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Kentucky Substance Use Statistics And Addiction Treatment Options

The opioid epidemic sweeping the nation has hit Kentucky harder than other states. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Kentucky ranks among the top ten states for most opioid-related overdose deaths.

Like many regions across America, these rising numbers are greatly influenced by heroin, fentanyl and prescription opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. In addition to these substances, Kentucky residents face addictions to alcohol, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription stimulants.

Rebuilding a sober, fulfilling life after addiction takes commitment, and it’s a process that may be more easily achieved through a comprehensive Kentucky drug rehab program.

Kentucky Overdose Death Rates

Drug-related overdose deaths in Kentucky quadrupled between 2001 and 2014. By 2016, fatal drug overdoses reached the highest rate yet at nearly 24 lives per 100,000 residents, a number almost double the national rate.

To further put this in perspective, since 2012:

  • Heroin-related overdose death rates have more than doubled.
  • Synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths—particularly from fentanyl—have more than quadrupled.
  • The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy reports that in 2016:
  • Individuals aged 35 to 44 had the highest number of overdose deaths.
  • Heroin was present in roughly 34 percent of overdose deaths.
  • Fentanyl, either by itself or in combination with heroin, was present in 47 percent of overdose deaths.
  • The most-detected controlled substance was morphine, contributing to almost 45 percent of overdose deaths.
  • Alprazolam (Xanax) was present in roughly 26 percent of overdose deaths.
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) was present in roughly 19 percent of overdose deaths.
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco) was present in 16 percent of overdose deaths.

The surge of prescription painkiller use in Kentucky has been fueled by pill mills, excessive supplies of painkillers sent to pharmacies and physicians and a combination of poverty and high unemployment rates.

Kentucky Counties Hit Hardest By Opioid Overdoses

Almost every county in Kentucky witnessed a fatal drug overdose in 2016. According to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, certain counties were hit harder by the opioid epidemic than others.

The top five counties for drug overdose deaths per capita were:

  • Leslie County
  • Bell County
  • Powell County
  • Gallatin County
  • Campbell County

The top five counties for heroin-related overdose deaths were:

  • Jefferson County
  • Fayette County
  • Kenton County
  • Campbell County
  • Boone County

The top five counties for fentanyl-related deaths were:

  • Jefferson County
  • Fayette County
  • Kenton County
  • Boone County
  • Campbell County

The top five counties for deaths related to the combination of heroin and fentanyl were:

  • Jefferson County
  • Campbell County
  • Fayette County
  • Boone County
  • Kenton County

Kentucky residents living in these and other counties who are struggling with addiction to opioids or other drugs should seek comprehensive addiction treatment to find recovery and escape the threat of drug overdose.

Kentucky Drug Prevention Laws And Initiatives

In 2012 Kentucky enacted laws requiring doctors and pharmacists to track narcotic prescriptions through a state database. This law is intended to prevent “doctor shopping,” or the practice of a person going from doctor to doctor in an attempt to obtain numerous prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

To help prevent overdose deaths, Kentucky also passed the Good Samaritan Law. This policy protects individuals who report an overdose from being prosecuted for drug possession.

In 2016, Kentucky became the first state to form an online naloxone registry. This resource lets at-risk individuals or their loved ones find pharmacies that supply naloxone (Narcan), an opioid overdose-reversal agent.

An additional Kentucky initiative that helps to protect individuals struggling with addiction is the Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Use Intervention. This act allows loved ones of someone who is experiencing a substance use disorder to petition for involuntary commitment to treatment. While this may seem to be an extreme step, research has shown that treatment does not have to be voluntary in order to be effective.

Kentucky Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment Programs

When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s important that they receive treatment as soon as possible. This process starts with research; understanding treatment options and how the recovery process works helps to ensure that a person receives the form of care that is best suited to their individual needs.

Each person working to overcome addiction faces a different journey, due to the unique characteristics of their life. A person’s family, career, and education can all potentially influence their treatment decisions. Many people have specific medical or mental health needs that also require specialized care.

Through a clinical assessment, treatment specialists will examine the scope of a person’s drug use and how it has changed their life. Once they’ve outlined these factors, they can better assist a person in building an effective path to recovery.

The following services are used prior to, during or after treatment to ensure that a person obtains the best level of treatment and recovery support.

Kentucky Intervention Services

Certain individuals may be unwilling or unable to admit that they need help. This may be because a person is in denial or because substance use has changed the structures and functions of their brain, making it difficult to make long-term decisions that would benefit their health.

In many cases, family members are unable to convince a person that their substance use warrants treatment. A professionally led intervention may be an option for loved ones who are experiencing this barrier to treatment. A professional interventionist will help to plan and carry out this process from start to finish, supporting both the individual and their family from the intervention itself to when treatment is obtained.

Drug And Alcohol Detoxification In Kentucky

The physical dependence resulting from chronic drug use can change the way a person’s body functions, causing certain systems to malfunction in the absence of the drug. This reaction is called withdrawal. Individuals addicted to alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioid drugs like heroin have a tendency to experience these withdrawal symptoms more severely.

