The United States as a whole continues to struggle when it comes to substance abuse. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 218,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids from 1999 to 2017. Opioid overdose deaths involving prescription opioids were five times higher in 2017 than in 1999. The statistics paint a grim picture of the current state of affairs, and while the latest statistics have not yet been released, early rumblings believe they could exceed past years’ figures.
A problem that is often overlooked is the number of Americans that suffer from chronic illness, and there have not been any alternatives for pain over the years. Opioid pain medications are the sole treatment for disorders such as fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, and other chronic related illnesses that currently have no cure.
Many who use opioids will benefit significantly from using the medication and gain traction of their lives, but others succumb to its addictive and adverse effects, which have devastated an entire generation of people. Unfortunately, those who need medication to function at a high level are being penalized for those who abuse the drugs. Some severe disorders, such as the ones listed above, leave individuals no other choice but to use potent narcotics to relieve their pain, while others abuse the drugs causing problems for chronic pain sufferers.\
Substance Abuse in California
California is the most populated state in the union, and when you have a large portion of society living within your borders, it’s expected to see a significant level of addiction. There are two main cities in the state that are two varying degrees of homelessness, mental health, and drug addiction — San Francisco and Los Angeles — but nearly 10 percent of the state as a whole is struggling with the consequences of drug abuse and addiction. While 10 percent may not seem astounding, the population size should indicate that it is a much larger number than meets the eye.
Because California shares a border with Mexico, there is a wide variety of drugs available throughout the state. Interstate 5 serves as the main artery for the state from Mexico, and drugs have been flooding over in record numbers. For some, it’s easier to take a short day trip down to Tijuana and obtain prescription drugs without a doctor’s approval.
With that said, dangerous drugs are also coming over the border such as methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl. It’s an unfortunate reality that is contributing to the downfall of the California culture, but government officials are searching for new ways to crack down and limit the drug supply.
With easy access and plummeting costs because of the overabundance of drugs, Desert View Recovery strives to provide the highest level of care to combat this crisis we have on our hands. We practice the most up-to-date techniques and methods when it comes to treating addiction.
Combating Substance Abuse
The statistics paint a dark state of affairs, but the state is addressing its substance abuse problems, and working alongside the CDC, which has rolled out a comprehensive approach to combat the drug problem facing the Golden State.
- Safe prescribing practices: Doctors have been issuing opioids at historical rates, and that is contributing to the growing problem of addiction. Once a doctor cuts a patient off, they may turn to the street to obtain their drugs illegally. Due to the high cost of prescription pills on the street, they can turn to cheaper alternatives, such as heroin, which can be a recipe for disaster.
- Access to treatment: Addiction treatment is at the forefront of the battle of treating addiction, and substance abuse treatment is a crucial step in fighting addiction.
- Naloxone distribution: Naloxone is being distributed in record numbers to paramedics and first responders throughout the country to treat overdoses. Narcan was once only available in emergency rooms, but first responders who arrive on the scene lose valuable time when transporting a patient who has overdosed to the hospital. The strategy put into place gives life-saving medicine to police officers and first responders to treat patients immediately versus waiting until they make it to the hospital. Narcan works by reversing opiates effects and bringing someone out of an overdose. It has been an effective means of saving lives.
- Public education campaign: California has begun to explore options by educating the public through campaigns that raise awareness about the opioid and drug epidemic. By doing so, it can help reduce the stigma of talking about getting help.
- Data-informed/driven interventions: The state plans to keep more accurate statistics to measure the influx of drug abuse and its effects on California’s population as a whole.
What Is Treatment?
Substance abuse treatment is a successful and effective means of approaching substance use disorders to treat each aspect of someone’s addiction. It includes the physical and mental aspects of substance abuse to dig to the root of the problem.
Those who start treatment often begin in medical detoxification, which involves the removal of drugs or alcohol from your system under careful supervision. The potential for severe side effects is the reason detox must take place at a licensed facility, not at home while recovering users attempt to go cold turkey to quit the drug on their own. Depending on the severity of the addiction, this can be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis.
Throughout recovery, the client will begin at the most intensive level of care and gradually decrease to less intensive treatment modalities. These can include:
- Medical detox
- Inpatient care
- Long-term residential care
- Outpatient care
- Post-treatment maintenance (alumni programs, relapse prevention planning, sober living)
Within these realms of care, diverse addiction recovery therapies are geared toward treating various ailments. It allows those with different disorders to understand and manage their addiction successfully. Additionally, it will enable the client to identify if other underlying issues such as mental health disorders are fueling their addiction.
- Individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Family therapy
- Case and care management
- Medication management
- 12-step programs
- Addiction education workshops
- Aftercare recovery services
What to Look for
Searching for the right treatment center can be an overwhelming task, but there is a tool released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) that underlines the most important standards to look for, and these include:
- Evidence-based practices
- Family therapy
- Medication management
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction of any kind, it’s time to reach out for help. The experts at Desert View Recovery are ready to help you today.
Call Desert View Recovery for Treatment Today
If you or someone you care about is suffering from substance abuse and is ready to take the first steps toward recovery and a better, sober tomorrow, Desert View Recovery wants to help.
Call 1 now to speak with one of our addiction specialists about which of our treatment programs is best for you or your loved one.