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Addiction Treatment in Russellville, Arkansas

Russellville, Arkansas is a small city in Pope County with a population of roughly 28,000. Home to Arkansas Tech University, Russellville has a vibrant young population of students and people working at the Arkansas Nuclear One power plant. Russellville is located on the Arkansas River and features a hot and humid climate during the summer months. Like many places in America, the people of Russellville, Arkansas and the surrounding area struggle with a range of substance use disorders. From prescription opioid abuse through to alcoholism and methamphetamine abuse, drug problems continue to affect the Russellville community. If you or anyone you know in Russellville, Arkansas is living with a substance use disorder, it’s important to contact a doctor or drug rehab facility as soon as you can. 

Demographics and Crime in Russellville, Arkansas

According to the latest 2010 census, there were 27,920 people and 6,838 families living in the city of Russellville. The racial profile of the city is mostly White at 83.2 percent, with 5.5 percent being African American, 1.6 percent being Asian, 0.7 percent being Native American, and 6.7 percent from other races. Russellville, Arkansas features a mostly young population, with 23 percent of people under the age of 18, 21 percent aged 18-24, and 24 percent aged 25-44. Less than one third of the population are aged 45 years and over, including 20 percent aged 45-64, and 12 percent aged 65 years and over. The median income for a Russellville household was just over $38,000, and the median income for a family was just under $50,000. This means that about 15 percent of Russellville families and 19 percent of the population were living below the poverty line.

Household income is a significant statistic in terms of substance abuse and treatment, with disadvantaged populations more likely to develop drug and alcohol problems and less likely to access treatment in the form of detox and rehab. Crime is also a problem in Russellville and the surrounding Arkansas area, with property and violent crimes often linked to drug trafficking and abuse. Russellville has a  crime rating of 5 according to Neighborhood Scout, which means it is safer than just 5 percent of American cities. The city features an overall crime rate of 52.09 per 1,000 people, which includes a violent crime rate of 6.46 per 1,000 people and a property crime rate of 45.63 per 1,000 people. Both of these figures are higher than state and national averages, which are 5.51 and 4.00 per 1,000 people from violent crime, and 32.67 and 25.00 per 1,000 people for property crime respectively. Property crime is often the result of drug addiction, including heroin addiction, methamphetamine addiction, and prescription opioid addiction.

Common Drug Problems in Russellville, Arkansas

Russellville and the wider Arkansas community continue to struggle with a number of legal and illegal substances; including opioid painkillers, heroin, methamphetamine, and alcohol. While local law enforcement are doing everything they can to help rid these communities of harmful drugs, the extent and scale of drug abuse is difficult to overcome. Along with heroin and other opioids, methamphetamine represents the biggest challenge for law enforcement and drug treatment professionals. During a recent two-year investigation into methamphetamine production and distribution, coordinated federal and state law enforcement agents made 59 controlled purchases of methamphetamine and seized more than 25 pounds of the drug. Despite this significant effort, methamphetamine continues to cause problems in the community. 

Prescription Opioid Abuse and Addiction

Prescription opioids are also a big problem in Russellville, with drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl responsible for more overdose deaths in America than ever before. The Arkansas State Medical Board recently approved a number of draft regulations in an attempt to reduce opioid abuse, with most opioid drugs accessed legitimately through the medical system. According to state statistics, Arkansas has the second-highest rate of opioid prescription in the country, with more than 110 prescriptions for every 100 residents in the state, compared to the national average of 66.5 prescriptions. These highly addictive drugs often cause addiction and overdose, with dedicated detox and rehab treatment needed to help break the bonds of addiction. If you know anyone in Russellville, Arkansas who is living with opioid abuse or addiction, it’s important to get professional help as soon as you can. 

Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is a huge and growing problem across the United States. There are three classes of prescription drugs that are regularly abused: opioid painkillers, benzodiazepine sedatives, and stimulants. While opioids are the most widely abused medications by far, sedatives and stimulants are also capable of causing severe physical and psychological harm. People over-use and misuse prescription drugs in many ways, with common methods of abuse including: combining medications, using larger doses than prescribed, using medications prescribed for a different person, and using a different method of drug administration than intended. People also abuse legitimate medications when they purchase either scripts or drugs on the black market.

While most prescription drugs are obtained legitimately through the medical system, there is an increasing number of medications that are sold on the blac market as an alternative or complement to illegal drugs. This is especially the case for opioid medications, with potent drugs like fentanyl often combined with heroin for a stronger effect. This dangerous practice has led to a number of overdose deaths over the past few years. A number of prescription overdose deaths have also been attributed to the drug paracetamol, which is often combined with oxycodone and other opioids. When people take more than the recommended dose of these medications in an attempt to get high, they may overdose on highly toxic paracetamol. Opioids and benzodiazepine medications are known to produce physical withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped, with prescription stimulants producing psychological dependence. 

