Treatment Center Setting
- Average Location/Amenities
Discovery Institute Philosophy
The Discovery Institute views dependence as a disorder of the “whole person” affecting every aspect of his or her behavior, belief system, and lifestyle. This disorder is profound in nature and has a negative impact on one’s self, family, and society as a whole. Discovery has come to recognize that this condition affects people many ways, which causes our treatment approach to be designed to address any and all issues that support and contribute to addiction. A primary emphasis is placed on the importance of the individual to seek and incorporate a change in his or her behavior, attitude, and lifestyle.
Discovery’s holistic treatment initiatives will be all encompassing in nature due to addiction affecting so many aspects of an individual’s life. This allows Discovery to not only treat addiction, but address significant related issues based on the individual needs.
Areas of Specialization
Some facilities have an addiction treatment protocol that all patients or clients are expected to follow, while others customize or individualize treatment based on a person’s unique needs and circumstances. Factors that may affect treatment decisions include age, lifestyle, medical conditions, type of drug, religious beliefs, etc.
Drugs and alcohol have widespread effects throughout your body, including but not limited to the addiction and/or physical/psychological dependence that develops with substance abuse over time. Many organ systems are affected by addiction and will react to withdrawal. The term “medical detoxification” means that there is a trained and licensed medical professional onsite to monitor your vital signs and protect your physical and emotional health as your body goes through withdrawal.
Research shows that the odds of successful, sustained recovery from addiction are far higher when family members and loved ones are involved in treatment. Drug and alcohol addiction often have genetic roots, whether related to substance abuse, mental illness or both. Family dynamics also play a role and, often, family members are the first to realize a loved one has developed an addiction. Also, it’s important for family members to understand and embrace the lifestyle changes that are required to sustain recovery.
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.
I came to Discovery with no hope; resigned to a life of desperation and drug addition. Discovery gave me hope and helped me find the skills, strength, courage, and determination to turn my life around. Discovery saved my life.
To me, Discovery House means hope. When I first got here, I had hardly any; I felt my life would always be marked by failure and drug addiction. Discovery gave me hope and made me realize I could do something for myself and live life on life’s terms.
My stay at Discovery was the best thing for me. It saved my life starting from the staff on down. I stayed at Discovery for a total of eleven and a half months. I am grateful for the chance to live life one day at a time and getting the tools I needed to live life on life’s terms. Thanks Discovery!
The time I have been here at Discovery has been very informing, while in the halfway house I’ve learned about responsibility and living life on life’s terms. The outpatient program has also been a great help and helped me to be more open with my sharing and building positive relationships with sober peers. I am grateful for the time I have spent here in Discovery and with the tools I have learned here; and I should not have any problems with my recovery and life itself.
Meet the Staff
Executive Medical Director
Dr. Jeff Berman specializes in the treatment of young adults suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs) and co-occurring mood, trauma and other mental health (MH) disorders. Dr. Berman serves concurrently as Executive Medical Director for Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders; and Senior Psychiatric Consultant for IHSC in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He is a member of the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) and was co-director of the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship program.
For more than two decades he has pioneered advances in addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry. He is a national speaker of the topics of Medication Assisted Treatment and Co-occurring Disorders. Six years ago, in collaboration with members of the Bergen County Jewish community, he initiated and has since facilitated the support group “Strength to Strength” (S2S) at JCC in Tenafly. It serves parents of young adults who have substance use and mental health disorders.
Previously, Dr. Berman was Interim Medical Director at Bergen Regional Medical Center; Director of Addiction Services at Summit Oaks Hospital; and Medical Director at Marworth of the Geisinger Health Care System. He served for 22 years in the U.S. Army Reserve including Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. There he specialized in treatment of PTSD, chronic pain and mood disorders. He is retired at the rank of Colonel.
Dr. Berman is Board certified in General, Addiction, and Consultation Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. A Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, he served as President of the New Jersey Society of Addiction Medicine (NJSAM).
He completed specialty training at Rutgers RWJMS, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned his M.D. from S.U.N.Y Upstate. Medical Center; an M.S. in Specialized Journalism from NYU – Polytechnic University; and a B.A. in Political Science from Brooklyn College.
