Elevate Addiction Services – SLT
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Sadly, the same can’t be said for drug use trends in the state. In that regard, South Carolina has fallen right in line with drug use increases across the rest of the country. The state is one of the top ten in the percentage of residents over the age of 26 that use cocaine, and it’s in the top ten of residents that use drugs other than marijuana (most of the harder drugs, in other words.)
Residents of South Carolina have a serious problem. They are in a state with one of the worst drug problems in America, but they don’t have always have access to the effective drug rehabilitation treatment needed to handle the high rates of addiction they are exposed to. If residents in the state want to escape from this predicament, they need to become educated on the spreading trend of drug abuse, and they need to know what they can do about it when it pops up in their own communities and homes.
According to the South Carolina Drug Control Update, 8.88% of all residents admit to using drugs on a monthly basis. This is just higher than the national average of 8.82% of Americans that admit to using drugs regularly. Again, in this sense South Carolina is a good example of what drug use looks like across the rest of the country.
If you were looking for a place that really didn’t stand out, a state that was firmly in the middle of the pack when it came to drug use, South Carolina could be it. Instead of staking a firm stance against drug use and being a leader in handling it, the state is just another example of rampant drug addiction where almost one in ten people are using illegal drugs.
In South Carolina, as in the rest of the state, many drug users end up paying the ultimate price for their addiction when they succumb to an overdose and cannot be revived. In the state 13.8 people out of every 100,000 die as a consequence of their drug use. This is just higher than the rest of the country, where 12.8 people per 100,000 die from drug use. Again, South Carolina is a good representation of the rest of America in this regard.
In order to truly be educated on the subject, however, it is important to understand exactly which drugs are used most often in South Carolina. A good way of measuring this is to look at what drugs residents are checking themselves into rehab for. In South Carolina, that breakdown is as follows:
Marijuana. This drug is one of the most commonly used illicit substances in many states. It isn’t a drug that causes overdoses, but it can damage your health by contributing to lung cancer, and it can lower your IQ and cause brain abnormalities. Even if it doesn’t kill you directly, it’s still a very bad idea to use marijuana.
Opiates. This category includes all of the many prescription opiate painkillers that are sweeping across the state in record numbers. The amount of prescription opiates being prescribed to Americans is enough for every adult in the country to have a pill bottle to himself, and that is resulting in record numbers of people getting addicted to and overdosing from abusing these drugs.
Cocaine. This used to be the second-most popular drug in the state until prescription opiates dethroned it. Cocaine is imported into the country by the ton, and it has been one of the most highly consumed drugs in South Carolina for decades. Even though it is now used less than marijuana and prescription painkillers, it is still a serious threat to safety and health in the state.
Stimulants. This category of “uppers” include amphetamines and meth. Meth is a scourge across much of rural America, and that includes a lot of South Carolina. The number of meth labs seized by police rose from 130 in 2008 to 335 in 2011. Even though it is currently the fourth-most used drug in the state, meth and other stimulants are quickly rising through the ranks to become another one of the major threats in the state.
Heroin. While this drug is one of the biggest sources of overdose injuries and deaths in other areas of the country, it is low on the list of drugs abused in South Carolina. This may change in the near future, however, as heavy usage of prescription opiates invariably leads to a surge in heroin usage. Prescription painkillers can be an incredibly expensive opiate high, so heroin is a cheaper alternative.
Knowing that these are the most highly used drugs in South Carolina, communities should direct their attention to addressing marijuana and prescription painkiller usage as a first priority.
One of the biggest barriers to getting drug addicts effective treatment is the perception of the drugs they used. Across the country, special interest groups are currently promoting the idea that marijuana is a safe, mild drug that is less dangerous than having a beer. They are making their case very well, as it appears that the push for marijuana legalization is a grassroots movement. The truth is that marijuana is still a dangerous drug that leads to health problems and further use of even more dangerous drugs.
The fact that more people in South Carolina seek out addiction treatment for marijuana than any other drug is a strong indicator of the fact that they realize they are dependent on this substance and that it is hurting them. Drug users wouldn’t seek out treatment for something they were using if they genuinely felt it was helping their health, happiness and quality of life.
Prescription opiates present a different image problem. This is the fact that most people think they are vital “medicine” provided by doctors, so they must not be that harmful. Again, the truth is very different. What these patients don’t realize is that these drugs create a tolerance and then a state of dependence very quickly. Even following a doctor’s orders can lead to abusing these drugs with a vengeance.
If we want drug addicts in South Carolina to have any chance of rescuing their own health and well-being, the public must become educated on just how damaging these drugs actually are. Schools need to present the truth about these drugs to all students. Families need to closely examine whether or not they need the signs of drug use in their own loved ones and then take fast action to get rehabilitation treatment when addiction appears. By working together in our communities, we can turn the tide against drug use in this generation. Contact us today for more information on South Carolina drug rehab facilities.
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