Treatment in Tuscon, Arizona
Tuscon City has a population of 526,000 and it covers an area of 236 sq. miles. It’s located in Pima County, Arizona. The use of prescription pill opiates, heroin and fentanyl, are on the rise. Fentanyl figures are particularly worrying. Arizona, like California, has become an entry point for this very dangerous drug. Substance abuse exists across the board but data for Pima County surprisingly shows that overdose deaths are more prevalent among people of middle-age. But whatever your status in Tuscan and whatever your age, you can get help to kick your addiction from the various treatment centers in Arizona. Don’t hesitate to seek help.
Drug Deaths in Pima County, Arizona
Official data shows that many overdose deaths over the years have been due to opiate pain killers and heroin. According to Pima County’s Medical Examiner, around 262 people died of drug overdoses in the county in both 2015and 2016. Opiate painkillers were held responsible for most of the deaths. About 93 of the 2015 deaths were attributed to heroin and this marked a 20 percent increase from the 2014 figures. Around 89 percent of the 2016 deaths were ruled accidental. Opiates such as methadone, oxycodone, heroin and fentanyl accounted for 67 percent (175 deaths) of the deaths either on their own or in combination.
County data shows that heroin-linked deaths have been rising steadily since 2013. So have deaths from meth and fentanyl overdoses. Meth fatalities rose from 38 in 2014 to 79 in 2016. Up to June 2017, there were 19 meth overdose deaths. In 2016, fentanyl accounted for 15 deaths. Current data shows that 13 people in Pima County died of fentanyl overdose between January and June 2017.
So worrying has the drug crisis been that in June 2017, the Governor of Arizona declared the opioid death epidemic a state of emergency.
Police now regularly use Narcan to reverse the deadly effects of opioid overdoses—breathing failure being the main one. Even patrol officers regularly administer Narcan on the streets. It overturns the effects of a range of opioids including heroin, fentanyl, meth and oxycodone. Narcan may also be administered by lay people who witness an overdose.
Drug seizures have been stepped up at the legitimate border crossings with Mexico. Data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection body shows that around 950 pounds of fentanyl were seized throughout the U.S. between October 2016 and August 2017. More than half of this amount came from Tuscan and San Diego’s customs and border operations at the Mexican border.
Drug seizures have also taken place away from Tucson’s border. In July 2016, police and DEA agents raided several homes and businesses in Tucson and nearby cities in search of the synthetic cannabinoid, ‘spice’. Eighteen arrests were made but it was not specified how many were made in Tucson. Around 600 pounds of drugs were impounded. The synthetic drugs are created in mainly Asian labs and they mimic THC the main addiction-inducing element in marijuana. They may have labels warning against human consumption to evade detection by law enforcers.
In August 2017, undercover police impounded over 1,000 fentanyl pills being sold at a hotel parking lot.
The Health Risks of Fentanyl
According to the DEA, just inhaling or touching a little bit of fentanyl may cause serious health problems, and overdosing on it may result in coma, breathing failure and death.
Fentanyl is sold as a single drug or mixed with marijuana, heroin, cocaine, spice and counterfeit prescription medication such as Xanax. The latter is normally prescribed for anxiety problems. Fentanyl derivatives such as carfentanil are also on the increase. This substance is said to be far more powerful than morphine and is normally used in the treatment of elephants.
Risk Factors for Accidental Overdoses
If you’ve accidentally overdosed, it may be because of the following reasons:
- Your drug of choice may be spiked with fentanyl, heroin and other substances without your knowledge.
- You are knowingly mixing your drug of choice with other drugs and with alcohol.
- Your immune system is already compromised by poor eating habits, heart or liver disease, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
- You suddenly relapse after detoxing, unaware that your tolerance levels are not the same as before.
The Addiction Treatment Process in Tucson, Arizona
It’s clear that the drug crisis in Tucson is not going away anytime soon. If you’ve accidentally or intentionally overdosed from opiate painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, you can get help with kicking your problem once and for all. Here are some points to ponder when considering treatment.
1. When should I seek treatment?
It’s never too early or too late to seek treatment. The trouble with sustained or heavy addiction is that your recovery process will be much longer and probably more painful. But it is treatable. You can achieve sobriety and maintain it in the long-term. But you can get your life back much sooner if you look for these tell-tale signs:
- Your cravings are getting harder and harder to control.
- Your periods of sobriety are getting shorter and shorter.
- You’re increasingly unable to relate to the people around you.
- Your fits of anger are becoming frequent.
- At work or school you are constantly late or a no-show.
- You may lose your job after repeated warnings.
- You’ve already overdosed, and you survived—just.
- Despite being aware of the negative effects of your habit, you continue with it anyway.
2. What does the treatment process typically involve?
These are the basic steps in the treatment process:
- Detox which ejects from your body, all traces of the alcohol, opiates or other drugs you may be using.
- Residential or non-residential rehab which teaches you mental techniques to cope with your cravings and triggers.
- Initiation into an aftercare process so you get the support you need to remain sober when you leave treatment.
3. What kind of center should I choose?
Look for a treatment center with the following features:
- A clinical environment which has the endorsement of credible addiction supervisory entities
- Suitably trained medical and psychotherapy staff who monitor your progress continuously
- The whole range of care in one place—from detox to aftercare.
- An initial assessment to work out the best personal plan for you.
- Treatment of other disorders that may be complicating your addiction.
- Aftercare procedures to provide you with support once treatment is over.
4. What does the induction process involve?
When you enter your treatment center for the first time, you will be assessed so that a unique treatment plan may be worked out for you. For an hour or two, you’ll chat with an assessment expert, and you’ll most likely fill in a questionnaire which will require information on the length of your addiction, how often you’ve been using, how many drugs you’ve been using, and the effects all this has had on your family and work life. You will also be given tests to measure the level of the substance in your body.
