Substance Abuse and Joliets Drug Rehabs
Joilet is a dual-county city in Northeast Illinois, about 30 miles outside of Chicago. The city spans across both Will and Kendell Counties and is home to a number of state of the art hospitals and medical facilities that specialize in drug treatment and rehabilitation. The purpose of this article is to discuss drug and rehabilitation opportunities in Joilet, Illinois, as well as contemporary trends in drug and alcohol usage. City demographic data and contributors to use in the area are discussed first, followed by treatment options and the rehabilitation process for those entering rehabilitation and recovery programs. This article concludes with a brief summary and outline of key points.
City Demographic Data
The population of Joilet is slightly less than 148,000, making it a medium sized American city and the third largest in the state of Illinois. Being located near Chicago, Joilet faces many challenges with drug trafficking and crime that would not be expected in more isolated cities of this size throughout the remainder of the United States. The city has experienced some economic hardships due to a loss of industry and relocation of businesses to more optimal locations with more access. However, the median incomes levels in the city are well above the federal poverty line, largely due to the high number of commuters to work in Chicago who dwell within the city limits. The median household and family incomes are approximately $61,000 and $69,000, respectively. Individual males and females living in Joilet have median incomes of $51,000 and $39,000, respectively. The per capita income is about $24,000, and approximately 10% of families and 12% of individuals live below the federal poverty line. About 16% of those aged under 18 live below the federal poverty line. However, Joilet is one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwestern part of the country, and there have been many promising economic and community developments in recent years to improve the living environment. The city boasts a diverse racial makeup, consisting of 67% Whites, 16% African Americans, 28% Latino, 2% Asian, and the remainder being primarily multiracial, Native American, or Pacific Islander. City residents predominantly hold manufacturing jobs and there have been high rates of unemployment in past assessments.
Drug Abuse, Overdose, and Criminal Activity
In drug abuse and overdose assessments, Joilet is frequently grouped together with Chicago and Naperville due to their close proximity and similar environmental contributors to substance usage. Estimates suggest that more than 1 million inhabitants of this area use illicit drugs each year, which is about 15% of the population and more than a full percentage point higher than the 13.6% found in the remainder of the state. This rate is similar to the national average. The most frequently used drugs include marijuana (11% of the population) and prescription painkillers (4.2%). Additionally, about 9.2% of the population has a diagnosable substance abuse disorder. One contributor to this rate of substance usage is depression, with about 6% of the population having a major depressive disorder in the area. Rates of cigarette and binge drinking in this metropolitan area are slightly lower than the national average, illustrating a positive trend in recent years. There were 116 cases of accidental drug overdoses in Joilet in 2016, including 36 deaths from heroin/fentanyl alone. Heroin represents an increasing problem in the city of Joilet, where many patients with medical problems who are prescribed opiate based painkillers eventually become addicted and turn to pure heroin found on the street because of its easier access and reduced cost. Unfortunately, this problem has had residual effects, including increases in drug-related criminal activities like property crime and violent crimes involving drug usage and organized drug trafficking. Much of the drug trafficking in the city is a result of its close proximity to Chicago, as well as presence of organized trafficking rings that mobilize heroin from countries like Mexico into large urban regions in the United States.
Risk Factors for Substance Use
There are many risk factors for substance use that affect any location in the United States, as well as Joilet specifically. Joilet’s proximity to Chicago serves as one community related risk factor for substance abuse because of the associated high availability of illicit substances. In addition, the high percentage of residents being between the ages of 25 and 44 increase the risk of substance use because of this age group showing the highest rates of usage and trafficking behaviors. Individual risk factors for substance use and addiction include genetics, psychological and personal factors, the environment, and beginning to consume at an early age. Having a family history of addiction increases the risk that one will acquire a substance abuse disorder throughout their lives. In addition, impulsive, sensation seeking, or depressive personality tendencies increase the risk of substance abuse and use. Low socioeconomic status, exposure to extreme stress or abuse, and cultural environments that advocate substance use are each risk factors for addiction as well. While Joilet does not demonstrate high levels of any one of these risk factors, their combination can make residents of the city exposed to substance abuse problems.
Detecting Substance Use and Abuse
Detecting substance use and abuse is critical for driving long-term recovery. Signs and symptoms of substance use and abuse differ based on the individual and substance of choice. In Joilet, where heroin is an increasing problem, residents can potentially identify usage based on changes in behavior, financial management issues, track marks where needles have been injected, nausea, vomiting, impaired cognition, heart problems, collapsed veins, and diseased organs. Many of these signs cannot be detected until full addiction occurs and the individual is at extreme physical risk. Therefore, understanding the behavioral tendencies of close friends and relatives is critical for detecting initial changes or variance that can serve as indicators that drug use is occurring. Once such a behavior is identified, seeking professional help is important for driving long-term recovery and prevention of relapse.
