North Carolina Addiction Treatment and Info

North Carolina has been facing substance abuse issues that are similar to those reported at the national level. This is despite the fact that it has many addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs in place.

Addiction in North Carolina

North Carolina was the birthplace of several American icons, including the Brothers Wright, Andy Griffith, Zach Galifianakis, and more. Even so, there are high rates of drug and alcohol abuse among local residents.

According to the Injury and Violence Prevention report for 2009 to 2012, over the counter medications, prescription drugs, and opioids were responsible for 68 percent of all fatalities linked to overdose in North Carolina.

Methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and other narcotics were also linked to 60 percent of all the drug overdose deaths that were reported in this state during the same period of time.

A single day count carried out in 2013 revealed that the state had a total of 40575 people enrolled in addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs. Four years earlier in 2009, the state had 28997 people seeking these recovery services.

Other reports showed that more than 90 percent of all the people who were abusing illicit drugs in this state did not receive the addiction treatment services that they required to overcome their conditions.

The North Carolina Opioid Epidemic

Most of the high rates of substance abuse and addiction reported in North Carolina involve opioid drugs. these include synthetic opioids like carfentanil and fentanyl, as well as prescriptions opioids such as OxyContin and hydrocodone. Further, many people in this state abuse illicit opioids like heroin. Figures relating to these forms of addiction include:

  • 5 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 have used pain relief medications at least once for a non-medical reason
  • For more than a decade, prescription opioid pain relief medications led to the highest number of drug overdose fatalities in the state - above the 600 mark every year since 2008
  • Since 2010, the state has experienced an increase of 884 percent in the number of drug overdoses involving heroin
  • Since the state changed its pain management and relief protocols, North Carolina physicians have increased their rate of writing prescriptions for opioids by more than 10 times

Commonly Abused Drugs in North Carolina

These rates of drug and alcohol abuse in North Carolina are driven by a wide variety of addictive and intoxicating substances, including but not limited to:

1. Alcohol

SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - released findings run by its Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality in 2011. This report showed that more than 45 percent of the people who were admitted in drug rehabs in North Carolina were addicted to alcohol.

The state Alcohol Fact Sheet released in 2013 also showed that 324 crashes - about 28 percent of all road accidents that were reported that year - that turned to be fatal were related to alcohol. alcohol impaired drivers caused 5306 additional crashes that were not fatal. Alcohol was also responsible to 5172 cases of property damage.

The NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - also reported that more than 400000 people above the age of 12 abused or were dependent on alcohol from 2009 to 2012.

Other figures linked to the abuse of alcohol in North Carolina include:

  • In 2015, 30 percent of all the traffic accidents in the state that turned out to be fatal were linked to alcohol intoxication
  • 14 percent of the state's high school population tried alcohol before they reached the age of 13
  • In 2015, alcoholism and alcohol abuse lost North Carolina more than $7 billion

2. Cocaine

Cocaine is one of the main substances that many people in this state abuse through various routes of administration, including smoking and snorting. Some figures relating to the rates of cocaine use in North Carolina include:

  • 5 percent of residents in grades 9 through to 12 report using the drug at least once in their lives
  • 7 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 35 years reported that they have tried crack cocaine at least once
  • In 2015, the state lost 291 people in drug overdoses involving crack and powdered cocaine
  • People between the ages of 18 and 35 abuse cocaine in the highest rates - much more than other segments of the local population

In 2010, a total of 5463 people enrolled in drug rehabs in North Carolina for smoking cocaine. Another 2157 people received similar recovery services for abusing this drug through other routes of administration, such as snorting and injecting.

That said, cocaine was responsible for the largest number of accidental death arising from a drug overdose among all other illicit substances that are abused in this populous American state.

3. Heroin

The rate of heroin abuse and accidental overdose deaths in North Carolina have been rising for many years now. In 2010, the state lost 38 lives to this drug - a number that shot up to 183 deaths by 2013.

4. Prescription Drugs

The ONDCP has reported that prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem in the state. This is particularly as a result of the ease of acquiring and abusing these medications. In 2010, opioids other than heroin were linked to 7097 admissions into a drug rehab program in North Carolina.

5. Marijuana

Law enforcement officials made a total of 20983 arrests involving marijuana in 2010. Of these arrests, 56 percent were linked to the possession of this drug - a problem that has been rising every year since.

6. Methamphetamine

Most of the methamphetamine that is available in this state is the crystalline type - also known as crystal meth. This drug is largely accessible across the large metro areas of North Carolina. However, recent years have seen it penetrating the rural areas of the state. In 2010, it was responsible for 846 admissions in addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers.

