Drug Crisis in Durham, North Carolina Explored
Durham is the 5th largest city in North Carolina with a population of over 262,000 people. Because the city has 85.75% of its population working in the professional world, the city has one of the best environment in the national average.
Also considered as one of the well-educated cities in the country, Durham has over 47.43% of its adult population graduate from a bachelor’s degree. Because of the city standing, substance abuse is not as prevalent as compared to other cities around the country with the same population size.
An estimated 18,000 adults and 1,000 teens are reported to be substance abuse victims in Durham County. The city also has a concrete working program on helping these victims come to light and take hold of their addiction. Although drug and alcohol addiction is relatively lower compared to other cities, the prevalence of juvenile addiction has increased in the last couple of years. Statistics show an increase of 64.7% with the number of deaths rising up to 11.6% in 2012 alone.
Drug and alcohol addiction do not choose its victims. Make the right choice before it’s too late. Seek help and make your life better by calling us today. Click the link below to find the best treatment center near you.
Common Substances Used in the Durham County Region
Drug addiction is a complex disease that is sometimes accompanied by an underlying problem. This is the reason why an effective rehabilitation needs to be sought. With lots of options available, Durham residents who would like to seek treatment can easily find a facility that fits their needs.
Surprisingly, the top drugs being abused in Durham are prescription drugs. A total of 16 deaths were recorded in 2011 alone becoming a threat to public health safety. Alcohol addiction is also one of the main concerns of health officials as it starts to ravage high school students and the juvenile population.
Aside from prescription drugs, the most common substances abused in Durham include:
- Alcohol 56%
- Tobacco 50%
- Cocaine 47%
- Marijuana 45%
- Heroin 13%
- Over-the-counter drugs 2%
The prevalence of drug-related cases for adult Durham residents has dropped down to about 53% whereas, reported cases of juvenile addiction has steadily increased over the last number of years. Death caused by prescription drugs has also accounted for most of the reported cases with semi-synthetic opioids like Oxycodone, Vicodin, and Percocet as the leading drugs used.
Lung cancer due to smoking has also been seen as one of the most prevalent causes of death in Durham County. An estimated 12.4% of the total residents in the city are smokers including pregnant women whose reported rate has been steadily increasing.
Leading Causes of Substance Abuse in Durham City
Teen addiction is one of the main problems in Durham City. Because the alarming increase of teenagers being hooked to illegal drugs has been a top concern, government officials and the city council has created several projects to address the issue. They are focusing on the where the problem emerges from and how to effectively address the issue.
Young adults are particularly vulnerable to drug and alcohol addiction because this is the stage of experimentation. Teenagers try to discover themselves and can sometimes be swayed by outside influences to try different things. Without the proper guidance, this often leads to addiction and the time of self-exploration can often be the most damaging influence during adulthood.
- Peer Pressure. This is the most powerful force that sways a young mind to experiment with illegal substances. Because these young people are at the times in their lives where they try to discover themselves and where they fit in, saying “no” can be immensely difficult.
- Acquired Behavioral Patterns. Young teenagers who grew up with an addicted parent often learn to use illegal substances from them. Kids often copy the good and bad aspects of their parent’s behavior and addiction can be passed down to the younger generation. An easy access to the substance used is also one contributing factor for children developing addiction early in life.
- Self-medication. Over-the-counter drugs account for 2% of the reported addiction in Durham City. Most of these cases include young adults and adults alike trying to alleviate the symptoms of whatever they are going through. Easing or numbing the pain becomes an escape to use the drug when addiction has already set in.
- Homelessness. Homelessness in Durham city has also increased in the recent years. The three-year moving rate concluded that about 45% or about 675 residents live on the streets. Most of these people use illegal substances to ease the tensions associated with the lack of opportunities and mollify their frustrations.
Health-related Problems Associated With Drug Abuse in Durham City
Since drug addiction affects most of the teens around the city, the prevalence of diseases caused by addiction continues to be a leading concern among officials. Teenage pregnancy, HIV/Aids, and other sexually transmitted infections continue to rise every year.
Durham City was recorded to have the 4th highest rate of HIV infection in North Carolina and 20% of these cases were from testing done by public high school students. The black population possesses 9 times the higher rate of infection and 10.5 times higher with syphilis infection compared to the white population.
Sexually infected diseases steadily rose for a few years prior to the enactment of healthcare programs and the prevalence of infections among Durham residents has temporarily dipped in the previous years. HIV cases dropped to 15% in 2009, Gonorrhea cases significantly fell by 23%, and Chlamydia cases shrunk by 1.5%.
A few other complications worthy to mention includes the prevalence of all types cancers which has been the primary cause of death among Durham residents. Lung cancer accounts for nearly 52.9% deaths because of smoking and tobacco use.
