Getting Help for a Substance Use Disorder in Cambridge
Located in Middlesex County, Cambridge is a suburb of Boston that is home to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Though known as a quiet community, drug addiction is a rising problem in the city. More than 22% of those admitted to treatment facilities in Cambridge were under the age of 30, and nearly 30% had a high school diploma or college degree, which shows that substance use is a problem that can affect anyone.
Drug Rehab Center Cambridge
Both the New Freedom Academy and the Green Mountain Treatment Center offer support for those struggling with addiction and for those who need help for a loved one.
What Is Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction is a condition that occurs when the body and brain become dependent on a specific substance. It can occur with the prescription medication offered by a doctor and with illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Noting the rise in deaths due to opioid overdoses, the city of Cambridge closed the public toilets previously available in Harvard Square. The loss of these toilets makes it more difficult for people to use substances in public. This drastic action was in response to the 1,751 people who died of opioid overdoses in Massachusetts in a single year. This rate means that for every 100,000 people who live in Cambridge, 7.3 will die of an overdose.
Not Just Prescription Drugs
College students may use ADHD and other prescription medications to stay awake through the night and when they need extra energy. Others use recreational drugs such as marijuana or oxycodone without thinking about how they can become addicted to the substance. Cambridge has a problem with more than just prescription and recreational drugs, though.
In 2018, Cambridge authorities noticed a sudden increase in the number of crystal meth users. Also known as just meth, this substance is a stimulant that can give users more energy and make them feel younger. Some dealers cut heroin with meth to create a more potent substance that gives users a high that lasts longer. Users can smoke meth, inject the substance, or snort it to feel the effects faster. The number of people using meth keeps rising.
What Are the Signs of Drug Addiction?
The most common sign of drug addiction is when a person feels an uncontrollable urge to use that substance. Some of the other signs of drug addiction that people exhibit include:
• Tracking medications after their prescriptions end
• Building up a high tolerance to the substance
• Signs of withdrawal when they stop using
• Engagement in risky or dangerous behaviors when using the substance
• Obsessive thoughts surrounding the drug
• Developing bloodshot eyes, shaky hands, and other physical symptoms
• Doctor shopping or using multiple doctors to get access to substances
• Frequent lying about how often or what they use
• Having a lack of personal hygiene
• Sudden changes in their daily routines or schedules
Is Alcohol Addiction the Same?
Alcoholism is a type of substance use disorder when someone has an addiction to alcohol. It can occur when someone uses liquor to replace a drug but can also happen without any type of drug addiction. Some of the signs of alcoholism that you might recognize in yourself include the following:
• You cannot control your drinking and drink more than you planned.
• You suffer the common symptoms of a hangover, including feeling tired and nauseous.
• You engage in dangerous behaviors when you drink, such as operating a motor vehicle.
• Your friends and loved ones think that you drink too much.
• You have a high tolerance for certain types of alcohol.
• You drink more than the standard serving size, which is 12 ounces for beer and up to 3 ounces of hard liquors.
• You change your schedule to make time for your drinking.
• You look for places to hide your alcohol at home.
• You have a hard time keeping your job or doing activities because of your drinking.
Signs of an Overdose
One of the main problems that can affect a substance user is a drug overdose. This occurs when the individual uses too much of the substance and more than the body can handle. The symptoms that you can experience will vary based on the substance that you use. Some of the signs of an overdose include:
• Changes in breathing patterns
• Weak or rapid heartbeat
• Loss of consciousness
• Delirious thoughts
• Constricted pupils
• Changes in skin color or tone
When someone you love and care about has an overdose, you should call 911 at the first sign of a problem. The Massachusetts Good Samaritan Law was put in place to help those suffering from a drug overdose and those who call for help. If you call 911, the law will keep you from being charged with possession of a substance if you have any drugs on your body or in your home. The sooner you call, the sooner help can arrive, which will reduce the risk of the afflicted person dying.
