Hinesville, substance and alcohol abuse. Georgia ranks among

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Last updated: July 23, 2019

Hinesville, Georgia is home to 33,378 people and is locatedin Liberty County.  Surrounding areasinclude Fort Stewart, Gumbranch, Allenhurst, Midway and Savannah, which is onlya 40-mile drive from the military town. Military history is abundant inHinesville, a stop in at the Fort Stewart Museum proves that. Another greatplace to visit is the Old Liberty County Jail, built in 1892.

Hinesville’s motto”Home for a day or a lifetime” rings true while touring its attractions andstopping by many fresh produce stands along the way. After all, Hinesville is plantedin the southeast part of Georgia which is known as the Peach State. Georgia as a whole has many beautiful touring attractionsand its landscape is pleasing to the eye but an issue that remains a strugglefor the state is substance and alcohol abuse. Georgia ranks among 10 otherstates with the most opioid OD deaths. In 2015 alone, the state saw 549 opioiddrug overdoses. The state is also a breeding ground for new drugs such as onereferred to as “Gray Death”.  Prescriptionsdrugs account for a large portion of drug use in Hinesville (642 recordedusers) followed by Heroin (424 recorded users) and cocaine (240 recordedusers).

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Marijuana and alcohol are also used widely in the city which has led toan increase in drug usage. Much of the Hinesville substance abuse issue stemsfrom an unemployment rate of 5.60 percent and a crime rate that is higher than76 percent of the rest of Georgia. Alternatively, Georgia has a lower alcoholbinge drinking rate (15.2 percent) than the national average of 18.3 percent. The best way for drug users to take control of their ownlives is through rehabilitation. There are some great centers in Hinesvillesuch as these three:Frasier CounselingCenter- a non-profit, faith-based counseling center that offers an array ofdifferent types of behavioral health services for individuals and/or families.

Recovery Place- ahealth treatment center that offers a 28-day residential program, adetoxification program and a treatment program that can help the entire family.Darsey, Black andAssociates- a low-cost treatment center offers in-home intensive counselingand programs that treat anxiety, depression and marriage trouble which all havebeen known to lead to substance abuse. When considering rehabilitation, it is important to know allthe steps that are involved.  Assessment orPre-IntakeFirst and foremost, there is an assessment. An assessment isdone to find out if there is an addiction present or not, while alsodetermining the level of the addiction and if there are any co-occurring disorderssuch as PTSD, OCD, etc. Assessments, given by trained professionals are doneprivately and consist of physical exams, questionnaires and even aself-assessment. While being assessed, seeing and talking to multipleprofessionals will be part of the process.

Tests include:ü Psychological Testingü Psychiatric Evaluationü Medical Evaluationü Cognitive Testing/Retrainingü Brain Wellnessü Toxicology Testingü Pharmacogenetics Testing IntakeWhile Assessment, also known as pre-intake is the first andmost basic step to kick off the rehabilitation train, intake is the next step.This stage determines whether or not the rehabilitation center is right for apotential patient and vice versa. This is the perfect time for questions to beasked from both parties. This is also a part of the rehabilitation process whenmore tests might occur such as screenings or diagnostic tests and it ispossible for a financial arrangement for treatment to be setup during thistime. Assessment takes care of the basics of an interview, per say. Intakecovers a broader area that is needed for treatment. DetoxGoing through detox means that a person is now a patient orbeing cared for by a rehabilitation center.

This is a drug cleansing period forthe body. It is also a scary process since withdrawal can make a person feelhorrible and in many cases, cause physical pain to the body. Drugs allow thebrain to feel good, addiction occurs because the brain feels good so when aperson starts going through detox, they want drugs the most to help the brainto get what it has relied on for so long. Withdrawal symptoms are different foreveryone and they are based on different factors such as family history, the numberof drugs ingested, length of addiction, type of drugs used, and mental healthstatus.  There is no way of knowing how aperson is going to react until they are placed in those shoes.  Depending on how severe the symptoms become, adoctor will often prescribe some medication to ease the discomfort and painuntil the detox process has ran its course. The detox process is carried out under doctor’s supervisionwithin a trusted addiction treatment facility.

There are several differenttypes of approaches to detox: 24-hour supervision, intensive monitoring, andmedication assisted detox. Detox is a just another section on a long train torecovery. There is much more to the recovery process.  Inpatient TreatmentThis part of the rehabilitation process is lengthy butextremely important.

There are three levels to inpatient treatment. Intensive OutpatientPrograms (IOP)Intensive Outpatient Programs begin when a patient isserious about getting help and is medically stable. It usually involves manyafternoon/evening meetings and several hourly meetings during the day, at leastthree times a week. It also includes group meetings, individual/family therapyand nutritional counseling. There is also an intensive outpatient programs thathas groups for family members and is great for helping to raise awareness. PartialHospitalization Programs (PHP)Partial Hospitalization Programs, also called Day Treatmentusually meets 5-7 days per week for a minimum of 6 hours a day. This treatmentallows for patients to practice what they have learned in the evenings and onthe weekends. Just like IOP, PHP requires that patients have a certain degreeof motivation to get healthier while also maintaining the ability to reach outand get help.

