Information & Referral

If you have come to our site seeking information, guidance, or referral services for yourself or another person, you have come to the right place. Wellspring is here to provide education and support to those who need assistance confronting the disease of alcoholism and drug dependence.

Information & Referral

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Treatment Referrals
Suffering from an addiction problem? We can help you find a treatment facility. You can either browse through our local Treatment Directory, allow us to make suggested referrals by using our self-administered Screening Tool, or if you prefer speaking with one of our professionals, call our confidential Referral Helpline. We are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can also contact us via email at mail@wellspringprevention.org. While not intended to diagnose a substance abuse problem, each of these options will help narrow your search for a program that best meets your needs. Note that the options provided do not represent an exhaustive list of all available programs or constitute an endorsement of particular programs. However, these are programs we have worked with and have consistently received positive feedback from those who have accessed their services. If you live outside of Middlesex County New Jersey, you can get help now by calling the New Jersey Addiction Services Hotline anytime at 844-276-2777. You can also access the New Jersey Mental Health Cares Information and Referral Helpline at 1-866-202-HELP (4357).
If you live outside of New Jersey, reach out to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence at www.ncadd.org or 212-269-7797 to find your nearest local resources.
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Jason Surks Memorial Resource Center
The Jason Surks Memorial Prevention Resource Center at Wellspring serves as a clearinghouse for free information about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Explore our vast collection of online information and helpful links, or visit us at our East Brunswick, NJ location to access free pamphlets, posters and DVD lending library.
More than just a physical and web-based library, our Resource Center is people. If you need assistance planning an educational program, need information for a health fair, or would like to contract with our staff to provide presentations in your community, please call us at 732-254-3344 or send us an email request at info@wellspringprevention.org.

Doctors and Nurses Should be Tested for Drugs and Alcohol

image Doctors and nurses should undergo random drug testing, argues a leading medical ethicist.

"I am sorry to say that addiction and the abuse of drugs are not really a part of the discussion about making medicine safer," says Arthur L. Caplan, PhD.

"The medical profession has an ethical duty to do a better job of monitoring drug abuse," says Dr. Caplan, the Founding Director of the Division of Medical Ethics in NYU Langone Medical Center's Department of Population Health. "Why is it OK to test airplane pilots, train conductors and truck drivers, and not doctors and nurses, who also have a lot of lives in their hands?" He added, "You have to assume some medical errors are due to drug or alcohol abuse."

As with many professions, it is likely that only a small percentage of people have a problem with drugs and alcohol, Dr. Caplan notes. But those few make patients unsafe. "If you've been convicted of drunk driving four or five times, you shouldn't be seeing patients," he argues.

Dr. Caplan discussed drug testing in health care workers at the recent annual meeting of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine.

Alcohol, narcotic and sedative addiction is as common among physicians as the general population, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2013. "The problem is particularly serious among doctors and nurses in anesthesiology—the more you are around drugs, with easy access to pain medications, the bigger the risk," Dr. Caplan notes.

Doctors' groups have argued that the medical profession can regulate itself. "There's some denial that there's a problem, and fear about false positives," he says. "There's some notion that the problem requires therapy, rehabilitation and collegial monitoring, not drug testing. Doctors have put so much time into getting trained, and they don't want to discuss something that could potentially be a career-ender."

In November, California voters rejected a measure that would have required doctors in the state to submit to random drug and alcohol tests. The measure, known as Proposition 46, was opposed by doctors, hospitals and medical insurance companies. Currently no state has such a requirement.

Doctors are not the only medical professionals who should be tested, Dr. Caplan says. "There are likely to be more nurses than doctors with addiction problems, because there are more of them, not because they have a higher percentage of addiction. They can make mistakes that can kill patients, too."

Consequences for drug or alcohol use should vary according to the circumstances, according to Dr. Caplan. "For a first offense for alcohol, a doctor or nurse should go into a mandatory treatment program, and have their license suspended until they stay sober for a certain amount of time. Someone who has had repeated offenses with opiates may need to have their license taken away." Decisions about drug and alcohol offenses should be made by a hospital's chief medical officer and/or board of trustees, he said. A medical license board may need to get involved in cases that involve repeat offenses.

He concludes, "With all the problems with prescription and recreational drug abuse, I would expect more leadership from the medical profession about treating addiction."

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