Drug Abuse and Addiction Treatment in Corona, California
Corona is a city in California’s Riverside County and it has a population of 161,486. Riverside County is located in Southern California, pretty close to the border with Mexico and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says it is the main drug trafficking and proliferation center in the United States, especially for meth and heroin. It has a network of highways and a vacant desert area that are conduits for such.
But drug overdose figures appear to be falling in Riverside as in other parts of California. This may be because of a sustained trafficking crackdown, stricter regulations with regard to issuing of painkillers, and laws to protect drug abusers. However, Riverside still has many people with an opioid use problem that has taken its toll on their health. Corona residents can find help at many of the treatment facilities in Riverside and fairly closer to home.
Drug Use Drops in California and Riverside
The Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2016 alone, there were over 63, 000 overdose deaths in the U.S., two-thirds of which were associated with opioids such as fentanyl. The deaths amounted to 19.8 drug overdose fatalities for every 100,000 people nationwide, compared to the California rate of 11.2 per 100,000 or a total of 4,654 deaths.
The CDC further reports that opiate-related deaths increased by 35 percent from May 2015 to May 2017 in the U.S. However, there were just 1,927 deaths in the whole of California in 2017.
Why Drug Overdose Deaths Have Declined in Riverside
Experts say declining figures could be due to the fact that fentanyl, the new synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, has not yet invaded the California market to the extent it has other U.S. states. California also has anti-trafficking procedures, prescription laws, and various harm reduction measures to safeguard the health of addicts.
Anti-Drug Trafficking Moves
Riverside is a conduit for drugs entering the U.S., but law enforcers have come down hard on traffickers with the support of the federal government whose High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) it has joined. In 2015, police raided three homes in Riverside and confiscated supplies thought to be capable of producing over 200 000 pounds of meth. In June 2016, law enforcement agencies made 52 arrests and seized drugs worth $1.6 million in Corona and its neighboring area.
To further defeat drug traffickers, the controversial practice of wiretapping, has been brought to bear in Riverside County and has expanded there more than anywhere else in the country. In 2014, there were already more than 600 wiretaps in the county with the capacity to tap into the communications of over 40,000 people.
Measures Against Prescription Pill Abuse
According to recent figures, California’s opioid deaths are said to be among the least in the country. This is in contrast to 2014 when California experienced 14,000 deaths related to prescription opioids –more than anywhere else in the country. This was the time when doctors were haphazardly giving out prescriptions for these pain medications.
Since then, however, California has developed a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which is basically a database to help doctors monitor the amount of prescriptions their patients have in their possession. This limits the amount of times a patient can obtain multiple prescriptions from a variety of doctors, simultaneously. Additionally, each year in September, the Riverside Sheriff’s Department has a Prescription Drug Take-Back Day where people can surrender pills they don’t want at sheriffs’ officers around the county.
All these measures may have contributed to the declining drug overdose figures. According to the CDC, in 2015, while West Virginia was experiencing the highest number of drug overdoses at 41 per 100,000 people, California’s rate was only 11 per 100,000 people which placed it seventh from bottom in the country. From 2015 to 2016, the quantity of opioids being prescribed in California dropped by 12 percent.
From the beginning of 2018, marijuana use became legal in California. But use is still strictly controlled. It’s limited to a single ounce per day, bought from a licensed outlet. There are strict penalties for infringements of the law. Taking of illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine and meth and abuse of prescription pills can earn one a prison term of 5 years. DUI offences for alcohol can earn sentences of more than a year.
Harm Reduction Measures
Since 2015, Naloxone, the drug used to reverse the effects of an overdose, has become more accessible in the State of California.
Another recent measure has seen the creation of controversial safe injection sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs. At these sites, patients may obtain free anti-addiction advice from medical staff, and also swap their used syringes for clean ones. The aim is to limit overdoses and the spread of communicable diseases such as hepatitis B and C, and HIV/AIDS.
Drug Use Still Cause for Concern
However despite anti-drug measures in Riverside, many people continue to be addicted to pain medication and dangerous drugs such as heroin. The 15 percent excise tax and other taxes planned for marijuana could make it too expensive to buy legally. This could drive people to the streets to buy the cheaper and more potent heroin and synthetic fentanyl. Illegal drugs are still being regularly impounded in Riverside.
Fentanyl overdose fatalities are rising steadily in Riverside, if not at the same pace as in other U.S. states. The figure rose to 47 percent in 2016. Fentanyl is increasingly being mixed with heroin to make it more potent.
