Combatting the Southern California Opiate Crisis

opiate crisisThe opioid epidemic has been declared a national public health emergency, affecting virtually every state in the country. In 2016, there were 2,012 opioid-involved fatal overdoses in California, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics.

Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths nationwide in 2016, and approximately 40% involved a prescription opioid. It’s estimated that 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day.

The number of prescription opioids sold to hospitals, pharmacies and doctors’ offices practically quadrupled between 1999 and 2010. Prescription opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone are effective in relieving pain, but they’re also highly addictive and can lead to heroin use, which is significantly cheaper and easier to acquire.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued five strategies to combat the opioid epidemic:

  1. Improve access to treatment and recovery services.
  2. Promote the use of overdose-reversing drugs.
  3. Strengthen the public’s understanding of the opioid epidemic.
  4. Fund cutting-edge research on pain and addiction.
  5. Improve practices for pain management.

Comprehensive Opioid Addiction Treatment in Orange County, CA

The increase in opioid prescriptions is undeniably a big part of the problem, but drug availability alone does not cause addiction. For many people, underlying psychological issues related to brain chemistry, genetics and life experiences can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing an addiction.

The most effective way to treat addiction is with treatment that addresses the whole person, including the mental health conditions that can co-occur with addiction. Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and other mental health disorders can contribute to substance use and become worsened by it, but they can be managed with an appropriate combination of therapy and medication.

At PACE Recovery, we’ve helped hundreds of people enter into a life of recovery from opiate addiction through a combination of traditional and alternative therapeutic methods. We recognize that each client who calls on us is different, which is why we take great care in designing treatment plans that promote positive, lasting outcomes.

We utilize a range of therapies that have been particularly effective in helping clients address the mental aspects of addiction, including:

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is commonly used to treat those with depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. DBT helps clients process trauma and manage negative feelings like stress by practicing mindfulness and improving communication skills.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a nontraditional therapy that helps clients eliminate the negative feelings attached to trauma through a series of hand motion techniques performed by the therapist. EMDR essentially rewires the brain without requiring the client to go into detail about the trauma.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a common type of therapy used to treat several mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. It improves a client’s understanding of the relationship between feelings, thoughts and emotions, and also teaches clients how to replace unhealthy, negative self-talk with more positive language.
  • Motivational interviewing (MI) empowers clients to make changes in their own lives. The client and therapist work together to identify goals, obstacles and solutions. It’s a profoundly empowering form of therapy that helps clients realize that they are capable of making changes and achieving their goals.

Recovery From Opiate Addiction Is Possible

Although the strategy laid out by HHS provides much-needed direction, solving the opioid epidemic is not something that can be achieved in the short-term. The most viable solution is comprehensive treatment that helps people who are presently addicted. Recovery from opioid addiction is possible. PACE Recovery’s extensive alumni network speaks for itself.

We’ve helped hundreds of people recover through our individualized, sophisticated treatment plans that help people recreate their lives. We urge you to contact us for more information about how our services can help you or someone you love.

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