Drug Addiction Treatment in Lubbock, Texas
Lubbock is an American city located in the northwestern part of Texas. The population of Lubbock is roughly 250,000, which makes it the 11th largest city in Texas. Known as “Hub City”, Lubbock is the economic, healthcare, and educational hub of the Lubbock metropolitan area and entire multicounty region of north-west Texas. Lubbock has also been called the most dangerous city in Texas, mainly due to a high rate of drug abuse and associated criminal activity. There are a number of substances that cause problems in this part of Texas, including alcohol, prescription opioids, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and illegal stimulants. There are a number of detox and rehab facilities located in Lubbock and the surrounding area to service the growing needs of residents.
Demographics and Income in Lubbock
The racial profile in Lubbock is 76 percent White, 8.6 percent African American, 9.9 percent from other races, and 2.4 percent Asian. The Hispanic and Latino population of any race represent 32.1 percent of the population, with non-Hispanic Whites being 55.7 percent of the population. The estimated median income of Lubbock was $43,364 for an individual and $59,185 for a family in the latest estimates, which means that 11.4 percent of all families and almost 21 percent of the entire population were living below the poverty line. Poverty can have a direct effect on substance abuse rates, with low income populations also finding it more difficult to access treatment services due to affordability constraints.
Common Drug Problems in Lubbock and Texas
Lubbock faces a number of different drug problems, many of which are exacting a high toll on the local community. Marijuana abuse is a significant problem in the city and surround area, with Department of Public Safety and DEA officers recently intercepting a massive 1300 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $900,000 and arresting four people. According to Texas Health and Human Services, the availability of marijuana has increased in recent years, with young Hispanic gangs often controlling the distribution of marijuana as it comes into the city. In what is a worrying trend, marijuana is often sold combined with crack cocaine or embalming fluid under the name “Primos”.
Heroin and prescription opioids are also causing very real problems in Lubbock, with nowhere immune to the opioid epidemic that continues to sweep across America. According to Texas Health and Human Services, the availability of heroin has increased over the last few years, with doses now larger and priced at $20 each. It costs between $150 to $200 per gram of heroin in Lubbock, with ounces selling for between $3,500 to $5,000. Along with heroin, prescription opioids are also a concern across the state of Texas, with some street heroin containing fentanyl and other dangerous opioid drugs. People often navigate to heroin after first developing prescription opioid addictions. Cocaine and crack cocaine are also prevalent in Lubbock according to the Narcotic Intelligence Division of the Lubbock Police Department. Rocks range in price from $5 to $100 depending on size and good quality powder cocaine is available for $750 per ounce.
What is addiction?
Addiction is a complex and serious problem that affects millions of people around the world. Defined as a compulsive brain disorder, people who suffer from addiction engage with a variety of rewarding stimuli despite the existence of adverse consequences. While it’s possible to be addicted to certain behaviors such as sex, gambling, and food, most addiction treatment centers specialize in psychoactive substance addictions. People who are addicted to these substances have trouble discontinuing their use even when it is known to cause harm, both to themselves and those around them. Because addiction is based on physical brain changes that get established over time, dedicated treatment measures are needed to break old habits and set up new associations.
The two properties that define addiction are reinforcement and reward, with drug addicts rewarding themselves through drug exposure and setting up positive reinforcement patterns that increase the likelihood of repetition. Drug addiction exacts an incredibly high toll on modern society, through individual health problems, financial problems, social problems, crime, loss of productivity, and overdose deaths. In order to break the bonds of addiction and avoid relapse, dedicated treatment programs are advised. From the early days of intervention and medical detox through to the later stages of rehab and continuing care, each stage of this process is crucial.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
People can get addicted to a wide range of problematic substances, including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and a variety of prescription drugs. These drugs can be classified as either central nervous system (CNS) depressants or CNS stimulants, with depressants more likely to cause physical dependence and stimulants more likely to cause psychological dependence. People often try to hide drug abuse from those around them, which makes it hard to identify problems during the early stages of addiction While the signs and symptoms of drug addiction are highly variable according to the drug in question and extent of addiction, there are some general warning signs that are worth watching out for.