To reduce or alleviate these symptoms, an individual may begin addiction treatment with a medically supported drug and alcohol detox. This process helps a person’s body to flush the drug out of its system so that it can heal.

Medications such as Suboxone or methadone may be used to prevent or reduce withdrawal symptoms. In certain cases, medication-assisted treatment may continue beyond the detoxification process to help a person maintain sobriety.

Kentucky drug and alcohol detox services may be available in an inpatient or outpatient setting, but an inpatient, medically supported detox is often recommended for individuals with a physical dependency on a substance.

Kentucky Inpatient Drug Rehab Programs

People who receive individualized, inpatient addiction treatment typically experience increased treatment retention rates and more long-lasting, positive outcomes. Inpatient treatment programs range from 30 days to 60, 90 or 120 days, and sometimes up to a year or longer. Length of treatment depends on how quickly the person progresses through therapy.

One of the biggest benefits of a residential addiction treatment setting is that it removes a person from the people, places, and events that could trigger a relapse. Living on a treatment campus also provides a greater opportunity to reach out to trained professionals when additional guidance or support is needed.

Kentucky residential inpatient drug rehab treats a variety of addictions, examples of which include:

  • Cocaine, including crack
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription benzodiazepine medications (Ativan, Valium, Xanax)
  • Prescription opioid painkillers (OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin)
  • Prescription stimulants (ADHD medications like Adderall and Ritalin)

Behavioral therapies and counseling help a person to end dysfunctional habits and thought processes that foster addiction while also introducing healthier ones in their place. These sessions may be offered through individual counseling or a group or family setting, allowing a person to grow on both a personal and interpersonal level.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment In Kentucky

Kentucky outpatient addiction treatment services include traditional outpatient and intensive outpatient programs. Both are excellent options as step-down services. While some people choose these programs as their main mode of addiction care, outpatient treatment may be better utilized as a recovery support service following an inpatient treatment program.

In this capacity, outpatient treatment can help a person maintain sobriety as they transition from supervised inpatient care to independent living. Some people may also choose to make arrangements to live in a sober living home.

Sober living homes enforce abstinence while residents work on rebuilding their lives. This arrangement can help a person better manage responsibilities that are important to day-to-day living.

Aftercare And Alumni Support Programs In Kentucky

Certain addiction treatment programs in Kentucky may offer aftercare support and alumni services. Aftercare support can be a crucial tool to help a person to stay inspired and focused on their recovery for the long-term.

Specialized Addiction Treatment Programs In Kentucky

Many people feel more comfortable in a drug rehab program that accommodates their unique needs.

For some, this might mean pursuing gender-specific treatment. Single-gender treatment groups are often beneficial, allowing participants to more fully engage in treatment. Additionally, LGBTQ individuals may feel more at ease seeking treatment in an LGBTQ-only or -friendly program.

Certain programs in Kentucky may offer flexible formats that allow a person to remain committed to important responsibilities in their life. Examples include child-friendly programs or professional programs for those who prefer to continue working while in treatment.

Examples of other specialized treatment programs include:

  • Luxury programs offering high-end amenities and activities, such as spa treatments and gourmet cuisine
  • Pet- or equine-therapy programs that incorporate animals to facilitate healing
  • Wilderness or adventure programs that challenge and inspire through a variety of outdoor activities
  • Holistic programs that offer complementary therapies, such as yoga, massage and mindfulness practices

Kentucky Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Many people who struggle with a substance use disorder also have a mental health problem. This is known as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis.

In this instance, the mental illness may have led to the substance use or resulted from it. In either case, the best treatments are those that include therapy for each condition within one integrated approach.

Mental illnesses that may be treated in a Kentucky dual diagnosis treatment program may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia

Dual diagnosis treatment may also include trauma-informed care for those who have experienced violence or any form of use.

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Payment Options For Kentucky Drug Rehab

Financial limitations should never stop a person from seeking the help they need to build a life free from drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that there are numerous options beyond paying out of pocket. These may include:

  • Family assistance
  • Financing options
  • Scholarships and grants
  • Sliding-scale fees based on income

One of the biggest resources to consider is health insurance. Insurance providers that may cover some or all Kentucky addiction treatment include:

  • Aetna Better Health of Kentucky
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • CareSource
  • Humana

An addiction treatment specialist can help an individual and their family determine how these and other options may be best utilized to obtain addiction treatment services.

Traveling For Addiction Treatment

When a person seeks treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, they often look for treatment centers that are close to where they live. However, the program with the right combination of therapies to meet their unique needs might not be nearby.

The benefits of being willing to travel to seek addiction treatment include:

  • Access to more high-quality treatment programs that are available locally
  • Improved focus on treatment
  • Removal from environmental triggers
  • Increased privacy

Vertava Health offers effective, compassionate treatment in several states across the country, and we can help people find the care they need—wherever they are.