A recent report by Pierre Thomas and Brandon Baur on ABC News underscores the growing problem of heroin addiction in the suburbs of St. Louis. DEA officers in the area are attributing the situation to the changes made in the composition of the substance, and its relatively lower costs compared to prescription drugs:
Officer Wilson’s supervisor, DEA special agent Jim Shroba, says the Mexican drug cartels have brought in better chemists to perfect the refinement process to produce heroin that can be used without a syringe, preying on the American addiction to prescription drugs.
“The prescription drug abuser that’s looking for that same euphoria, that same high, it may cost them $80 a tablet and they may need several tablets a day,” Shroba said. “They can get a $10 button of heroin for $10 a capsule, it’s readily available and it’s an amazing purity.”
This explanation, however, only partly explains the reasons for drug addiction. Over the years, research has pointed to a myriad possible causes of the disorder, including environment, genetics, and other physical, mental, and emotional factors.
Indeed, medical experts say that as the reasons for addiction are as complex and as varied as those afflicted by it, treatment for it should be just as individualized and targeted. Recently, rehabilitation experts have been pointing to the need for evidence-based approaches in treating drug and alcohol addicts. As research into treatment techniques are going from the laboratory to community settings, the efficacy of each approach is gradually being clearly uncovered.
Today, the most reputable centers for drug rehab in St. Louis, such as the Midwest Institute for Addiction, employ evidence-based rehabilitation and treatment techniques tailored to every patient’s individual needs and situation.
In many cases, treatment involves a combination of medications and behavioral therapies, and a treatment cycle begins with a detox period, and culminates in outpatient counseling programs.
When taken in highly controlled dosages, prescription drugs, like methadone and buprenorphine, have been proven in studies to be effective in promoting detoxification, and in maintenance. Methadone, in particular, can prevent withdrawal symptoms and minimize craving, making the patient more receptive to behavioral treatment.
Behavioral therapies are also vital parts of the rehabilitation process, addressing the emotional and mental components of addiction. Several therapies have been found to be highly effective in helping patients change their behaviors, particularly in handling stresses that can trigger addiction.
These therapies are also offered by caring St. Louis drug rehab facilities to outpatients, as well as those who have completed an inpatient program, to help avoid a relapse, and give recovering addicts the support they need in the continuing battle against addiction.
(Source: Waging War on Heroin in the Suburbs, ABC News, October 29.2014)