As the fourth-largest city in Massachusetts, Lowell is home to just over 110,000 residents. Lowell was settled at the junction of the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, joining at the mile-long stretch of Pawtucket Falls.

One unique feature of the city is its system of canals, diverted by the Pawtucket Dam that sits at the top of the falls.

Lowell has a rich history that was greatly influenced by the Industrial Revolution. The city was home to numerous textile mills and factories. By the mid-1800s, Lowell was the largest industrial city in the United States.

In recent decades, however, Lowell has fallen victim to drug trafficking and substance abuse issues. Like many other cities in the U.S., Lowell is struggling to combat the growing opioid epidemic. Addiction treatment provided by professional rehab programs can help those who are addicted to opioids and other types of drugs.

Addiction Treatment In Lowell, MA

Recovery from addiction is not a one-step process. Instead, it is a series of steps that work to treat the many layers of addiction. To successfully treat a substance abuse issue, it is often necessary for individuals to participate in a continuum of care.

This continuum of care may include:

  • Professional intervention services
  • Medical detox programs
  • Inpatient addiction treatment
  • Outpatient addiction treatment
  • Aftercare and alumni support services

Intervention Services

Recognizing or admitting to a substance abuse problem can be a tough first step for many individuals. For Lowell families who struggle to talk with their loved ones about addiction, intervention services are available.

Intervention services employ professionals to start a conversation between families and their loved ones. This approach to having a conversation with a loved one can relay a sense of respect and compassion and help families to talk about addiction treatment options.

Drug And Alcohol Detox Programs

For certain types of substances, chemical addiction can be so strong that withdrawing from the drug could be life-threatening. In cases like this, medical detox may be necessary. Substances that may warrant medical detox include:

Medical detox programs offer round-the-clock clinical supervision by doctors, nurses or other clinicians. In some cases, medications may be provided to keep the patient comfortable and safe from dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Following a medical detox program, many patients will choose to enter an inpatient drug rehab program. Group counseling and treatment sessions address the underlying issues affecting substance abuse and addiction. Other coaching services offered during inpatient treatment, such as relapse-prevention techniques or life skills training, can help patients maintain lifelong sobriety.

Many inpatient treatment centers offer specialized programs to fit the individualized needs of each patient. Participating in a program that tailors treatment to the patient’s requirements can increase the chances of a successful recovery.

Some examples of specialized programs include:

  • Gender-specific treatment programs
  • Programs for co-occurring disorders (dual-diagnosis)
  • LGBTQIA+ friendly programs
  • Pet-friendly facilities
  • Faith-based programs
  • Executive programs
  • Holistic therapies MA Drug Rehab And Addiction Inpatient Treatment

Complementary and alternative treatments can also be incorporated into many inpatient programs. Examples of Lowell complementary and alternative treatments include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Stress-management coaching

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Outpatient addiction treatment is often used as a transitional tool to help individuals who have completed an inpatient treatment program. After returning home, patients are able to participate in daily meetings and therapy sessions in outpatient programs.

Some intensive outpatient programs can be used as a standalone addiction treatment option. Intensive outpatient programs may meet four or five days per week for several hours each day.

Aftercare And Alumni Services

Recovery from addiction can be a lifelong process. Networks such as aftercare programs and alumni groups offer patients a continued support system long after treatment ends.

Other aftercare services include:

  • Mentorship programs
  • Family therapy
  • Support groups for family and caregivers
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Job skills training
  • Sober living homes

Addiction Treatment Program Length

Research has shown that addiction treatment programs lasting at least three months in length have the highest rates of success. However, programs can range in length from one week to several months. Some common addiction treatment program lengths include:

  • 30-day programs
  • 60-day programs
  • 90-day programs
  • 120-day programs
  • Programs lasting one year or more

How To Pay For Addiction Treatment

A good deal of health insurance plans offer coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment. Insurance providers that may offer coverage for addiction treatment in Massachusetts include: MA Insurance Options

For those who are underinsured or have no insurance, additional options are available to help pay for the cost of treatment. These options include:

  • Medical credit cards
  • Monthly payment plans
  • Sliding-scale fees
  • Personal loans
  • Scholarships or grants
  • Help from family and friends

Substance Abuse In Lowell, MA

The Opioid Epidemic

Opioid overdoses in Lowell have risen measurably over the past three years. In 2015, almost 580 overdoses were reported in Lowell, and 59 of those overdoses were fatal. In 2016, fatal overdoses increased to 62, with 687 overdoses total. By the middle of 2017, 20 overdoses ending in a fatality had already been reported.

Commonly abused opioid pain relievers include:

  • Codeine
  • Actiq (fentanyl)
  • Duragesic (fentanyl)
  • Norco (hydrocodone)
  • Vicodin (hydrocodone)
  • Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
  • Demerol (meperidine)
  • Dolophine (methadone)
  • Methadose (methadone)
  • Duramorph (morphine)
  • MS Contin (morphine)
  • OxyContin (oxycodone)
  • Percocet (oxycodone)
  • Opana (oxymorphone)

Numerous programs have been established to help combat this epidemic. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program strives to serve cities with ongoing opioid issues. PDMP offers a comprehensive array of support services, education, resources and strategies for cities to implement locally.

Alcohol Abuse

Many Lowell residents struggle with alcohol abuse, especially among teens and adolescents. 2016 statistics revealed that nearly 40 percent of high-school-aged teens have tried alcohol at least once in their life, of which 18 percent admit to binge drinking. Binge Drinking in Lowell, MA

While drug and alcohol education is mandated by the state of Massachusetts, some schools are limited by incomplete or inadequate resources to provide this preventative education.

Drug Abuse

Lowell’s proximity to the city of Boston makes it easy for certain types of illicit drugs to find their way into the city. Many types of drugs can be purchased on the street, as well as prescription drugs from doctors offices.

Illicit drugs found in Lowell include:

  • Cocaine, including crack
  • Heroin
  • Illicit fentanyl
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • Synthetic cannabis

Commonly abused prescription drugs include:

  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
    • Ativan (lorazepam)
    • Klonopin (clonazepam)
    • Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
    • Restoril (temazepam)
    • Valium (diazepam)
    • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Stimulants
    • Adderall (dextroamphetamine/amphetamine)
    • Concerta (methylphenidate)
    • Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)
    • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
    • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
  • Opioids
    • Norco (hydrocodone)
    • Vicodin (hydrocodone)
    • OxyContin (oxycodone)
    • Percocet (oxycodone)
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Signs And Symptoms Of Addiction

In the early stages of addiction, it can be easy for individuals to hide or avoid some of the signs of drug use. Sometimes, dishonesty or excuses can cover up the fact that a person is struggling with substance abuse. As the addiction grows, however, these signs may be more difficult to conceal.

Mental and physical changes can indicate a struggle with substance abuse. While these effects vary depending on the substance and the length of addiction, the following signs of addiction are fairly common.

Physical signs of addiction:

  • Red or glassy eyes
  • Unfocused gaze
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Surges in energy
  • Unexplainable weight loss

Mental signs of addiction:

  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Impaired judgment
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Depression