Rancho Cucamonga, California: Drug Addiction and Treatment
Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in San Bernardino County, Rancho Cucamonga is a around 37 miles east of downtown Los Angeles – well outside the strife, homelessness, and violence that LA is famous for. It is a bright and sunny city and the inhabitants enjoy warm Mediterranean climate almost all year round.
This vibrant California city too has come under the grip of drug and alcohol abuse, tormenting a sizeable section of society. Addiction is a real problem that has cut across all boundaries and affects the physical and mental well-being of people.
It affects ones social life, financial condition, professional life and also interpersonal relationships. A person who is suffering from drug addiction put his “need” for drugs ahead of every other physical and psychological need, prioritizing his dependency at the cost of ruining his whole life.
Though it may seem impossible at the time to resist the urge to use drugs, or to give it up altogether, reality is, with timely intervention and with proper treatment one can learn to manage their dependency and overcome their addiction and live happy and fulfilling lives.
Drug Abuse in Rancho Cucamonga, California
You’d be alarmed to know that more than 2 million Americans have a dependency on prescription opioids. A massive over-prescription of painkillers adds to this problem and even leads prescription opioid users to resort to heroin and other illegal street drugs. 4.8 million people have used heroin at least once in their lives.
The opioid crisis is quite highly prevalent all over the United States but California has significantly lower numbers but it still leads the country in poverty, financially strapped cities, and violence.
Local impact: In San Bernardino County, the number of drug related deaths between 2012 – 2014 are reportedly 376 per 100,000 population. Exact statistics are hard to come by, but local stories and news of drug related crimes, preventable deaths and other unpleasant incidents are always disturbing, especially when the youth of the city are involved.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully.” It is also true that relapse rate is quite high just like other chronic diseases including diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. Even though the stats and facts may be overwhelming, it is also true that in recent years the expectation for positive results has increased among people who are suffering from drug abuse.
When individuals of substance abuse reach out for help, they are met with encouragement that their condition can be successfully treated and they can recover. To understand the treatment procedure for drug abuse in detail it is also helpful if we know a little more about the commonly used drugs in California, the signs and symptoms of drug abuse and its causes.
Commonly Used Drugs in Rancho Cucamonga
Signs of Addiction and Drug Abuse
Look out for any significant changes in a person’s behaviour, personality or physical appearance as this could be a sign of drug use. Though the following signs and symptoms are identifiers, it may not always be the case that the person is addicted to drugs.
It could also be caused by a mental of physical health issue, or in a teenager it may be due to adolescent development. Any case, if they persist, it is important to get medical attention.
Physical Signs of Substance Abuse
- Extreme laziness, insomnia or being awake at unusual times
- Trembling hands, cols and sweaty palms
- Deterioration of hygiene and physical health
- Strange smelling breath, clothes or body
- Unusual eating habits, loss or gain in appetite
- Excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting
- Dilated pupils, unusually smaller pupils, watery and red eyes
- Irregular heartbeat
- Excessive talkativeness and hyperactivity
- Staggering walk or clumsy physical coordination
- Needle marks on lower arm or feet
- Rubbing nose constantly, runny nose & cough
- Pale or puffy face
- Twisting jaw back and forth
Behavioral Signs of Substance Abuse
- Change in overall personality with no real cause
- Change in hobbies, activities, and personal grooming habits
- Being moody, paranoid, irritable or nervous
- Being dishonest constantly, throwing temper tantrums and being resentful
- Loss of interest in family activities, forgetful and lack of attention
- Low self-esteem, low energy levels and disinterest in general
- Becoming excessively private and aloof
- Suspicious behaviour, being secretive, stealing money or unexplained need for money
- Possession of drug paraphernalia or false ID
Causes and Risk Factors of Drug Abuse
Several factors come onto play in the development of a drug addiction problem. Experts say that there are many other things that can contribute to a person’s drug abuse issue but the following are some of the more significant ones:
Genetics: It is not just lack of will power that pushes people towards drug abuse, experts believe that drug addiction and tendency towards substance abuse can sprout from the very genes of certain people. Genes and their impact on our lives can be complex. And they affect different people in different manners, but they have been commonly linked to:
- Having an “addictive personality”, in general having a tendency to repetitive behavior
- Having a rapid reaction to drugs while the same response might not be the case for other people using the same drug
- Not having a negative reaction or response towards the use of drugs
- Having a higher euphoric tendency after drug use
Though genetic factors may influence one’s addiction, it may also make recovery slightly difficult.
