Your Treatment Options + State Drug Abuse Facts
For many people, drug and alcohol treatment involves more than a short-term, one-time stint. It is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and consistent monitoring. Treatment is intended to thwart people from compulsively seeking and using drugs. Below, we have explored various treatment options in Alaska so that you can make an informed decision for yourself or a loved one who struggles with substance addiction.
Like the rest of the nation, Alaska residents face epidemic numbers of people using heroin. Unfortunately, this addiction often leads to death. The rate of heroin-associated deaths in Alaska more than tripled from 2008 to 2013 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – SAMHSA). During that time, 72 people died with heroin use as the primary or a contributing cause of death. Other drugs, namely cocaine and prescription medicines, are also causing increased fatality rates. Substance use disorders are leading to an increase in death rates nationally. Barring marijuana use in Alaska, which was considerably higher than the national average, there were no statistically significant differences in illicit drugs use between Alaska and the rest of the USA (Alaska Department of Health and Social Services).
There is no better time than now to ensure this type of tragedy doesn’t strike you or your family. Below, see information about the different types of drug treatment and health services available in Alaska and throughout the United States.
Type & Length of Care:
Treatment facilities vary per the length of stay and style of intervention. Here’s an overview of the typical modes of substance treatment.
Long Term Treatment Programs (90-Day)
Long-term treatment facilities that extend 90 days or more are intended to treat chronic alcohol and drug addiction. They provide an intensive, structured environment that encourages abstinence so that a person can reclaim their life after the completion of rehabilitation. These programs are available in various formats such as men only, women only, for pregnant women, teen only, and other types, depending on the treatment providers and rehabilitation centers.
Short Term Treatment Programs (28 / 30 Day)
Short-term treatment facilities focus on assisting people overcome illicit drug use within a month’s time frame. Like long-term recovery centers, patients typically stay on the premises with clear guidelines that foster abstinence both in and out of the program.
Outpatient / Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers
Drug and alcohol rehab facilities generally fall into one category or the other: inpatient, wherein patients stay on the premises for a duration of time without leaving the property, and outpatient, thereby continuing ordinary life while visiting the facility for therapy, group therapy sessions, and other substance abuse treatment services.
Inpatient treatment programs are intensive, residential options designed to help with serious drug/alcohol addictions. Outpatient treatment programs allow patients to transfer between treatment and everyday life, including employment and school. Intensive outpatient programs bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient programs by letting the person return home each day, but offering more mental health services than typical outpatient programs.
Residential Treatment Services:
Drug detoxification, or detox, is the first step to drug and alcohol recovery. It is the process of assisting patients as they try to stabilize after long-term drug addiction, then shifts to monitoring and supporting the body as it rids itself of the drug. Detox can be emotionally and physically traumatic, leaving a person vulnerable to suicide and death if not monitored properly.
Some facilities outsource this step to another nearby detox-only center. In either case medication-assisted treatment (e.g. Suboxone, Naloxone) are routinely administered to decrease opiate withdrawals. In fact, studies show they are highly effective on average, and underutilized (Jennifer R. Velander, MD) . One study showed that buprenorphine resulted in “4 times the rate of negative urine drug tests” while reducing craving significantly.
Sober living homes are for people who are in the process of recovering from substance abuse addiction but don’t need constant monitoring. They have certain rules that residents must follow and expectations of helping around the house. Many people use sober living homes as a means of transitioning into independent living without drug or alcohol use.
Individuals who are struggling with a mental health concern, including bipolar disorder or depression, and a co-occurring substance abuse addiction, are referred to as dual diagnosis patients. Dual diagnosis facilities have staff that includes both mental health professionals and substance abuse counselors who modify patients behavior via a variety of behavioral therapy modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), REBT, DBT, MI, EMDR, Trauma-Focused Therapies, Family Therapy, and others. However, this form of medical advice is often, but not entirely included or offered in all drug rehab facilities.
Commonly Abused & Treated Drugs in Alaska:
Alcohol, methamphetamines, marijuana, prescription drugs, heroin, and cocaine continue to be the drugs of choice for Alaskan residents. A large number of people have reported combining two or more drugs, most often meth and heroin, for a heightened — if not deadly — effect. Alcohol accounts for the majority of substance use arrests and bootlegging alcohol has become a rather lucrative business in the state of Alaska.
Rehab centers can be found in cities such as Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla, Ketchikan, Akeela, Juneau, and Sitka.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance abuse addiction, entering an addiction treatment center can be helpful. In order to help a person in recovery, it’s best to find a rehab program that suits their needs and personality. Although some people can make a full recovery in a short-term, outpatient facility, many others need something more focused and lengthy.
Often, a person finds the best results if they travel away from the social connections that promote a lifestyle of substance abuse to a facility out of state. Common payment methods include self-pay, private insurance, insurance from one’s employer, Medicare/Medicaid, military insurance, friends/family, as well as sliding scale payment assistance on a needs-based approach.
Call us to take the next step.
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