Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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Drug Rehab in Hayward California

Lying across the bay from San Francisco sits Hayward, one of the larger Bay Area cities with a population of around 150,000. A smart town with a seaside feel, it was in fact devastated by a severe earthquake in 1868 and subsequently rebuilt. While dominated by salt and food processing industries in days gone by, the industry of Silicon Valley and other tech and services professions now dominate Hayward’s economy. Far from living in San Francisco’s shadow, Hayward is a dynamic center of industry and education in its own right.

Representative of America itself, heroin abuse and prescription opioid abuse has risen in the city as in the whole Bay Area, although Hayward has unique drug abuse patterns at play too. With such an extensive coastline and with the coast being a magnet for visitors and tourists, Hayward sees a lot of drug trafficking impact the city’s fortunes. Not only is Hayward an established retail space for drug syndicates, it also picks up on a lot of activity where drugs are run further inland for distribution.

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Demographics

A diverse melting pot of various ethnicities, around 34.2 percent of Hayward’s population identify as White, Hispanic or Latino people make up 40.7% , 25.1 percent identify as Asian/Pacific Islander and 11.9 percent identify as African-American. Hayward is, in fact, the third most diverse American city. A further 7.1 percent of citizens identify as having a bloodline of two or more races. Extremely cosmopolitan and energetic, the initially humble town of Hayward is today the preferred living space of many Americans young and old and the annual increase in population year on year points to this. More than simply a population increase across the country, it seems that Hayward’s growth is at least in part linked to it’s facilities and people culture, both of which make it attractive to many.

Drug Courts

Alameda County has an established system of drug courts and, housed in the Hayward Hall of Justice amid the biggest full-service courtrooms in the county, Hayward drug offenders who are either first time offenders and/or lack association with violent crime can experience a different approach to drug sentencing. Both the federal and California state governments are involved in establishing the drug courts that “combine the close supervision of the judicial process with resources available through alcohol and drug treatment services.” Over recent years, government initiatives in this arena have sought rather to reduce the perpetuation of drug addiction almost enabled by the previous approach to the problem by the criminal justice system. Rather than sentence offenders for drug possession and use as criminals engaged in illegal activity, drug courts aim at rehabilitation while a defendant maintains their freedom, assuming they follow a court-ordered recovery program.

Policing Drug Abuse in Hayward

For decades cocaine has been seen to dominate hard illicit drug use in California. Since 2014, however, Hayward, in spite of its manifest differences, has nonetheless shown the same sharp spike in heroin abuse and overdose figures as the U.S. as a whole has over the same period. While alcohol still leads as the major scourge in Alameda County, the tremendous rise in available product and abuse of opioids in the form of both heroin as well as prescription drugs has alarmed Hayward’s police department and civil task forces that are focused on addressing the rising incidence. And the deadliest killer in Hayward has not been heroin, but rather the non-methadone synthetic opioid fentanyl, often cut into heroin supplies but extremely dangerous to use. Fentanyl was linked to some 19,400 overdose deaths nationwide during 2016. America is facing an overdose epidemic, with figures rising aggressively from 2011 to the present day. California state recorded the second highest number of overdose deaths in 2016.

Another issue of particular concern is the rise since 2013 of admissions and arrest for methamphetamine. Although a simple volume- or incident-based analysis of Hayward’s drug abuse figures seems historically typical and emulates many American cities, the reality is that within an overview on that basis, the rise of both opioid and methamphetamine abuse can be masked. Both heroin and methamphetamine are gaining a loyal following in the city, at rates other substances aren’t displaying.

Drug Culture

Hayward police uncovered a massive 44,000 square foot marijuana growing operation in 2015 with around $15 million worth of cannabis either growing or processed for distribution. That the setup was estimated by police to have cost around $100,000 to build is indicative of the determination and intent of drug rings. Coupled with this, frequent ”meth factory” busts take place in the city each year. While alcohol, cocaine and heroin dominate the most wanted list, Hayward is experiencing a strong rise in the production and consumption of both methamphetamine and marijuana, with some syndicates employing the West Coast city as a home base from which to supply middle America and beyond. Complicated by the allowance afforded by medical marijuana legislation that is still wheedling its way through the American justice system, it appears that some large-scale growers have taken this as indicative of a more relaxed approach to marijuana cultivation and sale. Although medical marijuana is distinguished in law, there does appear to be a popular perception that “dope is ok now” and bigger, better organized groups are capitalizing on this, also trading on the fact that the police “have better things to do” nowadays than investigate the drug’s distribution.

While some Hayward suburbs have a bad name for displaying typically street-style drug sales and a drug culture, the reality is that figures across the greater Hayward area are fairly consistent. Where street sales diminish, prescription drug abuse rises, and where alcohol seems a negligible concern, other substances like cocaine and methamphetamine take up the slack. Coupled with this is the fact that atypical profiles per drug type abound – more a product of human nature than anything else – and substance abuse in Hayward cannot legitimately be isolated to either geographic or demographic pockets without blurring the real picture. Substance abuse in Hayward is widespread and takes many forms.

Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Typical symptoms of a loved one succumbing to addiction include the following, remembering that the key indicator to look for is change. Substantial changes in someone’s routines or behaviour deserve special attention.

General physical signs of drug abuse:

  • Unusual odors on the person or their clothes and breath
  • Unusual talkativeness or conversely morose silence
  • Hyperactivity, often coupled with erratic laziness
  • A loss of hand-eye coordination, staggering
  • Needle marks on those engaged in injecting drugs
  • Clammy skin, excessive sweating and frequent nausea
  • Shaking or hand tremors
  • Erratic sleeping patterns
  • Erratic eating habits or a loss of appetite, frequently coupled with occasional binge eating
  • Red or watery eyes or dilated pupils
  • Ashen or puffy complexion
  • Frequent teeth grinding or nervous manipulation of the jaw, hand or other autonomous body “ticks”
  • Weight loss

Behavioral signs of addiction:

  • Frequent absenteeism
  • Abandonment of former healthy hobbies and pastimes
  • A deterioration in attitude, hostility, unwillingness to engage without any identifiable reason
  • Dishonesty and isolation
  • Erratic mood swings with rage and subsequent regret or irrational resentment
  • An inability to pay attention
  • Paranoia
  • Demotivation
  • Excessive secrecy
  • Car accidents and other too-frequent minor misfortunes
  • Dereliction of personal hygiene
  • A constant unsubstantiated need for cash
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia, false or others’ identity documents
  • Suspicious association with previously unknown friends
  • Missing household items, loss or theft around the house

Specific Drug Intoxication Indicators

Alcohol

  • Slurred speech
  • Staggering walk
  • General clumsiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Poor judgement in most daily matters

Marijuana

  • Red, glassy eyes
  • Over-exuberance followed by slumps in energy
  • Loss of motivation
  • Weight loss or excessive gain

Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, Methamphetamine

  • Ecstatic euphoria
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Highly erratic mood swings
  • Highly erratic eating and sleeping patterns
  • Dilated pupils, irregular heartbeat, weight loss

Heroin

  • Needle marks on the arms, legs or elsewhere
  • Chronically debilitating sleeping habits
  • Sweating and vomiting
  • Pinprick pupils
  • Lethargy

Depressants (including tranquilizers and barbiturates)

  • Similar symptoms to alcohol abuse: lack of concentration, perpetual bad judgement
  • Over-tiredness
  • Contracted pupils

Inhalants (aerosols, glue)

  • Temporary or intermittent loss of vision
  • Watery and red eyes
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Rash on the face, especially around the nose and mouth
  • Debilitating headaches
  • Wild mood swings
  • Paranoia or anxiety

Hallucinogens

  • Extremely dilated pupils
  • Perpetual confusion even around basic tasks
  • Aggressive mood swings
  • Hallucinations and paranoia

Common Routes to Substance Addiction

  • Many younger people become involved in alcohol and drug abuse in a bid to find acceptance. Peer pressure to conform to a certain image or behaviors that define being “cool” in the clan often introduce youngsters to drugs, and many with predisposed temperaments succumb to full-blown addiction down the line.
  • On the flip side, many teenagers who lack social skills and experience isolation and loneliness take to substance as “their thing” in a bid to either medicate or define their isolation.
  • Adults who become addicted may manifest similar behaviors, but an inability to cope with work or family pressures, coupled with a diminished sense of personal worth in a competitive world often drives adults into abuse.
  • Other contributing factors such as family histories, genetics, economic realities and social standing based on race and gender can propel a person towards seeking solace in substance, but at its heart a diminished sense of self-worth is always at play in addiction, across race, gender and age groups.

Getting Treatment

Assessment

When a person has reached a point of admission that substance has overwhelmed their life, assessment at a recovery center is the first step towards rehabilitation. Psychotherapists and other medical professionals will interview a person to establish the nature and extent of addiction, perform a medical examination to determine needed intervention and discuss practical necessities that need to be accommodated in a person’s journey to recovery. Geared towards the comfort and healing of a person struggling with substance abuse, center staff will cover all personal and practical issues and admit the patient on the basis of one of a number of available options.

Hayward has a strong contingent of rehabilitation professionals and the medical profession accounts for a sizeable percentage of working adults’ employment. Not only does the sufferer encounter healers at the center who have a confident and experienced approach to recovery, relief and release typically accompany an initial assessment as it is, in many ways, the essential moment of acceptance and relinquishing of addiction that starts the journey to recovery.

Pre-intake

The pre-intake period prior to a person checking into a program of recovery is an important moment in which they can not only prepare for immediate needs, but also ensure future sober living by severing unhealthy ties, making peace with family and friends and soliciting their support, as well as internalizing the commitment to the process.

Health insurance often covers much if not all of the needs of a recovering addict, and either at the initial assessment in conjunction with center staff or prior to admission during pre-intake, arrangements can be made to settle the practicalities of rehabilitation. A person might have an immediate prescription of medication or other supplements that will enable them to stay the course and admit themselves to treatment, even before inpatient programs begin.

