Known as Big Sky Country, Montana is the fourth-largest state in the USA. The mountainous state is home to Yellowstone National Park and picturesque countrysides, and it has a population of just over one million residents.
It can be hard to imagine that in such a beautiful state, staggering drug problems challenge the well-being of its residents. Montana saw a 547 percent increase in drug arrests made by the highway patrol between 2010 and 2015. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 90 percent of inmates incarcerated in Montana is charged with addiction-related offenses.
Family members and friends of someone who is suffering from a substance use disorder or addiction to drugs or alcohol in Montana should know that effective help is available for those who seek recovery.
Montana Substance Abuse Statistics
An estimated one in 10 people abuses drugs or alcohol in Montana. The state’s substance abuse rates include the following statistics:
- Sixty-one percent of high-school teenagers report that they have engaged in binge drinking.
- From 2006 to 2010, 390 Montana residents died from alcohol consumption, a rate of 37.7 lives lost per 100,000—the highest rate in the country.
- One in five adults who live in Montana reported binge drinking within the past month, which is higher than the national average of 16.3 percent.
- From 2010 to 2014, there were 41,595 ER visits and hospitalizations for alcohol use.
Illicit Drug Abuse
- From 2010 to 2015, heroin-related drug violations increased by 1,557 percent.
- One in four young adults in Montana reported using an illicit drug in the prior month.
- Twenty-three percent of young adults in Montana currently use marijuana.
- In 2015, 57 percent percent of drug violations involved marijuana, and 31 percent involved methamphetamines.
- Montana saw a 427 percent increase in methamphetamine violations between 2010 and 2015.
- From 2010 to 2014, drug use led to 26,829 ER visits and hospitalizations.
- Nearly nine percent of young adults admit to non-medical use of prescription opioid painkillers (OxyContin, Vicodin) within the last year.
- Seventy percent of those who abuse prescription opioids get them from family or friends.
- Between 2011 and 2013, 359 adults in Montana died from prescription drug overdoses.
Montana Addiction Awareness Campaigns and Outreach Programs
According to Montana Governor Steve Bullock, “Nationwide and in Montana, too many of our fellow friends, neighbors, and family members have been personally affected by this invisible epidemic and too many lives have sadly ended abruptly. While we may not have all the solutions, we do know that by working together we can make significant progress. This is one piece to the puzzle that will give folks a second chance at life.”
Under Governor Bullock, Montana passed legislation in 2017 calling for a standing order for naloxone (Narcan, Evzio). Naloxone is a prescription medication that can be used to save lives during opioid overdoses, and Montana’s standing order increases access throughout the state.
Other Montana agencies working to implement programs to prevent and decrease substance abuse in the state include:
- Alliance for Youth
- Montana Office Of Public Instruction
- Montana Department of Health and Human Services
- Montana Rural Health Initiative
- Montana Attorney General’s office – Resolve the Montana Educational Campaign
- Montana Meth Project
- Montana High School Association – Aim Higher Program
The Resolve Montana Program was designed to help put an end to prescription drug use in the state of Montana. More than one-third of parents don’t think there’s much they can do to prevent their kids from trying drugs. However, Resolve Montana found that children who learn about drug risks at home are 20 percent less likely to try them.
Montana Addiction Treatment Programs
Addiction treatment programs are provided in Montana as a continuum of care offering varying levels of support. These programs are designed to address any physical dependency or withdrawal symptoms and help the person to recover physically, mentally and emotionally from substance abuse.
Which addiction treatment programs a person participates in are dependent on the nature and severity of the addiction as well as how well the person responds to treatment. Montana drug rehabilitation programs are able to provide clinical assessments and tailor programs based on a person’s individual needs.
A friend or family member may want to arrange an intervention for a loved one who does not recognize the danger that substance abuse poses to their health and well-being.
Montana interventionists can assist in organizing and holding a meeting with the person in question to address their substance abuse and request that they enter treatment. Professionally led interventions have a very high success rate in getting people to seek treatment for addiction.
Drug And Alcohol Detox
For many people, drug and alcohol detoxification is the first step toward recovery from addiction. During detoxification, the substance is withheld and the body begins to adjust to sobriety.
Round-the-clock support and medical care might be necessary to help the person detox. Certain substances, such as opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol, can cause a person to experience strong withdrawal symptoms when the substance is withheld. Many people who attempt to detox on their own end up returning to substance use simply to make the withdrawal symptoms stop.
