Drug Addiction Treatment in West Valley City, Utah
West Valley City is the second largest city in Utah and is a suburb of Salt Lake City, the largest city in Utah. The city is made up of 136,208 residents that are dispersed among 9 neighborhoods- Chesterfield, Redwood, East Granger, West Granger, Hunter, Lakepark, West Hunter, Woodhaven and Oquirrh. The majority of the population, 65.37%, is white. African Americans make up 1.9% of the population, 1.26% are Native American, 4.97% are Asian and 3.64% are Hispanic or Latino and 18.96% of the population is made up of a combination of two or more races.
How to Tell if a Person is on Drugs
If you are unfamiliar with the warning signs of drug abuse, it may be difficult to look for the signs in another person. It can be confusing and overwhelming to suspect a loved one has a substance abuse issue and can be even more difficult if the person does not realize how severe their substance abuse problem actually is. Each drug has its own collection of warning signs and side effects and each individual reacts to drugs differently, so it may seem like a nearly impossible task.
One of the biggest warning sings that a person may have a substance abuse problem is a significant change in their personality. A person who is usually typically outgoing and personable may become withdrawn and isolated, possibly to hide their addiction. On the contrary, a typically reserved individual may feel a “spark of courage” and become very social. Another warning sign to look for is if a person has a drastic change in the people that they associate themselves with. They may abandon their previous friends and family members to spend time with people who share the same interests in a specific substance use as they do. While these symptoms may be very telling of an addiction, it is possible that a person who is using drugs does not display any of these symptoms.
West Valley City Drug Trends and Statistics
It is estimated that at any given time, 15.2% of the West Valley City population over the age of 12 had abused drugs or alcohol in the past year. It is also estimated that half of these people who reported using drugs are suffering from a substance abuse problem. The most commonly abused drug in in the area across all ages and ethnicities is methamphetamine, and 28% of women who have sought out treatment were suffering from a methamphetamine addiction. Alcohol used to be the most common reason that people seek treatment, but now it remains a close second. 40% of men and 28% of women that receive treatment are suffering from an alcohol addiction.
Prescription drugs are on the rise across America, and West Valley City has been no exception. In fact, Utah is reported as being the highest state for drug misuse across the area. In West Valley City, 5% of the population is estimated to be abusing prescription drugs and the most common are oxycodone and hydrocodone. The rising abuse of prescription drugs also directly relates to the rise in heroin use in the area. Heroin is made up of the same chemicals as some prescription drugs and has a similar effect on the brain but is much cheaper and easier to obtain. People are starting to seek out heroin once they no longer have access to their prescriptions anymore.
West Valley City Drug Laws
West Valley City follows the same drug laws as the state of Utah and are designed to try and limit the number of drugs that are available to citizens on the streets. If a person is found with less than 1oz of marijuana on them, they are charged with a Class B Misdemeanor and could face up to 6 months in jail. Any subsequent offense of possession of more than 1oz of marijuana is considered a 3rd degree felony and results in 5 years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. The possession of 100lbs or more of marijuana can result in up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The sale of marijuana is also considered a 3rd degree felony and can be punishable by 5 years and $5,000. If a person already had prior convictions, they level of their punishment is increase one level.
Driving under the influence is another substance related crime that is not tolerated in the state of Utah. A first DUI offense could result in up to 48 hours in jail, a minimum of $700 in fines and a suspended license for 120 days. A second offense can yield up to 240 hours in jail, a minimum of $800 in fines and a suspended license for 2 years. A third and any subsequent offense can be punishable by up to 1500 hours in jail, a minimum of $1,500 in fines and a suspended license for 2 years. A person is not required to install an Interlock Ignition Device (IID), but any subsequent offenses require that an IID is installed on a personal vehicle, which has to be paid for by the offender. Refusing to take a chemical test, like a blood or breathalyzer test, can result in punishment regardless of the other charges. The first time a person refuses to the test their license is suspended for 18 months. The second and third refusals yield a suspended license of 2 and 3 years respectively along with any other charges the person may receive.
The Treatment Process
If a person is struggling to recognize that they are struggling with a substance abuse problem, the friends and family may need to get involved and express their concerns to the addict. This is when an intervention takes place, so the family can bring the addicts concerning actions and behaviors to their attention and encourage them to seek treatment. Interventions are not meant to belittle the addict because of their previous behaviors but rather show them that they are cared about and they their friends and family are just worried about them.
