Drug Abuse, Addiction and Treatment in Carmichael, California
Carmichael is a region within Sacramento county in California and has a population of approximately 63,712 people. It has a median household income of $54,588. The number of employees in this region is estimated to be 27,784 with a possible growth of 4.4%. The region has a fairly stable economy with some of the most attractive tourist destinations. As part of the greater California this region has over the years experienced a devastating trend of drug abuse and addiction. Despite concerted efforts by law enforcement bodies and non-governmental organizations to bring the situation under control the problem has persisted in an alarming manner.
Treatment for Addiction
Marijuana is made of dried leaves taken from a plant called cannabis sativa. There are various other names that may be used to refer to this substance with some of the most common being weed, ganja, bush, skunk, aunt mary, chronic, cheeba, dinkie dow and ding. The first stage of use for any substance is experimentation. It is a common occurrence among teens in Barret Hills, Hoffman Woods, Casa Blanca and other Carmichael neighborhoods which is why parents and guardians are advised to keep a watchful eye on their young ones. Individuals that abuse this substance may ultimately have to deal with the effects noted below.
- A loss in sense of personal identity
- Lowered speed when it comes to reaction making it difficult or dangerous to operate machines or drive
- An increased risk of suffering from heart complications or stroke
- Increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections such as HIV
- Paranoia or an intense feeling of being watched by enemies
- Sexual problems
- Hallucinations that may include seeing or smelling things that do not exist
- Development of financial difficulties due to poor management skills and failure to work
- Unbecoming behavioral tendencies including stealing and lying
- Increased incidents of violence both at home and away
- Weakening of the immune system
Individuals that continue using this substance eventually become addicted to it. The result is that they are no longer able to attend classes or work as expected. This makes it difficult for them to achieve personal goals or live a healthy social lifestyle. Unfortunately a lot of drug users end up overdosing at one point and this puts their lives at risk.
This is another substance that has been reported as a main cause of emergency treatment in health facilities. While drinking of alcohol is legal for individuals that have attained the right age it still remains a cause of concern. Teenagers who have access to alcoholic drinks may engage in drinking out of curiosity or peer pressure. Adults that engage in binge drinking also put themselves at risk of developing tolerance and addiction over time. Here are some of the negative effects of alcohol abuse and addiction.
- Increased risk of developing liver problems. This takes place because the liver is responsible for getting rid of toxins that are in the body. High amounts of alcohol in the system inevitably cause damage to the liver.
- Frequent headaches as a result of dehydration
- Impaired judgement that may lead to accidents when driving or operating machinery
- Loss of consciousness or blackouts
- Development of anemia due to loss of red blood cells
- Distorted vision and hearing
- Slurred speech and memory lapses
- Damage to the brain
- Development of ulcers especially for those who take dry spirits
- Cancer of the mouth and throat
Authorities discourage the sale of alcoholic drinks to anyone that is below the age of 18 years. They also arrest traders that may break this law and produce them in court for relevant sentencing. It is advisable for parents or guardians to keep a close eye on teenagers and provide guidance in case any of the young ones starts going out of control. Individuals that have attained the age of 18 and wish to drink alcohol are advised to consume responsibly and avoid operating machinery when under the influence.
These are drugs provided by doctors to help in dealing with certain medical issues. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are painkillers. Of course most of the doctors that give prescription drugs are qualified and do their due diligence to help their patients. However, painkillers can be highly addictive when used more times than the recommended limit. Individuals who abuse these medications are likely to experience the following effects.
- Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are common occurrences
- Random muscle spasms that develop due to the action of the drugs in the body
- Nerve damage especially when the drugs are injected into the veins
- Possible heart complications due to weakening of blood vessels
- Difficulty in breathing
- Inability for the drug to offer remedy during pain due to development of tolerance by the body
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances or difficulty in falling asleep
- Anxiety and hyperactive behavior
- General deterioration in appearance or hygiene
Most drug users in Carmichael take heroin for recreational purposes. However, the euphoric high that is derived from this substance cannot be compared to the excruciating suffering it is likely to cause to the user and those who are considered loved ones. This drug may be known by a number of other names including tar, smack, dragon, junk, white china and dope. Because of its powerful properties an individual that is only experimenting may end up getting addicted to the substance within a short time. Here are some of the negative effects likely to develop due to the use of this substance.
