Conway,Arkansas, a lower middle-class community with an unemployment rate that is lessthan the national average, is at the center of an enormous methamphetamineepidemic. The town was recently featuredin an HBO documentary “Meth Storm”. Conway,Arkansas and its surrounding communities such as Damascus, Holland, Mayflowerand Mount Vernon is part of a huge methamphetamine production and distributionoperation. It has affected the entire community and the staggering crime rateis a clear indicator of a serious drug problem in this small city.Recent datashows Arkansas has the 2nd highest meth use in the United States inadults. The incredibly high use of methamphetamines across the state isunfortunately enabled due to the number of clandestine meth labs spreadthroughout the state, hidden in the rural areas.
These meth labs are easilyconcealed by the geography of the area and the relatively small, spread outpopulation, making them hard to detect.The scarierstatistic is that the state is number one for prescription drug abuse byteenagers in the country. Arkansas is 25th in the nation for thenumber of drug overdoses per year, most from prescription drugs. In an effectto fight back against the mounting prescription drug problem, the state isworking to incorporate “drug-take-back” facilities, where unused prescriptiondrugs can be disposed of. There has been some measure of success with thisprogram.In Bentley,Arkansas, a small community just 45 miles south of Conway, local police havediscovered a frightening new trend among teenagers. High school students arethrowing something known as “Pharm Parties”.
Each teen brings some sort ofprescription drug and it is thrown into a bowl and then each teen takes 2 or 3pills, not knowing what exactly what medication they are taking and eats them.This is scary, due to the fact, that the teens have no idea how the drugs willinteract with each other. At onepoint, Conway high school students were subjected to random drug testing,regardless of whether they participated in sports or not. Random drug testing seemedto have a positive effect in schools in other areas of the State of Arkansas.
However, the school has ceased this practice due to uncertainty of the genuinelegality of random drug testing and a large number of complaints from membersof the community.Crime in Conway, ArkansasConway has astaggering crime rate that is 76% above the national average and 31% higherthan the rest of the state. Which is astounding considering that it is only the7th largest city in Arkansas and only has a population of 62,455people. Much of the crime is theft and property loss and tied in closely withthe growing meth and prescription drug problem. The localauthorities are working diligently to not only stem the crime but the flow ofdrugs in Conway. There have been several successful drug busts within the lastyear, that have allowed the authorities to seize a large amount of drugs andremove them and their suppliers from the streets.
Theauthorities in Conway, in an effort to set an example and deter drug dealers,are also seeking harsher punishment for dealers. In February of 2017, a man wasconvicted of dealing 24.4 grams of meth and was sentenced to 120 years inprison. Faulkner County Drug CourtFaulknerCounty, of which Conway is the county seat, has implemented a drug courtprogram for both adults and Juveniles. This is an alternative to jail time fornon-violent, drug related crimes.
This program has the offender participate ina drug rehabilitation program for a period between 9 and 18 months. The DrugCourt program is mutually beneficial to both the county and the offender. Thereare specific requirements that need to be met, such as the offender must passfrequent drug test and follow through with their drug rehab.
Drug Court notonly has been proven to save the county money but keeps the offender out ofjail and ideally clean from drugs. Statistically, drug court works and hasalmost an 80% compliance rate.Drugs abused in ArkansasMethamphetaminePrescriptionDrug (ex: Pain Killers)CocaineHeroinMDMALSDMarijuanaGetting Help in Conway, ArkansasPerhaps thehardest part of beating an addiction is taking the first step to get help. Itcan be frightening to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to ask for helpand not knowing what to expect when you seek treatment. A quality rehab isgoing to offer a positive support network, and help you improve your overallphysical and mental health.Finding a Facility in Conway,ArkansasFortunately,Conway and its surrounding area, has a number of quality rehab centers.
To findthe right rehab facility to fit you and your needs you will want to find afacility that has not only quality care and proper licensing and accreditationbut an after-care program to help you stay sober. It is also helpful to havesome information on how successful their treatment methods have been. A goodtreatment facility is going to follow your treatment to the very end, which inreality is a lifelong process.
They will set you up with programs and meetingsthat will continue long after you leave the rehab facility itself.Making Rehab WorkMaking rehabwork is a matter of being honest with yourself and the professionals trying totreat you. You will be dealing with some complicated emotions and feelings.This is a time for full honesty and being open to new ideas and stayingcommitted to getting sober, even when it gets hard.What is an Assessment?Anassessment is basically an interview, which is sometimes accompanied by a physical.
one of the facility’s health care specialist will ask specific questions aboutyour history, personal drug use and habits to determine your individual needs,the extent of your addiction and the specialist can begin to create a treatmentthat is tailored specifically to you. It is important to be completelyforthcoming and honest. They are not judging you, they are here to help you. Yourcomplete unaltered history is necessary in order for the rehab staff to helpyou. Often times,they might be able to detect other underlying mental health conditions that maybe a component to the addiction you are fighting.
