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Addiction and Drug Abuse Treatment in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor Demographics

Ann Arbor is the 6th largest city in Michigan with 113,934 and is located in Washtenaw County. The majority of the population in Ann Arbor, 73%, is white, 7.7% is African American, 4.1% is Hispanic or Latino, 14.4% Asian and .3% Native American. It may seem like the city is not particularly diverse, but it is actually home to the 2nd largest Japanese community in the United States. The community is generally made up of middle-class citizens and the median household income is $46, 299.

If you live in Ann Arbor and have fallen victim to substance abuse don’t hesitate to seek treatment. There are enormous resources in at your disposal.

Ann Arbor Drug Stats

Michigan has the 18th highest mortality rate of all the states in the nation, and these trends can easily be seen in Ann Arbor. The most frequently used drug according to history of treatment admissions is heroin, which accounts for 1/3 of all admissions. Opiates other than heroin are less frequently abused in the area and only make up 2.8% of all treatment admissions, which is extremely inconsistent with the opioid crisis many areas in the United States are facing. While cocaine still makes up for 15.7% of all treatment admissions it used to account for the majority and has been consistently declining in the past 10 years. Marijuana treatments are seen almost as frequently as cocaine, 15% of admissions, and the Center for Disease Control estimates that marijuana treatment will soon surpass cocaine treatment. Meth has had statistically low treatment admission rates in the Ann Arbor area and only accounts for 5% of all treatment admissions.

Ann Arbor Drug Laws

Drug and alcohol laws in Ann Arbor fall under the state of Michigan’s laws and almost always yield a charge. Marijuana possession is a common crime in the area and although it is not decriminalized in the state, it is punished less severely than the possession of other drugs. Marijuana possession is considered a misdemeanor and people charged with the crime face up to $2,000 in fines and one year in jail, however many people only receive a probation for their first offense depending on their other criminal history. The punishment for cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine are considered felonies and are punished differently depending on the amount of the drug they possess. If a person is caught with less than 50 grams of any of these controlled substances, they will face up to 4 years in jail and $25,000 in fines. If they possess anywhere from 50 to 450 grams of any substance they will face up to 20 years in jail and $250,000 in fines. The possession of 450 to 1,000 grams of substance will result in up to 30 years in jail and $500,000 in fines. Over 1,000 grams of any of these substances results in a lifetime sentence and $1 million in fines if they ever get the chance for parole.

Driving under the influence of any substance while having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is punishable by law enforcement. The first time a person is charged with a DUI, the can face up to 92 days in jail, $100 to $500 in fines, not including court fees, and a suspended license for 6 months. If a person receives a second DUI charge, the could face anywhere from 2 days to 1 year in jail depending on the circumstance, $200 to $1,000 in fines and a suspended license for a minimum of one year. If a person receives a DUI for a second time, they are required to get an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their car which requires that they pass a chemical test before they are able to start their vehicle. If a person gets a third DUI charge, they can spend anywhere from 30 days to 5 years in prison, be forced to pay $200 to $1,000 in fines, get their license suspended for a minimum of one year and they also have to install an IID on their personal vehicle. The amount of time that a person is required to keep the IID installed on their vehicle depends on the specific charges the person received and their past criminal history.


Sometimes the friends and family members of someone who is suffering from substance abuse have to step in and express their concerns to their loved one. This is because not everybody is able to recognize when they have a problem, but it can be easily visible from the outside. An intervention is meant for a group of people who care about the person to come together and encourage them to seek treatment. This is not meant to be a time where the support group belittles the person and acts angry towards them for their actions. The purpose is to express to them that they are valued and deserve treatment and that they have people who support them. It may be helpful to have the information to one or more treatment facilities to present to them during the intervention. During this time, the person who is struggling with substance abuse may feel overwhelmed and cannot even think about researching treatment options. Having them presented to them may also show them that treatment is a realistic option to help them reach sobriety.

Often times at interventions the people who care about the loved one may want to speak to them directly, which can be very effective when it comes from a place of love and concern. To make sure this goes smoothly, it may be a good idea to write down exactly what they want to tell the person. This way, they will not leave anything out or say something off course that may not be taken vey weill at that time. Writing a letter to read during the intervention is also useful incase the person leaves before everybody gets the chance to talk. They can then read the letter in private when they have calmed down and may be able to absorb the information a little better. 

