Are you struggling with a drug addiction in Valdosta? Or do you know a close friend or relative who needs help to turn their life around? We’ve got useful information for you here on the full range of drug treatment options in Valdosta and across the state of Georgia.
In 2013, Valdosta had a population of around 56,000, making it the 14th largest city in the Peach State. It is the center of the Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a total population of 139,000 in 2010. Valdosta includes parts of Brooks County. The Valdosta MSA covers Brooks, Echols, Lanier and Lowndes counties.
The city is home to a number of manufacturing plants, which a particular focus on supplying naval stores with turpentine. There is also significant tobacco and lumber production facilities.
The current unemployment rate in the Valdosta MSA stands at 4.2 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Local officials view the area as having a strong job market, with unemployment claims on a downward trend in 2017.
Residents in Valdosta have an average household income of $39.734 for 2016. That is $13,825 lower than the Georgia statewide average, and $17,883 below the nationwide average household income.
Drug abuse in Valdosta
Located around 230 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia, and not far from the state border with Florida, Valdosta has remained relatively unaffected by the opioid addiction crisis that has developed in urban areas across North America over recent years. A deadly spate of overdose deaths that swept across Georgia during the early summer of 2017 did not impact the city, according to Valdosta’s police chief. Several years ago, the synthetic substance flakka caused problems in Valdosta, but police say this crisis has now been overcome.
The southern part of Georgia, including Valdosta, has also been less affected by a heroin epidemic that hit the north of the state hard, including Atlanta.
Police noted in late 2016 that drugs like marijuana and cocaine are much more likely to be found in the city than opioids. But the region’s main drug of concern is meth, the police added.
In addition, the city has been the scene of large seizures of other drugs, including cocaine. In early December 2017, police deputies confiscated around 100 pounds of cocaine being transported through Valdosta on Interstate 75 to New York. The drugs had an estimated street value of $1.2 million.
Drug laws in Georgia
Georgia is a state with exceptionally harsh drug possession laws. If you are charged with possession of illegal substances, you can expect to receive a lengthy prison sentence. This is especially true if the drugs you had in your possession are Schedule I drugs under the state’s drug laws, or if you are a repeat offender.
Another thing worth bearing in mind is that you do not have to have the drugs on your person in order to be convicted of possession. Police frequently still seek to charge people if substances are found in a car or apartment, and they can charge more than one person for the possession of a single amount of drugs. Even the possession of marijuana, which has been legalized in some states, is strictly regulated in Georgia. You’ll face a penalty if you have more than an ounce of cannabis in your possession.
If you’re looking for assistance in dealing with your drug addiction in Valdosta or want to help a friend or relative get their life back on track, the first step in that process will be an assessment. Assessments are provided by treatment services or state health centers and are designed to help you figure out which treatment program will work best for you. There’s a wide range of treatment options out there, so it’s important to obtain a thorough assessment of your addiction so that your treatment needs can be met.
Medical assessments, which are similar to a drug assessment, also provide useful information on the physical and mental health of a drug user. This is a big factor to bear in mind when choosing a treatment program, because some programs in Georgia will be better suited to individuals with a particular medical condition, while others will be less appropriate.
If you want a good place to start looking for assessments in Valdosta, go online and do a search. You’ll find a lot of useful resources there to help.
This stage of your treatment process requires you to provide certain types of information, usually by filling out a form or speaking to a treatment professional. At this point, you will also receive a list of documents and personal items that you should bring when you enter the treatment program you’ve chosen.
The pre-intake helps in determining the best treatment program for you. This can vary widely depending on a number of factors, such as the seriousness of your addiction, the presence of any co-occurring mental health problems, the extent of your insurance coverage, and many others. One person might benefit more from an inpatient program, where they can stay on site and receive more intensive support, while someone else may feel able to attend outpatient treatment and go home at the end of the day.
Treatment centers will generally try to get you into the intake process as fast as possible. Often, if you have made the initial contact with the center by phone, they will try to conduct the intake process the same day. It consists of a discussion with an addiction professional so that they can find out more details about your lifestyle, background and drug addiction or dependency.
The process can take an hour or two to complete. Speaking about your addiction and providing very personal information can be tough, so we’ve summarized some of the questions you can expect to be asked at this stage.
The professional performing your intake will want to know your reasons for seeking treatment. Related to this, they will want to learn how your addiction is currently affecting your life, how often you use drugs, and when your addiction began.
They will also attempt to get a better idea of your social situation. Your employment history, financial situation, medical history and medication needs are all issues you can anticipate will be discussed. If you’ve previously had experience with treatment programs, the professional will ask you to talk about how the process worked for you.
