Sugar Hill, Georgia is a town stretched out in Gwinnett County along with the cities of Lawrenceville, Snellville, Peachtree Corners, Lilburn, Duluth, Norcross, Dacula, Berkeley Lake, Suwanee, Grayson, Centerville, and Mountain Park. It consists of the neighborhoods Hickory Hills, Hillcrest Woods, Lewis Richardson, Princeton Oaks, Riverside Walk, Sugar Woods, Abingdon Place, Bent Creek, Brookside at Parkview, Carrolls Crossing, Cheeley Duncan, Country Meadows, Dogwood Hills, Duncan, Elinburg, Frontier Forest, Georgia, Glens at Sugar Hill, Hidden Circle, Hillcrest Glen, Level Creek Hollow, Mill Creek Trace, Oak Grove Estates, Oaks at Lanier, Old Suwanee Estates, Park View East, Pine Pavillion Estates, Pinecrest Station, Ridgewood, Spring Hill Plantation, Sugar Brook, Sycamore Station, Sycamore Summit, Tatum Place, The Springs, Bridle Glen, Lakes at Riverside, Lenox Park, Richland Creek, Richland Crossing, Stephens Mill, Sugar Crossing, Sugar Ridge, West Price Hills, Sugar Hill Place, Hillcrest, Fairview Park, and Mossy Oak, and has a population of 22,197. There were 1,307 property crimes in 2012.
6.51% of residents in Georgia reported illicit drug use. 152 people died as a direct consequence of drug abuse in 2015 in Gwinnett County . Sugar Hill’s unemployment rate is 7.9%, 3.8% higher than the US average and the median household income is $67,426. Their poverty rate is also 13.4%.
Your path to curing drug or alcohol abuse will begin with an appraisal to discover whether an addiction is existent. The method includes finding the amount of the addiction, examining to see if there are any coinciding conditions, and encouraging you in establishing a recovery plan. Many different specialists will survey you, ranging from doctors and nurses to therapists and counselors. The assessment is simplistic in that you will provide answers to questions, take a physical exam, and give a self-assessment. You will be asked about current drug or alcohol use, health history, treatment history, symptoms, the effects the addiction has had on your life, and behavioral patterns. Your provider will then provide you with open-ended questions in an interview that will give both of you information to help in making a proper diagnosis.
Your provider will keep all information you provide confidential.
Screening tools could perhaps include the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-C (AUDIT-C), the National Institute on Drug Use Screening Tool (NIDA), or the CAGE assessment.
Though it is recommended that you seek out a medical professional for true assessment, you may also perform a preliminary self-assessment by asking a few questions such as:
- Has your drinking or drug use caused issues or interfered with relationships in any way?
- Do you feel you must consume alcohol or drugs to get through your day?
- Do you remain intoxicated over a period of several days?
Medical Assessments are also performed through urinary or hair screening.
Most rehabilitation centers and doctors will keep the time between the assessment and intake as short as they can as they help determine the best plan to pursue for each person. No case is exactly the same and customizing a plan of action to your specific needs is an important step towards healing. This can last several hours and include many, fairly involved interviews, assessments, and questionnaires.
These inquiries will help your provider determine more about you and your needs. They will ask you about you and your family’s medical history, daily exercise habits and routines, any stress triggers you may experience, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol consumption, past therapeutic treatments, past addiction issues and any hospitalizations, OTC medication currently being taken, accommodations, as well as your employment status.
As you learn about your treatment program, you will find that there are many variant models of recovery programs you and your providers can pursue. These may include Motivational Interviewing, multidimensional family therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and motivational incentives. If you employ a residential program, you may also take part in a therapeutic community approach. A few of these programs may even include rewards when you reach a particular goal.
The intake process starts with your first call to your treatment facility. Consider and take note of as many questions as you may have before calling to acquire an accurate depiction of what to expect for your first visit. When you get to the facility, you will sit one-on-one with your counsellor, discussing your plans for treatment and uncovering the reason you began taking drugs. Your counsellor will discover the level of severity your addiction may have reached and settle on a plan of action that is personalized to your particular needs.
When you complete the meeting with your counsellor, you will give you a physical examination to determine your health and wellness as well as be administered a detox test to see if you currently have any harmful substances in your system. If you test positive, you will start the detox process. If you test clean and sober, your treatment plan will begin.
The rehabilitation center will make certain any medicine and prescriptions you have will be given to you as directed by your doctor daily. Certified physicians will keep an eye on your health and wellbeing, caring for all medicine at the pharmacy at the center as you will not be permitted to keep it with you.
Ask before arrival to see what is allowed in your packed bag and what is not permitted at the center. Your counsellor will go through the contents of your packed bag with you and make sure that no alcohol, drugs, or weapons are within it. Many centers also do not allow cell phones, computers, or other communication devices.
The detoxification procedure is designed to flush all traces of drugs and alcohol from the system. Certain medications may be administered to ease symptoms of withdrawal, especially from heroin and other opiate drugs.
The severity of the detox phase depends on a number of factors, including:
How long you’ve been taking the drug
Your body type and metabolism rate
Type of drug and dosage
Whether there are any other addictions involved
Detoxification is a safe process when monitored by a trained medical professional. Self-detox is not recommended as it can be severe, even deadly, when mishandled.
Withdrawal symptoms are a result of the body being used to having a certain substance within the system and then having that substance removed.
