Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction in Lodi, California
Lodi is a city located within California in the United States of America. It has a population estimate of about 64,641 people. The city has a median household income of $48,662. It is mostly known for production of grapes which are used in manufacturing of some of the most popular wine brands available in the market. With a stable economy, good infrastructure and security, the city may appear to be all glamorous. However, unknown to the world is the disturbing trend of drug abuse and addiction that is darkening the future of the city. Luckily, there is drug addiction treatment in Lodi within the surrounding area.
Just like other parts of California, Lodi has recorded a sharp increase in the rate with which people are taking hard drugs and alcohol. Some of the most commonly abused drugs in this region include marijuana, cocaine, heroin and prescription medications. Alcohol is another substance that has been blamed for the rising cases of emergency treatment in health facilities around the city.
To help curb the menace of drug use and trafficking local authorities have instituted several programs that are aimed at discouraging any form of illegal drug handling. There are stiff penalties for individuals that are found in possession of hard drugs. Those convicted of possession may be sentenced to a few months to years in prison depending on the determination of the courts. There are also non-governmental organizations that have come up with initiatives to create awareness regarding the dangers of drug abuse.
Despite the efforts that have been put up by different bodies the menace of drug abuse and addiction still persists which is why it is important to learn how to assist individuals that are already using drugs or have become addicted to any substances.
Most Commonly Abused Drugs and Their Affects
According to local authorities and various researches, Marijuana is the most popular drug used in Lodi and other parts of California. Other names that can be used to refer to this substance include grass, pot, weed, ganja, bammy, hush, herb, blanket, baby bhang, roach and jay. Marijuana is often ingested in the form of smoke. The effects of the drug kick in a few seconds to minutes after the user inhales the smoke. This drug contains properties that act on the brain which is why individuals are likely to feel high immediately after smoking. Here are some of the effects of smoking this substance.
- A sharp increase in risk of suffering from a stroke
- Slowed rate of reaction leading to frequent accidents
- Lack of focus or concentration
- Serious paranoia and hallucinations
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Impaired physical coordination or compromised motor movements
- Development of financial problems
- Damaging of social and professional relationships
- Antisocial behavior such as lying, stealing and violence
- Reduction in intelligence quotient
This is another substance that is frequently used in Lodi. Users can take it in a variety of methods including snorting, smoking or injection. The drug is quite powerful which is why it is able to act in the body within a few minutes of use. The use of cocaine starts off as can experiment or recreational activity. However, after the initial ingestion the user may end up getting hooked or addicted to the drug. Some of the other names that may be used to refer to this substance include coke, snow, big c, dust, pearl, powder and stash. Some of the effects that may result from the use of this drug include the following.
- Unpredictable sleep patterns which may include difficulty in falling asleep or waking up several times at night
- An increase in heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature
- Unusually fast breathing
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Extreme paranoia and anxiety
- Hallucinations that may include seeing bugs on the skin
- Psychosis or inability to tell reality from fantasy
- Tooth decay
- Damage to the tissues in the nose due to constant snorting
- Damage to blood vessels of the heart and brain
A strange trend about Lodi in California is that residents seem to be getting addicted to prescription medication. Painkillers are the most commonly abused drugs in this category. When a doctor prescribes medication to remedy pain individuals that find relief are likely to use the same drug over and over again. Oblivious to them is the fact that the more they use the same drug the more they become dependent on it. After a short while they are no longer able to continue with their daily activities unless they get a dose of their painkiller of choice. When taken for recreational purposes these drugs may induce a high that lasts for a few minutes or hours depending on the amount taken and the type of drug in question. Some of the effects of taking prescription drugs include the following.
- Feelings of nausea
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Muscle spasms caused by reaction to the stimuli
- Increased chances of heart attacks
- Depression and anxiety
Drinking of alcohol is legally acceptable and most people are able to keep their consumption within reasonable limits. However, binge drinking or taking too many drinks within a short period of time may end up causing dependence. The effects of alcohol abuse include the following.
- Headaches as a result of hangovers
- Blackouts or passing out due to high amounts of alcohol
- The need to drink more alcohol in order to get drunk
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Feelings of guilt and loneliness
- Delirium or fear
Stages of Addiction
The process of becoming addicted to a substance is often gradual and difficult to detect. For most people the use of substances such as heroin, cocaine and alcohol starts as a recreational activity. Teenagers are pushed into using these substances by their peers while others try them out as an experimental experience. Those who enjoy the experience continue using the drugs without realizing that they are becoming dependent on the drugs. Adults mostly drink alcohol as a way of relaxing and having a good time at the end of the day. However, as they continue drinking or using any other narcotic substances their bodies start depending on the substances in question.
When an individual is addicted to any substance he or she loses self-control. The individual cannot stop using the substance of addiction even if they want to. Those who try to avoid the substances they are addicted to end up developing side effects that may be quite devastating.
Experimentation – this is often done out of curiosity or peer pressure. At this point the individual simply tries out the substance without thinking about further use. Most people believe that after this initial trial they will never take drugs again. The problem arises when the first experience they have is enjoyable making it easier for them to use the drug again at a later stage.