Rehabs.com 360 Guide
ABOUT DISCOVERY INSTITUTE
Founded in 1970 as a state-operated facility, today Discovery Institute is a private nonprofit offering medical detox and a variety of residential, outpatient, and intensive outpatient programs (IOP) for adults struggling with substance abuse or a co-occurring mental health disorder. Set on 10 rural acres in Central New Jersey, the private nonprofit also runs a separate 16-bed sober living facility for men. It is one of only 28 residential facilities in New Jersey that offer on-site detox programs.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Clients begin their assessment with an initial phone evaluation, which is then followed by an in-person interview with a staff psychiatrist. Programming is both holistic in nature and highly structured. On a regular basis, clients attend 12-step support meetings, daily psychoeducational seminars and lectures, as well as group and individual therapy with their primary counselor. Holistic offerings include yoga and nutritional counseling, nutritional counseling, and emotional counseling.
The program is a collaborative attempt to gain understanding of addiction and is run by a community of peers who are themselves in recovery. With guidance from professional staff and clinicians, residents are responsible for pacing their own recovery. It should be noted that the center also conducts random urine tests and drug screenings.
For those seeking a step-down option from inpatient care, there is an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that meets for nine hours of treatment per week, as well as a traditional outpatient track that runs once or twice a week. Both options are suitable for residents of Discovery Institute’s sober living homes as they transition back into “the real world.”
Prior to leaving, each client works together with their primary counselor to develop a continuing care plan (CCP), outlining aftercare treatment, place of residence, and local support meetings.
Treatment teams include a psychiatrist, medical staff, and master’s level clinicians and counselors. The six individuals polled on the matter appreciated the aptitude of staff.
Staff Experience and Training: 4.3/5
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Pictures published on the two-story facility’s web page indicated an exercise room and simple bedrooms with single beds, drawers underneath, and a night table. For residents, an initial 72-hour “black-out period” means limited communication with loved ones. Transportation is provided for outpatient clients. Overall, individuals polled on the matter appreciated the quality of the facility.
Facility Cleanliness and Upkeep: 4.3/5
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
Feedback from alumni is largely positive. Overall, alumni found treatment very effective, though many were unimpressed with the quality of meals, accommodations, and holistic options. S.M.G., who credited the center with saving their life, wrote: “They are a bare bones facility that cares for the individual.”
In a more mixed review, alum Jared called the center “a blessing and a curse.” He celebrated the “awesome” nurses, but felt that the counselor was so busy that “setting up after care is extremely difficult and there are no groups or meetings really.” And Caril, wholly dissatisfied with her experience, wrote: “They just want the money. Horrible, disrespectful,” without adding further details.
Reviews from secondary sites were more mixed. On Google, 23 individuals gave an average rating of three stars out of five. "Just want you to know this place is not qualified to take care of the addiction problem that has manifested itself in the state of NJ," Tina wrote. "Money is all they care about!!!" Several other individuals disagreed, including Gerald, who called the staff "very encouraging and sympathetic."
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
Of the six reviews received by Rehabs.com to date, five were positive. Most of the individuals polled on a variety of the facility’s offerings gave perfect five-star ratings for the family programming and its counseling options, though one dissenting reviewer, who primarily gave one-star ratings for these categories, succinctly wrote: “The counseling was weak.” Loved ones also offered more moderate ratings for the facility's holistic offerings.
Counseling Options: 4.6/5
Family Participation: 4.2/5
Holistic Offerings: 3.2/5
“They teach all the skills needed to live a drug free life,” one anonymous reviewer wrote. Reviewer Alexandra added: “The staff is phanominal… Extremely caring and kind.”
Despite these positive trends, parent G.K.D. wrote: “Poor treatment plan… Our son was not medicated with his mood stabilizer during his stay which in turn caused him to act out.”
Fees are determined on a sliding scale. Discovery Institute accepts private pay and insurance from “most of the leading insurance providers in the country"including United Healthcare, Blue Corr/Blue Shield, Aetna, and more. Discovery receives funding from county, state, and federal resources to makes its services more accessible.
Published on June 2018
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