Mobile is a port city in the state of Alabama and the Alabama Gulf Coast. A part of Mobile County, this city is loaded with cultural and historic symbols from the American History that significantly complement its flourishing flora and fauna. With a population of 193,717, the city houses about 50% African American, 44% Caucasian, 3% Hispanic, 2% Asian and 1% of other multi-racial ethnicity. This birthplace of Mardi Gras is the third most populous city in the state that has been known to have one of the highest rate of drug problem in the country.
Mobile's Cause of Drug Abuse and it's Preventative Measures
The young folks of the city starting from the age of 12 begin to abuse drugs and alcohol. The government came to recognize marijuana and alcohol as the main substances under abuse. There have been considerably large overdose cases attributed to opioid prescription drugs along with heroin but the trend of usage has been shifting to fake marijuana or spice. With teenagers being the highest in numbers of total consumers, many of them have dropped out of school. The Drug Education Council conveyed that the cause of drug abuse has been suspected as absence of parental guidance at home. The lack of responsibility assumed by the parents usually encourages their children to act out and thus, drugs and alcohol may seem like an apt way to rebel against any authoritative figure as well as to exercise freedom.Teenagers may also encourage or push others to consume.
Prevention and cure from drug abuse has been a constant agenda on the city’s mind and they have been launching measure for the same for more than a decade. The government and people of Mobile have been extensively working on teaching their target users about the malignant nature of drugs. With the State of Alabama being of the highest drug abusing state, the administration came to the realization that this epidemic needs to be dealt with not only on the legal level. Thus, parents were invited to help the state help their younger population to understand the danger that drugs bring. The epidemic is also discussed on an academic level to analyze the abuse beyond the statistics.
Through media campaigns, workshops, conferences, policy reforms, initiatives such as collecting unused prescription drugs, and pushing the parents to invest themselves in their children’s lives, the city has been very rigorous in its preventive efforts. The efforts made by the Drug Education Council for awareness and treatment, have kept the community rooted in the efforts of helping its young ones from straying.
The Mexican Drug Cartel is concluded to be one of the major suppliers for this area. They continue to bring in new products, and try to use creative methods to distribute as much as viable. The federal and police departments have been vigilant about their efforts and have launched various efforts lock down the supply.
Understanding Drug Abuse
Drugs have the ability to provide us with dopamine and serotonin, which is usually naturally produced by the brain and provides us with a sort of ‘high’. Unfortunately the drugs do not produce them, but trick the brain into believing they do and halt their natural production in the brain. Thus, when only the drug may provide with these hormones, a person tends to become addictive to the drugs.
Unresolved issues and emotional gap between family members may push teenagers to act out in order to express their anger or command attention. Therefore, drugs and alcohol may seem as effective tools to execute their desires. In addition, the dearth of communication in a family may cause stress and loneliness which maybe temporarily taken care off by the drugs.
Though there are varied causes for drug abuse and in the case of Mobile, experimentation and adolescent stress seems to be some of them. Though there are multiple risk factors one must recognize, ranging from one’s family history to mental illness, severe physical pain to abuse in one’s life or performance pressure, a person can take to drugs at any stage in life especially when they may be seeking change.
Each and every drug has few generalized symptoms and quiet peculiar symptoms. While of the standard symptoms may be -losing interest in work place or school, dearth of interest in self-grooming, increased isolation, noticeable lack of energy, changes in relationships, fluctuations in weight, difficulty in financial management and blood shot eyes along with fatigue.
Symptoms of marijuana abuse are – distorted perception, blood shot eyes, dry mouth paranoia, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, memory loss, difficulty in problem solving, slow reaction time and irritability. In case of prescription drugs, be it opioids, stimulants or depressants, they all induce severe behavioral changes in a person. The symptoms are – frequent medicine refills, stealing money or prescriptions, borrowing medicines, change in sleeping patterns, noticeable mood swings, paranoia, disorientation or confusion, seizures and digestive as well as cardiovascular issues. Symptoms of alcohol abuse are – risky behavior, increase in expression of anger, lack of attention towards familial and professional obligations and loss of control.
There are several rehabilitation centers in Mobile which provide people with the entire spectrum of rehabilitation programs against drugs and alcohol. Each program aims at helping people detox and recover as well as inspire its clients to plan for their future. That is, these program through various measures, help people to get a degree or find work, not as part of aftercare but uses this new hope for future as a tool to heal and recover.