Environment: Researchers have observed how the home, upbringing and environment of an individual can largely influence their drug use and abuse. Drug use in genetic twins raised in different environments and homes has been observed and it has been seen that those raised in homes where drug and alcohol abuse, divorce and mental illness was rampant have a higher tendency of becoming addicted to drugs themselves.
Growing up in such high stress environments could cause a child to look at drug use as normal or a reasonable solution. Seeing one’s parents, neighbors, siblings, relatives or friends using and abusing drugs might also drive a child to do the same when he grows up.
A neighborhood where people buy drugs on the street, where crime is heavy laden and where dealers and peddlers are constantly on the prowl may make a person feel that this is normal and a way of life. They may resort to drug use and abuse to fit in and lower their stress, falling into a vicious cycle.
Trauma: People who have been traumatized in their early life and childhood might fall prey to drug abuse in an attempt to calm and soothe their minds. Some of the types of trauma people face in their lives may include physical altercations, neglect, accidents, terrorism, natural disasters, verbal and sexual abuse.
Before the age of 16 at least one of these factors has affected every one in four American children, according to The National Traumatic Stress Network. Such trauma can leave a mark on a person’s mind; cause much psychological strain even lead to mental illness and a tendency to lean on drugs to find relief. Proper therapy at the right time can help one manage their stress and trauma, deal with it in a healthy manner and not resort to drug use.
Mental Illness: The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that more than half of the people who are victims of drug abuse are also battling a mental illness. It works both ways – for some people who are under a lot of emotional distress because of a mental issue, drug abuse comes as a way to deal with their problems. While on the other hand, the result of prolonged substance abuse can take deep root and set off a chain reaction that misbalances their mental health.
Those with genetic factors may be even more vulnerable to metal illness as well as drug abuse. It is evident that both drug abuse and mental illness share a strong connection, but it is not necessary that every person who has a mental illness will also have a drug problem.
Peer Pressure: Addiction to drugs or alcohol, and nicotine can stem from influence of peers. Teenagers will have a tendency to do what their friends do, fearing if they don’t they won’t be “cool” enough or accepted in their group of friends.
Young people mostly give in to drug use to fit in with the crowd. It also begins as an experimental activity when they are just bored and have nothing better to do. Adults on the other hand can also be influenced by peer pressure, especially seen among spouses or partners.
If one smokes, drinks or uses drugs the other might also join in just to understand the attraction. Instead of fighting about drug use one partner might just start using drugs himself or herself as an effort to make peace. This act can spiral out of control and turn into a full-fledged drug addiction.
Personality Traits: One’s personality might be a factor on how susceptible they are to drug abuse. The way one thinks, reacts, and how good or bad a judge one is in any given situation can pave the way to a drug abuse problem. Some people think things through and factor in the consequences while some are more impulsive and simply respond to a situation based on current benefits rather than considering long term disadvantages.
People who are cautious wouldn’t dare to even experiment with drugs while those who are impulsive would. Those who have fewer friends and who find it difficult to connect or fit in would rather resort to drugs to ease their pain and blend in.
Addiction Treatment in Rancho Cucamonga California
Drug abuse treatment and recovery is well within reach although a fraction of the people who actually need treatment really seek it out. Most often than not, intervention by loved ones brings a person suffering from drug abuse to the folds of therapy, treatment and recovery. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction you need not worry because there have a very good chance to transform their lives with excellent treatment programs and rehabilitation facilities.