This more detailed investigation of your drug use, lifestyle, and history of drug use and medical conditions will assist the treatment center in developing a program that meets all of your needs. It will also offer you an opportunity to address any concerns or raise issues you want to be taken into account during your treatment.
Overcoming a drug addiction requires that the substances you are abusing be removed from your body. This is the purpose of the detox process. This stage of treatment can vary significantly in length depending on the nature of your drug addiction. It can last from anywhere between a few days and several months.
A successful completion of a detox program does not mean your addiction has been resolved. In fact, it can only be a first step in a longer-term process that deals with the emotional, psychological and social consequences of your addiction. That’s why it will be crucial to make sure that you commit to a long-term course of treatment to make a full and sustainable recovery.
However, detox does make the treatment process easier by ensuring that your body is completely free from the negative influences of the substances you have been abusing. Narcotics have a detrimental effect on the brain, preventing you from thinking clearly and making rational decisions. Detoxification also ensures that withdrawal symptoms, which can often be very serious, are effectively managed so that you do not resort to substance abuse to cope with these challenges.
There are many inpatient treatment programs in Valdosta and across the state of Georgia to choose from. This form of treatment is well suited to individuals in need of 24-hour support in overcoming their drug addiction. It allows the patient to stay in a safe and secure environment with other drug addicts who are going through treatment, meaning that individuals can offer each other mutual assistance as well as receive treatment from trained therapists and other addiction professionals.
Many inpatient programs operate a 12 step recovery program. Others adopt an alternative approach. The basis of these programs are usually regular group meetings, where issues related to addiction and rehabilitation can be discussed and support offered. This is combined with the provision of daily therapy by center staff.
As well as being a great option if your substance abuse problems are severe and you require close supervision, inpatient programs could also be an ideal choice if you need a fresh start. Sometimes it can be your social surroundings, circle of contacts, or other environmental factors that create the conditions that perpetuate your addiction. Getting away from all of these pressures and dealing with your substance abuse problems in a supportive setting may make all the difference.
On the other hand, inpatient treatment may be less suited to you if you feel better in your own home, or that your addiction does not require the intensive support provided by an inpatient service. If you have still been able to work while addicted to drugs, or if you have other obligations in your life that would be disrupted by a period of residential treatment, the information below on alternative programs of treatment will likely be more useful for you.
A variety of options are available to you if you decide to take up outpatient treatment. These services run daily or several times per week, and offer recovering drug users the benefit of support in group sessions, therapy and counseling while at the same time enabling them to stay at home rather than at a residential center.
Typically, outpatient treatment programs will consist of one of three types of service: day programs, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and support groups like Narcotics Anonymous. Day programs involve patients coming together for several hours during the day to participate in group therapy, counseling, education sessions, and music or art therapy programs.
IOPs allow patients to continue their recovery after detox while meeting family and work obligations. One major advantage here is that you can start to rebuild ties within your local community as you undertake an IOP, rather than only after returning from an inpatient program at a treatment center. Although most treatment will be carried out in group sessions, you will usually be assigned to a therapist with whom you will meet regularly.
Some of the issues covered in an IOP include relapse prevention, managing cravings and urges, understanding the chemistry of addiction, an introduction to the 12 steps of recovery, and spirituality.
If you’ve successfully completed a treatment program, you’ve gone a long way to turning your life around. But it’s critical that you continue to focus on sustaining this and avoiding a relapse. This is where aftercare programs come in.
Relapse rates in the US range from 37 percent to 56 percent, according to statistics. But when aftercare programs are used, these rates drop sharply. Only around half of those who complete treatment programs take advantage of aftercare services.
Patients going through aftercare will still meet with therapists or in a group setting, but these meetings will be less frequent than in the acute stage of treatment. The focus will be on avoiding relapse, planning for the future, and ensuring that the recovering drug user can develop a fulfilling life free from substance abuse.
If you’ve been part of an inpatient treatment program, aftercare will often be considered as part of your exit plan. Sometimes, in the case of court ordered treatment, for example, aftercare is a requirement.
Aftercare will also help patients make arrangements for supported living environments if required, such as halfway houses or sober living.
Sober living homes in Georgia provide safe accommodation for recovering drug users. The most important requirement that has to be met if you are looking to be accepted into such a home is that you are clear of all drugs and remain clean during your time there. Individuals residing at a sober living facility will have to carry out chores and follow house rules.
This kind of environment helps create support mechanisms to assist individuals continue on the path to recovery. The support offered by people who are going through the same experience and seeking to rebuild their lives can be decisive in preventing someone from returning to substance abuse after having gone such a long way in the recovery process.