Regular use – after the initial stage the individual becomes fond of the sensations or highs that characterize ingestion of their substance of choice. Regular use may occur during the weekends or at the end of each day. At this point the body starts getting used to the substance being used meaning that there is no unusual reaction that develops.
Risky use – at this point the individual using the drug starts engaging in risky activities that may end up causing self-harm or harm to other people. The individual may decide to increase the amount of substance they ingest or take the substance more frequently than before. It is worth pointing out that at this stage the individual still has some control over the decisions they make and may still perform well at work or in school. However, the chances of losing control are quite high.
Dependence – at this stage the individual’s body is extremely used to the drug that it can no longer function properly without getting a dose of the substance. Dependance is a physical need for the body to have the drug within the system. If an individual fails to get the substance in question he or she is likely to experience certain withdrawal effects.
Addiction – at this stage not only is the individual physically dependent on the substance but he or she is also unable to think of anything else. The addict’s life revolves around the use of drugs. He or she spends most of the time thinking or working out a way to get the next dose.
Problems That Arise Due to Drug Abuse and Addiction
The problems that arise when individuals continue abusing drugs can be diverse and devastating. Drugs users are likely to suffer from physical health problem because of the negative impact of the substances they take. Some of the organs that are affected include the brain, lungs, kidneys and liver. A closer look at the issues that arise reveals that such people end up in a spiritual dilemma which may compound the problems that are already being experienced. As if that is not enough the individual may lose his or her mental brilliance because the drugs used act negatively on the brain thereby compromising ability to think. They may also end up losing their memories.
Another perspective to drug abuse involves people that surround the drug user. These include workmates, classmates, family and friends. These people may go through difficult times especially if the user was the main source of income for the home. A drug user may end up draining the savings that the family was relying on for education, security, food and other basic needs. They may also become violent and cause harm to other people. It is important to note that local security officials attribute a huge percentage of criminal activity to drug use and addiction.
Getting Help for Individuals with Drug Addiction Problems
While drug abuse and addiction may seem like an insurmountable challenge the truth is that with the right type of information and timely assistance from a professional just about anyone can be treated. As noted before drug abuse and addiction is not an issue that affects the victim only but rather has an impact on the whole family and society. This is why everyone must be concerned and involved in one way or another.
Help for drug abuse can be in the form of rehabilitation. This involves a number of techniques that are aimed at making the user change his or her way of thinking. Treatment also encompasses medications aimed at managing the health complications experienced. Individuals with severe complications are treated in rehabilitation centers. These are facilities that have been specially designed to cater to the needs of drug addicts. Before you can seek help you must ascertain that the individual is involved in drug use. Below are some of the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use
If you suspect that a loved one may be using drugs there are certain signs that you should be on the lookout for. Of course in the initial stages users are secretive and careful enough to evade detection. However, as time goes by they will let their guard down and you will be able to observe certain telltale signs. Some of the early signs may include unusual smell from the individual’s clothing or breath. They may suddenly change their daily routine and start coming back home late. Other signs you may observe include:
- Loss of concern for personal hygiene
- Dressing in a careless manner or being unkempt
- An unusual increase in need for money
- Bloodshot eyes
- Change of friends and hang out joints
- Secretive behavior or isolation from people
Individuals that have been using drugs for a longer period may exhibit more obvious signs including antisocial behavior such as theft and lying. Increased aggression or confrontation with the general public. Blacking out after a long night out. Trembling of the hands and legs. Impaired movements and sharp decline in performance at school or workplace.
Treatment For Drug Abuse
Once you realize that a loved one is using drugs the next steps you take can be critical. Confronting such a person is not the right move because he or she may end up getting pushed away even farther. Instead you should seek the help of a professional social worker or counselor. You can also use drug addiction hotlines to get in touch with someone that can provide guidance on how you should approach the problem. The professional you get in touch with will let you know that the key to helping your loved one is to let them realize their problem rather than forcing them to get treatment.
Intervention – this is the first stage of treatment and involves talking to the individual that is using drugs in such a way that he or she will realize the negatives of drug use. During intervention family members and friends are advised on how to approach the drug user and express their feelings and opinions. Well structured talks often work by convincing the drug user to accept that they are negatively affecting their own life and the lives of loved ones.
Acceptance – once an individual has been convinced of their mistake they are likely to open up for help. The individual will agree to join a drug rehabilitation program or commit to treatment in a rehabilitation center.
Assessment – at this stage treatment providers carry out several tests to determine the type of care that can effectively solve the problem. They take note of signs and symptoms, the gender and age of the drug user and run initial tests to ascertain the drugs that are in the system of the patient.
Intake – once caregivers have understood the issues that apply to the patient theygive directions on the best options for treatment. Some people are enrolled into inpatient care while others may be enrolled for outpatient programs.
What is involved in drug addiction treatment?