- Decaying of teeth and inflammation of the gums
- Weakening of the immune system leading to frequent infections or illnesses
- Weakening of muscles that may result to partial paralysis
- Introversion and depression
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Insomnia or difficulty in falling asleep
- Menstrual disturbances in women
- Erectile dysfunction and long term impotence in men
- Respiratory illnesses
- Death due to overdose and other health complications
The Process of Substance Addiction
Before an individual is addicted to any substance there are certain things that take place. The process is often gradual and may not seem life threatening until the victim is unable to manage the situation without outside help. Here are some of the steps involved in addiction.
Experimenting – at this point the individual is simply using a drug because he or she is influenced by friends or relatives. The individual may simply want to know how it feels to get high. Most people at this stage believe they are engaging in a one off use of the drug. The lucky ones end up having a bad experience at this stage forcing them to stop further use. However, users that enjoy themselves at this stage almost certainly use the drug afterwards.
Regular use – at this point the individual has become fond of the highs that come with the use of the substance of choice. He or she continues to use it for recreation and relaxation. Regular use may be at the weekend or on a daily basis. However, the substance does not affect the individual in any significant way. He or she is still able to attend classes or go to work and carry out daily obligations.
Risky use – this stage is sometimes referred to as problem use of substance. At this stage the individual is bordering loss of control when it comes to drug use. He or she has developed some level of tolerance to the substance and must therefore increase intake to achieve desired results. The individual tends to use the drug more frequently than before. If not brought under check at this stage the individual risks inflicting self-harm with regards to health and financial issues. The individual may also lash out and harm anyone that tries to interfere with his intake.
Dependence – due to the high intake of the substance of choice the body has become quite used to it. In fact the body needs the substance to function properly. At this stage the individual may desire to stop using the drug of choice but withdrawal effects are too severe for them to bear.
Addiction – at this stage the individual loses all form of self-control. The user can only think about ways of getting the drug he or she needs. This may lead to lying and stealing. He or she may engage in risky behavior such as unprotected sex to raise enough money to buy the substance they need. If a user in this stage does not get the substance into the system they may suffer from severe withdrawal effects that can cause excruciating pain and death.
Why is it impossible to quit?
Once addicted to drugs it is almost impossible to quit. In fact people that are addicted to substance use may never be free unless they receive professional help. The reason for this is that the body has become dependent on the substance and if the user tries to quit or fails to get regular dose of the substance he or she is likely to develop withdrawal effects. While some people may experience mild effects a majority of victims go through an excruciating experience that may include severe headaches, muscle spasms, deep depression and confusion. Other effects that may occur include:
- Loss of appetite
- Restlessness and sleep disturbances
- Feeling cold
- Cravings for the substance
- Night sweats
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Nightmares coupled with night sweats
- Lethargy and loss of interest in almost all activities
- Self inflicted harm
- Antisocial behavior including aggression and violence
- Isolation from other people
Unless such individuals receive timely help their symptoms may continue to cause unbearable pain that may push them to commit suicide or engage in violent criminal activity just to get some relief. Indeed there are situations when such people may end up suffering organ damage leading to death.
How do I know if a loved one is using?
Before you help a loved one embroiled in drug use you must be able to detect some of the early signs. In most cases teenagers will engage in drug use secretively making it difficult for you to notice. This is why parents and guardians are encouraged to foster strong relationships with their teens as that may enable them to detect early signs.
