Drug Addiction Treatment in Fairfield, California
Fairfield, California is a city in Solano County with a population of 111,000. Located at the midpoint of San Francisco and Sacramento, Fairfield is the home of Travis Air Force Base, the headquarters of Jelly Belly, and the commercial and geographic hub for the surrounding area. Fairfield is located within the California Coastal Ranges and has a long history of Native American settlement in the Rockville and Green Valley areas. As a sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Fairfield is close to cities such as Suisun City, Rio Vista, Benicia, Vacaville, and Napa.
Like many cities in California and across the United States, Fairfield has struggled with a number of substance abuse and addiction problems over recent years, including prescription opioids, heroin, methamphetamine, and alcohol. If you know anyone in Fairfield or elsewhere who is living with a substance use disorder, it’s important to access treatment as soon as you can.
Demographics and Income in Fairfield
Fairfield has a diverse population of roughly 111,000, including 46 percent White, 16 percent African American, 15 percent Asian, and 12 percent from other races. According to national City-Data statistics, 48.6 percent of the population are male and 51.4 percent are female. The median age of Fairfield residents is 35 years, compared to the California state average of 36.4 years. The estimated median household income in Fairfield was $69,235 in 2016, compared to the state average of $67,737. Per capita income was measured at $32,385 in Fairfield, with 9.3 percent of the population and 7.1 percent of families living below the poverty line. Despite relatively high incomes in Fairfield, the city continues to struggle with substance abuse and related property crime. There were 167 robberies recorded in Fairfield in 2015, along with 456 burglaries and 2,406 cases of theft. Methamphetamine is a particularly big problem in the San Francisco Bay Area, with crime across the region often related to drug abuse and addiction.
Common Drug Problems in Fairfield and California
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), methamphetamine is the biggest drug problem in Fairfield and across the San Francisco Bay Area. There was an increase in the number of methamphetamine treatment admissions and methamphetamine crime reports in 2014 data. Most other drug problems were stable across the region, with heroin indicators mixed, marijuana indicators stable except for under 18s which were up, and cocaine indicators down.
While Fairfield and the surrounding region continue to struggle with the prescription opioid epidemic that is sweeping across the United States, indicators were stable in the latest 2014 numbers. Along with methamphetamine, alcohol-related admissions to drug treatment centers were the highest in Fairfield and across the San Francisco Bay Area. In order to tackle the growing substance-related problems experienced by some California communities, additional drug and alcohol treatment centers are needed.
What is addiction?
An addiction is a brain disorder that involves compulsive actions and rewarding stimuli. People get addicted to a wide array of behaviors and substances, including alcohol, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and a variety of prescription medications. In order for something to be regarded as addictive, the stimuli involved need to be both rewarding and reinforcing. People seek repeated exposure in order to activate reward pathways in the brain, with these actions becoming compulsive over time and often creating problems. Common problems associated with substance addiction include overdose, mental health issues, physical health problems, social problems, financial problems, and exposure to disease.
Addiction is both a psychosocial and biological process, with a range of treatments needed to help people avoid addictive stimuli. For example, medication therapy is sometimes administered to help people with the physical aspects of addiction, and psychotherapy is used to help people with the emotional and cognitive aspects of addiction. While the term addiction is often used interchangeably with the term dependence, dependence only occurs when particular physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms are experienced by people when they stop using drugs or alcohol.
Signs of Drug Addiction
Drug abuse affects people in a wide variety of different ways, with some people becoming addicted to psychoactive substances almost straight away and others able to use drugs for a long time without developing significant problems. It can be very hard identifying people with drug problems, who often go to extreme lengths to hide the extent of their drug abuse from friends and family members. In a typical addiction case scenario, people start experimenting with drugs first before drug abuse and over-use patterns develop and addiction follows. While many of the signs of addiction are related to the specific substance in question, there are some general signs that can be recognized during the early stages of addiction.
- developing tolerance to specific substances
- unexplained mood swings
- mental health problems
- unexplained social and financial problems
- physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped
- using drugs in dangerous situations
- significant changes to sleeping and eating patterns
- loss of interest in favorite recreational activities
- reduced school or work performance
- continual use of drugs despite the existence of negative consequences
What is drug dependence?
