Pine Bluff, Arkansas is a small town with a disturbingly
high violent crime rate. The population is just below 44,000, yet the it’s
crime index is nearly 3 times the national average. In many years, nearly all
violent crime fatalities and perpetrators were some how involved in the cities
frightening drug trade.
Over the years, Pine Bluff, AR has seen a rising threat from
methamphetamines. Both produced domestically and trafficked in from Mexico,
crimes related to the drug have earned the city a dangerous reputation. While
Pine Bluff’s primary drug threat is methamphetamines, it struggles along with
the rest of the state with heavy inhalant use and opioid addiction.
The poverty rate (32%), unemployment rate (5.1%), and low
median income ($30,415), all contribute to the city’s struggle with narcotics.
The unemployment peaked in 2011 at over 10%, and while it has greatly improved,
it’s still higher than both the national and state averages.
Unfortunately, resources for those seeking recovery from
meth, other drugs, or alcohol are not abundant in Pine Bluff. Sobriety House, a
full service drug rehabilitation facility, is located in the north east, and
HDRS Outreach, just 2.5 miles to the east, offers an alcoholism recovery
For ampler resources, those seeking treatment should travel
just 44 miles north to the city of Little Rock. Little Rock still suffers from
m the same drug issues gripping the region, but with a population of nearly
200,000, the city is more suited to serve those in recovery.
With Little Rock’s a wide array of support groups,
educations centers, and even low budget resources, those seeking treatment in
Pine Bluff and the surrounding areas will find plenty of options in this nearby
Before any treatment can commence, an assessment must be
done. This can either be done at the treatment facility one intends to be
admitted to, but more often than not, it is done by a third party. This is
because the assessment is often needed to determine what type of treatment is
A general assessment for chemical addiction is fairly
simple. The main purpose is to actually determine if an addiction is present.
This will mostly involve an interview about whether one feels a need to consume
the substance in question, and how use of the drug has affected the patient’s
life and daily activities.
However, if one has chosen to seek treatment, it is more
than likely the addiction is clearly present. Another purpose of the assessment
is to determine if there are any related conditions either contributing to the
addiction, or amplified by it. This could be a mental illness like depression,
or even an eating disorder.
The latter purpose of the assessment is crucial, as it can
greatly affect what type of treatment is necessary. Not all facilities are
equipped to handle any condition, and the end goal is to find the patient the
best possible care.
It will also help the doctor to decide if the patient would
do best with in or outpatient treatment. The doctor’s recommendation is
important for making sure treatment is covered by insurance.
After the assessment, the next step is to prepare for
intake. For an inpatient treatment, the patient will generally be cut off from
the outside world. While calls home can be made, the best practice is make all
preparations in advance. This is the time for you to get your affairs in order.
If you are employed, make sure you are going through the proper channels to
take a leave of absence.
The other key to preparation is making sure your condition
is stable. While the standards of each treatment center is different, this often
this means that you will need to go through detoxification before admission. Even
if a full detox is unnecessary, certain health levels may be required, so as
the treatment center can deal exclusively with the addiction.
As is the case with Oasis Renewal Center in Little Rock, many
treatment facilities will help you plan any medical that is needed pre-intake.
If this includes a detoxification, they can assist you in finding the
appropriate program. Not only will this make the transition between the two
stages easier, but it will also ensure that your medical status is brought up
to the standard required by the treatment center.
Other facilities may take care of this onsite. If the
facility is full-service, the patient may be able to complete the assessment,
detox, and treatment at a single location. That makes the pre-intake process
simple, if existent at all.
Unfortunately, this can muddy up the lines between
pre-intake and intake. It is important for the patient to communicate with the
facility so that one can make any an all arrangements before being locked into
a treatment program.
The intake process can vary from center to center, but the
goal is the same. The doctors, and other medical professionals, at the facility
simply need to know the patients history. This includes drug use history, as
well as basic mental and physical health history.
Knowing the patients physical health history is important
for obvious reasons. Given the physical toll that coming off of a drug can
have, the staff needs to know what to look out for. They also need to know how
to make the patient as physically healthy as possible so that it does not add
to your mental strain.
One’s mental health history is debatably the most important
part of intake. While physical pain can contribute to the abuse of drugs like
prescription painkillers, the majority of users are pushed towards narcotics by
mental stress and preexisting mental health conditions. This history gives the
staff important insight about what behaviors to be on the lookout for.
It’s important for the patient to be honest during the
intake process. All information that the patient gives will be 100%
confidential. However, many people are ashamed of their history and feel the
need to lie. This will hinder the facilities ability to treat you, as they will
be going off of false information.
