Monday, June 24, 2019

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Norman, Oklahoma Drug Statistics and Treatment

Oklahoma is the 5th highest state with reported addictions and the number continues to be growing due to the popularity and accessibility of prescription drugs and other opioids. From 2007-2012, there were 3,900 deaths by unintended drug poisoning in Norman, and 4 out of every 5 deaths involved the abuse of prescription drugs. Of these prescription drug-related deaths, 9 out of 10 of them involved prescription painkillers. It was found that over 8% of the entire population of Norman is misusing pain killers to some extent. Hydrocodone has found to be the most popular drug among the city as it causes more deaths each year than methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine combined.

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

Norman, Oklahoma is part of the Metropolitan Oklahoma City Area in Cleveland County. According to the 2010 census that are 110,925 people residing in the city making it the third largest city in Oklahoma and the 225th larges city in the United States. In relation to other cities in the country, Norman is slightly lacking in diversity. A high majority, 84.7% of the population is white, 4.3% is African American, 4.7% is Native American, 3.8% is Asian, .1% is Pacific Islander and 5.5% of the population is 2 or more races. The median household annual income for the residents of Norma is $44,396.

Norman Drug Laws

The city of Norman complies with all state laws regarding the possession and sale of illegal substances, and they have very little tolerance for drug-related crimes. While marijuana is legal in some states, recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state of Oklahoma at this time. The punishment of possession of marijuana depends on the individual’s situation and criminal record but it is almost always treated as a misdemeanor unless combined with another crime and can result in up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. The sale and distribution of marijuana is not treated as lightly and is always considered a felony regardless of the amount. If a person is selling or distributing less than 25lbs of the drug it can result in up to 2 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. Selling 25 to 1,000lbs of marijuana is punishable by up to 4 years in prison and $100,000 in fines and the sale of over 1,000lbs could result in anywhere from 4 to 20 years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines. The possession of drugs other than marijuana has various punishments depending on the type of drug. Schedule I and II Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) can result in up to $5,000 in fines and anywhere from 2-5 years in jail. Any subsequent offense would result in up to $10,000 in fines and increased jail time depending on the number of previous offenses. The possession of Schedule III, IV and V CDSs are punished less severely than Schedule I and II CDSs and result in 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines for the first offense and 2 to 10 yeas in jail and up to $5,000 in fines for every subsequent offense.

Driving under the influence of any mind-altering substance like drugs or alcohol is also punishable by law in Oklahoma just as it is in other states. The first time a person 21 or older is charged with a DUI, they could face anywhere from 10 days to 1 year in jail, face $500 to $1,000 in fines, a 30 to 180 day suspended license and the installation of an Interlocking Ignition Device (IID) if their alcohol content is over .15%. If a person is charged with their second DUI, the consequences are increased to 1 to 5 years in jail, $500- $2,500 in fines, a suspended license from 6 months to 1 year and they must have an IID on their vehicle for 4 years. A person’s third DUI charge results in an increased 1 to 7 years in jail, up to $5,000 in fines, a suspended license for 1 to 3 years and the instillation of an IID on their vehicle for 5 years. The state of Oklahoma also has a “zero tolerance” policy for anyone caught driving under the influence under the age of 21. The consequences for a first underage DUI charge include a revoked license for 6 months, $100 to $500 in fines and 20 hours of mandatory community service. The consequences of the second offence are raised to a revoked license for one year, $100 to $1,000 in fines and 240 hours of mandatory community service. A third DUI charge for a person under the age of 21 results in their license being revoked for 3 years, $100 to $2,000 in fines, 480 hours of mandatory community service and they have to install an IID on their vehicle for a minimum of 30 days.

Treatment Procedure

Intervention

When a person is unable to recognize that they have a substance abuse problem, it may be time for their concerned friends and family members consider having an intervention. The purpose of an intervention is to show the person that they are cared about, have a problem and need to seek treatment. Often times, people are aware that they have a substance abuse problem, but they are in denial about the issue, so hearing it from others may be beneficial. An intervention is not a time to be angry at the person for their actions or belittle them about their addiction. This will likely cause the person to experience resentment or anger on top of all the other emotions they are experiencing during that time and might not agree to seek treatment. To prevent this from happening, it is important that everyone who wants to speak during that time writes down what they want to say. Some find it helpful to write what they want to say in letter format and read it directly to the person to make sure they do not leave anything important out.

It may also be helpful for the friends and family to do research and get some information on possible treatment centers and have that prepared to show to the person they are intervening on. They will understandably be overwhelmed during this time and might think they are not even capable of finding a treatment center on their own. They also may not see treatment as a realistic option for them, but having a facility selected and presented to them may show that sobriety is possible. Once they are able to accept that they have a problem and need help is when the treatment process can begin.