7. Other Drugs

Ecstasy or MDMA has become increasingly popular in North Carolina. This is particularly true among people between the ages of 15 and 25 years - most of whom are enrolled in high schools and colleges across the state.

However, there are many other drugs of abuse in North Carolina. They include ketamine, PCP, LSD, and GHB. Combined, these substances were responsible for 9584 admissions into an addiction treatment center in 2010.

Drug Related Fatalities and Injuries in North Carolina

From 2009 to 2012, a total of 1830 people between the ages of 1 year and 17 years were admitted into emergency rooms in North Carolina for drug poisoning or overdose. However, the Division of Public Health reported in 2013 that adults had 4 times as high a likelihood as these children to be hospitalized for a drug related problem. They were also 9 times as like as children to check into an emergency department for a drug overdose.

The State Library also released a report showing that North Carolina had 45 drug courts. Of these courts, 12 were family drug courts. They dealt with parental negligence, child abuse, and dependence. 4 courts, on the other hand, were juvenile drug courts.

Addiction Prevention Initiatives

Most of the preventative measures that North Carolina has instituted are linked to prescription medications - particularly opioids. Medical professionals in the state have working in conjunction with the government to restrict and regulate the prescription of all addictive controlled substances. Further, the state passed new laws to regulate these drugs.

Additionally, more doctors are now using other treatment methods that are effective at dealing with addiction. These include the application of medication assistance treatment using drugs like buprenorphine and methadone to rehabilitate opioid addicts.

The state has spent more than $1.5 million to reduce the rates of illicit substance abuse - particular within its communities. The funds have been used to educate young people about the many risks of substance abuse, to offer harm reduction programs, as well as improve access to professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs.

Addiction Treatment in North Carolina

According to the N-SSATS - the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services - this state had a total of 400 facilities providing professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation services. 211 of these facilities offered recovery services for addiction while 137 centers had a dual diagnosis program for the treatment of both addiction and co-occurring mental health and medical disorders. Another 21 percent of these programs provide medical detox services.

In 2010, a total of 33029 people were enrolled in a drug rehab center in the state. Another 2016 teenagers received similar services to help them overcome their substance abuse and addiction.

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you need to check into a professional rehabilitation and recovery program. This is the only opportunity that you are going to get to start working on overcoming your condition. Through these programs, you can enjoy a wide variety of services, including:

i) Medical Detox

After enrolling for addiction treatment, you will first be offered medically supervised detoxification. The goal of this process is to help you get rid of all the substances - and resultant toxins - that are still lodged in your system. This way, you will be able to work on overcoming your physical dependence.

In the process, however, you are likely to display withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. Some of these symptoms might turn out to be painful or even lead to life-threatening effects. This is particularly true if you were abusing certain substances like benzodiazepines, opioids, and alcohol.

Through a medically supervised detox program, all these symptoms will be managed and monitored, as well as treated when and as they arise. You will continue in such a program until you have achieved stability and overcome your physical dependence.

ii) Inpatient Drug Rehab

An inpatient drug rehab program is one that will require you to live at the recovery center for a certain period of time - ranging from 30 days to 90 days or even longer. The amount of time you will spend at the facility will largely depend on the kind of program you have chosen, the severity of your addiction, as well as the occurrence of other co-occurring medical and mental health disorders that you need to address before checking out of the facility.

iii) Outpatient Drug Rehab

However, you can also choose outpatient addiction treatment. in this form of recovery, you do not have to live at the center. Instead, you can schedule your rehabilitation sessions to take place a couple of days every week - for several hours each time.

Outpatient drug rehab would be ideal if you have a less severe substance use disorder and you do not display any of the signs and symptoms of co-occurring disorders. It may also work well if you have already gone through inpatient treatment but still need additional help to ensure that you do not relapse once you leave the residential center.

Both inpatient and outpatient drug rehabs offer services and therapies that are more or less similar. They include but are not limited to:

  • 12 step and non-12 step support group meetings
  • Addiction education
  • Aftercare programming
  • Alumni programs
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Complementary or alternative therapies, such as yoga, acupuncture, adventure therapy, aromatherapy, biofeedback, equine therapy, journaling, Pilates, and exercise
  • Couples counseling
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Dual diagnosis addiction treatment
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
  • Family therapy
  • Gender specific therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Medication assisted treatment
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Relapse prevention
  • Sober living houses
  • Vocational training

Getting Help

With so many substances of abuse in North Carolina, you may find yourself struggling with addiction or even with other co-occurring mental health and medical disorders. When this happens, it is recommended that you seek assistance from a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation program. There are many such programs in the state and they can help you overcome all the conditions that you were diagnosed with.


For more information about treatment centers in North Carolina, Click Here.

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