Vallejo Substance Abuse and Addiction
Vallejo is a city that is located within San Francisco Bay area in California. It has an estimated population of 120,228 people and a median household income of $58,472. This city is known for having a large amusement park and elaborate historical museum. With a booming economy, state of the art infrastructure and a growing number of residents this city has become fertile ground for illicit drug business.
Individuals in this area are taking to the use of dangerous substances such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. There is also concern regarding the dangerous alcohol drinking trends that are taking root.
Why Vallejo Residents are Using
The growing number of substance users in Vallejo has no doubt caused a major concern for the authorities, religious and learning institutions throughout the city. While most of these organizations have played a major role in controlling the menace of substance use it is important for each individual to learn about some of the root causes of use. This can be key to preventing use or providing assistance to those who are already hooked.
Entertainment – while some people find movies and sports entertaining there are a number of residents in this city who actually use substance as a form of entertainment, They drink alcohol or use cocaine to enhance their partying experience. This can become a routine that takes place every weekend and during the holidays.
Pain relief – users of opioids or prescription medication sometimes do it oblivious to the dangers that they are likely to experience. Indeed these medications may help in pain management for a given time. However, when used outside the specifications that are given by a qualified doctor these substances become quite dangerous.
Curiosity – there are a lot of teenagers that are taking substance simply because they are curious about the effects that are derived. These individuals have probably watched drug use play out in a video or witnessed how much fun their friends who are under the influence have had. To avoid being left out of the fun they opt to start using substance. The problem is that a majority of individuals that enjoy their first experience are likely to do it over and over again. This repeated use usually turns into addiction.
Stress – not everyone has healthy ways of relieving stress. Some people resort to the use of substance as a way of coping with the challenges they are facing. Some of the situations that may push individuals to drug abuse include loss of job, lack of profits from business and poor grades in school. Individuals that take drugs because of stress fail to realize that alternatives such as praying, meditating and exercising are healthier ways of relaxing the mind.
Trauma – people that have gone through painful or scary situations may start using drugs as a way of suppressing bad memories. Going through rape, violence or a gruesome accident can be quite distressing and this may push certain people to substance use. It is important for such individuals to get unconditional family support and if possible attend professional therapy sessions.
Peer pressure – it is quite difficult for teenagers to hang out with drug users without feeling the pressure to use drugs. Some users go to the extent of calling their colleagues demeaning names. It is this pressure and fear of ridicule that sometimes pushes young people into substance use and abuse. This is why it is encouraged that parents and teachers provide continuous guidance when it comes to teenage relationships. Young people that are provided with information on life values are better placed to resist the influence of bad peers.
Confidence boost – there are a number of people that lack self confidence but still wish to deliver public speeches or approach strangers. These individuals are sometimes wrongfully advised to use confidence boosting drugs such as cocaine. While it is true that these substances provide short term confidence the end result is usually dependence and addiction. Some individuals even overdose and pass away from a single administration of substance.
How Residents of Vallejo Get Hooked
The process of substance addiction may drag out or happen instantaneously. It all depends on issues such as the type of drug used, the amount or method of intake. Below are some of the stages that take place before an individual is completely addicted to substance.
- Introduction to substance
Everyone learns about alcohol and other drugs at some point in their life. For most people this takes place during the teenage years and more specifically at around 12 or 13 years of age. Some of these individuals get to learn about substance through their friends while others may get information from television shows or family members. Those who learn about substance and the negative effects it gives are usually apprehensive about trying them out. On the other hand those who are introduced to substance as being positive are at a great risk of trying them out.
- Experimentation or initiation to substance use
At this point individuals are aware of almost all the substances that are available at their disposal. In a number of cases teenagers inquire about substance from their friends who are already using. There are also certain teenagers who are curious enough to seek substance from their parent’s room with the aim of experimenting. Once substance has been used people derive pleasurable effects from the experience. This further complicates matters because those who enjoy the euphoric effects of the substance are likely to use again in the future.
- Regular use of substance
Once an individual has tasted substance and enjoyed its effects it is common for them to become regular users. At this stage individuals use substance when they are stressed or at anytime they feel like having fun. Regular use can be described as being a predictable pattern of substance use. Individuals in this stage drink or use drugs during the weekends, holidays or on special occasions. In most cases users appear to be in control of their substance intake. They still make good decisions which is why close friends and family members are unlikely to become worried.
