Worcester is one of the two largest cities in Massachusetts, which is the sixth smallest state in the nation. The city has been awarded the All-American City Award five times, and has a population of over 180,000. Also, “one is hard-pressed to find another city of comparable size with a greater concentration of world-class colleges and universities,” the Worcester website states.
Yet even for all the city’s great attributes, like so many other cities its residents struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. While Worcester may be a great place to get an education, or to start a new life, addiction is heavy there and this can eclipse the city’s wonderful assets.
When people don’t have access to proper treatment, or can’t find resources, they tend to go without treatment. In fact, only a small percent of people receive the treatment they need for addiction, in Worcester and elsewhere.
Having access to treatment, knowing the signs of addiction and learning about the best rehab options available will increase your likelihood for recovery success. Maybe you live in the area and want to find a treatment home-away-from-home. Perhaps you’re considering Worcester as a destination to get away from your environment of addiction. Whatever the reason, this city has access to renowned treatment at Vertava Health of Massachusetts that may be right for you.
Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Worcester
Worcester sees a lot of addiction, but perhaps none so prevalent as opioid addiction. The city of Worcester is the seat of Worcester county, and the area has seen more than a threefold increase in opioid-related deaths from 2000 to 2016, according to data from the Massachusetts Department Of Public Health (MDPH).
On a similar note, emergency visits related to opioids have greatly increased since 2013. This problem is statewide, as the MDPH states, “in 2016 EMS services reported an opioid-related incident in 301 of the 351 MA cities and towns.”
Why such a strong rate of emergency incidents related to opioids? First, opioids are addictive drugs, and addiction to opioids is a risk even if the person takes the drugs for just a short time. When taken as prescribed, there’s far less risk of addiction.
However, if you change the method of administration at all—maybe the pain prompts you to crush the pills and make a solution for faster effects, or the drugs aren’t working fast enough so you take more before you’re supposed to—you risk addiction.
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High prescription rates also contribute to increase in addiction: putting more prescriptions in the hands of people who may not know or understand the risks associated with them increases the risk of substance abuse. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, over 85,000 prescriptions were written for opioid drugs in Worcester county.
Prescription opioid abuse and addiction may be one of the larger addiction issues in Worcester, but addiction to other illicit drugs and alcohol is also present. Treatment is available for the unique requirements of each type of addiction.
Crimes Related To Drug And Alcohol Addiction
In the past few decades, the nation has been cracking down on offenders of drug-related crimes, even declaring a “war on drugs.” Massachusetts is no exception to this, and has seen great increases in incarceration rates of drug crime offenders.
The Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center (MBPC) reports that changes in laws for crime offenders meant that by 2010, the state was incarcerating three times more people than in 1980. Specifically for drug offenders, this increase was tenfold.
The state has since changed its laws, trying to keep people with minor offenses out of prison altogether, but the MBPC admits that what most of these people need—and don’t receive—is access to resources, especially treatment.
What’s Being Done About Addiction In Worcester?
Much of the time, what’s needed for offenders of drug crimes is treatment. Addiction affects the psychological well-being of an individual as much as the physical. This means that people struggling with addiction face changes to behavior, mood and mental faculties that often results in poor choices again and again.
The MBPC reports that changes to laws for minor drug offenders has kept many of them out of prison, but even so, the problem of lack of resources and access to treatment isn’t solved. Research from the National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that people who get into treatment and see it through will experience the greatest outcomes, including decrease in continued crime and stopping of drug use.
In other words, people who can get into treatment stand a better chance of both overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, and decreasing criminal activity. The issue is how to get these people into treatment and find access to resources.
Here at Vertava Health of Massachusetts, we offer superb quality of care in addiction treatment, and we are just a short distance from Worcester. When people in this city can’t find the treatment they need at home, help is only a call away.
What Is Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic disease, characterized by compulsive drug-seeking despite consequences or negative side effects and often relapses. It’s a disease many never see coming, and for which few receive help. It’s a malady that affects the mind, body and emotional well-being, causing damage that can be irreparable without help.
