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The number of Americans dying due to drug use has currently exceeded the number of those who sustain fatal wounds in automobile accidents according to various reports. Therefore, the effects of substance abuse on the economic, cultural, and social fabric of the country can’t be underestimated.

The last several decades have seen a considerable increase in the prevalence of illegal drugs. In fact, heroin has become a nationwide epidemic, together with the growing number of persons addicted to prescription painkillers.

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

In response to this, lawmakers have tried to control the epidemic by requiring restrictions. On its part, the medical community has developed recommendations to restrict patients’ dependence on these medications.

Regrettably, the attempts have driven numerous addicts into heroin dependency and abuse. Washington hasn’t escaped the substance abuse scourge either. Similar to the nationwide crisis, numerous patients develop an addiction to opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin unknowingly.

Upon the expiry of their prescriptions, some seek heroin for relief from withdrawals. State statistics reveal that a reduction in deaths occurred in 2014 because of prescription drugs; however, the same period witnessed an increase in heroin-related deaths. Overall, the state experiences approximately 600 opioid-related deaths annually.

One of the cities that share in the opioid epidemic in Washington is Bellevue. With a population of 136, 426, the edge city offers picturesque views of the Olympic Mountains and Cascade. However, the subtle city isn’t immune to alcohol and drug addiction-a fast spreading epidemic across the U.S.

The widespread accessibility of alcohol and other substances are damaging communities nationwide. Like any other disease, addiction is an illness that deserves a quick and effective response to overcome it.

Drug Addiction in Washington

When it comes to drug abuse and trafficking, Washington stands at its distinct crossroads. From the north come synthetic drugs, for instance, MDMA and other club drugs while methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine come from the south, mainly up the Interstate 5 corridor from Southern California or Mexico.

Since 1997, the state has been assigned a HIDTA to allow for more focus in terms of fund allocation and interdiction effort. All the counties in the I-5 corridor form part of the HIDTA, as is the Spokane County, Yakima Valley, and Benton County.

Annually, about 1 Washingtonian in 10 uses marijuana, approximately 350,000 abuse pain relievers, and approximately 1 in 50 uses cocaine. Consequently, almost half a million people state that they have to locate a rehab center for the treatment of their addictions.

Drug addiction isn’t a new problem for this state. Throughout the 90’s grunge movement, musicians flocked Seattle, bringing with them heroin habits. In turn, heroin rapidly made its way through the community, initiating numerous people to drugs and opiates to others for the first time. Today, drug addiction is an ongoing problem in the state.

For more than three decades, the state’s drug-related death rate has surpassed the national average and has increased at an alarming rate in the past decade. While illegal drugs continue playing a part in the tragedy, the abuse and misuse of prescription opiates are partially to blame as well.

However, Washington’s worst drug problem is alcohol abuse along with underage drinking.  In 2008, practically 40% of all publicly financed rehab admissions for opiate addiction were persons between 18 and 25 years of age.

Generally, rehab admissions of persons just completing detox programs rose almost 40% the previous decade, probably due to a concurrent increase in state-financed treatment programs throughout the same period.

Alcohol Problem in Washington

Alcohol is the most abused drug worldwide and Washington is no exception. The state has a serious issue with alcoholism among its residents and the problem has far-reaching negative outcomes for everybody in the state.

It’s estimated that 5% of WA’s residents are abusing or dependent on alcohol in any given year. In terms of the resulting economic costs, it’s estimated that the state spends $1.5 billion yearly, based on criminality, mortality, and health issues directly associated with alcohol abuse.

Besides the economic impact, the state’s residents suffer from various negative consequences associated with alcoholism that can’t be quantified easily but are real for the victims. Within families, alcoholism is related to higher divorce rates, child abuse, and domestic violence.

