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Rhode Island

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Rhode Island boasts beautiful coastal regions and colonial villages that speak to the state’s history as one of the original 13 colonies. However, a growing drug crisis prevents countless Rhode Island residents from enjoying good health and fulfilling life.

Drug and alcohol addiction wreaks havoc on a person’s health, relationships and life. The longer a person lives this way, the greater the damage to their body, mind and social health. High rates of drug use in this New England state are tearing lives apart, but fortunately, hope exists.

Addiction treatment can help a person regain control over their life. Rhode Island residents have numerous options for individualized treatment, including detoxification services and inpatient drug rehab.

Rhode Island Substance Use Statistics

Rhode Island is eighth in the nation for states with the biggest drug problems, particularly for opioid use. Large numbers of overdose deaths contribute to this ranking.

Drug Overdose Deaths

From 2009 to 2016, overdose deaths steadily increased throughout Rhode Island. In 2016, drug overdose deaths were higher than all those caused by homicide, motor vehicle crashes, and suicide combined.

The Rhode Island Medical Society projects that, unless the state takes action to turn the tide of substance use, overdose deaths will continue to increase in the years ahead. Projected overdose rates include:

  • 370 deaths in 2018
  • 398 deaths in 2019
  • 425 deaths in 2020

Opioid Overdose Deaths

Mirroring the crisis impacting the rest of the nation, opioid drugs are largely to blame for increasing drug-related fatalities in Rhode Island. Heroin, synthetic opioids like fentanyl and prescription opioids (OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin) drive this crisis.

In 2016, Rhode Island’s opioid-related fatality rate was more than double the national rate. For every 100,000 Rhode Islanders, 26.7 lost their lives to an opioid drug. Nationally, there were 13.3 deaths for every 100,000 people.

From 2014 to 2016, of the three main categories of opioids fueling this epidemic, only heroin-related overdose rates fell. Synthetic- and prescription opioid-related overdose deaths rates climbed.

In 2016:

  • 25 people lost their lives in an overdose related to heroin, down from 66 deaths in 2014.
  • 182 people died as a result of an overdose related to synthetic opioids, up from 82 deaths in 2014.
  • 114 people died from an overdose related to prescription opioids, up from 88 deaths in 2014.

Fentanyl was responsible for nearly 60 percent of the total opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016. Fentanyl is increasingly being mixed into other substances, primarily heroin. In 2017, the amount of fentanyl-laced cocaine appearing in Rhode Island spiked.

The presence of fentanyl makes these substances even more addictive and increases the potential for a fatal overdose. Carfentanil, a synthetic fentanyl analog that is 10,000 times more potent than morphine, has also been found in Rhode Island. Like fentanyl, a tiny amount of this substance can cause a deadly overdose.

Addiction Prevention Programs

The Naloxone and Overdose Prevention Education Program of Rhode Island

This initiative works with state and local officials to fight opioid use disorders and prevent overdoses. Volunteers receive training on addiction, overdose prevention and how to use naloxone (Narcan). This medication can save lives by reversing opioid overdoses.

Rhode Island’s Governor’s Council on Behavioral Health

This council advises the governor on mental health and substance use needs and issues in the state. Information on these problems is used to develop statewide behavioral health services.

Rhode Island Student Assistance Services

Communities and schools have access to drug use prevention and early intervention services through this organization.

Rhode Island Addiction Treatment

When a person is ready to begin treatment they must first determine what combination of treatments is best for their needs. A clinical assessment gives treatment providers information on a person’s life and addiction history so a customized treatment plan can be formed.

This evaluation outlines how severe the addiction is, how it’s damaged a person’s life and what other issues underlie the addiction. Once this information is obtained, an addiction specialist will assist a person in designing an individualized treatment plan.

Rhode Island addiction treatment may include any combination of the following.

Intervention Services

Addiction can make it hard for a person to take care of themselves. Instead of looking for treatment or admitting that they have a problem, many people are involuntarily consumed by thoughts of finding and using the drug.

Rhode Island intervention services build a bridge between a person and the treatment they need. A professional interventionist will help plan and guide the discussion, and they can often assist in researching treatment centers that may be a good fit for the person.

Drug And Alcohol Detox Programs

Medically supervised drug and alcohol detoxification programs give a person a safe and supported atmosphere to detox in. Unsupervised withdrawal can lead to a variety of health and medical problems. In the case of alcohol and certain drugs, some withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening.

Medications are commonly used to taper a person off the substance and to prevent or reduce withdrawal symptoms. This approach is frequently used for people working to overcome addiction to alcohol, opioids or benzodiazepines.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Rhode Island inpatient addiction treatment programs give a person the opportunity to live on-site at the treatment facility while they’re getting treatment. This format helps to keep a person focused on treatment and protected from triggers.

Inpatient drug rehab programs generally offer a greater number of specialized treatments that are customized to each patient’s needs. Rehabilitation centers may follow a 12-step approach or create dynamic treatment plans.

