Friday, April 19, 2019

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Maumelle, Arkansas

Maumelle, Arkansas is a small, affluent town in Pulaski County. The population is under 20,000, and yet is considered a section of the Little Rock metropolitan area. The city is spread over an area of 12.05 square miles, of which .5 square miles is water. Racial makeup is 84% Caucasian, 12% African American, 3% Asian, and 1% Pacific Islander. Of that population, nearly 2% are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median income for a household with a family is a shade under $80,000.  The median price for a house in Maumelle is $235,000, whereas the median price for a house in the state is $125,000.

Interestingly, 3% of those under the age of 18 and a high 15.5% of those over the age of 65 are living in Maumelle under the poverty line. The city’s Big Dam Bridge is a landmark. Stretching 4,226 feet from end to end, this pedestrian bridge is the second-longest in the United States.

The Maumelle Campground rests along the Arkansas River Navigation System, a series of polls in which ships navigate upstream en route to Oklahoma. The Arkansas River proper flows 1450 miles from Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, and flows through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Crime

The setting is idyllic, and yet within this setting are some ugly factions common to Arkansas waiting on the sidelines. As of March 2, 1028, six registered sex offenders live in the city. Drugs are plentiful and alcohol flows freely. In a recent poll, only 9.6% of Maumelle residents said they do not drink at all, as opposed to over 90% who drink recreationally or regularly. Recent headlines include the following (all paraphrased): Residents Shocked as Police Bust Meth Lab Ring, Narcotics Officers Arrest Three in Maumelle: Charges Include Possession with Intent to Distribute and Maintaining Drug Paraphernalia in a Drug Free Zone, Police Arrest Three After Finding 30 Lbs. of Marijuana, Ambulance Pulled Over in Drug Bust: Driver and Companion Arrested with 400 Pounds of Pot in Vehicle,  52 Traffickers Caught in Little Rock Bust, Couple Arrested for Possession with the Intent to Distribute … and so on.

The eyebrow-raising statistic of the above? Most of these stories are from 2018.

As it regards general crime statistics, there were no murders in Maumelle, Arkansas from 2016-2017. However, violent crimes did occur, as four rapes and 12 assaults were reported. Other figures from the same time period include eight robberies, 100 burglaries, 302 non-auto thefts, 12 auto thefts, and one incident of arson. 

Drug Culture

Nationwide, more than 50,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2017. Arkansas presently has the 25th highest death rate in the country from drug overdoses, with between 400 and 500 average yearly deaths from drug overdose. You’ve likely heard this before: the opioid epidemic has hit the state’s towns hard, especially the smaller areas such as Maumelle. Prescription painkillers is the city’s biggest problem, and it is getting worse. Maumelle is not presently on the country’s watch list for heroin, though overdose incidents from the synthetic opioid are expected to increase following national trends.

The reason for the expected rise in heroin usage is the same as most everywhere else where the drug is a concern, in that users will be unable to find the high they are looking for – or a numbness of their pain – without turning towards a stronger substance. Further, it is not an unusual practice for traffickers and manufacturers to create stronger heroin for the same purpose. The stronger synthetic is more expensive and is sold with the promise of a much stronger effect for the user

Again, an increase of the strength of heroin is not substantively different than the same practice in many smaller towns. The strategy on the part of such traffickers, it appears, is working. A comparison of the early years of the millennium to today illustrates another alarming statistic: 2017 saw nearly 150 cases of heroin admissions to local treatment centers. 2001 saw eight.

Terry Fuller, a Benton Police Lieutenant, warns of the following if one suspects another of an overdose: blue lips, a tinge of the skin, and cold or clammy skin. Fuller and others in his department carry Narcan (Naloxone) in the event of being called to an overdose while on their beat. Presently, 100% of the Benton police force carry the opioid antagonist, and Maumelle is scheduled to follow suit.

Arkansas is one of the U.S. states that strongly advocates and practices a Drug Take Back program. Most of the drugs that are turned in are prescription pain pills that are either old, or of no further use. To give an example of the success of this program, over 25,000 pounds worth of prescription medication is turned in month-to-month. Still, the sale of opioids in both Maumelle, and the state of Arkansas, is ranked 25% higher than the national average. The psychology behind these numbers is that most people think the pills are safe because a doctor prescribed them

Aside from opioids and heroin, other drugs of use in the city include the following:

     Pot and alcohol remain popular in the city, and above the national average by about 20%. An Arkansas phenomenon (common though of course not specific to the state) is the theft of prescription medication on the part of young people from their parents. The opioids are then sold or traded on the street for their preferred pot or alcohol

      Treatment center admissions for cocaine use are rare, at least for cocaine use as a solo drug. Typically, a treatment admission in which cocaine is in the system is an admission in which other drugs are also involved.

      Meth remains popular, and as with other Arkansas cities native production is frequent. 

Drug traffickers in the area are usually either Caucasian or Mexican. Drug and alcohol testing prior to attaining a job is a common practice. Drug education from public school through high school is an ongoing aspect of most curriculum.