– developing tolerance
– social problems due to drug use
– financial problems due to drug use
– health problems due to drug use
– compulsive drug use
– impulsive drug use
– using drugs even when they cause known problems
– changed sleeping and eating patterns
– mood swings
– anxiety and depression due to drug use
Prescription Drug Abuse and Dependence
Prescription medications are widely abused in modern American society, including opioid painkillers, sedatives, and stimulants. While illegal street drugs are responsible for many problems and still get most of the media attention, the prescription opioid epidemic currently sweeping across America is getting people to sit up and take notice of this serious problem. Prescription medications can be misused and overused in many ways, some of which can lead to addiction and overdose. Common methods of abuse include:
– using a higher dose than prescribed
– using medications prescribed for someone else
– combining medications
– using a different method of administration than prescribed
– obtaining prescriptions or drugs on the black market
Prescription opioids are the most widely abused medications, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, morphine, codeine and many others. Commercial opioid products are often mixed with paracetamol and other compounds, with people sometimes overdosing on these secondary substances in an attempt to consume more of the active opioids. Opioid abuse often leads to dependence and addiction, which needs to be treated through detox and rehab programs as quickly as possible.
Benzodiazepines and other sedatives are the second most widely abused class of prescription drugs, including Valium, Klonopin, Xanax and many others. These drugs are taken for anxiety disorders and related conditions and abused to induce feelings of relaxation and sedation. While they operate very differently to opioids, sedatives are also highly addictive and also require detox and rehab treatment. Stimulants are the third most widely abused class of prescription drugs in the United States, including Adderall and Ritalin. While these medications do not create physical dependence like opioids and sedatives, they can cause serious problems if left untreated.
Drug Treatment Assessment and Intake
Not all drug treatment programs are created equally, with some detox and rehab clinics specializing in particular treatment paradigms. Before embarking on treatment, it’s important to go through a detailed assessment with a qualified doctor or therapist. During assessment, the practitioner will attempt to identify any issues that may be relevant to treatment, including lifestyle factors, the nature of the addiction, the extent of the addiction, and secondary problems such as mental health disorders and behavioral addictions. Many of these problems can interfere with the treatment process if they’re not addressed during the early stages.
The primary goal of assessment is to identify high-risk cases as early as possible and get people into appropriate treatment channels. For example, someone who has a severe case of alcoholism or heroin addiction may need to access medical detox services quickly in order to avoid dangerous withdrawal symptoms. In comparison, someone who has problems with marijuana abuse or MDMA abuse may have to go on a waiting list before being directed directly into a rehab program. While it’s important to help all people who seek treatment, every case is unique and some cases require immediate attention. The intake procedure will also address things like costs and the expectations that surround treatment. While some patients want to access a full-time residential program, others are happy with informal outpatient services.
Physical vs Psychological Dependence
Before starting treatment, clinicians will attempt to differentiate between physical and psychological dependence. This is a critical decision, with the existence of physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms needing a different level of care than motivational and emotional symptoms. For example, many alcoholics and opioid addicts are likely to experience severe physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop using drugs. These symptoms can range in severity from headaches and sweating through to seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens. If a physical dependency is not identified early, symptoms can lead to complications. On the other hand, psychological dependence is accompanied by symptoms such as insomnia, mood swings, depression, lack of motivation, and anxiety. While these symptoms can also create problems, they are not life-threatening in most cases.
Substances known to cause physical dependence include alcohol, heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and many others. These drugs are all central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Substances that cause psychological dependence include marijuana, MDMA, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and prescription stimulants. These drugs are mostly CNS stimulants, with the exception of marijuana. There is a third class of drugs called hallucinogens that are not associated with dependence of any kind, including things like LSD and magic mushrooms. While treatment is not often used for these substances, they can cause problems because of symptoms that resemble temporary psychosis and the occurrence of accidents while intoxicated.
Medical detox is often administered at the outset of the treatment process, where it is used to stabilize patients and promote sobriety before rehabilitation. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), medical detox should always be designed in a series of three stages, initial evaluation, medication, and guiding patients into rehab. The early evaluation phase is critical because it helps doctors and clinicians to identify potential problems before they arise. For example, blood tests are often carried out during this stage in order to avoid unwanted drug interactions. General medical tests and mental health examinations may also occur to identify any problems that could interfere with medication therapy or rehab further down the road.
The second stage of detox normally involves medication, with different drugs used to help stabilize patients and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Some substances are known to produce severe and potentially deadly withdrawal symptoms, including alcohol, heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, Valium, Xanax and many others. The primary goal of detox is to stabilize patients and get them ready to engage with the rest of the treatment process. Once a patient has been medicated and the withdrawal syndrome has been managed effectively, practitioners will guide them towards rehab. Detox is not enough when administered in isolation, with rehab also needed to ensure long-term sobriety.
