Costa Rica Demographics
Costa Rica is a country located in Latin America and home to about 4.8 billion people. The official language in the county is Spanish, however there are many pockets of the nation where English or other local dialects are spoken. The country is not too ethnically diverse, with 83% of the population reporting as Caucasian. Along with this, a little under 7% of the population is Mulatto, 2% is American Indian, 1% is African American, and 6% is considered other or unreported. When it comes to the majority of religions in the nation, 52% of the population identifies as Catholic, 25% are Protestant, 17% are non-religious, 3% practice Buddhism, and 3% are unreported.
Drug Use in Costa Rica
Drug use in Costa Rica has been complicated in the past decade because drug use had been decriminalized in 2010. The hope was to see a decrease in use and other associated crimes, but the opposite had occurred. The nation was also hoping to see a decrease in drug trafficking and related crimes, but that has also increased since the desire for drugs has gone up. Since 2010, the prison population has increased by 50% and homicide rates have increased by 30%. It is reported that it is a common sight for people in the streets to be using drugs like marijuana and cocaine.
With this increasing drug use and drug-related crime on the rise, seeking treatment for addiction may be necessary now more than ever for the people of Costa Rica.
Signs You Should Seek Treatment
Often times when people are living in a world of addiction, they are unable to see that they are struggling and need to seek treatment. With that said, there are behaviors that can be warning signs that you or somebody that you know should seek help.
- Your friends or family have asked you to stop using the substance: Those who are closest to you can sometimes see your destructive behavior before you can. If your loved ones are reaching out to you about your addictive behaviors, it may pay to listen to them.
- You have had health problem related to your addiction: Drug or alcohol abuse can lead to an array of health issues including liver problems, cancers, and heart disease among others. Many of these issues could be prevented or at least lessened if it weren’t for the abuse, and it’s never too late to stop using the substance and prevent the issues from getting any further.
- You’ve lost your job due to your substance abuse: When you are unable to maintain your responsibilities because of your substance abuse, you should consider seeking help. Any time you prioritize the substance over a core responsibility in your life, that means that you are struggling with addiction.
- You have tried to quit using the substance, but failed: Have you ever decided you want to quit “cold turkey” only to return to the substance, possibly even using it more than you did before? The fact that you want to quit is fantastic and you should keep working on it. You just might need to reach out to someone to get the resources that you need to make quitting easier.
Of course, these are not the only warning signs that somebody should seek drug rehabilitation in Costa Rica, but it is a good start. If you believe that you are suffering from a substance abuse addiction, reaching out to a treatment center is the perfect first step.
Addiction Treatment in Costa Rica
Starting the treatment process is a big step in anyone’s life and can be scary and make a person feel extremely vulnerable. Luckily, the treatment process can be so individualized and patients will get the type of treatment that is the most appropriate for them.
After choosing a facility, the client will begin the assessment process. During this time, they will meet with a professional where they will be asked questions about their past substance abuse. Some of these questions may include what substance the used, how often they used them, if there was any past treatment, and any other health issues they may be living with. It is important during this time that the patient is completely honest about their experiences because it will determine what their treatment will look like. Sometimes people tend to downplay their substance abuse because they are embarrassed or ashamed of their actions, but it is important to remember that the professionals are there to help and not to judge anybody.
After the assessment is over, the patient will meet with the intake specialist to begin discussing with their treatment plan will look like. The treatment plan will depend on the individual person, but in general will follow the same steps. During this time, patients are able to ask questions about their treatment plan and their families are able to be involved if it is appropriate for the patient.
Detox is an extremely important step in the recovery process because it gives the patient the opportunity to clear their body of the substance that they had become dependent on. After receiving the substance on a regular basis, a person’s body begins to expect it to survive. When a person stops taking the substance after the body had become addicted, it goes through withdraw. During this time, the body experiences many physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, sweating, and insomnia. They may also experiences some psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. The severity of these symptoms experienced depends on the length and details of the abuse and the person’s overall health.
Detox in Costa Rica takes place in a medical facility where the patient is monitored to ensure safety. They are also available to provide any treatment they may need and to help manage the symptoms. While the length of detox varies for everybody, it typically lasts from 3 to 7 days. Once this process is complete, the patient will move to the inpatient portion of their treatment.
During inpatient treatment, patients focus on their sobriety in a residential setting. They will meet with counselors and take part in programs daily to help them learn about themselves and why they are addicted to the substance. They may take part in age or gender-specific group therapies, individual therapy, and other therapeutic activities like art or yoga. The amount of time a person will spend on these activities will depend on the facility, but it is typical for them to have a scheduled day with little free time.