Addiction can start any number of ways: from abusing your parent’s prescription drugs, taking cocaine at a party, shooting up heroin with friends. No, addiction doesn’t always begin with that first use, but it’s the first use that hooks you. The “rush” feeling of euphoria many substances produce immediately after taking them, and the high that follows, are what keep people caught in an endless cycle of addiction.
What addiction is not is a problem for which there is no solution. Addiction is completely treatable, but treatment requires a number of components, including an excellent inpatient rehab center equipped with caring staff and research-supported treatment methods, a willingness to commit to healing and a strong support network.
Signs Of Addiction
If you think someone close to you may be struggling with addiction, you may be both hurt and confused. Remember that addiction affects mind and body, so many actions are affected by the disease over and again. What people need when in the cycle of addiction is grace and help in treatment.
The following are signs of addiction:
- Inability to control substance use or activities related to it
- Shirking responsibilities
- Lack of interest in things that used to interest you
- Taking risks more often, especially to obtain or seek substances
- Deterioration of health, such as dehydration, lack of sleep and poor nutrition or hygiene
- Trouble in relationships due to substance abuse
- Keeping secrets, or hiding things/getting caught in lies trying to cover up substance abuse
- Developing tolerance
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking substances
What Happens When You Don’t Seek Treatment?
When addiction goes untreated, the consequences can be many. Depending on the type of substance abused, you may see a vast array of consequences from long-term abuse. The NIDA explains that “people who suffer from addiction often have one or more accompanying medical issues.”
While these issues vary, long-term addiction can result in any number of the following medical conditions:
- Save & Exit Cancer (many different types)
- Cardiovascular disease
- HIV/AIDS, and other infectious diseases
- Lung disease
- Mental health disorders
In addition, addiction to drugs or alcohol can infect your life as much as your health, affecting personal relationships, finances, work, school and social involvement.
Treatment may not be a quick fix, but it’s the surest way to repair the damage caused by addiction. In treatment, you can learn how to restore your health—all aspects of it—manage any hurt or anger you feel, deal with your emotions and prevent relapse.
When you enter drug and alcohol rehab, you work to build a life that will ensure you no longer rely on substances for fulfillment and have the strength, confidence and skill set to stay away from substance use long-term.
What Kinds Of Treatments Are Available?
At Vertava Health of Massachusetts, we offer a multidisciplinary approach to drug and alcohol treatment. This means we employ a number of modalities to form programs customized to each individual, ensuring greater success in treatment outcomes.
The following are some of our evidence-based methods that are proven effective followed by short descriptions of each.
Each addiction treatment program must be as unique as the individuals who seek it. That’s why we perform a full clinical assessment before you begin treatment. This helps us determine your level of addiction, any co-occurring disorders or mental health issues, and feel out any underlying issues you may have that can affect the outcome of your recovery. A thorough clinical assessment is necessary to build a treatment program that is the best fit for you.
Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)
For some in treatment, medication can make a great difference in outcome success. If you need medication during rehab, we provide it in a safe, supervised setting as needed. Medication-Assisted Therapy is used in combination with other methods to ensure comprehensive healing.
Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches you the skills to recognize and challenge negative thoughts. By understanding how harmful thoughts can lead to adverse behaviors, you can find a way to work through these thoughts before they result in bad behaviors.
Dialectical behavioral therapy teaches you to recognize the urges that lead to certain reactions, and how to regulate both. To keep from acting on impulse, DBT encourages the practice of mindfulness, which can help you manage negative thoughts and behaviors and improve social functioning and interpersonal skills.
Motivational Interviewing helps you understand who you are in a greater capacity. Utilizing five principles, we work to help you reveal the thoughts and emotions that may have led to addiction, work through them, and guide you as you improve your self-image.
Many who enter treatment for drug and alcohol addiction also have a co-occurring mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression or trauma. It’s imperative that any and all disorders and conditions are identified to ensure you receive proper treatment for each. When you fail to diagnose and treat all health conditions, you risk the effectiveness of your outcome overall.
