tried to get a hold of my son. The new facility was run by a young man. When I was asking him questions and started interviewing him, I found him not to be trustworthy. Some weeks went by with very little or no communication with R— or staff. I began to get very hyper about jumping on a plane and going to Florida to go get him, but I didn’t even know where he was! Well, my questions were soon answered. My worst fears were realized. A hospital called on my cell phone, but the details were sketchy about what was really happening to R—. After a nervous hour went and my entire family broke into tears when we found out R— had overdosed. There were many questions that needed to be answered about how this happened to a young boy supposedly being taken care of at a top notch facility. For instance: Why did the hospital have to take charge and have the responsibility of calling me and not the treatment center? My phone rang with a boy saying, “Are you R— mother?” “Oh my God, Yes! Who are you?” He told me his name and explained that the DRIVER(!) employed by the new facility (where R— was going to be SAFE,) had injected R— with too much heroin. R— then fell to the floor and stopped breathing! Now a driver is part of the problem too?!! All of these incompetent facilities should lose their license once and for all. When will this ever end and where are the caring facilities?! We brought our son home, but still suffering from active addiction. Finally, it happened that I spoke to a good friend of mine whose son was R—‘s friend since he was fifteen and had suffered with the same problem. She told me about a facility called SOBA College Recovery. She gave me the name of a man who ran the facility called Philip Chasin. I spoke with him. He promised to help me. He came immediately to our home with another tech. They came to my house quietly, lovingly and with open hearts and minds. My husband and I felt a great weight lifted off of our family. Phillip asked us to leave the room as he took right over and spoke with R— softly. By the time we were asked to come back into the room, R— began packing his clothes WILLINGLY. (Finally, a well-run program!) As treatment facilities goes, SOBA College Recovery is so loving and caring. It is A TRUE healthy environment for R— (and their other clients) to be in. They offer not only top notch experience, but the treatment is second to none! The structure and counselors that work with the clients and their families, open up a special balance between work, school, home, and family life like NO OTHER treatment facility. SOBA College Recovery has the capability, compassion and commitment that you won’t find anywhere else! Please read and BELIEVE there is an answer to your addiction. It’s called, “SOBA College Recovery.” R— is clean and sober. He has the light back in him and it is shining brighter than ever! He is back to furthering his education and working! My son again is smiling, optimistic, happy and healthy! We are ALL a healthy family once more! Thank you SOBA College Recovery and Staff!
Meet the Staff
Krystyna Vaccarelli, LCSW, LCADC
Clinical Director and Facility Administrator
Krystyna Vaccarelli is the Clinical Director and Facility Administrator. She comes to SOBA College Recovery with extensive program development and management experience throughout New Jersey and New York. In addition to having initiated several programs that are now being copied statewide that deal with engaging the most difficult, at risk clients, she was most recently Director of Adult Outpatient Behavioral Health and Addiction Services at Jersey City Medical Center. She was the clinical director at Community Access Unlimited, which specialized in adults with developmental difficulties and at-risk youth. Krystyna is a frequent lecturer at Ramapo College addressing the masters level social work students. Krystyna is a fundraiser for causes such as The American Cancer Society and Soroptimist International, which aids women who are victims of domestic violence and sexual trafficking. In 2005, she was honored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders for her dedication and service to the treatment of persons with addiction and co-occurring disorders. Krystyna is an experienced researcher, program developer and manager. She is a healthcare leader who manages to combine steady stewardship with progressive growth and dynamic programming. She graduated from Yeshiva University with her MSW and has since been an active member in the NASW NJ Chapter.
Nationally recognized addiction expert, Greg Hannley is the Publisher of “Recovery Today Magazine”. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of SOBA Recovery Center and Executive Producer of the acclaimed film with Daniel Baldwin, “The Wisdom to Know the Difference”. Greg has appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live, Fox News, Fox and Friends, San Antonio Living, and other national media outlets. His vision is to provide a safe, sober environment for those suffering from the disease of addiction and to evangelize a simple, powerful message; there is hope.
Jeffrey A. Berman, MD, FASAM
Medical Director and Attending Physician
Jeffrey A. Berman, MD, FASAM is a Diplomate and Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is the Executive Medical Director of Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders in Marlboro, NJ and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He was recruited from Bergen Regional Medical Center, NJ’s largest acute psychiatric hospital, where he served as Director of Chemical Dependency Services to join Discovery Institute in Marlboro. Dr. Berman is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in Adult and Addiction Psychiatry as well as Psychosomatic Medicine. He has been certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine since 1988 and is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine (ABAM). Dr. Berman’s area of special interest in research and teaching is Pain Management and Co-occurring Opioid Dependence. He is also a strong advocate for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for the chronic persistent mentally ill. Dr. Berman participated in NIDA’s clinical trials of Buprenorphine/Naloxone for treatment of heroin addiction in 2001. Since then he has developed innovative treatment programs for individuals with Co-occurring disorders as well as Substance Use Disorders. Dr. Berman served as Chief of Psychiatry at Fort Leavenworth, KS including the Department of Defense’s US Disciplinary Barracks located at Fort Leavenworth. He recently retired from the US Army Reserve after 22 years of service which included service in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. He is currently the Psychiatric Consultant to the Department of Immigration Health (DIHS), a division of Homeland security. Prior to coming to New Jersey, he served as Medical Director of Gieisinger Health Care’s Marworth chemical dependency center and consultant to pain management centers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for issues of addiction, pain and co-occurring mood disorders. He has taken an active role in the medical treatment of HIV patients in all of these clinical settings.
