ADDICTION TREATMENT IN VIRGINIA
Virginia, one of the first 13 original colonies, also affectionately referred to as ‘Old Dominion’ and ‘Birthplace of a Nation’, boasts some of the most beautiful cities and towns in the nation. Steeped in rich history and natural beauty, from historic Jamestown, the first permanent settlement in North America, and Richmond with more than 400 years of history to Pulaski in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and coastline towns like Virginia Beach and Assateague Island, Virginia is truly one of the most beautiful and interesting states in America. However, despite all the beauty and wonder the state has to offer, it has not been immune to the growing and alarming substance abuse problems plaguing the nation.
In fact, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), from 2014 to 2015 there were 397,000 Virginians 12 years of age and older who suffered with an alcohol use disorder. But alcohol isn’t the only substance use disorder impacting Virginia. Like the rest of the United States, the opiod crisis has wreaked havoc on the state. From the coastline and mountains to the state capital and rural towns, Virginia is feeling the impact of the opiod crisis.
The statistics are staggering. In 2016, according to The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there were 1,130 opiod-related deaths in the state. Heroin-related overdose deaths jumped from 45 in 2010 to a heart-wrenching 450 in 2016. What’s more in 2015 Virginia medical providers wrote about 5.6 million opiod prescriptions translating to about 70 opiod prescriptions per 100 people in Virginia. The statistics related to these synthetic opiods overdose deaths are also dismal, dramatically increasing from 87 in 2010 to 648 in 2016. And the problems—and overdose rates—associated with all substance use disorders is predicted to keep getting worse.
Today, just about everyone is touched by addiction in some way. Chances are you know someone who is struggling with a substance use disorder or you have an issue yourself. You’re not alone and there is help. Despite the overwhelming and frightening facts, there is help and hope for anyone suffering with a drug or alcohol use disorder. In fact, in 2015, according to SAMHSA, there were more than 22,000 Virginians in treatment for a substance use disorder. Many of these people will get sober and go on to live happy, healthy, and purposeful lives free from the bondage of addiction.
One of the most important first steps is to take an honest look at your own drinking or drug use or that of a loved one. If you think you or someone you love may have an issue, there are steps you can take to find a drug rehab or alcohol rehab that is best for you or your loved one. Living with addiction is hard and although detox, withdrawal, and rehab aren’t easy they are well worth the effort. When you live free from addiction life takes on new meaning and you find beauty in places you didn’t before. With the state of Virginia offering so much to do you just may find yourself enjoying the day exploring Brown’s Island in Richmond, watching the annual pony swim from Assateague to Chincoteague Island, paying honor to a fallen soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, or even finding a new path at one of the prestigious colleges or universities in Virginia like William and Mary, Virginia Tech, or James Madison.
When you find a treatment center qualified to address your specific needs, your future can be whatever you choose. The first step is the most important one to take.
If you are ready to seek help for an alcohol or drug use disorder, it’s important to find a treatment center or rehab that specializes in your particular issue. Many times someone with a substance use issue has both a drug and alcohol problem. In fact, many do according to SAMHSA which reports out of the more than 22,000 Virginians who received treatment in 2015, 40.1% had an issue with both an illicit drug and alcohol.
Another vital aspect of treatment to consider is what type of specific substance you need help to recover from and what that means. If you or someone you love is one of the 30.5 million Americans who reported regularly using illicit drugs (with prescription pain killers leading the way), you’ll want to get treatment at a clinic or center where you can not only detox with medical supervision but also one that may offer other medications such as methadone to help with the painful, often life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and decrease chances of relapse. It’s also essential to seek treatment past the initial detox phase if you want long term recovery, just taking methadone or going to a methadone clinic isn’t enough.
Many people have a co-occurring mental health issue. In 2017 it was reported that 8.5 million Americans suffered with both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. If you suspect you or your loved one may have a co-occurring disorder, seek treatment at a facility which offers counseling and treatment for both. You can find different types of treatment options like inpatient or residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, or outpatient treatment. When you look at the treatment options and which is best for you, consider several factors; what type of substance is being misused, how long the use has been occurring, if there are other co-existing substance issues or mental health problems, if treatment has been tried before, and other questions. Most times inpatient or residential treatment is recommended for the best outcome.
When someone who is living with a substance use disorder considers seeking help fear of the unknown can stop them. It’s vital to realize that the time, effort, and money spent may seem daunting at first but it is nothing compared to the joy that living free from addiction brings. If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, don’t give up. Take the first step and get help today.