Arkansas Ranks High for Youth Opioid Addiction
Bentonville, Arkansas like much of the country, is facing an opioid
crisis of epidemic proportions. Most troubling
is that Arkansas youth between the ages of 12 to 17 rank first in the nation
for the use of prescription drugs. Unfortunately, as in much of the US, only 1
in 4 teens with opioid addiction will receive the necessary treatments. For
example, clinical drugs like buprenorphine and naltrexone are designed to ease
the cravings of opioid adduction while patients undergo counseling, yet only
27% of those diagnosed with an opioid addiction were given the medications in low-income
and rural communities like many in Benton County, Arkansas. As a result, the
state of Arkansas has turned to education to get the word out about opioids to
its youth to stop the problem before it starts.
for Life Campaign Drives Opioid Awareness Among Arkansas Youth
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge implemented the Prescription
for Life Campaign using a series of videos and self-guided animations to offer
insight on the dangers of opioids to teens. The program was launched in six
high schools across Arkansas including hard hit areas of Benton County. Both
law enforcement and educators agree that the greatest misconception that leads
to the abuse of prescription drugs is that they can’t be harmful since they can
be found at home. Teens sneaking pills out of medicine cabinets from their parent’s
bathroom may see the drugs as harmless experimentation. The Prescription for
Life campaign seeks to show them the risks and potential outcome including severe
dependency, overdose and death.
and Arkansas Opioid Statistics
Nearly 400 people in Arkansas have died from a prescription drug overdose
in 2015 and those numbers continue to rise year over year. Currently, for each
opioid prescription in Arkansas, over 114 pills on average are prescribed to a
single individual. This worrisome statistic puts Arkansas’s prescription ranking
at second in the entire country.
Though the Arkansas Drug Take Back Program drop boxes successfully
collected more than 25,000 pounds of unwanted and expired prescription drugs
from medicine cabinets across the state, the sale of opioids in Arkansas is 25%
higher than the national average, a grim statistic from the Arkansas Center for
Does Opioid Addiction Take Control?
Surprisingly, the transition from a mild dependency on prescription
drugs to a long-term opioid addiction can happen in a matter of days. In a recent report by the Center for Disease
Control, those that only experimented with opioids for one day have a 6% chance
of continuing to use opioids a year later.
The addiction risk jumps even higher after eight days with opioid usage escalating
to a 13% chance a year later. Anyone with a month long opioid prescription has
a 30% chance of continuing to depend on the drug a year later.
The dangers of opioid use among Bentonville teens is
representative of statistics across the country. Whether prescribed by a doctor
or taken recreationally, 1 in 4 high school seniors report medical or non-medical
prescription opioid use. One youth survey found that 56% of teens agreed that
prescription drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs because they can be
easily obtained from home.
Pills Found in Bentonville Family Medicine Cabinets
Because they are prescribed by the family doctor, even
parents may not realize the dangers of the prescription drugs stored in their
Used for managing moderate to severe pain typically
after surgery or an injury, morphine can become highly addictive as tolerance
for the drug develops quickly.
Used as a pain reliever and cough suppressant, codeine
is commonly found in low doses in prescription and over-the-counter cough syrups.
In tablet form, codeine can produce euphoria when taken in large doses.
Vicodin is a pain reliever often prescribed for chronic
back pain or arthritis, making it prevalent in homes with older adults. Vicodin
is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. Overdoses of Vicodin
can slow breathing and heart rate to the point of death.
Oxycontin is used to treat the severe pain from arthritis
and injuries and is often proscribed for its ability to provided extended 12-hour
pain relief. However, crushed and snorted, Oxycontin pills create a euphoric
high comparable to heroin.
Flags Your Child Has an Addiction
Detecting addiction before it escalates to its severest
level requires awareness and observation from Arkansas parents. The “not my
kid” attitude can easily allow a child to develop an increasingly deeper
addiction because parents choose to remain oblivious. Being alert to your teen’s behavior can save
his or her life. Here is what to look for:
from family and friends
Teens who seem to no longer communicate with family and
sink deeper into isolation, even from friends, may be developing an addiction.
Avoidance often indicates a teen’s self-awareness of
diluted pupils or slurred speech. Frequent attempts to dodge any interaction,
even a glance, is a red flag.
concentration and trouble in school
When a teen appears incapable of focusing on simple
tasks and when normal performance at school starts to decline, parents need to
confront and ask questions.
A teen who becomes highly defensive and hostile when
questions are asked about drug use is feeling trapped by addiction and only
knows anger to protect their behavior.
Sleeping too much is clearly a result of the physical
impact of opioids. Shallow breathing during sleep is especially indicative of
deepening opioid usage.
for personal appearance
Teens are commonly overly concerned with how they look.
When dependent on opioids, they lose interest in the opposite sex and find
maintaining hygiene and appearance unnecessary.
Discreet and secretive behavior as well as lying reveal
an attempt by addicted teens to hide their actions. Drugs like opioids create
insular shells that separate the addicted from the world. They can only
construct a private universe where they conduct a sole relationship with the drug.