Signs of Drug Abuse

Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, is a growing problem in American society that continues to cause physical harm to individuals and social harm to wider society. People abuse a wide spectrum of psychoactive substances, from legal drugs like alcohol and nicotine through to prescription medications and illegal street drugs. Commonly abused prescription drugs include opioid painkillers, sedatives, and stimulants. Commonly abused street drugs include heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and MDMA among others. Because these drugs produce such different effects, it can be difficult for people to identify problems before they get out of hand. However, while many of the signs of drug abuse are dependent on the substance in question, there are some general warning signs that are worth watching out for:

·         unexplained mood swings

·         changes to eating habits

·         changes to sleeping habits

·         financial problems

·         social problems

·         health problems

·         developing a tolerance

·         being unable to relax without drugs

·         losing interest in favorite activities

·         being unable to carry out work or school responsibilities

What is Drug Addiction?

An addiction is defined as the compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite the existence of negative effects. While drug treatment centers deal almost exclusively with substance addictions, the mechanisms of addiction are the same for behavior addictions such as gambling addiction and sex addiction. In order for something to be recognized as addictive, the stimuli involved has to be both rewarding and reinforcing. In the case of drug addiction, the addict will repeatedly attempt to engage with the drug in question in order to reinforce neural networks and activate reward pathways in the brain. The physical nature of drug addiction can make it extremely difficult to treat, with a combination of detox and rehab often needed before someone will recognize their problem and learn how to make different lifestyle decisions.

Drug addictions are known to have both a genetic and an environmental component, with treatment programs needing to take both of these factors into account. Addiction is often accompanied by physical or psychological dependence, which is recognized by the existence of specific withdrawal symptoms when drug use is discontinued. Physical dependence is defined by physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms, including things like cramps, seizures, and hallucinations. Psychological dependence is defined by emotional and motivational symptoms, including things like drug cravings, lack of motivation, and mood swings. Drug addiction and drug dependence are not the same thing, however, with some hospital patients becoming dependent on their medication without developing compulsive and addictive drug use patterns.  

Drug Treatment Assessment and Intake

Before starting on any kind of drug treatment program, patients need to go through a detailed assessment procedure. While the details of this procedure differ from place to place, generally speaking, clinicians will attempt to identify any physical or psychological factors that may impede the treatment process. Along with the drug of addiction and extent of addiction, clinicians will also look at the history of addiction, mental health of the patient, and secondary substance and behavior addictions. Doctors and clinicians will also try to identify any external factors that may influence the treatment process, such as criminal history, homelessness, domestic and family violence, and dependent children. All of these factors will be taken into consideration when the clinician is formulating a treatment plan.   

The drug and extent of addiction are a significant factor when deciding on a treatment plan, with some substances needing immediate medical detox and others treated through psychotherapy measures alone. For example, alcohol and heroin are both examples of substances that can cause severe physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped. Because many of these symptoms are dangerous and even life-threatening, patients need to be assessed quickly and on an individual basis. In contrast, substances such as cocaine and amphetamines are not known to produce physical withdrawal symptoms, with patients often directed towards rehab rather than medical detox programs. When assessing patients, clinicians will attempt to identify high-risk cases as quickly as possible and get people into appropriate treatment streams. 

Medical Detox

Medical detox is the process and experience of drug or alcohol withdrawal under medical supervision. While medical detox is not always needed, it has an important role to play in treatment whenever physical withdrawal symptoms are present. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recognize three separate stages in every medical detox regime: initial evaluation, stabilization, and helping patients into additional treatment. This three stage process is typically carried out in a sequential manner prior to drug rehab. The initial evaluation phase of treatment involves a range of medical and psychological tests, including blood tests, general medical examinations, and mental health check-ups. This is a crucial part of the process, with patients only medicated when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

The second phase of medical detox attempts to stabilize the patient, often with the use of medications. While it is possible to stabilize someone without any medication support whatsoever, this can be dangerous and is rarely advised. In most cases, medical detox involves the use of medications to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and manage the recovery process prior to rehab. Physical withdrawal symptoms are often dangerous and can even be life-threatening in some cases, with central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as Valium often used to help people avoid seizures, delirium tremens, and other serious symptoms.

The third and final stage of detox attempts to guide the patient into further treatment, including inpatient and outpatient rehab programs. The family and friends of the addict may be involved during this stage to help them see the benefits of accessing additional treatment. Even though detox is an essential element of many drug treatment programs, it has serious limitations and is never enough when used in isolation. Detox does nothing to address the emotional, social, environmental or motivational reasons for drug addiction, which need to be addressed through intensive psychotherapy programs. A medical detox program is only successful when the patient is ready to accept extended drug rehabilitation.  

