Providence, Rhode Island Drug Concerns
Providence, Rhode Island endures an increasing problem with drug and alcohol abuse. The state of Rhode Island has been recently dubbed at the state with the 5th highest rate of drug overdoses in the country. Additionally, the state maintains being 3rd in the nation for alcohol poisoning and binge drinking. The state also struggles with high benzodiazepine abuse, ranking “4th in entire nation.” The state also has extremely high rates of marijuana abuse. Providence County has seen its share of drugs, and city data notes North, South and West Providence are most vulnerable to high substance abuse rates.
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At-Risk Youth & Substance Abuse
Providence has a large amount of youth drug use, with teens spending large amounts of money to buy illicit substances. For example, a Providence mother recently mourned the loss of her 29-year-old daughter due to a heroin overdose. In response, the local senate has passed a bill to criminalize those who sell and distribute drugs. The hope is for fewer drug overdoses; however, substance abuse continues to be an ongoing and complex problem.
Providence Opioid Abuse
Recently, local police seized $1 million in heroin (23 kilograms) found in several Providence school bus seats. A Providence woman was arrested and found with 200 grams of fentanyl and 2 kilograms of heroin.
Many Providence residents with opioid abuse disorders don’t realize they are taking a deadly combination of heroin with fentanyl. Because of their trust in the person they bought drugs from, such instances reveal both the power of a drug dependence and the vulnerability to extremely harmful drug combinations. Illicit opioids like heroin and fentanyl are the most abused substances in Providence, as well as Rhode Island as a whole.
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Signs of Prescription Opioid Abuse
The opioid epidemic affects millions of Americans and was recently declared a public health emergency. Prescription opioids like Codeine, Hydrocodone, and Morphine produce marked symptoms of abuse. Patients who suffer chronic pain should be mindful of the addictive qualities of prescription opioids. They are more at risk of developing a dependency or increased drug tolerance. Common side effects of prescription abuse include:
- Dry Mouth
- Doctor shopping
- Shallow or slowed breathing
- Combining prescription opioids with alcohol
- Inability to control using prescription opioids
- Isolation to abuse substances
Doctor shopping involves a patient visiting multiple doctors in order to get more prescriptions. Patients may exaggerate health concerns in order to have doctors write prescriptions not knowing they already have medication.
Most dangerously, those who abuse prescription opioids are at an increased risk of experimenting with illicit opioids like heroin or fentanyl. These are highly potent, but extremely difficult to stop or control. Once someone develops a tolerance, they may search for a more potent replacement, beginning a destructive journey into heroin.
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Despite high rates of substance abuse in Providence, the key is getting help. There are dedicated treatment providers who assist new patients in finding the best rehab facility available. Future patients can ask questions to determine their facility needs and learn about financing options. Contact a treatment professional today.