Top racial disparities in death rates between the black populations compared to whites include AIDS, homicide, diabetes, and kidney diseases some of which are caused by drug and alcohol addiction.
The Biggest Drug Busts and Police Operations Held in Durham
Durham has always been keen on arresting drug syndicates operating within the city. The strict enforcement of laws has allowed Durham to meet statewide health goals throughout the community.
The city was able to meet some of the goals presented by North Carolina to its cities including a reduction on cigarette smoking amongst the adolescent population, reduction on the percentage of middle school students using any forms of cocaine, and shrinkage on the number of students smoking cigarette before the age of 11. These are just some of the achievements the city has acquired over the years.
Some of the biggest drug busts done by the Durham police include:
- The Maurice Antoine King Case. Police officers were able to arrest King who faced multiple counts drug trafficking, conspiracy to traffic, sell, and deliver cocaine. The arrest was the result of a long-term investigation done by the Durham narcotics investigators. The suspect also has several charges pressed against him in the past including three counts of kidnapping and child molestation in 2004. The perpetrator has already been convicted of felony charges for drug offenses and is currently serving his sentence.
- Multiple Arrests for Illegal Drugs in a Month. Several police operations were done resulting in the seizure of a total of $160,000 worth of various paraphernalia and drugs. Confiscated during the arrest include 223 lbs of marijuana, 49g of cocaine, 163g of heroin, several guns, and fraudulent gift cards. Several men were arrested and this constituted to one of the biggest police busts in Durham.
- Three homes and a Pharmacy. The Anti-Crime Narcotics Department discovered marijuana plants in an apartment. Joseph Mulay, the owner, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Two other arrests were done including Derrick Lamond Dixon who was caught with heroin, hydrocodone, and a handgun in his apartment. Terell Alston was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after police officers raided his apartment and seized crack cocaine. Robert Lee Garett, a 58-year old man was also caught attempting to purchase hydrocodone at a local pharmacy. He was charged with several infringements including identity theft and fraud.
Drug addiction is a menacing problem faced by today’s society. Most of these cases lead to serious consequences and even death when taken for granted. Seeking help is the only way to make things better. If you want to learn more about the best treatment plans and the right treatment center, simply call us and we will help you find the best option suited to your needs.
What Durham City is Doing to Address Issues Regarding Substance Addiction
Several programs have been enforced by the city government to protect its populace. The enactment of these “special interest programs” coincides with national projects to lessen the social complexities brought about by drug and alcohol addiction.
Targeting the populations of special interest such as adolescents, the government effort to prevent drug youth addiction and the proliferation of suppliers can be seen as one of the biggest projects in the recent years.
Juvenile addiction makes it hard for authorities to deal with the problem as these youths are often caught red-handed in their schools. Several arrests have been done in the last three years with teenagers possessing drug paraphernalia inside their campuses.
The number of accounted arrests numbered a total of 300 with over 53% of the young population considered to have substance abuse problems. Police records also indicate that over 60% of its inmates have addiction problem and half of which conferred that they have had the problem before reaching the age of 19.
The Surveillance Network
Being the 4th city in North Carolina with the largest population, Durham City also tops as one of the primary cities with a concrete course of plan for addiction. They have developed what is termed as the “Surveillance Network” which targets the totality of a person’s addiction. This includes the treatment of both addiction and any underlying problem that perpetuates the substance abuse problem.
The city government has worked closely with the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Community Epidemiology Work Group (NIDA-CEWG) to work on a treatment plan that incorporates both the surveillance and treatment of target groups or individuals.
The project works in conjunction with several parties including healthcare officials, the law enforcement departments, hospitals, and schools to identify and understand the community problem and create solutions to address them properly.
Meeting on a regular basis, members of the party provides both quantitative and qualitative information to identify drug abuse trends, both new and existing. It also aims to lessen the severity of its impact on the community by identifying geographic patterns of drug use, identify the changes happening and create a solid strategy to prevent its spread.
This type of project has been an ongoing strategy of providing accurate information about drug abuse in the local community. Cities like New York and Boston have been using this system and Durham quickly picked up the concept of enforcing this strategy to oversee and control the drug problem within its boundaries.
One of the main advantages of the Surveillance Network is that it is able to identify communities with the largest population having addiction problems. It also pinpoints target areas where drugs are being bought and sold.
In many ways, identifying these communities help government enforcement agencies efficiently work on a solid strategy to prevent these substances from penetrating Durham and the surrounding communities.
The Health Insurance Reform
Since the approval of the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of drug and alcohol addicts have come clean by taking advantage of the insurance reform. This package covers treatment and preventive care services to help a recovering addict sustain his rehabilitation.
Aside from including Drug Rehabilitation, it also covers what is termed as the ”doughnut hole” indemnity offering a rebate on the purchase of prescription drugs. This helps addiction victims get a full insurance for their treatment without worrying about costs and other deductibles being laid out.
