Statistics continue to support that the number of drug users throughout the United States continues to grow. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1999 to 2016 more than 200,000 people died from overdoses related to prescription opioids. These are staggering figures that back up the problems being witnessed firsthand throughout the country.
While millions of Americans suffer from chronic illness, there have been little alternatives over the years to this growing problem. Opioid pain medications have been the sole medication prescribed by doctors to treat problems such as fibromyalgia, reflex sympathetic disorder, and other chronic related illnesses that have no cure.
Some people who benefit from using opioid pain medication; otherwise, it wouldn’t be prescribed. However, it seems like the adverse effects are outweighing the positive. Unfortunately, for those who do need medications to function optimally throughout the day, they are being penalized by those who end up abusing them. Some serious disorders leave no other choice but to use strong narcotics to relieve their pain, and those who need them also are fighting their own battles so that they can access their medication.
Substance Abuse and the Opioid Crisis in California
California, with its 37,253,956 residents, is the most populous state in the union. The larger a population, the more significant the statistics will be relating to issues such as addiction. There are two major cities in California at the forefront of this issue–Los Angeles and San Francisco– but nearly 10 percent of the state as a whole is suffering from the physical and mental consequences associated with drug abuse and addiction. Ten percent may not seem like a lot, but when you factor in the size of the population, you begin to realize the gravity of the situation.
Because of its proximity to Mexico, a variety of drugs are available at the user’s disposal. It is simple to cross the border and obtain prescription drugs without a doctor’s approval.
More serious drugs, such as methamphetamine and heroin, are flowing freely across the border. This unfortunate reality has been contributing to the downfall of the California culture, but officials are working to create a better way. With easier accessibility and growing number of users, people at the California Highlands Addiction Treatment center are working to formulate solutions to these very real problems. They remain on the cutting edge in addiction research and substance abuse treatment.
Combating Substance Abuse in California
The statistics above may paint a bleak picture of the problem in California, but with darkness comes light, and human beings for centuries have been able to overcome negativity.California has finally addressed the substance abuse problem in the state, and alongside the CDC, it has rolled out a comprehensive approach to help combat the issue facing the Golden State.
The thought process behind implementing these components is that the state will be able to start battling this epidemic.Only time will tell about what effects this collaboration with the CDC will have, but it has been said this is the glue that this multipronged initiative is united, aligned, and coordinated.
What Is Substance Abuse Treatment?
Substance abuse treatment is the successful and effective method of approaching substance use disorders to address and treat every aspect of an individual’s addiction. This includes the physical and mental aspects of substance abuse to dig to the root of the problem.
People who start treatment usually begin with detoxification, which involves flushing alcohol and/or other drugs from the system under careful medical supervision. The possibility of severe side effects is why it is recommended that detox 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.
Over the course of a person’s recovery, they will begin at the highest level of care and gradually make their way to less intensive treatment modalities. Here’s how it breaks down:
- Medical detox
- Inpatient care
- Long-term residential care
- Outpatient care
- Post-treatment maintenance (alumni programs, sober living, etc.)
Within these realms of care, there is a wide range of addiction recovery therapies with the purpose of treating different ailments. These varieties allow those with different disorders to understand and manage their addiction successfully. This also will help to identify if other underlying issues such as mental health disorders are sparking their addiction.
Some of these therapies and programs include:
- Individual counselling
- Group counselling
- Family therapy
- Case and care management
- Medication management
- 12-step programs
- Addiction education workshops
- Aftercare recovery services
What to Look For in a Substance Abuse Treatment Program
The search for the perfect substance abuse program can be a daunting task, but it is important to discover the qualities that make a facility the right one for you or a loved one. With an uptick in non-certified and phony facilities that scam clients out of insurance money, there needs to be a guideline that is followed to ensure the best possible outcome.
Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all situation, and potential clients should be aware of this to avoid having higher expectations that aren’t met. During this search, potential clients are recommended to consider choosing a treatment facility that is tailored to their needs.
When considering the variety of California substance abuse treatment centers, a reliable tool for evaluating a facility is treatment center criteria the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has outlined. These standards are:
Safe Prescribing Practices
Doctors have long been prescribing opioids liberally, and that has been said to contribute to the growing problem. Once a doctor cuts a substance user off, they turn to the street, or any other means to obtain the drugs once addicted. Due to the high prices of prescription pills on the street, the drug user then turns their attention to the cheaper alternative, heroin. From here on, the problem can become fatal.
Access To Treatment
enters such as California Highlands Addiction Treatment are on the front lines of this California substance abuse treatment initiative being rolled out. Easier access to treatment will be like opening the Pacific Ocean on a California wildfire.
Naloxone, better known as Narcan, has been distributed to paramedics and first responders throughout the country to help combat drug overdoses. Narcan was once only available in emergency rooms, but first responders who arrive at a scene lose valuable time transporting a person who has overdosed to the hospital. A strategy put into place was to give this life-saving medicine to law enforcement officers as well as all first responders. It works by completely reversing the opiates effect bringing someone out of an overdose instantly. This has been an effective means of saving lives
Public Education Campaigns
Ignorance is never an argument won in court, but without the proper education, individuals do not know what they can be getting themselves into. California has begun delving into public education campaigns by raising awareness about this epidemic ravaging the state.
Data Informed/Driven Intervention
The state has planned on keeping better statistics regarding this matter to help follow in the influx of drug abuse.
Find Quality Addiction Treatment in California at California Highlands Addiction Treatment
If you or someone you care about is suffering from substance abuse and is ready to take first steps toward recovery and a better, sober tomorrow, California Highlands Addiction Treatment can help. We offer medical detox treatment with a seamless transition into ongoing care through to our post-treatment alumni program.