Drug Treatment Facilities
Drug Treatment Facilities
With drug addiction continuing to rise in the United States, access to drug rehab facilities has never been more critical. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), substance abuse costs the economy over 740 billion dollars annually. Overdose death rates continue to increase, with significant growth in opioid-related deaths. The Center for Disease Control recently announced that deaths from opioid addiction had reached similar proportions of gun-related deaths.
Undoubtedly there is a massive problem with substance abuse in America, and at a federal government level, more than the "War on Drugs" policy needs to be done to create a shift. Locally, communities need to support drug rehab facilities; rather than see them as an eyesore, the public need to change their perspective. The addition of a drug rehab facility to a community is a sign that it is a place of support and hope. Now more than ever the American public need to rise together and advocate for the increased availability of drug rehab facilities so that addiction sufferers can be treated as patients and not criminals.
In this article, the spotlight is on the benefits of substance abusers entering a drug rehab facility. If you are caring for a drug addict or alcoholic, you may find this information useful.
What is Addiction?
Addiction to drugs or alcohol is present when the user becomes psychologically and physically dependent on their chemical substance of choice. A person who is compelled to ingest chemical substances even when it is impairing their ability to live a normal life is in need of urgent help. For example, an opiate abuser will likely need help in a drug treatment facility; medically assisted detox will be the starting point for getting clean.
Addiction is an illness, and so a person who has an addiction problem needs to be treated like a patient. Their care-plan will involve medical professionals and psychologists to tend to both their physical and emotional dependency issues.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services over 11 million people abused opiates in 2016 and 2017. The department declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in 2017, a declaration long overdue given 42,000 people died in the year preceding it. These frightening statistics give credence to the danger of opiate addiction, and further demonstrate the need for tighter prescribing of these powerful pharmaceuticals.
Opium, derived from the poppy plant, is used to make a group of narcotics called opiates. These powerful pain relievers are prescribed to people with injuries, chronic pain or those recovering from surgery. Unfortunately, in the 1990s pharmaceutical companies conveyed a message that opiates were not addictive, so doctors began overprescribing. Today, over 100 people in the United States will die from opiate addiction. This is approximately the amount of opiate abusers that lose their lives every single day in this country.
Some well-known prescription drugs are opiate based. These include:
Opiates are very addictive because of the calm, tranquil and euphoric feelings they give the user. A person may be prescribed opioids for an injured back for example, and due to the drug rush, that person may find themselves craving more. While some people are more susceptible than others to drug addiction, opiates can take anybody prisoner. From the homeless on the street to the middle-class housewife, opiate addiction is rocking every corner of America and no-one is immune.
There is a recognized issue in military personnel with higher rates of opiate addiction than any other drug, which is likely due to a range of factors. These factors may include easy access (due to the availability of doctors to treat war injuries), PTSD and other mental health disorders. According to the Army Times, some 22 percent of active personnel were prescribed at least one opiate-based pain reliever in 2016, a frighteningly high percentage.
The real danger with opiates is that they can be easily abused to the point of overdose. Furthermore, a person attempting to detox from opiates can get "dope sick" and even die from severe withdrawal symptoms. The term "dope sick" refers to the withdrawal symptoms a person may experience. These symptoms include:
* Stomach upset - Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
* Cold sweats, weight loss, lethargy
* Hallucinations and delirium
* Anxiety and Insomnia
* Yawning and eye tearing
In extreme cases, an opiate addict in withdrawal could suffer cardiac arrest. Due to this potential risk of fatality, seeking support in a drug rehab facility is imperative.
What happens to an opiate abuser in a drug rehab facility?
Undergoing opiate withdrawal is an uncomfortable and painful process. A patient will need as much support as they can while they detox. They can expect to engage in a structured medically assisted program in which they will be prescribed an opiate substitute. This substitute will ease their pain a little, making the whole process a little less stressful.
Once the actual physical addiction is eliminated through the detox process, an opiate abuser must engage in psychological treatments to help them tackle their addictive behaviors.
The time an opiate addict will spend in a drug rehab facility varies on their individual progress and severity of their dependency problem. Drug treatment facilities can offer inpatient or outpatient services, with the former generally better suiting opiate abusers. Within the confines of an inpatient drug rehab facility, a patient will have the round the clock care that they desperately need. They will also develop tools to help relapse prevention.
What is Relapse Prevention?
Addiction is viewed to be a lifelong disease. This is evident in the common 12-step program utilized by Alcoholics Anonymous in which recovering addicts continue to engage in the program long after they become sober. A perfect example of relapse prevention, the 12-step program has enabled millions of people to maintain their precious sobriety.
A reformed addict that is fresh out of drug rehab facility might believe that they are clean both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, a stint in rehab is often not enough to achieve lifetime abstinence. Because of this, it is vital that reformed addicts use relapse prevention techniques to stop them from using again.
Relapsing is viewed to be a three-step process. The steps are:
* Emotional relapse
* Mental relapse
* Physical relapse
When a person is in the emotional relapse stage, they will be subconsciously craving drugs. They may exhibit this craving in their behaviors. Common signs of emotional relapse include depressed mood, anxiety, irritability, and sense of hopelessness. The addict may not consciously recognize that they want to use again, but their inner voice is telling them they do. Emotional relapse is sometimes challenging to diagnose as the symptoms mirror how many recovered addicts might feel at the start of their new life. A very telling sign of emotional relapse to watch out for is if the addict begins to avoid their therapy sessions or group meetings.
Mental relapse occurs when the user is actively thinking about taking drugs or drinking alcohol again. In this stage, they may start to tell themselves reasons why using again would be a good thing. Some people even begin to use external troubles in their lives to permit themselves to use. A pervasive behavior exhibited by those in the mental relapse stage is when they start to socialize with people from their drug using past. Going back to old haunts or denying the actual severity of one's addiction past are other common signs of a mental relapse.
Physical relapse is when an addict gives in to their urges and takes a chemical substance. By the time a person has gotten to this stage, it can be tough for them to change their mind. The danger with reaching physical relapse is that a user can lose hope for themselves and re-entering a drug rehab facility can prove difficult.
The important thing to note is that relapse rates are very high; according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40 and 60 percent of recovering addiction sufferers relapse. Yes, this figure is alarming, but it should also instill some hope. The rate shows that high numbers of people relapse but equally, many don't. And of those that do give in to their cravings, many of them still go on to get clean again.
Get Help Today
If you are assisting a loved one to get sober, it is essential that you find support for yourself. Helping addiction sufferers can be very emotionally draining and a person's wellbeing can diminish if they don't practice self-care. A first step when helping a drug addict is to encourage them to enter a drug rehab facility. After they have taken this leap, the best thing you can do is be there for them on their journey to a sober life, while also taking good care of yourself.
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