Every person battling an addiction arrived there on a different path. Certain life experiences put a person at a higher risk for addiction and complicate their treatment needs, including:

  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Chronic medical problems
  • Job troubles
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Mental health problems
  • Relationship issues
  • Traumatic experiences as an adult

Some people use drugs or alcohol to numb the pain or stress they’re experiencing from these events. Treating these issues and helping a person to heal is a critical part of addiction treatment.

Overcoming negative and painful life circumstances takes time. Inpatient drug rehab programs typically provide a person with more in-depth therapies and opportunities for healing.

Coping techniques, relapse-prevention skills, and stress-reduction methods increase a person’s chance of stability and success. Dual-diagnosis treatment can help with any mental health problems that stem from these challenges.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

The first few days and weeks after finishing an inpatient treatment program can be intimidating. This is an especially vulnerable period where the threat of relapse runs high.

During this time it can be beneficial for a person to use an outpatient program as a step-down service from inpatient treatment. Both traditional outpatient and intensive outpatient programs can be adapted to fit this need. Rhode Island outpatient addiction treatment programs can stand alone, but they’re often far more valuable to a person’s recovery when used this way.

Aftercare And Alumni Services

Addiction can alienate a person from their friends, family, and community. The sense of isolation and loneliness that results can perpetuate the addiction. Being involved in a recovery community after treatment ends is one of the best ways to maintain an active support network.

Resources that may be included in Rhode Island aftercare and alumni programs include:

  • Alumni mentorship opportunities
  • Online recovery resources
  • Support groups
  • Self-improvement classes
  • Sober living homes

Practicing recovery principles on a regular basis boosts morale and keeps a person accountable and focused on their recovery.

Specialized Rhode Island Addiction Treatment Programs

Addiction doesn’t discriminate or affect only a single type of person. Instead, individuals from all walks of life, with a wide variety of needs and circumstances, suffer from this devastating disease.

Specialized addiction treatment programs meet a person where they’re at in their unique journey. This personalized approach can help a person stay strong in their sobriety so they can face the demands of their life.

Specialized addiction treatment programs in Rhode Island may include medication-assisted treatment, gender-specific treatment groups, and dual-diagnosis care, as well as programs that are faith-based, holistic, LGBTQIA-friendly or designed for professionals or executives.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Alcohol and opioid use disorders are commonly treated by a combination of medications, behavioral therapies, and counseling. This integrated approach, called medication-assisted treatment, helps many people regain sobriety and improve their physical and mental health.

Acamprosate (Campral), disulfiram (Antuse) and naltrexone (Vivitrol) may be used to treat alcohol use disorders.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone) and methadone may be used to treat opioid use disorders.

Gender-Specific Treatment

Men and women can face unique health, medical and social challenges when suffering from a substance use disorder. Some people have an easier time in treatment if they’re in a program that is designed to accommodate these needs. Gender-specific treatment programs offer specialized treatment for these and other concerns.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

Dual-diagnosis treatment provides therapy for co-occurring disorders—when a patient experiences both a mental health disorder and substance use disorder—in one integrated program. Mental health issues commonly co-occurring with addiction include:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder)
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Rhode Island Addiction Treatment Therapies

Addiction treatment therapies form the foundation of a person’s rehabilitation program. These therapies include evidence-based practices grounded in scientific research and holistic therapies that are rooted in a mind-body-spirit approach. Together, these therapies renew, inspire and teach a person sober-living skills.

Evidence-based addiction treatment therapies include:

Minimizing and balancing stress is a critical part of a strong recovery. If stress gets out of control it can lead a person to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, causing a relapse. A variety of complementary therapies help to balance stress and reinvigorate a person’s outlook:

  • Acupuncture
  • Adventure or wilderness therapies
  • Art or music therapy
  • Meditation
  • Neurofeedback
  • Pet or equine therapy
  • Nutrition and physical fitness classes
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga

Questions About Treatment?

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How To Pay For Addiction Treatment In Rhode Island

Addiction treatment is an investment that can nurture better health, more fulfilling relationships and stable recovery. Understanding payment options may help a person get treatment faster.

A variety of Rhode Island health insurance carriers may cover addiction treatment, including:

  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
  • Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare

If a person’s insurance benefits don’t cover the full cost of treatment, other resources may exist:

  • Assistance from loved ones
  • Crowdfunding
  • Personal loans
  • Medical credit cards
  • Financing options
  • Scholarships or grants
  • Sliding-scale fees based on income

Treatment Program Lengths

Short-term drug rehab programs last 28 to 30 days. Sixty-day programs can be a good middle-ground for people who can’t enroll in a longer treatment program. However, programs lasting 90 days or longer have been shown to produce the best treatment outcomes in most individuals. Long-term treatment can last 120 days to a year or more.

Traveling For Addiction Treatment

Therapy and counseling are a key part of addiction treatment. Compared to other New England states, Rhode Island has a smaller number of behavioral health and substance use counselors by population.

Some people find that traveling for addiction treatment gives them access to better therapies that address their unique needs. Choosing an out-of-town addiction treatment program can improve confidentiality and offer greater protection against environmental- or community-based relapse triggers.

Vertava Health provides compassionate treatment at numerous locations across the country, including New England. Our staff uses a variety of evidence-based and alternative therapies to help each patient build a sober, successful life.