Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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Addiction and Drug Abuse Treatment in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Opioids, in both prescription and illicit form, are the primary cause behind drug overdose deaths in the United States. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid overdoses accounted for 42,249 deaths in 2016 across the country. That number is five times what it was at the turn of the millennium.

This crisis has affected nearly every region of the United States. Northeastern and Midwestern communities have suffered from especially high rates of opioid abuse and addiction. In Michigan alone, 1,745 people died from an opioid overdose in 2014, and the picture has become even grimmer since then. Michigan is among the states who suffered from statistically significant drug overdose increases from 2015 to 2016.

Farmington Hills is a city of 100,824 residents, located in Oakland County, northwest of the city of Detroit, and part of its larger metropolitan area. The county suffers from high rates of drug overdose fatalities. In 2014, 127 people died as a result of a drug overdose, and the vast majority of these were opioid-related.

Heroin and prescription opioids have caused many individuals and families in Farmington Hills and the larger Detroit area to suffer. Opioid-related hospitalizations rose 120 percent between 2000 and 2011 in Michigan. In 2009, poisonings (90 percent of which are drug-related) overtook traffic accidents to become the leading cause of accidental death in Michigan.

The state also suffers from high rates of alcoholism and abuse of other drugs. Between 2010 and 2012, over 500 people visited an emergency department in a Michigan hospital due to synthetic marijuana exposure alone, with many counties—including Oakland County, where Farmington Hills is located—also experiencing high rates of alcohol-related hospitalizations.

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Substance addiction is a cruel and unrelenting disease. Over time, addiction fundamentally alters brain chemistry and functioning, causing changes in the behavior and psychology of those who suffer from it.

In the 1930s, during the early years of addiction research, scientists believed the behavior exhibited by those addicted to drugs or alcohol was due to some kind of moral flaw. Today, it is acknowledged by the medical community, and increasingly by the media, government officials, and the larger population, that addiction is a chronic brain disease. Substance abuse and addiction takes hold of human beings over time, causing the addicted individual and their family, friends, and other loved ones to suffer.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, help is available in the Farmington Hills area, and anywhere else you may be. You are not alone. Rehabilitation has been shown to be effective at treating even the most severe addictions. Keep reading to learn more about the signs and symptoms of substance dependency and addiction, and how the treatment process works.

If you live in Farmington Hills and have fallen victim to substance abuse don’t hesitate to seek treatment. There are enormous resources in at your disposal.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Those suffering from drug dependency or alcoholism did not set out to become addicted. Most people first encounter addictive substances in social or recreational settings. Others are introduced to addictive substances after they or a family member, friend, or acquaintance is prescribed a prescription by a physician, as is the case for many who suffer from opioid addiction.

Over time, as addiction develops, repeated use of drugs or alcohol causes the user to compulsively crave the addictive substance, often in greater amounts and more frequent doses. Addiction, characterized by repeated and compulsive use of such substances, despite potential physical, social, and psychological consequences, eventually rewires the brain and causes changes that last far longer than the short-term effects of the drug. Once an individual has developed an addiction, it can be physically and psychologically unpleasant—and even painful—to stop abusing the substance to which they are addicted.

It can be difficult to detect the presence of an addiction in a loved one, particularly if you do not live with the person and if you have never struggled from addiction yourself; however, there are some signs and symptoms to look for. Common symptoms of drug abuse and addiction include the following:

  • Over- or under-activity
  • Dramatic changes in weight or skin tone
  • Changes in speech patterns
  • Dilated or constricted pupils
  • Red or itchy eyes
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Red, runny, or itchy nose
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Decreased interest in social activities and engagements
  • Increased reckless or otherwise unexplained behavior
  • Brain fog or confusion
  • Increased irritability or other changes in mood
  • Anxiety or depression

Individuals suffering from addiction often face tremendous stress, fear, anger, or resentment over the thought of attending treatment. Some people decide to seek help for substance addiction on their own, while others attend rehabilitation following an intervention.

However the decision is made to seek help, rehabilitation can be effective at treating even the most severe and long-lasting addiction. If you or someone you know is suffering, help is available and you are not alone. Addiction is a cruel disease, but you do not have to suffer in silence. To learn more about the rehabilitation process and the inpatient and outpatient treatment options in Farmington Hills and elsewhere, keep reading.

Pre-intake

Entering an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program can be very anxiety-producing, particularly for those who have never been through treatment before. Most people have questions and concerns about the detox process, what therapy will be like, and how they will remain sober after discharge. Many of these questions will be answered in general terms in later sections; however, it can be helpful to gather as much information as possible about any particular rehabilitation program you consider attending.

