Addiction Treatment in Wichita Falls, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas, is the county seat of Wichita County, located in northern Texas. It’s home to over 100,000 people and five miles from Sheppard Air Force Base. Relocated Choctaw Native Americans originally settled the area in the early 1800s. As the area has grown, so have its challenges with drug and alcohol addiction.
About Wichita Falls, Texas
Wichita Falls residents earn a bit less than the state average. The median income for Wichita Falls is $42,459, while the state of Texas has a median income of $56,565. Wichita Falls residents are 75.8% white, 18.6% Hispanic or Latino, 10.5% African American, 2.3% Asian, and 1% Native American. 19.8% of Wichita Falls residents live below the poverty level. Sheppard Air Force Base is the largest employer in Wichita Falls.
Drug Use in Wichita Falls and Texas
Wichita Falls has about 67 drug overdose deaths per year. In order to combat drug addiction, the Wichita Falls Police Department offers the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, or D.A.R.E. This free program offers drug and alcohol resistance training to students as well as adults. Wichita Falls also hosts an annual event for Texas Overdose Awareness Day, which brings residents together to remember those that have been lost to drug or alcohol addiction.
In Texas as a whole, there is concern regarding increased methamphetamine use as well as increased heroin use. Heroin is of particular concern, as the average age of those who died of a heroin overdose decreased from age 41 in 2005 to age 36 in 2013. This means the age of the average heroin user is getting younger. Calls to the Texas Poison Center Network for heroin nearly doubled from 1998 to 2013.
Alcohol, though, is the primary drug of choice in Texas. A 2012 survey found that 58% of Texas students in grades 7-12 had used alcohol, and 25% had used alcohol in the past month. 12% of students reported binge-drinking beer (having five or more drinks in one sitting) and 11% reported binge-drinking liquor. Over six percent of Texans abuse or are dependent on alcohol.
Risk Factors for Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Drug and alcohol addiction affects people from a wide range of backgrounds. Although drug and alcohol abuse can happen to anyone, there are some factors that make someone more vulnerable to abusing drugs or alcohol. These factors include:
- Genetics may account for as much as 50-75% of the risk of addiction. If you have close family members who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may struggle as well.
- Psychological factors. If you are prone to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, you may be vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse as well. Drugs and alcohol are sometimes used to cope with underlying mental health issues.
- Environmental factors. Your environment shapes you in a number of ways. If you grew up in an abusive environment, drugs or alcohol may be a means of coping. If family or friends used drugs or alcohol, you may not see using substances as a big deal.
- Experimentation at an early age. Your brain is still developing when you’re young, and using drugs or alcohol can have a dramatic effect if you use them at an early age.
Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to addiction because their prefrontal cortex is still being formed. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for decision-making. Since the decision-making center isn’t completely formed, adolescents are more likely to make impulse decisions like using drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol make changes to brain chemistry, which is especially damaging to young brains that aren’t fully developed.
The Addiction Process
It’s rare that someone goes from trying drugs or alcohol to a full-blown addiction. There are several stages in the process of becoming addicted, and the sooner intervention happens, the easier it is to recover. That being said, though, no matter what stage of addiction you or your loved one is facing, it’s important to seek help. Here are the stages of addiction:
- Initiation. Initiation is the first time someone tries drugs or alcohol. They may try drugs or alcohol out of curiosity or because peers are doing it. Whether it leads to further experimentation depends on the availability of drugs, whether family or friends use drugs or alcohol, and whether there are any underlying mental health issues that make them more vulnerable to substance abuse.
- Experimentation. Experimentation is using the substance in certain situations, like when you go to a party or are with certain friends.
- Regular use. Regular use means that you use drugs or alcohol habitually. It may be every weekend or once or twice a week. You may move from using drugs or alcohol socially to using them alone.
- Problem or risky use. You are starting to see some of the negative consequences of drug or alcohol abuse. Your work or school performance may start slipping.
- Dependence. Dependence is when you’ve started to develop a tolerance for your substance of choice. In other words, you need more and more of the substance to get the same effect. You also are physically and psychologically dependent on the substance. You experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t use drugs or alcohol, and you feel you need it in order to function normally.
- Substance abuse disorder. You have a substance abuse disorder if you can’t face life without drugs or alcohol and you can no longer control your use. You may have withdrawn from friends or family and stopped doing things you enjoy.
Signs of Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Having a loved one with a drug or alcohol addiction can be frightening. You want to do everything you can to help. If you suspect a loved one may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are some signs to look for:
- Physical changes. Your loved one’s appearance may have changed. They may not take the same care in grooming that they did before. They may also have bloodshot eyes, changes in weight, dilated or constricted pupils, and bruises or sores.
- Behavioral changes. Your loved one’s behavior may be more erratic. They may be irritable or have sudden changes in mood. They may be secretive and start isolating themselves.
- Money challenges. They may not be able to manage money as well as they have in the past. They may not be paying bills on time or suddenly need money when they didn’t before.
- Problems at work or school. They may be having trouble completing work or may stop attending work or school altogether.
If you see these signs, you may need to seek help for your loved one.
If you or your loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, there is help available. There are treatment options available to meet your needs and your budget. Whether you decide on inpatient or outpatient treatment, it all starts with getting in touch with a treatment center.
