Where crack cocaine used to be the biggest drug threat in the state of Connecticut, the most recent studies are showing that the prevalence of Heroin abuse had surpassed that of crack cocaine in Connecticut. This is causing the need for Connecticut drug rehab programs to rise. One of the reasons that drugs are becoming more and more prevalent in the state of Connecticut is because of the location of the state.
Why We Need Connecticut Drug Rehab
One of the reasons that drugs are becoming more and more prevalent in the state of Connecticut is because of the location of the state. Located between New York City and Boston, Connecticut the travel through point between the two cities, and because of this, the same drugs are being distributed in and around the state of Connecticut. The location of the two primary interstates, Interstate 95 and Interstate 91 also provide a travel route for drugs being trafficked from Canada.
In addition to heroin and crack cocaine there are other drugs that are very prevalent in the state. Club drugs such as MDMA are commonly abused among college kids, high school teenagers and those who are on the “rave” scene. Other drugs that are commonly found in Connecticut include Methamphetamine, and Marijuana.
The number of fatalities from drug overdosing today in the U.S. is more than three times higher than the count taken in 1990. In the state of Connecticut, poisoning from drug intake is the major cause of accidental fatalities in the adult population. During the last ten years, Connecticut has also experienced a serious increase in the numbers of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. This condition is caused when the fetus is exposed to addictive drugs in the mother’s womb. These addictive substances may be either illicit drugs or prescription medications.
However, Connecticut actually has the 13th lowest death rate from drug overdose in comparison with all other states in the country. Drug abuse statistics for Connecticut revealed that 10.1 per 100,000 state residents died as a result of an overdose.1 In addition, Connecticut scored high–eight out of ten–on a survey of innovative new strategies to help reduce rates of prescription drug overdose. These modern preventive strategies are the following:
1. Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). – Connecticut has an active PDMP which is computerized, assisting pharmacists in determining whether a patient is currently receiving prescribed painkillers or other Schedule I or II controlled medications from more than one doctor.
2. PDMP Mandatory Utilization Provisions. – These provisions require mandatory utilization of PDMP by doctors prescribing drugs.
3. Doctor Shopping Laws. – These laws stipulate that patients cannot withhold their prior prescription data and medication records from their current doctors or healthcare practitioners.
4. Support for Substance Abuse Treatment Services. – This provision supports Medicaid Expansion that helps extend coverage for substance abuse treatment services.
5. Prescriber Education Required or Recommended. – This provision requires or recommends continuing education for medical doctors and health practitioners who prescribe medications for patient treatment.
6. Good Samaritan Laws. – These laws provide some levels of mitigation from conviction and sentencing or immunity for residents when attempting to save or assist others or themselves during the occurrence of a drug overdose.
7. Rescue Drug Laws. – These laws are for facilitating access to and use of naloxone by members of the public who are not medically trained. Naloxone is a prescription medication that is helpful in counteracting drug overdoses.
8. Physical Exam Requirement. – This is a law that requires physicians or other healthcare practitioners to perform physical examinations on all patients, or to have an ongoing doctor-patient relationship with patients, prior to prescribing any drug that is a controlled substance.
9. ID Requirement. – This is a law that allows or instructs all pharmacists to require patient identity verification by legitimate ID before dispensing any prescription for a controlled substance.
10. Lock-in Programs. – This program is managed by the state Medicaid plan under which any patient who is suspected of having abused a controlled substance must use one specific healthcare practitioner as drug prescriber and one specific pharmacy for filling prescriptions.
The state of Connecticut currently supports and adheres to all of these provisions with the exception of the second (PDMP) and fifth (Prescriber Education Required or Recommended) as listed above.2
What drugs have the highest abuse rates in Connecticut?
Currently, prescription drug overdosing is a growing drug abuse problem throughout the state. Statistical results measuring drug abuse rates in Connecticut are considerably different from those calculated for other states. In Connecticut, the most strongly abused drug is heroin, with 17,878 users in a study of 48,082 state residents. The drug with the lightest abuse rate in the state is methamphetamine, having just 128 users in a field of 48,082 residents. The survey also reveals that among these 128 people, 66.4% were males and 32.0% were females.
The next two most frequently abused drugs in Connecticut are cocaine and marijuana. During the last year, 5,573 residents surveyed reported their use of cocaine by various methods, not including smoking. Currently, accurate figures are not available on numbers of cocaine smokers. Among people reporting, just 3,782 admitted using marijuana. Of this number, 80.3% were males, while 19.5% were females. In comparison, 9,399 of residents surveyed revealed alcohol use, and 9,290 reported that they were users of alcohol and at least one illicit drug or prescription medication in combination.3
What are some current substance abuse trends in the state of Connecticut?
The majority of people living in Connecticut who entered substance abuse treatment facilities as patients last year were between the ages of 21 and 30. It is interesting to note that in this group, the largest number were from 21 to 25 years of age and were treated for addiction to marijuana rather than heroin, which is the drug most seriously abused in the state. Those patients who were in the age group of 26 to 30 were under treatment for methadone addiction. Although many people think of drug addiction as being a problem involving teenagers and young adults, Connecticut residents of many diverse ages and walks of life can be victims of substance abuse and addiction.
Today, young children may be introduced to drugs by older children, teens and adults who are substance misusers or abusers. Sometimes this happens by accident, or in social situations where no supervising adults are present. In many cases, children experiment with prescription medications that were prescribed by a medical doctor for legitimate use by their parents, siblings or other adult family members. In addition, senior citizens may abuse prescribed medications simply because they misunderstand dosage directions or take the wrong drugs together in unhealthy combinations. In some instances, seniors may result to using illicit drugs they can obtain more easily and inexpensively than the legitimate medications they need.
What primary drug abuse problem is Connecticut facing today?
Opiates including morphine, oxycodone and methadone as well as dronabinol (Marinol) are primary drugs now abused by state residents. Less powerful drugs also currently abused such as hydrocodone, buprenorphine, ketamine and anabolic steroids are also dangerous when taken too frequently or in large doses.4 Such medications and other painkillers are frequently prescribed by medical doctors for patients suffering from moderate to severe pain. These drugs can be extremely helpful in alleviating pain, especially for chronically or terminally ill patients. However, when abused, they become very dangerous, harmful substances. These drugs are life-threatening when consumed recklessly, in excess or in combination with other drugs and alcohol.
Without question, the state of Connecticut is faced with some very serious levels of drug abuse and addiction among its residents today. However, with the combined efforts of the state government, medical doctors or other health professionals, and dedicated substance abuse treatment programs, there are currently signs of definite progress in alleviating this abuse, reversing rising trends in addiction, and saving many lives now threatened by acute drug misuse and abuse.
Connecticut Drug Rehab Programs Beat Addiction
Between the year 2000 and 2004, the number of drug violation arrests have risen and dropped. In 2000 the number of drug violation arrests were at 608, but in 2001 the number dramatically dropped down to 283, in 2002 the numbers of drug violation arrests remained almost the same with 286, and in 2003 there was another significant drop that accounted for 163 arrests. In 2004 the numbers again increased with the total number of drug violation arrests at 312.
Get connected with a Connecticut drug rehab today!