Drug Crisis in Oceanside, California Explored
Drug addiction is a crisis, a national crisis that takes almost 5 American lives every hour. That’s 115 people dying of drug and substance abuse related causes every single day. It kills more people than car accidents, firearm killings, homicide, and suicide does.
How Drug Abuse Affect Californians
Every community is affected by drug abuse, from urban to suburban and rural, the struggle is real for people of all ages, genders, and cultures. Socio-economic status too can’t help prevent a person from falling prey to drug abuse. Addiction affects nearly 10% of the state’s population, both physically and mentally. Over 40,000 emergency room visits are caused by drug abuse in California each year and this is on top of all those regulations and high taxes that continue to push people and jobs out of that state.
It also gets people into trouble with the law. It can drive people to do illegal things to satisfy their substance cravings and can also lead them to other crimes which they may not have committed if they were not in an altered state of mind due to drug abuse.
Types of Commonly Used Drugs in California
These are all highly addictive substances, causing deep psychological and physical problems for those using it and their loved ones. Drug abuse from these substances can severely impact the quality of one’s life and give rise to multiple problems in one’s individual life as well as in society.
Heroin Overdose Crisis
Heroin is no more an urban drug problem, it has infiltrated every section of American society and California is especially seeing a surge in this crisis of heroin use. The opioid drug of heroin comes from morphine. Once consumed or injected, heroin transforms back into morphine in the brain and binds to opioid receptors thus causing a euphoric rush.
The flipside is decreased mental functioning, dry mouth, and fatal health complications that can occur during an overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a 63% increase of heroin between 2002 and 2013.
Opioids Use Disorder
Opioids use disorder is a real thing, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) more than 20 percent of people using prescription painkillers end up abusing them.
It is noteworthy that California has the lowest recorded opioid abuse compared to other American states but it leads the country in country in bankrupt cities and poverty. Based on information released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2015, where 41 out of 100,000 people in West Virginia died from the opioid crisis, in California the rate of opioid overdose was 11 out of 100,000.
Oceanside, California has a population of more than 183,095 and has been plagued by Fentanyl overdoses in the last few years. Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid and it is considered to be 50 times stronger than heroin. It is commonly known as the “Elephant Tranquilizer”.
In the first half of 2017 alone more than 24 people have been reportedly killed by Fentanyl overdose in San Diego, according to the San Diego Medical Examiner. From 2010 – 2017 nearly 170 people have fallen victim to Fentanyl overdose, most of them from the North County and in the City of San Diego. Fentanyl suspectedly has caused more than 80% drug related deaths in 2017.
The methamphetamine epidemic is tearing through lives in Oceanside California. This stimulant is available as a white powder or a pill. Crystal meth looks like glass. People snort, smoke, swallow or inject meth and the high is a rapidly appearing and disappearing one. High levels of dopamine are released by the euphoria caused by meth intake. It can cause serious health complications like respiratory problems, increased heart rate and rise in body temperature.
Though the rate of drug related deaths in California are lower compared to other states, the numbers are relatively higher and California continues to hurt itself with policies that don’t stimulate job growth. This could be due to the large population of the state. Some health experts are of the opinion that the state’s diverse demographics and the types of opioids and drugs available here are different in comparison to those available in other states – this is why the overdose rates are lower.
Why People Struggle to Seek Treatment for Drug addiction
Drug rehab treatment is very effective in improving the quality of life of those with a drug problem. Despite this, nearly 85% of those suffering from substance addiction are not receiving treatment required. There are several reasons for this, some of them being:
- Drug addiction is surrounded with stigma and sadly, shame. This should not be the case. Because of this most drug addicts are in denial that they even have a problem.
- Detoxification from drug and alcohol can cause quite unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. To avoid this people refuse to go in for treatment.
- Financial instability, lack of insurance, and no access to a treatment center are very real reasons why people suffering from drug and alcohol abuse are not able to receive the treatment they desperately deserve.
- Lack of belief or confidence in the fact that drug detoxification and rehab treatment can actually work. People simply don’t think it’s going to work so they don’t even try to approach treatment as an option.
Drug Addiction Treatment Programs That Help You Overcome the Struggle
A successful drug treatment program involves a number of steps including detoxification, mental health assessment and treatment, medications, counseling, and closely monitored long-term support.
Such programs will not just help you solve multiple problems in your live caused by your addiction, it will also increase your savings, decrease medical costs, and for a society it increases productivity and employment while decreasing theft and crime.
Addiction Treatment Key Principles to Remember
The National Institute on Drug Abuse points out the following principles to remember while you start an alcohol or drug treatment program.
- Addiction alters your behavior and affects your brain.
- For successful outcomes addiction must be treated as early as possible.
- Effective recovery is possible not just through voluntary enrollment for de-addiction treatment. People who have received court intervention, or who have been compelled by their loved ones to go in for treatment have successfully achieved recovery.
