Oklahoma’s Substance Abuse Problem & How to Seek Help

While you might be proud to live in Oklahoma, there’s one fact you can’t deny. Our state suffers from a catastrophic substance abuse problem and something must be done. Did you know that nearly 1,000 Oklahomans will die each year because of a drug overdose? These numbers should blow your mind and cause you to take action.

Oklahoma’s Opioid Stats

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has some of the most up-to-date statistics on opioid abuse. Here are some of the stats they highlight.

  • In 2017, there were 388 overdose deaths because of opioids.
  • Synthetic opioid (fentanyl, etc.) deaths remain steady since 2010.
  • Oklahoma providers wrote 88.1 opioid prescriptions for every 100 residents in 2017.
  • In the United States, one baby is born addicted to opioids every 15 minutes.

The trouble is that many people addicted to opioids didn’t start out because of a desire to use drugs. It began because they suffered from pain and their doctor told them that this was the best solution. Most patients had no idea that they were taking a drug that would cause them to become addicted. Once they got hooked, it became too late to do anything else.

What Happens to the Brain During Addiction?

When a person becomes dependent on opioids, it becomes nearly impossible to escape on their own. That’s because the drugs alter the way the brain works. Taking high doses of these medications for long periods of time creates tolerance. Without the drug, the person can’t feel normal. 

Some doctors continue to prescribe higher amounts without the concern of the patient in mind. Others will cut off the patient, leaving them to deal with the devastating effects of withdrawal. To feel normal once again, these people will turn to the streets to find the drugs needed to live life once again.

It’s a devastating cycle that must be stopped.

Opioid Abuse Treatment

While addicts and their families understand that treatment is necessary, it’s often difficult to find and pay for. After many closed doors and frustration, families feel hopeless and don’t know where to turn.

Places such as the Arcadia Trails treatment center are changing the way things work. No longer do families seek help during business hours or wait for a doctor’s referral to gain access to treatment.

Reputable recovery facilities ensure that the residents have access to financial help, quality care, and support staff. With all of these elements in play, the only focus is to get better and stay healthy.

Opioid Recovery: What Does it Look Like?

The first step to recovery is the admission process. During this time, a complete diagnostic evaluation is given to ensure that all of the person’s needs are met. It also helps to be aware of any medical requirements or special care that is required.

There will be a period of detox, but a center should have medical supervision for this time. After all, the withdrawal is one of the critical steps to addiction recovery and should never be done alone. 

Once the detox is completed, it’s time to get to work. Residents make friends with the other visitors and are assigned to a counselor for therapy. Thankfully, it’s possible to work at an individual pace and there’s never a rush to reach a specific goal.

Once the recovering patient hits the end of treatment, they will likely be their old self once again. They will feel the joy, happiness and excitement that were experienced prior to being prescribed opioids. This is the time that aftercare planning goes into effect.

Without a continuum care plan in place, life becomes dangerous for any recovering person. Inevitably, they will face stress, personal triggers and other times in life that cause them to want the drugs again. Having this plan to fall back on ensures they stay safe, healthy and sober.

Sometimes, people choose to move on from treatment and go into sober living or a halfway house for additional support. Each treatment plan is personalized to supply the needs of the person and their family. 

Of course, all people leaving treatment are encouraged to continue going to 12-step meetings and utilizing a therapist for additional support. 

It’s Possible to Recover 

You and your family haven’t asked to be immersed in the depths of opioid addiction. Whether the usage started as a result of recreational abuse or under the advice of a physician, it’s possible to get the help needed to recover. 

No longer do these drugs need to take over the residents of Oklahoma. Treatment is possible and allows families to receive their loved ones back again. If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid abuse, it’s time to seek guidance. Help to bring the statistics down and start saving lives from this deadly epidemic.