Barnstable County, Massachusetts, like many other communities in the United States, has seen firsthand the effects of alcohol and drug abuse. Public health officials have focused on treatment, prevention, harm reduction, and public safety in their response to an uptick in drug use and abuse.
Barnstable is a semi-rural community. Geographically, it is remote from urban centers. However, when you look at statistics for alcohol addiction, accidental overdose, drug addiction, and drug-related deaths in the 18-plus population, you see that these do not differ greatly from larger cities in Massachusetts as a whole.
Barnstable County is made up of 25% adults aged 65 and older. This compares to 14% across Massachusetts. This can complicate the substance use disorder prevention planning in this area as the needs of Barnstable County differ slightly from the rest of Massachusetts. It’s estimated that 8% of the population of Barnstable County is addicted to alcohol. This outnumbers all other potentially addictive substances combined.
Older adults in this community have the lowest prevalence of substance use disorder. However, two out of every three older adults who are treated for substance use disorder are receiving treatment due to alcoholism.
Trends in Drug Use in Barnstable County
Outside of alcohol, the drugs of choice in Barnstable County include:
- Prescription opiates
A reports from 2019 showed that 3% of Cape Cod residents were addicted to or at least dependent on heroin or prescription opiates. In fact, there were 71 drug overdoses in 2019, with the average of the person being 36.1. However, it is thought that these statistics underestimate the real number of heroin and prescription opiate users in the county.
According to the same study, approximately 27,000 adults over the age of 18 and approximately 3,000 children ages 17 and under use marijuana frequently. Nine percent are classified as addicted to marijuana.
Understandably, drug addiction and alcohol abuse affect the mortality rates in Barnstable County. Deaths from alcohol or drug dependence are between 0.8% and 0.9%. Starting around 2013, Barnstable County began seeing an uptick in the number of deaths from opiates as compared to deaths linked to alcohol.
Why Should a Person Get Help Dealing With Drug and Alcohol Addiction?
Substance use disorder and addiction are not healthy. When a person is battling with drug or alcohol abuse, it’s likely that they have mental health and physical problems that are short-term or chronic.
Additionally, substance use disorder and addiction lead to suffering for friends and family members. This is especially true for the spouses, parents, and children of those battling with drug use. The toll that a family member’s drug abuse or substance addiction takes on family cohesion is difficult to explain to someone who has not gone through it.
Caring family members want to help their loved one get the attention that they need. Still, it’s important that family members take care of themselves first. They should never allow the substance use disorder of their loved ones to consume them to the point where their life, health, and well-being are negatively affected. If they do allow this to happen, they may not have the mental or emotional fortitude needed to provide consistent assistance to their loved one.
What Are the Symptoms of Drug or Alcohol Abuse?
Residents of Barnstable, Massachusetts, may have an inkling that their loved one is abusing or is addicted to alcohol or another substance. But how can they know for sure? The Mayo Clinic has laid out a comprehensive list of symptoms that a person struggling with alcohol or drug abuse might exhibit. Some of these symptoms include:
- Appearing intoxicated with greater frequency
- Being tired or lethargic or sleeping irregular hours
- Developing problems at work or school, leading to loss of employment or being kicked out of school
- Stealing money to pay for alcohol or drugs
- Experiencing anger or sadness when questioned about substance use disorder
- Practicing poor hygiene and neglecting appearance
When a person is battling with substance use disorder, it is likely that their behavior will be different when they are intoxicated versus when they are sober. In their intoxicated state, they may take dangerous risks, including driving while intoxicated or engaging in other erratic behaviors that cause their loved ones to worry.
The best way to provide assistance to a person battling with drug and alcohol addiction may seem counterintuitive, especially for those who struggle with codependent relationships. Some methods used may seem harsh. However, they stem from a desire to help the addicted individual overcome their addiction and to help all those who are affected to heal.