Once a patient has been admitted for treatment there are a number of things that may take place. It is worth noting that each individual is unique and must be taken care of according to his or her needs and circumstances. However, some of the most commonly used techniques in treatment include:
Detoxification – this refers to the process of eliminating toxins from the body. There are certain medications and dietary inclusions that are given to aid in this process. In certain cases doctors may gradually decrease the amount of the substance that a person is addicted to until the body no longer needs it.
Medication – because addiction may be coupled with a number of health problems it is necessary for doctors to administer medication that is able to manage the health complications experienced.
Counselling – drug addiction is not only a physical problem. It also affects the individual’s psychology. To help resolve psychological issues treatment must incorporate professional counseling.
Spiritual teachings – individuals that have strong religious beliefs are given spiritual teachings that encourage and inspire them to become better. They are taught to rely on a higher power for strength in times of weakness and understanding when they seem to be confused about the difficulties times they go through in their lives.
Support groups – the formation of support groups is another technique that may be of help. In such settings individuals share their own experiences and listen to other people’s. At the end of the day each patient is encouraged to pursue a better life knowing that they are not alone.
Follow ups – after completing treatment a patient is allowed to leave the rehabilitation center and pursue their own dreams. The weeks that follow discharge are critical because the patient may relapse. This is why follow up care is given to reassure the patient and encourage them not to go back to drug use.
Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
This is treatment that is offered to patients that have been severely affected by drug use. In such a setting the patient is not allowed to leave the rehabilitation center. Experts recommend this type of treatment for people that have lost self-control and need to be watched closely to avoid relapses or severe withdrawal effects.
Advantages: one of the advantages of this type of treatment is that the patient is kept under constant observation meaning that he or she can receive quick response in case of an emergency. The patient does not have access to drugs or things that may trigger cravings. He or she also receives specialized medical treatment that is able to forestall health complications that may otherwise occur.
Disadvantages: a commonly mentioned disadvantage to this type of treatment is the fact that its costs are much higher when compared to outpatient care. Family members and friends are only allowed to visit the patient a few times. The patient’s daily routine is greatly affected since he or she may not be able to attend school or work.
This form of treatment is recommended for people that are at the early stages of addiction. Patients enrolled for this type of treatment are allowed to go back to their homes after sessions at the rehabilitation center. For this to work the patient must be willing to commit to the program guidelines.
Advantages: individuals that receive this type of treatment are able to continue with their daily routine including attending classes or going to work. They are free to spend time with loved ones and engage in daily household chores. This type of treatment is significantly cheaper than inpatient care.
Disadvantages: patients that are under this type of treatment retain their freedom meaning that they may end up making the same mistakes that led to drug use. Because the patient is not closely monitored overdosing or suffering from severe withdrawal effects may not be dealt with in a timely manner. It is difficult for doctors to note progress because the patient may be using drugs secretly without being detected.
The Cost of Treatment
The cost of drug addiction depends on a number of factors. Rehabilitation centers that offer luxurious services are likely to be costlier than those with basic features. Another factor that may determine cost is the condition of the patient that is to be treated. Individuals that are severely affected by drug use and require special care may have to pay more than those who have not been greatly affected. The type of drug involved in addiction may also affect the total costs to be paid.
The cost of treatment in a number of rehabilitation centers is estimated to be anything between $2000 to $20,000 for a 30 day program. 60 to 90 day programs may cost anything between $2,000 to $60,000. There are certain rehabilitation centers that accept insurance cover or payment from third party organizations. It is equally important to point out that a number of centers offer treatment completely free of charge as long as the patient or guardian agrees to the terms and conditions that are laid out.
Regardless of your financial situation realize that you can get help for yourself or a loved one. Talking to a social worker can help you learn about organizations that offer financial assistance or those that offer free treatment programs. Additionally there are a number of government initiatives that may take care of the costs of treatment.
Choosing the Right Rehab Center for Treatment
Choosing the right rehabilitation center can be key to getting the right type of treatment and quick recovery. Here are some of the things to keep in mind when making your selection.
The costs – the amount of money you are required to pay for treatment should be one of the things you consider. Avoid rehab centers that are too costly for you to comfortably afford. Instead go for a center that falls within your budget range.
Location – rehabilitation centers that are situated outside the city are often recommended because they allow the patient to get a sense of new beginning. The patient is taken away from the area that may be associated with bad experiences due to drug use. Local rehab centers are suitable for individuals that wish to stay in touch with family members and keep their budget within manageable limits.
Type of rehab – there are certain centers that are designed to offer luxurious facilities for patients. These allow the individual to get treatment without compromising their elegant lifestyle. Of course such facilities are more expensive when compared to those with standard facilities and services.
Speciality – think about the types of drug treatments that have taken place at the center in the past. It is wise to choose a center that offers treatment for the particular type of drug you or a loved one is addicted to. A rehab that specializes in alcoholism treatment is ideal for individuals that need that treatment rather than those who are addicted to heroin or cocaine.
Reputation – talk to a few people or read through online reviews to find out about the most reputable rehabilitation facilities. Those that are highly rated should be at the top of your list. The best rehab centers are known for helping a lot of people recover from addiction.