The all work together to eliminate the high drug

The United States is seeing aconsistent increase in substance abuse statistics, and East Point, Georgia isno exception. This suburb of Atlanta is made up of several neighborhoods likeSavannah Walk, Golden Acres, Meadow Lark Estates, The Villages at East Point,Colonial Hills, Jefferson Park, River Park and Eagan Park. Drugs have becomesuch a problem that the neighborhoods of East Point and the surrounding Atlantametropolitan area has been named as one of 28 High Intensity Drug TraffickingAreas that currently exist in the United States.  What is a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area? A High Intensity Drug TraffickingArea (HIDTA) is an area that the United States Federal Government has deemed tobe a major source of production or selling of illegal drugs. In these HIDTAs,federal, state and local governments and police forces all work together toeliminate the high drug activity and drug related crime rates in the area. Oftentimes, they conduct undercover sting operations where they lure criminals tothem and arrest them on the spot.

 East Point and the other areasaround Atlanta have become a HIDTA mainly because of their location. Georgia isthe perfect “halfway” point between the Mexican border and the Eastern andNortheastern states. If Mexican traffickers can get their supplies to Atlantavia Interstate 20, which ran from West Texas to South Carolina, they can betransported north towards Michigan on Interstate 75 and Interstate 85, whichruns from Alabama to Virginia.  Atlanta Drug Statistics Mexican drug trafficking has madeits impact on East Point, but not everything can be blamed on the southernneighbor. Some of the most commonly abused drugs like alcohol, heroine andprescription drugs are produced and distributed within the nation.

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 Alcohol- Alcohol is the mostcommonly reported drug abused in the Atlanta area and results in almost half ofall admissions to residential treatment facilities.  Marijuana- The number ofpeople seeking treatment for marijuana use has decreased from 17% to 16.3%since 2012, but still remains the most popular drug in the area. This decreasein use could be from the legalization and regulation of medical marijuana inthe state of Georgia. Powder Cocaine andMethamphetamine- Because of the high influx of illegal drugs from Mexico,East Point has a high use rate of both these substances that are being carriedinto the United States.

The use of cocaine is slightly more common and resultsin almost 10% of all hospitalizations. Methamphetamine, though less common,still accounts for about 6% or treatment and that number continues to rise.  Heroine- Although it is notas common as some other illegal drugs, 4% of of all those who seek treatmenthave a heroin-related addiction. The most common strain comes from Mexico andhas become more popular as drug trafficking has increased.

 Prescription Drugs-Oxycodone is the most commonly abused prescription drug in the area andaccounts for about 3% of all treatments. While this number has been stabilizingin recent years, hydrocodone usage has been rising at an alarming rate and isexpected to surpass oxycodone statistics in the foreseeable future.   Georgia Drug Statistics  As of 2011, Georgia had reported 6.5%of their population abusing some type of non-prescribed, mind altering drugs,making it the state with the highest percentage of users at the time. Many ofthe state statistics align with the trends seen in East Point and thesurrounding areas.  Alcohol- The state seesalcohol as the most commonly abused drug, and the Center for Disease Control(CDC) stated that in 2016, about 15% of all people living in Georgia wereregularly abusing alcohol.

 Cocaine- After alcohol, themost commonly abused illicit drug is cocaine, more specifically crack cocaine.According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)67% of all rehabilitation admissions throughout the state of Georgia arecocaine related.  Prescription Drugs- The riseof prescription drug abuse in the United States hit Georgia severely in thepast fifteen years. It is reported that about 4.5% of Georgians are abusingpain relievers and hospital admissions from opioid abuse grew 1000% in the pastdecade as the epidemic grows.

   Over the past 15 years, hospitaladmissions due to opioid abuse has grown 1000% as the nation-wide epidemiccontinues to increase. Marion Gatley Crisis Intervention Center  Also known as the Intervention DrugRehab Association, Marion Gatley Crisis Intervention Center (MGA) is knownacross the country as a credible treatment center with locations in 28 states.Georgia is home to eight convenient locations, on of which is in East Point.There are also four centers just a short drive from East Point and Atlanta.  Assessment The assessment process begins bycalling MGA at their toll-free number (888)-829-2069 where the patient orpatients loved one can get more information about the program and discuss anyquestions or concerns they may have. There is no charge for this assessment andpatients are encouraged to contact MGA and get answers to their questions.  Intake After a patient of the patient’sfamily contacts MGA, a meeting is scheduled to begin the intake process.

Thisis the time that the patient is able to ask questions to decide whether thetype of treatment offered is right for them. A basic exam typically takes placeto determine the medical state the person is in to help them begin their bestcourse of treatment.  Following the intake, the patientbegins the detoxification process.

 Detox The first step towards treatment atMGA is a detoxification process. This take place in a hospital setting wheremedical professionals are available 24 hours a day. The process typically takes10 days, but may very depending on the person. Once the detoxification processhas been completed, the client is transferred to an addiction treatment centerwhere the remainder of treatment will take place.  MGA also has a shorterdetoxification for those who may need more focus on the following treatment andmay require less time detoxing.

