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Addiction and Drug Abuse Treatment in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Michigan has been hit hard concerning the Opioid epidemic. Fortunately, Grand Rapids drug rehabs are here to help! Call us today to begin your recovery and let us help you find the best treatment center most suitable to your needs!

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

In 2015, the last year for which numbers are fully available, 1,275 people died from opioid and heroin related overdoses in Michigan, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. 884 of those deaths were directly attributed to opioid overdose, the 7th highest number of opioid deaths among the nation’s 50 states. The crisis reflects a nearly 100 percent increase over the number of overdose deaths just 5 years before — 444.

By comparison, only 963 people died in car accidents in Michigan in 2015.


Grand Rapids Drug Trends

Drug-related crime saw a major increase in Grand Rapids in 2013 and has stabilized ever since. In 2013, there were a total of 85 felony or misdemeanor charges that were drug-related for every 100,000 citizens. There was an even greater amount of drug related citations that totaled 135 of every 100,000 citizens. Drug purchases and search warrants for drug-related crimes also saw a major increase reaching 29 per every 100,000 citizens and 36 for every 100,000 citizens respectively. Theft of prescription medications have also seen a significant increase of 31 cases for every 100,000 citizens.

Grand Rapids Drug Laws

Driving under the influence in Grand Rapids is not taken lightly and is punished accordingly. According to the Michigan Vehicle Code Act 300 of 1949, driving while intoxicated is clearly outlined as illegal. This law defines intoxication as being under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or any combination of two or more substances.  This law also defines a controlled substance as any drug or chemical substance that is regulated by the federal government. The state of Michigan has a very strict “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to driving under the influence and driver will not receive a warning just because it is their first offense. Michigan law enforcement also does not require that a driver displays physical evidence of driving intoxicated to be taken into custody and can be done so simply on reasonable suspicion.

Punishment for a first-time offender could result in up to 93 days of jailtime along with anywhere from $100-$500 in fines and a suspended license of up to 6 months. An Interlock Ignition Device (IID) may also be required for the vehicle following the license suspension. The second DUI offense could lead to anywhere between 5 days and 1 year in jail or 30 to 90 days of community service. It also comes with fines of $200 to $1,000 and a minimum of one-year license suspension along with the installation of an IID on the offender’s registered vehicle. The third offense can bring anywhere from 30 days to 5 years of jail time and fines of up to $1000. The offender will also face a minimum of one-year suspended license and have an IID installed on their registered vehicle.

How to Tell if Someone is on Drugs

When you suspect that somebody you know is on drugs, it can be both confusing and emotionally difficult. If you are not very educated or experienced with they symptoms of drug use, you may miss out on some of the important warning signs that could be used to recognize the problem. Emotions may run high when you suspect that a person you care about is on drugs, so it is important to know the warning signs before any other accusations are made.

The biggest warning sign that a person is on drugs is a drastic change in their overall personality. If somebody who is usually very outgoing and friendly becomes withdrawn with seemingly no other explanation, this could be a sign that they are using drugs. The person may also start to become very secretive and change the group of people the spend their time with. Abandoning previously enjoyed activities and losing interest in things that used to excite them can also be a sign of drug use. Other physical warning signs may include depression, slurred speech, anxiety, memory loss, blackouts, irritability or needle marks on arms from injecting drugs into their veins.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a diagnosable, neurological disease in which a person has no control over. When a person is experiencing addiction, they do not possess the capability to stop engaging in the substance or behavior that they are repeatedly doing. Even if they are fully aware that they are struggling with addiction and know of the health consequences that are associated with it but still feel that they need to use the substance on a regular basis.

An addiction is not the same thing as a habit. When a person has a habit of doing something, they make the choice to engage in that activity regularly and are able to stop doing it whenever they choose. A habit can easily turn into an addiction if the person loses control over their actions and becomes reliant on the substance.

What Causes Addiction?

Addiction is a neurological disease in which a person develops a reliance on a specific substance and it impacts all the aspects of their life. When a person abuses one of these addictive substances, they experience a euphoric-like high almost immediately following the use. While addiction affects almost the entirety of the brain, it has one of its biggest impacts on the limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for controlling the body’s pleasure sensors and its ability to associate motivation with action. Every time the person uses the drug and experiences the high, the limbic system remembers that feeling and associates it to the substance. After the euphoric feeling fades, the brain becomes motivated again to feel that high and begins to crave the drug.

After a person has been abusing a substance for an extended period of time, they start to develop a tolerance to it. Therefore, to reach the same high that they previously experienced, they need to take more of the substance. As time goes on, the body becomes reliant on a larger amount of the substance each use. It grows so accustomed to receiving the drug that without it they begin to experience flu-like symptoms during what is called withdraw. The only way to ease these flu-like symptoms is to either let substance fully remove itself from the body, which can take days and be dangerous to one’s health, or to use the drug again. Thus, an addiction is developed.


