Addiction Treatment in Albany
As is the case in urban areas across American, Albany is suffering from an epidemic of substance abuse. There is a significant criminal element in Albany, with violent and property crime rates that are significantly higher than both New York State and national averages. Due in part to its proximity to New York City, which is just 150 miles to the south, all manner of drugs and alcohol are found in Albany. Many criminals transport drugs from New York City to Albany, and then distribute them to surrounding communities such as Troy and Schenectady.
Addiction Issues in Albany
Albany itself and the immediately surrounding areas are quite urban, but areas further out are predominantly rural. This means that Albany shares substance abuse problems with major metropolises and rural regions. As the state capital, Albany attracts residents from across New York, one of the most diverse states in America, who bring their substances of choice with them. Addiction impacts Albany residents of all ages, genders, economic classes, and ethnicities.
Albany county’s rate of drug-related hospitalizations for newborns was 107.2 per 10,000, 1.5 times higher than that of Upstate New York as a whole.
Addiction and mental health is a serious concern in Albany, and throughout New York State. According to some estimates 50% of New York residents with a mental disorder are also struggling with some form of substance abuse.
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College Drug Abuse Issues
Albany is a major center of education. Albany and the immediately surrounding areas have a large student population of over 100,000 and share similar addiction issues with other college towns. Universities and colleges in and around Albany include:
- SUNY Albany
- Albany Medical College
- The College of Saint Rose
- Empire State College
- Excelsior College
- Hudson Valley Community College
- Maria College
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
- Schenectady County Community College
- Siena College
Alcohol abuse in particular is widespread among college students, many of whom engage in highly risky drinking behaviors such as binge drinking. Marijuana use is also very common, as are so called “party drugs” like cocaine and ecstasy. Under intense pressure to perform academically, many students abuse drugs that are considered study aids such as Adderall.
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The Opiate Epidemic in Albany
By far the biggest addiction related concern in Albany is opiates, especially heroin. The problem is a national one, and Albany has been far from immune.
As a whole, New York State saw deaths from drug overdoses and chronic drug rise by 71% between 2010 and 2015. Nearly all of this increase was due to heroin and other opioids.
In 2016, there were 9 overdose deaths from heroin alone in Albany County, a rate of 2.9 heroin deaths per 100,000.
In New York State as a whole, men were more than twice as likely to die by opioid overdose than women, and white people died at a higher rate than African Americans and Latinos.
Arrests for criminal sale of heroin rose from 17 in 2012 to 39 in 2014. The average weight and value of heroin seized rose from 77 grams worth $7,700 to 1,636 grams worth $180,000 during the same period.
In 2014, heroin-related overdose deaths in New York reached a record 825, more than 25 times higher than a decade earlier.
In 2014, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids reached a record 1,008, nearly quadruple the number in 2005.
Fighting the Drug Epidemic in Albany
The city of Albany, Albany County, and New York State all have dedicated massive resources to fighting the drug epidemic. The Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) is in charge of coordinating federal-state relations in the area of addiction services. OASAS plans, develops, and regulates substance and gambling addiction treatment programs in New York, studies and monitors trends, promotes education and awareness, and handles many other addiction related responsibilities.
In June 2016, the New York State Legislature, which convenes in Albany, agreed on a multi-faceted budget package that tackles many aspects of heroin and opioid addiction. The package included limits of how long prescriptions of certain opioids can be sold, funding for treatment programs, and mandates insurance coverage for overdose medications.
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Although Albany is struggling with serious substance abuse issues, help is out there. There are numerous inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities in the Albany area that provide a wide range of treatment services, including detox, therapy, counseling, treatment medication, lifestyle coaching, and more. Contact a treatment provider to discuss available treatment options.