Idaho Falls is the largest city in eastern Idaho outside the Boise metropolitan area. Serving as a hub to all of eastern Idaho and much of western Wyoming, its thriving economic status, high quality of life, and proximity to premier outdoor recreation has it being often featured in various publications as one of the “best places to live” in the United States.
Established alongside Idaho’s Snake River, the emerging town was originally known as Eagle Rock because of an isolated island in the river that was the nesting site for approximately twenty eagles. But in 1891 the town changed its name to Idaho Falls after the rapids that existed below the bridge that was built across the river by early settlers.
In the early years homesteaders turned thousands of acres of the Idaho Falls desert into green farmland, growing crops of sugar beets, potatoes, peas, grains and alfalfa, and turning the town into one of the most productive regions in the United States at the time. But today, the city serves as a regional hub for travel, business and health care.
In 2010 Business Week magazine named Idaho Falls one of the “Best Places to Raise Kids,” and Forbes selected the area as one of the “Best Small Places for Business & Careers.” But Idaho Falls has another claim that its residents are not too proud of—that of being one more city in the United States not immune to the rising epidemic of drug abuse.
The Drug Abuse Problem in Idaho Falls
Though substance abuse impacts virtually every city America, fortunately it has not permeated Idaho Falls as much as other cities in the nation. Still, illegal drug use is on the rise in the city, and it helps to arm oneself with knowledge when it comes to this insidious affliction impacting the lives of so many.
Below are the most common addictive substances being used in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Being a perfectly legal substance, alcohol has existed in Idaho Falls since its establishment in the 1800’s. As with the rest of the nation, nearly 50 percent of all incidents involving substance abuse in Idaho Falls concern alcohol of one kind or another.
There are certain signs one can see when a person has passed the social drinking stage into a dependency with alcohol, including: regularly drinking outside of the social setting, foregoing responsibilities in order to have a drink, lying about drinking, making decisions when intoxicated that put others at risk, daily intoxication, among others. If you, or someone you know, shows some of these signs it is time to get help in drying out.
Since Idaho’s neighboring states of Colorado and Washington have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the Idaho police have reported seeing a rise in the volume of marijuana being trafficked in Idaho, including Idaho Falls.
Not yet legalized in their state, many residents get caught up in the debate of whether marijuana should be legal in Idaho. But the police force of Idaho will continue to uphold the laws pertaining to marijuana use, which include felony charges if someone is found possessing 3 ounces of it.
Echoing the rest of the state, marijuana is still the most commonly cited illicit drug among treatment admissions in Idaho Falls.
Second only to marijuana, stimulants are a big part of the Idaho Falls drug culture. Included in the category of stimulants are amphetamines, cocaine and methamphetamines. Stimulants do just the opposite of depressants—they increase heart rate, blood pressure, activity levels, and many times give the user a false sense of well-being.
As with other major cities across the country, cocaine use in Idaho Falls has decreased with the rise in methamphetamine use. Methamphetamine use has been spreading across the country over the past several years, and Idaho has been feeling the effects of this movement. A highly addictive substance, methamphetamine is spreading so quickly because of its availability, ease of use, and the ability to manufacture it from ordinary household products.
A person using methamphetamines, also called “crank” or “ice,” will be hyper-attentive, energetic and talkative. Signs of a major addiction will include skin picking, skin crawling, tooth decay and hair loss.
Opiates and Prescription Drugs:
Prescription drugs and the abuse of opiates are on the rise across the nation, and it’s becoming a growing problem in Idaho Falls as well. It can begin with users who originally were prescribed a painkiller but quickly became dependent and eventually had signs of true drug abuse. At this point a user will resort to forging prescriptions or stealing the drugs to continue to feed his or her addiction.
Originally developed by the medical community to combat pain, these drugs can be taken orally, or crushed and snorted or injected. Other common prescription drugs the police find abused are: Ritalin, Dexedrine, OxyContin, Darvon, Vicodin, and Valium.
These drugs are extremely dangerous and the more serious addictions can lead to heroin use because the addict can purchase heroin for a much lower cost than prescription drugs.
In the year 2011 approximately 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 1.6 percent of the population) had used heroin at least once in their lives. It is estimated that out of all those who used the drug, at least 23 percent become addicted to it.
Thankfully, heroin use is not widespread in Idaho however, accounting for only about 1 percent of all drug arrests in the state. But Idaho State Police do report a significant increase in the amount of heroin arrests. From 2011 to 2012 there was a 60 percent jump in the numbers of arrests for heroin. The average age of those arrested was between 27 and 28, which is a younger age bracket than the previous year when the average age of those arrested was older than 30. Although Boise police are finding heroin abuse among high school age users, the actual percentage of high school age users is estimated to be very, very low.
Find Rehabilitation Facilities in Idaho Falls
If you, or someone you know, are addicted to any substance it is important that you find help as quickly as possible. Any delay in procuring the proper help increases the risk of the person losing their life through overdose or accident.
Fortunately there are many drug treatment facilities and programs available in the city of Idaho Falls. Among the choices are short-term or long-term programs, in-patient or out-patient treatment models, and a range of treatments designed to address specific types of addiction.
Finding the right facility for yourself or a loved one will involve making sure the type and length of treatment fits the physical and emotional needs of the drug abuser. Things to consider would be the substance being abused, how long the person has had the addiction, and the physical and emotional state of the person. It is extremely important that the person receives adequate mental, physical and medical support as they go through treatment. To fail any aspect of this support will not only cut down the chances of success for the person, but will put them at risk concerning their physical well-being.