Drug Addiction Treatment in Rome, Georgia
Rome is the largest city in Floyd County, Georgia, with a population just over 36,000. Rome lies at the heart of the triangular state area defined by the large cities of
Atlanta, Birmingham and Chattanooga, making it an important regional center with a number of strategic advantages. While traditional transportation routes on the
Etowah and Oostanaula rivers have largely been surpassed by highways, Rome is still an important regional trade center and market town. Like many cities in
Georgia and across the United States, however, Rome faces a number of problems related to substance abuse and addiction. Methamphetamine abuse is a
particular problem in Rome, with citizens also challenged by heroin addiction and the prescription opioid epidemic that stretches across the United States.
Demographics and crime in Rome
There are 13,320 households and 8,431 families residing in the city of Rome, with 63 percent of the population being White, 27 percent being African American, and
10 percent identifying as Hispanic or Latino. The median household income in Rome is $33,787 and the income per capita is $20,041. This is well below the national
and state average, with roughly 15.3 percent of families and 20.3 percent of the overall population living below the poverty line. Poverty is a key catalyst for drug
abuse, and also poses challenges regarding treatment and continuing care. The rate of property crime in Rome is directly related to drug use statistics, with 39.25
crimes recorded per 1,000 residents compare to the state average of 30.04 and the national average of 25. Overall, there are 52 crimes in Rome per square mile,
much higher than the Georgia rate of 30 and the national median of 31.9.
Common drug problems in Rome
Like many places in the United States, opioid abuse and addiction is the primary concern for policy makers and drug treatment professionals in Rome. Prescription opiates such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine are widely abused in Rome and across Floyd County, with the misuse of prescription medications correlating to a rise in heroin abuse and related criminal charges. Prescription opioid abuse and dependence requires professional drug treatment services, including early
intervention, medical detoxification, and rehabilitation. Methamphetamine abuse is also a significant problem in the city of Rome, with most meth in the area coming
from Mexico via Atlanta according to local police. While methamphetamine abuse is not associated with physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms like opioid drugs, it can still cause severe physical and psychological problems and needs to be treated with professional rehabilitation.
Drug treatment - initial assessment
Before getting help for a drug or alcohol problem, each patient needs to be carefully evaluated – both by themselves and by a professional. Early assessment is
critical to successful rehabilitation, followed by patient intake, detoxification if needed, rehabilitation, and aftercare support services. If you’re concerned that you may
have a substance abuse problem, it’s important to take a self-assessment test as soon as possible. While many of the signs and symptoms of drug abuse are
dependent on the substance in question, there are some general symptoms that you can’t ignore.
Common symptoms of drug abuse include:
– frequent drug use in order to feel normal
– difficulty stopping drug use
– spending money you don’t have on drugs
– engaging in risky behavior to obtain drugs
– developing other problems in your life as a result of drug use
– continuing to use drugs even when problems are present
While self-assessment is important, in order to assess drug and alcohol problems effectively, practitioners also need to ask a number of questions related to the
substance in question. During the early stages of drug screening and assessment, each person needs to admit the existence and extent of their substance use disorder before they can receive the help they need. Dedicated resources are available to clinicians and family members to assist with this process, including
intervention, family therapy, and pre-intake counseling.
The pre-intake and intake process
If you think you’re living with a drug or alcohol problem, it’s important to do something about it as soon as possible. While most people are a little nervous before
they decide to enter treatment, it will probably be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Admitting your problem is a big part of the battle – so know you’re on
the right path and take the next step towards freedom and self-control. During treatment intake, you’ll generally meet with a doctor or therapist who will evaluate your
individual case, including things like your medical history, the existence of mental health problems, substance of addiction, extent of addiction, history of addiction,
and co-occurring disorders. It’s important to be honest and divulge everything you can during these interviews in order to get the best treatment possible for your
condition. Anyone who continues to use psychoactive substances despite the existence of negative or unwanted symptoms can benefit from some form of drug
Drug detoxification is often initiated at the outset of the treatment process, especially for patients who are likely to experience physical withdrawal symptoms. While
some problematic substances are associated with psychological withdrawal symptoms alone, others are known to cause intensive and potentially dangerous
physical symptoms when drug use is stopped. A medical detox period is generally advised when physical symptoms are present, including the administration of
medications and access to professional medical support staff. Examples of drugs that cause psychological dependence upon cessation of use include marijuana,
methamphetamine, MDMA, and LSD among others. Drugs known to cause physical symptoms during withdrawal include alcohol, heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, Xanax, Klonopin and many others.
