Gold River, California
Over 39 million people live in the vast state of California, spread over its beaches, redwood forests, mountains and deserts. Near the center of the state, the planned community of Gold River nestles next to the cities of Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, and Folsom. This small community contains 7,639 residents, approximately 20,000 trees, five miles of nature trails, a racquet club, a school for kindergarten through 8th grade, and the highest median family income ($117,000) in Sacramento County. Each of the 25 villages of Gold River, such as Argonaut, Discovery, Mother Lode, Gold Spike, and Eureka, has a unique name and personality.
However, even the best-planned community can be affected by substance abuse and addiction. California as a whole is one of the primary entry points for illegal drugs entering the United States, making a variety of drugs easily accessible throughout the state. In addition, California is home to over 60% of all of the methamphetamine conversion labs in the country. Los Angeles is one of the two largest markets in the U.S. for PCP.
Additionally, in California, marijuana is grown for both legal medicinal purposes as well as for illegal use. The lines between the two can be blurry, and some people have been creative in testing the limits. Recently the Temple of Healing and Meditation in nearby Roseville, operated by two residents of Gold River, was found to be a front for dispensing marijuana and was shut down by police.
In 2014, almost 40% of all drug and alcohol-related deaths in Sacramento County were due to accidental overdose, including many from opioids. In response to the rising rate of opioid overdoses, that same year California formed a group of coalitions from across the state to address the opioid issue. Since 2014, there has been a decrease in the rate of deaths from opioid overdose, although fentanyl and heroin use continues to be a problem. In the zip code that includes Gold River, there were 3.06 deaths from opioid overdose per every 100,000 people in 2016, which is slightly higher than the average rate for the county as a whole.
Substance abuse is not the only concern in this area of California. In 2015, 30% of all traffic deaths in Sacramento County involved impairment due to alcohol. The excessive drinking rate for that county was 18% that year, the 28th highest in the state. Since Gold River is unincorporated, statistics are not readily available for Gold River specifically. However, the neighboring city of Rancho Cordova, whose police department serves Gold River, reported 132 DUI arrests in 2015, which was 26th out of 105 cities of comparable size.
Some residents of Sacramento County struggle with addiction from the moment they are born. The most recent statistics indicate that this county was fourth in the state in the number of babies born affected by drugs, often opiates. These newborns require intensive care and individual attention in the hospital as they withdraw from the substances. This process is lengthy, expensive, and fraught with anxiety for the new parents as well as the hospital staff.
Drug and alcohol use continue to be significant concerns for Sacramento County and Gold River 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.
No matter your age, it is possible to find help for addiction and substance abuse. Even people who have been using or drinking for decades or who have relapsed before can make changes with the right help and desire to break free of addiction.
When first reaching out for help, the program’s intake staff will start by finding out more about you, your history, and your strengths that can help you overcome addiction. Other questions will focus on how your substance use has affected your life. They may ask you to fill out some paperwork and complete questionnaires to determine how best to assist you. Some providers might wish to speak with your support system to learn more about you and to educate them on how they can be a useful part of your team. Treatment providers are compassionate and here to help you. Also, they are required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) to keep your information confidential. The more honest you can be with them about your use and how things have been for you, the better they will be able to help you.
Remember, you and your loved ones get to ask questions too. You might consider making a list of what you would like to know about the program, including cost, insurance coverage, if the program is licensed, the stages or levels of the program and how long it lasts. If you have been referred to treatment for legal reasons, such as by a drug court, ask the intake staff if the program meets the court’s requirements. Some programs focus solely on substance abuse. Others are what is known as “dual-diagnosis,” meaning that they offer treatment designed for people who are struggling with substance abuse as well as a mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. If you and the treatment program both agree that it will be a good fit, you will decide together on a start date.
Types of Treatment Programs
There are several different types of treatment programs to consider, each with their own strengths. During your intake and assessment, your treatment providers will explain the various options and work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that fits your specific needs. Such a plan could include being in one or more of the following treatment settings.
Also called medically managed withdrawal, inpatient or outpatient detox may be needed if you have been using large amounts of alcohol, opiates, barbiturates, or pain medications. Medical providers will help you manage the withdrawal symptoms safely and attempt to make you as comfortable as they can while the substances leave your system over the course of a few days to a week. After physically coming off of the substances, you can then move into a treatment program to learn tools and life skills to stay sober and manage the emotional and mental aspects of addiction and withdrawal.