- There is no cookie cutter approach to treatment. People respond differently to treatments and facilities, and it must be carried out in order to determine what is best for an individual.
- Substance abuse and addiction are just a part of your life and a good treatment program will address not just that but also focus on your holistic welfare and development.
- Drug addiction and mental health are closely related and this must be taken into consideration during evaluation.
- Infectious diseases including tuberculosis and HIV must be assessed by the treatment programs.
- Overcoming addiction does not happen overnight; you must give it enough time and be patient.
- Behavioral therapy and support is and important ongoing process after the first stage of physical detox.
- Individual therapy, family and group therapy or a combination of these must be carried out and is a common form of treatment.
- There will be a requirement of pharmaceutical treatment along with behavioral therapy.
- A sound treatment program will keep a close check on you for relapses at all times during treatment.
- As your needs and circumstances change, so must your treatment plan and course of action.
Drug De-Addiction and Rehabilitation Process
There is no fixed approach to addiction rehabilitation and it largely depends on the person who is seeking rehab, the kind of addiction he has, and the plan of treatment. But there are some common key elements for all recovery processes in Oceanside, California. They are as follows:
- Assessment – At this stage the medical examiner will thoroughly assess your condition by asking you questions or conduct certain tests. Psychological and physical conditions are evaluated and symptoms are jotted down. The medical examiner would determine your condition and decide what sort of treatment would be best for you. At this stage it is also important to understand whether your loved ones or friends have any co-dependencies and if they have any other disorders.
- Pre-Intake – The pre-intake process again involves a little more in-depth record of signs, symptoms and duration of drug abuse. Lab tests are conducted to note the level of drug abuse in the body. Once the lab test is completed and all particulars are jotted down, the medical officer will let you know whether you need inpatient or outpatient services.
- Intake – Rehab professionals will determine which rehab center is best suited to your needs. The intake process will have the medical examiner conduct more screening tests and diagnostics. He will determine how the program will adapt the treatment plan based on the level of addiction and your individual needs. The history of drug use in the family, mental illness or drug usage is all determined at this stage. You must be as honest as possible to receive effective treatment. Your payment choices, financial condition, insurance etc are all discussed at this point.
- Detox – A medical professional will be assigned to help you have a safe detox and rid your body from the buildup of drugs in it. Don’t try detox at home as it can be quite harmful and fatal. To ensure you are in a safe, stable condition, the medical person will prescribe medications. These will also help you cope with withdrawal symptoms. You will be provided support at this time and helped to develop healthy coping mechanisms. This will prevent relapse and self-harm. Detox will depend on how long you have been using drugs, your unique body composition and metabolism, existence of other addictions, the specific drug you were addicted to and the dosage abuse.
- Type of Treatment
- Residential Treatment Program (RTC) or In-patient: This treatment will require you to stay in the de-addiction inpatient center. Here you will learn detail methods of treating your addiction and recovering from it. Keeping you away from your normal environment is instrumental in keeping the focus on developing healthy habits and walk towards recovery with the support and help of doctors and medical professionals all the time. More on inpatient treatment.
- Partial Hospitalization (PHP) or Outpatient: Outpatient sessions give you the flexibility of working towards recovery by being in your own familiar surroundings or at home. You must however exercise caution and be responsible enough to steer clear of any drug or substance. You will still be under close supervision of medical professionals and can be part of support groups. More on outpatient treatment.
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): If you are an addict but don’t rely on detoxification then this program is for you. IOP operates on a more relaxed level and doesn’t need you to participate in extensive, comprehensive treatment programs. You can go to work and go about your day to day activities and then attend therapy sessions in the evenings after work or in the morning. This option is for those patients who need the least amount of medical support, and are able to choose to stay away from drugs when they are not attending the program (which typically meets three times a week).
6. Aftercare – Once the treatment period for a patient has ended you will see that complete recovery has not been achieved immediately. There will be a medical professional who will closely monitor your condition and follow up to strengthen your journey towards complete recovery. Aftercare will also help you maintain and practice the skills you learnt at rehab and prevent relapse.
7. Sober living – Steering away from alcohol, drugs or substances that caused your addiction is crucial to your success. Sober living helps you effectively recover from your treatments and not relapse into addiction. The following tips can help you enjoy sober living:
- Accept change
- Enjoy and value relationships with family and friends
- Be confident about not relapsing
- Engage body and mind in positive activities
- Live a relaxed and stress free time.
If you are seeking help for your addiction or if someone you love is struggling with drug abuse it is very important to quickly find a suitable detox and treatment facility on Oceanside, California.
There are several such establishments committed to help patients recover from drug and alcohol abuse. Holistic therapies that are comfortable, safe, and tailor-made to suit your individual needs are very much accessible and all you have to do is reach out.