Medical detox is typically administered in the case of physical drug or alcohol dependence, which is characterized by the experience of a physical withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use. Most recreational drugs that cause physical withdrawal symptoms are classified as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids. All of these substances are capable of causing problematic and potentially dangerous symptoms when drug use is stopped or dramatically reduced. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are three stages involved in the drug detoxification
process: evaluation, stabilization, and guiding patients towards rehabilitation. While detox is essential for the safe and effective treatment of many substance use
disorders, it needs to be followed by behavioral therapy programs that address the underlying reasons for drug addiction.
The importance of rehabilitation
Medical detox is just the start of the drug treatment process, it does nothing to address the emotional or environmental precedents of drug abuse or addiction.
Rehabilitation programs are also needed, with a range of programs designed to follow detox and support patients while they turn their lives around. In contrast to
detox regimes based on pharmacotherapy, rehab is mostly supported by a range of psychotherapy programs. Common rehab treatment paradigms include motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, 12-step facilitation, art therapy, counseling, and motivational incentives among others. While the long-term use of medications is sometimes required for opioid addicts and alcoholics, most rehab programs attempt to change behavior patterns through therapy and counseling alone. Rehabilitation is the cornerstone of successful drug treatment, with patients needing to address their issues before they can move on and start a new life.
Rehabilitation programs are available on an inpatient or outpatient basis, with patients choosing the level of care they need according to their individual needs and
financial constraints. Also known as residential rehab, inpatient rehab provides the most comprehensive level of support. During a typical inpatient program, patients live at the treatment facility for the duration, which can be anywhere from a couple of weeks to six months. During this time they are able to receive all the support they need to tackle their substance use disorder, from ongoing medical treatment through to cognitive and behavioral therapy. Residential programs are recommended for people who need to access medical support services following detox, as is the case for many alcoholics, benzodiazepine addicts, and opioid addicts. This kind of treatment provides people with an opportunity to leave their family and friends behind, which can be useful if drug use pattens have an environmental element. Inpatient programs are often split up into full-time residential treatment (RTC), partial hospitalization (PHP), and intensive outpatient programs (IOP).
Residential rehabilitation (RTC)
Full-time residential programs provide people with the best chance to break old habits and start a new life. While these programs can be expensive compared to
outpatient care, they provide around-the-clock access to medical services and support staff. This is very important for anyone who is trying to overcome a physical
drug dependence, including alcoholism, heroin addiction, and prescription opioid dependence. Residential rehab programs are often held in beautiful natural settings,
with patients able to heal and recover away from the pressures of everyday life.
Partial hospitalization is a less intensive form of residential care that enables people to live at home while periodically attending a treatment facility. Some patients
enter PHP after they have completed a course of residential treatment, with others admitted to PHP after a relapse or immediately following detox. While the
intensity of these programs varies depending on the facility in question, most treatment centers feature a five-day, six-hour program. Treatment options during PHP
will be similar to those offered during RTC, including behavioral therapy, family therapy, 12-step support programs, faith-based treatment, and motivational programs.
Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
IOP offers a different treatment paradigm, with patients able to live at home for the duration of treatment. While therapy structures differ depending on the facility, three or four hour programs are often administered a few days each week. While IOP does not provide the same level of medical care as RTC or PHP, patients can still benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational therapy, and other forms of psychotherapy designed to prevent relapse and turn lives around. Intensive outpatient programs often consist of group therapy sessions, many of which are based on traditional 12-step facilitation. In order to prevent relapse and promote sustainable and positive lifestyle changes, patients need to be taught how to recognize triggers so they can avoid making unwanted compulsive decisions.
Also known as recidivism, relapse describes a return to drug or alcohol use following a period of abstinence. Relapse is a huge problem for drug addicts, many of
who go through the drug treatment process time and time again before they achieve long-term sobriety. In order to reduce relapse rates, therapists and counselors help patients to understand the mechanisms of relapse and give them the skills they need to avoid impulsive and compulsive actions. Relapse is often described as a series of three separate stages, from the early onset of emotional relapse through to mental relapse and physical relapse. Unhelpful and unwanted emotions signal the start of this process, including things like anger, fear and anxiety. Mental relapse is the next phase, with patients romanticizing past drug use and starting to plan physical relapse events during this phase. Unless they are taught to be mindful of these thoughts and feeling as they take place, a physical relapse event is highly likely. Learning to recognize triggers is an important part of this process, with patients needing to set up new psychological associations and change their living environment if needed.
Aftercare and sober living
Recovering from a substance abuse problem is a long and gradual process, from the early days of intervention and detox through to the later stages of rehabilitation.
The completion of residential or outpatient rehab is not the end of the road, however, with aftercare programs also needed to ensure long-term recovery. Also known
as continuing care, aftercare describes any treatment program initiated on a long-term or indefinite basis. Many of these programs are based on traditional 12-step support structures such as those used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Sober living houses or environments also play a key role during aftercare, with these specialized accommodation centers able to safely house and treat people while they recover and make the important transition from treatment back to everyday life.