It’s no secret that the United States is plagued by a crisis that parallels the worst we have ever seen. According to The New York Times, the numbers are staggering. Overdose deaths set a record last year. The article highlights new figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that more than 70,000 Americans died in 2017, setting a new record.
Each year that passes sets new records for lives lost. New data also points to how overdose death rates are higher than deaths from HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), car crashes, or gun violence at their peaks. The same data also highlights how the use of synthetic opioids like fentanyl has driven these disproportionate numbers.
During one of the distinct waves of the opioid crisis, 2013 saw the number of overdose deaths linked to fentanyl and similar drugs to have grown more than 28,000 from a mere 3,000 in the preceding years. Deaths from fentanyl rose more than 45 percent in 2017 alone.
A senior public health scientist with the research group RTI International is on the record saying, “If we’re talking about counting the bodies, where they lie, and the cause of death, we’re talking about a fentanyl crisis.”
Fentanyl is one of the most potent drugs of any class to ever find its way into existence. It was initially used to treat chronic pain in patients who became resistant to opioid therapy, but eventually, it found its way into the public and the streets.
Fentanyl use has become so detrimental to U.S. society that we’ve seen a reduction in the country’s life expectancy three years straight. We have not witnessed a pattern like this since World War II, and life expectancy has fallen by nearly four months at birth. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for adults under age 55.
Robert Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the CDC, mentions that “the idea that a developed, wealthy nation like the United States has a declining life expectancy just doesn’t seem right. If you look at the other wealthy countries of the world, they’re not seeing the same thing.”
Synthetic drugs are much more deadly than prescription pills and heroin for a variety of reasons. They are often more potent, which means a tiny error in dosing can lead to an instant overdose.
The way inexperienced chemists synthesize the drugs in clandestine labs also means that the chemical structure of the drug is subject to change. One batch may be twice as potent as the one a user had previously. In some parts of the country, fentanyl has completely phased out heroin.
There is one silver lining to this all, and some early trends have been pointing toward 2017 being the peak of the overdose epidemic. One main contributor is that cities have made the conscious effort to invest in public health programs to help reduce the deadliness of drug use and connect more of these individuals with drug treatment centers.
When using prescription opioid drugs like OxyContin or Percocet, or using stronger street drugs like heroin or fentanyl, someone who wants to stop using the drugs is going to need help. Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can be downright unbearable, and medical detoxification is necessary to secure the chance of a future of abstaining from the drugs.
The next question you might ask is, “How do I find the right opiate detox center for myself or a loved one?” This article will highlight that in detail below.
Various facilities throughout the U.S. offer similar services, so finding the right one may be a daunting task for some. You have finally accepted that you need help for your opiate addiction, but now you are starting to question your desire to get help because this task seems more difficult than to keep using. It doesn’t have to be. Prioritizing your health and wellness over drug use must not be influenced by choosing where to detox. Before you make a decision, though, you must be well-informed about your options and what to look for in the right facility.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has identified 13 principles that make for effective addiction treatment. Many of these factors have become the bedrock of today’s addiction treatment industry. When you’re looking for addiction treatment, it’s worth keeping many of these principles in mind. Here are some of the most important principles to look for in a rehab center:
Each person who enrolls in treatment has different needs that will make their process unique. Those who enter into treatment come in at a different height, weight, age, type, and amount of opiates they’ve been using, among others. No single treatment plan will be useful to everyone, which just means you require a tailored treatment that fits your current and evolving needs.
When you are researching your detox options, make sure you look for individualized treatment protocols and not a cookie-cutter type format. Fortunately, The Palm Beach Institute offers customized treatment programs to address each need.
Our center offers specialized help for clients who are struggling not only with addiction but other disorders that can accompany their conditions. We treat mental health issues like anxiety, depression, as well as substance use disorders. The holistic program our facility offers focuses on the person as a whole, including their mind, body, and soul.
Since factors vary from one person to another, the most comprehensive facilities will offer a range of services for their clients. The services may include options for medication-assisted detox as well as options for non-medication based detox.
Detox will only be practical when a facility is not focused on too many needs at once. It’s important to have enough staff members who have time to provide each client with individualized attention. The only way this can take place is when the client-to-staff ratio remains low. It allows for specialists and other on-site professionals to respond quickly to problems that may arise and offer constant monitoring to make adjustments on the go.
Along with a medically supervised detox, a range of treatments are available including:
Group therapy sessions that are held twice a day can include 12-step meetings, stress management techniques, mindfulness training, medical education, and more.
Detox is only the beginning of treatment, and those who complete this phase must follow through with the continuum of care. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), people who spend fewer than 90 days in treatment have lower success rates than their counterparts, who spend at least the minimum 90 days. While detox allows for the safe transition into a sober state, it does not address the issues that surround addiction. To do so, a client must spend time in a center to begin developing healthier habits.
Without help, those who complete their detox programs may find it difficult to enroll in a treatment center alone. The difficulty lies in a misunderstanding on how to proceed with the next steps. The best detox facilities will make the transition into active treatment simple for their clients. In some cases, they will provide the help needed to find the right program best suited for their needs. If you are ready to get help, consider The Palm Beach Institute.
American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2018, July 20). What are the ASAM Levels of Care? Retrieved from https://www.asamcontinuum.org/knowledgebase/what-are-the-asam-levels-of-care/
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). 7: Duration of treatment. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-iii/6-duration-treatment
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). Principles of Effective Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). 12-Step Facilitation Therapy (Alcohol, Stimulants, Opiates). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-4
Katz, J., & Sanger-katz, M. (2018, November 29). 'The Numbers Are So Staggering.' Overdose Deaths Set a Record Last Year. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/29/upshot/fentanyl-drug-overdose-deaths.html