Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Wyoming: Substance Abuse Trends
The United States has been facing growing a substance abuse crisis over the past several decades. The worst part of this crisis is that these deaths were preventable. The increase in the abuse of alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs has left most of the country unprepared for the growth in the addict population. Hospitals, treatment facilities, and communities are overwhelmed and not able to do much more than putting a band-aid on the situation.
Wyoming is the least-populated state in the country, yet this has not stopped the substance abuse epidemic from hitting particularly hard there. Alcohol abuse, including binge drinking (defined as having five or more drinks on one occasion), ranks high in Wyoming. In fact, the state’s heavy alcohol use is higher than the national average.
The Impact of Drugs and Alcohol in Wyoming
Illicit drug use in Wyoming is now on par with national averages, even though heroin abuse didn’t begin in force there until much later than the rest of the country. The rate of illicit drug use has remained flat in Wyoming since 2010, which is good news.
Just as in most states, heroin use often stems from the abuse of strong prescription painkillers. Many post-surgical and chronic pain patients become addicted to medications, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. Once their prescriptions run out, they find it more expensive to continue using painkillers to feed the addiction. They turn to illicit drugs to fill the void and manage symptoms. Heroin is readily available in Wyoming and relatively inexpensive, so addicts can easily find substances to curb pain or stop withdrawals.
Opiate Addiction in Wyoming
Prescription drug abuse is such a massive problem that Wyoming officials assembled the Rx Abuse Stakeholders (RAS) group. This group is comprised of experts and officials from multidisciplinary fields to adequately track and, hopefully, control, the high rate of drug abuse in the state. Members of RAS point to abuse of prescription painkillers as the main reason for the influx of illicit drugs into the state. They have noticed an uptick in patients “doctor shopping” – going from physician to physician in search of a new prescription. Pharmacies are on the front lines of this practice and can help limit the number of prescription medications given to patients.
In Laramie, the state’s third most populous city, heroin has made a name for itself. Since, compared to other cities in the nation, it is such a sparsely populated place, the progression of the drug epidemic was relatively easy to trace. Heroin emerged on the scene after local addicts had exhausted their use of methamphetamine. Drug use in Laramie has been a template for the state, with more and more residents becoming addicted to illicit substances.
Shortfalls in Wyoming’s Treatment and Recovery Programs
With such a small population, Wyoming is pressed to keep up with the demand for substance abuse treatment programs. RAS is working to bridge the gap between the number of addicts and the availability of quality treatment programs, but it often is not enough.
Wyoming’s population, though small, is widespread and far-flung. Many addicts do not live near treatment facilities and getting them the help they need is logistically difficult. The three largest cities in the state, Cheyenne, Caspar, and Laramie do offer services, but many Wyoming residents simply live too far away from those population centers. Delivering quality, comprehensive recovery care to addicts in rural areas presents specific challenges to Wyoming health services. And just like other states, the number of beds available in treatment centers is never enough to meet the demand.
Addiction Hope from Florida’s Sunny Shores
For patients struggling with addiction who have had difficulty receiving treatment services, the best option may be an out-of-state facility. While most states have a difficult time keeping up with the needs of addicts in search of recovery options, Florida has found a way to stay ahead of the curve.
Because of Florida’s many ports, officials have jumped on the case and professionals from a variety of disciplines have banded together to create world-class treatment facilities. People from across the country and around the world have come to Florida seeking treatment for substance abuse. So many, in fact, that Florida is known as “The Recovery State” in the addiction medicine community.
The tropical climate is especially conducive to recovery. Residents from the cold Plains states will find the warm weather particularly comforting as they embark on the road to recovery. When patients travel out of state to seek addiction recovery, they are able to leave behind the familiar temptations. A new setting often can help patients focus on their recovery, without the difficulties of everyday life getting in the way.
The Treatment Center Offers State-Of-The-Art Recovery Programs
The Treatment Center is situated just two miles from the beautiful beaches of South Florida. Our world-class facility employs some of the most qualified, experienced practitioners in the country, all with the same goal, to provide our guests with the best recovery program. We do not approach recovery with a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. We know that everyone is different, and we treat each guest as an individual, focusing on healing and repairing the mind, body, and spirit.
Our programs are tailored to each guest, through a combination of therapies best suited for his or her needs. Medical detoxification, holistic therapies, inpatient treatment, faith-based programs, and aftercare are offered. We also realize that for recovery to be successful, our guests will need the continued support of their loved ones. To that end, we have established family programs to help our guests continue their sobriety after they leave our facility. The recovery process does not end when the treatment program is over. We want our guests to have the tools they need to return home to successful, happy lives.