Finding Drug Rehabilitation in Georgia
The opioid crisis hit Georgia very hard starting in the 1990s. Between 1999 and 2014, opioid overdose death rates increased from 0.6 to 5.5 per 100,000 persons. At the same time, national rates went from 1.4 to 5.9 per 100,000 persons, so Georgia had some of the highest rates for the country. Also like the national trends, the overdose deaths due to opioids are continuing to increase, but what concerns officials in Georgia more is the fact that deaths due to opioid overdoses surpassed the number of deaths due to motor vehicle collisions.
Heroin was one of the most common illicit opioids, and fentanyl was right behind it. The Drug Enforcement Administration determined that most of the heroin that it captured was laced with fentanyl. This worries law enforcement officials because fentanyl is a very strong drug. According to the CDC, fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin, and it is 100 times more potent than morphine. In fact, more than 150 people die each day in opioid-related overdoses.
The biggest problem is that heroin, cocaine, or other drugs may have large amounts of fentanyl, and the user wouldn’t be able to taste it, see it, or smell it. You can only know if your drugs have fentanyl if you are able to test them with fentanyl test strips, but this isn’t enough. Fentanyl test strips cannot detect carfentanil, and carfentanil is a synthetic opioid that is even more robust than fentanyl. It is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, but it is 10,000 times more potent than morphine!
If you or a loved one are having difficulties with substance use, drug rehab in Georgia can help you get your life back on track.
Why Do You Need Drug Rehab in Georgia?
You must have observed that your loved ones appear to desire drugs more than they like doing other things. They are craving their drugs of choice, and they feel as if they need to do anything that they can to get their substances.
You must be aware that it is time to get your loved ones to help for their addictions to substances, and there are more reasons than one to do this. For example, the rate for prescription opioid fatalities in Georgia increased tenfold between 1999 and 2014. This puts Georgia in one of the top 11 states with the highest opioid prescription overdose deaths. In addition to that, 55 counties in Georgia recorded more overdose deaths than the average drug overdose fatalities in the United States in 2014. The majority of these counties are located in areas where it isn’t easy to find treatment for substance use disorders. This means that drug rehab is badly needed in Georgia at this time.
Why Is It So Hard to Quit?
When people perform healthy behaviors, their brains reward them by making them feel good. These good feelings cause them to repeat these behaviors. When the brain perceives that there is danger ahead, your body reacts with alarm or fear so that you can run away. You are capable of weighing the consequences of engaging in the behavior.
As people take substances, those substances change the brain in significant ways. Drugs take over the pleasure/reward system and turn them against you. Also, the danger-sensing circuits can become overactive during addiction, and this makes the person feel anxious. To relieve the anxiety, the person increases the intake of substances. In addition to that, substance use can cause the decision-making center of the brain to malfunction. Known as the “prefrontal cortex,” it allows people to see the danger of using substances when they are healthy.
The nature of brain disease is one reason that people cannot stop using substances on their own, but there are also withdrawal symptoms. After repeated drug use, the body will try to maintain the status quo. As someone removes a substance from the body, it will rebel by sending out withdrawal symptoms, and these include:
• Thoughts of suicide
• Difficulties sleeping
• Changes in blood pressure
• Rapid heart rate
• Twitching muscles
• Muscle cramps
• Joint pain
• Diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea
• Stomach cramps
• Sweating, chills, or goosebumps
• Increased pain
• Mood disturbances or irritability
• Anxiety or restlessness
• Yawning, watery eyes, and runny nose
Guide to Withdrawal
Many other substances also cause side effects after people try to stop them. If your loved ones are addicted to opioids or other substances, they must not stop taking them entirely. They will need to taper off slowly to keep the withdrawal symptoms from appearing. These symptoms can be very dangerous, and they can be unbearable.
A taper involves taking a reduced dose of the opioid medication and giving the body time to adjust to that lower dose. Your loved ones will gradually reduce this dose until they can stop ingesting opioids entirely.
It isn’t advisable that you or your loved ones complete the detoxification process on their own. The best way to do this is in a drug treatment center. The medical staff will monitor your loved ones throughout the process, and they can administer medications that will ease their withdrawal symptoms. Your loved ones will be as comfortable as the staff can possibly make them, so going through the process in a drug treatment center would be a better option than withdrawing from substances on their own.
