Thursday, April 18, 2019

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Drug & Alcohol Abuse in Benton, Arkansas

The community of Benton, Arkansas is one that has been affected by the drugs that have been coming into the city. Once a sleepy town, Benton has now seen a lot of changes in the community that have been blamed on the cocaine, opiate, and methamphetamine problems. Drugs are not the only problem that Benton has seen though. The state of Arkansas itself suffers from alcoholism.

Since 2013, there have been more than 11,000 residents of the state that have been admitted to a drug or alcohol treatment facility.  With that being said, there are about 300,000 total residents of the state of Arkansas if that helps paint a better picture of how many people here have a problem with drugs or alcohol.

The most commonly abused drugs in Benton, Arkansas are:

·         Methamphetamine

·         Cocaine

·         Prescription Drugs

·         Alcohol

·         Marijuana

The picture of drug addiction in the state of Arkansas is a depressing one.  Both heroin and methamphetamine use rate are greater for the entire state of Arkansas for 12th graders than for the entire nation. Almost 3% of Arkansas students drop out or withdraw from school in 7-12th grade because of a drug or alcohol problem, incarceration, pregnancy, or other reasons.

The average income in Arkansas is the 3rd lowest in the country. Poverty rates are a huge concern in the state and that is why many people do turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. The unemployment rate in the state of Arkansas has grown since 2013 to 7.5%.

Substance abuse has been ranked as one of the most common ways of dying in the state of Arkansas. Arkansas has been trying to tackle this issue by increasing the amount of law enforcement and DEA mobile enforcement teams. Those who have been addicts say that it is very easy to get drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine in the state. There are a large number of gangs and drug dealers in Arkansas that are on the streets pushing these drugs. 

Arkansas Drug Laws

Arkansas, like many other states, now has some very strict drug enforcement laws. Medical marijuana use is accepted for those with the following medical conditions:

·         Cancer

·         Glaucoma

·         PTSD

·         Severe Arthritis

·         Fibromyalgia

·         Alzheimer’s Disease

·         Crohn’s Disease

·         Tourette’s Syndrome

As far as possession of marijuana laws are concerned, there is some discretion with the amount of time in prison and the count for possession of marijuana. For smaller amounts, there is up to a year in prison. For the larger amounts, with intent to traffic, there are slightly high fees and incarceration time. For those with intent to distribute, there can be a maximum of 10 to 40 years in prison with a $15,000 fine.

Arkansas has been trying to get all of the cocaine and methamphetamines out of the state. The laws for these drugs are much stricter than for possession of marijuana due to the nature of these drugs.  If a person is caught with less than two grams of cocaine or methamphetamines on them, they will have a Class D felony. Anyone found with two to ten grams will have a Class C, ten to 200 grams will have a Class B, and anything over 200 grams of cocaine or methamphetamines will be facing an intent to deliver felony.

Cocaine and methamphetamines are two of the most accessible drugs in the state of Arkansas. Methamphetamines have become a huge concern for the city of Benton. There has been quite a bit of methamphetamine related violence that has been springing up in the city. This has many citizens concerned because it is truly affecting the community in a negative way.

Addiction does not have to run the lives of the people in Benton, Arkansas. There are many facilities here that are ready to help those who are ready to seek it.

The resources in Benton, Arkansas are incredible and they are easy to find too. They will begin with an assessment of the person seeking help and their addiction. 

Assessment & Pre-Intake Procedures for Treatment in Benton, Arkansas

An assessment will help to determine if there is still an addiction, how strong the addiction is, and how the center can treat the addiction. The assessment uses questionnaires, physical exams, and a self-assessment to help guide the center on how to treat your addiction.  Most centers will do a face-to-face interview before the treatment begins to help them decide on the best treatment.

The next step in the assessment process is that the center will look at different factors in order to choose how you will be treated. They look at your treatment history, your medical history, behavioral patterns, and how this drug has changed you and your life.

Most treatment centers use the CAGE assessment tool in order to gage how to treat you. The CAGE assessment uses the following questions to help determine what type of treatment you will receive.

Cutting down on cocaine: Have you ever felt that it was time for you to cut down on your drug use?

Annoyance because friends and family are constantly asking you to stop using: Do you feel annoyed when they as you to stop using drugs?

Guilty feelings tied to your drug use. Do you feel guilty about using drugs?

Eye-openers: Do you feel that you have to use cocaine as soon as you wake up or go to work?

If you answer yes to two or more of these questions, the treatment center will do a further assessment to help them to treat your addiction the right way.