Parents need to be strong when addressing an opioid
problem. Not rising to anger, explaining the severity of the problem to their
teen and letting them know they are loved are the first steps to getting them
the critical help they need. Most health insurance plans cover drug treatment,
and Interventionists in the Bentonville, Arkansas area are also available to
help persuade a teen toward rehabilitation.
the Crisis with Rehabilitation
Bentonville, Arkansas rehab and recovery centers provide the help
necessary to bring addicted teens and adults back to sober living. A
combination of both clinical and psychological treatments through a gradual
step by step process promotes healing.
Steps to Recovery?
There are no quick fixes to opioid addiction. The process can be slow,
but every step brings the patient closer to ridding their life of drugs.
Whether with a professional interventionist or through a gathering of
family and friends, persuading an addicted person to seek treatment is the
first critical step. Teens especially must feel the compelling need for
themselves and their loved ones to move forward with rehabilitation. Factors
such as depression and other social pressures, which may have been the starting
point for dependency, now become consistent roadblocks to recovery. A unified
force of personal commitment from the patient, the support of family and
friends and the aid of recovery specialists drives positive results.
Many Bentonville area rehab centers offer same day admittance and
detox. Establishing the ground rules of a rehabilitation facility is easiest
for patients on the first day, but those rules are quickly tested as a
sometimes slow and often painful detox process unfolds. Anger, defiance and
threats to leave the facility may occur, all of which puts the patient at
extreme risk for slipping back into relapse.
The body begins a rebellion for not receiving the drugs it needs. Symptoms
such as severe nausea and muscle aches, difficulty sleeping, fever, sweating,
extreme agitation and anxiety can “tear up” a patient struggling through detox.
Medical professionals will do their best to keep vigilance over detox patients
for serious medical issues, but other than that only a persistence to help and patience
are all there is to accompany a detox patient through this difficult episode of
The 72 Hour
Within 72 hours of admittance and detox, patients will experience severe
physical symptoms ranging from stomach cramps to vomiting. During this time,
the deeper psychological dependency of addiction also begins to have a dramatic
impact. Depression triggers drug cravings and may lure patients toward relapse.
This 72-hour time frame is a critical period when the addicted begin
considering abandoning their recovery. The
focus of recovery care professionals becomes essential to maintaining the
treatment and building the confidence in patients to remain committed to their
Ninety Days: The Long Haul of Residential Recovery
Residential inpatient treatment in Bentonville may extend from thirty
to ninety days, depending on the patient. After the summit of detox is
overcome, the goal of long-term treatment is to refocus and retrain a patient
away from a concentration on opioids to a perspective of the world seen through
non-addictive eyes. During residential
treatment, patients will reconnect and rebuild broken relationships with family
and friends. Creating a community of care supports and builds up patients to
rejoin the world, free of drugs.
Transition of Partial Hospitalization
PHP, or partial hospitalization programs, gradually reaffirms the
normalcy of everyday life free of opioid addition. Bentonville area PHP
facilities provide flexiblilty to help patients renew their relationship with a
sober life while also offering support from professional therapists and others
struggling to recovery. With PHP, the option to continue the care of a residential
facility is balanced with outpatient treatments. The patient discovers the
freedom to move forward into a sober world knowing he or she has the support
foundation of a recovery center. Many of the pressures that triggered opioid
addiction can now be confronted with a strong support system. Work, family
stresses and personal depression are dealt with by a combination of outpatient
group therapy care and the rehab center acting as a supportive background to
Outpatient Treatments and a Sober Life
After the experience of detox, the long-term recovery of residential treatment
and the slow rebuilding of life through partial hospitalization, the risk of
relapse still looms for many who have experienced an opioid addiction. Intensive
outpatient programs, or IOPs, located in Bentonville, Arkansas help patients
learn how to avoid a relapse. Intensive outpatient sessions will consist of
focused group therapies that go for three hours a day, three days a week. Led
by experienced therapists, the group sessions help the recovering identify the
key triggers to their opioid addiction. They learn the essential coping skills
to manage stress, social and personal issues and depression free of opioids.
Most importantly, the sessions help patients manage a sober life when the
influence and temptation of drugs still exists in their community. For Bentonville,
Arkansas to recover as a community, individuals in the community most heal
The education for the patients comes from building long-term relationships
with other addicts within the group. The support system does more than sympathize,
reinforcing a sober life and helping those with addiction avoid the temptations
of relapse found on the streets of their hometown.
Hope in the Bentonville, Arkansas Community
It is through family, friends, schools and loved ones that those who
have slipped into an opioid addiction may be saved. Taking actions with intervention
may transform someone who appears hopeless into a thriving soul after recovery
becomes successful. Turn to Bentonville interventionists for initial
assistance. They will help you find the best Bentonville recovery center to
help those suffering with addiction begin the long path to recovery. Look for
the signs of addiction in those you love and help them to take the first steps.