The addiction epidemic has buried its roots all over the country. Opioids are the chief cause of overdose and addiction in the United States, but other issues like alcoholism, cocaine, and club drugs continue to be a problem. The epidemic has a higher concentration near large cities, but it has affected rural areas and suburbs as well. It also affects people of every class, rich and poor alike. The indiscriminate nature of opioid addiction has allowed it to spread far and wide, without concern for social or geographic borders.
Learn more about the substance abuse problem and how it can be treated in Parkland, Florida, and the surrounding area.
Substance Abuse in Florida
Parkland, Florida, is a part of Broward County and the larger Miami metropolitan area that stretches from south Miami-Dade up to Palm Beach County. With high populations and dozens of coastal cities, drugs are highly available, and addiction is a constant problem. Parkland, Florida, is a relatively small neighborhood city with high-income housing and low crime rates in the northern edge of Broward County. However, even here, the opioid epidemic is a significant concern.
Fentanyl is one of the chief reasons for the increase in opioid overdoses in the past few years. Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid that is cheaper than heroin. It’s mixed into heroin without users knowing to give the impression of a higher quality drug. Between 2014 and 2016, 94 overdose deaths were linked to fentanyl in Broward County.
As the addiction epidemic gets worse, healthcare providers and county officials continue to look for ways to solve the problem. South Florida is also the home to dozens of addiction treatment centers. However, it’s important to know how addiction treatment works and what makes it effective.
What is Substance Abuse Treatment?
Substance abuse treatment, or addiction treatment, is a process that is designed to treat a substance use disorder and any other directly or indirectly related issues. This can mean treating substance abuse and medical, psychological, and social issues that can be underlying causes of a substance use disorder.
Addiction is a complex disease that can have a variety of underlying causes. Typically, it’s impossible to pinpoint one definitive cause and may be a combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors. For that reason, addiction treatment is complex and tailored to your specific needs.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), there are four main levels of care in addiction treatment:
- Medically managed intensive inpatient services. This is also called medical detox and represents the highest level of care in addiction treatment. Detox involves 24 hours of treatment and care from medical professionals. Most people spend about a week in this level, depending on their needs. Detox is ideal for treating withdrawal symptoms, especially ones that are potentially life-threatening. But other medical issues can also be addressed in detox.
- Residential/ inpatient services. Inpatient treatment is ideal for people who still have some pressing medical or psychological issues that need 24-7 care after detox. Residential services are also ideal for people who live in environments that aren’t ideal for your recovery (i.e., a roommate who still uses).
- Intensive outpatient care. At this level, you will be able to live independently while also having access to highly intensive care. Intensive outpatient involves more than nine hours of clinical services every day but can be as much time as a typical work week.
- Outpatient services. This level involves less than nine hours of clinical services. Outpatient services are an ideal step between more intensive care and living independently. It’s an important way to avoid institutionalization, which is when clients grow to depend on treatment services rather than what they learn in treatment and their own self-efficacy.
The level of care you receive when you first enter treatment depends on your specific needs. You will go through an intake and assessment process with clinicians and your therapist to help pinpoint your exact needs. Through the treatment process, your recovery plan will continue to be reassessed as new needs develop.
What to Look for in Substance Abuse Treatment
There are a variety of treatment options all over the country, but some approaches to addiction treatment are more successful than others. If you are looking for addiction treatment in or around Parkland, it’s important to consider the factors that make for quality treatment. Fortunately, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has compiled a list of principles of effective treatment. Many of these principles have become important industry standards. To help with your search, it’s important to understand the following principles and how they affect treatment outcomes.
- Addiction is chronic but treatable. It’s important for a treatment center to recognize addiction for what it is: a chronic disease that affects the brain. For a long time, addiction was poorly understood to be a bad habit or moral failing. For treatment to be effective, it’s important to understand that addiction is a disease that can be treated with medicines and therapies.
- Treatment needs to be personalized. No one treatment plan works for everyone. There are many approaches to treatment, and some may be more effective for you than others. The modalities that work for you may not work for someone else and vice versa. When you enter a treatment program, you should go through an assessment process designed to help identify your needs and concerns. You will sit with a therapist and create a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs.
- Treatment should address more than substance abuse. Addiction can come with a variety of underlying issues such as co-occurring psychological disorders, unresolved trauma, or social issues. It also can cause problems like legal troubles and ongoing health concerns. For treatment to lead to long-lasting recovery, multiple needs have to be addressed. This may include medical, psychological, social, legal, or financial issues.
- Treatment needs to last the proper length of time. If you’ve become addicted to a psychoactive drug, it may take more than just a week of detox to overcome. Addiction treatment is a process that addresses multiple issues and gets to the root of underlying issues, so it takes time. According to NIDA, studies show that a minimum of 90 days in treatment is the ideal length of time to maximize effectiveness.
- Treatment needs to be readily available. There are a lot of barriers to treatment, especially social stigma and your own readiness to change. It’s important that treatment is available as soon as you decide to seek help. Many federally funded addiction treatment centers offer low-cost treatment options that can help people with no other options, but it can take weeks to be accepted into a program. Private centers often focus on cutting down the time between the first time you reach out and when you enter the program. Some centers admit clients within 24 hours of their first call.
- Behavioral therapies are recommended. While there are different treatment options, behavioral therapies are among the most common. They are designed to motivate your continued recovery, help increase your readiness to change, and help you develop relapse prevention strategies. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most common. It’s designed to help you identify triggers and increase your self-efficacy.