Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Iowa – Trends and Statistics

The U.S. is struggling with alcohol and substance abuse problems. Improved education and data collection have made us even more aware of the dangers of associated with addiction. Recent government data show that 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol or drugs; thousands, perhaps millions, of those may battle addictions to both. Scores of those Americans need dual diagnosis treatment for substance abuse and mental illness, yet only 11 percent of addicted Americans ever receive treatment. Some simply do not have access to adequate services.

Youth across the country are most at risk for developing drug and alcohol addictions, and often don’t receive needed treatment. Iowa is no exception to this dismal outlook. Young adults 18 to 25 in Iowa routinely fight substance abuse. Alcohol, marijuana, and methamphetamines are the top three substances of choice for Iowans, with prescription and synthetic drugs not far behind. Among synthetic drugs, marijuana concentrates are the most commonly abused.

Alcohol abuse is Iowa’s biggest substance abuse problem, and the state’s binge drinking rates among residents 18 to 25 far exceed the national average. Recent statistics indicate about 70 percent of Iowans in this age group admitted to binge drinking during the 30 days of a substance abuse survey.

Among Iowa’s high school students, 24 percent reported getting into a car with someone who had been drinking during the 30 days encapsulating a recent survey. Another 11 percent admitted to drinking and driving at least once in those 30 days. That number is significantly higher than the national average of 8 percent. 40 percent of high school students in the U.S. reported getting alcohol from a friend or family member. Another 23 percent of those students report binge drinking, specifically having five or more drinks over a two-hour period.

Marijuana use among Iowans, especially adolescents, has skyrocketed in the past three years. More people were killed in marijuana-related traffic accidents than accidents related to any other drug, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s most recent statistics. More Iowans also are cited for marijuana-impaired driving than impaired driving related to any other drug. Marijuana includes many forms of cannabis, including synthetics. Marijuana-related emergency room visits have more than doubled in the past decade, particularly in the last three years. The perceived risks of marijuana use remain low among Iowans, especially high school and college students.

Shortfalls Of Substance Abuse Prevention, Care, And Treatment In Iowa

Drugs like marijuana often lace innocuous products, such as candy and soda in Iowa. Iowan marijuana is highly sought after in the region because of its high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, or what users depend on to get high. The product is found in pure marijuana as well as its many synthetics. The number of synthetic cannabinoids available in Iowa, in addition to its use in common products, makes marijuana difficult for law enforcement agencies to track.

Iowa alcohol sales also have steadily increased since the early 2000s, particularly in the last decade. Iowa has no dry counties or municipalities, and recent reports indicate alcohol-related traffic violations have either held steady or increased during the past two decades. The most recent data show that of the Iowans admitted to substance abuse treatment in recent years, more than half were admitted because of alcohol. A large percentage of those were juvenile clients. More than 25 percent of juvenile and adult clients sought treatment for marijuana usage.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicates that someone addicted to alcohol or marijuana is 15 times more likely to become a heroin addict and 40 times more likely to become addicted to prescription painkillers. Considering alcohol and marijuana are Iowa’s largest substance threats, these statistics are nothing short of appalling. Iowa’s health and law enforcement officials aren’t able to handle the influx of substance abuse cases as well as they should.

Iowa’s court system is currently overburdened with cases of operating while intoxicated (OWI), particularly those related to alcohol. According to recent data, OWI convictions represent 28.7 percent of the current criminal caseload. Another 19.4 percent of the caseload is taken up with charges, including both felonies and misdemeanors.

The Iowa Department of Public Health’s Division of Behavioral Health does not track the number of clients served in addiction treatment facilities, nor does it follow treatment outcomes. Such systems cannot predict an individual’s chances of recovery vs. relapse, or predict the individual’s commitment to sobriety. It is also impossible for such systems to track all possible abused substances. Several drugs, such as synthetics, opiates, and inhalants often are categorized as “other” or “unknown” when drug reports are made, leaving too many of Iowa’s addicts to fall through the cracks.

Iowans Seek Out-Of-State Treatment Options

Florida devotes a plethora of its resources to substance abuse because, like Iowa, we are well acquainted with the problem, as well as the issues it causes for addicts and families. Florida is known as “The Recovery State” because of our high recovery success rates, as well as the number of patients from our treatment centers who maintain sobriety after initial recovery.

We have one of the world’s busiest shipping ports, so the influx of drugs in the area is high. To help counter a large amount of drugs in our state, we have created the infrastructure to help foster treatment and recovery of substance abuse. The warm, tropical climate encourages relaxation and self-reflection, so our guests can focus on getting well.

Florida has developed a well-deserved reputation for providing world-class addiction recovery treatment. Our local law enforcement personnel, medical practitioners, and treatment centers have the experience and tools necessary to ensure positive outcomes for our guests.

The Treatment Center Is a Treatment Leader

The Treatment Center is proud of its standing as a leader in recovery excellence. Our experts treat addictions to alcohol as well as the drugs most common in Iowa. In addition, they are well versed in treating addictions to the analogs and synthetics of many drugs, including synthetic marijuana, fentanyl, and synthetic opiates.

Our clients at The Treatment Center are our guests who have traveled to a new and potentially frightening place because our treatment is the best. With that in mind, we treat each client with the same compassion, care, and respect our own loved ones would receive. The Treatment Center does not only treat physical addiction symptoms. We also treat the mind, soul, and spirit, using any faith-based methods a client might request. We believe when the entire body begins to recover, the client will be more likely to fully conquer an addiction.

Clients from across the U.S. have stayed with us and achieved full, lasting sobriety. We offer inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization treatment protocols, as well as complete detox. We use only evidence-based medicine, and our guests safely go through the detox and withdrawal processes under medical supervision.

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