Bringing Hope to Beleaguered Massachusetts with Access to Drug Rehab
It could be argued that the opioid epidemic in American has hit no state harder than Massachusetts. A look at the graph below shows that the state has had a long struggle with heroin in particular. This graph shows how many people were admitted to the state’s drug and alcohol rehab centers and which drug they said was the primary one they struggled with. In 2004, 2005 and later years, heroin was the top drug sending Massachusetts citizens to rehab. In only two years out of the 11 shown here did alcohol slightly nudge heroin out of the top spot.
Here are some of the significant data from Massachusetts related to this problem:
- For of every 100,000 residents, there were 450 opioid related hospital visits in 2014. This is the highest rate in the U.S. and it’s 71% higher than the rate in 2009.
- The presence of the powerful painkiller fentanyl in the supplies of illicit drugs in Massachusetts contributes to this high rate. In the third quarter of 2016, nearly three-quarters of opioid overdose deaths were caused by fentanyl.
- Opioid overdose numbers keep reaching new highs. From just 918 in 2013, the number rose to 1,379, then 1,751 and finally 1,979 for 2016. (Some of these deaths are still pending confirmation.)
- Across the state, the average rate of fatal overdoses is 10.7 per 100,000 people. In Boston, it’s 22.6.
- The impact of opioids like heroin, fentanyl, morphine, hydrocodone and other drugs is felt in urban, suburban and rural areas.
How the Narconon Drug Rehab Program Can Help
In many treatment programs, a person addicted to an opioid like hydrocodone, heroin, morphine or methadone may be maintained on a prescription opioid like Suboxone while he is in rehab and even for years afterwards. He will not go through withdrawal but he is also under the effects of an opioid. He can’t quit using it without going through a lengthy withdrawal. According to some reports on Suboxone, he may not feel fully free of the effects of this drug for years after he quits taking it.
Instead of giving a client a drug, we go in the opposite direction. We help him detox residues of drugs taken earlier—even years earlier. When these drugs were being broken down so they could be eliminated, some residues from drugs and alcohol became lodged in the fatty tissues.
With a carefully supervised nutritional regimen, moderate daily exercise and time each day in a low-heat sauna, a person’s body ability to detoxify these deposits is activated. That time spent sweating carries these residues out of the body where they can no longer affect the person’s mood.
People finishing this step talk about how much more energy they have, how much more clearly they can think and how much more manageable their cravings are. Some people even say their physical cravings are gone.
Strengthening One’s Ability to Stay Sober
Now a person needs to gain the skills and stability to remain sober, even if life gets challenging. After all, for years or even decades, they have used drugs as a shield to keep themselves from having to deal with life. Problems, upsets, setbacks, conflicts—these would all send the person back to drugs. They need strong life skills so life is not overwhelming.
It starts with getting back in control of one’s body, thoughts, decisions and the environment itself. The objectives is a series of exercises that help each person gradually regain sharp perceptions of the current environment. After all, anyone who’s been around an addicted person knows that their perceptions are foggy and sometimes inaccurate. They don’t see what is. Now they can regain this ability to see what is. They also learn to control their own movements and emotions. This allows them to make decisions based on rational thought, not compulsions.
In the final portion of this program, each person learns the principles associated with the skills they will need to make sober choices.
- Which friends and associates should they choose to support their sobriety?
- How can they recover their self-respect and maintain their integrity?
- How can problems be resolved?
- What should they do to repair relationships that have been damaged?
Once they learn the basic principles, they apply their lessons to their lives to get a better grasp of how to be successful in life.
Before they go home, they work with Narconon staff to develop a re-entry plan for the lives they left behind. They use what they have learned to work out the steps to build a new, productive and enjoyable life. When that plan is done, then and only then is this program considered complete. Thus there is no set time limit for this program. Graduation occurs when they are prepared for the return home.
Massachusetts Fights Back Hard
There have been some bright spots in the state’s approach to dealing with this epidemic.
- In 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation to limit the number of pills of painkillers that can be prescribed for most patients. This law also implemented some drug prevention measures and requires doctors to check the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to verify that a single patient is not visiting multiple doctors to get pills.
- Gloucester Police Chief Lou Campanello broke with convention and offered the addicted residents of his town help finding rehab if they would walk in the police station and ask for it. A non-profit group called the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative continues the work he began.
- The opioid reversal drug naloxone (brand named Narcan) is widely distributed among first responders and people who might witness overdoses. While this is obviously not a solution to addiction, it helps keep some people alive until they can find a rehab to take them.
Find Out How Narconon Can Help
When you are worried day and night about someone who struggles each day with addiction, find out how the Narconon program can help. Call Narconon International at 1-800-775-8750. There are Narconon rehab centers across the United States and on five other continents. A person in Massachusetts could choose the center in Michigan or one in Florida, Louisiana or Oklahoma. Learn why Narconon can be the last rehab center you or your loved one will ever need. Call today.