It’s no secret anymore. America has come face-to-face with yet another drug abuse epidemic. In fact, the new battle is raging on two fronts. First, the abuse of prescription medications, mostly painkillers, has gone through the roof. The other battle is against a familiar foe, that being heroin. What all these drugs have in common is they are opiate-based substances.
To further complicate matters, we are seeing an influx of new “designer” drugs that use heroin as a base substance. Everywhere in America, drug dealers are looking for new ways to market their illicit substances. They are doing this to sometimes confuse law enforcement and other times to meet the demand of bored customers who are looking to try something new. In total, this is creating havoc on the streets of America, also creating a shortage of beds in the community addiction treatment industry.
According to a 2016 report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the country saw 42,249 deaths in 2016, which were related to drug overdoses. That’s an astounding 500% higher than the number of overdose deaths reported in 1999. A quick look at Indiana shows that 1,526 people lost their lives to drug abuse in 2016, much of it coming from the abuse of heroin and other opioids. This isn’t conjecture, these are hard to swallow facts.
A Shortage of Treatment Centers in Indiana
In some ways, Indiana is one of the most conservative states in the nation. In other ways, it’s just like any other state. As the war against heroin abuse rages onward, drug treatment facilities in Indiana are becoming impacted, creating a shortage of resources. Even more challenging for the Indiana resident, who needs help, is finding quality care.
Today, the Indiana treatment industry is looking for solutions. It’s not as easy as simply opening up more treatment centers because human resources are also impacted. Here’s three things the state can do to help fight this heroin epidemic:
- Create faster bed turnover rates through a more effective approach to treatment
- Help educate the public about the dangers of heroin and opioid abuse
- Provide access to more aftercare resources
Create Faster Bed Turnover Rates
In this day and age, treating addictions is more complicated than it use to be. Many facilities used to treat patients with standard treatment programs. The results were not always good with far too many recovering addicts ending up on the relapse rolls. The more progressive rehab centers, ours included, have turned to offering custom treatment plans for each patient. The direct benefits from this approach include:
- More affordable options for patients
- More emphasis on finding addiction causation
- Much higher success rates
When relapse rates drop, the demand for beds drops with it.
It’s unfathomable that we can’t find better ways to educate our youth about the dangers of illicit street drugs like heroin. People are constantly on social media, which provides ample opportunity to reach the masses. Unfortunately, we haven’t found the right approach to provide the kind of education that could make a difference. Top addiction treatment centers are doing what they can for patients, but each community has to find a way to stop the users, given that stopping the dealers never comes to pass.
Provide Access To More Aftercare Resources
Over time, it has become clear that treatment is only a starting point for recovery. When patients head back out into the real world, they face the same issues, temptations and triggers that led them to addiction in the first place. The relapse occurrence rates drop when people are given access to aftercare programs. These are resources people can use outside of the rehab facility, effectively keeping beds available for new patients. The best aftercare resources include:
- Sober living options
- 12-Step meetings
- Outpatient counseling options
If you or a loved one are caught up in a heroin addiction, we encourage you to get help as soon as humanly possible. For top-level care, you can reach out to us at the following toll-free number, 833-762-3739