Drug Addiction Treatment in Riverdale, Georgia
Located in Clayton County, Georgia, Riverdale has a population of just over 15,000 and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Like many American cities, Riverdale
faces its fair share of substance abuse problems, including heroin addiction and prescription opioid abuse. Riverdale is close to a number of drug hot-spots in and
around the wider Atlanta area, including the heroin triangle of Georgia that comprises parts of Atlanta, Marietta, Sandy Springs and Johns Creek. This area is widely
associated with opioid addiction, opioid overdose, and related criminal activity. Riverdale also faces problems with other psychoactive substances, including cocaine,
methamphetamine, and alcohol.
Demographics and crime in Riverdale
Roughly 10 percent of families and 12.5 percent of the general population in Riverdale are living below the poverty line, with this number stretching to 14 percent for
those under the age of 18 and 18.8 percent for those aged 65 or over. The racial makeup of the area is mostly African American who represent 67 percent of the
population, with the remainder of the population being 20 percent White, 8 percent Asian, and 5 percent Hispanic. According to data from the FBI’s uniform crime
reports table, the overall crime rate in Riverdale is 69 percent higher than the average crime rate in Georgia and 102 percent higher than the national average. When
it comes to violent crimes, Riverdale is 20 percent higher than the Georgia average and 23 percent higher than the national average. In terms of property crimes,
Riverdale is 75 percent higher than the Georgia average and 115 percent higher than the national average. Many of these crimes are related either directly or
indirectly to substance abuse, including the abuse of heroin and prescription opioids.
The opioid epidemic in Riverdale
Riverdale and the state of Georgia in general has a big problem with heroin and legal opioid drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl. Cobb County and
Fulton County have some of the highest opioid overdose rates in the country, and Clayton country is not too far behind. Heroin is a particularly addictive substance
that is often linked to physical dependence and overdose, with medical detox and rehab needed to ensure effective recovery. Prescription opioids are another
significant problem in Riverdale and many parts of Georgia, with these drugs also known to cause physical dependence and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. The
opioid epidemic has become especially pronounced in recent years, both in Georgia and across the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug
Abuse, 52,404 people died in 2016 as a direct result of drug overdose, with opioid drugs represented in 60 percent of these cases. The rate of death from prescription opioids alone is now greater than car accidents, with Georgia among the top 11 states in the country according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Drug rehab assessment
Before being administered into a Riverdale drug rehab clinic, each patient needs to go through a comprehensive assessment procedure. The type of drug in question
has a huge effect on the treatment provided, from medical detox and pharmacotherapy regimes through to psychotherapy and aftercare support. It’s important that
people entering into drug or alcohol treatment programs have access to the right services in order to identify problems from the outset. Throughout the assessment
process, practitioners will aim to identify the extent of drug or alcohol use, identify broader life issues, identify high-risk situations, and obtain a baseline
measurement for further treatment. While self-assessment can prove valuable, it’s important to consult with a professional doctor or drug treatment counselor before
entering a drug treatment program.
Drug treatment pre-intake
During the pre-intake process, patients in Riverdale will be prioritized according to immediate response requirements, age, mental health status, frequency and
extent of drug use, and other life complexities. For example, some patients who are addicted to opiates may require immediate medical support, while others with
cocaine or other psychological dependencies may be admitted directly to inpatient or outpatient rehab programs. Along with specific substance abuse issues,
external life factors also play a big role during pre-intake. When there is a similar level of clinical need, patients may be prioritized depending on their age, mental
health status, existence of dependent children, contact with the justice system, homelessness and many other external factors.
Drug treatment intake
During drug rehab intake, practitioners will assess people to analyze the substance and extent of addiction or abuse, along with the history of drug dependence and
other important factors. This has a huge effect on the remainder of the treatment process, with some drug treatment programs including comprehensive medical
support and others based on behavioral therapy and other forms of psychotherapeutic support. The intake procedure also depends on the treatment center in
question, with typical programs including inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and aftercare support among others. Patients looking for rehab in Riverdale are
asked to complete a comprehensive assessment tool during the intake process, with self-completion forms used in combination with professional analysis.
Before being admitted to any drug treatment or rehabilitation program in Smyrna there are a few steps you have to go through – one of which is the pre-intake process. This entails filling up a simple form.
You will also be handed out a slip that lists out the necessary documents and items that you will need through your program. Your eligibility as well as readiness for medication assisted treatment for drug abuse will also be assessed as a part of the pre-intake.
Drug and alcohol detoxification
The detoxification process is integral to drug treatment, especially for patients who have problems with substances known to cause a physical withdrawal syndrome.
