Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Arizona
Although the first settlers arrived in the Tucson Valley in 10,000 B.C. with the migrations of the Archaic and Paleo-Indian hunters and gathers, Tucson was officially established in 1775 by Hugo O’Conor when he founded the Tucson Presidio. Tucson became part of Mexico in 1821, and fell under United States jurisdiction with the Gadsden Purchase of 1854.
As a southern border town, Tucson residents know the problem of illegal drug-trafficking all too well. This illegal trafficking of narcotics is one of the factors that have contributed to Arizona ranking at the top of the list of all states in drug and alcohol addiction, according to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report in 2010. In a study by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in 2008, Arizona surpassed the national average for drug-induced deaths at 15.5 per 100,000 people. The national average is 12.7 deaths per 100,000. As a point of comparison, 981 people died from drug-induced deaths in 2007, while 1,104 people were killed in motor vehicle related incidents, and 951 people were killed by firearms.
The same NSDUH report found that Arizona ranked in the top ten among states for drug use other than marijuana among young adults 18-25. 9% of Arizona residents admitted using illicit drugs within the past month, compared to the national average of 8%.
The Disease of Addiction
Addiction is a disease, and drug and alcohol addiction can affect anyone, anywhere. Unfortunately for addicts, the warning signs of drug and alcohol addiction aren’t always apparent, making it even more difficult for addicts to know they have an addiction. The primary warning signs for alcohol addiction are the feeling of sickness one feels when they stop drinking, and needed more and more alcohol to achieve the desired buzz or state of drunkenness. Additional signs of drug and alcohol addiction include driving while under the influence, using a substance to relieve stress, and hiding use from family or loved ones.
According to the CDC, more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than any other recorded year. This national epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse has brought about an entire industry of drug and alcohol therapy facilities. The higher quality of these centers offer detox, rehab, inpatient & outpatient care, aftercare programs, access to 12 Step programs and group meetings.
Before rehab begins, medical professionals recommend that an addict enroll in a detoxification center. Detox is the medically managed process that cleanses toxins from an addict’s system to prepare their mind and body for rehabilitation, or rehab. The addict is under 24-hour supervised care in detox, and is given a thorough analysis to compile as customized treatment plan that will guide them through the remainder of their rehab. (Not all treatment centers offer this, so if you’re looking for detox, make sure they create customized plans for the individual.)
Rehab is a variety of treatment therapies all striving toward the same goal: To provide addicts with the coping mechanisms and tools that enable them to overcome their addiction on a daily basis, while avoiding the temptations and conditions that lead them to relapse.
Of all the treatments offered, the most effective is inpatient care. Inpatient treatment is 24-hour supervised care that is medically managed. The advantages of inpatient treatment include: staying at a live-in facility, away from the temptations that may cause an addict to use, receiving medical care, and having access to psychologists and therapists who help addicts overcome their addiction. Outpatient care is an option for those unable to check themselves into a live-in facility, or for those who can’t afford inpatient care as it is generally more expensive.
Another effective form of rehab treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral emphasizes helping addicts to become aware of how substances adversely affect them, and to be cognizant of how their behavior affects others when they are using. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, addicts learn vital skills that enable them to cope with situations in life that may otherwise lead them to use.
Some recovering addicts have found the most success with group therapy. Group therapy is treatment where recovering addicts can find support, healing and consolation through sharing their stories and struggles with other recovering addicts in a group setting. Many people find it easier to open up to other addicts in a group than a professional therapist in one-on-one individual therapy.
Family therapy is beneficial to those recovering addicts who have damaged family relationships. They receive communication skills, coping mechanisms, guidance and advice that help them restore the support system of their family, as well as repairing relationships that have been strained.
Other beneficial therapies in treatment include music, equine and yoga. Check with your rehab facility to see which therapies they offer and find out which one may work best for you.
What Is Withdrawal?
When an addict stops using a mind-altering substance they go through the painful withdrawal symptoms . Withdrawal is a natural byproduct of the detoxification process. In addiction, the brain re-wires itself to compel a person to continue their substance abuse. Withdrawal is basically the body’s revolt in urging continued substance use. The symptoms can range from mild cravings and desires to fierce bouts of sickness,seizures and death in extreme cases. (People detoxing from alcohol and benzos need to be especially careful as withdrawal from these substances are the ones that can lead to seizures and death.) In detoxification, medical professionals help recovering addicts cope with withdrawal through therapy and with medication in severe cases.
Consider Travel for Your Rehab
Traveling to rehab is an effective method of receiving treatment. For one, it removes the recovering addict from the circumstances, environments and people that can lead them to abuse, and another reason to travel is for anonymity. Traveling to another city or state will make it less likely for you to run into friends, co-workers or acquaintances who don’t know you are struggling with addiction. Just the process of driving to your treatment can be cathartic as it gives you time to reflect on your rehab and overcoming your addiction. Consider treatment centers that are located in areas where resorts and outdoor activities are easily accessible. Taking advantage of opportunities to exercise will help your rehabilitation. The neighboring suburb of Scottsdale, Arizona offers an excellent facility for drug and alcohol treatment is nestled among golf courses, resorts, spas and hiking trails.
Staging an Intervention
Friends and family members of substance abusers can be the greatest victims of their abuse. They can feel powerless, caught up in the addiction of their loved one. Now, you can help your friend or loved one by staging an intervention for them. An intervention is an assembling of friends, family members and loved one of the addict with the sole purpose of convincing the substance abuser to seek professional help. Interventions should be based on love, compassion and care, and should avoid conflict. The people participating in interventions should also try to refrain from being judgmental. They should merely share how the substance abuser’s addiction has adversely affected them. We recommend enlisting a professional interventionist to lead your group, but if you are unable to find one in your area, you can lead it yourself. Give us a call and we’ll help walk you through the steps of staging an intervention. Intervention can be a powerful tool. Oftentimes, it is what compels a substance abuser to finally seek treatment for their affliction. Through intervention, substance abusers can see how much they are cared for and loved, and they can see the destruction they’re creating in their life and the lives of their friends and loved ones.
Find Help and Start Your Treatment Now!
Addiction recovery isn’t a destination. It’s a journey, and for some addicts, the most challenging part of the journey can be asking someone for help. It takes humility, courage, and accountability for one to admit they have a problem and to reach out for help. Take heart though, nearly every addict who has successfully completed rehab and turned their life around has only done it after failing many times. All over the country there are people successfully completing rehab and turning their lives around as recovering addicts, able to live healthy, and happy lives once again. There is hope. You can overcome this disease. Upon finishing rehab, we recommend enlisting in an aftercare program to help your transition back to the real world while reducing the possibility of relapse.
The premiere alcohol and drug abuse treatment facilities offer access to 12-step programs and group meetings. Recovering addicts incorporate lessons learned from both into their daily lives. Group meetings are often offered in most cities and towns. They can include Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous and many others. Recovering addicts also help other addicts by becoming Sponsors to personally aid them in their recovery and accountability. The 12th Step encourages recovering addicts to reach out and help others… 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Call us today if you or someone you know is suffering from the disease of alcohol or drug addiction in Tucson, Arizona. Our intake specialists will be happy to answer all your questions on detoxification, rehab, addiction, aftercare and intervention. Start your path to healing today and give us a call! (623) 335-0909