During the first couple of weeks you may note a change in routine. This can mean that the user starts coming back home late. Strange odors on clothing or breath should be taken seriously especially if it seems to persist. Suddenly changing friends and the places they visit can be key signs to watch out for. Other signs of drug use include:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Slurred speech
- Impaired movements
- Change in behavior including irritability and aggression
- Deterioration in personal hygiene and dressing
- Unusual sleep patterns that include sleeping during the day and staying up late at night
- An unusual increase in need for money
- Secretive tendencies
- Isolation from other people
Having taken note of these early signs of drug use it is important for you to learn about the the signs of addiction noted below:
- Inability to stop using substance even when you want to
- A loss of interest in things that were enjoyable in the past
- A constant need to get your hands on the substance of choice
- Spending money on drugs instead of designated issues
- Going to extreme lengths to obtain the substance of choice. This may include stealing, lying and engaging in sexual intercourse for money.
- Hiding drugs or alcohol from other people to avoid being criticised
- Finding new friends who spend a lot of their time using drugs or drinking alcohol
- Experiencing the withdrawal effects mentioned above
Treatment for Addiction
Choosing the Right Rehab Center for Treatment
The costs – before settling on any facility it is prudent to understand the payment policies that are in place. Avoid centers that are too expensive for you to afford. Instead compare the rates that are charged by various facilities and settle on the one that fits your budgetary capabilities. Some centers accept insurance provided by the government and other welfare organizations. It is equally important to note that there are a number of centers that may offer treatment free of charge.
Location – local rehabilitation centers are likely to be cheaper and allow individuals to visit their loved ones frequently while undergoing treatment. Centers situated outside the city give patients a sense of new beginning while allowing them to have some time for soul searching.
Type of facility – there are certain rehabilitation centers that offer executive treatment options. This means that you are able to receive care while still continuing with your daily routine including going to work. Luxurious centers may be more expensive but offer services and facilities that are aimed at maintaining the patient’s elegant lifestyle.
Treatment options – it is important for you to pick a rehab that offers treatment that is likely to be effective. Centers offering holistic care are often better placed to help a patient deal with psychological, physical and emotional problems that may develop as a result of drug abuse and addiction.
Reputation – pick a facility that is highly rated by experts and former patients. It is also important for you to prefer a facility that is known for treating the type of substance addiction you or a loved one may be dealing with.
Despite the complications that arise when an individual is using narcotics there is hope for recovery. If proper treatment processes are followed a drug addict can regain his or her self control and become a productive member of the society once again. If you are using drugs and feel like you are no longer able to quit the key to recovery lies in reaching out to a professional for assistance. Talk to a local social worker or call a drug addiction hotline for information on how to receive help.
If you know of a friend or family member that is using drugs you must act so that he or she can receive help. Instead of judging the drug user you should sympathize with them because the truth is that they may want to quit but are unable to. Reach out to a local social worker or call a drug addiction hotline for more guidance on how to help a loved one dealing with addiction. Here are some of the steps that take place when an individual is identified as a drug addict.
Reaching out for help
Once you accept that you have a drug addiction problem or know of a loved one that is battling addiction the first step is to seek help from someone with expertise in drug related matters. Doctors, therapists or counselors are trained in a way that they are able to give guidance.
At this point a professional has learned about the issues that surround the individual that is using drugs. This professional comes up with a strategy to help the drug user realize the problem at hand. In most cases family members are involved because they are the ones that can appeal to the user’s emotions and mind.
After successful intervention the drug user will accept that he or she has a problem and must commit to professional help. At this point the individual is fully aware of the danger he or she poses to self and loved ones because of drug use.
Here professionals carry out tests to determine the extent to which the individual is addicted and if there are any other co-occurring conditions. Determining the substance in the system is also key to crafting a treatment plan that is bound to be effective. During this stage individuals may be asked certain questions, taken through physical tests and drug use history recorded.
During this stage an individual is interviewed before being admitted into a relevant rehabilitation program. The process is often conducted by a doctor, counselor, psychologist or therapist. Medical and drug use history is taken once more to ascertain the results that were found in the assessment stage. It is at this stage that you are placed in a drug rehab for teens, adults, women or men.
