GETTING TREATMENT IN SPOKANE, WASHINGTON
Spokane, Washington, as with most of the state proper, is facing an outlook where heroin use is in the midst of a great epidemic, possibly surpassing meth by the end of 2018 in terms of treatment center admissions. Prescription opioid use and abuse is the other ongoing issue, primarily with the city’s older population, and like heroin well above the national average in terms of treatment center admissions, and sole-cause deaths.
Signs are also that opioid abuse will grow year-to-year for the immediate future, unfortunately leading the way for national trends.
Washington State is a HITDA region and as such a particularly strong drug trafficking stronghold, especially when it comes to the aforementioned meth, heroin and opiates. The city of Spokane is also very strong in alcohol and pot use. Violent crime is frequently drug-related and taking place in the busy downtown area.
A higher percentage of convicts being released to society is an ongoing issue in Spokane, more so than most of the rest of the country. Overcrowding in prisons remains a problem that has not yet been dealt with to its necessary degree.
The truth of the addict is such that most any drug can be had for a price. Whatever one needs, or craves … or wants, an addict will find. As mentioned earlier, help is a phone call or treatment center visit away. Always do your own research to find what is best for you, and use the above resource listings as a base. Many of the centers previously mentioned will accept Medicaid and Medicare, or cash. Many will also work with you in terms of financial assistance. Do your diligence first, and then pick up the phone.
As we say here with some frequency, true recovery begins with the acknowledgment that you have an issue, and then seeking help for that issue. If you do not find the answers you are looking for, please feel free to drop us a line and tell us how we can help.
DEMOGRAPHICS AND CRIME
The city of Spokane stands along the Spokane River in eastern Washington. Its population according to the last census was 208,916. Known as the birthplace of Father’s Day, Spokane’s official nickname is “Lilac City.” It is the largest city along the Interstate highway, a span of over 1600 miles. As Spokane also lies within the Northern and Canadian Rockies ecoregion, due to its geography (wooded forests, meadows, and grassy hills are common), wildlife is in abundance in certain areas.
Crimes are more frequent in Spokane than in the rest of the state, and in the top 2% of comparable crimes of all U.S. cities. Many of the crimes are of a violent nature, and considered to be drug-related. Per every 1000 people, from 2010-2017, the crime rate averaged just over 65 people. Most of the crimes take place in the downtown area, drug-related and otherwise. The city also has recently been noted as having the fourth-highest auto theft rate in the U.S. In the 1990s, most violent crimes with a drug association were due to crack cocaine, a scourge that has since substantially decreased. During that period, the Spokane Police Department transformed to a community-policing precinct model, one of that helped notably curb crime rates.
Median income for households with a family is nearly $55,000, on the cusp of the national average. Hate groups are unfortunately common. Population mix is predominantly Caucasian, followed by African American, with a notable mix of Russian, Latino and Pacific Islander.
DRUG ISSUES IN SPOKANE
The following headline was released nationally on April 27, 2017: Meth, Often Mixed with Opioids, Leads Spike in Spokane County Drug Overdose Deaths. Days later, on May 3, 2017, we were presented with this: Meth Addiction in Washington State Reaches a Crisis Level. Further, the city was presented with this undated article from 2017: Prescription Drug Abuse Fueling Rise in Heroin in Spokane.
In other words, drugs have been in the headlines lately as it regards the city of Spokane. However, in a glimmer of good news, this second-largest city in Washington State has yet to reach the overdose levels experienced at their heights in the east and the midwest.
A comfort, perhaps, though certainly not enough to hang a hat on.
Meth, prescription opioids, and heroin are largely abused by Caucasians, based on treatment admission statistics. To a lesser extent, African American and Latino users are next. Pot and alcohol are used by most groups, also in line with the national average.
As with other similarly-sized cities with similar issues, law enforcement and educational centers have mobilized to work together and implement programs intended to fight the ongoing abuse. For older men and women, prescription opioids remain Spokane’s’s largest issue. The cycle is near-unfathomable, as nearly as many older men and women die on an average every year from prescription opiates than the young people losing their lives to heroin. Further, many of the young people steal their parents’ opiates to sell or trade in support of their own heroin habits.
Some recent statistics for the city illustrate the largess of the modern-day Spokane drug culture:
- Heroin is rapidly catching up to meth as the city’s largest drug-related issue, in terms of treatment center admissions and overdose deaths;
- Nearly 13% of all deaths in Spokane County are, at least in part, due to drug or alcohol usage (up from 9% in 2005);
- In the four-year period from 2013 – 2017, accidental drug overdose incidents have increased ore than 60%;
- Nearly 9% of all Spokane adults 18 and over engage in binge drinking month-to-month, and nearly one-third of the city’s traffic fatalities are alcohol-related; and
- Heroin overdose deaths have quadrupled from 2010 – 2017, surpassing the city’s percentage increase of both methadone-related and alcohol-related deaths, although meth is still the city’s number one drug in terms of fatalities.