Innovative Programs in Place
North Carolina is known to take drug and alcohol addiction seriously. The state has allowed the enactment of several legislations to help its citizens sustain its low drug rates if not lessen it. Some of the programs include:
- North Carolina Smoke-free Restaurant and Bar Law. Signed and enacted during the early months of 2010, this law prohibits residents from smoking in all bars and restaurants throughout the state. Durham has been known to follow a strict compliance with this state-wide policy.
- AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). North Carolina has been strong in providing assistance for (Persons with HIV) PHIV though the passing of this legislation. An additional budget amounting to $14.1 million was added to the government funds in aid of the medications needed by these people.
- The Healthy Youth Act. Public school students especially those in their mid-years are given free lectures and seminars regarding STD and pregnancy prevention, healthy relationships, and other courses pertaining to sex education and the consequences of being engaged in premarital sex at an early age.
- The Durham Teen Center. A center for youth was recently opened to help the young population get additional education about several issues plaguing the community. This includes seminars, teen dialogues, and educational lectures about drug and alcohol abuse, depression and suicide, and sexuality issues.
- The Bull City Summer Streets Project (BCSS). Activities and events involving the community were created as part of the city drive to keep citizens away from addiction. The event was patterned according to the street events held in Bogota, Colombia’s “Ciclovia de Bogota.”
Durham City’s Treatment Process and the Protocols Used for Rehabilitation
Just like any other cities around North Carolina, Durham also follows strict compliance for drug rehabilitation. This includes several states that need to be completed prior to treatment fulfillment.
And since drug and alcohol addiction is a recurring problem, follow-up and aftercare programs ensure that a recovering addict gets continuous treatment after his treatment plan has been completed.
Some of the best rehabilitation centers also offer their continuous care through the form of voluntary avocation where a recovering addict works as an honorary counselor. This enables a recovering addict to strictly follow and enforce what he has learned inside the facility so he can live a life away from addiction.
The common phases of addiction treatment within the Durham area include:
The Assessment Phase
The very first stages of recovery include a series of assessment to determine the severity of your addiction. This also includes several psychological and physical tests so clinicians would be able to understand how the substance has ravaged your body and mind.
The psychological test may be the most strenuous part of the assessment as it involves a series of interviews and filling out of forms. This is to ensure that every part of your addiction is managed and any underlying problem that perpetuates your addiction would be fully addressed.
Psychological testing is a crucial part of the recovery program as it uncovers any issues that may lead to relapse in the future. Properly addressing these issues will help you get the best of your treatment.
The Pre-Intake Stage
Being familiar with the ambiance and culture of the rehab center would allow you to find your niche once the healing process starts. When the intake process starts, your attending counselors will acquaint you with all you need to know about the center and get to know other people who are facing the same issue. A list of requirements would be handed out and certain guidelines will be handed out so you know the rules to follow. Strict compliance with these rules is needed so you would get the full benefit of being involved in the healing process.
The Intake Process
Once you have decided to change your course of living, the intake process had got to be the most fulfilling stage of your rehabilitation. Knowing that you are making a difference in your life can be motivation enough to sustain your recovery. This part of the treatment phase is usually the easiest part as you get to know everyone involved with your treatment.
Detoxification is the most crucial component of rehab but is often the hardest phase. Several withdrawal symptoms manifest it as the body gets rid of the accumulated toxins in your body. This sometimes is accompanied by prescription drugs to mitigate the effects of withdrawal and lessen its severity. Once the body has rid of the toxins, healing continues with counseling and alternative therapeutic elements to sustain your body’s recovery and take your mind away from the addictive substance.
Combining Treatment Options
Having an accompanying alternative treatment option included with your rehabilitation allows you to understand which processes are most effective in your specific case. Several options are available including an Inpatient treatment or an Outpatient treatment. This would be determined by your attending physician however, you have the ultimate decision as to whether attending an inpatient or outpatient process is right for you. Your counselors can only recommend the process, but it’s your decision to choose which one to attend and accomplish.
An aftercare treatment program is one of the most solidifying plans to enforce better recovery. This part of the therapy allows you to put everything you have learned into action. Aftercare if often the missing piece of the puzzle that is often omitted from substance recovery. When this happens, the possibilities of having a relapse increases as it forces you to relive the life you’ve grown accustomed to.
The final stage of your recovery is sober living. This is the ultimate reward for staying committed to your well-being. Sober living is a lifelong pledge of staying away from the addictive substance. To live a life free from drugs and alcohol, increasing your resilience against addiction by engaging in a healthy living, diverting your mind with productive activities, and shunning your previous acquaintances can help you fully recover from addiction.
Drug and alcohol addiction does not choose its victims and beating addiction may be the most beautiful achievement you’ll make.
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