Drug tolerance is when you have a weakened response to a certain substance. It usually occurs when you use a substance for a long period of time. Though you may only need a few drinks to feel buzzed, the more you drink, the more your tolerance will rise. Soon, it may take five or more drinks to feel the same way you originally did. The same thing can occur when you use any type of drug. You’ll need to use more of that drug to feel any effects because of your increased tolerance.
When to Get Help for a Substance Use Disorder
It is never too early or too late to get help for a substance use disorder that you or a loved one has. The person using those substance(s) needs to realize that he or she has a problem and should seek help. There are various treatment options that you can try, including 12-step programs, inpatient facilities, and outpatient centers. You can choose one of these options based on what type of program would work best for you due to how much help you need. Identifying the signs of a substance use disorder is the most important thing that you can do.
Interventions and Getting Help
A treatment center can help you stage an intervention when necessary. An intervention gives you and other loved ones the chance to sit down and explain how an individual’s addiction affects those around him or her. You can do so in a loving environment, such as the person’s home or your home. Everyone will have the chance to speak his or her mind. The user can then leave with a trained professional to get help.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment
With inpatient treatment, you have 24/7 care. There are doctors, nurses, and counselors available every hour of the day. These professionals have experience helping college students, those addicted to prescription or recreational drugs, and patients who have problems with alcohol.
Before beginning the program, you can go through the withdrawal or detox process with those professionals. They may offer you substances that reduce your withdrawal symptoms, which may include shakiness and nausea. Depending on the substances that you use, detox can last anywhere from 24 hours to a full weekend. This lets you wipe the slate clean and begin your treatment without any substances in your system.
Outpatient programs are better choices for those who have commitments at home. Let’s say that you have an elderly loved one living with you who you care for every day. Outpatient treatment allows you to visit the facility one or more times every day and get help. You can sleep in the same bed every night and spend time with your loved ones. Outpatient treatment is often more affordable, too.
Before you settle on outpatient treatment, though, you need to make sure that you can handle living on your own. You need good stress-management skills and the ability to stay sober on your own. Some substance users have a hard time staying away from the people they used with before as well as their former dealers.
You also have the option of combining inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. This allows you to spend one weekend to 30 days in an inpatient center and then head home. You’ll engage in outpatient programs over the coming months to stay on track. This may include a 12-step program that you begin during the inpatient process and finish later. The steps include taking an inventory of your mistakes and making amends to those you hurt. Though the 12 steps started as part of the Alcoholics Anonymous program, it is now found in many treatment programs for substance use disorders.
New Freedom Academy
Located in Canterbury, New Hampshire, the New Freedom Academy offers help and support for those suffering from a substance use disorder. This residential treatment facility sits on 17 acres of forested land and has a kind and caring environment that helps users feel like a part of a family. With just 20 beds available, the facility has a low professional-to-client ratio and lets you feel as if the focus is on you and your care.
Designed for those who already went through detox and those struggling with alcoholism, the New Freedom Academy can help you recover in a safe and secure environment. Your family can visit and take part in programs, but you also have the option of taking classes on your own.
Green Mountain Treatment Center
Another good facility that can help you or a loved one recover is the Green Mountain Treatment Center. When you check in, the center will assign you a buddy who has more experience with treatment and who has completed more of the program. Your buddy can help you understand the recovery process and help you on your path. As a residential program, Green Mountain asks that you live on-site and focus on your sobriety. You also have the option of going through detox here before you transfer to another facility. Many guests find that they prefer staying here throughout their entire treatment plans.
Make the Call
If you are ready to get help for a substance use disorder that you have or one that a loved one has, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call for help. You can schedule an intervention for someone special or take steps to enroll yourself in a rehab program. You can opt for an inpatient program that lasts for 30 days or more and that includes detox, or you can choose an outpatient program that will help you end the cycle of addiction. It takes just one phone call to change your life.