Addiction Treatment in Provo, Utah
Provo, the 3rd largest city in Utah with a population of 115,264 is just 43 miles south of Salt Lake City. A fascinating tourist attraction located in the city is Bridal Veil Falls, a 607-foot tall double cataract waterfall. Tourists from all around come to Provo to see the Brigham Young University Museum of Paleontology, started in 1976. The museum houses a 5,000 square-foot addition of dinosaur bones and other fossils. The most complete printing museum in the world also resides in the city, The Crandell Historical Printing Museum.
Provo, much like other U.S. cities has great tourist attractions based on history. Another thing that Provo has in common with other U.S. cities is a drug crisis. From 2000 to 2015, Utah has seen a nearly 400 percent increase in the abuse of prescription drugs. Funding to address the crisis saw a decrease in drug-related overdoses from 2007 to 2010 when the Utah Department of Health began to address the problem. Since funding had ran dry, those deaths increased by 27 percent in 2015. In 2018, it was stated that 24.5 people lose their life every month due to a prescription drug overdose in the state of Utah. In 2016, more than 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the U.S.
To help with its drug crisis, Utah enacted the Good Samaritan Law in 2014 that enables any bystanders to report an overdose without fearing criminal prosecution for illegal possession of controlled substances. The Naloxone Law was also enacted in 2014 which permits doctors from prescribing naloxone to third parties and permits to individuals to administer naloxone without legal liability.
Causes of Drug Abuse
People start using drugs for multiple reasons. One of those reasons is mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Provo is the 7th happiest city in America, according to a National Geographic article recently published. However, it is also a city with the 7th highest suicide rate in America too. Research shows that 1 in 5 suffer from depression and that suicide is the leading cause of death in Utah for those aged 10-17.
Depression and anxiety statistics are rating higher than they have in the past and children and teens under 17 are more depressed than ever. Some findings link depression and the use of smartphones together. This is due to smartphone addiction, which researchers have found is a growing problem. Adults, teens and children steadily have their phone either around them or in their hand looking at their screen. You can’t really pry the device out of the hands of teens and some adults are just as bad about it.
Negativity is found all over the internet and some teens have full access to it. Some parents try to safeguard their teens phones, but teens are better hackers then we could ever hope to be, and chances are, if they don’t know how to get to a website that’s been blocked, their friends do. Social media is full of negativity because people are always judging each other on there. Teens are downloading different apps that allow others to say things anonymously about them which just fuels negativity because teens can be cruel at times. Social media is a place where teens are finding that another type of bullying exists, cyberbullying. Another problem that even adults face online by other people. It’s ridiculous.
When people spend too much time on their phone it’s usually indoors which doesn’t leave too much time to explore the great outdoors, which used to happen more. Remember when you were a kid and you’d go outside for hours without a cell phone and come back just as the lights came on at dusk? Kids today won’t be able to say that. Exploring gave us all that fun in the sun fresh feeling but kids today don’t get that, instead they are caught up behind their phone texting away. Lack of time in the sun can lead to a vitamin D deficiency which causes depression. If you want to keep your kid happy, take their phone away and make them go on a walk with you. Sure, they will be “miserable”, but in the end, they’ll be happier for it!
Crime leads to drugs and drugs lead to crime and in Provo, crime is rated a 23 out of 100. While that is not the worst crime rating for a city, it’s not the best either. So, crime can certainly pose a threat for more people to do drugs since people who become victimized by someone else go through some emotional and physical pain.
Unemployment is widespread across America and in Provo, the unemployment rate stands at 2.1 percent. When people have a hard time finding a job, it really starts to affect a person’s mood, it also affects how a person views themselves. Self-worth starts to go down and many people turn toward drugs to feel better.
The Drug Rehabilitation Process
When headed to rehab one might feel a bit anxious about it. There is so much that goes into that it can start to feel very overwhelming. Don’t fret. Here is how they whole thing works.