- In a given full month in 2016, the following drugs were responsible for the listed number of overdose deaths: Methamphetamines – 29 deaths, Heroin – 22 deaths, Benzodiazepines – 16 deaths, Morphine – 14 deaths, Hydrocodone- 11 deaths, Oxycodone – 10 deaths, Methadone – 8 deaths, and Codeine – 8 deaths.
- Rehab admittance statistics for the same month included the following: Alcohol – 30.2%, Marijuana – 21.9%, Methamphetamines – 18.3%, Heroin – 13.4%, “Other Opioids/Synthetics” – 11.5%; and
- Finally, from 2015-2017, more money was spent on pot in Spokane than milk, wine, or bread.
Spokane is a beautiful, natural city with a reputation befitting most HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas) regions. The city’s prisons are frequently overcrowded, which adds to further issues upon the release of inmates back into society.
As ever, this city, like most, are utilizing a combination of lawful tactics and education to curb the growing abuses.
SIGNS OF ABUSE
There are a myriad of drug and alcohol abuse signs that one should look out for, for either themselves or a loved one. If any of these signs are present (in no specific order), please seek help for the proper party:
- Changes in personality or mood swings;
- Poor personal hygiene, or lack of personal hygiene altogether;
- Increased Secrecy;
- Notable weight loss without diet;
- Loss of appetite;
- Self-isolation or increased anti-social behaviors;
- Loss of interest in formerly-enjoyed activities;
- Poor school or work performance;
- Loss of money;
- Presence of drug paraphernalia.
For every sign listed above, note that more can be added. On a general basis, if you feel as though yourself or your loved one are simply not “the same” as you or they have been, it may be time to ask for help. If you have come to The Recover with the intent of trying to find some help for your own drug issue, or you are interested in helping a loved one, you have certainly come to the right place. The following will list some tried and true resources that will likely be of benefit.
BEGINNING TREATMENT: PRE-INTAKE RESOURCES
Pre-intake is the earliest stage of your treatment plan following a decision to get help. Once the decision is made, further decisions regarding resources for intake services and detoxification (withdrawal) aspects usually follow.
Sometimes, a person can begin treatment without the need to detox. A user may be sober during the period of seeking help. In this regard, detox may be attended as part of an overall treatment plan, although withdrawal from a particular substance may not be formally necessary.
To determine the extent and nature of one’s addiction, pre-intake questions may include the following:
- “How long have you been using?”
- “Do you believe you have a problem?”
- “Do you think others who know you believe you have a substance-related problem?”
- “Have others confronted you with questions related to substance abuse?”
- “Do you ever use alone?”
- “Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking one particular drug was the problem?”
- “Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?”
- “Have you ever been in a jail, a hospital, or a drug rehabilitation center because of your using?”
You can find pre-intake sample applications online. In this case, as with any other self-diagnostic tool, the questions as asked are exploratory only. You must speak to a trained and licensed professional for any true diagnosis. Still, such online tools such as a pre-intake questionnaire can be extremely useful. If you can honestly answer those questions, you may be validated, or you may dislike your responses. If you were drawn to the tool, likely both will apply. Regardless, consider your results, and then take necessary action.
There are pros and cons with online resources such as these, particularly when it comes to completely basing your treatment decisions on your own responses. That would be a negative, as remember, such questions are guidelines only without a trained professional to analyze your answers. Regardless of whether such questions are based on true-life examples of treatment center queries (they usually are), you may not be the best arbiter of your responses. Most especially if you are under the influence of any drug, or alcoholic drink. On the positive side, if you can be truthful with your answers, such online questions will certainly provide a glimpse into your condition, and the need for help.
You will need to prepare the following for intake, based on an application you must complete prior to services being rendered:
- A list of your prescription medications, if any;
- Days and times you take your prescription medications, if any;
- An authorization of medical care;
- A list of allergies or other medical issues;
- A waiver of responsibility.
Some applications ask for more than the above. A physician or treatment center representative will then review your application for the proper steps, and treatment.
One of the greatest benefits of a well-thought treatment plan is that every day will bring a new step in your treatment, and each step will lead to another. During this process, you may well learn of the stringency and urgency of structure, especially if your problem is too large for outpatient therapy, and in-patient will be your next step. The structure you learn and the discipline you will attain will help you immensely during one of the advanced stages of your formal treatment process: the sober house.
Conversely, one of the more difficult aspects of the intake process is one of trust. We all know that a user does not always trust easily. If you fall into this category, we need to reinforce to you that your treatment team is there for you. They will spend the time working with you and for you. In as much as you can, speak to them openly. If you believe a given treatment as administered by a professional is disagreeable to you, you need to make that known to them.
There are as many stages of treatment as there are stages of actual drug abuse. Especially if you have an immediate need for a medically-supervised withdrawal treatment, among the first and most important stage in your treatment plan is the decision to enter into a detoxification program.
Detox addresses the physical hold of an addiction. The length of a detox program will vary based on several factors, including the nature of the addiction, and of the addict’s personality. Regarding the former, chemical dependency frequently occurs that must be medically handled, as your brain has become fully dependent on further use of the substance in order to function. This is a medical issue that will frequently require medication to handle.
