Drug Abuse Trends in Topeka
The middle of America is characterized by smaller cities surrounded by miles of sprawling, rural landscape, and Topeka is no different. The seat of Shawnee County is home to 127,473 people, with another 100,000 in its greater metropolitan area. Historically, Kansas was part of a cattle-wrangling trail from Chicago to Texas; those trails became the major highways that crisscross the state. Today, the highway system is used by cartel and drug trafficking organizations to transport thousands of pounds of illicit substances.
Topeka, in particular, regularly deals with drug trafficking. Because of this, Shawnee County is a designated High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Topeka law enforcement often make sizable drug trafficking busts. In one 2018 stop, officers found over a quarter million dollars in cocaine and meth. The previous year, they stopped a man who’d been trafficking pounds of methamphetamine through his pizza shop. In the same year, 42% more child protective services cases listed substance abuse as a factor in a child’s removal. Cases involving meth more than doubled.
The most commonly abused substances in Topeka are:
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Opioid Addiction in Topeka
Though Kansas has lower rates of opioid addiction than the national average, rates of abuse are still alarmingly high and continue to increase. Prescription opioids and heroin (a cheaper opium-based alternative) have overtaken other illicit substances in rates of dependency, overdose, and accidental death. In Kansas in 2016, opioids were the cause of more hospitalizations and emergency room visits than any other illicit substance.
Topeka witnessed one synthetic opioid in particular, U-47700, wreak havoc in 2016. U-47700, a fentanyl analog, is 8 times more powerful than morphine and caused two overdoses in a month before the substance was identified. That year, synthetic opioids contributed to over 60,000 overdose deaths in the US; fentanyl was found in half of those deaths in 70% of states. The drug causes feelings of euphoria but is also a sedative and could slow the respiratory system. Even contact with skin or inhalation will cause irritation or breathing problems. In late 2016, the USDA placed U-47700 on the controlled substances list as a Schedule 1 drug.
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Addiction Treatment in Topeka
Topeka maintains a variety of addiction treatment options to service a range of public health needs. Through a Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, funds are provided to rehabilitation centers to treat individuals without insurance.
Depending on the severity and length of the addiction, patients may enroll in inpatient or outpatient rehab. After treatment ends, those in recovery can find offices for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous in Topeka. Some may also choose to leave Kansas for treatment and enjoy freedom from local stressors as they detox.
If you’re ready to start a journey to recovery, contact a dedicated treatment provider today.