The Process of Treatment
Once admitted into a treatment program there are a number of techniques that may be used to achieve the desired results. Doctors usually craft a unique plan to help each individual because of the differing causes of abuse and the beliefs of various people. Here are some of the things that are likely to take place during treatment.
Behavioral counseling – this technique is aimed at resolving psychological issues that the individual may be going through. Keep in mind that during use individuals may be trying to find relief from heartbreak, financial problems, lack of respect for someone or other issues. It is also important to note that drug addiction is characterized by feelings of guilt that can only be resolved by reaching out to the individual psychologically.
Detoxification – this is the process through which the human body gets rid of toxins or drugs. Individuals that are severely addicted may be given certain foods, drinks and medications to hasten the process of detoxification. In certain cases doctors may be forced to administer measured doses of the substance that the individual is addicted to. However, the amount is gradually reduced until the individual no longer needs it.
Medical treatment – drug users that have fallen ill due to risky behavior including unprotected sex or use of non-sterilized syringes are provided with medical treatment. This allows them to recover from infections or diseases.
Management of withdrawal symptoms – an individual that is undergoing extreme withdrawal effects must be cared for in such a manner that he or she is as comfortable as possible. This type of care is aimed at reducing pain and making the process of detoxification bearable.
Physical therapy – this is treatment provided to help users that may have been hurt physically. It can include exercise to get the body back to good shape.
Nutritional nourishment – when using drugs individuals tend to become malnourished. That is why they are given foods that are rich in essential nutrients while under treatment. This nourishment allows them to regain a strong immune system and develop a fit physical structure.
Group support – most rehab programs encourage patients to form support groups. During sessions patients share their experiences and why they have resolved to stop drug use. It is worth pointing out that individuals find inspiration and the urge to pursue a better lifestyle after listening to what other people have gone through and how they have managed to recover.
Aftercare – this is care given after a patient has officially completed treatment as prescribed by a doctor. Follow ups are structured in such a way that they give the patient support rather than interfere with their daily routine. Aftercare ensures that the patient does not relapse or go back to drug use.
Understanding Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
When an individual is ready to get drug addiction treatment he or she may be enrolled to inpatient or outpatient care. A look at these types of care can help you determine the most suitable for yourself or a loved one.
For this type of treatment the patient is allowed to attend sessions at a rehabilitation facility but does not really stay overnight. In most cases this type of treatment is recommended for individuals that have not yet become severely addicted or dependant on drugs. They are capable of making sound decisions and meeting their obligations albeit with difficulties. Some of the advantages of this type of care include ability to continue with daily routine, mingling with loved ones and paying a lower rate for treatment.
In this type of care a patient resides at the treatment facility. Inpatient treatment is recommended for people that have been severely affected by addiction. Individuals under this program receive constant support and response in case of onset of withdrawal effects. They are also kept away from things that may trigger their urge to use drugs and further compromise their health.
More on Inpatient vs. Outpatient
While there has been a slight reduction of drug related emergency cases in hospitals the truth is that there are still a lot of young people whose lives are getting ruined because of the use of hard drugs. The adult population on the other hand seems to be falling prey to excessive drinking of alcohol. To curtail these issues learning institutions have initiated programs to create awareness regarding the dangers of substance abuse and possession. Law enforcement agencies have started various programs to discourage possession and arrest those who may be engaging in the sale of illegal drugs.
To help those who have already become victims of drug abuse and addiction several rehabilitation centers have been set up. However, it is imperative that the drug user accepts the danger he or she is in before treatment can be administered. Here are some of the most commonly used substances in the region and how they can affect users.
Drug and alcohol use continue to be significant concerns for Carmichael residents. The good news is, no matter where you live, help is available for overcoming addiction and improving your life. Find substance abuse treatment in Sacramento easily by giving us a call.