Finally, the doctor at the treatment center will do an assessment for the physical symptoms of your addiction. If you do have medical problems that are also occurring with the addiction, this will impact how you are treated.

The Intake Procedure

After your initial meeting with the staff, you will have a final interview with a doctor or counselor at the treatment center. The idea of seeking help is for you not to feel ashamed or that you have to hide anything from them. No matter how you are feeling, it is imperative that you tell them the truth. Anything you say to them will be confidential and will only help them to decide what treatment is best for you.

During the intake process, you will learn about the different types of treatment that you may receive. There are several such as:

·         Long-term residential

·         Short-term residential

·         Outpatient

·         Brief Intervention

·         Partial Hospitalization

·         Sober living facility

When you are ready to seek help, remember that these doctors and counselors are here for you and your health. Sharing important information with them will help in your treatment. 

Detoxing From Drugs And Alcohol

Part of becoming sober means that you will start to suffer from the stages of detox. They vary from person to person and some may be more intense than others. The signs of detox include, but are not limited to the following:

·         Sweating

·         Anxiety

·         Muscle Aches

·         Nausea

·         Agitation

·         Headaches

·         Insomnia

·         Flu or cold like symptoms

·         Paranoia

·         Seizures

·         Cravings

·         Hallucinations

·         Depression

There are detox centers that are able to help you to become sober and shake your addiction.

There are medical ways to detox, but you can also do it at home depending on how strong your addiction truly is. There are also medications that are used to help make detoxing much easier such as Methadone, Buprenorphine, Waltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram. The first step to your sobriety is finding the best way to detox and allow your and brain to realize that you are no longer using. 

Medications for Addiction

Inpatient Treatment for Addiction

Inpatient programs entail patients to check into an environment where they can receive the help they need. Patients will stay in the facility with 24-hour care and support. Inpatient treatment programs do not have a set amount of time to reach and attain the goal of sobriety. There are things to know before you check yourself into a facility such as:

  • Make sure that you talk to your employer
  • Make sure that you have living arrangements set up for your spouse and/or children
  • Make sure that you are aware of how to get to and from the treatment center
  • Find out what personal items you can bring with you to the treatment center

Family is important to patients and the facility understands that you will want to stay in contact with them. Find out the standards of them visiting or contacting you while you are at the facility.  The whole idea of an inpatient treatment center is to take patients away from the distractions of everyday life. 

Inpatient treatment is vital for patients who are prone to relapsing and having withdrawal symptoms.  With 24-hour medical and emotional support, many  people who have drug addictions turn to inpatient care.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab centers are less restrictive than inpatient care. These programs generally last three to six months and require patients to check in for 10 to 12 hours per week. These centers focus on drug abuse education, counseling, and how to cope without your drug of choice. These centers work much better for those who have a small to mild drug addiction.

Outpatient programs also have various types of detox programs. These programs will generally take about a week depending on how mild the drug addiction is.

More on Outpatient rehab here.

Aftercare

Aftercare is part of your treatment process. Once you have been cleared from inpatient or outpatient care, your aftercare will include a variety of activities such as:

·         Group counseling: You will listen and share your experience with others and learn how to develop coping skills in a small group setting.

·         Individual counseling: Seeing a therapist one-on-one to discuss your progress and if you are feeling triggered throughout your everyday life.

·         12 step programs and meetings: Attending AA or NA will help you to see that you are not the only person that has been addicted to drugs or alcohol. Sharing your story to help others and learning from those who attend these meetings.

Sober Living

Once you have attended inpatient or outpatient treatment, what’s next? Many people will turn to a sober living home. In these homes, you will be living with other people who have been battling addiction as well. They have a zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol, so it is not easy for you to slip back into your old habits. Sober living homes do have plenty of rules and they will expect you to integrate yourself back into the life you were living, but without drugs and alcohol.

Part of sobering up includes a feeling of loneliness. The great thing about sober living homes is that there is always someone there to talk to. You will learn that the people at the sober living home have all gone through similar situations so you will find it easy to talk to them about everything that is on your mind.

Part of the battle of addiction is admitting to yourself that you do have a problem. Your friends and family may try to convince you for months or years to get the help that you need. Checking yourself into a drug treatment facility is a huge part of fighting the battle. Choosing the right treatment center that is right for you is your first step. Benton has quite a few facilities that can give you the help that you need. Make sure to ask the important questions and talk to the doctors and counselors they have on staff before you make your final commitment. You will find the help that you need and you will win this battle against addiction. It may take some time, but you can do it! 

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