Prior to any intervention, it is helpful for the support group to prepare exactly what they want to say to the addict. Some people choose to write a letter to the person they are concerned about and read it directly to them to make sure nothing important gets left. This letter should focus less on how the addict’s actions have hurt or angered others and rather on how the addict’s actions are hurting them. It also may be helpful to do some research on treatment centers and pick out a few to present to the addict. After the intervention the addict will likely feel overwhelmed and might not be able to do the research and find a facility themselves. Providing treatment information is also a great way to show the addict that recovery is both possible and realistic.
Once a person agrees to seek recovery, they begin the intake process. During this process, they will likely meet with an intake specialist and answer questions about their health history, details of their addiction and any treatment they may have previously received. It is extremely important for the patient to be completely honest when disclosing this information because it will help the treatment staff create an effective, comprehensive program for them. This process may also include a lot of paperwork, but all of the information shared will be kept confidential and used only to benefit the patient.
A physical assessment may take place during the detox process, so the treatment team can get a general idea of the patients’ health prior to treatment. They will make note of any medical concerns they have, and this is also a way to determine what kind of damage, if any, the substance abuse has done to the body. They will also complete a mental health screening to look for any mental health issues that commonly occur with addiction. While in treatment, the patient will work with a counselor and psychiatrist to appropriately treat these issues that may have contributed to the substance abuse to begin with.
The patient will then meet with the treatment team to go over the treatment plan and develop goals that they hope to accomplish during that time. They will also have the ability to ask any questions they may have before the treatment begins and to meet their treatment team.
Medical detox can be both physical and mentally exhausting on a patient, so it is important that it is done in a private hospital setting to protect their health and safety. This usually takes place in a secluded part of the facility since patients are likely experiencing a considerable amount of vulnerability at that time. Medical staff are present day and night to monitor all the patients as the experience withdraw symptoms. Detox is different for everybody depending on their health and the length and severity of their addiction, but it typically lasts for 3 to 10 days.
Patients going through detox can experience any range of mild to severe symptoms while they are detoxing the substances they were previously reliant on from their body. They may experience physical symptoms like headaches, flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, tremors and heart palpitations. They may also experience mental symptoms like depression, anxiety, insomnia and irritability. Sometimes patients may even experience more severe symptoms like heart attacks, seizures and strokes which is why it is extremely important that a patient goes through detox under the care of a medical professional rather than on their own.
After completing the detox process, the patient may move to a residential treatment center. They will live at the facility in a safe, community setting while they work on addressing the problems that led to the substance abuse to begin with. While in treatment, patients will attend individual and group counseling sessions at least daily where they learn to “retrain” their brains to no longer associate the drug and alcohol abuse as an appropriate coping mechanism. They also learn new, positive coping mechanisms to replace their old habits.
Inpatient treatment may be short term, anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks, where patients work intensely and diligently to learn the skills they need to return to sober living. Other programs are more long term and can last anywhere from 6 months to a year. These programs are usually more involved and include important assistance in life skills, financial and career counseling, vocational skills, and possibly legal assistance if it is needed.
Outpatient treatment programs are usually the next step for those who complete their inpatient programs and have transitioned to independent living. It also may be used for people who struggle with substance abuse but do not necessarily require the level of intensity and frequency that inpatient treatment offers. Usually outpatient sessions occur once a week and may be individual or group based. Usually outpatient sessions focus on helping the individual implement their new coping methods into their everyday lives and help them overcome unexpected hurdles in an appropriate manner.
Many people find outpatient therapy convenient because it can easily fit into their schedule since it is typically only an hour long once a week. It is also significantly closer to their homes than inpatient treatment centers may be (some can be hours away from the individual’s home) so they can easily commute to receive treatment. It is also easier for families who want to be a part of the treatment process to attend sessions with the patient without having to travel far. There is usually no set time frame for an outpatient program like there are for inpatient programs, so it is difficult to say how long each individual will be in treatment. As they progress in the program, the frequency of their treatment lessens until they are eventually able to live fully independently and implement the coping mechanisms completely on their own.