The rehab facilities are not only gender and faith centric but also very career centric in their approach for treatment. That is, rehab facilities are intensely focused on serving people with some specific goals in mind. Some cater to only women and their needs such as specific programs for expecting mothers, while the others lead their treatment with the Christian faith and spirituality. Also, some facilities root their treatment according to the work that people do every day, keeping in mind the stressors that their job entails. Thus, there are specialized programs for military personnel, athletes, law enforcement personnel or students, keeping in mind their requirements and how each will require a uniquely sensitive methodology for battling their issues as well as addiction.
There is a dense presence of psychotherapists and de-addiction counsellors that hold the potential to assist people before, during and after they have been to rehabilitation programs.
Some of the rehab centers around Mobile are situated in Fairhope, Pascagoula, Grand Bay and Vancleave.
Assessment and Induction
There is an ocean of rehabilitation options for the people of Mobile and each option is laid out in front of them in the form of literature that may assist them in making a suitable choice for treatment. Each facility allows prospective clients to contact them to either gather data or book a new patient appointment.
The road to recovery begins with an assessment process, where the client is required to answer questions asked by the physician and their medical team to understand the condition of the client. Then they must recommend a course of treatment that may be accepted to the client’s unique needs. Such a conversation is conducted with patience and kept confidential to urge the client to be candid. Thereafter, the client is provided with results of the assessment and provided with a plan apt for their recuperation. They are given a comprehensive conception of what they may look forward from the treatment. If the client agrees with the terms of the treatment, they are assigned a medical team and counsellor.
During the induction phase the client is kept under a constant supervision to ascertain the effectiveness of the set treatment plan and to choose a suitable medication level that will stabilize their condition. The client is expected to stay in constant touch to keep them motivated and have the right perspective to continue treatment. In this phase people will continue to evaluate their treatment goals and make necessary alterations.
Detoxification may be understood as the step in rehabilitation where measures are taken to release the body of the toxic substances deposited in the internal system due to drug abuse. Such a process of cleansing requires complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol as well as medical help for the symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal maybe understood as a package of symptoms that one experiences when they stop using drugs after a considerable period of usage. The symptoms are painful and may cause rampant cravings for drugs causing a risk for relapse. Hence, this phase in treatment requires a medically assisted treatment which integrates medication for withdrawal symptoms with behavioral and social counselling to contribute to sustained recovery.
The clients require ongoing medical attention and supervision from an adequate care team that ensures that the client is taken care of in episodes of withdrawal symptoms. The challenge is to ensure that the client does not give in to their yearnings. This is a very challenging phase in treatment and its success is essential to the next portion of the treatment. Thus, the medical is assigned with the task of averting drug consumption through adequate medication as well as counselling.
A few symptoms of withdrawal from marijuana are – insomnia, depression, nightmares, and fluctuating degrees of anger and anxiety. Depending on the level of alcohol one has consumed the ferocity of the withdrawal symptoms may vary. A few of the milder symptoms are – shaky hands, anxiety, nausea, sweating. Some of the severe symptoms are – hallucinations, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, fever and extensive seating. Withdrawal symptoms of prescription drugs are – agitation, muscle aches, diarrhea, running nose, abdominal cramping, dilated pupils and goosebumps.
There are many inpatient programs in the city of Mobile and they are aimed at resurrecting their clients as much as possible. They provide a shielded and comfortable setting where the client may endure the idea of protection under the supervision of licensed de-addiction counsellors. But many inpatient centers do not offer detox and have a prerequisite of detoxification for admission.
Such a program may last up to 28 days, though client may stay for longer in the program. The program exposes people to a therapeutic structure which will ensure that their entire day is about working out issues from the life that led them to consider drug seeking behavior. The aim is to recognize the potential threat such issues have on the recovery of the client and create a preventive proposal to diminish the risk. The program also exists with the principle that recovery needs to be wholesome and encompass all aspects of one’s life which means that psychological and spiritual facet of recovery as essential as medication management.
Thus, inpatient treatment involves individual as well as group therapy sessions, family therapy sessions, sheer investment in 12-step recovery program, temporary sponsorship, life skills, relapse prevention, emotional management and holistic therapies like meditation, yoga and adventure based therapeutic and recreational activities.
Individual and group psychotherapy sessions are organized with the aim of helping the client understand the complex essence of addiction and effects it may have on one’s body and mind. Therefore, clients discover ways to realize what led them into addiction and how to initiate long lasting change in all spheres of their life. They also learn how to create healthy manners to tackle stress, setbacks as well as loss and maintain perspective about what they wish to achieve in their lifetime. At this stage they aim at discovering deeply rooted psychological and working on them to address potential stressors that may hamper their sobriety.
