Substance abuse is a widespread problem in the United States, and Washington residents need to be aware of the issues facing their state. Curbing the worrisome trends of drug-related crime, drug overdoses, and incarceration for drug charges hinges on awareness, education, and treatment options. When you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, it’s vital to know where to turn for help.

Substance Abuse And Crime In Washington

In addition to the obvious health risks of drug abuse, drugs form one of the largest sources of income for criminal networks. Drugs are sold illegally, and large-scale drug trafficking operations typically involve a great deal of violence. This usually stems from disputes over sales territory between rival operations and addicts who become violent during a search for more drugs.

Treatment Curbs Washington Drug-Related Crime

Access to treatment is crucial to curbing drug-related crime. Between 1995 and 2005, the rate of admission into substance abuse treatment programs increased 37.4%. Federal funding for substance abuse treatment increased 14.6% in that same time. Additionally, as the rate of admission into treatment programs rose, violent crime dropped 31.5% over those years.

As crime rates drop, incarceration rates typically follow suit. On average, states with higher admission rates into substance abuse treatment programs report fewer people in prison. The earlier addicts seek treatment, the better the chances are they will not resort to criminal activity. From a financial perspective, money spent on substance abuse treatment has a much more positive return on the investment than money spent incarcerating people for drug charges. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy found that every dollar spent on substance abuse treatment equates to about $18.52 in beneficial effects on the community.

The Opioid Crisis Hits Washington Communities

Over the past decade, drug overdoses have overtaken motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the country. Many people mistakenly assume illegal drugs cause the most damage to society, and while heroin does claim a large portion of the overall overdose deaths in the U.S., the primary killer is prescription opioids. Prescription opioid sales have skyrocketed since the early 2000s, and the number of prescriptions written in the U.S. has increased dramatically, as well.

Cycles Of Addiction

A University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute study in 2014 reported that heroin and methamphetamine-related deaths peaked in 2014, and the number of treatment admissions for heroin as the primary drug of choice has been consistently higher than any other drug since 1999. There are many indicators that point to prescription opioids as the leading cause for increased heroin use. When prescription opioids are no longer available, an addicted individual will often turn to heroin as a cheaper, more accessible alternative.

Opioids and heroin entail some of the most devastating withdrawal symptoms. Once an addict’s previous dose wears off, the withdrawal symptoms become so painful and intense that securing another dose becomes an all-consuming thought. It is extremely difficult and dangerous for opioid addicts to attempt to detoxify themselves without assistance.

Why Interventions Matter

An intervention is essentially a planned confrontation with an addict about his or her substance abuse problem. It’s important for everyone who has been hurt by the addict’s behavior, or who is simply concerned for his or her well-being, to try and participate. This can be a crucial wake up call to addicts that their behaviors are affecting more people than they realize, and other people are worried about their well-being.

Benefits Of A Professional Interventionist

Emotions can run high during an intervention, and sometimes having a professional facilitate the intervention can help things go much more smoothly. Family members must be able to provide emotional support for their addicted loved one, but the effects of substance abuse often run deep through families, and resentments can easily manifest and make the intervention process much more difficult than it needs to be. Professional intervention experts like those at Family First Intervention understand that substance abuse recovery is a process that hinges on the entire family and support system – not just the addict.

Many addicts – especially opioid addicts – are afraid to seek treatment for their substance abuse for many reasons. Primarily, the withdrawal symptoms are so intense that it’s almost impossible to ignore cravings for another dose. An interventionist can help a family dealing with substance abuse find the right course of treatment for their addicted loved one, and staging a constructive intervention is the first step in the recovery process.

Drug & Alcohol Intervention in Washington

When you work with an interventionist from Family First Interventions, you receive the full benefits of years of experience handling all types of substance abuse cases. Our team understands how deep the hold substance abuse has on addicts, and we help families learn to cope with the feelings of anger, guilt, and resentment that often accompany substance abuse cases.

Substance abuse problems almost never resolve themselves. It’s up to the family and friends of addicted individuals to help them get the treatment they need to live healthier, safer lives. A professional interventionist from Family First Interventions can help start the process on solid footing.