Drug crisis treatment programs are provided to clients who enrolled into addiction treatment while experience severe psychological, emotional, and/or physical distress. Intervention methods are applied to address short-term needs for the client, who may be still trying to process a significant trauma in their lives or who are still physically recovering from a recent drug overdose.
Clients suffering from a drug crisis may feel helpless, frozen, and unable to solve their problems. Their emotions may escalate to extreme degrees, causing alarm for violence, self-harm, and suicide. Drug crisis treatment programs will take into effect immediate, quicker action to address the client’s trauma, mental state, and physical safety.
Once the client is stable, mental health professionals can begin the process of addressing the underlying core of the client’s distress and substance abuse and then educate the client on how to cope with life events, find solutions, and live healthy sober lifestyles in recovery.
In 2015, opioid-related drug overdose deaths surpassed the 1995 peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.
When someone struggling with addiction experiences a crisis situation, he can feel at a loss of control in his life and feel frozen in what to do. Seeking treatment can be the beginning of finding answers, but it first requires the person to understand when the chaos has to end.
Some common crisis situations that influence people to get addiction treatment are:
Hitting “rock bottom” or “bottoming out” can be interpreted differently, depending on each individual. There is a common assumption that hitting rock bottom means the addict ended up homeless on the streets, is shoving dirty needles in their arms, and is on the brink of death. While this is certainly a very real scenario for some people in addiction, it is not necessary—nor encouraged—for people to reach this point to feel like they’ve reached a crisis in their lives.
For some people struggling with addiction, there may be several bottoms while others only need to reach one new low before snapping back into gear. Situations like losing a job over substance abuse, losing custody over children, getting arrested or a DUI, and losing valuable friends are all attributes of “rock bottom” that don’t necessarily have to all occur, but can be the breaking point of an individual before they accept they need addiction treatment.
Drug overdoses have now exceeded car crashes as the leading cause of death for younger Americans ages 18 to 36, and is the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 in general. It has been reported that the U.S. opioid epidemic is the main cause for this shift, as more drug overdose cases find prescription opioids and heroin to be the leading factor for death.
To say that surviving a drug overdose is a traumatic experience is an understatement. For many addicts, this is the “rock bottom” moment when they realize their addiction has grown beyond them and they are now in a drug crisis in their lives. Witnessing someone else going through a drug overdose is also a major trigger to getting addiction treatment for addicts who may discuss losing friends and family in group and individual therapy sessions during rehab.
More states are taking action to provide naloxone, an antidote that reverses the effects of opioid overdose, to police officials and EMS, and are mandating Good Samaritan laws that allow addicts to report an overdose without fear of being arrested for drug use. If you suspect someone is struggling with addiction or going through an overdose, call 911 immediately or escort that person to the hospital right away.
Intimate partner violence and substance abuse are not always mutually exclusive. The intensity of an abusive relationship often escalates when drug or alcohol use is involved, whether one or both partners engage in substance abuse. A drug crisis can occur when either the victim or the batterer/abuser reaches a point of realization that their relationship is being affected by their or their partner’s addiction.
Drug crises that stem from domestic violence, like other crises, can be detrimental to someone’s safety and wellbeing.
If you are concerned that substance abuse and addiction may be affecting your or someone else’s relationship, you call also our 24-hour helpline at (855) 619-8070 and one of our agents will guide you on the process of getting addiction treatment, interventions, and next-step recovery.
While traditional society may celebrate announcements of pregnancy, women who struggle with substance abuse may not have the same reaction to this kind of news. Because substance abuse can lead to lower inhibitions, poor judgment, and potential for sexual assault, women addicts who discover they’re pregnant may also be dealing with trauma from rape or sexual abuse as well.
Additionally, women who would like to keep their baby will suddenly have to face their addiction head-on, which can force women to go “cold turkey” while pregnant. This can be incredibly dangerous to both the mother and child as the mother goes through addiction withdrawal, especially if the mother is withdrawing from alcohol and opioids, which require medical supervision.