Frank Greenagel, MPAP, LCSW, LCADC, ICADC, ACSW, CJC, CCS
Family Program Director
Frank Greenagel, MPAP, LCSW, LCADC, ICADC, ACSW, CJC, CCS, is a clinical social worker who specializes in addiction & recovery treatment. He is licensed in NJ, NY, and PA. Frank is an adjunct professor at the Rutgers School of Social Work and an instructor at the Center of Alcohol Studies. He writes a blog at greenagel.com. He conducts trainings and delivers keynote speeches around the country. He completed a Master in Public Affairs and Politics in 2015. He is on the Board of Directors for Hazelden-Betty Ford NYC. Frank worked as the Recovery Counselor at both Rutgers New Brunswick & Newark for five years, where he oversaw recovery housing and coordinated student & alumni activities. Rutgers is considered by many to have the strongest recovery college program in the world. Frank served in the United States Army while studying history and English at Rutgers. He studied Shakespeare at the University of Cambridge in England, and taught English in Japan in 2003. Frank graduated with his MSW from Rutgers in 2006. He spent three years teaching English at Elizabeth High School, and six years working as an outpatient counselor at Hunterdon Drug Awareness. He has served on the NJ Governor’s Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse (GCADA) since 2011and was the Chairman of the NJ Heroin & Other Opiates Task Force. In 2014, 10 years after he was granted an honorable discharge, Frank was directly commissioned into the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as a First Lieutenant. He helps soldiers that have experienced PTSD, substance abuse issues and tries to point them all in a positive direction. Frank is a passionate sports fan who loves the Minnesota Vikings and NY Yankees. He is also an avid traveler, having been to 21 countries, 46 states and every major league baseball stadium (41 total). Frank has run two marathons. A true Anglophile, he’s played croquet since childhood. He has visited every major Civil War battlefield. In his free time, he likes to hike, garden, go to plays, read comics and review stuff on Amazon.
Rehabs.com Editorial Review
ABOUT SOBA COLLEGE RECOVERY
Located next to Rutgers University in downtown New Brunswick, N.J., SOBA College Recovery offers residential and outpatient care for young adults struggling with substance abuse, process addictions, and co-occurring disorders including PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, and more. Medical detox is not available.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
All new clients are assessed for any co-occurring disorders, as well as for the best way to treat their substance use disorder. Clients are also required to attend 12-step meetings and to work with a sponsor throughout treatment.
SOBA’s treatment is split into three phases. In all phases of treatment, clients meet with their individual therapist once per week.
During the first phase, clients work to orient themselves to the community and find new ways to occupy their time, which includes cultural and recreational events within the community. Clients start to attend weekly 12 step meetings in the community. Treatment includes individual therapy, case management, medication management, fitness and a nutrition plan.
In the second phase, clients work toward educational and/or career goals. This includes resume writing, interview coaching, job searching, and help with school. In this phase, clients start to take part of regular independent living routines such as chores and shopping.
The third phase serves as a “real-world transitional program,” where clients actively take classes and work at jobs without stopping treatment. This phase includes educational planning and additional family support.
Throughout treatment, there’s a focus on reconnecting with hobbies and a sense of identity, so that clients can begin to enjoy life in recovery. A family program, outpatient groups, and 12-step immersion program are also available.
According to the facility’s website, the treatment team includes a board certified addictionologist, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, licensed clinical social workers, licensed counselors, a nutrition and wellness coach, case manager, and a personal trainer.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
The facility’s website provides little information about accommodations for its residential program. 50 beds are available; however, the website does say that it provides treatment in a “college/university setting.”
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
At the time of this writing, Rehabs.com has received feedback from just one alum of this facility, and that feedback is very positive. The anonymous alum gave the facility five out of five stars in most categories evaluated, including treatment effectiveness, meals and nutrition, the facility’s holistic offerings, family participation, and affordability. Only its accommodations, its emphasis on 12-Step, and its faith-based offerings received a lower score of two and three out of five stars. The alum would strongly recommend treatment here. They added: “Community was strength. Saves Lives.”
On Facebook, SOBA College Recovery earned 4.7 out of five stars from 36 reviews to date. 32 of the reviews offered perfect five-star ratings. Most of the reviews highlighted the program’s relationship with Rutgers University. “This is such a great step and is well needed in the college setting,” alum Doris wrote. “Students are sometimes alone in situations like addiction, to know there's a program around to support them while they continue their studies is priceless.”
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
One loved one has provided feedback about SOBA College Recovery to Rehabs.com to date. The feedback was neutral to negative. The reviewer gave three out of five stars for meals and nutrition, exercise opportunities, connectivity, family participation, and affordability; however, the loved one only gave one out of five stars for treatment effectiveness, the facility’s holistic offerings, and counseling options. “When we talked on phone and chose this facility they told us how they were a leading facility in dual diagnosis and this was just the place for our son,” parent Michael wrote. “They said he would have a psyche exam immediately upon arrival and still nothing after five days....not even a One on one with a counselor!”
The facility’s website indicates that insurance is accepted, but does not specify which policies. Costs begin at $10,500 per month and $30,000 for 90 days, and financing is available.
Updated March 2017
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