With a population of 128 thousand, Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in the state of Iowa. It is known as a flourishing center for arts and culture in Eastern Iowa and is home to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, the Paramount Theatre, Theatre Cedar Rapids, the African American historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa, and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance.
Cedar Rapids has also been home to several famous figures including American Gothic painter Grant Wood, journalist and historian William L. Shirer, writer and photographer Carl Van Vechten and aerodynamics pioneer Dr. Alexander Lippisch.
Cedar Rapids is nicknamed the "City of Five Seasons" with the fifth season being time to enjoy the other four. They symbolize this with a Tree of Five Seasons sculpture in downtown along the North River bank. The name "Five Seasons", as well as representations of the sculpture, also appear throughout the city in many other areas.
Before Cedar Rapids was established in 1838, it was territory of the Fox and Sac Indian tribes originally named Columbus. Then in 1841, was renamed Cedar Rapids after the rapids in the Cedar River. The river itself was named after the large number of red cedar trees that grow along its banks.
Its population is primarily of European ancestry with the largest percent of residents tracing back to German descent but Irish, English and Czech hold higher numbers as well according to the 2000 census.
Lawmakers Seek Criminal Justice Reforms:
The way things are currently in Cedar Rapids, someone who is addicted to drugs who is caught by the police can face incarceration for the use of illegal substances or the illegal use of controlled substances. This method of stopping drug abuse has been used throughout the US for a long time now; as time goes on, it becomes more and more clear that it is an ineffective way to get people off drugs. More often than not, as soon as the addict is released from jail, he returns to his drug addiction, sometimes even turning to harder drugs.
Iowa Representative Walt Rogers recently spoke up at a panel regarding the incarceration rates related to drug crimes. He was quoted as saying:
“I am concerned with what we’re talking about as far as incarceration rates. I’m very concerned about that, and all the potential avenues of fixes that we can do for that, I’m certainly concerned about incarceration rates for small users of marijuana, but when you get into drug dealing, I’m very concerned about that.”
He made it clear that he is not supporting the legalization of marijuana as a whole, but understands that incarceration for drug addiction is not the way to handle the problem. The panel for the most part was in agreement on this subject in general, though they did not agree entirely on some points. There is still more discussion to be had on the subject before a final decision will be made.
Overall, however, the goal in sight is to reform the criminal justice system. A system where drug dealers and violent offenders will still face prison time, but addicts whose crime was only the use of drugs can be given other alternatives like rehabilitation instead of incarceration.
Progress Being Made in Reducing Substance Abuse:
Iowa has made some significant progress in reducing some substance abuse. Iowa's drug policy coordinator and director of the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy, Mark Schouten said:
"According to the latest state and national trends, alcohol and tobacco use by Iowa youth continues a decade-long decline, and Iowa has the lowest overall rate of illicit drug use in the nation,"
While some drug use is declining, drugs like crystal meth, prescription painkillers and new synthetic designer drugs are rising in use throughout the state of Iowa. Dale Woolery, spokesman for the drug control policy office said:
"That's certainly a concern, it seems to be growing in scope and size. I think what's happening in Iowa in many ways mirrors what we're hearing about nationally. Our numbers are relatively small compared with other states, but the increase, the trend, is not a good one."
Although the number of meth labs in Cedar Rapids, and Iowa as a whole, are declining, more meth is being imported into the state causing an increase in use of the drug. Add to that the nation wide jump in prescription drug abuse and new designer drugs like "K2" and Bath Salts, and you can see how although problems with marijuana and alcohol are less of an issue, the drug problem in its entirety is becoming more important to address than ever before.
Reports on studies and surveys done on high school students also showed that these increases and declines are running the same in schools as they are in the state. Alcohol use among high school students in the most recent report went down to 13 percent of those surveyed, while prescription drug abuse among the same students surveyed increased to 7 percent.
The switch to harder and harder drugs within the state is proof that it is time to start looking for more effective methods to handle addiction.
Cedar Rapids Rehab:
There are approximately 19 drug rehab centers in Cedar Rapids available to people who are looking to overcome their addiction to drugs or alcohol. Of these, three of them offer inpatient care programs while the rest specialize in outpatient care.
As inpatient care has been shown many times to be far more effective than outpatient care, you may want to consider looking into a rehab center outside of Cedar Rapids if the three that currently offer this service are not centers you want to choose for other reasons.
The reason inpatient care works better is in part due to the addict's living environment and the people he was around while addicted to drugs or alcohol. By going home to these same people and places every day while going through treatment, he can easily get stressed out again and relapse back to drugs.