North Charleston, South Carolina Rehabs and Addictions
North Charleston, South Carolina is a lower middle-class city just 9 miles north of Charleston with a population of 106,749 people. This city, as well as the state of South Carolina is fighting an opioid epidemic. The overdose rate is growing, and the age of the addicts are getting younger.
The city of North Charleston is fighting a rising tide of drug addiction. The city’s crime rate, which is 73% higher than the rest of the state and 130% higher than the rest of the country, is a clear sign of the troubles in the city. While a large majority of the crime is theft, burglary and property theft, the murder rate in North Charleston is 4 times higher than the rest of the state.
The state of South Carolina has recently in the last year passed legislation to fight the growing epidemic. They have made many proactive changes such as giving legal immunity to individuals who are seeking medical help for those who are overdosing. High school health classes will be required to teach students about drugs and addiction. The state has created a database that doctors are required to consult when issuing prescriptions for opioid pain killers for a duration greater than 5 days. Medication drop off locations help people dispose of extra unused prescription medications so that they won’t end up in the wrong hands. Hopefully some of these measures will give this city and the state a fighting chance to squelch the rising opioid epidemic.
Drugs Abused in South Carolina
- Prescription Drug (ex: Pain Killers)
- MDMA (street name: molly)
- LSD (street name: acid)
Opioids (Heroin and Pain Killers)
Drugs like heroin and prescription pain killers (OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet) are a class of drugs known as opioids. These drugs are among the most addictive. Withdrawals from these drugs are extremely difficult and can be dangerous or even life threatening. These drugs also have a high risk of overdose and are among the leading cause of drug related deaths.
Opioids have many dangerous side effects that can cause serious and sometimes permanent health issues. With prolonged use of opioids, the user’s body develops a heighten sensitivity to pain. Opioids can also have a negative effect on the user’s hormones creating sexual dysfunction.
Other more serious side effects are risk of heart attack, kidney and liver disease, lung problems such as pneumonia and a weaken immune system leaving the user with a higher risk of infection. User’s who inject the drug also run the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis from contaminated needles.
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can come as a powder which is snorted or as a rock called crack which is smoked. This drug is dangerous, and the user can develop many unpleasant side effects as well as put themselves at risk of much more serious ones.
Side effects for prolonged use include chronic fatigue, abdominal pain, headaches, and nose bleeds. Addicts are also in danger from coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiac and/or raspatory arrest, stroke, seizure, and death.
Meth is not only a highly addictive drug, but it is incredibly dangerous one as well. It can not only drastically alter a user’s appearance but the mental faculties as well. The transformation of a meth user’s appearance can be quite shocking. Within just a short period of time, user’s go from fresh faced to unrecognizable messes, with sunken dead eyes, depressed cheeks, missing teeth and a face full of scars, scabs and sores.
Meth users are at risk from heart attacks, strokes, seizures and death. Meth riddles the users mind as well. Users will often develop mental and behavioral issues such as paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, anxiety, and depression. Meth can also bring on violent and desperate behavior.
Signs of Addiction
It is not always easy to recognize the signs of addiction in someone we love. Sometimes it is easier to not acknowledge it. However, this isn’t going to help your loved one. If you suspect that your loved one has a drug problem, the best thing to do is talk to them about it and then, if they are willing, assist them in finding help. You may have to engage in some tough love, and that can be uncomfortable. If you seek out advice from a rehab clinic or an addiction counselor, they can also assist you in determining how best to approach your loved one.
Change in appetite
Altered physical appearance
Lack of hygiene
Lack of coordination or slurred speech
Change in sleeping patterns (Sleeping more or less and at odd times of the day.)
Problems at work or school. (poor attendance, dropping grades, termination)
New group of friends or new hobbies
Engaging in risky behavior or breaking the law
Getting Help in North Charleston, South Carolina
There probably isn’t anything on earth harder than beating an addiction, except for trying to beat it alone. Once you have admitted that you have a problem and you need help, you are ready to begin living the best part of your life, the drug free part. Entering into rehab is the first step to turning it all around and getting your life back.
Finding a Facility in North Charleston, South Carolina
Selecting a rehab should first be about personal preference. It’s about which facility makes you feel comfortable and safe. However, before making your final selection you will need to make sure that your preferred rehab has three things. First, it’s a good idea to look into the rehab’s history of its success rate. It’s good to know if their treatments actually help people and if they can help you. Next, your facility should be not only licensed with the state but also accredited. This requires the facility to hire people who have the appropriate degrees and for the facility to adhere to certain standards and practices. Finally, it is essential that your chosen rehab have an aftercare program. When you leave rehab, you will want a program that follows you into the real world and helps you deny the desire to use drugs and stay sober.