How the Treatment Process Works


Once the person makes the decision to seek treatment and pick a facility, they will likely meet with an intake specialist. The specialist may ask detailed questions regarding the person’s addiction habits, past medical and treatment history and family information. This information will all be used to help the treatment team develop an effective plan for the patient. During the intake process the patient will also meet with their treatment team which is made up of counselors, therapists and psychiatrists among other professionals. During this meeting, the patient and treatment team will work together to create an action plan and goals for the patient to work towards during the course of their treatment.

The intake process also usually involves a complete physical and mental assessment to get an accurate idea of the patient’s overall health. The purpose of the physical assessment is to look for signs of damage that are caused by any ongoing substance abuse. Knowing the patient’s physical state helps to ensure that they undergo a safe treatment. The assessment is also meant to look for any co-occurring mental disorders that are common among people who are struggling with addiction so that they can be appropriately managed during the course of the treatment.


Before a person is able to begin participating in a treatment program, they must make sure that all of the addictive substances are out of their system and that the person is completely sober. When someone is used to receiving any substance on a regular basis, their body my feel like it is a necessary component to their survival. Once the substance stops being used on a regular basis, the body will start to experience withdraw symptoms. Some of the common symptoms a person may experience are nausea, vomiting, depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, trembling, muscle spasms and cold-like symptoms. Depending on the length and severity of the addiction, a person may experience more severe symptoms like seizures, heart attacks or strokes, which is why it is important that a person undergoes detox in a medical setting supervised by professionals rather than at home. The length of time that detox takes is different for everyone depending on their health and the details of their addiction, but generally the process can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days.   

Inpatient Treatment

Once a person is completely detoxed of the substance they were addicted to, they are ready to begin inpatient treatment. While undergoing treatment, patients live at the facility so they can receive full-time, comprehensive care. While in inpatient treatment, patients attend daily individual and group counseling sessions. It is common for programs to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in their counseling as a way to retrain their brains to no longer associated the need for substance abuse with the things that triggered the urge to use those substance to begin with. Counselors and psychologists also work with the patients to address the underlying causes of the addiction, like mental illnesses or trauma. Patients may also take part in therapeutic activities that are unique to the program like acupuncture, meditation, yoga and aromatherapy to name a few. The length of time an inpatient program lasts depends on the individual, but usually programs are either considered short-term or long-term. Short-term programs last from 6 to 8 weeks and patients focus on learning was to manage their addictive urges and alternative ways they can deal with difficult feelings. Long-term programs can last anywhere from 6 months to one year and focus on helping patients with other issues they are facing along with their addiction.

Outpatient Treatment

Once a person has completed their inpatient program, they will most likely participate in outpatient treatment. Outpatient programs are far less intensive than inpatient programs and patients only attend once or twice a week for an hour. Because the appointments are short and less frequent, it is easy for patients to incorporate them into their daily lives while maintaining their daily responsibilities like work or school. Outpatient programs are also usually located near the patient’s residence, so it makes it easier for families to also be involved in the treatment process if it is appropriate to the situation.

Many patients find outpatient treatment to be useful because it gives them a safe place to talk about any triggers they are experiencing in their everyday life and counselors can provide assistance on how to manage these triggers and urges. Many people also benefit from outpatient treatment because it can act as a form of accountability since they know they have to meet with their counselor on a regular basis. Outpatient treatment can be individual or group-centered and can last for any length of time that the individual needs.


Any person who is recovering from an addiction knows how important aftercare is following inpatient treatment. Aftercare can be anything from organized support groups to people getting together to engage in fun, sober activities. As long as the person is involved in something ongoing and consistent it can be considered aftercare. One of the more popular support groups that people attend as part of their aftercare plan is Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Sober Living

After completing an inpatient program, some people may not be ready to live on their own in their community and need some extra assistance. They may opt to stay in a sober living facility to help them get back on their feet. Sometimes called halfway houses, residents are provided a safe environment to live in return for compliance to some rules. Residents have the freedom to leave during the day but must meet a curfew every night to continue to stay at the facility. They also are required to remain sober during their time in the facility and are required to take regular drug tests to prove their sobriety. Sober living facilities may also provide residents with important resources like life skills training, financial and legal counseling, vocational training and counseling. Some facilities even require that the residents regularly attend group counselling sessions to be permitted to stay at the facility.