Process of Addiction
Addiction typically occurs through a process of experimentation to chemical dependency. Based on genetic, environmental, or psychological risk factors, an individual may be introduced to a particular substance and an initial stimulation or sense of pleasure is achieved. As the individual engages in this behavior multiple times, a larger quantity of the substance is needed to achieve the same level of stimulation. Through repeated usage and conditioning, a chemical dependency develops as the brain learns to need this substance to produce this sense of pleasure. When addiction has occurred, it is no longer psychological and controllable. Professional help is needed to remove the toxins and chemical dependency.
Seeking Help and Options in Joilet, Illinois
Fortunately, seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction has never been easier for residents of Joilet, Illinois. The city has access to a high number of well regarded treatment centers and medical facilities to meet the needs of residents with a wide variety of drug and alcohol problems. Many of these facilities receive federal funding and there are affordable or free treatment options for those who apply. In particular, there are several inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities to suit those with varying ranges of drug and alcohol abuse severities.
Regardless of which treatment facilities is selected, the rehabilitation process typically under goes a series of universally applicable steps, which include assessment, pre-intake, intake, detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, aftercare, and sober living. Each is critical in facilitating long-term recovery and is discussed in more detail below.
Assessment is the first step in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation process. This step involves the collection of quantitative and qualitative data regarding drug and alcohol use that can lead to an accurate diagnosis of a substance abuse problem and the recommendation for an evidence based intervention. The assessment process can also lead to the determination about the potential efficacy of inpatient versus outpatient treatment based on the magnitude of the substance abuse problem. During assessment, a combination of screening instruments and data taken from a personal interview us used to make a diagnosis and guide recommendations for treatment.
After the assessment process has taken place and a plan for intervention has been recommended, a pre-intake takes place at the treatment facility of choice. This process involves the completion of the treatment center’s introductory materials, including recent drug or alcohol usage and any legal or ethical documents applicable to the intervention. These materials are used to better inform the intake, which is conducted by a licensed professional in the form of a personal interview.
The intake is a formal version of the pre-intake and allows the professional to expand on any information gained from the pre-intake process. The intake can help the professional make a more accurate determination of the potential effects of available drug and alcohol treatment options, including whether or not detox is needed and is inpatient or outpatient care is advisable.
If detox is needed, full residential care will be required as the patient undergoes the physical removal of toxins that have led to chemical dependency on a substance are removed. Detox includes the administration of a controlled substance to replace a previous object of substance abuse in a supervised manner as the patient navigates symptoms of physical withdrawal. Detox can sometimes be stress provoking and traumatic, and immediate physical, psychological, and social support is available in clinics that provide this service.
Inpatient Treatment (RTC, PHP, IOP)
Inpatient care is needed in cases of more severe physical dependence and when the risk for relapse is particularly high, such as in the cases of an associated mental health disorder like depression. Inpatient care can consist of full residential treatment, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient care. Full residential treatment involves residence in a supervised treatment facility where patient behavior can be observed and monitored in order to prevent relapse. Partial hospitalization may be required when there is an immediate need to manage withdrawal, but the patient demonstrates the ability to cope autonomously without direct supervision. Intensive outpatient care allows the patient to engage in normal daily living activities while still receive medical treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.
Outpatient treatment is a critical component of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, regardless of whether detox and inpatient care were initially needed. Whereas emphasis in inpatient care is on managing physical dependency and withdrawal, outpatient care focuses on building psychological skills and social support networks in order to promote autonomous coping and independent living. Outpatient treatment varies in length based on individual need. During outpatient care, patients often meet in groups several times each week to focus on psychological skill building and to reinforce social support networks that can facilitate independent relapse prevention.
Aftercare serves as the final stage in drug and alcohol rehabilitation and recovery. During this stage, emphasis is placed on preventing relapse and managing the psychological, social, and environmental contributors to relapse. Aftercare helps to reinforce the psychological and social skills developed in outpatient treatment, and provides an extension of the social support network developed during this stage. Relapse prevention depends heavily on coping with stress, which can be managed more effectively through having a social support network undergoing similar experiences. After care may also involve individual therapy, or a combination of group counselling and individual therapy.
Sober living is a philosophy used to guide all components of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation process and to promote a lifetime of sobriety. For most who develop addictions to drugs and/or alcohol, preventing relapse is a lifelong process that cannot be managed alone. Instead, sober living encourages continued drug and alcohol counselling, and also serving as a social support resource for others undergoing drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
The purpose of this article was to discuss substance abuse problems faced by the city of Joilet, Illinois, as well as treatment and recovery options. Contributors to substance use and abuse were considered first, followed by drug and rehabilitation options and the recovery process. Based on the evidence presented within this article, it is clear that Joilet continues to face some problems with drug and alcohol usage, particularly with respect to heroin. However, the city is experiencing rapid growth and there are many modern treatment facilities available within the city and county limits to meet the needs of the population.