If you live in Corona, and are addicted to opioids, it’s a good idea to know how far gone your addiction is so you can seek the relevant treatment right away.
What are the signs of prescription medication abuse?
Here are a few things to look out for:
- Consuming medication prescribed for someone else
- Taking in far more medication than is required
- Using the medication for longer than it was prescribed for
- Injecting pills to get a thrill
- Obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors
- Resorting to alternatives such as heroin if the pills are not available
- Constipation, mood swings and depression
- Drowsiness, confused thinking, and increased clumsiness
- Compulsively using the pills despite their negative effects
- Slowed breathing and increasing risk of coma, seizures and choking and organ failure
- Taking in more and more as a way of dealing with life’s problems.
What are the signs and symptoms of heroin use?
Heroin is illegal and it’s highly addictive. It’s increasingly being mixed with more potent illegal drugs such as synthetic. Here are some of the signs of addiction:
- Increased solitude,
- Constant need for money,
- Increased inability to relate to people leading to strained relations
- Wearing long trousers and long-sleeved shirts even in boiling weather.
Physical and Mental Signs
- Weight loss
- Flu-like symptoms, dry mouth, slurred talk
- Patches of bruised, flushed skin
- Slowed breathing
- Drowsiness, decrease in problem-solving level
- Inability to make decisions
- Anxiety, depression and mood swings.
- Diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, and HIV/AIDS from needle-sharing.
- Damage to all major organs
- Non-functional veins, and abscesses at the points of needle injection
- Death from overuse or overdose.
What causes drug abuse?
Researchers believe that the reasons for drug abuse are multi-faceted. Here are the main ones:
People, who suffer from chronic pain and psychological problems such as depression, are said to be prone to prescription drug abuse.
People with parents who are addicts are more prone to addiction than those without a family history of substance abuse.
Young people with peers or friends who abuse prescription medication are likely do so too.
Substance Abuse Treatment Procedures in Corona CA
If you live in Corona and have been losing your battle against drinking and drug taking, help is close by. There are numerous facilities within Riverside County to help address your addiction and put you on the path to solid recovery.
What does treatment involve?
Broadly speaking, prescription drug and opioid treatment has three main parts:
- Medical Detox – to completely remove your substance of choice from your system.
- Rehab – to treat the physical and mental symptoms of your addiction.
- Aftercare – to initiate you into various post-care procedures to ensure that your recover is ongoing.
Where do I go for treatment?
Your medical detox can happen at a detox-only facility, at a rehab center or at a hospital. Some rehab centers offer the whole continuum of care in one space. Others offer only outpatient rehab. Facilities range from free to the very expensive. Privately-funded facilities offer integrated approaches with a depth of amenities as well as privacy and discretion.
What happens during assessment?
When you enter any of the aforementioned treatment facilities for the first time, you will undergo an assessment so the intake professionals can determine a treatment level just for you. So you’ll fill in a form and undergo some tests. You’ll identify the primary and secondary substances you were using, how and why you started, and how long you’ve been using them for. And you’ll give details about your upbringing, your familial and other relationships, and your education and work histories, as well as any mental problems that are happening together with your addiction. The evaluation results will be used to draw up a plan that takes your special needs into account.
- What is detox and who is it for?
It’s normally the first line of treatment following assessment. It’s a medical procedure that drains the drugs or alcohol from your body. At some centers, it’s a requirement if you’ve been abusing alcohol. It’s also obligatory for excessive and persistent drug use or abuse of very hard substances such as heroin. Generally, most people go through medical detox. But you may be able to skip it if your addiction is extremely mild. Some centers begin enrolling you in 12-step programs at this stage. The detox may take up to 2 weeks depending on the strength of your addiction and your period of use.
- Will I receive medication?
Some centers, but not all, may administer addiction medications that are FDA-endorsed. These medications can help to control and ease the power of the withdrawal symptoms. The medicine is slowly tapered off as the body becomes used to being drug-free.
- Can I do my own detox?
Self-detox is not recommended. As the drug is withdrawing from your body, you will likely experience some mental and physical reactions that may be too much to bear on your own. Some are even fatal. So your detox is best done at a live-in facility where trained staff will watch your progress consistently and give you medication and other help if things take a turn for the worse.
- Can I stop my treatment after detox?
Medical detox is a necessary primary step in your treatment regime. But while it removes the substance from your body, it doesn’t enable you to change your addictive behavior or equip you with skills that will stop you from using in the long-term. Only rehab can take care of that. Studies have shown that those who stop treatment immediately after detox tend to keep relapsing.
- What if my facility only offers medical detox?
