Huntington Beach Drug and Alcohol Treatment
What’s Behind the Opioid Drug Epidemic in Huntington Beach and Nationwide?
Huntington Beach Drug Overdose Statistics
The increase in the number of deaths caused by accidental drug overdose in Huntington Beach and across Orange County has become a serious public health concern. In fact, drug overdose has now overtaken motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
In Orange County, 7 in every 10 drug overdose deaths in 2017 were caused by opioid
While the number of drug overdose deaths continues to increase dramatically with each passing year, a recent report released by the Orange County Health Care Agency4 shows that alcohol-related deaths also increased by 76% in the years between 2000 and 2015.
Overdose Cost and Impact on Emergency Services
Each year, drug or alcohol overdoses result in more than 5,500 visits to the hospital emergency care department. The Orange County Health Care Agency also estimates the cost of treatment for drug overdoses or alcohol poisonings to be around $430 million each year.
What’s Being Done to Combat Drug Problems in the Area?
Naloxone: The Overdose Antidote
The Orange County Board of Supervisors received a grant for 6,216 doses of Naloxone in 20175 . Naloxone is a known to be an overdose antidote, effectively reversing the effects of an opioid overdose.
Despite the best efforts of health care professionals and other authorities to provide education about the dangers of drug abuse, an increasing number of people continue to experiment with various drugs recreationally. Unfortunately, there is a misguided belief among many recreational drug users that prescription drugs are somehow safer than illicit street drugs because they were prescribed by a doctor. What they may not realize is that some types of opioid painkiller medications are chemically almost identical to heroin. When used under strict medical supervision for medical reasons, most opioid medications are highly effective for controlling and managing moderate to severe pain. However, when those same drugs are used for recreational purposes, or with the intention of getting high or buzzed, the risk of becoming physically dependent on the substance is increased dramatically.
Why Is Huntington Beach Addiction Treatment Necessary?
Why Some May Resist Treatment
Yet, despite the ready availability of so many specialized addiction treatment facilities in Huntington Beach and across Orange County, far too many people who need help don’t receive the treatment they need.
Some people refuse to admit they need treatment, believing they are still in control of their substance use. They think they can still quit any time they want, fooling themselves into believing they’re just not ready to stop yet.
Others worry about the cost of entering addiction rehab treatment, unaware that many facilities can offer various levels of financial assistance. Still others are more concerned about what might happen to their families or jobs if they enter inpatient rehab for 30 or more days.
Misconceptions of the Disease of Addiction
Then there are those who believe that a person with a drug or alcohol addiction should just quit at home. Well-intentioned family members or friends are often guilty of this misguided belief, thinking that the person struggling with the addiction simply needs to quit by going ‘cold turkey’. They think the person will experience a couple of uncomfortable days before they’re somehow miraculously cured. What they don’t recognize is that detox only serves to rid the body of the drug’s effects. On its own, detox does nothing to address the underlying psychological reasons and triggers behind addictive behaviors. In order to improve the chances of making a healthy recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, a carefully tailored combination of treatments and therapies are needed to ensure both the physical and psychological aspects of the addiction are treated properly.
Why Shouldn’t You Detox at Home?
Dangerous Withdrawal Symptoms
Many people don’t realize that when a person with an addiction tries to suddenly stop taking the substance of abuse, there is a risk of developing dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the type of drug being taken, some people may develop potentially dangerous symptoms, some of which can be life threatening and require emergency medical treatment. Other symptoms may increase the risk of the person causing harm to themselves or to others around them.
Increased Risk of Relapse
Another risk of trying to detox at home without proper medical supervision is the increased risk of relapse. When withdrawal symptoms are at their worst, some people may give in to overwhelming cravings to take more of the drug just to make the symptoms stop.
Reduced Tolerance: Deadly Results
After even a brief period of abstinence, the body’s former tolerance levels to the drug can be reduced dramatically. If the person tries to take the same or similar doses to what was being taken before, the risk of accidental overdose is increased significantly. By comparison, seeking treatment in a professional addiction rehab offers around-the-clock medical supervision and monitoring. Non-addictive medications may be given to help reduce the severity of any withdrawal symptoms that emerge, and specialized therapy and counseling can begin to work on some of the underlying psychological factors that contribute to the addiction.
Why Recover Around Huntington Beach
Sober Activities in Huntington Beach
It’s common for many people in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction to struggle finding sober activities to enjoy. While in the grip of addiction, it’s common to spend a significant amount of time finding, buying, using or recovering from drug use, leaving little time for much else. During rehab treatment, people in recovery are encouraged to participate in a range of alternative or holistic therapies. Alternative therapies provide natural ways to manage cravings and reduce stress, as well as helping to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. After leaving rehab, it’s just as important to explore lots of different activities and interests that incorporate some of the principles learned in alternative therapy sessions. Not only does seeking out and participating in sober activities help keep stress levels under control, it can also be a great way to meet different people and begin developing new social networks away from substance use. Fortunately, Huntington Beach offers lots of different sober activities to explore.
Huntington Central Park:
Huntington Central Park is the largest city-owned park in Orange County. The sprawling park spans more than 350 acres of land and offers vast fields and stunningly landscaped gardens, complete with picnic facilities. There is an exercise course in the park for those keen to maintain physical fitness levels, offering 18 different exercise stations space over a 1.2 mile loop. The park also boasts two lakes that are ideal for a bit of fishing or for relaxing on one of the many park benches to enjoy some quiet reflection time. The park also offers an equestrian center offering horseback riding, as well as a sports complex, a disc golf course and four playgrounds.
Huntington Beach Pier:
At 1,850 feet in length, the Huntington Beach pier is one of the longest piers anywhere on the West Coast. There are several stores and diners at the end of the pier too. The iconic pier is the city’s most famous landmark and is a great place to relax, marvel at the stunning sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, or just enjoy some fishing. You don’t need a license to cast a line off the pier at Huntington Beach, so try your luck at catching some fresh seafood.
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve:
The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a nature reserve in Huntington Beach designed to protect the city’s coastal wetlands and dunes. The reserve shelters more than 300 bird species, some of which are threatened or endangered species. The tranquil reserve provides a lovely natural setting for those looking for somewhere to relax away from the bustle of the city. There are also some walking trails and tours available.
Golden West College:
Many people in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction find that enrolling into a study program or course provides an excellent opportunity to complete their education and improve job skills. Attending a college or study program also offers the opportunity to begin networking with a new circle of friends not associated with substance use.
International Surfing Museum:
The International Surfing Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Huntington Beach’s surfing culture.
Surf City Nights:
Every Tuesday night sees downtown Huntington Beach come alive with community-based events. Surf City Nights often features a farmer’s market, plenty of entertainment and live music, and there is always a vibrant carnival atmosphere in the air.
Volunteering your time and effort within your community can be one of the most productive and worthwhile sober activities you can participate in. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reported that many people recovering from addiction felt a strong sense of satisfaction from volunteering6 . Many people also reported that they felt valued and needed and that they had given something back to their community. Volunteering also provides opportunities to learn new skills and begin building new sober social networks.
Recovery from Addiction is a Journey
Not only does each person in recovery learn healthy, natural ways to cope with life’s stresses during rehab. Therapy also works to help each person develop their own strong, unique relapse prevention strategy to reduce the risk of relapsing back into former behaviors.
By the time a person leaves rehab treatment, he or she should have learned all the necessary skills, resources and support needed to begin the journey to recovery from addiction with confidence. The first step to a successful recovery starts with reaching out and asking for help today.