5. What is detox about?
Before the mental reasons behind your addiction can be treated, the drugs or alcohol have to be completely eliminated from your system. That’s what detox does. Most often you’ll be given medication to calm and stabilize your body as the substances are leaving your system. This process can take a few days or it can go on for a fortnight. The seriousness of your addiction will determine this.
6. Can I skip detox?
If your addiction is deemed mild, you may skip the detox. The process is obligatory for deep or prolonged addiction, and for opioid abuse.
7. Can I do my own detox?
Self-detoxing can be dangerous. As the substance is leaving your body you may experience deadly withdrawal symptoms that need to be monitored and eased by trained medical staff. You probably won’t complete your detox if it’s unsupervised.
8. Is it enough just to detox?
Addiction treatment is a two-pronged process—physical and mental. Detox deals largely with the physical aspect. To control your cravings, handle your triggers and prevent a relapse, you need to undergo mental therapy at a rehab center.
9. What type of rehab center do I need?
If you have slight addiction, the outpatient option would be perfect for you. If you have serious addiction like that related to heroin, opioid painkillers and alcohol, inpatient rehab is the fitting choice. It’s intensive and focused. You may then choose to move to outpatient rehab to consolidate all the lessons you learned when you were a resident patient.
10. What will I do all day every day in residential care?
You’ll never be bored in an inpatient facility. There’s so much to do. It’s a time of self-discovery.
Get Education for Life
You’ll get intensive education on substance abuse. You’ll attend individual, family and group therapy. You’ll spend a great deal of time contemplating the causes and effects of your addiction and how you can turn over a new leaf. With the aid of a variety of behavioral techniques, you’ll learn to cope effectively with your cravings and addiction triggers, without falling back on drugs. You also polish up your social skills so you can properly engage your peers whose help and support you’ll need through treatment and beyond.
Get Medical Relief
You may have to take meds until you get a grip on your cravings. They may also be used to treat disorders that are occurring at the same time as your addiction such as depression, ADD and schizophrenia. There will be medical staff on hand to help with this. An integrated approach which combines physical, social and emotional therapy is regarded as the best treatment for addiction. It will strengthen your body and mind, and stabilize your emotions, thereby keeping relapse at bay.
Follow a Unique Treatment Plan
You’ll have a treatment plan specific to your addiction needs. This plan is monitored 24/7. You’ll meet every day with your case expert who will give you individual therapy and assess your treatment plan. They will keep adjusting your plan to make sure it fits your current situation. Relapse is not uncommon in the early stages of treatment especially if your addiction was severe. It by no means signifies personal failure. It may mean there’s something amiss in your plan and you cannot continue with it exactly as it is.
Build up Fellowships
You’ll attend 12-step meetings outside the center. These could include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). They supplement your group therapy sessions. You’ll relate with your peers with increasingly more confidence and you’ll continue to draw from their strength as they will from yours. You’ll hopefully continue with these fellowships once treatment is over. They help you to remain abstinent in the long-run.
Join Gender-Specific Meetings
Some centers allow women and men to have their own meetings. Different genders experience different pressures and some people are better able to express their feelings and therefore open themselves up to more support when they’re in a gender-specific setting.
Get Time to Relax
Although your program will be full, you’ll still get some alone time to reflect on your progress and get your bearings. You may be able to join the gym, and attend meditation, massage or yoga classes, for instance. Certain facilities arrange relaxing excursions to Tucson’s many sites.
11. What happens in outpatient rehab?
Much of what is offered in residential rehab will also be offered in outpatient care but with more moderation. Education programs are on offer as well as group, family and one-on-one meetings which also rely on behavioral and other techniques. Support from peers and family is crucial during and after rehab. You need people who can empathize with you during difficult periods. Some centers only have outpatient facilities. Others offer them alongside detox and inpatient treatment. The main feature of outpatient therapy is that you don’t live at the facility. You attend it from your home or a sober living facility. There are three hierarchies of treatment:
Basic Outpatient Program
If your addiction is minor and more manageable, you can have a program built around your normal day-to-day activities. You attend the center at times that don’t hinder your home or school life such as during lunchtime, in the evenings and at weekends.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
It’s more regulated and intense than the basic therapy. Sessions are more frequent—perhaps 8 to 10 hours per week, and you are supervised and assessed more regularly. It’s ideal for you if basic outpatient therapy is not hitting the mark.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
This is the most intense, regulated and focused of the outpatient options. You attend the center every single day, going home in the evening.
Both IOP and PHP are good options for people who’ve finished their inpatient courses and want to consolidate what they’ve learned before fully resuming their lives. These options work best with a stable home life and consistent support from loved ones. However, these are not the recommended primary forms of rehab for those with hardened addiction. People in the category are best served by an initial stint in inpatient therapy.
12. Is detox available at an outpatient facility?
Detox can be done at an outpatient center for less serious forms of addiction. It takes about a week and medication may be given to help you cope with withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
13. What aftercare programs are on offer during rehab?
Aftercare programs normally begin while you’re still undergoing treatment. You will continue with these when your treatment is over. They will help you to stay sober. For instance, you will continue to attend the 12-step programs and anything else you were introduced to. Collectively they will help to hold up your sobriety when you leave treatment. Following on from your individualized program you may choose to continue to receive regular personal therapy from a psychotherapist of your choice. You may also be invited to join the center’s alumni program which gives support to former clients by hosting regular meetings and helping with any problems that may come up.
Another aftercare program is the sober living home option. It represents a further interim phase you can choose to go through, before you return to full life, following your inpatient stay. You simply strengthen the techniques you absorbed during care, but in a more lay-back atmosphere and in an environment run by peers who’ve been in recovery for long periods.