As the heroin epidemic continues to rise, the resulting influx of addicts seeking help continues to grow. The problem facing many American communities is a disturbing shortage of treatment facilities to manage the recovery needs of so many heroin addicts. The situation is bad enough in many states that addicts are simply turning themselves in for legal arrest in order to enter the penitentiary system for addiction treatment. Prisons now find themselves serving as rehab facilities though not properly equipped to do so. The more devastating part is that many addicts are not even bothering to seek help because it’s so difficult to obtain. Many have tried, but rehab centers are forced to either put them on a waitlist or deny them treatment altogether.
There is a dual sided nature to this growing problem. On one hand, it is an issue of funding. Many rehab facilities are federally funded and an argument can be made for increased government funding to help deal with the problem. The fact that prisons are experiencing dramatic increases in their populations from non-violent drug users is also driving up the costs of addressing drug abuse at the state and federal levels. On the other hand, this cycle of inadequate access to quality treatment is perpetuating and compounding the problem, sending current addicts deeper into addiction as a result of continued relapse. This in turn causes further strain on the families of the addicts, particularly their children, who are left in dysfunctional homes with single parents, or no parents at all to provide for them and nurture them. This cycle serves to create new drug users who struggle with active addiction, thus compounding the epidemic into the next generation.
The solution is not simple; nor is there is a singular answer. However, in some areas of the country there are substantial efforts being made to stave off the growth rate of this epidemic. The primary effort revolves around decriminalizing addiction to avoid riddling addicts with a host of legal problems on top of their addiction struggle. Instead, local authorities are attempting to help connect addicts with treatment programs. At least in this way recovering addicts won’t have criminal records to contend with when trying to reintegrate themselves into society and obtain jobs to support their families. This is one strategy, among others, that is quickly becoming a national and community priority.
Treatment Now offers a range of resources and recovery services for those struggling with heroin addiction. If you’re having trouble finding proper care, talk to our support staff to find the right treatment options for you.
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