One specific area that is crucial to speak openly about is
what has in the past triggered the patient’s substance use. An important aspect
of one’s treatment is learning how to deal with these triggers in a healthy
manner. If the patient lies to the intake doctor about these triggers, the
staff cannot help him or her deal with them.
Detoxification can be both a prerequisite for admission to a
rehabilitation program, or an independent treatment. It also may not be needed
at all. Several factors will determine if the step is necessary, including
frequency of use, duration of addiction, and one’s independent support system.
For methamphetamine addiction therapy, a detoxification will
almost definitely be required. When ceasing use of any addictive substance,
withdrawal can cause intense distress. This often leads to a downward spiral,
resulting in relapse. Methamphetamines can produce some of the worst withdrawal
systems, so it is crucial that detoxification be done under medical
Whether it is through a traditional hospital, detox center,
or an all inclusive treatment center, there are many solutions for pre-intake
When we think of addiction rehabilitation, we generally
think of inpatient treatment. Inpatient means that the patient live in the
facility for the duration of the treatment. For people with severe addictions,
or ones that need to remove themselves from a triggering environment, inpatient
is the best method for rehabilitation.
Inpatient facilities can vary greatly. There are even
centers that are considered “luxury,” which are often situated in a pristine
location. If options like this are financially realistic, receiving treatment
in a relaxing and highly comfortable environment can aid the recovery process.
Treatment is mentally straining, but the amenities some of these facilities
offer can greatly reduce the strain.
However, as comforting as the luxuries of certain facilities
may be, that is not the main benefit of inpatient treatment. The purpose of
inpatient is to remove the patient from whatever factors in their everyday life
pushed them towards drugs, and to give them time to recover without those
outside pressures. Inpatient treatment takes away the risk off relapsing within
the first 30+ days. While relapsing is certainly possible afterward, the
patient comes out of treatment having already passed several big milestones of
As beneficial as inpatient treatment can be, it’s not
possible for everyone. For some people, insurance will not cover an extended
stay. For others, the idea of taking time off from work, school, or family
commitments simply isn’t an option. For those people, outpatient treatment is
Outpatient treatment means the patient lives at home,
continues going to work or school, and comes in for regular treatment at the
facility. Usually this means attending therapy groups, and regularly meeting
with a psychiatrist.
Even though outpatient treatment can make addiction therapy
much more accessible, it has some major drawbacks. The main disadvantage is
that the patient has easier access to the addictive substance. If the patient
does not have a strong external support system, this can present a big risk.
The second biggest disadvantage is lack of 24-hour care.
Often times during addiction therapy, other physical and mental issues arise.
During inpatient treatment, the patient has nearly immediate access to a staff
that can help them through it. This could be in the form of medication or
counseling. During outpatient treatment, the patient could have several days
before they visit the facility again.
When choosing between inpatient and outpatient, there are
many factors to consider. However, if inpatient is a realistic option, it can
eliminate many of the risks associated with rehabilitation.
Many insurance companies understand that inpatient has a higher
success rate, and therefore results in less cost for them down the line.
Because of this, some insurance companies will opt to pay for inpatient
treatment, depending on the severity, and likely the recommendation of the
doctor giving the assessment.
After completing a rehabilitation program, some patients
feel that they have completed the process. They return to their normal lives,
and often fall back on old habits. If they’re lucky they will manage to get
back into treatment and try again, but unfortunately relapsing can be very
That is why aftercare is an important step of recovery.
Aftercare is a general term that covers any additional check-ups, outpatient
therapy, and support groups that come after the initial treatment. Not only
does this give the patient an experienced support system, but it also allows
medical and psychiatric professionals a chance to catch any issues that might
lead to a relapse.
Aftercare is a crucial step in maintaining rehabilitation,
and while it comes in many forms, it should always involve professional
assistance. Many of the same facilities that offer inpatient and outpatient
treatment offer aftercare as well.
Often seen as a branch of aftercare, sober living facilities
work as a transitory stage between treatment and the outside world. A sober
living facility is more akin to a boarding house than a treatment center. The
tenants, who are generally fresh out of rehabilitation, live at the facility,
but they are free to come and go throughout the day. There is a strict
substance ban, medication may still be controlled by administration, and there
is generally a curfew.
Despite there still being supervision from professionals,
the tenants experience a lot more freedom. They are encouraged to seek
employment, and the purpose is to work on rebuilding one’s life while still
having separation from the causes of addiction. Their support system is still
strong, and they still have greater access to aftercare than someone living on
Unfortunately, sober living is often not covered by
insurance. If a tenant is still paying rent at their actual residence, staying
at a sober living facility can be too much of a financial burden. However, the
benefits are astronomical. If one can manage to afford it, sober living can
greatly reduce one’s risk of relapse, and allow a peaceful transition into the