Washington Addiction Treatment and Info

Substance abuse is very much a national problem, and it has been recognized as such. However, it is fair to say that some states have been afflicted to a greater scale compared to others. Washington is in this category.

When compared to the rest of the nation, Washington's rates of drug and substance abuse are slightly above the national average. It also appears that amphetamines and benzodiazepines, alongside alcohol, are the most prevalently abused drugs in the state.

Addiction in Washington

From the picturesque Cascade Range Mountains to the Puget Sound, this Pacific Northwest state's aesthetic natural splendor provides a stunning backdrop for the state's renowned cultural achievements. Despite the abundant beauty, it is unfortunate that drug and alcohol abuse continues to ruin the lives of numerous Washington residents each year.

It is not all gloom and doom though. Washington addiction treatment programs avail both compassionate and comprehensive treatment services that aid addicted persons regain a healthy life anchored on sobriety.

Methamphetamine and opioid rates of abuse are seriously high here in Washington. As it is, these are the substances that are abused the most. To address and combat these, as well as other forms of substance abuse, the state's addiction awareness and substance prevention efforts give hope for all ages and walks of life.

It can be said that total opioid overdose fatality rates have stabilized in recent years in Washington. However, opioid drug abuse remains a potentially fatal practice for all persons who abuse them.

Unlike many places in the nation, prescription opioid overdose deaths have actually declined in the state in recent years. However, fatalities from heroin as well as synthetic opioids have seen an increase.

In the year 2006, there were around 55 heroin overdose deaths. In 2016, the number was recorded at 287 — a 441.5 percent increase.

In the year 2006, there were 51 synthetic opioid overdose fatalities. The number stood at 87 in the year 2016, showing an increase of roughly 71 percent.

Opioid drug abuse may lead to a variety of grim medical issues. These can include neonatal abstinence syndrome as well as transmissible diseases transmitted via injection drug abuse. Examples of these diseases are HIV/AIDs and hepatitis C.

Commonly Abused Substances in Washington

There are numerous substances that are used and abused in Washington. However, some substances are significantly more prevalent than others. The information which follows highlights the most common drugs here:

1. Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines, with the examples of Ativan, Valium, and Xanax are all abused at high rates in the state. In King County - a county which includes Seattle - overdose fatalities have reached a record high. This trend is inclusive of increased overdose deaths which are caused by benzodiazepines. From the year 2011 to the year 2016, benzodiazepine-related deaths shot up by almost 400 percent in this Washington County, moving up from 20 fatalities to 98.

2. Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a huge problem throughout Washington. It is especially so among people who use their drugs intravenously. Here, meth is very often poly-abused by addicted persons who use and abuse heroin.

During the first meth boom which occurred in the 2000s, Washington was a significant hub of meth manufacture. From the year 2000 to the year 2005, the Washington State Department of Ecology took out at least 8,667 meth labs. Meth production was hoarded in Washington's major population centers: Spokane Counties, Snohomish, Thurston, King and Pierce.

Even today, meth labs are still seized in the state. However after the act was put together and subsequently passed in 2006, the state's meth production nosedived. The Department of Ecology only cleaned 1,222 meth labs from 2006 to 2012, or roughly 85 percent fewer labs. Meth production nearly vanished. Still, meth flows from other areas and into Washington, which may explain why the drug is still a major issue here.

The University of Washington unearthed that "more than three-quarters (78%) of persons whose primary drug was heroin confessed that they had dabbled in use methamphetamine by itself in the previous 3 months, and over half (52%) had poly-abused it in combination with heroin."

3. Alcohol

Alcohol-only admissions have dipped - from at least 45 % of all admissions in the year 1992 to just below 20% in 2005. However, drug-only admissions have seen a significant rise - from 11% in the year 1998 to 27% in 2005. Since 2005, there has been a steady increase of persons who attend treatment for alcohol combined with a secondary drug.

4. Heroin

According to Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), there were approximately 3,600 people that went to drug rehab for using and abusing heroin. The largest demographic to be admitted into rehab was the 21-25 year old one.

5. Prescription Drugs

According to Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) in 2010, there were at least 3,100 people that went to treatment for other opiates, not including heroin, with 46.7% being male and 53.3% being female. Since the year 2005, there has been an overall increase in persons admitted into treatment for other opiates. This matches the national trend.

In the year 2017, Washington providers gave 57.2 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons, compared to the average national rate of 58.7 prescriptions.

6. Marijuana

Among those getting admitted to drug rehab, marijuana ranks among the most prevalently abused drugs in Washington. According to Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) in 2010, there was a recorded 8,544 people that went to drug rehab for marijuana dependence in the year 2010. The most represented group of people was 12-17 years.