Rehabilitation Programs

Drug rehab is the cornerstone of drug addiction treatment. During a typical rehab program, patients will go through a range of psychotherapy programs, with medication therapy also available if needed. Treatment paradigms used during rehab include cognitive therapy, motivational therapy, behavioral therapy, family therapy, group counseling, and conventional 12-step facilitation among others. While these treatment programs all look at the problem of addiction from a different angle, they all attempt to change problematic behavior patterns from the inside-out. By helping people to recognize the compulsive and impulsive patterns that lead to drug abuse and addiction, therapists help them to make different decisions and develop new coping skills.

Some rehab programs also include medication therapy, with opiate replacement therapy the most famous example. While pharmacotherapy measures such as this do nothing to address the psychological undercurrents of drug addiction, they can prove very useful in the context of lifestyle management and harm reduction. Opiate replacement therapy involves the prescription of substitute opiate drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine to long-term heroin addicts. Alcoholics and benzodiazepine addicts may also require long-term medication support, with some rehab centers specializing in medication therapy. While they can prove very useful, pharmacotherapy programs should always be administered alongside psychotherapy treatments that are designed to address the precedents of drug addiction.  

Inpatient Rehab

Drug rehab programs are available in many different formats, including outpatient rehab and inpatient rehab. Also known as residential rehab, inpatient treatment provides the most comprehensive level of support. Residential rehab is available in Russellville and across the United States, from simple week-long programs through to intensive luxury retreats that last for six months. Residential rehab enables people to live at the treatment center for the duration, helping them to avoid some of the challenges that can arise when people return home. Instead of trying to avoid old friends and geographical areas, people can relax and immerse themselves in the treatment environment. Because inpatient rehab allows people to access medications and support staff on a 24/7 basis, this kind of treatment is perfect for anyone who is recovering from a physical drug addiction.

Partial hospitalization is a form of inpatient rehab where the patient lives at the treatment center for five days each week before returning home on the weekend. While not as comprehensive as full-time residential rehab, this kind of treatment offers more flexibility to people who want to connect with friends and family while they recover. Intensive outpatient rehab lies somewhere between inpatient and outpatient care, with patients attending intensive treatment on a full-time 9-5 basis while living at home. While this form of rehab is not immersive and does not provide around-the-clock medical support, it offers many of the advantages of inpatient rehab in a more affordable and flexible package.        

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab describes a collection of less intensive treatment sessions which are attended periodically while the patient is living at home. Unlike intensive outpatient rehab which can be up to 40 hours per week, these programs typically last between 10 and 15 hours each week. Outpatient programs are often based on conventional 12-step facilitation and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Other treatment systems may also be used, including SMART Recovery, client-centered counseling, group counseling, family therapy, moral recognition therapy and many others. Outpatient programs are normally very flexible in their nature, with some people attending treatment sessions just one or two times and others committing to several weeks or months of therapy to ensure long-term recovery.   

Relapse Prevention

Relapse is a common outcome of drug addiction, with almost half of all people relapsing at some point according to official statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In order to reduce relapse rates and ensure long-term recovery, patients need to be taught dedicated relapse prevention techniques and strategies. During a typical relapse prevention program, patients will be taught how to recognize potential triggers, avoid dangerous situations, and cope effectively with the challenges of life as they arise. Common triggers include emotions such as anger and frustration, social events, specific locations, and environmental cues like loud noises. While people can learn how to deal with these events effectively in time, they are often advised to avoid certain situations in the early days of recovery. Relapse prevention programs also teach people how to develop new coping strategies, because drug addiction can only be overcome when people stop repeating the same unhealthy and compulsive behavioral patterns. 

More on relapse prevention here.

Aftercare

Aftercare, also known as continuing care, describes all treatment programs that take place after detox and rehab. While detox helps people to get clean and rehab helps them to address the psychological undercurrents of drug addiction, further measures are always needed to ensure long-term recovery. Aftercare programs are available from many rehab centers, local churches, and non-profit groups. Many aftercare programs are based on the traditional 12-step philosophy, with newer programs based on the SMART Recovery system or conventional counseling paradigms. While most aftercare programs provide behavioral, cognitive and motivational support, others provide practical support by the way of affordable accommodation, education, employment services, and legal aid.

Sober living environments (SLEs) are an example of practical aftercare, with these dedicated houses designed to support people as they make the transition from treatment back to everyday life. SLEs typically operate by a strict set of rules, including random drug and alcohol testing, no drugs or alcohol at all times, no overnight guests, respect shown to house guests and staff, and participation in counseling and therapy programs. While sober living houses are designed primarily to provide people with affordable accommodation, they also provide ongoing psychotherapy and medication treatment for people in need. If you know anyone in Russellville, Arkansas or elsewhere who is living with a substance use disorder, it’s important to reach out to a treatment center as soon as you can.