Many treatment centers have basic information and brief answers to frequently asked questions on their websites. If you know someone who has been through addiction treatment before, it can also be helpful to ask them about their experiences before you enter treatment. Understanding some of the basics about what to expect from the detox and rehabilitation process can often help put your mind at ease.

In addition to the anxiety many people feel, most individuals also have practical concerns, including the following:

  • How children, elderly or disabled relatives, or other dependents will be cared for
  • How pets will be cared for
  • How bills will be paid (there are automatic payment systems you can sign up for during treatment)
  • How to inform an employer or school administrators about treatment (all employees are entitled to 12 weeks of medical leave for a serious condition, which can be used for addiction treatment)
  • How to tell family members or other loved ones about the decision to enter treatment
  • How to pay for treatment (in many cases, insurance will cover most or all of the costs associated with treatment)

It is important that you are able to focus on your health and wellbeing while you recover and undergo treatment. In many cases, family and friends of recovering individuals are able to help take care of many of the concerns listed above. Having the necessary boxes checked prior to entering treatment can help you focus on your recovery.

Assessment and Intake

When a new patient arrives for treatment, each facility has certain intake procedures that must be carried out. While the particular components of the intake process differ from treatment center to treatment center, there are some standard practices that you can expect when you enter treatment.

At most rehabilitation facilities, the first step of the intake process involves a comprehensive initial drug assessment. The purpose of these assessments is to provide information about the new patient’s substance use habits, the extent and duration of their addiction, and their overall mental and physical health.

While each facility has its own unique system of assessment, most facilities incorporate some combination of the following procedures that patients must complete:

  • Reading and signing consent forms
  • Submitting to a breathalyzer
  • Providing a blood and/or urine sample
  • Undergoing a comprehensive medical/physical exam
  • Meeting one-on-one with an addiction specialist or other counselor
  • Providing medical records and/or answering questions about medical history
  • Taking a number of self-reported surveys intended to measure substance use behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs and assess risks and overall mental health

It is important for staff members, including medical professionals, addiction specialists, and counselors to understand any new patient’s addiction thoroughly. In addition to a variety of other information, staff members need to know what substance(s) a new patient is abusing, the severity of the patient’s physical and psychological addiction, what their detox may be like, their risk of relapse, and their potential for self-harm.

Once the initial drug assessment is concluded, new patients are typically asked to go through the bags they’ve brought with them to treatment and remove any restricted items that may be among their belongings. Every treatment center has its own unique list of restricted items that patients may not bring with them to treatment. Commonly restricted items include the following:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Unapproved or opened prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Weapons
  • Cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other electronics
  • Expensive belongings and cash
  • Products containing alcohol
  • Flammable substances

Some treatment centers have lists of restricted items on their websites, and you can call or email a rehabilitation facility to ask about what items are restricted.

Once the assessment and intake process is complete, new patients are typically given a tour of the treatment facility, introduced to their roommate and other peers, allowed to unpack and settle in, and provided with a meal. In some cases, new patients may be invited to participate in or attend a group therapy session, although this is not typically required on the first day.

Detox

Detoxification and withdrawal is typically one of the first components of drug addiction treatment, and a process that many people worry about when they enter rehabilitation. Not every person recovering from drug or alcohol addiction has to undergo a period of detox and withdrawal; however, those with severe and/or long-lasting addictions typically have to go through the process.

In broad terms, detoxification refers to the period of time during which a person’s body disposes of the chemicals and toxins associated with their addiction. As previously discussed, long-term addiction to drugs or alcohol rewires the brain and causes the user to compulsively desire the substance, often in higher and/or more frequent doses. During this process, the body becomes used to receiving the drug, and when it does not receive its usual dose, the brain responds. This response is sometimes accompanied by unpleasant and painful side effects.

Each individual experiences detox differently, and not every patient experiences symptoms of withdrawal. For those who do undergo detox, the type and severity of withdrawal symptoms depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The substance(s) to which a person is addicted
  • The severity and duration of their dependence
  • Individual biological and genetic factors

Although the above and other factors may greatly influence the length and severity of withdrawal symptoms, most symptoms peak in severity between 24 and 48 hours after the last use of the drug. In stubborn cases, withdrawal symptoms may endure for up to several months, although these symptoms typically decrease in severity substantially over time. Some common symptoms of addiction withdrawal include the following:

  • Intense drug cravings
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating
  • Dehydration and dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and depression

Those with severe addictions and those suffering from addictions to opioids, methamphetamines, and other highly addictive substances are typically advised to undergo detox under medical supervision.

