Human Trafficking/CSEC Prevention & Intervention Services
Ocean’s Harbor House provides prevention, intervention, advocacy, and community awareness services for Ocean & Monmouth County youth who are at risk for or involved in Human Trafficking or Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).
In immediate danger or need emergency services? Call or text 911
If you are in need of services, all of Oceans’ Harbor House staff has been trained to help you with all of your social service needs such as counseling, housing and case management. If we don’t have the services you need, we will help you find it.
Ocean’s Harbor House has joined the fight against Human Trafficking in collaboration with our community partners: Prevent Child Abuse NJ, My Life My Choice, I AM, CAASE, & Boston GLASS. In response to growing trends in our region, we have focused on 4 pillars of service to help combat the exploitation of our youth: Prevention, Intervention, Advocacy & Community Awareness.
“Education and knowledge of trafficking in persons among all members of society are key to beating human traffickers.”- Dr. Saisuree Chutikul
All of our residential and out-client staff are regularly trained in identifying and providing services to youth who are at risk of or involved in human trafficking.
We are certified to provide 4 prevention programs that are all focused on empowering our youth through knowledge and skill to help them stand up against sexual exploitation.
My Life My Choice
My Life My Choice is an 8-10 week group for youth ages 12-21 who identify as female. In “My Life My Choice” you will learn about healthy relationships, staying safe and standing up against sexual exploitation/violence.
Empowering Young Men
Empowering Young Men (EYM) is 5-week group for youth ages 14-21 who identify as male. By participating in EYM you will discuss masculinity, consent, violence, exploitation, and how they affect you, your peers and your community. The goal of EYM is to educate and empower our young men so that they can help cut down on the demand for sexual exploitation.
I Am Clinical Toolkit
I Am Clinical Toolkit is a 10 session one on one program for youth of all genders ages13-21. There are 2 versions for this program, one for those at risk of becoming traffickers and another for those at risk for becoming trafficked. In I AM you will discuss and learn about: Building Self-Esteem, Healthy Relationships, Setting Personal Goals, Living Beyond Expectations, Taking a Stand Against Sexual Violence, Challenging Harmful Media Messages, & Identifying and Using Available Resources
LGBTQ and CSEC
LGBTQ and CSEC is a one-time workshop for LGBTQIA+ focused support groups/programs. This program is for youth ages 13-21 of all genders. The goals of this program are to increase critical thinking and decision-making skills, to learn about gender identity and sexual orientation and to learn about red flags, risk factors and resources for CSEC.
Intervention & Advocacy
Currently, Ocean’s Harbor House offers free counseling, case management and court advocacy services for Ocean County youth ages 10-17, through our Family Crisis Intervention Unit. For more information see their page here.
If you live in Monmouth County and are looking for similar services, see the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County here
Community/School trainings are available for those who are interested in learning more about Human Trafficking and how you can help to stop it. The training includes 4 goals: 1) to provide a basic understanding of human trafficking, 2) to understand risk factors that contribute to DMST, 3) to learn how to identify, engage and serve CSEC and at-risk youth and 4) to learn about what community resources are available.
Blue Campaign- Ocean’s Harbor House participates in the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign every January as a part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please see our volunteer form.
I just received a fact card about marijuana from a law enforcement officer. Why?In February 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation regarding recreational marijuana use for adults in the state of New Jersey. Under the law, police officers are required to follow specific steps when interacting with someone who is under the age of 21 and using marijuana. 1st Violation – Police officers may provide a written warning and are allowed to notify the parents/guardians of a child under 18 who is caught with marijuana or alcohol. 2nd Violation – Police officers may provide a written warning notifying parents/guardians of a child under 18, and provide information and materials on social services. 3rd or Subsequent Violation – Police officers may provide a written warning, notify parents/guardians of a child under 18, provide information and materials on social services, and a referral to these social service organizations. Pursuant to interim guidance from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office for local police departments, the officer shall provide notice of the written warning and referral to the community treatment services program regardless of the age of the individual. In response to this legislation, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Youth Service Commission, Ocean’s Harbor House, the DART Prevention Coalition, and other key stakeholders developed a standardized card with resources, facts, and information to provide you with the supports you need. The SURE Program is here to help you navigate any questions you may have and connect you and your family to appropriate resources. For more information on New Jersey’s legislation regarding marijuana, please visit: nj.gov/oag/dcj/agguide/AG-Interim-Guidance-Marijuana-Decrim-2020-0326.pdf
What is the big deal about youth marijuana use anyway?The human brain does not fully develop until the age of 25. When you start using a chemical substance like marijuana, it negatively impacts your brain development. Teens who regularly use marijuana may experience difficulty thinking, problems with memory, and a lower IQ. Some people perceive that one can use marijuana to alleviate anxiety but it can actually increase depression, paranoia, and induce psychosis. Teen marijuana use may lower your inhibitions, problem solving abilities, and harm your decision making. This can lead to risky situations such as reckless driving, sexual encounters, and exposure to other harmful substances. In Ocean County, the most common reason youth enter substance use treatment is for alcohol and marijuana use. For more information, please visit: drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-are-marijuanas-long-term-effects-brain and https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects.html