The statistics concerning alcohol use in WA are disturbing. In 2010, 2, 457 alcohol-related deaths took place. According to nationwide statistics, WA is on par with the nation’s average, with 17% of adults binge drinking approximately four times monthly. Other important statistics on alcohol abuse in WA include:

  • For the past couple of years, alcohol abuse among WA residents has frequently been higher than the national average
  • In 2013, 7.6% of WA residents aged 12 or older were dependent on or abused alcohol within the previous year compared with 6.7% for the country as a whole
  • 40% of every traffic death in WA is alcohol-related
  • From 2009-2013, over 1 in 6 citizens engaged in binge drinking
  • Almost 1 in 4 high school seniors report an alcohol problem
  • Almost 1 in 11 WA adolescents aged between 12 and 17 try alcohol for the first time annually

Underage Drinking in Washington

Various problems including social, health and economic emerge from alcohol use by the youth. In 2013, underage drinking cost WA citizens $1.2 billion. The costs comprise health care, suffering, and pain related to the numerous problems resulting from alcohol use by the youth.

Youth violence and traffic accidents attributed to alcohol use by underage youth in WA signify the largest expenses for the state. However, other problems contribute considerably to the overall cost. In 2012, the admission of 1, 197 youth aged between 12 and 20 years took place in WA, accounting for 10% of all admissions for alcohol abuse statewide.

Reports reveal that young persons who start drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop dependence and 21/2 times more likely to become alcohol abusers than those who start drinking at age 21. Statistics reveal that about 194, 000 underage customers drink annually in WA. In 2012, WA students in grades 9-12 reported the following:

  • 59.1% had at least a drink of alcohol on one or several occasions throughout their life
  • 27.8% had their initial drink of alcohol before reaching age 13
  • 17.6% had five or more drinks in a row in the past 30 days

In 2012, underage persons consumed 9.3% of all alcohol sold in WA, totaling $275 million in sales. The sales generated profits of $135 million to the industry.

Harm Related to Underage Drinking in WA

  • During 2012, an approximated 1, 086 nonfatal traffic injuries and 16 traffic fatalities were attributable to underage driving after drinking
  • In 2012, an approximated 13 homicides; 23, 400 property crimes including car theft, larceny, and burglary were the result of underage drinking
  • In 2011, an approximated 7 alcohol-involved suicides and drowning were the result of underage drinking

Alcohol Problem in Bellevue

Drug use has changed in this city over the last numerous years. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that it’s become a more serious problem. By far, alcohol is the most popular drug in this city. After all, it’s legal to acquire provided you’re 21 and it’s accessible nearly everywhere.

Even young persons can obtain alcohol without numerous problems. Although alcohol is an addiction that people often sweep under the rug, it needs to be addressed because it’s extremely important. Among teenagers, alcohol is popular, with 16% of high schoolers drinking regularly.

While alcohol addiction is a huge issue in Bellevue, most people tend to ignore it since alcohol is readily accessible for purchase. They presume that because it’s legal to purchase, it can’t be as dangerous as other kinds of substances that could cause addictions. Important alcohol-related statistics in this city include:

  • 35% of all vehicle accidents in Bellevue involve somebody  whose blood alcohol level is beyond the legal limit
  • 43% of traffic accidents in this city involve alcohol somehow
  • Over 60% of high school students engage in binge drinking at least once throughout the last year
  • 1 out of 5 students admit to using alcohol regularly

Alcoholism Rehabilitation in Bellevue

If you don’t attack alcoholism at the root, there’s minimal chance for recovery. However, attending alcohol rehabilitation and attacking the sources of your alcoholism increases your likelihood of maintaining sobriety for a longer period.

Most rehab programs take place on a 30, 60, or 90-day basis. Different rehab options exist and the kind of treatment you choose depends on the time you have to commit, your budget, and the pervasiveness of your addiction.

Residential Inpatient Program

This is the most intensive form of treatment available. At most facilities, you’ll attend sessions between 5 and 8 hours daily, five days per week. Besides attending programs throughout the day, you’ll remain in the facility throughout the treatment duration.

Inpatient rehab uses several kinds of therapies to treat alcoholism. For instance, individual therapy with your counselor enables you to work through difficult private problems that cause your drinking issue. On the other hand, group therapy helps you identify triggering situations with input from fellow recovering addicts.

Some of the treatment approaches include Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which helps persons struggling with personality disorders and different forms of self-destructive behaviors, for instance suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

Partial Hospitalization Program

This program provides daytime programming comparable to that of an inpatient rehab. The major difference is that PHP doesn’t require you to stay overnight in the facility. Nevertheless, it’s just as intensive as an inpatient rehab.