Although detox is an important component of drug addiction treatment, recovery does not end after the body has rid itself of the toxins and chemicals associated with the addiction. Addiction usually has a psychological and emotional component, and there are typically underlying causes behind an addiction. Treatment programs typically combine peer support, professional supervision, intensive therapies, and coping strategies. There are a variety of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs available in the Farmington Hills area and elsewhere. Keep reading to learn about treatment types and what to expect.

Residential/Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient addiction rehabilitation allows patients recovering from drug abuse and dependency to detox and recover in a safe and secure, entirely drug-free environment. Patients live at the addiction treatment center full-time, where they receive 24-hour professional supervision, peer support, and medical monitoring. Inpatient rehabilitation is designed to treat even the most severe and long-lasting addictions, incorporating intensive therapies, educational programs, and relapse-avoidance strategies.

Each program is unique, and every inpatient rehabilitation center will have its own particular treatment strategies and procedures; however, there are two broad categories of inpatient treatment:

  • Short-term programs – Patients live full-time at the rehabilitation center for up to 30 days, detoxing and withdrawing from drugs and/or alcohol, attending intensive individual and group therapy sessions, and learning relapse-avoidance techniques and coping strategies.
  • Long-term program – Patients remain at the rehabilitation facility for longer than 30 days (often several months or even up to a year, under certain circumstances), undergoing detox, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, receiving professional supervision, participating in intensive therapies and educational programs, and learning strategies for life after treatment.

Those recovering from severe or long-lasting addictions and those withdrawing and recovering from an addiction to prescription or synthetic opioids are often advised to attend inpatient rehabilitation. This is, in part, because these individuals are at increased risk of an overdose in the case of a relapse, and because detoxing from opioids can be dangerous; therefore, it is typically recommended that these patients are supervised by medical and addiction professionals during detox.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient addiction rehabilitation differs from inpatient programs in that patients undergoing outpatient treatment live at home, with friends or family, or at a transitional sober living home while they recover from drug abuse and dependency. Outpatient rehabilitation programs are typically less expensive and less intensive than inpatient treatment; however, patients are usually required to be at the treatment facility during specified hours during the week.

Since patients in these kinds of programs do not receive 24-hour medical monitoring and professional supervision—as those undergoing inpatient rehabilitation do—individuals receiving treatment on an outpatient basis are typically asked to submit to regular drug tests and attend periodic medical and mental health appointments.

As is the case with inpatient programs, the treatment strategies and methods of outpatient rehabilitation programs differ substantially from center to center. Some of the more common types of outpatient treatment include the following:

  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) – These programs typically involve intensive group therapy and counseling, individual counseling, psychoeducational training, medication management, medical monitoring and treatment, case management, 24-hour crisis and emergency aid, peer support groups, and intensive psychotherapy and psychiatry. Patients typically spend several hours at the treatment facility at least three times per week, and often attend therapy sessions daily.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) – This kind of treatment is sometimes referred to as “day rehab,” as it provides patients with the same treatment intensity as inpatient rehabilitation, but allows them to spend evenings and nights at home. Patients typically receive intensive individual and group therapies, participate in peer support groups, and receive case management, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapies, medication management, and close medical and mental health monitoring. Patients typically spend nights at home but report to the treatment facility for several hours every day.

There are also less intensive forms of outpatient treatment that combine components of the treatment types discussed above, but may not require daily visits. Those with less severe or long-lasting addictions, those who do not have to undergo a detox period, and those who cannot commit to inpatient treatment due to work or family responsibilities may find that outpatient rehabilitation is the right option for them.

Aftercare and Sober Living

Whether you undergo inpatient or outpatient treatment, recovery does not end when you are discharged from a rehabilitation facility. For most people who have suffered from drug dependency and addiction, recovery and renewed dedication to sober living are lifelong pursuits. The detox and withdrawal process, therapies, and medical monitoring that patients undergo during rehabilitation are important components of addiction recovery; however, what happens after treatment is equally important to continued sobriety and the future wellbeing of recovering individuals.

A well-developed aftercare plan is strongly correlated with long-term sobriety and relapse avoidance. The days, weeks, and months following a patient’s discharge from rehabilitation are of the utmost importance. Patients who have just existed treatment are at increased risk of relapse, and relapse can be extremely dangerous, particularly for those recovering from opioid addiction. Aftercare programs can greatly reduce the likelihood of a relapse and help patients continue to focus on their health and recovery.

Below is a list of some of the most effective and frequently-utilized aftercare resources:

Whatever combination of aftercare resources you utilize following treatment, it is important that recovery and continued sobriety remain a priority for you. Each individual walks a unique path and faces unique struggles, but that does not mean you have to walk your path alone. Aftercare can help you maintain a supportive network of other recovering individuals who you can turn to in difficult and not-so-difficult times. With renewed dedication and supportive people around you, long-term sobriety is possible.

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