Making Rehab Work
Entering rehab is an essential first step but it only works if you are willing to work at it and make the necessary life changes. It will be a time full of many complicated emotions and feelings but if you stay strong and are committed to change it can be the most amazing time in your life. An opportunity to truly change your life and make a new beginning for yourself.
What is an Assessment?
When you decide to enter rehab, you will have an assessment. This is basically an in-depth interview performed by one of the facility’s health care specialist. This assessment may or may not be accompanied by a physical depending upon your particular drug addiction. The assessor will ask extensive questions about your family history, your habits, lifestyle and drug use. In order for them to get a true picture of your addiction, you must be completely truthful. The rehab truly can’t help you unless you share your complete and unadulterated past history. They need to be able to tailor a treatment program to you and can only do this with your full cooperation.
What is Pre-Intake?
This is part of the assessment process when the facility decides which therapist you work best with and also if detox is required prior to beginning treatment, as well as assess your overall physical and mental health upon entering treatment.
What is Intake?
Intake is the process of getting you registered into the treatment program at the facility. They will decide on your placement, process your insurance and arrange your placement in detox, inpatient, residential or outpatient treatment.
What is Detox?
In some cases, a period of detoxification is necessary depending on your particular drug addiction. Certain drugs such as methamphetamines and opioids like heroin and prescription pain killers are incredibly hard to quit cold turkey. In some cases of drug dependency, when you initially quit, your body will crave the drug. Medical detox is necessary for severe drug addictions. It can be dangerous and even life threatening to stop certain drugs and a medical detox can assist you go through the withdrawals and know just how to help you. They will know how to deal with the traumatic things your body will go through. In many cases they can provide you with medication that will ease your withdrawals and help you get through the worst parts of quitting. Many times, addicts will return to using the drugs just to stop the pain of withdrawals. Lots of medical detox facilities will ween addicts off their drugs slowly, making their withdrawals easier and less painful.
What is Inpatient Treatment?
Inpatient treatment is a treatment that has a great deal of supervision and round the clock care usually in a hospital setting. A typical stay in inpatient is usually somewhere between 30-90 days. However, this is completely at the discretion of the doctors and it will depend on your response to treatment. This is a more concentrated treatment for patients dealing with more serious addictions that are sometimes intensified by other mental issues. Care givers can treat multiple illnesses consecutively. Patients can receive multiple therapies to treat both the problem and the symptom.
RTC- Residential Treatment Center
Residential treatment centers are not as intense as inpatient treatment facilities and the relaxed more home like environment is design to make recovering addicts feel comfortable. Patients will still receive the round the clock care as they would in inpatient treatment, but it is not as stringent. This setting is ideal for those who don’t require hospitalization for their drug use or are not suffering from any mental disorders. Patients will participate in daily therapy sessions that include group therapy and behavioral therapy and counseling.
PHP-Partial Hospitalization Program
Partial hospitalization program is not quite as intense as residential treatment. Patients will be given more freedom and independence to practice the new coping skills they are learning in therapy. Self-reliance is an important facet of this program. As the recovering addict begins to prepare to leave rehab and reenter their regular life, they will need to be able to deny the impulse to use drugs. This is critical for a recovering addict.
IOP- Intensive Outpatient Program
Intensive outpatient program is for patients who are able to manage their sobriety without full time supervision or do not require detox. Patients will still have therapy sessions and counseling, but they are able to live at home and continue living their normal lives. This program helps the patients learn to deal with their desire to use drugs and they are given the support to help them avoid temptation.
What is Outpatient Treatment?
Outpatient is a program for the patients with the least severe drug dependencies or with the strongest drive to be away from the drugs for good. This program allows the patient to live at home and continue to work, attend school or parent their children. They must attend meetings but without the intensity of intense outpatient treatment. They will still have the support network they need to help them steer clear of the drugs.
What is Aftercare?
Aftercare is probably one of the most important parts of the recovery journey. Once a recovering addict makes it to this step, they have completed the rehab program. However, this part of the recovery is a lifelong commitment to staying sober and never using again. In order to make this happen, recovering addicts will be requested to join a 12-step program like AA or NA. This program will give the patient a support network and a peer group of like minded individuals that can give them help when the urge to use creeps up. With over ½ the people who complete rehab successfully, relapsing back into drug use, this support is absolutely vital.
What is Sober Living?
When patients are not ready to leave rehab or do not have a place to go after rehab, there are special places designed to assist recovering addicts to slowly reenter regular life. Sober living facilities or halfway houses give recovering addicts a safe and drug free environment to reside in. They can come and go as they please but must adhere to the rules of the facilities and absolutely abstain from any drinking or drug use. In a community of likeminded, recovering addicts, they are able to find healthy friendships and support to help them maintain their sobriety.
A Step in the Right Direction
This is without a doubt one of the hardest challenges you will face in your life. However, it will also be the most life altering and one of the best things you can do for yourself. You are not alone and there are people that you will meet who will help face the challenge and beat it.