Some facilities only offer the medical detox. In this case, once your detox is done, you should immediately enroll in a center that offers inpatient or outpatient rehab, or both. Other centers offer all the treatment you need in one place. So you can seamlessly move from detox to inpatient rehab, and then possibly to outpatient rehab. The latter suits those who want a mopping up procedure after inpatient rehab. It’s also an option for those with mild addiction whether or not they’ve detoxed. Some facilities offer only outpatient rehab facilities. However, those with serious addictions would not come here straight after detox.
This is the recommended next step after detox for chronic drug addicts and all those with alcohol addiction.
What does inpatient treatment involve?
The reputable centers have a range of features to help you avoid a relapse. These include:
A Safe Environment
You live at the facility, usually a clinical set up, where you get all-round care from a range of trained and certified staff. These would include clinical staff such as nurses and doctors, as well as personnel trained in addiction management such as psychotherapists and counselors. The facility’s operations would have the endorsement of credible addiction management bodies.
While you’ll follow an overall treatment plan, you’ll also follow a well-structured, individualized plan supervised by a case manager with whom you will meet daily. Your manager will monitor your progress closely, and tweak your plan when needed, for best results. Behavioral therapy is an important part of this individualized care.
Studies have shown that recovery is not possible without an examination of the reasons behind your addiction. With the help of your personal therapist, you will uncover the triggers that prompted and sustained your addiction, and you will learn healthy ways of coping with these triggers in the future. You’ll also take a critical look at your belief system and replace it with more rational and functional ways of thinking.
Behavioral Therapy is a tried and tested recovery technique that helps you prevent a relapse after treatment. It enables you to take a leading role in your treatment and to be actively involved throughout. Behavioral Therapy also works well in group and family counseling.
It is an important part of the behavioral therapy and the treatment program as a whole. You’ll have regular group counseling sessions so you and your peers can share your triumphs and challenges and draw strength from each other. Studies have shown that group counseling not only builds a sense of belonging, but helps you hone your socialization skills. Your addiction may have been fuelled by your inability to communicate effectively.
Family counseling helps you mend relationships that may have been shattered by your addiction. Family members will be educated on the dynamics of your addiction so they can give you their full support during recovery. Family members are usually your biggest supporters and their encouragement will be important for your long-term sobriety. You are less likely to relapse after treatment if you return to a secure home environment.
The best centers will have dual diagnosis facilities to help you uncover and deal with co-existing issues that may have complicated your addiction.
You could receive medication for any co-occurring problems such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
Therapy and medication are not the end of treatment at an inpatient facility. There are numerous other supplementary services on offer. The intention is to help improve your creativity and other aspects of your life. So you could also be offered art or animal therapy, exercise and fitness training, nutritional guidance, yoga, acupuncture, massage, and many other options.
During your inpatient stay, your facility should begin follow-up procedures to ensure that you won’t relapse once you’ve left treatment. They could integrate you into 12-step programs near you, for instance, or support you as you look for employment and housing.
How long do I need to be at the inpatient facility?
The standard treatment period is 28 days. Other programs are 60, 90, 180 and 180 plus. Studies show that the longer treatment options carry the highest success rate.
How is it different from inpatient treatment?
You don’t take up bed and board at the center. You attend treatment as needed from your home. You may also have to submit to random tests to ensure that you are staying clean outside of the center.
There are also different options to choose from.
Regular Outpatient Treatment
This is designed for those with more manageable forms of addiction. They carry on as normal with their lives and attend the center a few times a week during their free time.
The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
These are just right for those who feel regular care is too mild for them or who have left inpatient care and still need support before returning fully to their normal way of life. Treatment is more intense and focused with IOP patients attending more times a week than regular patients and PHP patients being at the center most of the time, only going home for bed.
- Why is it necessary?
Whatever treatment option you choose, you will always need some backup when your course of treatment is over. That’s how you avoid a relapse. A good treatment facility will start the process before you leave. They will initiate you into self-help or support systems in your local area such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Pills Anonymous (PA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). At these meetings you will continue to engage with your peers and draw strength from them. You may also want to continue with medication for a while or even visit a therapist routinely after treatment. Many centers will also seek to keep in touch with you after treatment by allowing you to join their alumni groups that meet regularly beyond inpatient treatment.
- What is a sober living home all about?
When your residential treatment ends, you might not feel ready to return home right away. So your inpatient facility may help you find a sober living home where you receive more rehabilitative support before going home. There is usually no clinical staff. The home is under the control of former addicts and the rules are less strict but you have to commit to total sobriety at all times.