Iowa Drug Rehabs

The prescription drug abuse epidemic has trickled down to Iowa, leaving many residents concerned for the health and safety of their communities. While medications help people live better quality lives, Iowa officials are raising awareness about dependency risks and providing treatment information for those in need.

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    Marijuana is the most abused illicit substance in Iowa. Another harmful trend making its way through Iowa neighborhoods is opioid abuse and non-medical uses of prescription drugs.

    For every 100 Iowans, there are approximately 72 to 82 painkiller prescriptions. This has fueled the growing number of substance abuse cases throughout the state.

    Many Iowa residents have turned to treatment to overcome substance abuse. Rehab admissions involve drug addictions including:

    The use of meth has steadily declined in Iowa. Over the past several years, the number of meth labs has decreased by 90 percent. As meth use continues to drop, treatment rates have surged. Iowa has the 11th highest treatment rates for meth in the United States.

    With new forms of substance abuse on the rise, Iowa residents are abusing more opioids, prescription medications and marijuana. While many medications help people live healthier lives, they also come with a potential for abuse. An addiction can stem from altering medicine doses or sharing pills. Between 2007 and 2008 alone, Iowa’s Department of Public Safety, Division of Narcotics Enforcement (DNE) saw a 243 percent increase in the number of opened pharmaceutical cases.

    Marijuana use is another concern among many Iowa residents, especially teenagers and young adults. Roughly 27 percent of 11th graders in Iowa have experimented with marijuana. Additionally, more than half of adolescent treatment center admissions cite marijuana as the primarily abused drug. Marijuana is commonly transported in commercial and private vehicles from Colorado to Iowa via Interstate 80. In fact, Iowa receives the sixth most marijuana product exports from Colorado.

    Laws of Iowa Drug Use

    Legal penalties for possessing or distributing an illicit substance in Iowa are harsh. Each drug is classified by a schedule which determines criminal charges and potential sentencing. Drugs in schedules I and II are highly addictive and often have the most severe penalties. Substances listed in schedules IV and V carry the lowest risk of addiction and may have acceptable medical uses.

    Here’s a breakdown of each schedule:

    If you are found in possession of an illicit substance, you will face charges based on the number of previous offenses. Additional penalties may apply depending on the type of drug and the amount involved.

    Possession OffenseCriminal ChargePotential Sentencing
    First offenseSerious misdemeanorUp to 1 year in jail and $1,875 fine
    Second offenseAggravated misdemeanorUp to 2 years in jail and $6,250 fine
    Third offenseClass D felonyUp to 5 years in jail and $7,500 fine
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      Marijuana Laws in Iowa

      Marijuana used for recreational or medicinal purposes is illegal in Iowa. However, the state has enacted a medical cannabidiol (CBD) law which approves the use of cannabis extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC. The only qualifying condition for medical CBD in Iowa is intractable epilepsy.

      Iowa has strict rules in place for possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana. While cultivation and distribution often come with more severe forms of punishment, possession charges are not to be taken lightly. Sometimes offenders may have an option to attend rehab. After successfully completing a rehab program, you may be allowed probation rather than time in jail.

      Possession and cultivation/distribution charges are different. For example, possession for personal use is generally defined by the number of offenses, whereas cultivation or distribution is based on the amount.

      OffenseCriminal ChargePotential Sentencing
      Possession for Personal Use
      First offenseMisdemeanorUp to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 fine
      Second offenseMisdemeanorUp to 1 year in jail and/or $315 – $1,875 fine
      Third offenseAggravated misdemeanorUp to 2 years in jail and/or $625 – $6,250 fine

      Possessing any amount of marijuana within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, public school or school bus involves 100 hours of community service in addition to the possession sentencing.

      AmountCriminal ChargePotential Sentencing
      Cultivation or Distribution
      One-half ounce or less plant-formMisdemeanorUp to 6 months in jail and $1,000 fine
      50 kg or lessClass D felonyUp to 5 years in jail and $750 – $7,500 fine
      50 – 100 kgClass C felonyUp to 10 years in jail and $1,000 – $50,000 fine
      100 – 1,000 kgClass B felonyUp to 25 years in jail and $5,000 – $100,000 fine
      More than 1,000 kgClass B felonyUp to 50 years in jail and $1,000,000 fine

      You can also face criminal charges for possessing, distributing or manufacturing marijuana paraphernalia. Devices such as water pipes, scales, bongs and other items can include up to six months in jail and $1,000 fine.