How to Get Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
There are many resources in Massachusetts to help those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline has been set up as a tool to offer confidential information and referrals for individuals battling with drug abuse and related issues. The service can be reached at 1-800-327-5050 or www.helpline-online.com.
This hotline provides accurate, comprehensive information about treatment services that are currently available in Massachusetts. You can get help Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are a number of language interpreters available.
Massachusetts offers a variety of treatment services. The treatment that you will need will depend on your personal circumstances, your history with substance use disorder, and your current goals. Some of the treatment services are:
- Acute treatment services – These are 24-hour detox programs where you will be under the consultation of a medical director who will monitor you as you go through withdrawal from alcohol or drugs. Most people will stay in these facilities between three and five days.
- Long-term residential – Long-term residential treatment is structured treatment in an environment free of alcohol and drugs. These programs can last 30 days or more.
- Medication-assisted therapy – Medication-assisted therapy, also known as MAT, is used for opiate detoxification. It provides continuing support for a person during recovery. MAT is available for those who are battling alcoholism. The FDA has approved three drugs for the treatment of opioid dependence. These are Naltrexone, Buprenorphine, and Methadone.
- Outpatient services – Outpatient services can be found throughout the community and include things like counseling and self-help.
Green Mountain Treatment Center
Green Mountain Treatment Center takes a unique yet effective approach to rehab and recovery. Our focus is on helping our guests renew their lives, renew their spirits, and renew their bodies. This is why so many people in New England have turned to us for help.
What makes us unique is that we have taken the best of evidence-based clinical psychotherapy and integrated it into our program, allowing us to create a powerful, effective, and action-focused 12-step program. We are staffed with licensed clinicians, case managers, and other professionals who focus on addiction treatment. We work together as a team, implementing a treatment plan that is individualized for each client.
What is comforting about visiting Green Mountain Treatment Center is that we do not view addiction as a moral failing or proof that you lack character, nor do we think that addiction happens just because the supply of alcohol or drugs was available. We see addiction as a disease, as do many like-minded professionals.
We are proud of the help we have been able to extend to countless people in our area. They are our witness or our testimony. Many readily admit that the help we provided saved their lives. We feel that the many fine men and women we have worked with are more than just clients. They are family. We have shared experiences that will bond us for life. We are happy about the small part we have played to help many journey down the road of recovery.
New Freedom Academy
You will be hard-pressed to find an addiction treatment center that is as caring or as inviting as New Freedom Academy. New Freedom Academy is a 20-bed inpatient center located in New Hampshire. Our facilities have been designed to offer you the ability to recover in a secluded environment. This will allow you to focus on your health and your wellness.
Our goal is to help you get to the heart of your substance use disorder and addiction. One of the ways we accomplish this is through our dual-diagnosis treatment center. Research shows that many individuals who are battling addiction may also have a co-occurring mental disorder. It could be that the mental disorder is the result of the addiction or a contributing factor to the addiction.
What is true is that if the mental health disorder and the addiction are not treated simultaneously, there can be no long-term recovery. However, with dual-diagnosis treatment, you may be able to successfully move past both disorders.
Our 12-Step Programs
Our 12-step program is at the heart of substance use disorder treatment. Once thought to be only a self-help mechanism for alcoholism, this type of group therapy is now being used for groups with all sorts of substance use disorder challenges.
It doesn’t matter to us what substance you are fighting against. New Freedom Academy offers focused programs designed to help you get the treatment that you need. Our treatments vary in intensity and length, depending on your circumstances. It does not matter the struggles with drug abuse you have faced; we can help you.
Looking to the Future With Confidence
The cost of rehab programs will vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of treatment you choose and how long you stay.
When a person looks at the current statistics for substance use disorder, opiate overdose, and drug-related deaths in Barnstable, it is easy to see things in a negative light. However, the one positive that has come from this uptick in awareness about substance use disorder is that more people are willing to get help and fewer people see substance use disorder as simply a moral failure. Hopefully, continued education and discussion on the subject will lead to a future where substance use disorder is a thing of the past.