Detox

As much as the gradual intake of a substance leads to physiological changes in a person, so too does the process of detoxification enable the return of not only physical health but also a healthy outlook and disposition in a former addict. Essential as a tool to reestablish a healthy balance in the body and mind, detoxing usually begins immediately upon a patient’s arrival, based on the initial medical assessment. Each substance has hallmark abuse repercussions, and these are addressed in a planned and personalized process of detoxification.

A detox centers on a strict dietary regime, regular physical activities and medical treatment in the form of supplements that either hasten the loss of residual substance in a person’s body or counter withdrawal symptoms, or both. A former addict’s detox regime will be monitored by a medical professional and indulge very specific aims, targeting the effects of the specific substance at play in a person’s former life. Detoxing is positive, life-affirming and physiologically enabling, quite apart from often being a medical necessity.

Intake Into Rehab

Intake into a rehabilitation center happens along clearly defined and planned routes. When at the initial assessment, center staff will give a person an appraisal and opinion on which route to follow, and this is married with that person’s own unique circumstances, extent of addiction and personal preferences as far as possible. In a nutshell, there are many options on healing. A person’s greatest asset is honesty, when outlining the extent of their addiction and their desire to heal. This is well met by center programs, all of which have been tailored to individual needs to enable ultimately successful recovery. Intake can mean the following:

  1. RTC inpatient treatment: This is the most common route followed in Hayward for those addicted to alcohol, cocaine and opioids. After due preparation, a person abandons their life outside and checks into a recovery center for intensive inpatient treatment. An inpatient is interned at the center and follows a strict 24/7 regime of medical treatment, dietary dictates and detoxification, coupled with prescribed physical activity. Extensive counselling on a one-on-one and group basis is a large component of an inpatient’s daily life. An inpatient program is wholesale, intensive and largely successful because of it. For many, trying to juggle various considerations under the circumstances may prove overwhelming and a straight inpatient program is the most welcome and relieving approach to recovery.
  2. Partial hospitalization (PHP): Another option and one often favored by parents and students, partial hospitalization differs from inpatient treatment only insofar as a patient does have some time off the center premises, although the aspects of a recovery program are manifest as intensely on an outpatient basis. Most of a partially hospitalized persons days and nights will be centered on the recovery facility’s activities. A partially hospitalized person will sleep some or even most nights at the center and the added responsibility demanded of the person during hours spent outside the center walls resonates strongly with some patients. This route allows for greater autonomy, but comes with heavier demands of self-policing. The counselling, detoxing and participation required of an inpatient is manifest in a partial hospitalization program, activities and treatments are just structured around a more flexible schedule.
  3. Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP): A third common route to recovery and one favored by many who have already expressed the desire to abandon addiction is to follow an intensive treatment program on an outpatient basis. Although not admitted as an inpatient on a full-time basis, outpatients experience very much the same program, just on an outpatient basis. While there is greater flexibility and freedom of movement in an IOP program, a person’s commitment to the process needs to be strong and they need to possess the basic strength of purpose to abandon addiction on this basis. Many find the prospect of encountering aspects of their former lives while recovering too intimidating at first, and thus is an IOP program not for everyone. Those that opt for intensive outpatient treatment, however, usually do so in consultation with the center professionals and experience everything an inpatient would, interned as the latter are within the center.

Aftercare

Many who successfully heal from addiction nonetheless still feel unsure of their ability to cope when facing the outside world again. For them, the halfway station of an aftercare facility makes good sense. Offering the same diversity, flexibility and ultimate aims of initial treatment, aftercare participants typically have time off the premises but maintain the regime of healthy living through program participation. Aftercare inmates will aid in the running of the facility, perform minor chores, experience regular counselling and group sharing as well as sleep nights at the center.

Aftercare can also be prescribed for high-risk personalities as a needed step. Where center staff feel that it’s a necessary step from inpatient treatment to autonomous living in the free world, aftercare intake will be recommended to candidates. At its heart, aftercare is a logical aid to ultimately successful rehabilitation. Recovery is a lifelong program and waving someone goodbye post inpatient treatment only to see them experience relapse and misery fails the process. Aftercare has emerged as a logical addition to the process of recovery. Many partake of aftercare in as flexible a manner as outpatient programs offer, but more typically aftercare involves residence at a facility where a less intensive although still highly structured program encourages sober living and healthy attachments.

Sober Living

Sober living is an ethos, a way of life, and facilitated by recovery centers and many civil organizations that regularly meet in and around Hayward. Although a residential experience for many, with sober living homes a big part of the rehabilitation fraternity in Hayward, many more partake of sober living facilities’ activities on an outpatient basis.

Civil groups that have as their focus a substance-free life abound in the city and regular meetings and sponsorships are freely available to a former addicts. Many civil society programs are known as step programs, as they stick religiously to a set of guiding steps that reinforce and encourage sober living in all its hues. A person can avail themselves of a “sponsor” through many societies’ meetings, where a “buddy” system links them to another who will be a go-to source of support in moments of temptation as well as enable participatory, positive activity and discourse.

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