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      Addiction Treatment Laws in Iowa

      Harm reduction laws in Iowa are set up to help address the issue of substance abuse and recovery. The laws are designed to support the whole person, rather than just focus on the drug involved. When overcoming an addiction, you should be treated with respect and dignity.

      Iowa TakeAway Program

      Iowa was the first state in the country to launch a safe prescription drug disposal program. The TakeAway program provides information and resources about discarding expired or unused medications.

      Between 2010 and 2015, Iowa’s TakeAway program had five public events that received expired and unused prescription medications totaling more than 59 pounds.

      Throughout Iowa, residents can drop old prescriptions off in convenient drop boxes. This helps prevent drugs from getting into the wrong hands, as well as keeps the environment clean.

      As members of the community, pharmacists are in a prime position to ensure the safe and proper handling of medications, from dispensing to disposal. By working together, pharmacists across the state of Iowa hope to make a difference for the environment and their communities through TakeAway.

      - Kate Gainer, Vice President of the Iowa Pharmacy Association

      Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)

      The Iowa Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) started in 2009. Through the program, health providers and pharmacists are able to view a patient’s prescription drug history. Any time a schedule II – IV substance is dispensed, it is reported in a secure portal. This information is shared with other states that have active PDMPs in an effort to reduce the nationwide prescription drug epidemic.

      Other uses of Iowa’s PDMP include:

      • Reduce prescription drug abuse
      • Track insurance fraud
      • Prevent doctor shopping
      • Provide a better level of quality care

      High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program

      Iowa’s major highways, railways and airport have made it a huge player in the transportation of illicit substances across the Midwest. Because of this, several of Iowa’s counties are part of the Midwest HIDTA.

      Specified HIDTA counties receive state-of-the-art equipment and technology resources to combat drug trafficking activities. Some of the current Midwest HIDTA initiatives consist of:

      • Des Moines DEA Task Force: Targets drug-related activities in and around the Des Moines area
      • Quad Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Group: Handles drug transportation routes in the Rock Island, Moline, Davenport and Bettendorf areas
      • Tri-State Sioux City DEA Task Force: Identifies major drug efforts around the region rather than a few select cities
      • Muscatine Task Force: Watches for distribution organizations that run along eastern Iowa

      Drug Courts

      Drug courts are an essential element to treatment services provided to Iowa offenders. Programs are made up of five phases that take place over a minimum of 12 months. Nonviolent offenders who take part in substance abuse treatment receive assistance for therapy, education, employment, anger management, social skills and more.

      The goals of Iowa’s drug court programs are to:

      • Reduce the harmful effects of drug abuse on yourself, family members and friends
      • Lessen the chances of repeat offenders for similar crimes
      • Help offenders get back on their feet with housing, education and job referrals
      • Provide more recovery resources for those who need it most

      Treatment Centers in Iowa

      In 1980, the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit of Central Iowa (SATUCI) opened its doors to residents of Marshall, Tama, Poweshiek and Hardin counties. Since then, the non-profit, state-funded agency has provided addiction prevention and treatment services to thousands of people in Iowa.

      The Substance Abuse Treatment Unit of Central Iowa (SATUCI) offers prevention services, treatment and other addiction resources to residents of several counties throughout the state.

      SATUCI’s prevention programs are geared towards adolescents in middle and high school. For example, the Lifeskills course talks about substance abuse prevention and focuses on building self-esteem and confidence. Another program, Too Good for Drugs, helps students make goals, learn how to communicate effectively and handle conflicts that may arise.

      In addition to prevention programs, SATUCI provides various treatment services such as:

      • Early intervention
      • Extended outpatient
        • Relapse prevention
        • Talking about change
        •  Anxiety/depression group
        • Women’s group
        • Early recovery
        • Choice and change group
      • Intensive outpatient
      • Continuing care groups

      Substance abuse affects your personal and professional life, as well as relationships with those closest to you. There is a wide range of addiction treatment centers in Iowa and the United States. Each one offers its own specific programs, therapies and other recovery activities. It’s important to find a facility that meets your needs and makes you feel most comfortable, whether it is close to home or miles away in another state.

      Let us help you take the first step on your path to sobriety. We will find top-rated facilities that fit what you’re looking for. Contact us today to get started.

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