Unfortunately, the amount of drug and alcohol treatment centers that offer services to pregnant mothers are few compared to non-specialized centers, which makes the centers that do offer treatment constantly full without extra beds to offer. Part of the blame is because pregnant women require specific medical care, such as gynecological appointments and pediatric observations for the fetus. Otherwise, there runs the risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which affect newborns who have been exposed to opiates while in the womb; babies born with addiction to other substances; stillbirth and miscarriage.
Drug crisis intervention is performed when a group of an addict’s loved ones gather to intervene the person’s addiction by expressing concern, pleading for help, and encouraging treatment. Interventions can spark an “epiphany” of sorts in addicts who may have been in denial of how severe their addiction is.
Whether or not interventions show immediate effects, the experience will linger in the addict’s mind and they may start to see that their life is in crisis and jeopardy because of their addiction. Interventions can have them question where their life is going, the choices they’ve made, and what the future will bring. This kind of distress can be dangerous depending on the person’s mindset, which is why interventions focus on getting the person into addiction treatment as soon as possible to avoid further self-harm.
The loss of a loved one can greatly affect anyone to alarming degrees and is a crisis that will always require close observation. People who don’t struggle with addiction often find comfort through close friends and family members, who may all grieve together and learn to accept the loss over time.
Yet for those who do misuse substances, drugs and alcohol can be regarded as a coping mechanism to deal with the grief and loss. Extreme depression and thoughts of self-harm or suicide can also influence a person to abuse substances to the point of overdose.
If you notice concerning behavior from someone who recently lost a loved one or recognize intense grief in yourself, do not hesitate to seek treatment. Someone can always help.
GOALS OF DRUG CRISIS TREATMENT PROGRAMS
Drug and alcohol treatment centers may offer programs that incorporate cognitive therapy that specializes in trauma. Specialized mental health professionals will be able to address traumatic events with individuals who struggle with both substance abuse and mental health issues.
Drug crises don’t occur out of nowhere, so drug treatment programs go through great lengths to achieve the following goals in their clients:
Clients will receive education on addiction, how to deal with crisis situations in a healthy manner, and relapse prevention techniques.
Understanding substance abuse and mental health will help clients recognize the role addiction played in their past, which can then let them begin to recover from their trauma.
Individual and group sessions will address the underlying core of a client’s addiction and trauma, which will teach him how to recognize triggers in the future.
Creating a healthy routine and regimen will teach clients how to maintain control in their lives by sticking to a good sleep cycle, exercise routine, and nutritious diet.
Helping a client confront his thoughts and actions in a safe, supportive environment will allow the client to objectively evaluate and reassess his thought patterns and learn healthy solutions.
Clients will be taught how to cope with depression, anxiety, and other triggering emotions without the use of substances by being mindful of their thought patterns and instinctual reactions.
Recovering from trauma requires addressing it head-on, not repressing it. Clients will safely, with the guidance of a therapist, discuss their traumas and learn how to move on from them.
DO YOU NEED TO REACH A DRUG CRISIS BEFORE GOING TO TREATMENT?
Like “hitting rock bottom,” people may believe in the common misconception that for addicts to truly take their alcohol or drug treatment seriously, they must go through a drug crisis first. This kind of extreme mentality is only allowing people to reach dangerous levels of addiction, which should never be encouraged.
Especially with the opioid epidemic affecting large amounts of young Americans, there may not be an opportunity to “reach” a drug crisis or rock bottom. Highly lethal opioids like fentanyl have been found in drug overdose deaths, usually reported as a substance unknowingly mixed in with heroin and other opioids. And as fentanyl triggers more deaths across the U.S., state agencies are acknowledging the epidemic as a drug crisis already.
If you recognize addiction in someone you know, do not wait for them to realize it. Be proactive before a drug crisis occurs. And for those who are questioning whether they should get treatment, understand that wanting to make a change is already one of the first steps to achieving recovery. You do not have to wait until you lose everything to find value in it. Start your recovery today.