Drug dependence is different from drug addiction. While addiction is defined by compulsive and problematic drug use patterns that reward the addict, dependence is recognized by particular withdrawal symptoms when drug use is discontinued. Psychoactive substances can cause both physical and psychological dependence, with different types of treatment needed according to the nature and extent of the symptoms involved. Physical dependence typically involves central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and many other prescription depressants.
Physical dependence is associated with a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome, including symptoms such as night sweats, cramps, aches and pains, headaches, nausea, involuntary body movements, seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens. Many of these symptoms can be dangerous if they are not treated appropriately, with some symptoms potentially fatal. Physical dependence is typically treated through medical detoxification followed by rehabilitation and aftercare support systems.
In contrast, psychological dependence is associated with motivational and emotional withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped or reduced, including things like mood swings, anxiety, depression, and intense drug cravings. While these symptoms are also dangerous and can lead to relapse, they do not normally need intensive medical detox treatment or other forms of medication therapy. Substances known to cause these symptoms include marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, Adderall, Ritalin and other prescription stimulants.
Intake and Assessment
Before starting out on a drug rehab program, it’s important to go through a detailed intake and assessment procedure. Doctors and treatment professionals need to assess each case on its own merits, with patients directed towards appropriate treatment channels based on their individual health care needs. During the early part of intake, clinicians will attempt to identify pre-existing abuse and addiction problems, physical dependence, and any factors that are likely to influence the treatment process.
If physical withdrawal symptoms are present or likely to be present when drug use is stopped, patients will normally be directed towards a medical detox program. When psychological withdrawal symptoms are present without a physical component, medical detox may not be required. This is a crucial distinction that helps clinicians to identify high-risk patients during the early stages of treatment. Because physical withdrawal symptoms can cause serious medical complications and even death, they need to be recognized as early as possible and treated appropriately.
Other factors that need to be addressed during the intake procedure include the existence of mental health issues, behavioral addictions, secondary substance use disorders, dual diagnosis situations, and anything else that may impact the treatment process. For example, questions will normally be asked about homelessness, domestic violence, sexual abuse, criminal issues, and dependent children. Once each patient has been assessed by a drug treatment professional, they will be directed towards detox or rehab programs based on their needs.
Detox is the process and experience of drug or alcohol withdrawal, often in a medically supervised setting. While not all drug addicts need to go through medical detox, it is typically recommended whenever physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms are present. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), detox should take place in a series of three stages: evaluation and testing, stabilization, and consultation. While the middle stage forms the core of the detox process, the other two stages are always needed to ensure a safe and successful withdrawal process.
The first stage of detox involves physical and psychological tests prior to medication treatment. This stage is crucial because it helps clinicians to identify drug use patterns, currently circulating substances, mental health conditions, and anything else that may impact the administration of medications. Common tests during this stage include blood tests, general health checks, and mental health examinations. The second stage of detox attempts to stabilize the patient, typically through the use of medications. While “cold turkey” and rapid detox programs can be used without medication support, these programs can be incredibly dangerous in some situations.
The third and final stage of detox involves a detailed consultation process that attempts to guide patients into further therapy. During this stage, the friends and family of patients may be used to help them see the importance of ongoing treatment. While detox and medication support is an integral aspect of drug treatment for many people, detox also needs to be supported by long-term psychotherapy programs that address the emotional and social causes of drug addiction. From conventional 12-step support programs through to long-term residential rehab, patients need to go through additional therapy if they want to avoid relapse.
Drug Rehab Programs
Drug rehabilitation programs are based on either pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy paradigms. Also known as medication therapy, pharmacotherapy involves the administration of medications to support abstinence and long-term recovery. Despite the usefulness of medications during rehab, it’s important to realize that they do nothing to address the psychosocial and environmental precedents of drug addiction. Most rehab programs are based on psychotherapeutic support, with different programs using motivational, cognitive, and behavioral techniques to instigate long-term behavioral changes. Examples of drug rehab programs include motivational interviewing, family therapy, 12-step facilitation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, and relapse prevention.
Drug rehab programs are available in many forms, from informal 12-step support groups through to fully immersive six-month residential programs. Before starting a rehab program, it’s important to research the options available to you and choose a program based on your individual needs and financial constraints. Residential or inpatient rehab provides the most comprehensive level of support, with patients living at the treatment center for the duration of the program. Residential treatment centers (RTC) and partial hospitalization (PHP) programs are both available, the later of which allows patients to return home on the weekends. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are another option, with this level of rehab providing full-time support during the day and allowing patients to return home in the evenings.
