Utah Addiction Treatment and Info

With more than 3.16 million residents, it is not surprising at all that the state of Utah has experienced high rates of drug and alcohol abuse over the past several decades. Over the years, the drug problem has only seemed to get worse, with increasingly younger residents getting into drug use.

Addiction in Utah

Utah is the 13th largest state by area, with a population of more than 3 million living in the state. The flag of Utah has a beehive in it, and Utahans relate the beehive symbol to industry and to the pioneer virtues of thrift, perseverance and the capacity to graft.

The other thing is that approximately 2 out of 3 Utah residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (better known as the Mormon Church.) Utah is also the only state in the U.S that has a majority of the population belonging to a single church. Predictably, the church is very much anti-drug use, but it appears that Utah residents have found loopholes in the binds of the faith: prescription drugs are not denounced by the church, and far too many people have taken to abusing them. They are able to lean on the excuse that the church allows prescription drug use.

While many states across the U.S. have seen a spike in prescription overdose deaths, Utah is among the top 10 states with regard to prescription drug abuse. According to the Utah Department of Health, deaths by drug overdose have increased by such a level that the state loses more residents to drug poisoning than to firearms, falls and motor vehicle accidents.

Commonly Abused Substances in Utah

Utah ranks 7th in the nation for prescription drug use, abuse and addiction, and prescription drugs are the most commonly reported addiction here. Since the year 2000, Utah has recorded a 400% rise in deaths which were related to prescription drug use, abuse and misuse.

There are multiple substances which are used and abused in the state. However as already ascertained by now, some are more prevalently abused than others. The information that follows highlights the most common drugs here:

1. Prescription Drugs

Nearly 60% of all Utah residents are Mormons. The Mormon religion completely forbids substance use, but prescription drugs are not commonly included. At the very least, it is easy for addicted persons to justify their use and abuse of them.

A study of prescription drug abuse within the Mormon religion and across the state of Utah found that:

  • 62% of residents suffering from a prescription drug use disorder had also been diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
  • 61% of Utah residents who had a prescription drug use disorder were also experiencing a physical health problem, most of which were defined by pain. Almost all prescription opioid drugs are used as a method of controlling pain.
  • 16% had a previous history of drug or alcohol abuse. Many of these residents had successfully achieved recovery in the past, only to relapse with a new prescription.
  • 10% of these individuals had a history of suicidal thoughts, behaviors or suicide attempts in the past. Prescription drug abuse has risen among populations suffering from a mental health disorder.
  • 65% have had ongoing drug or alcohol abuse issues that did not include prescription drugs. Some of these individuals felt that prescription drugs were safer than illicit street drugs

2. Alcohol

There were a reported 4,030 people that entered rehab for alcohol as the primary addiction in the year 2010 and an additional 2,042 that were admitted for alcohol dependence combined with a secondary drug.

A 2016 report on underage drinking in Utah discovered that while Utah teens are less likely to drink compared to teenagers in other states, Utah teens who do drink are actually a lot likelier to drink to excess. Compared to a report which was released in the year 2013, the numbers have remained the same, with teenager alcohol consumption amongst the worst, when it does occur.

According to the report which was compiled by The Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, 17% of Utah high school seniors polled said they had taken alcohol in the past 30 days, compared with 40% nationwide. However, of the Utah teens that drank, 72% engaged in binge drinking.

This is a lot higher than the 55% national average. The new data collected in the 2016 report shows that it has only dropped by a small amount. So while the average US teenager has actually begun to consume less alcohol than the generations before them, Utah remains largely steady.

According to a recent Utah Statewide Substance Abuse Epidemiology Profile, the rates of heavy drinking and binge drinking among the Utah drinkers are consistent with national rates. Since heavy drinking and binge drinking correlate very highly with alcoholism, it means that Utah drinkers are just as prone to alcoholism as the rest of the nation, despite the considerably low state-wide consumption rate.

This means that there are usually pockets of people that are either influencing or accessing alcohol consumption in a non-traditional manner in the area. This tension can be confusing for people to navigate and ultimately may contribute to more alcohol consumption as a means of coping with what is right and what is wrong, according to society, family, or religion. This latter dynamic is also contributed to by the religious base that the state is founded on.

3. Heroin

The demand for Mexican black tar heroin has climbed since 2008, primarily among teenagers and young adults. Heroin's popularity is growing fast nationally, as prescription drug supplies become restricted nationally. Heroin is significantly cheaper than prescription drugs and it has greater accessibility. There were 1,983 people who went to treatment in 2010 for heroin dependence, according to the TEDS report. 69.4% were males and 30.6% were females.

4. Marijuana

2,394 people attended drug treatment in the year 2010 for abuse of marijuana. 12-17 years olds made up the largest age group, or at about 42.5% of those patients that received treatment for marijuana.

5. Amphetamines and Stimulants

Stimulants (including methamphetamine) are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state. There were 2,480 people that went to treatment for amphetamine/stimulant dependence in 2010.

