Arkansas, a lower middle-class community with an unemployment rate that is less
than the national average, is at the center of an enormous methamphetamine
epidemic. The town was recently featured
in an HBO documentary “Meth Storm”. Conway,
Arkansas and its surrounding communities such as Damascus, Holland, Mayflower
and Mount Vernon is part of a huge methamphetamine production and distribution
operation. It has affected the entire community and the staggering crime rate
is a clear indicator of a serious drug problem in this small city.
shows Arkansas has the 2nd highest meth use in the United States in
adults. The incredibly high use of methamphetamines across the state is
unfortunately enabled due to the number of clandestine meth labs spread
throughout the state, hidden in the rural areas. These meth labs are easily
concealed by the geography of the area and the relatively small, spread out
population, making them hard to detect.
statistic is that the state is number one for prescription drug abuse by
teenagers in the country. Arkansas is 25th in the nation for the
number of drug overdoses per year, most from prescription drugs. In an effect
to fight back against the mounting prescription drug problem, the state is
working to incorporate “drug-take-back” facilities, where unused prescription
drugs can be disposed of. There has been some measure of success with this
Arkansas, a small community just 45 miles south of Conway, local police have
discovered a frightening new trend among teenagers. High school students are
throwing something known as “Pharm Parties”. Each teen brings some sort of
prescription drug and it is thrown into a bowl and then each teen takes 2 or 3
pills, not knowing what exactly what medication they are taking and eats them.
This is scary, due to the fact, that the teens have no idea how the drugs will
interact with each other.
point, Conway high school students were subjected to random drug testing,
regardless of whether they participated in sports or not. Random drug testing seemed
to have a positive effect in schools in other areas of the State of Arkansas.
However, the school has ceased this practice due to uncertainty of the genuine
legality of random drug testing and a large number of complaints from members
of the community.
Crime in Conway, Arkansas
Conway has a
staggering crime rate that is 76% above the national average and 31% higher
than the rest of the state. Which is astounding considering that it is only the
7th largest city in Arkansas and only has a population of 62,455
people. Much of the crime is theft and property loss and tied in closely with
the growing meth and prescription drug problem.
authorities are working diligently to not only stem the crime but the flow of
drugs in Conway. There have been several successful drug busts within the last
year, that have allowed the authorities to seize a large amount of drugs and
remove them and their suppliers from the streets.
authorities in Conway, in an effort to set an example and deter drug dealers,
are also seeking harsher punishment for dealers. In February of 2017, a man was
convicted of dealing 24.4 grams of meth and was sentenced to 120 years in
Faulkner County Drug Court
County, of which Conway is the county seat, has implemented a drug court
program for both adults and Juveniles. This is an alternative to jail time for
non-violent, drug related crimes. This program has the offender participate in
a drug rehabilitation program for a period between 9 and 18 months. The Drug
Court program is mutually beneficial to both the county and the offender. There
are specific requirements that need to be met, such as the offender must pass
frequent drug test and follow through with their drug rehab. Drug Court not
only has been proven to save the county money but keeps the offender out of
jail and ideally clean from drugs. Statistically, drug court works and has
almost an 80% compliance rate.
Drugs abused in Arkansas
Drug (ex: Pain Killers)
Getting Help in Conway, Arkansas
hardest part of beating an addiction is taking the first step to get help. It
can be frightening to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to ask for help
and not knowing what to expect when you seek treatment. A quality rehab is
going to offer a positive support network, and help you improve your overall
physical and mental health.
Finding a Facility in Conway,
Conway and its surrounding area, has a number of quality rehab centers. To find
the right rehab facility to fit you and your needs you will want to find a
facility that has not only quality care and proper licensing and accreditation
but an after-care program to help you stay sober. It is also helpful to have
some information on how successful their treatment methods have been. A good
treatment facility is going to follow your treatment to the very end, which in
reality is a lifelong process. They will set you up with programs and meetings
that will continue long after you leave the rehab facility itself.
Making Rehab Work
work is a matter of being honest with yourself and the professionals trying to
treat you. You will be dealing with some complicated emotions and feelings.
This is a time for full honesty and being open to new ideas and staying
committed to getting sober, even when it gets hard.
What is an Assessment?
assessment is basically an interview, which is sometimes accompanied by a physical.
one of the facility’s health care specialist will ask specific questions about
your history, personal drug use and habits to determine your individual needs,
the extent of your addiction and the specialist can begin to create a treatment
that is tailored specifically to you. It is important to be completely
forthcoming and honest. They are not judging you, they are here to help you. Your
complete unaltered history is necessary in order for the rehab staff to help
they might be able to detect other underlying mental health conditions that may
be a component to the addiction you are fighting.