Not everybody who struggles with substance abuse may realize that they have an addiction, so sometimes their family and friends need to step in to help encourage their loved one to get treatment. This is when an intervention may be appropriate. During an intervention, people who are close with and care about the person gather with them in a nonthreatening setting to express their concerns. This could be informal where one or more members of the support group talk with the addict in a casual setting to share their feelings with them. Other times, it may be beneficial to the addict to have a formal meeting. This works most effectively when the intervention is kept a secret up until the time of the event to prevent the risk of them fleeing the meeting and abandoning the help.

Prior to the intervention, the support group should plan out what they want to say to the addict. It is extremely common for people to write the addict letters and read them verbatim in the meetings. This ensures that they get the chance to say everything that they wanted to tell the patient and if speaking becomes too difficult they can simply give the letter to their loved one to read on their own time. Since the entire purpose of the intervention is to assist the addict in getting help, doing research on local treatment programs may also be helpful. Having a list of a few facilities with details of the programs they offer, and their contact information shows the addict they are serious about getting help and encourages them to make the initial phone call or visit.

How the Treatment Process Works

Intake Process

The first step of the addiction treatment process following an intervention is to begin the intake process. During this step, the patient will meet with an intake specialist where they will be asked questions about their medical history and details about their substance abuse. It is important for the patient to be completely honest about their past history because it will help them to ensure the most appropriate treatment plan.

Patients will also receive a physical assessment by an on-site clinician to make sure that they are physically healthy enough to undergo some of the more intense parts of treatment like medical detox. This is also important because substance abuse has so many physical side effects and health problems may have presented themselves that the patient did not even know about. Mental illness also commonly co-occurs with addiction and substance abuse, so a complete mental evaluation is also conducted to look for disorders like depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

After completing the physical evaluation, the patient will meet with their treatment team to go over any other information about the program. This is the time where patients will be able to ask any remaining questions they may have regarding their treatment. They may also use this time to work together to establish a flexible step-by-step treatment guide with long-term and short-term goals.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is a necessary step prior to treatment to remove all the toxic substances from the patient’s body so they can focus fully on their sobriety. When a person develops an addiction to any substance, their body grows accustomed to receiving it on a regular basis and begins to expect it, which helps fuel the cycle of addiction. When the addict stops receiving the substance, like they do during the detox process, their body can have some serious side effects. These side effects can be physical like nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, increased sweating and increased sensitivity to light and sound. Other side effects, like depression, anxiety, irritability and insomnia, could be neurological. If the patient already suffers from these neurological conditions, they can be severely increased during detox. These side effects are mostly mild, but more serious ones like strokes, heart attacks and seizures are also seen fairly commonly.

Because medical detox holds the risk of serious health conditions, it is important that it takes place in a medical setting with health professionals on staff to monitor their safety. The length of detox can last anywhere from 3 to 10 days depending on the individual’s health and substance abuse. Detox is always done in a private setting, usually in a separate building from the residential treatment facility.

Inpatient Treatment

In an inpatient treatment center, patients live at the treatment facility and have access to 24-hour care.  While in treatment, they are required to attend daily meetings with an individual counselor as well as group meetings with others who are struggling with an addiction that is lead by a counselor. They also participate in other activities the programs offer like yoga and acupuncture. There are two general types of inpatient treatment – long-term residential and short-term residential.

In a long-term residential facility, treatment lasts anywhere from 6 months to a year and follows a more in-depth plan. Along with addiction treatment, patients work on important life skills they may have lacked as a result of their addiction like anger management, problem-solving and decision-making skills. Long-term programs also usually assist the patient in career planning or vocational training so that they have new, useful skills once their program is over. If the patient is dealing with homelessness or risk a relapse if they return to their previous living situation, long-term programs help them to establish safe, permanent housing. Short-term residential facilities follow the same treatment regimen as long-term programs but only last from 6 weeks to 6 months. While they do work on some life skills training with the patients, most of the program focuses on retraining the thought process and establishing coping mechanisms to keep the patient away from the substance they had previously been abusing.

Outpatient Treatment

In some cases, a patient who is not experiencing a severe addiction may only require outpatient treatment to help them reach sobriety. Other times, outpatient can be a transition from inpatient residential programs so patients still have support while they reenter society. Patients typically meet with an individual counselor once a week where they continue practicing and strengthening the strategies that they learned while in inpatient. They may also meet with support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous to aid in their support and make connections with other recovering addicts.


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.