Intensive Outpatient Program

IOP programs provide considerably fewer hours of programming but at an affordable rate. Programming is usually around 9 hours weekly spread between 3 and 5 days. Every program provides different treatment hours since there’s no strict rule regarding treatment hours.

IOP is accessible in the evening and during the day, giving you the chance to obtain intensive treatment while allowing sufficient time throughout the day to integrate into society through employment or education. These programs are available as a standalone option if you decide not to attend inpatient rehab or alcohol detox.

Should I choose inpatient or outpatient?

What to Look for in a Bellevue Rehab Facility

If you’re thinking of going to a rehab facility in Bellevue, the range of options might overwhelm you. Therefore, it’s important you recognize the characteristics that make an excellent facility. They include:

  • Accreditation

An accredited facility gives an indication of the excellent level of care you’ll obtain once you go there.

  • Personalized Plans

Every patient should obtain a personalized plan based on his or her distinct addiction experiences and his or her needs as a patient.

  • Holistic Program

Addiction treatment should consider several factors and it’s important to treat the entire individual and not merely the addiction.

  • Dual-diagnosis treatment

When you develop an addiction, there’s a cause and quite often, it’s some kind of mental illness. It’s vital to address the root cause of the addiction, so you can have a higher chance of recovering successfully.

What type of accreditations do rehabs have?

Hurdles to Recovery

The substance abuse cases in WA are diverse and treatment is multifaceted. Furthermore, opioid abuse, both illicit and prescription, has increased the need for inclusive recovery programs. As a result, state medical officials can’t keep up with the demand for quality treatment and recovery programs.

While the state is making efforts to organize recovery resources, the number of cases increases faster than system changes can take place. You’ll find that the number of patients who require comprehensive programs far surpasses the number of accessible beds.

Addicts often spend considerable time on waiting lists, making it difficult for them to maintain sobriety long enough to secure a spot in a quality program. In turn, the devastating cycle takes its toll on families, addicts, and communities.

Opioid Epidemic in Washington

Drug overdose is a principal cause of accidental death in the United States and in WA and more Washingtonians are dying from opioid-related overdoses than vehicle crashes. In 2015, over 700 persons in WA died from opioid overdoses and 57% of those using heroin currently were reliant on prescription opioids before they started using heroin.

In the late 90s, pharmaceutical companies assured the health community that patients wouldn’t develop an addiction to prescription opioids and healthcare providers started prescribing them at superior rates. Subsequently, this resulted in the widespread misuse and diversion of the medications before it became clear that they could be addictive.

The rates of opioid overdose started increasing and in 2015, over 33, 000 Americans died due to an opioid overdose, including heroin, prescription opioids, and illegally manufactured fentanyl. The same year, an approximated 2 million persons in the U.S. suffered from substance abuse disorders associated with prescription opioids.

WA State was the first to identify and respond to the nationwide epidemic of prescription overdose deaths. In response to the epidemic, a collaboration of agencies and experts drafted new prescribing principles, which encourage doctors to use opioids at lower doses and more conservatively.

Additionally, they proposed that providers consult pain specialists when a patient’s dose attains a level known for considerable overdose risk. In 2012, Washington initiated an online monitoring program to track controlled substances.

For patients who need opioids, the guidelines propose early follow-up assessments to establish whether there’s an improvement in function and pain. Nevertheless, the epidemic is not yet over. Although the state has made strides in stemming the tidal wave of overdose and addiction by developing a more attentive prescribing culture and providing new intervention choices, public health needs to tackle the roots of addiction as well.

Statistics on the Opioid Crisis

  • Approximately 21-29% of patients misuse prescribed opioids for persistent pain
  • Between 8and 12% develop a disorder related to opioid use
  • Approximately 80% of persons who use heroin initially misused prescription opioids

Treating Opioid Addiction

Treating opiate addiction poses a great challenge because of the strength and severity of cravings and withdrawal symptoms that morphine, heroin, and prescription opiates produce, making it hard to break physical addiction.