Drug Related Injuries and Fatalities in Utah

As a direct result of drug use and abuse, 546 residents died in Utah in the year 2007. This is more than the number of persons in Utah who died from motor vehicle accidents (320) and firearms (253) in the same year. Utah drug-induced deaths (20.6 per 100,000 residents) exceeded the national rate (12.7 per 100,000 residents).

Addiction Prevention in Utah

Utah offers several ventures which are designed to curb the growing rates of substance abuse among the locals. Especially with the realization that opioid abuse is at an all-time high in the state, the state, has decided to make steps toward alleviating this. Some examples of these efforts put in place include:

a) Law Changes with Regard to Naloxone Dispensation

A 2014 law allows physicians to dispense naloxone to non-physicians like caregivers and EMTs, and it allows participating pharmacies to dispense naloxone to anyone who needs it without a prescription. Naloxone is a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

b) The Good Samaritan Law

Additionally, in 2014 the state created a "good Samaritan law" which allows other drug users to report a possible overdose without getting in trouble themselves.

Addiction Treatment in Utah

In addition to the preventative ventures in place, the state has a vast variety of addiction treatment and rehab programs available. These programs offer unique and highly personalized recovery services to admitted clients.

According to the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), there were 14,951 people who went to drug and alcohol rehab in Utah in 2010. 70.2% were male and 29.8% were female.

According to the National Survey of Substance, the number of alcohol and drug treatment facilities in Utah has increased from 118 in 2003 to 133 in 2006.

Across the last 15 years, there has been a steady decline in the number of admissions mentioning alcohol as the primary substance of abuse but there have been increases in the mentions of marijuana and heroin. The sharpest increase, however, has been in the number of treatment admissions with methamphetamine.

Alcohol-only admissions have declined from over 56% of all admissions in 1992 to just over 20% in 2006. Concomitantly, drug-only admissions have increased from 9% in 1998 to 46% in 2006.

Utah has seen an increasing need for drug use treatment since 2002-2003, with the rate for the population age 12 and older ranking among the highest in the country in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. Approximately 6% of Utah residents reported past-month use of illicit drugs, with the national average being 8%.

Some of the services that you may expect when you are enrolled any one of these programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Aftercare programs
  • Alumni programs
  • Detox programs
  • Inpatient programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Intervention services
  • Outpatient programs
  • Sober living homes

Consider the following categories of substance abuse treatment and rehab services that are available in Utah:

i) Intervention Services

A professional interventionist attends to persons who are close to the person experiencing addiction in a bid to design an intervention. An intervention outlines the toll that drug abuse has taken on the addicted person and those who love and look out for them.

ii) Inpatient Addiction Treatment

After a person has completed any necessary detox, it's time to address the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction in an inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.

Utah inpatient drug rehab programs offer a residential setting and intensive therapies that help a person address the social, mental, emotional and even spiritual impact of addiction. These tailored therapies help a person to adopt the relapse-prevention and sober-living skills that work best for their needs.

Living on-site at a treatment facility gives each client the chance to be immersed in a therapeutic community. Throughout the course of their day, residents have the chance to build meaningful relationships with staff and fellow treatment participants.

iii) Outpatient Addiction Treatment

While the traditional outpatient and intensive outpatient programs effectively provide standalone services for dependency treatment, these programs tend to be more valuable when they are used to support inpatient rehab.

In this capacity, outpatient programs may help a person to adjust to sobriety after receiving treatment. As a step-down service, the outpatient programs assist the person to successfully adjust to changes in lifestyle which are associated with sobriety

iv) Medical Detox

Without professional help and medical support, withdrawal symptoms and cravings may push an addicted person to relapsing. A medical detoxification program provides round the clock medical support as the person's body works on healing. This treatment helps to protect a person from relapsing and it prepares them for the very next stage of treatment.

To help a person so that he or she is more comfortable and to minimize or even prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings, the appropriate medications may be administered as is needed.

v) Assessments

Once an individual has made the commitment to getting help for a drug or alcohol addiction, it is often necessary for them to undergo a clinical assessment. These evaluations are often performed by licensed clinicians who are searching for underlying causes of the addiction, identifying any co-occurring disorders and determining the best methods of treatment for each individual.

Individuals assessments are generally performed by the rehab facility itself, but some private psychiatrists and therapists may also offer these assessments.

Regardless of the drug rehab type you choose, there is a high probability that you will find the following therapy kinds in place at the addiction recovery facility of your choice:

  • 12-step and non-12 support groups
  • Addiction education
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Complementary therapies, including equine therapy, yoga, meditation, biofeedback, massage therapy, and journaling
  • Coping techniques
  • Couples counseling
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • External support groups
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy meetings
  • Individual counseling
  • Life skills training
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Stress management
  • Vocational training

Getting Help

Once you realize that you are addicted and require help, it is important to heck into rehab. The earlier you access an Utah rehab program and begin treatment, the higher your chances of completely readjusting to sobriety and normal function are.











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