The process starts with an assessment. An assessment works by assessing a patient to find out what type of drugs they are taking, how long they have been taking drugs, when their last dosage was and if the patient has any mental health disorders. All these questions are asked so that the doctor can take the answers and form a diagnosis. So, its important to be honest about everything.
Afterwards, the doctor will initiate an intake. An intake is a lot like an assessment but it’s longer and more questions are asked about family history (medical, mental and drug). A physical examination is also performed so that the doctor can make sure the body is well enough for detox and if there have been any injuries due to drug use. Some lab tests, specifically, a urine test will be administered to check for drugs in the system. This is mandatory even if a person states that they haven’t used drugs in a while. A patient will now be fully admitted, financial arrangements will be made, and a patient will go through an item check list to make sure they do not have any items they shouldn’t have: drugs, alcohol, food, drink, over-the-counter medication, herbs, pornography, cell phone, weapons, etc.
Now the patient is ready for detox. The is perhaps the most anxious time for a patient because they don’t really know what to expect. There have been some pretty bad stories told from people who have had a hard experience with detox. It’s important to realize that this doesn’t happen to everyone. What most people fear about detox is the withdrawal symptoms. The intensity of these symptoms depends entirely on a few factors: what type of drugs were used, how long ago the last dosage was, how long a patient has been using drugs and if there are any mental health disorders to consider.
- Panic Attacks
- Muscle tension or pain
- Stomach cramping
- Feeling shaky
- Itchy Skin
- Dry Mouth
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Violent Outbursts
Detox lasts for a total of 5-7 days and it’s important to let it run its course because the body needs to be cleansed of drugs so that the next step in the drug rehabilitation process can start. Patients are not expected to go cold-turkey and there is a tapering off method that doctors use to allow patients to slowly come off their drug.
Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
While detox cleansed the body of the drugs, it is time to cleanse the mind of them. Inpatient treatment works to do that through a program called Residential Treatment Program (RTC). RTC builds patients back up, allowing them to see the good that is still there even though drugs have given them such a negative outlook. Distorted thoughts are something that people who are addicted to drugs end up facing. These thoughts can make people see life negatively and can also interfere with relationships. A type of therapy used in RTC called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help patients to work through these distorted thoughts and think with a more level-head. People with distorted thinking have such a negative way of thinking that its very hard for them to see that they are hurting others or being completely unfair to themselves. This alone can cause a person to do drugs to get away from the obsessive negativity.
RTC has many different therapies and all of them are meant to help a patient to recognize why they became addicted to drugs and how they can manage their sobriety. Trigger points are a huge part of RTC. With trigger points, a person can hear something, see something or even smell something that can trigger an emotional response of anger, depression, sadness or even make some want to violently attack someone else. These trigger points are usually from some trauma-related incident that occurred during a patient’s childhood or adolescence. Therapists can help patients work through these trigger points so that patients can see where the problem occurred and what can be done about it. Coping skills are used to treat trigger points. Coping skills are things that we really enjoy doing that help take our minds off of things that get us down or angry. It can be anything as long as it’s positive and eases stress. Some people choose: writing, drawing, painting, horse-back riding, blowing bubbles, swimming, reading, etc. Whatever you really like to do that is positive and reduces stress can be a coping skill.
RTC also has other types of therapies like music, art, music, yoga and meditation therapy too. These are great for a patient who is trying to recover from an addiction because there is so much stress there. Stress from not having drugs anymore and stress from processing newly discovered issues from the past or uncovering issues that were long buried under drug use. This type of therapy allows the patient to escape for a little bit and express themselves in a very calming and relaxed environment.
RTC takes place in a facility for an average of 28 days. Some patients are recommended to stay longer, for 30, 60 or even 90 days. Other patients who continue to relapse might be recommended to stay for 4-6 months so that a therapist can work with that patient more in-depth to try to avoid another relapse.
During inpatient treatment, throughout outpatient treatment and during the aftercare process, the 12-step program will be referenced. It has been highly efficient at helping people to stay on track with their recovery.
