It can take quite a lot to encourage a person to enter rehab for a substance abuse disorder. In many cases, the event that finally spurs a person into recovery is a medical emergency, such as a near-death experience from withdrawal symptoms, an overdose, or an accident caused by drug or alcohol use. While most Americans are aware of the startling growth of the number of overdoses and overdose-related deaths in the U.S., many don’t know what happens to the people who experience such medical emergencies.
Many addiction advocacy groups are trying to bring this issue to light with the public. While awareness and prevention campaigns remain highly necessary, it’s also important to draw attention to the growing number of people who go to the emergency room for a drug or alcohol-related emergency and have no idea what to do next. At the Echo Foundation, we understand that overcoming a drug or alcohol-related medical emergency requires much more than a trip to the emergency room. After initial recovery, it’s important for people who experience drug and alcohol-related health emergencies to enter substance abuse treatment, and they’ll need help along the way.
Why A Continuum Of Care Matters
The best way to address any substance abuse case is to carefully analyze the individual’s lifestyle, medical history, social status, and other factors to determine the root cause of the addiction and the parts of the individual’s life the addiction effects. A comprehensive continuum of care should address the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of recovery in an individually-tailored treatment plan for the best results. there is a more fundamental commitment to a focus on experience and all that encompasses, from detox to sober living.
Detox And Rehab
After a medical emergency such as an overdose or drug-related injury, the patient may not know what to do next when it comes to insurance, rehab, and getting back to “normal” life. Recovery coaches all over the country are starting to devote more resources to encourage people in these situations into rehab, using their emergency room visits as the first point of contact. After a serious emergency, the victim and his or her loved ones will likely have many questions about what to do next. Recovery coaches who participate in emergency department recoveries help organize treatment and support services such as transitional housing for addiction treatment.
One of the most valuable aspects of substance abuse treatment is learning how to prevent relapses,or falling back into addiction after starting the rehab process. This is one of the most challenging aspects of rehabilitation, as most people who leave rehab suddenly confront familiar places and people who may have negative influence over them. Medical emergencies are very common following relapses, as a person who suddenly falls back into bad habits may take things too far with too large a dose, or the sudden shock of drugs in the system again creates a negative reaction. Emergency department recovery advocates can help people in this situation realize the danger of relapsing again and enter treatment quickly.
After detox and rehab, an individual in substance abuse recovery will need to relearn how to function in everyday life without drugs, and may also need to learn a few key strategies for making sober living easier. Rehab transitional housing is a common segue between inpatient rehab programs and returning to normal life. In these arrangements, people who complete rehab enter a transitional home to prepare for sober living on their own. Some of these arrangements are group homes while others may be traditional housing subsidized through advocacy programs.
Securing acceptable housing for these programs is challenging, which is part of the reason why increasing awareness of post-emergency care is so important. If the public grows more aware of the problem, advocacy groups will likely receive more funding to find acceptable transitional housing for the patients they help. Emergency department recovery advocates may also make use of transitional housing to help remove people struggling with addiction from high-risk or dangerous environments until they can enter treatment.
Drug And Alcohol Emergencies In Maryland
Drug and alcohol-related emergency room visits have been a big problem in Maryland for many years, especially in light of the ongoing opioid crisis. A report from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in 2015 collated statistics from 2008 through 2014, highlighting incidents of drug and alcohol-related emergency room visits in the state during those years. This study uncovered several disturbing trends.
In 2014 alone, there were 11,242 emergency room visits for drug and alcohol-related emergencies, and 5,103 occurred due to alcohol use. The highest rate of admission to an emergency room for drug or alcohol-related emergency was for white males between the ages of 45 and 64. Baltimore City residents visited the emergency room for drug and alcohol-related causes at more than twice the state rate.
Alcohol-related emergency room visits from 2008 through 2014 involved men at three times the rate of women. From 2008 to 2014, the number of heroin-related emergency room visits increased sevenfold, and the number of prescription opioid-related visits quadrupled. This staggering increase in emergency room visits indicates that Maryland could benefit greatly from an emergency department program focused on transitioning emergency patients to rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment.
The Echo Foundation Can Help
The Echo Foundation aims to educate and raise the necessary funding to provide more housing options to help combat the growing addiction issues in Maryland. We understand the challenges a person faces after an emergency room visit for a drug or alcohol-related issue. Traditional housing options are great for people struggling with insurance issues or who simply want to get the most out of their recovery experiences.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, or you would like to lend your time and talents to an advocacy program focused on recovery from substance abuse, reach out to The Echo Foundation to be part of the movement to provide more housing and treatment options for those that are struggling with addiction.