Inpatient Drug Rehab
Inpatient drug rehab programs provide therapy, medication, and support in an immersive, sober environment. Clients live onsite for the duration of treatment, which allows access to round-the-clock care and distances clients from triggers that might lead to relapse.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Montana outpatient drug rehab programs provide less-intensive care than inpatient addiction treatment. Outpatient addiction treatment is often used as a step-down level of care for clients who have just completed an inpatient program but who would benefit from further structure and support.
Clients in outpatient drug rehab programs participate in therapy sessions and group activities during the day and return home or to a sober living facility in the evenings.
Aftercare and Alumni Services
Aftercare programs and alumni services are available for those who have completed an addiction treatment program. These services offer continued connection to the recovery community and help to maintain focus on long-term sobriety.
Specialized Addiction Treatment Programs In Montana
Many treatment centers offer specialized programs to accommodate each client’s unique needs. These may include medically assisted treatment, dual-diagnosis care or gender-specific therapy groups.
Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs
FDA-approved medications may be offered to help decrease the likelihood of relapse. Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone can all be used to assist recovery from opioid addiction. Medications used to decrease alcohol abuse include disulfiram and acamprosate.
Mental health issues frequently occur along with substance use disorders. This is known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. Effective treatment integrates simultaneous therapy for both conditions.
Gender-Specific Therapy Groups
Treatment programs may be divided by gender, which can encourage participation in therapy and offer therapy for gender-related addiction issues. Men can benefit from an all-male program that helps them to address social pressures and insecurities. Women might seek out an all-female program if there is a history of violence or abuse.
Montana Addiction Treatment Therapies
High-quality addiction treatment programs offer a variety of therapies to fully address each client’s well-being. These might include:
- Individual counseling
- Behavioral therapies
- Complementary therapies
- 12-step programs and support groups
- Family therapy
- Exercise programs and nutrition education
- Substance abuse education
- Coping techniques to handle cravings and stress management tools
Individual counseling provides one-on-one time with a therapist to address the underlying issues and behaviors that contributed to the addiction.
Behavioral therapies are one of the most successful modalities used to address addiction. Behavioral therapies help clients to address destructive thought patterns and harmful behaviors and learn healthier ways of thinking and behaving. Common behavioral therapies used in Montana include dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing.
Complementary therapies are often offered in Montana as part of a holistic treatment plan, complementing traditional therapies with activities that address whole-person wellness. Complementary therapies may include yoga, acupuncture, equine therapy and journaling.
Group Counseling And Support Groups
Group counseling and support groups like AA provide a community dialogue setting where participants can share struggles and success stories and know that they are not alone.
Addiction is often referred to as a family disease—what affects one member affects the whole family. Family therapy may be offered to help each of the family members to heal from the effects of the addiction, learn how to identify and stop any enabling behaviors and contribute to a stable home life.
Nutrition Education and Exercise
Nutrition education and exercise are often provided to help clients heal physically as well as mentally. Understanding the importance of a healthy diet and exercise can help to strengthen recovery and prevent relapse.
Stress management tools give the person in recovery the skills needed to successfully handle stressful situations, where they previously might have turned to drinking or drugs for relief. Stress-management techniques can include breathing exercises, yoga and meditation.
Developing any missing life skills can help to establish a fulfilling life in recovery. Education support, employment assistance and communication skills can all benefit long-term recovery efforts.
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Paying For Addiction Treatment In Montana
Most Montana drug and alcohol treatment programs offer a variety of payment options:
- Self-pay with cash or credit cards
- Health insurance
- Private healthcare loans
- Scholarships and grants
- Payment plans established with the treatment provider
Addiction treatment is a covered behavioral health service under most major health insurance plans. Out-of-pocket costs and copays will vary based on providers and treatment programs.
Health insurance providers offering coverage in Montana may include:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana
- Montana Health Cooperative
Length Of Treatment At Rehab Centers In Montana
Program lengths will vary depending on the person’s particular needs. Drug and alcohol detox lasts a few days to a few weeks, depending on the substance and severity of the addiction. Many inpatient addiction treatment programs in Montana last 30 to 90 days but may last longer depending on how quickly the person progresses through treatment. Outpatient addiction treatment programs last similar lengths, and many alumni programs encourage long-term participation that could last indefinitely.
Traveling For Addiction Treatment
When seeking addiction treatment, many people first look for treatment centers that are close to home. However, the program with the right combination of high-quality therapies to meet their unique needs might not be in their home state.
The benefits of being willing to travel for addiction treatment include:
- More high-quality treatment programs than are available locally
- Improved focus on treatment and removal from environmental triggers
- Increased confidentiality
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.