During the early phases on detoxification, withdrawal will occur which can be a painful process. Your system will be cleaned of the drug, and your brain will learn to operate as it once did. Certain withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, which punctuates the importance of full and systemic treatment.
Factors that can influence the longevity of the detox aspect of your treatment program include: What is worse for you, the withdrawal process or the grip of the drug itself? Multi-drug abuse. Pre-existing medical or mental health conditions. Your level of dependence. Genetics. Commitment. Strength of the drug from which you are withdrawing. Fear. Intent following the withdrawal process. Previous trauma. Environment (both that of your home life and the environment of your support system).
The concept and practice of detox is typically broken down into three distinct phases: Evaluation, Stabilization, and Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehabilitation.
INPATIENT TREATMENT SERVICES
Post-withdrawal, the process of your ongoing recovery can be either inpatient, or outpatient. Inpatient treatment is appropriate for more severe cases, and the generally more flexible outpatient treatment is geared towards those with a more moderate addiction (though addiction is still addiction) and a stronger support system in their home environment.
Inpatient treatment can either be a PHP (a partial hospitalization providing a highly-structured environment, with typically active treatment of 30 hours per week), the less-intensive IOP (intensive outpatient treatment plan, which requires up to three hours daily over 3-5 days, for a total of nine hours weekly; therapy is usually included, but the patient can live either at their own home or a halfway house during the process), or an RTC (residential).
Most inpatient therapies, regardless of option will last 5-10 days. They can last longer based on the severity of the problem, and the patient’s physical and mental fitness.
Among its services, a PHP will most frequently incorporate intensive one on one therapy in its treatment program. The reason for this is most PHP admissions are due to disturbances in behavior from the drug being abused, or for those who experience otherwise increased symptomatology. In a PHP, the patient is often isolated and of no risk to other patients.
PHPs and RTCs are highly-structured treatment options. PHPs are the most structured options of all. If you have little structure in your home environment, both of these invaluable choices will likely take some time getting used to. That said, the importance to your overall treatment plan cannot be understated.
Note: Substance use disorder treatment is listed as one of the 10 Most Essential Health Benefits of the Affordable Care Act, meaning that your care is covered if you have health insurance. If you do not have insurance, many treatment centers offer financial aid.
Always ask when you speak to a treatment advisor if this is a concern, as inpatient treatment is more expensive than outpatient.
OUTPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
Outpatient treatment is often preferred when one has substantial duties in their outside environment, such as school or family. In fact, family and friend group therapy is often included in this option, which is quite flexible in its scheduling. Outpatient treatment has proven to be very effective for those with underlying causes for their addiction, such as eating disorders, to grasp the root of their substance-related issues in a more relaxed setting among familiar support systems.
As an outpatient, you are not enmeshed in as structured an environment, you live at home and you are not under constant supervision.
However, outpatient treatment is no less important or helpful than inpatient treatment. Though the scheduling of your appointments may be flexible, you still need to commit to the time. If you miss one appointment, you will likely miss another.
Ask yourself if you are responsible enough for an outpatient program. If you are, and you maintain your treatment, the rewards can be innumerable.
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment are comprehensive approaches to wellness. You will face
temptations in both but as long as you remain responsible, you will also learn specific strategies as to how to deal with them. It is up to you to take advantage of those lessons.
AFTERCARE AND SOBER LIVING RESOURCES
Sober living may be the final step in your formal treatment plan before returning home, but treatment never really ends. Sober living houses provide the interim environment between rehab and mainstreaming back to your natural environment. The reason for the initial formation of sober houses was simple: a person in recovery frequently needed a safe and supportive place to stay, during the vulnerability of early recovery, prior to returning home.
Sober houses are also highly-structured, and most residents are referred to a sober living environment from a rehab center. Requirements and rules are strict, and they usually include: No drugs or alcohol on the premises. No violence. No overnight or sleepover guests, not even family. Commitment to random drug testing. Involvement in a community-related program. Acceptance by a peer group. Acceptance of advice from treatment professionals. Respect for the rules of the house. Following all directions. No swearing. No stealing. No sexual activity between residents. Honesty. Curfew must be respected.
Many of the above rules are enforced with a Zero Tolerance Policy. Meaning, if any of these rules are broken even once, you risk being kicked out of your sober living home. If you had experienced structure during your prior treatment to this point, you should be in good shape.
A benefit of many sober houses is that staff frequently are former addicts themselves. This is a benefit for two primary reasons: 1) They understand the struggle, and 2) They are living examples of former addicts who have successfully completed treatment and are now giving back. Some of these former addicts work on salary, and some happily volunteer their time.
Sober houses are most successful when utilized (in conjunction with a formal treatment plan) for a designated period of time. Do not expect all residents to attain equal success during this stage. You will likely come to know your peers through intensive group counseling. You will also undergo one-on-one therapy, but in the group setting you will notice your peers’ various stages of recovery. You will form opinions but always remind yourself that you are there for reason.
And that reason is to take care of you.