What is a marijuana concentrate?A marijuana concentrate is a highly concentrated and potent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) mass, the psychoactive component of marijuana. Marijuana concentrates are often consumed through vaping (in the form of a liquid), dabbing, or ingesting edibles (e.g. brownies, cookies, gummy products that contain THC). Using marijuana concentrates may cause serious and intense effects that put the user at risk. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Marijuana potency, as detected in confiscated samples, has steadily increased over the past few decades. In the early 1990s, the average THC content in confiscated marijuana samples was less than 4%. In 2018, it was more than 15%. Marijuana concentrates can have much higher levels of THC. The increasing potency of marijuana, combined with the use of high-THC concentrates, raises concerns that the consequences of marijuana use today could be worse than in the past, particularly among those who are new to marijuana use and in young people, whose brains are still developing.” For more information, please visit: drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive and drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-concentrates
What are marijuana edibles?Edibles are food products that contain marijuana. They are an increasingly common way to consume the drug. The amount of THC in an edible varies from product to product and labeling is not always reliable; there is often a specified “dose” per serving, meaning you should not necessarily consume the entire package of the product. Edibles have a delayed onset and can last for extended periods of time. Marijuana edibles also pose a risk for accidental ingestion by young children. The New Jersey Poison Control Center released a statement in January 2021 reporting that, “Poison Control Centers around the country have seen a significant increase in calls regarding children who accidently eaten/swallowed products containing THC. Further complicating matters are candy look-alike products, such as gummy bears or the products mentioned above, which are very enticing to kids. In 2020, the New Jersey Poison Control Center assisted in the medical treatment of more than 55 children under the age of 5, and more than 30 children between the ages of 6 and 12 who consumed edible products containing THC – more than double those assisted in the previous year (2019) and 6 times as much as in 2018.” When looking at calls to poison control centers across the country in 2020, reports find that there were 554 calls related to children accidentally ingesting THC edibles, a number more than 29 times higher than the number of calls it received a decade ago. Marijuana exposure in children can lead to dangerous side effects including trouble breathing, loss of coordination, drowsiness, and seizures. In severe cases, children may need to be admitted to an intensive care unit and even need a ventilator. If you suspect a poisoning involving a marijuana product, call your local poison control center immediately at 1-800-222-1222 for medical treatment advice. Poison Control Centers are staffed by healthcare professionals 24/7. If someone is unconscious, not breathing, hard to wake up, or having a seizure, immediately call 9-1-1. Please call NJ Poison Control at (800) 222-1222 for support or dial 911 if this is a medical emergency. For more information, please visit: drugabuse.gov/news-events/science-highlight/marijuana-vaping-edible-use-increasing-among-high-school-seniors, cdc.gov/marijuana/faqs/edibles.html, and insider.com/children-accidentally-ingest-thc-edibles-rise-2021-4
What about driving high? My friends have said they drive better when they are.An impairment is an impairment. You should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming a substance like marijuana, alcohol, narcotics, etc. Marijuana is the second most common drug involved in auto fatalities, only after alcohol. You are putting your life and the lives of many others at risk when doing so, and there are enormous consequences associated.
Can you become addicted?Some folks would say you can become addicted to just about anything – food, shopping, substances, gambling, etc. When an action becomes a major component of your daily life and failure to engage in the behavior would disrupt your routine, you may want to think about how it is impacting your life. If you cannot stop using a drug, like marijuana, even though it interferes with many aspects of your life, it may be considered an addiction. Regular marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Recent data suggest that 30% of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder (addiction). People who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults. Marijuana use disorders are often associated with dependence.” For more information, please visit: drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive.
Can you overdose on marijuana?To overdose means different things for different drugs. A fatal overdose from marijuana is unlikely but you still can overdose. Individuals frequently consume a greater “dose” of edibles than intended. According to the CDC, “The signs of using too much marijuana are similar to the typical effects of using marijuana but more severe. These signs may include extreme confusion, anxiety, paranoia, panic, fast heart rate, delusions or hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and severe nausea or vomiting. In some cases, these reactions can lead to unintentional injury such as a motor vehicle crash, fall, or poisoning.” Remember, THC impacts each person uniquely; it may be absorbed differently if the user is on other medications which can cause great harm. For more information, please visit: cdc.gov/marijuana/faqs/overdose-bad-reaction.html