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
There are two types of outpatient therapies. The first one occurs immediately after RTC and its called Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). PHP is designed to help patients transition from rehab to everyday life. RTC provides a lot of structure. In fact, patients have a schedule of events and are responsible for meeting those events. Facilities want patients to be in charge of their own recovery. When its time to fly solo, some patients just aren’t ready for it. Sober living homes is a great option for patients who feel this way. Sober living houses work just like regular houses except the rent costs less and there are other residents trying to do the same thing the other residents in the house are, stay sober. There are some rules in these houses such as no dating other residents and not drinking or doing drugs in the house. Sober living houses can provide that structure that RTC gives while also allowing a patient to gain their own footing again. PHP can help with the rest of it. This treatment program is about helping patients manage their trigger points with those coping skills talked about earlier while also allowing patient to have a place to talk to other people enduring the same battle they are. PHP takes place in a facility for 6 hours a day, 5-7 days a week and is a great source for connecting with others while trying to fly solo.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is the next type of treatment. It follows PHP and takes place in the facility for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week. It allows patients to come together in a group and talk about how they have been managing their sobriety since being out of rehab. It can help other patients to know that others have struggled just as they have or that others are doing well too. IOP is an introductory to support groups.
Aftercare is taught during RTC, picked up again in PHP and shared in IOP as well. Aftercare is the ability to take care of one’s own sobriety once all the treatment programs have been processed. Aftercare is about taking over the responsibility for one’s life again while also implementing those important tools and techniques that were taught in all three programs.
Support groups are so important when it comes to aftercare. It can feel very intense, being alone again after rehab. Even for patients who have a support system to return home too, it can still feel very lonely. Being surrounded by people who truly understand what you are going through does feel like home. Support groups can provide that feeling because every person in that room in enduring the same battle. Support groups encourage, listen and support. One can also find a sponsor in a support groups. Sponsors are available to help others during their time of need, no matter what it is. They are available for 3 a.m. phone calls due to a drug craving and they will help a person to stay away from drugs by taking them out to do something else. Support groups are the backbone to a happy and secure recovery.
When a person is idle for too long, they start to have negative thoughts about who they are. Some people start to weigh all the things they have done or haven’t done on the age of their life and either feel a bit proud or not. Either way, it can be a hard place to go to after facing drug addiction and to avoid a relapse, one should stay way from that line of thinking. Instead, its important to stay active. Staying active can be anything from playing sports, to finding a new hobby, to starting an exercise program to going back to work. Anything that makes someone happy and is positive is acceptable. During this time, people start doing things they never thought about before such as taking a cooking class or a dance class. Others think about sky-diving. It’s best to start out with something small and go from there.
Eating Healthy and Staying Fit
Eating the right amount of veggies and fruits daily does help the body get all the vitamins and minerals it needs. Taking drugs can deplete those vitamins so its important to stock up on them. Exercising can be helpful for not only the body but the mind too. It boosts serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps people feel good about themselves and their life.
Aftercare is a very important part of recovery because a person who has been addicted to drugs will never be cured. The most that can happen is being sober for life. Addiction will also be there tempting a person, making them want to do drugs throughout their life. Aftercare can help a person to stay on track and keep temptation away.
Save Your Life
Drugs are impacting the United States in a big way, people are losing loved ones while other people are losing their homes, partners, jobs and kids over drug addiction. It’s at a pandemic-sized crisis and many states have already addressed a state of emergency due to the amount of deaths that drug addiction is causing. This is not the world that we can allow our children, grandchildren and so on to grow up in. Something must be done now and spreading awareness about drug addiction can work. People need to educate themselves about the dangers of prescription opioid medications and spread the word about how dangerous they are. Kids and teens need to understand what can happen if they choose to do these drugs and there are plenty of statistics available to back up the information being provided. Spread the word.
If you or someone you know is abusing drugs or has a drug addiction, get help. The only way to beat drug abuse and addiction is to get ahead of it and the only way to do that is through drug rehabilitation programs. Do some research, learn about these programs and it just might save a life.