Consequently, numerous kinds of addiction treatment depend on pharmaceutical detoxification methods in spite of the controversy surrounding the implementation of such regimens.

Drugs Used in Medical Treatment

Although most recovery centers will include some type of therapy and detoxification, the targeted treatments used in treating opiate addiction differ by the facility. Some of the popular drug-based modalities include:

  • Methadone

Methadone has gained considerable attention for its capacity to function as a replacement for potent opiates, for instance, heroin, opium, and morphine. The synthetic opiate can hinder targeted heroin effects to avoid the serious withdrawal symptoms that frequently drive addicts into drug use.

Nevertheless, its use remains controversial, partly because of its addiction potential, possible interference with other medications, and overdose complications.

  • Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine has less powerful opiate effects in the body compared to other medications used in treatment. Furthermore, it doesn’t carry a high overdose risk, unlike buprenorphine.

What is withdrawal? How long does it last?

Rehabilitation for Opiate Addiction

Opiates cause psychological and physical dependence, so you may require the assistance of a rehab facility. Rehab options include:

Inpatient vs. Outpatient

Private rehab programs can be outpatient or inpatient. Inpatient facilities offer a place to live, on-site treatment options, and meals. An outpatient opiate rehabilitation facility offers treatment while the patient maintains his or her school or work routines.

Residential Facilities

A residential facility is for those who are addicted. Remember, opiate use doesn’t necessarily imply addiction; many use prescribed opiates for pain. Opiate abuse may signify the need for treatment. This implies using opiates in a way that’s not prescribed, for instance taking higher doses than prescribed, smoking, or snorting opiates.

Opiate addiction implies that you exhibit withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, body aches, and sweating in the absence of opiates.

Risk Factors for Opiate Addiction

  1. History of alcohol or drug abuse

A major sign of addiction is your history of substance abuse. For instance, if you’re a former drinker you must watch out because opioid use will remind the brain of the reward it got when you used to drink.

  1. Personality traits and mental issues

A history of mental health issues, for instance, mood disorders, including bipolar and depression are likely to increase your probability of developing an opiate addiction. Research also reveals that certain psychological traits are also likely to increase your vulnerability, for instance, low self-esteem.

Signs of Opiate Addiction

Physical signs:

  • Confusion
  • Constricted pupils
  • The person may be visibly euphoric

Physical symptoms can also include slower movements and reaction times. With heroin, some of the symptoms can comprise vomiting, nausea, and drowsiness. Regular heroin use could also lead to skin infections.

Behavioral Signs

Addicted persons usually withdraw from commitments and activities, for instance, work or school. Furthermore, they typically become disinterested in the things they were formerly interested in and they might adopt different routines.

Stages of Addiction

Stage 1

This stage starts with drug experimentation, which might not automatically result in full-blown addiction. However, it’s important to bear in mind that experimentation isn’t always risk-free.

Stage 2

During this stage, some people take the drug regularly without developing dependence. This stage increases the likelihood of substance abuse.

Stage 3

At this stage, the user starts prioritizing drug use over other aspects of his or her life. Furthermore, the person becomes unafraid or unaware of his behavior’s consequences.

Stage 4

Dependency and addiction mark the final stage of addiction. This stage’s characteristics include continued drug use irrespective of the negative outcomes, severed impacts to mental and physical health.

What to Expect going into Rehab

  1. Assessment

The evaluation determines various aspects of your addiction to determine your needs.

  1. Pre-intake

This helps you establish whether the potential rehab facility offers what you need.

  1. Intake

During intake, you’re likely to undergo a physical to evaluate your health status.

  1. Detox

This process prevents fatal or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms under the supervision of a medical expert.

  1. Inpatient

This program offers a live-in facility while you undergo addiction treatment for a specified duration.

  1. Outpatient

The treatment option allows you to receive addiction treatment outside the confines of the rehab facility. That is, you’ll maintain your ordinary life simultaneously.

  1. Aftercare

The follow-up treatment helps prevent relapse and includes programs such as the 12-step program.

  1. Sober living

Sober living offers a safe alternative if you don’t think you can remain sober and clean once you return home; it’s a way of transitioning between rehab and ordinary life.