What is Pre-Intake?This is partof the assessment process where the facility determines which counselor willwork best with you and determine if a period of detox is required prior tobeginning treatment, as well as your overall physical and mental health uponentering treatment.What is Intake?This is theprocess of getting you enrolled into the treatment program at the rehabfacility. Working out your placement, insurance and arranging your placement indetox, inpatient or outpatient. What is Detox?Depending onthe nature of your addiction and what you are specifically using, you may needan interval of detox. When you initially quit using, your body may crave thedrug very intensely. This can sometimes be incredibly dangerous, therefore itsimportant that you are placed in a detox program that is prepared for thephysical ramifications of your detox. This can be the hardest part of your roadto recovery.
A medicallysupervised detox facility has the ability to administer medications that canhelp ease cravings and the symptoms of withdrawal. Patients are supervisedaround the clock to ensure that their overall health isn’t suffering. This is atricky and extremely sensitive time in a patient’s treatment. Having fulltimesupervisor helps make this time more comfortable.
Once you make it throughdetox, the real recovery can begin. What is Inpatient Treatment?Inpatienttreatment allows for supervision and monitoring of patients round the clock. Thisis the most intense form of rehabilitation. This helps keep the addict in checkand away from the influence of the drug with 24-hour supervision, usually in ahospital setting. The length of a patients stay will be determined by thecounselor and is based on the severity of the patient’s addiction. This is amore intense treatment for individuals dealing with more severe addictions thatare sometimes exacerbated by other mental disorders. It allows for care giversto treat more than one disorder at the same time. It is an opportunity toprovide patients with duel therapies and treat both the problem and thesymptom.
RTC- Residential Treatment CenterAresidential treatment center is a more home like environment. The patient stillhas 24-hour support but without extreme 24-hour surveillance in a hospitalsetting. Residential treatment is a more relaxed treatment for individuals whoare fighting addiction without the treatment for mental illness or the need forhospitalization. Patients are still participating in daily therapy, but it isin a more domicile setting.
PHP-Partial Hospitalization ProgramThistreatment program is a step down from residential treatment. The patient isgiven a little bit more independence and freedom. It allows the patient topractice coping skills and learning to maintain a sober lifestyle while stillunder the care of the rehab facility. This program slowly shifts from full timesupervision to self-reliance while still offering full support. This is acritical step in the recovery program. The patient is usually housed in soberliving quarters and able to administer their own medication.
Patients begin to reentertheir regular life, all while attending daily meetings and checking in withtheir rehab support network. IOP- Intensive Outpatient ProgramIntensiveOutpatient Program is designed for patients who do not need detox and also canmanage to maintain their sobriety without continuous supervision. Patients whopartake in this program still participate in a great deal of therapy andcounseling throughout the week, but they are able to do so while living at homeand while being involved in their own day to day life. One of the main goalsIntensive Outpatient Programs is to help individuals deal with the desire torelapse and help them overcome this desire.
What is Outpatient Treatment?This programis directed at patients who are the least likely to relapse and require theleast supervision. Patients who participate in outpatient rehab are able toattend multi-weekly, if not daily, meetings but without the concentration ofthose involved in the Intensive Outpatient Program. What is Aftercare?This is anessential step in the recovery journey. Aftercare assists patients who havecompleted the prescribed treatment program continue into a sober lifestyle.
Itis essential that your rehab program has an aftercare program to follow up yourtreatment as statistically, 50% of people who make it through rehab willrelapse in the future. Without proper support and direction, it is easy forformer addicts to revert back to their former habits and lifestyle. The abilityto stay sober requires that individuals continue to learn new coping skills asthey face new challenges in their life, especially once they have left therehab facility and are living in the real world. Recovering addicts will beencouraged to join a 12 Step Program, such as AA or NA for social and moralsupport. In reality, aftercare is a lifelong commitment. Ideally, a formeraddict will continue to attend meeting for the rest of their life.What is Sober Living?Sober livingis an alternative to leaving rehab and simply going home.
It offers therecovering addict a safe place to continue on their journey to sobriety withouthaving to truly enter into the real world. Half way houses still have rulesthat the residents are required to follow, however, the residents are free tocome and go as they wish. The structure of sober living homes creates anenvironment that encourages a drug free lifestyle and forming strong relationshipswith other former addicts to help them stay sober. A Step in the Right DirectionThe idea ofentering into rehab can be scary and uncertain, but it is the best decision youwill ever make.
You are not alone and there are people who care about you andwant to support you in this journey to reclaim your life and your sobriety.