This typically lasts a few days and takes placein the addiction treatment center as opposed to a hospital setting.                   Treatments Available Once in the residential facility,treatment lasts 30-days and follows the 12-step program. Clients are requiredto participate in individual and group therapy while family therapy isavailable if the client is interested in having their family take part in theirtreatment process. These types of therapy are also available in outpatient andaftercare treatments  Residential patients are alsooffered tools to help prepare them for their life of sobriety like life skillsclasses, addiction classes, and nutritional support to those that need it.  Following the 30-day inpatienttreatment, luxury drug rehabilitation is available for those hesitant totransition to their fully-sober lives. This treatment takes place in ahome-like environment where patients live with a small group of others.Freedoms and responsibilities are gradually introduced to the patients to helpprepare them for a fully-independent life.  Aftercare  Aftercare is an important step inmaintaining a sober life following rehabilitation, and MGA has multipleprograms in place.

Much like the different types of therapies that are offeredto residential patients, individual, group and family therapies are offered topatients once they move on to living independently.   Georgia Rehabilitation Outreach, Inc.   Georgia Rehabilitation Outreach(GRO) has an interest in lowering the chronically homeless, crime rates, andhospital admission statistics in Atlanta and the surrounding neighborhoods byaddressing and treating substance abuse.

 AssessmentMost patients in the GeorgiaRehabilitation Outreach program are referred by an individual or organizationwho are interested in assisting the chronically homeless. Once referred to thefacility, they patient will meet with a team of professionals includingpsychologists, psychiatrists, and other support staff members.   Intake The intake process at GeorgiaRehabilitation Outreach is very similar to Marion Gatley Rehab Center. SinceGRO has a variety of treatment options, the patient meets with one or moreintake specialists to determine which route is best suited for the individual.This meeting can take place but more commonly takes place in person so that thepatient can begin treatment quicker and more easily.   Detox Once a treatment plan is made, thepatient begins the detoxification process.

Detox takes place in a hospitalsetting with medical staff who monitor the patient and help take care ofsymptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal happens when the body that became used toreceiving the addictive substance regularly suddenly stops receiving it. Thetime it takes for a patient to experience withdrawal varies by person dependingon things like their rate of metabolism and the frequency of use of thesubstance.

 Depending on the individual’scircumstance, detox might not be a necessary step and the patient can move onto treatment. Often times in these cases, patients are given a medication tohelp lessen the withdrawal symptoms. These options can be discussed between thepatient and their treatment team during the intake process.  Treatment                  Assertive Community Treatment isthe approach used in Georgia Outreach which differs from the traditionaltherapeutic office setting.

This facility offers an array of outpatientservices such as assessment and diagnosis, medication assistance, employmentand vocational help, social and life skills classes, and help with conflictresolution skills. Individuals that take part in this type of program meetbetween 3 and 5 times a week either individually or as a group. The type andfrequency of assistances needed is determined by both the patient and theprofessional.

 Assertive Community Treatment ismost effective in people who are suffering from a pre-diagnosed, severe mental illnessthat is paired with a co-occurring substance addiction.  Aftercare  Residential Supports and CommunityHousing is a service offered by Georgia Recovery Outreach to provide permanenthousing for patients following their sobriety. These homes were established tohelp those struggling with homelessness to get off the streets and those whoneed help transitioning from a residential facility to living independently.Residents of these subsidized houses pay 30% of the total income for this safeliving environment.

If a resident doesn’t have a source of income, staffmembers help them to incur a steady income through governmental benefits theymay apply for.   Sober living Following treatment of any type ofsubstance abuse it is important for the recovering patient to work actively onmaintaining a sober life. Fortunately, there are a number of programs near EastPoint, Georgia that provide these services.  Hope Homes Recovery Services islocated just a short drive from East Point in metropolitan Atlanta. Much likeGeorgia Recovery Outreach and Marion Gately Crisis Intervention Center, HopeHomes offer many programs for those who have completed the 12-step program totake part in.

 They offer many life skillsclasses, such as employment, education, and nutrition guidance. They also offerweekly support groups and regular outings to learn how to engage in soberactivities while living independently. The program also offers weekly check-insfor patients that feel they need extra accountability to remain sober afterleaving their treatment facility.  Another facility that providessober living assistance is Second Chance Recovery Residences in Atlanta,Georgia. Second Chance provides apartment-style residencies that help toprovide a transition between an inpatient program and independent living. Medicalstaff and certified counselors are available to all patients living in thefacility and to aid in relapse prevention and transitioning to independenceliving. Second Chance offers 2 groupmeetings weekly that residents are required to attend. They also offer lifeskills and anger management classes, host social events that focus on sobrietyand regularly invite guest speakers to support a healthy lifestyle.

 To live in an assistant livingfacility, patients are required to be 21 years old or older, be completelysober of all substances, and must be willing to participate in the 12-stepprocess with a sponsor and attend meetings regularly. If a relapse does occurin Second Chance, the patient is moved to a treatment center where they can begiven more assistance and a more rigid course of treatment until they are readyto be moved back to semi-independent living.