Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Worcester, Massachusetts
As is the case with many cities across the nation, Worcester, Massachusetts has been struggling to cope with a wide variety of substance abuse disorders. Thousands of local residents are currently addicted to both legal and illegal drugs, leaving them in need of life-saving rehab.
The Opioid Epidemic in Worcester
The state of Massachusetts has felt the effects of the nation’s opioid epidemic more than almost any other. By virtually every measure, Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of opioid abuse, and has doubled in the state over 4-year timeframe. In 2016, emergency medical services received 1,694 calls related to fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses.
In 2014, the city of Worcester suffered 9 opioid deaths in 6 days. Worcester’s population was 184,000 people at the time. 5% of the city’s population have reported lifetime heroin use.
Worcester’s Prescription Medication Conundrum
Some of the biggest factors behind opioid use in Worcester and nationally are directly linked to prescription opioid abuse. Doctors prescribed highly addictive medications like Oxycontin and Percocet to treat severe injuries or illnesses. Patients quickly find that they no longer experience the same pain relief and euphoria from the same amount of the medication, and may improperly up their doses. Eventually, a dependence and then a full-blown addiction develops. When prescription-opioid-dependent individuals can no longer acquire or afford their former medication, they often turn to cheaper and more powerful alternatives like heroin.
Worcester’s Heroin and Fentanyl Surge
Heroin is available for as little as $5 a bag, with addictive and deadly results. Individuals substituting heroin for prescription opioids face unique risks. They have to travel to dangerous areas to get a bag, risking their safety and exposure to other drugs. Heroin addiction can worsen as individuals suffering with an addiction unknowingly abuse the substance combined with other drugs such as cocaine. Addicted individuals can lose jobs and connections with family and end up homeless, which has happened to a number of Worcester residents.
More harmful and stronger opioids like fentanyl are now making headlines as addicted Worcester residents use the substance both knowingly and unknowingly. Fentanyl was detected in 85% of local opioid-related deaths, a trend that has been steadily increasing. Some are exposed to fentanyl because they develop a tolerance for heroin and want something stronger, and others are exposed to fentanyl that was cut into heroin, cocaine, or other drugs. Although opioid abuse rates have decreased in some populations, Worcester’s African American and Latino populations suffer the most from the effects of opioid abuse.
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What To Consider Before Rehab
Substance abuse disorders are complex diseases which keep someone in a state of self-destruction. People grappling with addiction may find they have been victims of sexual assault, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and other conditions. Drugs and alcohol may be band-aids for larger, undiagnosed conditions. Worcester’s affected community can find hope with the help and guidance of rehab facilities. Prospective patients may have questions on how to prepare for such a life-changing event. Consider the following questions and concerns before entering rehab:
- Possible underlying conditions fueling addiction
- A history of substance abuse
- How has my addiction affected my family?
- Do I have emotional and behavioral challenges when I’m off the substance?
- Length of time you’ve abused substances
- What healing needs do I have? (ie. religious versus spiritual or holistic versus traditional)
- Can my family members visit me on cite?
- Should I travel or stay local?
- Are there flexible financial options?
- How can I stay sober once I finish rehab?
Understanding the depth of one’s addiction allows them to prioritize their recovery. Patients can research local facilities if they choose to be around friends and family. Traveling for rehab has other benefits as patients have less distractions and sentimentality and more focus. Their new experience in a fresh space encourages more commitment and less distractions. These questions will guide the prospective patient to identify their needs and ask treatment professionals the right questions.
Get Help During COVID-19
With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.
Discover the Path to Recovery Today
Drug and alcohol addiction often requires professional assistanceto overcome. While patients attempt to detox in facilities, they have the guidance and medications to ensure they recover. Facilities provide complimentary therapies like meditation and wellness coaching to enhance the healing experience. Rehab is a safe alternative, as performing at-home detox creates extremely painful withdrawal symptoms with potentially fatal results. The pathway to freedom begins with one call. Connect with a knowledgeable treatment provider today.