Facts, Information and Statistics About Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Virginia
Drug addiction and abuse have reached an all-time high in the United States. No social or economic group has been spared in this epidemic. Drug abusers come from all walks of life, and many find themselves on this downward spiral after being prescribed legal drugs for legitimate medical conditions.
Post-surgical patients or people with chronic pain often acquire legal prescriptions for opioids, such as Oxycodone, and become addicted to the medication. Heroin, an illicit opioid, produces many of the same feelings as legal drugs but is far cheaper and more easily accessible since prescriptions are monitored and controlled.
Addiction to opioids is exacerbated by the synthetic elements that often are cut into the drug. Fentanyl, for example, is estimated to be 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and can heighten the feelings that come with using. If heroin is cut with baking soda or talcum powder, the user will require more and more of the drug to maintain feelings of euphoria. Because illicit drugs aren’t regulated, a user can never know how much of the drug he or she is getting. Even if an addict wants to get clean, sometimes the drug overpowers them. Withdrawal symptoms can be excruciatingly painful and nearly impossible to endure.
Virginia’s Struggle Against Addiction
Virginia is not immune to the problems associated with prescription and illicit opioid addiction. While drugs are a major concern in Virginia, the most abused substance in the state is alcohol. Binge drinking (consuming more than five drinks on one occasion) rates are slightly lower in Virginia compared with the national average (22.92 percent of those who use alcohol in the U.S. versus 21.95 percent in Virginia), but the numbers are still a cause for concern. Alcohol is readily available in Virginia, and binge drinking creates societal dangers for both drinkers and non-drinkers who may be impacted by their behavior.
Statistics released in 2015 (the most recent year for which numbers are available) show that 6.49 percent of Virginians suffer from alcoholism, which is just slightly lower than the national average of 6.7 percent. Among Virginians, the largest demographic group with alcohol dependency is adults ages 18 to 25. Frighteningly, Virginia is seeing an uptick in the percentage of children and adolescents addicted to alcohol.
The most popular illicit drugs in Virginia are marijuana, prescription medicines and psychotherapeutic medications. The number of those dependent on drugs and alcohol has grown over the past several decades. Virginians ages 12 through 25 are more likely to abuse drugs over alcohol. Some 30 percent of residents in this age group abuse illicit drugs, while about 20 percent abuse alcohol.
Local Shortfalls in Access to Treatment
The number of heroin- and opioid painkiller-related deaths in the state has grown by staggering figures. In 2016, 882 people died. The overdose rate, too, has risen substantially and has prompted state and local officials to search for ways to control the problem. Use of Naloxone has helped reverse the effects of some overdose victims to save lives, but it is not an answer to growing numbers of those experiencing an opioid overdose.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has initiated a task force to address the problem. Legislators have been trying to enact laws that would protect addicts from prosecution if they seek help. Even with all these efforts, drug and alcohol problems in the state persist.
Access to treatment is often restricted because of the stigma associated with addiction. Some families continue to deny the problem and their loved ones fail to get the help they need. Perhaps the biggest stumbling block an addict’s recovery is the fact that inpatient treatment programs often have long waiting lists. Some addicts go back to using drugs while waiting for a spot to open in a treatment program.
Virginia Residents Look to Florida for Treatment
Certain areas are better equipped to handle addiction recovery than others. Florida has been known as a leader in addiction recovery thanks to its familiarity with drug trafficking and subsequent usage and abuse. Miami is one of the busiest shipping ports in the country and provides easy access to drugs coming in from Latin America, the Caribbean and elsewhere. The influx of large amounts of illicit drugs has put Florida law enforcement, local governments and medical and mental health professionals on the front lines of the nationwide addiction epidemic.
Florida has created an infrastructure that brings together all the elements necessary to provide comprehensive addiction recovery. In fact, so many people have sought treatment in Florida that the “Sunshine State” is sometimes also known as the “Recovery State.” Medical and mental health professionals consider the area a prime location for addiction recovery services.
The Treatment Center Offers Virginians a Path to Recovery
Florida’s tropical climate and relaxed atmosphere are particularly conducive to recovery. Add to that mix The Treatment Center’s world-class staff and comprehensive programming and you have a recipe for recovery success. All of our treatments are evidenced based and medically sound. We offer intensive mental health and medical care in a calm, compassionate environment. Our extensive list of treatment options offers each guest a personalized approach to recovery and lifelong sobriety.
We do everything we can to support the entire person: mind, body, and spirit. Medical detoxification, 12-step programs, faith-based recovery, dual diagnosis treatment, holistic treatments, and family programs are just some of the options from which guests can select as they begin their journey to health. We treat alcohol addiction, drug abuse, and dual diagnoses that involve substance dependence with mental illness. Our facility is just two miles from the beach, which provides yet another relaxing outlet for our guests to rejuvenate.
When it’s time to select a recovery program for you or a loved one, look to The Treatment Center. We know that recovery is not a one-size-fits-all undertaking, and lifelong sobriety is something that takes work and support. Our aftercare programs are designed to ensure that our guests’ efforts in recovery are sustained, helping them to achieve a healthy, happy life.