PHP is not for a patient that is not medically stable. Residential TreatmentCenters (RTC)Unlike the other two inpatient treatments, ResidentialTreatments Centers have around the clock supervision and support for a patient.RTC is a highly structured inpatient care that involves intensive individual,group and family therapy. It also gives necessary guidelines and resources forlife after treatment.

After some time in RTC, patients may be able to go out toa restaurant, receive a pass to see family or an outing to the store. This isallowed so that patients can test out the skills they have learned. Again, thisinpatient training is not allowed if the patient is medically unstable or hasproven that they cannot successfully manage their behavior without beingsupervised.

 Outpatient TreatmentInpatient treatment requires that the patient remain at thefacility either all the time (RTC), for at least 6 hours a day (PHP) or attendgroup meetings (IOP). Outpatient treatment works differently because thetreatment allows for people to stay in the comfort of their home while workingthrough addiction. Outpatient treatment works a couple of different ways: setschedules or appointment-based.

Set schedules are for patients who are expected to appear ingroups with other people at particular times that cannot be changed.  Appointment-based are for patients that need varying groupmeetings so that they can work or acquire childcare. One major benefit for outpatient treatment is convenience.Inpatient treatment can cause a major shake-up. Loss of job, loss of residence,loss of friends and an abandonment of responsibilities altogether. Withoutpatient treatment as an option, these things are less likely to occur whichcan make for an easier comeback once a patient has won their battle overaddiction.

Another benefit is that outpatient treatment is usually lessexpensive as it uses a sliding-scale fee system to help people to afford it.Since there are no room and board fees, costs are cut drastically. These benefits do not take away from the recovery process atall.

Trained professionals are ready to assist as well as group and individualtherapy meetings.  Aftercare Once the assessment, the detox and the inpatient/outpatienttreatment has been done, the aftercare part of recovery begins. This is thepart that helps patients to stay drug free so that they do not relapse and goright back into the facility.

The aftercare process means exactly what it says,it is the process of caring for oneself after treatment. The foundation hasbeen laid down due to inpatient or outpatient care, now is the time to find outhow sturdy it is.  This means using allthose skills that were taught in therapy such as preventing relapse,relationship skills, job skills and attending group meetings. There are manyaftercare programs that can help with childcare, job assistance, housing andmoney management. Many outpatient treatment programs are also available aswell. In fact, many patients who leave inpatient treatment are recommended foroutpatient treatment for five days a week.

A stair stepping method takes placefrom there, allowing the required five days to drop to three and then two.There are many places that offer help through a 12-step program as well.   Sober Living HousesRecovery is a life-long process. Any recovering addict outthere will tell you that.

It is a process that can be incorporated into dailylife just as anything else is, if given the tools and techniques to do so. Thatis what rehabilitation is all about. Some patients leave inpatient care andfind themselves back on track while others need a little bit more support.There is absolutely no shame in that. We all work differently and that is whysober living houses is an option. Sober living houses are living spaces forthose who want to remain free of drugs and alcohol but are finding it muchharder than they thought. These are safe and supportive spaces for recoveringaddicts to stay during the first few months of their sobriety.

It is notrequired, but many people do find it easier. Sober living houses come fullyequipped with house rules and a contract must be signed, stating that ruleswill be obeyed before moving in. These rules will change from house to housebut here are some standard rules that recovering addicts adhere to:ü No Drugsü No Alcoholü No Cigarettes (in house)ü No stealing from the houseü No vandalizing house propertyü No violent behaviorü No self-directed recovery program activitiesü No sexual contact with other residents of thehouseü Program fees musts be paid on timeMost houses have a zero-tolerance policy in place and ifrules are broken, residents can be evicted from the house.

However, there arehouses where rule-breaking is dealt with more leniently and community serviceor a 12-step program every 90 day of relapse is required to maintainresidential status at the house. However, all sober living houses have azero-tolerance for sexual misconduct. There are no second chances for that.  Addictionas a whole is very hard and even harder to recover from. It can tear familiesapart and alternatively, it can also bring a family closer together.

 It can grab onto a person and hold on so tightthat a person can change their entire personality, their mental capacity andeven their human decency but what it can’t change is will power. Will power iswhat is used to get a handle on addiction. Many times, people just need alittle help to achieve what they see as impossible.  There are so many great rehabilitationtreatment centers in and around Hinesville, Georgia who want to help addictsrecover from addiction. All are professional and have all the tools necessaryto make recovery possible. They want to see people succeed, to heal and to moveon.

To create the best version of themselves. After all, is that not what weare all here for? My personal motto is “To be a better person tomorrow than Iam today” and it has gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life. Iam certain it has helped others to. 

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