The idea behind Costa Rica inpatient treatment is to remove the patient from their daily life where they may be tempted to use the substance or distracted by life stressors or outside forces. This way, they can put all of their focus and energy into their treatment, making it the most effective possible. The length of stay will vary by program and by the needs of the patient, but generally people stay in the inpatient treatment anywhere from 30 days to 12 weeks.
Outpatient care is important after receiving inpatient care, as it follows up where inpatient left off when the patients return to their lives outside of residential treatment. There are a few different types of outpatient care. One of the most common is attending a counseling session weekly with a professional where patients can talk about coping mechanisms and learn how to live with their addiction. A person may be in this type of outpatient treatment for years following their inpatient treatment depending on their needs. There are other types of outpatient treatment programs that a patient may attend that are considered a “step down” from inpatient treatment. They are Partial Hospitalization Programs and Intensive Outpatient Programs.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): At this type of treatment, patients attend therapy like a full time job. They will go to their program for 4-6 days a week for up to 8 hours a day where they will take part in programs, individual and group counseling, and therapeutic activities. The idea behind PHPs are to provide a similar level of care that inpatient treatment did, but allows patients to live in their own homes and transition back to living independently and sober.
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP): IOPs are even more of a step down from PHPs and provides a high level of care while still allowing patients to maintain daily responsibilities like going to school or work. These programs meet 3-4 days a week for a few hours in the evening. Many people find the consistent level of care helpful as they are returning to their responsibilities and working on remining sober outside of their residential program.
Sometimes, when people leave their drug rehab facilities in Costa Rica they do not have a home that they could go back to where they feel they could remain sober. In this case, they may be moved to a sober living facility, sometimes known as a halfway house. At a sober living facility, people are free to leave during the day to do things like find a job, attend work they already have, and look for housing. They must return to the house by the designated curfew, which varies by facility but typically is around 10 or 11. At these facilities, they may be offered group therapies or extra resources to help them remain sober, which is another qualification of living temporarily in the facility.
After care is another important step for those who had received treatment for an addiction. Often times, people attend after care for the majority of their lives following treatment. One of the most popular after care options are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These groups are free to attend and meet once a week, usually at a local church or community center. These groups are run by licensed professionals, but most of the talking is done by those attending who are able to share their story and their struggle.
Once a person decides they are ready to begin their recovery journey, they then have to choose a Costa Rica treatment facility. This could be another very intimidating step, especially if there is no prior knowledge or treatment or rehab centers. It is important to do some research to find out what facilities exist near you and what benefits and programs they have to offer. Here is a list of a few possible treatment centers in Costa Rica that could be the next step to treatment.
Costa Rica Recovery
Costa Rica Recovery is a treatment facility for men and women that specializes in alcohol and drugs, specifically heroin and opioids. People who attend this facility receive inpatient treatment from 30 to 90 days before moving to an outpatient facility. Treatment can be provided in English, Spanish, or German to accommodate a wide variety of patients. At Costa Rica Recovery, treatment is extremely individualized because there are only between 6 and 15 patients at a time. This allows for the professionals to work more one-on-one with the patients to help them meet their needs. Along with this, residents will take part in group therapies with other residents and family program are offered if it appropriate for the patient’s needs. This facility uses types of therapies like dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Once a patient completes their inpatient treatment, Costa Rica Recovery provides aftercare home support, family follow up for the loved ones of the person that they are caring for, and the ability to call a counselor from the facility when extra support is needed.
Tropical Oasis Treatment Center
This Costa Rica drug and alcohol treatment facility, located in the tropical rainforest of Esterillos on a beautiful, 4 acre campus. Men and women are able to receive treatment at this facility and treatment is provided in English. Tropical Oasis Treatment Center uses a holistic approach to treat the entire mind, body, and spirit when it comes to reaching sobriety. Often times, people struggling with substance abuse are also struggling with mental health disorders, past trauma, or other health problems that require treatment along with initial addiction. This facility also follows the 12 Step Program, a common treatment plan for those struggling with addiction. Along with this, they also use types of therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, massage therapy, and yoga to help treat the patient. Following the inpatient portion of the treatment, patients are encouraged to take part in Tropical Oasis Treatment Center’s outpatient and aftercare programs.
Costa Rica Treatment Center
At the Costa Rica Treatment Center in San Jose is another substance abuse facility for men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. This is another small, individualized treatment facility with about 6 to 15 clients at a time, therefore anybody who attends this facility with get the opportunity for one-on-one work with the professionals. They also offer patients a holistic approach to treatment where the whole person gets treated, not just the behaviors relating to addiction. Treatment can last anywhere from 30 days to 4 months depending on the individual needs of the patients. Once they complete their residential treatment at Costa Rica Treatment Center, they are provided with outpatient treatment and after care programs to help provide support during sobriety.