Some addictions do not require a detox process, but others do, and also require medications to ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Medications differ according to the type of drug taken, but may include:
Methadone is designed and administered to assist in lowering an individual’s dependence on drugs in hopes to remove the addiction altogether.
A preferred alternative to Methadone as it is less likely to cause a new addiction. As with all treatments, this prescription is lessened over time to eliminate all dependence on drugs.
Used to ease anxiety during an alcohol detox. This is for reducing the likelihood of seizures during the withdrawal process, decrease withdrawal intensity, and help relieve depression and anxiety.
Though there are many different kinds of rehabilitation centers, most follow a similar therapeutic plan and system. Centers are built and organized to ensure the best atmosphere for recovery and to ease stress and uncertainty in those who reside there. A typical day in a rehabilitation center may look like this:
Inpatients waking up bright and early to a healthy breakfast and, depending on the facility, a relaxing yoga class or meditation to help you in starting your day in a positive, hopeful, and relaxed state of mind. Creating these habits will improve your quality of life and become part of your post-discharge schedule. Often, you will participate in a therapeutic group session to discuss topics within the treatment process. This environment is safe and monitored, created to help you in uncovering patterns and behavior that you can adjust to avoid triggers in your post-discharge life.
The most intense treatments usually begin after lunch, however. These often include:
Specialized Sessions – Tailored to your specific needs as you overcome addiction. They offer you techniques to cope so you can improve your ability to cope with triggers in a healthy way rather than abusing drugs or alcohol.
Family Therapy – Involving family support can be a potent tool in facility long-term improvement in post-discharge life.
Group Therapy – Participating in group therapy can assist in creating a sense of companionship, providing understanding and sincerity to progress on your path towards discharge.
When Inpatient Care is not available or needed, your counsellor may recommend Outpatient Treatment as an alternative. If you select the Outpatient Care option, your counsellor will most likely sign you up for a series of group therapy sessions as this is the cornerstone of most outpatient treatment plans. Whether involving family or creating an atmosphere of self-help, you will attend sessions on either a weekly or daily basis and receive group support in your path to recovery. Individual sessions will also be given to tailor the treatment plan to your specific needs.
Pharmacotherapy, the use of medicine to treat addiction, is another treatment that receives a positive response from some patients. The possible medications that may be prescribed to you have many varying effects, ranging from making alcohol unpleasant to consume to making one ill when it is consumed to diminishing the desire to drink altogether.
Learning about the effects of addiction and what alcohol does to the body, especially the brain, assists patients in understanding what takes place when alcohol or drugs are administered to the body system. Educating one’s self in addiction and how to overcome it can assist a patient in taking back control of their inclinations and uncovers addiction’s mysteries.
Outpatient Treatment makes up for lacking the constant support of Inpatient Care by providing its own system of encouragement and assistance. You will have many choices when selecting the best support system for your needs.
Studies suggest that the first 60 days after treatment is the time a patient will most likely experience a relapse, while 5 years of aftercare decreases those chances of relapse by 15%. (Staff. (2011). Treatment Statistics. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.)
Commonly referred to as “transitional living”, the conditions of aftercare are dependent upon the patient’s support system. Some are fortunate enough to have a supportive family who will care for and encourage the patient as they finish their treatment. Others will find an alternate system of support as their former living conditions still contain stressors and triggers that initially led them to substance abuse.
For those patients who might return to a stressful environment, there are several choices for aftercare. Ongoing therapeutic sessions can be of great assistance in creating a planned system that maintains a patient’s responsibility and accountability through your counsellor’s program. Aftercare can also assist in creating coping mechanisms for handling triggers and stressors met throughout everyday life. These coping methods will qualify patients for the unexpected, assisting them in handling the ups and downs of life without rebounding to harmful habits.
After collecting the tools necessary to move forward, you may opt-in to keeping your support system close. Perhaps by selecting from a variety of therapeutic exercises such as group or weekend sessions, wilderness therapy, or equine therapy. Some helpful suggestions in avoiding relapse and building support during this phase would be to work with a qualified therapist to uncover underlying issues that may bring you back into creating destructive habits and to not try to do everything alone.
One choice any recovering addict can take into consideration is moving into a Sober Living Community. Neighborhoods such as these can help healing patients in their final transition into living everyday life.
These neighborhoods maintain strict schedules to ensure that the best is had out of every day and to guard recovering addicts from falling into an undesired relapse. They encourage employment to inspire residents to seek out purpose and meaning in life, to create goals and pursue long-ignored dreams while settling into the structure and rhythm of a meaningful career. Sober living communities also expect punctual payment of bills through the aforementioned salary of a career to provide a sense of responsibility and contribution in recovering patients.
These neighborhoods also have developed an opportunity for patients to serve and improve the lives of those around them, whether through keeping their home clean and aesthetically pleasing or though building parks or even helping schools. Patients are also encouraged to pursue further education in mandatory therapy sessions, safe-guarding against relapse and assisting those who may have a mental disorder or some other obstruction of true recovery. In addition to one-on-one therapy, residents of a Sober Living Community may also join group therapy sessions such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to build a support group and release any bottled up emotions that may be hanging around.
Some communities may require residents to submit to regular urine tests or room searches to prevent patients from introducing substances that may be harmful to the health and sobriety of all within the neighborhood.
No addiction is mastered in a day or two. It takes time, dedication, and consistency to reform a life of addiction into a life of peace and sobriety. These steps may be exactly what you need to get to where you want to go.