When one considers the drug culture of smaller cities such as Maumelle, one should also try to develop an understanding of the city culture in general. Maumelle, though a wealthy area, fights a drug scourge due to its myriad of nearby interconnected highways, its rail and its bus systems. With or without a car, one can travel to buy or sell any illicit substance. And, when a relative child sells or trades their parents’ painkillers, this type of drug dealer begins first as an entrepreneur. On the one hand, many own their own businesses in the area. On the other, they are usually respectable. For a young person, frequently they know what they are doing, but may not be aware of the repercussions.

Maumelle, Arkansas may be fortunate in its affluence, but The Recover hopes our readers understand there are far more productive avenues for a young person to explore than dealing. Many of the area schools offer vocational and business education, in addition to drug education and the usual math, reading, science, and writing. Read on for further details.

Maumelle, Arkansas is a city of beauty, wealth, and culture. It’s efforts to lead by example are laudable.   

Taking the First Step Toward Treatment

Addiction follows abuse. Experimentation precedes repeat use.

Science says that some are, indeed, born addicts. If you have a mother or father who was addicted, regardless of drug, chances are that you may well bear the brunt of their addictions.

There is help, however.

Most of those, though, who have suffered, or presently suffer, from an addiction did not receive the tendency for that addiction from a parent. Many parents have certainly used, but statistically the majority of those having an issue today began by experimenting on their own

Though there are exceptions to that equation, help is available to you too.

Regardless of the origin of your usage, the problem needs to be handled now. Today. Removing the addict from an environment of dealers and fellow abusers is the first step towards regaining optimal health. Identifying your issues and getting help for your issues will also help you manage your triggers in the future.

Pre-intake is the process whereby a concerned user believes they may have a problem, and they begin the process of seeking help. Ask yourself the following questions:

      Question: “How long have I been using?” Our response: If your answer is even a single day, and yet you are visiting The Recover over a concern that you may have a problem, then it is not to early to get help.

      Question: “Do I believe I have a problem?” Our response: If you do, then please read further for a list of available resources that will be able to help you.

      Question: “Do I think others who know me believe I have a substance-related problem?” Our response: Ask yourself a follow-up question: “Does it really matter to me?”

      Question: “Have others confronted me with questions related to substance abuse?” Our response: As you prepare to search treatment options, if you feel comfortable then ask those people about why they feel as they do. Then ask yourself, “How do I feel about their responses?”

      Question: “Do I use alone, or in hiding?” Our response: Ask yourself another follow-up question: “Do I believe my outcome would be any different if I did not get help?”

      Question: “Have I ever substituted one drug for another, thinking one particular drug was the problem?” Our response: Do you believe you have an issue with more than one drug?

      Question: “Do I find the thought of running out of drugs scary?” Our response: What do you believe will happen if you run out of drugs?

      Question: “Have I ever been in a jail, a hospital, or a drug rehabilitation center because of any using in the past?” Our response: Believing that you are prone to relapse is nothing to be ashamed about, but be sure to get help as soon as possible in the event of such an incident.

      Question: “Is this what I want with my life?” Our response to either answer, yes or no: Why?

If you find that your own personal answers to the above questions are alarming, we suggest that you follow up with another, more positive question: “Do I have the ability, in the present, to set future goals for myself?”

If your answer to this question is dark, or bleak, and related to depression, it’s time to seek treatment. Similarly, if your answer is something positive, the very fact that you have come to this point and have begun researching options also means it’s time to seek treatment

Remember, we are here to help. Only trained professionals can best analyze your answers, and your needs. We encourage you to pick up the phone today. 

Where should I go? Locally/Away?

Intake Services

During the intake application process, you will be required to list your prescription medications and days and times taken (if “none,” you check “none”), an authorization of medical care, a list of allergies or other medical issues, and a waiver of responsibility. Some applications ask more. A physician or treatment center representative will then review your application for the proper steps, and treatment.

If you have come this far, you have taken a major step towards reclaiming your life, and your potential. That said, intake is but the first step in an overall treatment plan. When you speak to an intake specialist, they will likely recommend to you a comprehensive program based on the answers to the questions that appeared on the application. Your treatment providers will facilitate all the required steps from there forward.

As for you? You need to show up. 

Detox Services

Detox addresses the physical hold of an addiction. The length of a detox program will vary based on several factors, including the nature of the addiction, and of the addict’s personality. Withdrawal from the addictive substance will likely be an immensely difficult or painful process. Factors that can influence the longevity of the detox aspect of your treatment program include poly-drug abuse, pre-existing medical conditions, pre-existing mental health conditions, your degree of dependence, genetics, previous trauma (emotional or physical), and your environmental conditions at the time of admittance.

The concept and practice of detox is broken down into three distinct phases: Evaluation, Stabilization, and Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab.

 

What is withdrawal? How long does it last?