One of the fascinating points of the inpatient program in Mobile is that they believe in not only cognitive rehabilitation but believe in making efforts to put rehabilitative plans into action without delay. Thus, many programs provide for their clients to embark on the journey of social development. They are offered educational courses, guidance literature, psychoeducation and other relevant tools to reinvent themselves and successfully include themselves in the society.
Specialized treatment plans
Gender Specific Treatment
Some inpatient programs are especially focused on the healing needs of women and men, together and separately. These gender centric rehab facilities are optimized for the requirements of their unique inhabitants and provide specialized rehabilitative activities that will specifically assist them. They aim at understanding the gendered context of each of their clients and plan a treatment plan that will place them as well as their circumstance at the center. Be it men who went to war, or pregnant women, rehab centers with gender centric programs encourage their clients to thoroughly reflect on their life and life choices to find balance. Therefore, people not only think about what kind of a life they wish for in therapy, they begin to work towards such a life in the inpatient program.
Career Centric Programs
Many rehab centers have specially designed treatment plans for people with specific trauma based professions. Ranging from military personnel, people in law enforcement and athletes to healthcare professionals, rehab facilities are sensitive towards the fact that some career choices may lead to mental and physiological trauma and then lead to drug seeking behavior in a person. Thus, keeping in mind the daily stress that each profession carries, these special programs have specialized counselling and therapy arrangements that will allow the clients to work on issues regarding their jobs. The aim is to equip the clients to think about how they may continue with their work without going down the path of drugs and alcohol.
Faith Based Programs
Several rehabilitations programs are an amalgamation of the 12 step program and the Christian faith. They prefer to offer a spiritual path to their clients and through prayer, counselling, and medication help themselves. They encourage their clients to spiritually reflect on their life choices. The aim of such programs is to allow people to let go of any negative emotions by believing that an omnipresent force guides them and that they must take charge of their lives with positivity. The idea is to believe that a higher power is capable of helping us to heal pain cause due to trauma and loss in one’s life. These programs supplement treatment with many workshops and classes for their clients to take and improve their career options.
The main group of drug consumers being pre-teens and teenagers, the city has an ample amount treatment options for them ranging from preventive workshops, drug tests, and interventions to residential rehabilitation facilities. Two elements that are the primary emphasis of the programs for youth are – education and family rehabilitation. Firstly, The young folks of the town are not only provided with medication for detoxification, but they are provided with the option to take practical measures to anchor their lives so that after they are out of a structured treatment plan, they can find themselves with hope and role in life. Many who may have left school due to drugs are given the option to complete their education to seek better career options. Secondly, understanding that one of the major causes of abuse may have been an unpleasant family life, treatment programs in Mobile, aim at helping these family resolve maximum possible issues. Through extensive counselling and workshops that encourage communication between parents and their children around drugs and related things, families may come together to become better companions. Therefore, there are some programs that are specifically designed for children from 12 to 18 years of age under which they receive specialized treatment that keeps in mind their life context and provides functional solutions to them. They are given tuitions to ensure they do not miss studies during treatment.
The outpatient programs in Mobile are ideal for those who wish to continue a structured treatment regime after an extensive inpatient/hospitalized program. Such a step will curtail the risk of relapse and allow the client to continue on the path to recuperation. This program is also suitable for people who not been under the influence of drugs and alcohol for very long and are in the early phases of chemical dependence. There are outpatient detox centers in the city for those who do not wish to leave their jobs and dependent family members in the course of treatment. Rehab centers believe that when people work around the alterations that need to be made in their present requirement while being in the same, they are in a beneficial position because they get the support of their counselors in the midst of their transition.
In this program, clients procure treatment under the guidance and supervision of trained counselors and a medical team that create special sessions to treat the ever existing risk of relapse and help the clients deal with any variety of stressors. Individual and groups psychotherapy sessions help clients to work on numerous repressed psychological issues and any possible potential stressors. Recreational therapies, literacy training, anger management, vocational and job training are beneficial elements included in the program.
People begin to implement their plans of life after treatment in this phase. But as stress and other unique stressors may risk a relapse, many people make a choice of continuing treatment through support group meeting. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are a vital source of support for people. This is where many people in recovery come together to talk about their efforts after treatment and gain needed inspiration from the experiences of others people struggling with sobriety.
There are a few residential facilities in the city that allow people to stay or continue staying after treatment, till they find an anchor into the society. There are also halfway or transitional homes for people who wish to keep living in a threat free environment and continue working on building a desired life for themselves. Young people who wish to continue their education are provided with assistance to study. In addition, people are supplied with transportation and any other resources that they may need to continue their 12-step program, intensive therapies or job interview