Drug or alcohol detoxification is designed to support drug discontinuation and treat withdrawal symptoms in a safe and supportive environment. While drug detox
does not treat the precedents of drug addiction, it’s a necessary first step for many people. Medical detoxification is generally recommended whenever physical
withdrawal symptoms are present, as is the case for alcoholism, opiate dependence, and benzodiazepine dependence among others. While detox can also prove
useful for psychologically dependent substances, in this situation medications are rarely administered and programs are designed to encourage immediate abstinence prior to rehab.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are three steps involved in the drug detoxification process: initial evaluation,
medical stabilization, and guiding patients into further treatment. During the early stages of detox, patients will be medically tested for drugs in their system and
asked a lot of questions about their drug history. This is a crucial part of the process, with the existence of central nervous system (CNS) depressants and other
dangerous substances known to interfere with detox and possibly lead to overdose and other medical complications. During evaluation, practitioners will also
analyze patients for the existence of mental health problems, dual diagnosis, and possible co-occurring disorders such as behavioral addictions and eating
Once evaluation has been completed, patients are normally stabilized through the use of appropriate medications. While it is possible to stabilize patients through
drug discontinuation alone, the use of medications is generally advised in order to prevent dangerous withdrawal symptoms. For example, alcoholism and opiate
dependence are generally treated through the use of central nervous system (CNS) depressants. In order to stabilize patients as quickly as possible, the parents
and friends of the addict may be brought in to provide support and encouragement. The final stage of detox involves helping patients into further treatment. While
medical detox programs are essential in many cases, additional therapy is always recommended to encourage long-term behavioral changes.
Inpatient treatment (RTC, PHP, IOP)
Drug treatment programs are typically administered after detox, with a range of options available in Riverdale and across the United States. Inpatient rehab is also
known as residential rehab, including full-time residential treatment (RTC), partial hospitalization (PHP), and intensive outpatient programs (IOP). Inpatient programs
are designed to follow detox, with patients hopefully free from drugs and ready to engage with the rest of the treatment process. Residential treatment is typically
recommended for people with physical drug dependencies, those with a history of drug addiction, and anyone who wants to access around-the-clock support services. Residential treatment programs are generally advised for heroin and opioid addicts, many of who require 24-hour access to medical support services.
Residential treatment programs (RTC) are often available after the successful completion of a medical detox program. While some treatment centers specialize in
either detox or rehab, it is normally possible for the patient to attend detox and residential treatment at the same facility. The length of stay is dependent on the
substance and extent of addiction, with 30 day and 60 day programs both popular. During a full-time residential program, patients will have access to 12-step
support programs and other forms of behavioral therapy to help them deal with the precedents of drug abuse. Partial hospitalization (PHP) is a structured but less-
restrictive form of residential care, with patients able to live at home or in a sober living center for the duration of treatment. Not only is this more affordable, it also
allows people greater flexibility. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are designed for people who need less structure and minimum levels of medical support.
Inpatient programs offer the most comprehensive form of treatment for drug abuse and dependence, but they can be expensive and are not always needed. Outpatient programs enable the patient to live an independent life at their own home while in treatment, with therapy sessions generally administered every
few days or on a weekly basis. While this form of rehab is not ideal for many heroin and opioid addicts, it can still prove useful and is incredibly valuable to low-
income earners like many people living in the Riverdale area. The individual treatment programs offered during outpatient care vary depending on the facility in
question, with common treatment paradigms including cognitive behavioral therapy, moral reconation therapy, 12-step support groups, motivational interviewing,
family therapy and many others. Outpatient care may continue indefinitely in some cases, especially for patients who have an extended history of drug or alcohol
The aftercare process
Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction is not quick and easy. From the early stages of intervention and medical detox through to the later stages of aftercare, there
are different problems that need to be addressed during each stage of the recovery process. Aftercare, also referred to as continuing care, is typically administered
after the completion of formal residential and outpatient programs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 50 percent of all drug rehab patients
relapse after receiving treatment, a number that can be brought down if aftercare programs become part of the wider treatment outlook. Continuing care includes
resources such as Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step support groups, ongoing family therapy, ongoing behavioral therapy, moral reconation therapy and
numerous other services.
Dedicated relapse prevention programs are often designed within the context of drug rehab or aftercare. In order to reduce relapse rates, drug treatment therapists
need to teach patients new skills and help them avoid many of the pitfalls that can easily lead to relapse. Relapse normally takes place in three distinct phases: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse. By learning to recognize these stages as they take place, recovering drug addicts and alcoholics can slowly learn to adjust their lifestyle and avoid making impulsive and compulsive life choices. Common relapse triggers include emotions such as anger and frustration, lifestyle factors such as spending time with old friends, and physical stressors such as loud noises and social events. Treatment centers help people to avoid relapse and promote long-term recovery by administering positive reinforcement, contingency management, and other forms of cognitive behavioral therapy.
If you know anyone in the Riverdale area who is trying to recover from drug or alcohol addiction, sober living accommodation can prove a valuable resource. A sober living home is a dedicated housing option for people in recovery, with many centers also providing aftercare treatment. Lots of people choose to live at a sober home upon the completion of inpatient or outpatient rehab, with these centers designed to act as a bridge for people as they make the transition from treatment to everyday life. While the rules and regulations of sober living homes vary widely depending on the organization running them, people are generally expected to abide by strict living standards in order to access accommodation and ongoing support services. For example, people are expected to be sober at all times, attend support meetings, and respect staff and other guests. There may also be other limitations and responsibilities given to house guests, including the need to access employment, abide by curfew times, and carry out individual chores to assist the wider community.