7. Amphetamines

At least 4,710 people went into rehabilitation programs for using and abusing amphetamines in the year 2010. Quite surprisingly, there were more female patients than male ones, with 51.2% of these were female and 48.8% were male. In 2007, there were roughly 6,400 people that were admitted to rehab for amphetamine dependence. However, this has seen a decrease since then.

Drug Related Injuries and Fatalities in Washington

As a direct result of drug use and abuse, 1,003 persons suffered fatalities in Washington in the year 2007. This figure was bigger than the total number of persons in Washington that died from vehicle accidents (649) and firearms (548) in that same year. This trend is par for the course even today, in the state.

Washington drug-related deaths (15.5 per 100,000 residents) exceeded the national rate (12.7 per 100,000) in the year 2010.

In 2017, there were at least 740 overdose fatalities which involved opioids in the state—a rate of almost 10 deaths per 100,000 persons. This is over half the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons. The greatest increase in opioid deaths occurred among cases involving heroin, with a rise from 60 deaths in 2010 to 306 deaths in 2017.

Addiction Prevention in Washington

Washington offers several programs which are designed to curb the growing rates of substance abuse among the locals. Some examples of these programs include:

a) Raising Awareness

Battle Ground Public School's Project AWARE grant has been fully committed to improving mental health as well as decreasing drug use in Washington schools. This funding also aids to increase ease of access to community-based mental health services, while at the same time supporting clubs in schools which focus on drug-abuse prevention.

b) Prevention Education

The publicly-funded Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative works in high-need communities to reduce as well as prevent substance abuse. These services are availed in 39 counties and they make up 52 communities and 9 educational service districts.

c) Syringe Education Programs

With elevated amounts of heroin abuse, the state's officials and community leaders have continued to combat the vagaries of injection drug abuse. As of January 2018, the state had 25 syringe exchange programs functional in 18 counties. These programs avail to people who inject drugs, clean, sterile needles to cut down on the transmission of blood borne diseases.

Addiction Treatment in Washington

In addition to the preventative programs in place, the state has a wide variety of addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs in place. These programs have unique as well as highly personalized services of recovery to admitted clients.

According to the Substance Abuse Treatment Episode Data Set, at least 38,080 persons went into drug and alcohol rehab in the year 2010. 62.7 % of these were males and 37.3% were females.

In 2007-2008, the state was one of the top 10 states for rates in multiple drug-use categories among adolescents aged 12 and older: past-month illicit drug use; past-month marijuana use; and past-year non-medical use of pain relievers.

Roughly 10% of the state's residents reported past-month use and abuse of illicit drugs. In comparison, the national average was 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 Washington:

a) Intervention Services

Washington intervention services may help loved ones get their family member the help they need. In addition to planning and conducting the intervention, a professional interventionist will also help arrange to get the person to treatment.

b) Medical Detox

Chronic drug abuse often takes a heavy toll on a person's body and brain. The physical impact of addiction to certain drugs is so heavy that the person's body becomes completely dependent on the substance. This may lead to withdrawal symptoms when substance use is ceased.

These are the types of dependencies which are prevalently directed to drug and alcohol detox, often due to the potential for life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

c) Inpatient Addiction Treatment

In a tailored Washington inpatient addiction treatment program, the person is guided to address those areas of their life that they believe require strengthening and healing.

A vital aspect of a successful addiction treatment is taking away all the negative thoughts, behaviors and emotions which contribute to substance use and abuse. Patients learn how to make healthy life decisions which improve all aspects of their lives including their careers, family lives and health.

d) Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Outpatient programs give therapy and treatment services in the daytime, and then patients get to return home or at least to a sober-living home in the evenings. Though there are persons that find success in outpatient programs alone, outpatient rehab isn't really the best option for first-line addiction rehab. Instead, outpatient programs, inclusive of intensive outpatient programs, only reach their full potential as a follow-up to an inpatient program.

e) Sober Living Programs

Sober living facilities in the state offer a safe environment for patients as they continue on their path to full recovery. Residents have to follow house rules regarding curfew times as well as shared household responsibilities. Every once in a while, they may be required to participate in random drug tests.

The sober living programs of Hawaii provide an opportunity for people in the early recovery stage to experience elevated independence all while having direct access to a strong network of support.

f) Aftercare and Alumni Services

Washington aftercare and alumni support services are designed to help persons stay strong in the face of the challenges of life.

Peer support groups as well as alumni mentorship programs are two very beneficial resources which help to keep a person inspired and completely focused on their recovery. There are some who have an easier time switching from a treatment program to an independent, sobriety-governed life by living in a sober-living home right after they complete treatment.

g) Addiction Treatment Therapies

Regardless of the drug rehab type that you settle for, 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
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • 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

As soon as you realize that you are having problems with drug and substance use, the recommendation is that you check yourself into a rehab program. The earlier you access a Washington rehab program and start treatment, the higher your chances of completely readjusting to sobriety and normal function are.











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