- Risky or problem use
It is at this point that individuals start pushing their limits in a bad way. Problem users have been known to take substance even while at work or school. They increase the number of times they take substance within a given period. It is also at this point that a number of people start using a larger quantity of substance. After a short while of dangerous substance abuse many people develop a tolerance. This means their bodies have become so used to substance that it no longer reacts to little amounts of the said substance. Instead individuals are forced to either mix substances or increase the amount they take before they can get the euphoric effects they desire.
- Substance dependence
Because individuals are already taking increased amounts of substance the body starts becoming too accustomed to having drugs or alcohol in the system. This creates a new problem referred to as substance dependence. This condition basically means that substance users are no longer able to continue with their normal lives unless they take some of the substance. Those who miss their regular dose for one reason or another end up going through withdrawal. Below are some of the things that are likely to transpire during withdrawal.
- Cold chills
- Profuse sweating
- Extreme anxiety
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme paranoia
- Muscle cramps
- Drug cravings
- Substance addiction
Right after the dependence stage individuals tend to slip into full blown addiction. At this point users are psychologically compelled to take substance even when it produces negative effects. A lot of addicts are frequently taken to jail or hospital because of the effects of substance but what is surprising is that right after such incidents they still go back to substance use. Addiction is a condition that compromises the free will. It means that even if you desire to stop using substance you may not have the willpower to do it. Below are some of the signs associated with substance addiction.
- Feeling guilty after substance use
- Trying to quit but failing several times
- Thinking of substance use most of the times
- Experiencing a lot of pain due to substance use but still continuing to do it
- Talking about substance use most of the times
- Experiencing withdrawal effects when you try to quit
- Missing important appointments due to substance use
Common Reasons Why People Don’t Get Addiction Help
While a lot of people require professional help for their substance addiction it is only 11% that actually get to be treated. Below are some of the most common reasons for failing to get help.
Fear of police – because the use of drugs such as cocaine and heroin is illegal it is easy to understand why people hooked on these substances may be cautious about getting help. These individuals know that if they come forward they risk getting arrested and being imprisoned. What they fail to note is that there are a lot of people who are allowed to go for rehabilitation instead of getting imprisoned.
Fear of job loss – people who are employed at organizations that have a zero tolerance for drug use may not be too willing to get help. They believe that any mention of drug use on their part could mean they lose their jobs. The same can be said of individuals that are using substance while in school.
Denial – for any addiction treatment to be successful it is imperative that a user admits to having a serious problem. However, there are a lot of drug addicts that do not realize that they are suffering from the disease. It is almost impossible to help someone that is in denial.
Shame – drug addiction is considered as being shameful by certain people within the society. Indeed a lot of people make fun of drug addicts that seem to use drugs to a point that makes them look like they have lost their minds. Family members may fail to seek help for a loved one because they do not want to be associated with the shame of the drug addict.
Lack of money – because a number of rehabilitation centers charge a given fee for treatment some individuals may not be able to get help. This is applicable to people that are living below the poverty line. These individuals do not know about rehabilitation initiatives that help addicts recover without demanding too much money.
Treatment For Substance Addiction
When an individual agrees to get treatment he or she is enrolled to either an inpatient or outpatient program. Here are some of the things that are likely to take place during treatment.
Detoxification – this is defined as the process through which the human body gets rid of drugs or alcohol. While undergoing detoxification patients may be provided with alternative medications to help manage withdrawal. Doctors keep a close watch on the patient to ensure he or she is as comfortable as possible and that they can receive immediate response in case of emergencies.
Physical therapy – this is care that is given with the aim of achieving multiple results. Patients who may have lost their motor functions are provided with physical therapy to reverse the condition. Medicinal massage may be done to keep the patient calm and free of stress.
Counselling – because addiction has a serious impact on the psychology of the patient it is paramount for doctors to arrange for counselling sessions. During these sessions patients are allowed to express their thoughts and emotions. This enables doctors to come up with effective solutions to the things that may be triggering substance use.
Support group – addiction patients are usually encouraged to join support groups. Members get to share their experiences and triumphs with the rest of the group. This ensures that each person gets some form of encouragement or inspiration.
If you want to know more about rehab and the addiction treatment process, feel free to check out our Questions about Rehab tab to learn more.