Drug and alcohol abuse is a problem that grips the nation and permeates all ranks of society. This problem is even more urgent when it is evident right at home. Tennessee is one of the top 10 states in the nation for illicit drug use, and it ranks first for non-medicinal use of pain relievers for users 26 years or older in the last year, according to a 2007 to 2008 study published by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Tennessee’s rate of drug-related deaths are higher than the national average.
Tennessee Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment
As unsettling as these statistics may be, Tennessee has wide variety of treatment programs and centers to offer those in need. In fact, studies conducted by the Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation show that the state has made remarkable progress in assisting drug and alcohol addiction. The study, performed in 2005 to 2006, was part of the Tennessee Outcomes for Alcohol and Drug Services Project (TOADS) and outlined several factors in treatment evaluation for addiction and abuse.
Of the survey participants studied:
- Approximately 47 percent of respondents had previously attended a treatment program for drug and alcohol abuse or addiction.
- Among the top contributing drugs that led to treatment admissions, prescription drugs came in first.
- Many of the participants investigated were admitted to treatment programs due to both alcohol and drug abuse (33 percent), while drugs alone accounted for 35.6 percent of admissions and Dual Diagnoses made up a little over 9 percent.
Tennessee has seen a steady drop in admissions related to alcohol and illicit drugs. Alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, opiates/narcotics, and sedatives/hypnotics, in terms of contributing factors to treatment admission, had dropped dramatically by the six-month study follow-up point.
Success in Tennessee Treatment Programs
As part of a drug and alcohol treatment plan, there are several types of programs that illustrated positive success rates. Among those, residential and inpatient treatments combined showed the highest rates of abstinence success (74 percent). Abstinence rates positively correlated to how long a patient stayed in treatment; the longer the stay, the more successful the individual was at maintaining a drug- or alcohol-free lifestyle.
Additional factors that contributed to abstinence success rates were therapeutic programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These programs, paired with a residential or outpatient treatment program, showed high levels of promise for those hoping to abstain from drugs or alcohol. In fact, the TOADS study noted that over 60 percent attended these meetings and significant numbers of individuals went often (two or more times a week).
After a six-month follow up, many of the individuals undergoing treatment felt that the program was helpful to them. This led to a 70-percent abstinence rate post-treatment, a solid increase from earlier studies conducted since 2002 and 2003.
Many treatment programs not only teach a person skills to cope with the disease of addiction, but they also encourage the individual to live a well-rounded lifestyle. Many of the treatment centers in Tennessee, like ours here at The Oaks at La Paloma, teach a number of competency, vocational, and coping skills that can help a person feel more in control of his/her life and addiction post-treatment. Perhaps the most crucial are the relapse prevention skills that are taught. Of the survey respondents, over 90 percent utilized relapse prevention.
In over 10 years, the state of Tennessee has made increasingly positive work toward eliminating and combating drug addiction and abuse. Institutes like The Oaks at La Paloma are here to help individuals and their families who are affected by this terrible disease. If you or someone you know is battling with drugs or alcohol, the best thing you can do is get help fast. Call The Oaks at La Paloma today.