Many patients have successfully completed their treatment programs and are leading healthy and fulfilling lives. The journey is not a quick or easy one, but with commitment and effort it can be a transformational, life-changing journey. The elements of treatment for addiction recovery are as follows:
Assessment: This is the first step in which the basics are covered. A medical professional will ask you several questions about your condition, your symptoms, physical ailments and psychological effects. This is an important step to identify the degree of your addiction to drugs or substances.
You will discuss how your day to day life has been affected by your condition, the responses of your family members, the impact on your professional life and personal life as well. After understanding all of this your healthcare worker will determine what plan of action is to be undertaken for your treatment.
Pre-intake: This is a more detailed process where details of your addiction are analyzed, signs and symptoms are studied and the duration of your addiction is established. Several blood tests and other diagnostics are carried out at this point to determine your medical standing and the influence of substance in your system. Once all the results are out it will be decided whether you require out patient or in patient treatment.
Intake: There are several treatment and rehab facilities in Rancho Cucamonga, each with their distinct features and advantages. Thus it is important to establish which center is best suited for your needs. Your rehab professional will assess your diagnostic findings and make certain recommendations to you.
It is crucial to adapt the treatment plan to your unique case, your physical and mental condition and all aimed at your well-being while treating your problem in the best manner possible. You can discuss payment choices, insurance, and other financial matters at this point.
Detox: Though detox is not a part of drug addiction treatment itself it is a necessary precursor. It can be a hard and grueling process so it is important that you choose a very good detox program. Detox can be painful, unpleasant, and if not carried out the right way it can be fatal. Never try to detox without medical supervision or in an unprofessional environment.
A medical facility is the best place for detox to be carried out, here you will be monitored round the clock, your physical condition will be under observation, you will be given medication to ease the unpleasantness of withdrawal symptoms and also to help you sleep of necessary. One you successfully complete this phase you need to select an inpatient or outpatient program for the treatment.
Inpatient Treatment Program: Rancho Cucamonga has several drug treatment and rehab facilities for both inpatient and outpatient services. When you have co-occurring conditions like alcohol addiction or mental illness, such treatment facilities have effective plans to help you recover.
You can avoid additional complications through inpatient programs that give you 24*7 care and support from professionals. While you stay at the inpatient facility you will receive therapy sessions, individual, family and group counselling. You will also learn about your problem, learn new skills and methods to manage your condition so that you can go back to living a sober and clean life.
Outpatient Treatment Program: This is suitable if you have a less serious drug addiction problem. Though many people have successfully recovered from their addiction after going for an OTP, there are higher risks involved as you still have access to drugs and can be tempted to use them in the duration of your treatment. If you are a prolonged drug addict then this might not be the best option for you. Rather, you should first undergo the ITP and then do the OTP to continue to monitor your progress.
Aftercare and Sober Living: Drug addiction treatment is not complete at the end of your treatment period. This is a lifelong process and it is a battle you have to fight on a day to day basis. Staying clean, fighting the temptation, and avoiding relapse is crucial.
Therapeutic recovery includes proving help to find a place to live, finding a support group, finding a job, completing your education and also continued psychological counselling and therapy. Make sure you have a sound aftercare program in place after your drug addiction treatment program.
There are sober living homes that you could stay in. These are ideal for you if you have completed your primary treatment and yet do not have a safe and secure environment to return to. There are rules and regulations to follow as you have to pay your own rent and buy your own food. There will be random drug tests you have to comply but this is crucial for your long term recovery.
There are plenty of rehab centers and drug addiction treatment centers in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The effectiveness of the treatment differs from person to person and the desired result is not just stopping the addiction but also helping the person return to mainstream living efficiently with their families and at their workplaces.
Research studies show that people who have successfully completed drug treatment programs enhance their social, occupational and mental performance, they reduce their criminal activity (if any) and go on to live more meaningful and clean lives.