Inpatient Treatment Services

Post-detox, the process of your ongoing recovery can be either inpatient, or outpatient. Inpatient treatment is appropriate for more severe cases, and the generally more flexible outpatient treatment programs are geared towards those with a more moderate addiction (though addiction is still addiction) and a stronger support system in their home environment.

In all options, learning to modify responsive behaviors that cause your usage is paramount. Gaining control of one’s emotions is always difficult, most especially when one is dealing with a defacto medical issue

Available post-detox options will include PHP treatment, IOP treatment, or RTC treatment. PHP is a partial hospitalization that provides a highly-structured environment. The time period that you are expected to commit to a PHP treatment is usually 30 hours weekly. The less-intensive IOP (intensive outpatient treatment plan), requires up to three hours daily over 3-5 days, for a total of nine hours weekly. In this event, therapy is usually included, but the patient can live either at their own home or a halfway house during the process.

RTC treatment is residential

Most inpatient therapies, regardless of option will last 5-10 days. They can last longer based on the severity of the problem, and the patient’s physical and mental fitness.

PHPs and RTCs are the highly-structured treatment options. PHPs are the most structured options of all. If you have little structure in your home environment, both of these invaluable choices will likely take some time getting used to. That said, the importance to your overall treatment plan cannot be understated

Your treatment professional will frequently determine the program that best suits your needs, based on his or her experience with you during the detox phase of your recovery. As anyone who has been through this process before will tell you, recovery truly is one step at a time.

Note: Substance use disorder treatment is listed as one of the 10 Most Essential Health Benefits of the Affordable Care Act, meaning that your care is covered if you have health insurance. If you do not have insurance, many treatment centers offer financial aid. 

Outpatient Treatment Services

Outpatient treatment is often preferred by both the professional and the patient when the latter has substantial duties in their outside environment, such as school or family. In fact, family and friend group therapy is often included in this option, which is quite flexible in its scheduling. As an outpatient, you are not enmeshed in a structured environment, you live at home and you are not under constant supervision.

However, outpatient treatment is no less important or helpful than inpatient treatment. Though the scheduling of your appointments may be flexible, you still need to commit to the time. If you miss one appointment, you will likely miss another. 

Should I choose inpatient or outpatient?

Aftercare and Sober Living Services

Sober living may be the final step in your formal treatment plan before returning home, but treatment never really ends. Sober living houses provide the interim environment between rehab and mainstreaming back to your natural environment. .

Sober houses are also highly-structured, and most residents are referred to a sober living environment directly from a rehab center. Requirements and rules are strict, and they usually include:

      No drugs or alcohol on the premises

      No violence

      No overnight or sleepover guests, not even family

      Commitment to random drug testing

      Involvement in a community-related program

      Acceptance by a peer group

A benefit of many sober houses is that staff frequently are former addicts themselves. This is a benefit for two primary reasons: 1) They understand the struggle, and 2) They are living examples of former addicts who have successfully completed treatment and are now giving back. Some of these former addicts work on salary, and some happily volunteer their time.

Sober houses are most successful when utilized (in conjunction with a formal treatment plan) for a designated period of time. 

Outlook

Arkansas has been among the most proactive states in the county in terms of combating addiction issues with education, a highly successful take back program, and strong efforts by law enforcement. Like its neighboring Fort Smith, Maumelle has continued the tradition. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a strong presence in all Arkansas cities, including Maumelle, and it remains supportive of the city and state’s outside efforts to curb their drug problems. 

The largest issue, consistent with present national trends, is that the abuse of prescription opioids is not only a problem for those who use, but also with the children of those who use who steal the medication to sell on the street, or otherwise trade for pot or alcohol – preferred substances for their own personal usage. 

Better news is that treatment admissions for meth are substantially lower than they were a decade ago. Cocaine use is also below the national average, according to many recent statistics, though the drug is still available in the area.

Arkansas’ TakeBack program has been a major success. Literally tons of drugs are turned in  yearly. Still, Caucasian and Mexican drug traffickers continue to take advantage of the myriad of transportation systems in Fort Smith and the surrounding areas, and the state’s ensuing drug problems, as such, continue to evolve. Trafficking crosses lines between Arkansas and easily-accessible states, including Texas and Oklahoma. 

The goal statewide for 2018 is to contain the continued rise of heroin use, and to stop stronger synthetic production. Another goal is that students will be more involved in fighting the drug problem all around. What differentiates Maumelle and other Arkansas cities from much of the rest of the country is the strongly proactive efforts to educate young people to care about their city’s drug problem, and take action to use their power and fight it.

Maumelle, Arkansas may be affluent, but it is also a city of strong promise in this regard.  

Our website, The Recover, is loaded with treatment information and options for the user in all stages of addiction. If you are a beginning user, and have been drawn to this page thinking you may have a problem, or if you are someone who believes he or she has a current drug abuse issue that must be immediately handled, we ask that you also review other pages on this site. We are here for you. Our search bar above will help you find further information as to your city, or your needs. Feel free to keep in touch with us, and let us know of your progress.  

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