More on Intervention Services.

Intake

After the person agrees to seeking treatment, they will begin the intake process at whichever facility the selected. This will most likely involve speaking to an intake specialist and answering questions about their health, addiction and family background. The information being collected will be used to help develop an appropriate treatment plan for the individual. They will also meet with their treatment team prior to starting the program and they will work together to develop a few goals for the patient to work towards during their course of treatment.

Patients will also undergo a physical and mental assessment during the intake process to develop a baseline for where the patient is at. They will also look for signs of the damage that the drugs or alcohol had on the person’s body thought the length of the addiction. They will also look for co-occurring mental disorders that are common in people that suffer from substance abuse problems. If the patient does have a mental illness, they will be treated with the help of medication from a certified psychiatrist and additional counseling.

Detox

Once the patient finishes their physical assessment, they are ready to begin the detox process. Detox can be both physically and mentally draining on a person, so it is important that it is done in a hospital or similar facility and fully supervised to monitor any side effects or health risks that it may lead to. Some of the common side effects include headaches, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, depression, hallucinations, cold-like symptoms, insomnia and increased irritability. Some of the other more serious, potentially fatal side effects that some people experience can include heart attacks, strokes and seizures. The severity of the side effects depends on a number of factors like the type of drug used, the length and severity of the addiction, the amount of the drug used each dose and the overall health of the individual. In general, the detox process can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days to fully remove the toxic substances from their body. 

 

Inpatient Treatment

After the patient completes their medically supervised detox, they are ready to be moved into an inpatient facility where they will live for the duration of their treatment. Most often patients will live alone or with one roommate, but rooms are almost always separated by gender. During the time of their treatment they will be in a safe and sober environment to help quiet the temptation to use drugs or alcohol while they work to complete their treatment. Each day patients will participate in both individual and group counseling where they will work with professionals on strategies to address the underlying problems and overcome their addiction. Most programs use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which works to “rewire” the brain to no longer associate bad situations and uncomfortable feelings with the urge to return to the substance they were once addicted to.

The length of time a person spends in an inpatient facility is dependent on both the program and the individual. Some programs run short-term inpatient treatment that lasts 6-8 weeks but may seem more intensive. Other programs choose to run long-term treatment programs that can last anywhere from 6 months to one year. The severity of the addiction, personal state and the general health of the individual helps to determine which program would be most suitable for them.

Learn more on Inpatient vs. Outpatient.

Outpatient Treatment

After a patient successfully completes their inpatient program, they will likely seek outpatient treatment while they are living independently. Some outpatient programs meet in groups buts most involve individual counseling with a professional. Patients do not live at the facility when taking part in outpatient programs and may only attend sessions once or twice a week. Since sessions only last one or two hours, patients can easily fit it in their schedules while maintaining other responsibilities like work or school. Attending outpatient treatment following an intensive, inpatient program because it gives them a safe place to talk about the issues they have now that they have achieved sobriety and a professional to help keep them on track. Many people also see outpatient treatment as a way to stay accountable since they have to “check in” with their counselor on a regular basis.

Aftercare

Aftercare is an extremely important step following any type of addiction treatment and people who have achieved long term sobriety likely attended aftercare following their treatments. Aftercare can be formal like regular support groups or less formal such as a group of recovering addicts engaging in fun, sober activities on a weekend. The only classifications for an aftercare program are that they are both consistent and ongoing. One of the most popular aftercare programs for recovering addicts are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These meetings are free, open to anybody who would like to attend, and available in almost every location. 

Sober Living

Not every person who completes their inpatient treatment program is ready to start living fully independently. There are a number of reasons this could occur, such as not having a sober and sage environment to return to or homelessness problems they may have encountered prior to receiving treatment. In cases like this, patients may find success in a sober living facility. Sober living facilities, often times referred to as halfway houses, act like a part-time residency for people who are recovering from addiction. Unlike inpatient centers, sober living facilities give their residents the freedom to come and go during the daylight hours. This helps them work towards transitioning back into a sober, independent life without leaving them resource-less. They are often encouraged to find a job and look for affordable housing for when they are ready to start living independently.

One rule that residents in sober living facilities must follow is that they have to remain sober in order to continue living there. They are required to take regular drug tests to ensure that they are adhering to this rule. One way facilities help the residents to avoid the temptation of drugs and alcohol is by setting a curfew that all residents must follow. This way the residents are not able to be out during the night, when bars are more populated, and statistically more drugs are dealt and used.