Why Get Help With a Substance Use Disorder
Your loved ones could withdraw from their substances of choice on their own, but going through the detoxification process alone is not a treatment for a substance use disorder. The detox process is what needs to take place first, but after that, your loved ones would still be psychologically dependent on their substances of choice.
What Is a Psychological Addiction or Dependence?
Psychological addiction or dependence deals with the emotional and mental elements of a substance use disorder. The following symptoms are associated with the psychological dependence of a substance use disorder:
• Cognitive issues, including problems with concentration, memory, problem-solving and other aspects of judgment
• Obsessing over obtaining or using the drug of choice
• Denial that one has a substance issue or romanticizing one’s use/abuse
• Being uncertain that you can stop the drug use
• An increase or a decrease in appetite that is associated with not using your drug of choice
• Mood swings that occur when the person is not using the substance of choice
• Restlessness and irritability that occurs when someone is trying to quit using the drug of choice
• Depression that occurs when the person is not using the drug of choice
In order to treat your loved ones’ psychological dependence or addiction, they may be required to remain in a treatment facility for an extended period of time. Drug treatment facilities offer inpatient programs that provide your loved ones with a place to stay while they are getting treatment for their substance use disorders. If your loved one has a mild addiction, the 30-day program may be sufficient. In this program, they can enter the detox program and then begin treatment with several of the therapies below.
Sometimes, one month isn’t long enough for people. If your loved one needs more time in a facility where they can be supervised, they may choose a 60-day or a 90-day program. In either program, your loved one would receive therapy for their psychological addictions and a maximum amount of support from the staff.
What Types of Treatment Are Available?
Couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps each member see that there are conflicts that need to be resolved. Then, the therapist helps the couple resolve them. Your loved one can benefit from this type of therapy if they are married, but unmarried couples are welcome to attend as well. A licensed marriage and family therapist leads these sessions.
Couples therapy is highly useful for someone addicted to substances because the addiction doesn’t just affect the person who is using the substance; it also affects everyone else around that person. Besides that, both people may have a substance use disorder, so both need to engage in some type of treatment. If only one person is experiencing the substance use disorder, the relationship still takes a beating, and both people need help.
Family therapy is especially beneficial to people experiencing a substance use disorder. The therapy session gives everyone a safe place to express their most difficult emotions, and it can be transformative for everyone. A family therapist can address a large number of topics in family therapy, such as difficulties communicating, parenting, infidelity, and trauma.
The family therapist may meet with each member on a one-on-one basis and then bring everyone together for a group session. It is the time when each family member learns the best ways to communicate with the one with the substance use disorder. They also learn what they have been doing wrong when they believed that they were helping their loved ones.
Motivational interviewing changes ambivalent behaviors. It is an appropriate treatment for substance use disorder because people often lack the motivation to quit their drug use. This can be the case even if your loved one is experiencing health struggles, financial difficulties, social problems, and legal troubles.
Motivational interviewing acknowledges the fact that everyone is somewhat aware of the negative consequences that they experience because of substance use, and they might be ready to stop their drug use, but they need help changing their behaviors. The therapist gets them ready to make the changes that they need to make by helping them overcome the fear of change so that they can develop their own motivations for living a different life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
With cognitive behavioral therapy, the theory states that thought patterns create behavioral and emotional consequences of the thought, so if you alter the negative thoughts and emotions, you can change your negative behaviors. For example, the feelings people experience affect the thoughts that they have and then these thoughts affect their behaviors.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most popular therapy options offered at drug treatment centers. Different facilities use different techniques, but they will be considered to be cognitive behavioral if the underlying principle is to encourage clients to focus on their cognitions so that they can alter their behaviors.
CBT proposes to keep the client from feeling the need to take substances by turning dysfunctional thoughts into functional thoughts so that clients can control their impulses and urges. It has the result of breaking the dysfunctional chain of the client’s maladaptive behaviors.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and substance use, know that it is never too late to get help in Georgia. There are many rehabilitation locations that are just waiting for you to make the decision to change your life.