COVID UPDATE: Our office is now following New Jersey State Protocols for in-person care.
We also offer all of our services via telemedicine.
Welcome to Better Life®
Better Life Recovery & Wellness is a premier provider of quality addiction and mental health recovery services focused on improving the total well-being of individuals and families.
We strive to provide the highest quality addiction recovery and mental health services to those struggling with the disease of addiction or for those with mental health concerns through positive, supportive, and caring programs within a safe environment.
While a simple act should not define a life, it can change the trajectory for the lives of others.
On the eve of my 50th birthday, while traveling on a flight from NY to CA, what should have been a joyous occasion turned into a life changing reality for me and my family. Upon landing, I received multiple missed calls, I knew it could not be good news. In a matter of hours, I had lost my youngest brother and my family dynamic took a drastic turn. My brother, like many, struggled with challenges every day, dealing with the trials of life which included depression, anxiety and addiction. Despite his outgoing personality and a big people connection, he spent many days masking depression and numbing pain behind smiles and substance, finally succumbing to the loss of his life. Despite having a good relationship with my brother, for years I felt I failed him. I was demonized by so many negative thoughts. As the oldest brother, I convinced myself I should have done more, been more. I blamed myself for not being there and wrestled with past mistakes. I had to dig deep and acknowledge my brother was hurting for some time and “I” ultimately could not save him from himself. Devastated, it was hard to accept, but I had to acknowledge the need for self-healing and self-forgiveness to move forward.
The years following my brother’s death has brought great insight to the mental and emotional conditions entangled in depression and addiction. I recognized that despite any genetic propensity, circumstance or situation, when it comes to these challenges, the strength of faith, the need of a support network and sustained resources are key to the choices one makes and the wellness maintained. Acknowledging the need for help, and not being OK, is NOT weakness, its the first step to getting better.
You Are Not Alone.
In memory of my brother Duane “Polo” Adams and others, Better Life Recovery & Wellness (BLR) was founded as an outreach for those seeking help and struggling to sustain wellness. Our methods include, but are not limited to individual, group and family counseling, with custom tailored programs and progression tracking. As cliche as it is, we believe no man/woman is an island, and with that commitment we will strive to promote and support our clients with the tools they need to achieve recovery, wellness and ultimately their Better Life.
Dexter Adams, Founder & CEO
Jasmin Rivera, LSW, LCADC, C-SSW
Director of Substance Use Counseling
Jasmin Rivera, LSW, LCADC is a therapist and substance use clinician specializing in families, crisis intervention and mental health. The desire to help her community and educate others has always been Jasmin’s biggest passion.
She began her journey in 2011 as a substance use case manager in a women’s residential program in Newark, earning a certificate in drug and alcohol counseling (CADC) in 2013. Jasmin earned her Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University in 2018 and her license as a social worker (LSW) as well as her clinical license for drug and alcohol counselor (LCADC) that same year.
During her master’s degree program at Rutgers University, Jasmin interned at a domestic violence shelter where she participated in a 40-hour domestic violence certificate training and was able to implement parenting skills classes for the individuals residing in the shelter. She also had the opportunity to intern at a homeless shelter in Morris County where she served as a case manager intern for the families’ program.
She later interned at the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris County of NJ; while at the Mental Health Association, Jasmin worked closely with the director of clinical services and the clinicians to help provide mental health services to consumers linked with the agency as well as the courts and the community.
Kristen Lima, M.A., CADC intern
Kristen Lima is our Program Director and joins BLR with a decade of experience serving in various capacities from Admissions to Client Care Coordinator to Program Director in substance use treatment and behavioral health.
Driven by a core belief that every person entering recovery should be treated with the utmost dignity, Kristen is passionate about removing barriers to treatment and ensuring exceptional, individualized care and holistic substance use treatment to each person from the moment they walk through the door until the moment they complete treatment. She utilizes a client-centered, trauma-informed approach in working with each individual from beginning to end of the treatment process.
Kristen attended Montclair State University where she obtained her B.A. in Psychology and Liberty University where she obtained her M.A. in Human Services Counseling - Executive Leadership. She also holds certifications in Crisis Intervention Training and Nurtured Heart Training, is currently a CADC intern.
Urinalysis Laboratory Partner
Better Life Recovery & Wellness has partnered with TRUETOX™, a leading clinical laboratory, to provide all urine drug screens and analysis for our clients. TRUETOX™ Labs provides the highest quality of service to clinicians and clients by providing continuous education and latest laboratory techniques keeping offices updated on various medication monitoring programs.
TRUETOX™ will always provide the clinicians and clients with competent and reliable clinical laboratory results. “We hold ourselves to the highest standards of compliance and ethics possible.”