Detox often happens prior to or in an inpatient treatment program. Inpatient treatment is generally recommended when you need medical care and monitoring. It can last for a few days to weeks depending on your physical health. Once your physical health is stable, you can move to residential treatment, where medical staff are available for consultation but not checking on you 24 hours a day.
In a residential treatment program, you stay at a treatment facility for a specific length of time, usually either 30, 60, or 90 days. Here you will participate in various types of therapy and classes about changing habits, coping skills, relapse prevention and other topics to prepare you to live on your own without using. Programs vary in regard to how much contact they suggest having with people outside the facility and whether or not you can come and go freely. Residential treatment can be helpful for people who lack a stable and supportive home environment or who have not been successful in sticking with an outpatient treatment program in the past. Being in a residential program allows you to focus more on yourself and learning the tools you need without the distractions of everyday stressors.
Partial Inpatient Treatment
Sometimes it is not convenient to be away from home around the clock. If you have strong support and a stable home environment, partial treatment programs might be a fit for you. Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) allow you to stay for 20 hours a week or less at the facility for therapy and other treatment, while spending most of your week at home trying out your newfound skills in real-life situations. There are no overnight stays in a partial hospitalization program. Sometimes this treatment option is used as a way to slowly transition into everyday life after being in a full-time inpatient program.
Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are another option for those who need more care and assistance than outpatient treatment but find that an inpatient program is not practical for their situation. IOPs differ in their schedule, ranging from 9 to 20 hours a week. For example, some might operate four nights a week for 3 hours a night, while others might meet 8 hours a day three days a week. Some IOPs offer transportation, while others do not. Like PHPs, IOPs can be a way to step down from a more intensive treatment program while still getting support.
Outpatient treatment can help you maintain your recovery once you leave a more intensive program. For some people, outpatient treatment is sufficient on its own. The term “outpatient” means that you live fully on your own and go to appointments or meetings on a regular basis. This level of care can include talk therapy, such as meeting with a therapist individually and/or as a family or couple, as well as seeing a psychiatrist for medications that might help you maintain your sobriety. For certain addictions, there are medical treatments that can be given on an outpatient basis, such as methadone, suboxone and naltrexone for opioid addiction and Antabuse and naltrexone for alcohol abuse. Medications for addiction tend to work best when combined with talk therapy and other support.
Even though you will leave a treatment program having learned numerous coping skills, it is important to have some form of aftercare to help you implement them. In addition, aftercare can help prevent relapses. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends that aftercare last for at least a year. Aftercare can take many forms. One common form is having an individual or group therapy session on a regular basis to check in and troubleshoot any challenges you may be facing. Peer-led support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can also be part of an aftercare plan. It can be tempting to skip this aftercare step, especially after being in treatment for a while. However, aftercare is crucial to coach you through any new triggers and stressful situations you encounter. When researching treatment programs, ask them what kind of aftercare they offer, if any.
Sober Living Environments
Making the transition from addiction to sobriety requires developing new habits and ways of living. For some people, an additional step is helpful when moving from a treatment program into living on their own again. Similar drug and alcohol-free environments, known as “halfway houses,” are offered to people who are reentering society after being imprisoned, so be sure to ask about which type of house it is when researching sober living spaces. Sober living houses offer the opportunity to live in a small community of people who share a common goal of sobriety. These substance-free living environments also strongly encourage or require that their residents participate in some form of talk therapy and/or attend groups, although they generally do not provide these options on-site. Sober living houses do not need to be licensed in California unless some form of substance abuse treatment is being provided at that location. Most people who stay in these houses do so for a few months up to a year.
It may feel daunting thinking about the time and energy needed for treatment. However, there is much freedom and well-being to be gained from investing in improving the future for you and your loved ones. Treatment programs can help you learn how to manage cravings, to avoid triggers for using, to cope with stress in new ways, and to move towards your goals. Also, you will not be alone—you will have the help of the treatment program staff and fellow people in recovery all along the way. Avoid the tragic fate of so many other people in Sacramento County. Change is possible. Call for help for you or a loved one today.