Pre-intake is your first contact with a treatment center. This may be over the phone or even over a web chat. During pre-intake, the treatment center collects some basic information from you, including your name, age, and the reason you need treatment. This helps them determine whether their program would be a good fit for you. You’re also encouraged to ask questions during pre-intake. You might want to ask about their schedule, their treatment approach, and their experience in dealing with your addiction. If you feel like it’s a good fit, you’ll work with them to set up an appointment for intake.
Intake is when you officially enter treatment. You meet with members of your treatment team, which may include an admissions counselor, a case manager, a medical professional, and a mental health professional. The members of your treatment team will work with you to put together a treatment plan that meets your specific needs.
Intake is also when you make financial arrangements so you don’t need to worry about finances during your recovery. Your treatment facility will work with you to determine the best financial arrangements for your situation.
During intake, you’ll also find out about the specifics of your treatment program. If you’re entering a residential treatment center, for example, you’ll find out about your rooming arrangements and get a tour of the facility. The treatment program will review the schedule and any rules for the program.
When you meet with treatment team members, they will assess you. It might sound intimidating, but assessment is just the process of getting to know you and your history.
Typically, you’ll be assessed by a medical professional and a mental health professional. The medical professional will have you fill out forms regarding your past health history as well as your present health status. They will interview you to clarify any questions they have about your history. They will also do a physical exam that may include taking blood and urine samples.
Your mental health professional will also have you fill out questionnaires. These will delve into your mental health history, and may include questions about your mood and whether you have a history of past abuse or trauma. They will also interview you and may do an initial counseling session as a part of your intake.
The next phase of treatment for most is detox. Detox is the process of getting rid of any drugs or alcohol in your system. In most cases, a medically supervised detox is recommended due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Detox stays are usually short, lasting up to seven days.
Detoxing from drugs or alcohol causes you to go through withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the substance but may include anxiety, irritation, fatigue, hallucinations, and insomnia. Detox staff may prescribe medications to help you cope with your withdrawal symptoms. Medications may include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. They may also prescribe medications to help with withdrawal from specific substances. Methadone is often prescribed to those going through opioid withdrawal, for example.
Wichita Falls, Texas Rehab - Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Centers
Recovering from an addiction can be overwhelming. You may want to make a clean break from your life and focus on your recovery. For intensive treatment with support around the clock, you may want to consider inpatient treatment.
Residential Treatment Centers
Residential treatment centers provide you with 24/7 support. You live at the treatment center so you can focus exclusively on your recovery. Meals and housing are provided. Depending on the center, you may share a room or you may have your own room in a hotel-like environment. Some programs include amenities such as golf and spa services and may focus on a specific type of resident, such as executives or women.
Residential treatment centers provide individual and group counseling and educational programs. They may also provide other therapeutic programming such as art or music therapy. Rules of each center vary. You may have restrictions on when and how often you can leave the center, and visitors may be restricted. The length of your stay depends on your situation. Some stay for a week or two, while others stay at residential treatment centers for 30 days or more.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
If you don’t want to live at a facility full-time, but would still like intensive treatment, then you may want to consider a partial hospitalization program. Partial hospitalization programs allow you to live at home. You attend treatment programming during the day and then return home in the evening and on the weekends.
Partial hospitalization programs typically run for six to eight hours per day for up to five days per week. At least one meal is provided. During your treatment day, you go to individual and group counseling and attend educational programming. You may also have other therapeutic programming.
Outpatient Treatment Centers
For treatment on a more flexible schedule, you may want to consider outpatient treatment. During outpatient treatment, you live in your own home, and you can maintain most of your regular routine, such as attending school or going to work. Your treatment is designed to meet your scheduling needs.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive outpatient programs provide the treatment you need on a flexible schedule. You typically attend programming for 10-12 hours per week, which may take place during the day or in the evenings. Your schedule may include group counseling, individual counseling, and educational programming. When you’re not attending treatment, you can attend to your day-to-day responsibilities such as work, school, or taking care of family.
Regardless of the type of treatment program you choose, eventually your treatment program will end. As your treatment comes to a close, you’ll need a plan for how to continue your recovery and resume your daily life. This plan is called aftercare.
Your aftercare plan should address your needs. If you don’t have a stable living situation, for example, your aftercare plan should address this. You may want to live with supportive friends or family, or you may want to consider a living environment with more structure, such as sober living.
Aftercare should also address your need for support. This may include attending support groups as well as leaning on reliable friends and family members.
Your aftercare plan should also address your need for purpose. As an addict, your life becomes focused on obtaining and using your substance of choice. In recovery, you need a new focus and sense of purpose. This may include employment or going back to school. You may also want to consider new hobbies or volunteering at an organization that you support and enjoy.
Sober living provides a safe, stable environment for those in recovery. Sober living homes are group homes where you live with others in recovery. Life in a sober living home is structured. You’ll need to abide by the house rules, which may include a curfew and contributing to the household by paying rent and doing chores. There may also be a requirement to be employed, actively seeking employment, or attending school, and you may also be required to attend house meetings. Sober living stays vary but can be up to 90 days or more.
Many people in recovery attend support groups. The best-known support groups are 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. 12-step programs provide structure and mentoring. Meetings are free to attend and take place in churches, hospitals, and at local non-profit organizations. During a 12-step meeting, members may read program literature and share their experiences. You can listen or share; it’s completely up to you.
There are also support groups that are run by a facilitator. The facilitator is typically a substance abuse counselor or social worker. These groups may include sharing your experiences and challenges as well as supporting other members. They may include an educational component. Some of these support groups focus on a specific group, such as women or LGBTQ individuals. You can find these support groups at local non-profit organizations or through your treatment center.