What is Pre-Intake?
This is part
of the assessment process where the facility determines which counselor will
work best with you and determine if a period of detox is required prior to
beginning treatment, as well as your overall physical and mental health upon
What is Intake?
This is the
process of getting you enrolled into the treatment program at the rehab
facility. Working out your placement, insurance and arranging your placement in
detox, inpatient or outpatient.
What is Detox?
the nature of your addiction and what you are specifically using, you may need
an interval of detox. When you initially quit using, your body may crave the
drug very intensely. This can sometimes be incredibly dangerous, therefore its
important that you are placed in a detox program that is prepared for the
physical ramifications of your detox. This can be the hardest part of your road
supervised detox facility has the ability to administer medications that can
help ease cravings and the symptoms of withdrawal. Patients are supervised
around the clock to ensure that their overall health isn’t suffering. This is a
tricky and extremely sensitive time in a patient’s treatment. Having fulltime
supervisor helps make this time more comfortable. Once you make it through
detox, the real recovery can begin.
What is Inpatient Treatment?
treatment allows for supervision and monitoring of patients round the clock. This
is the most intense form of rehabilitation. This helps keep the addict in check
and away from the influence of the drug with 24-hour supervision, usually in a
hospital setting. The length of a patients stay will be determined by the
counselor and is based on the severity of the patient’s addiction. This is a
more intense treatment for individuals dealing with more severe addictions that
are sometimes exacerbated by other mental disorders. It allows for care givers
to treat more than one disorder at the same time. It is an opportunity to
provide patients with duel therapies and treat both the problem and the
RTC- Residential Treatment Center
residential treatment center is a more home like environment. The patient still
has 24-hour support but without extreme 24-hour surveillance in a hospital
setting. Residential treatment is a more relaxed treatment for individuals who
are fighting addiction without the treatment for mental illness or the need for
hospitalization. Patients are still participating in daily therapy, but it is
in a more domicile setting.
PHP-Partial Hospitalization Program
treatment program is a step down from residential treatment. The patient is
given a little bit more independence and freedom. It allows the patient to
practice coping skills and learning to maintain a sober lifestyle while still
under the care of the rehab facility. This program slowly shifts from full time
supervision to self-reliance while still offering full support. This is a
critical step in the recovery program. The patient is usually housed in sober
living quarters and able to administer their own medication. Patients begin to reenter
their regular life, all while attending daily meetings and checking in with
their rehab support network.
IOP- Intensive Outpatient Program
Outpatient Program is designed for patients who do not need detox and also can
manage to maintain their sobriety without continuous supervision. Patients who
partake in this program still participate in a great deal of therapy and
counseling throughout the week, but they are able to do so while living at home
and while being involved in their own day to day life. One of the main goals
Intensive Outpatient Programs is to help individuals deal with the desire to
relapse and help them overcome this desire.
What is Outpatient Treatment?
is directed at patients who are the least likely to relapse and require the
least supervision. Patients who participate in outpatient rehab are able to
attend multi-weekly, if not daily, meetings but without the concentration of
those involved in the Intensive Outpatient Program.
What is Aftercare?
This is an
essential step in the recovery journey. Aftercare assists patients who have
completed the prescribed treatment program continue into a sober lifestyle. It
is essential that your rehab program has an aftercare program to follow up your
treatment as statistically, 50% of people who make it through rehab will
relapse in the future. Without proper support and direction, it is easy for
former addicts to revert back to their former habits and lifestyle. The ability
to stay sober requires that individuals continue to learn new coping skills as
they face new challenges in their life, especially once they have left the
rehab facility and are living in the real world. Recovering addicts will be
encouraged to join a 12 Step Program, such as AA or NA for social and moral
support. In reality, aftercare is a lifelong commitment. Ideally, a former
addict will continue to attend meeting for the rest of their life.
What is Sober Living?
is an alternative to leaving rehab and simply going home. It offers the
recovering addict a safe place to continue on their journey to sobriety without
having to truly enter into the real world. Half way houses still have rules
that the residents are required to follow, however, the residents are free to
come and go as they wish. The structure of sober living homes creates an
environment that encourages a drug free lifestyle and forming strong relationships
with other former addicts to help them stay sober.
A Step in the Right Direction
The idea of
entering into rehab can be scary and uncertain, but it is the best decision you
will ever make. You are not alone and there are people who care about you and
want to support you in this journey to reclaim your life and your sobriety.