Rehab programs are designed to follow detox, with a range of rehab structures in operation throughout Texas and across the United States. While detox is critical for many people, it does nothing to address the emotional, social, and environmental reasons for drug addiction. Rehab is designed to do just this, with dedicated programs helping people to address the psychological issues that caused addiction.
Common treatment paradigms utilized during rehab include pharmacotherapy, behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, contingency management, family therapy, 12-step facilitation, motivational interviewing and many more. These programs are applied during inpatient and outpatient programs that can last anywhere from a single weekend though to a six-month immersion.
Rehab programs are designed to promote long-term lifestyle changes. By helping patients to recognize triggers and identify the mental distortions that can lead to drug abuse, clinicians can help people start a new life away from drugs and alcohol. This is not an easy process, however, with drug addiction based on real brain changes that develop as a result of repeated drug exposure. Physical triggers need to be addressed and new psychological associations need to be found in order to avoid relapse. Cognitive-behavioral therapy plays an important role in this process, as does psychoanalysis, traditional counseling, family therapy and many other modalities.
Also known as inpatient treatment, residential rehab enables people to live at the treatment center for the duration of rehab. While this type of treatment can be expensive and inflexible, it does provide the most comprehensive level of support possible. Residential programs are especially relevant for people with a long history of drug addiction, those with a physical dependency who need to access medications, and anyone who thinks they will benefit from an immersive program. Inpatient rehabilitation allows people to leave their home environment and escape from the friends and family structures that may have been supporting or enabling their drug addiction. There are many types of inpatient rehab available, from full-time residential treatment centers (RTC) through to partial hospitalization (PHP) and weekend programs.
Intensive outpatient programs ( IOP) and other forms of outpatient rehab are available in Lubbock and across Texas. While not as fully featured as residential rehab, outpatient rehab is less expensive and more flexible. While inpatient programs allow the patient to live at the treatment center for the duration, outpatient programs enable people to live at home and carry out their everyday activities. While this can lead to relapse in some situations, outpatient rehab is the perfect choice for many recovering drug addicts. Outpatient structures vary greatly depending on the rehab center in question, from single treatment sessions through to full-day programs and treatment regimes that last for weeks at a time. Group counseling and individual therapy sessions may both be used in this context, with some treatment centers adhering to the free will model of addiction and others to the disease model of addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) almost 50 percent of all drug treatment admissions experience relapse at some stage after they leave rehab. In order to reduce these numbers, treatment professionals need to instigate relapse prevention systems and techniques during rehab and aftercare programs. Relapse is also known as recidivism and describes any return to problematic drug taking behavior after a period of sobriety. Because this can happen at any stage, it’s important for recovering addicts to stay in touch with treatment in the weeks and months that follow rehab. In order to prevent relapse, clinicians teach patients how to recognize potential triggers, avoid unwanted situations, and make different life choices when faced with adversity.
A number of programs can help with this process, including behavioral therapy, contingency management, and general mindfulness. Unless people are taught how to recognize and avoid emotional and social triggers, impulsive and compulsive responses are likely to continue. Common triggers include social events, location proximity, anger and frustration, social isolation and depression, anxiety, and spending time with old friends. While recovering addicts can develop new coping skills and learn how to make new associations over time, during the early days of recovery it’s often best to simply avoid these dangerous situations.
More on Relapse Prevention.
The Importance of Aftercare
Aftercare describes any drug addiction treatment administered after the completion of rehab. Also known as continuing care, aftercare programs are essential to any successful treatment. Because relapse is such a common outcome of drug addiction, aftercare is needed to encourage and support people in the weeks and months that follow treatment. This can happen in many ways, from conventional 12-step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous through to SMART Recovery, client-centered counseling, group counseling, family therapy and numerous other approaches. Sober living environments (SLE) may also be used during aftercare to help people transition from addiction to treatment and back to everyday life.
Sober Living Houses
People often need an extra layer of support before they can reintegrate with the everyday world. Drug addicts have often been through severe physical and emotional trauma, which makes it hard for them to find employment and accommodation. Sober living houses or environments help with this transition by providing people with somewhere to live in a safe and supportive environment. These facilities are available across the United States, with most centers working under a similar set of rules and guidelines. Typical rules at a sober house include complete sobriety at all times, random drug and alcohol testing, respect given to other guests and staff, no overnight visitors, and participation in recovery programs.
While sober living centers are designed primarily to help people with accommodation, they may also provide ongoing psychotherapy programs, employment assistance, medical check-ups, and affordable legal aid. If you or someone you know is living with a substance use disorder, it’s important to contact a treatment center in Lubbock as soon as you can.