Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Worcester, Massachusetts
As is the case with many cities across the nation, Worcester, county seat of Worcester County, Massachusetts has been struggling to cope with a wide variety of substance abuse disorders (SUD). Thousands of local residents are currently addicted to both legal and illegal drugs, leaving them in need of life-saving rehab.
Fortunately, there are several treatment facilities nearby, but traveling a short distance to neighboring regions might be more beneficial in finding the assistance best suited to your needs.
The Opioid Epidemic In Worcester
The state of Massachusetts has felt the effects of the nation’s Opioid Epidemic, much like many other states throughout the US. Data from the past 10 years has shown a steady increase in the number of Opioid-related deaths throughout Massachusetts with Worcester County ranking third in the state. Of the total 16,195 fatal overdoses recorded between 2010 and 2020, 2,065 happened in Worcester County.
The onset and continuation of the COVID-19 has certainly exacerbated things; between March of 2020 and November of 2021, the Massachusetts’ Department of Health has administered more than 124,000 Naxalone kits (a medication prescribed to those suffering from Opioid misuse). Just in the first 9 months of 2021 (both estimated and confirmed) 1,613 individuals suffered an Opioid-induced overdose death—roughly 21 more cases than the same timeframe of the year prior.
Worcester’s Prescription Medication Conundrum
Some of the biggest factors behind Opioid use in Worcester and nationally are directly linked to prescription Opioid abuse. Doctors prescribed highly addictive medications like Oxycontin and Percocet to treat severe injuries or illnesses. Some patients quickly find that once they no longer experience the same pain relief and euphoria from the same amount of the medication, they try to get their hands on higher doses. This can lead to a dependence which can develop into to an addiction and when those who are entirely dependent on their prescription medications can no longer acquire or afford them, they often turn to cheaper and more powerful alternatives like Heroin.
Worcester’s Heroin And Fentanyl Surge
Although Heroin is available for as little as $5 a bag, use of the substance comes with addictive and deadly results. Individuals substituting Heroin for prescription Opioids face unique risks. Heroin addiction can worsen as individuals suffering with an addiction unknowingly abuse the substance combined with other drugs such as Cocaine.
More harmful and stronger opioids like Fentanyl are now making headlines as addicted Worcester residents use the substance both knowingly and unknowingly. Within the last year or so, Fentanyl contributed to 92% of local Opioid-related deaths, a trend that has been steadily increasing. Some are exposed to Fentanyl because they develop a tolerance for Heroin and want something stronger, and others are exposed to Fentanyl that was laced into Heroin, Cocaine, or other substances.
What To Consider Before Rehab
Substance use disorders are complex diseases which keep someone in a state of self-destruction. People grappling with addiction may find they have been victims of sexual assault, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and other conditions. Drugs and alcohol may be band-aids for larger, undiagnosed conditions. Worcester’s affected community can find hope with the help and guidance of rehab facilities. Prospective patients may have questions on how to prepare for such a life-changing event. Consider the following questions and concerns before entering rehab:
- Possible underlying conditions fueling addiction
- A history of substance abuse
- How has my addiction affected my family?
- Do I have emotional and behavioral challenges when I’m off the substance?
- Length of time you’ve abused substances
- What healing needs do I have? (ie. religious versus spiritual or holistic versus traditional)
- Can my family members visit me on cite?
- Should I travel or stay local?
- Are there flexible financial options?
- How can I stay sober once I finish rehab?
Understanding the depth of one’s addiction allows them to prioritize their recovery. Patients can research local facilities if they choose to be around friends and family. Traveling for rehab has other benefits as patients have less distractions and sentimentality and more focus. Their new experience in a fresh space encourages more commitment and less distractions. These questions will guide the prospective patient to identify their needs.
Break free from addiction.
You have options. Talk about them with a treatment provider today.
Discover The Path To Recovery Today
Drug and alcohol addiction often requires professional assistance to overcome. When patients attempt to detox in facilities, they have the guidance and medications to ensure they recover. Facilities provide therapies like meditation and wellness coaching to enhance the healing experience and foster longterm recovery. For more information on your treatment options, contact a treatment provider today.
Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.
- More from Krystina Murray
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- Puerto Rico
- US Pacific Islands
- US Virgin Islands
- Washington D.C.
- American Samoa
- ICMA.com. (2016). How One City Went “All In” to Fight the Opioid Epidemic. Retrieved on July 30, 2018 at https://icma.org/articles/article/how-one-city-went-%E2%80%9Call-%E2%80%9D-fight-opioid-epidemic
- Worcester Sun. (2018). Worcester An Outlier in Preventing Opioid Deaths. Retrieved on July 30, 2018 at https://worcester.ma/2018/02/big-picture-worcester-an-outlier-in-preventing-opioid-deaths/
- Telegram.com. (2018). Worcester Opioid Overdose Deaths Remained Steady While Statewide Number Fell. Retrieved on July 30, 2018 at http://www.telegram.com/news/20180215/worcester-opioid-overdose-deaths-remained-steady-while-statewide-number-fell
- Bird, Walter. (2015). People of the Year: The Fight Against the Drug Epidemic. Retrieved on July 30, 2018 at https://worcestermag.com/2015/12/31/people-of-the-year-the-fight-against-the-drug-epidemic/39020
- Klann, Ashley. Contributor, GoLocalWorcester. (2012). Worcester Heroin Use Twice National Average. Retrieved on July 30, 2018 at http://www.golocalworcester.com/health/ma-ranks-1-for-opioid-overdoses
- Department of Public Health. (2021). Massachusetts Opioid-Related Overdose Death Rate Up 1 Percent in the First Nine Months of 2021. Retrieved on January 25, 2022 from: https://www.mass.gov/news/massachusetts-opioid-related-overdose-death-rate-up-1-percent-in-the-first-nine-months-of-2021
- Department of Public Health. (2021). Number of Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths, All Intents by County, MA Residents: 2010-2020. Retrieved on January 25, 2022 from: https://www.mass.gov/doc/opioid-related-overdose-deaths-by-county-may-2021/download