Medical detox and opiate replacement therapy are both forms of pharmacotherapy, the later of which is applied during rehab and aftercare support programs. During opiate replacement therapy, recovering heroin and opioid addicts are given methadone and other substitute medications as a form of harm reduction and addiction management. While opiate replacement therapy has proved to be very effective in reducing addiction-related disease and criminal activity, it is often criticized for enabling secondary opiate addictions. This form of therapy does very little to address the underlying reasons for drug addiction and should always be administered alongside appropriate psychotherapeutic support. Alcoholics and benzodiazepine addicts may also be given medications to help them recover and deal with protracted withdrawal symptoms, some of which can last for months or even years after drug discontinuation.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) forms the basis of many rehab programs, with this powerful form of therapy designed to enhance personal coping strategies and target current problems related to substance abuse and addiction. CBT has proven to be an effective form of treatment for numerous mental health disorders and substance-relate disorders, including depression disorder, general anxiety disorder, eating disorders, bipolar disorders, alcoholism, cocaine abuse any many others. While CBT is not typically effective in treating opiate use disorder, it can help patients with some of the wider life issues that surround drug addiction.
CBT is based on the basic principles from behavioral and cognitive psychology. In a typical treatment program, patients will be taught how to recognize problematic thoughts and feelings and discover how these distortions influence drug taking patterns. Instead of looking for the unconscious meaning behind drug addiction like in psychoanalysis, CBT offers practical and problem-solving solutions based on mindfulness and coping mechanisms. CBT is available in many residential rehab centers across the United States, with private programs also available from individual counselors and treatment centers.
Also known as recidivism, relapse is a common outcome of drug addiction. While relapse prevention programs are based on the conventional CBT treatment paradigm, they have developed into their own stream of treatment. According to this treatment system, there are four processes that influence addiction and relapse: self-efficacy, negative outcome expectancies, causality, and poor decision-making processes. Each of these processes needs to be addressed comprehensively in order to help people avoid making compulsive and impulsive behavioral responses when they leave treatment. During a typical relapse prevention program, clinicians will work with patients to help them recognize potential triggers and develop new coping skills to help them make different decisions.
Relapse is often approached as a series of three stages: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse. Each stage features different warning signs and requires different levels of treatment. Common signs of emotional relapse include mood swings, sadness, social isolation, frustration, and anger. Common signs of mental relapse include thoughts about drugs and plans to start using drugs. Recovering drug addicts may be completely unaware of these warning signs before it’s too late, which is why it’s so important to stay engaged in a treatment program. The third and final stage of relapse is physical relapse, with the patient now having returned to drug or alcohol use and needing to re-engage with treatment.
12-Step Support Programs
Traditional 12-step support programs form the basis of many rehab treatments, both during residential care and on an aftercare basis. The 12-step approach is most famously associated with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), although other groups such as Cocaine Anonymous and Crystal Meth Anonymous are also available across America. 12-step facilitation adheres to the disease model of addiction, with recovering addicts needing to admit a lack of control over their drug use and enlist a higher power to help them gain control over their lives. While AA and other groups are traditionally Christian in their belief system and values, other forms of “higher power” can also be used. 12-step support groups are usually available on a long-term or indefinite basis, with some people attending meetings for their entire life.
Also known as continuing care, aftercare programs are an essential element of drug addiction treatment. While medical detox programs help people to stop using drugs in a safe and supportive environment, and rehab helps them to address the issues that surround addiction, further measures are also required. Aftercare programs promote long-term recovery and support people while they make lifestyle changes. Common aftercare programs include SMART Recovery, individual counseling, family therapy, 12-step support groups, sober living houses, and ongoing cognitive and behavioral therapy. Sober living houses, also known as sober living environments, provide accommodation and ongoing treatment to people as they make the difficult transition from treatment back into everyday life. While most aftercare programs are based on psychotherapeutic support, services such as these also provide ongoing practical support to people in need. If you or anyone you know in Fairfield is suffering from a drug or alcohol problem, it’s important to make contact with a drug treatment program as soon as possible.