Toxic chemicals can pile up in your body due to addiction. If you require detoxification during rehab, we’ll have you covered with medically supervised detox services. You’ll receive monitoring round-the-clock, medication (if you need it) to help manage withdrawal symptoms and strength in support from licensed, professional staff.
Mindfulness And Stress Management
At Vertava Health of Massachusetts, we encourage techniques that teach you to manage your emotions, mindset and stress. By remaining in control of your own mental faculties, you can change your behaviors which in turn leads to a more fulfilling life and aids in long-term recovery efforts.
Aftercare, Family Support And Relapse Prevention
It’s important to understand that addiction is a chronic disease, the treatment of which will be a long-term effort. That’s why we remain involved in the support of our alumni, offering connections to networking and outreach groups. Continuing to practice principles of treatment and participating in treatment efforts as needed after rehab are key components to relapse prevention.
What Can I Expect At Rehab?
First and foremost, you can expect to heal in a comfortable, welcoming environment that allows you to focus solely on getting better. To accomplish this feat, we integrate a variety of evidence-based methods for healing as well as activities designed to improve overall well-being and your experience with us.
Whatever standards you set for your treatment, rest assured they’ll be met and exceeded here. Drug and alcohol rehab is about so much more than healing. It’s about finding the space and the resources to build, or rebuild, your life.
The Private Rehab Center Difference
Perhaps in your search for the right rehab center you’ve come to ask yourself if you should attend a public or private center. While both have their benefits, private rehab provides something you won’t find in other establishments: a superb quality of care.
Excellent quality of care is something you probably hope to find anywhere you attend treatment. But when you’re healing from addiction, and setting your hopes on regaining control of your life, having the right support and resources behind you is of utmost importance. As a private rehab center, we recognize this difference and strive to provide this level of support.
So, what is the private rehab center difference? In addition to providing professional, compassionate staff, we also employ the best, evidence-based techniques for treatment. This means all our methods are backed by research and have shown effective results for others before you.
Being private also means we keep a lower clinician-to-patient ratio, which gives you greater chance of success in that staff is able to really connect and take time with you as you heal and grow.
Inpatient Vs. Outpatient: Which Should I Choose?
By now, you may have heard the words “inpatient” and “outpatient” healing for addiction, and wondered about the difference between the two. “Inpatient” refers to treatment in an inpatient facility setting, like a rehab center. “Outpatient” refers to treatment completed not in a facility (or while still maintaining daily life around your schedule).
For some, outpatient treatment may seem desirable, as it allows you to continue living at home, perhaps keep a job or to stay with your family. However, outpatient treatment is not right for everyone.
For those held fast in the clutches of addiction, inpatient rehab tends to be the best option for healing. Why? To start, inpatient healing takes you away from your environment of addiction. This is an important part of recovery, as removing yourself from triggers allows you to focus on what matters most: freeing yourself from addiction and building a life that will help you continue that freedom.
Inpatient rehab also means you’ll receive medical and professional care for the entirety of your stay. That means if you need medication or monitoring, you’ll get it. It also means you’ll have staff backing you, listening to you and helping keep you on track with your recovery goals when things get tough.
In short, inpatient rehab gives you the chance to go away from your troubles in order to confront and heal from them.
Treatment For Addiction In Worcester
If you’re in Worcester and looking to heal from addiction, help is only a phone call away. When you call, your information will be kept completely confidential.
We are committed to helping you heal, and want to see you succeed in rebuilding your life. Contact us today at Vertava Health of Massachusetts to learn more. There is no obligation and all inquires are 100% free and confidential.
- Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center — Incarceration Trends In Massachusetts: Long-term Increases, Recent Progress
- Massachusetts Department Of Public Health — Current Statistics
- National Institute On Drug Abuse — Drugs, Brains, And Behavior: The Science Of Addiction
- National Institute On Drug Abuse — How Effective Is Drug Addiction Treatment?
- Worcester, MA — About Us