Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is Arizona’s second-largest city and is comprised of many transplant residents thanks to a variety of colleges and the University of Arizona. This mix of demographics, coupled with Tucson’s categorization as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, has resulted in high substance abuse and addiction rates for the city (making it the 8th worst state for drug problems and 6th highest in the nation for the abuse of prescription drugs).
Approximately 6% of the Tucson population has specifically abused prescription medications—a high figure compared to 4.5%, which has been the national average. One in 4 Arizona teens prescribed Opioids has abused the medication. Subsequently, drug overdose deaths in the city have outnumbered motor vehicle deaths since 2007, with the main cause of death being linked to Morphine, Heroin, or Oxycodone. Those who struggle with Meth, Opioids (either prescription or otherwise), alcohol, or any other drug can make progress toward recovery by reaching out for help; both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers surround the area and stay open year-round.
“It’s easy to distribute heroin to California, Texas, and Colorado from Tucson. Smugglers bring it to the largest community close to the border because it’s easier for them to disappear.”
Drug trafficking organizations (or DTOs) have flooded the state with Opioids like Heroin; specifically, cheaper, more dangerous versions like Black Tar Heroin and China White (a “designer drug” made from the synthetic Opioid Fentanyl). The DEA recovered 1,200 pounds of Heroin in Arizona alone in a single year. Individuals with Heroin addictions generally start with prescription Opioid dependencies due to the addictiveness of their prescriptions. The American Society of Addiction Medicine has estimated that 75% of those suffering from Opioid addiction will transition to Heroin.
Opioid Overdose In Tucson
While prescription Opioid abuse is a nationwide threat, Tucson especially suffers from startlingly high rates of Opioid overdose and death. The state ranks fifth in the number of Opioid prescriptions in the US, resulting in the widespread abuse of painkillers. Tucson’s Pima County has had an overdose rate almost twice as high as any other county in the state. On average, 1 Arizonan has died a day due to drug overdose. Unfortunately, untreated addiction leads to increasing rates of overdose.
Adolescent Experimentation With Drugs In Tucson
As more illicit substances are trafficked through the state each year, more needs to be done to protect young people from them. Arizona tied for eighth-highest in the US for overdose deaths among teens. Arizona also ranked higher than the national average in every category pertaining to experimentation with illegal substances among high school students. Seventeen percent of Pima County high school seniors had reported using prescription painkillers without doctor’s orders, higher than even the state’s average of 15%.
One of the best ways to prevent Opioid addictions later in life is to educate middle and high school-age teens on the dangers of addiction. At least $3 million has gone to Arizona high schools to combat the rising numbers of drug use among teens. One in 5 12th-graders in Pima County self-reported having tried Opioids at least once, 48% having tried Marijuana, and 72% having had an entire serving of alcohol. The majority of these substances were provided by friends, according to respondents.
Treatment For Drug Abuse In Tucson
Unsupervised detox is generally not recommended for those suffering from intense addictions or from Opioid addiction, as side effects (such as seizures) can occur. Medically-trained staff are better able to handle patients suffering withdrawal and can greatly increase comfort throughout the process for the individual.
Regrettably, Arizona has ranked in the top 5 states for the percentage of adults with unmet drug treatment needs, though research within the state has shown that drug treatment can reduce the rate of recidivism by half. While Pima County does not directly provide treatment services, the Tucson government makes “substantial investments in improving the availability and accessibility of behavioral health care and by involvement in many community initiatives that seek to improve the quality of care” in the Tucson community and for its most vulnerable citizens. Accordingly, there are a number of private and public options for those seeking treatment within their city.
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Traveling For Rehab
Oftentimes, individuals will find greater success in recovery when they travel away from home for rehabilitation. When you travel for rehab, you remove yourself from everyday stressors that can impede your journey to recovery. It also gives you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the treatment process and focus on healing. If you or a loved one is battling addiction, there is hope. For more information on treatment options, contact a treatment provider today.