This region of the country has a larger prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse, and this is due to a few factors. First and foremost, exposure to Mexico’s borders brings with it a slew of issues surrounding the international drug trade. Cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana are the biggest offenders in the region. Seizures by border control of methamphetamine alone have risen by 270 percent over the last decade.2
Stigma against admitting such problems, or seeking help for them, may very well be getting in the way of mental health treatment in these communities. In the above mentioned study, only 5 percent of Hispanics with depression were taking antidepressants to treat the issue.
Access to healthcare also plays a significant role, with just 1.8 percent of people who did not have insurance using the treatment drugs, compared to 8.2 percent of those who were insured.Comparatively, 13.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites across the nation use the same medications.
Averages totaled from 2011 and 2012 show rates of mental illness across many southwestern states are higher than the national average. In Arizona, serious mental illness affects 4.6 percent of the adult population, compared to the national rate of 3.97 percent. Colorado’s rate was 4.15 percent; Nevada reached 3.95 percent; New Mexico was 4.72 percent; Utah was highest at 5.14 percent; and Texas was lowest at 3.68 percent.
Utah ranked eighth in the nation in terms of drug overdose deaths in 2013. Drug raids are a common occurrence in the Southwest, too. A recent drug bust in West City Valley, Utah netted a combined street value of over $1 million in heroin and cocaine that was thought to be brought in by the Mexican drug cartel. Due to recent developments in their investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration has stated they believe there are at least three operations linked to the international cartel in El Paso, Texas, alone.
There doesn’t seem to be any one culprit on the drug front. People are smuggling and abusing synthetics, illicit drugs, prescriptions, and more. A recent arrest of a New Mexico man made headlines when over $12,000 worth of methamphetamine was found in his home.
Prescription drug abuse isn’t a new trend in the United States or the southwestern portion of it. In fact, 80 percent of all Utah drug overdose deaths in 2010 were attributed to prescription drugs. Some states in the region have cracked down on this type of substance abuse by setting up collection programs for unused prescription drugs. In theory, having fewer bottles of potent pharmaceuticals like OxyContin and last year’s codeine-based cough syrup around the house could cut down on abuse. It’s plausible considering over 70 percent of people who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from friends and family members.
Synthetic drugs are another booming drug trade, and the government can’t enforce bans on these drugs fast enough. Bath salts, spice, and flakka are the most notable synthetic drugs in recent years. Some states are doing their part to reduce the trafficking and use of these dangerous drugs. The problem with legislation is that while the Controlled Substances Act maintains bans over certain chemical compounds, manufacturers – which are often based in China – are readily prepared to ship newer variants to America with alterations to their makeup so they are technically legal. States across the country are struggling to stay on top of these dangerous imports as much as federal officials are. Texas officials just recently voted to take action in combatting this problem on a more regular basis.
Synthetic pot was linked to 75 hospitalizations and 3 deaths in Colorado during 2013. In Arizona, one in 10 teenagers is using the same drug – also recognized as K2 and spice – or bath salts. These drugs are notorious for making users act out of character and in a dangerous manner. One Arizona bus driver witnessed such behavior firsthand when a passenger who was high on spice, a synthetic version of marijuana, brutally attacked him – an event the attacker has no recollection of.
New Mexico is trying to remove the potential for addiction and substance abuse more among prisoners. While prison is generally considered a drug-free environment, many offenders are taking advantage of the system and seeking prescription drugs that they can get high from. In 2012, 25 percent of inmates incarcerated in New Mexico were using psychotropic drugs, like Xanax and Adderall; that figure had jumped to 33 percent by the spring of 2015. Comparably, prescription drug use rates among federal inmates are much lower at just 10 percent in 2014. Nationally, around one in 10 people used illicit drugs at least once in 2014. Presumably, it is thought this number is even higher in the Southwest.
Another factor that impacts the drug culture in southwestern America may very well be Las Vegas – one of the nation’s biggest tourist attractions and a known melting pot of nonstop partying. As a consequence, it’s no surprise that Sin City’s violent crime rate is 120 percent greater than the national average. In addition, prescription painkiller misuse was higher in the Las Vegas metro area between 2005 and 2010 than national rates; it ranked at 6.7 percent compared to 4.9 percent nationwide.
For the most part, the western half of the United States consumes a bit more alcohol than eastern states. Annual alcohol ethanol consumption rates tallied as high as 12,081 gallons for Arizona, 10,865 gallons for Colorado, 6,945 gallons for Nevada, 3,900 gallons for New Mexico, and 2,768 gallons for Utah in 2009. The southern region of the US came in with the highest rates at 203,626 gallons, and the West next in line at 137,906 gallons. With regards to specific population demographics, around a third of American Indian and Alaska Natives admitted to treatment in 2013 cited alcohol abuse as a problem, compared to just a fifth of other individuals who were admitted.
Types of Treatment
Throughout the Southwest, there is a variety of treatment modalities geared to effectively rehabilitate substance addictions. They include:
- Outpatient Programs
- Medical Detox
- Partial Hospitalization Programs
- Outpatient Detox
- Intensive Outpatient Programs
- Residential Rehab
- Program Options
- Rehab Services
Outpatient treatment affords many citizens the option to get the help they need while still taking care of their families, going to work, and tending to other responsibilities. While outpatient treatment is sufficient for many, others need more intensive treatment options, and fortunately, they’re not hard to come by in this region. There are nearly 7,000 treatment facilities in America that service both issues of substance abuse and mental health. Texas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah combined accounted for 1,508 of them as of 2006.
One-day census reports from 2006 show a combined 127,135 people in treatment in the following southwestern states, with their individual totals listed as:
- Texas 34,099
- Arizona 26,913
- Colorado 33,264
- New Mexico 12,634
- Nevada 7,248
- Utah 12,977
Some decreases in overdose rates are expected in Colorado due to the passing of a law in July 2015 that allows the administration of naloxone to individuals suffering from an opioid overdose.
The law further implies that homeless advocates and police officers are allowed to give the injection, too, not just doctors. Around 10,000 people lost their lives due to drug overdose in the last 15 years in Colorado, so there is hope of reducing this number.
The Cost of Sobriety
The price tag that comes along with substance abuse and mental health rehabilitation is often not a small one. Unfortunately, this can discourage many who need help from seeking it. For some, money may not be an issue, but privacy is. For this reason, private treatment options are numerous in the Southwest region, and these programs accept people from all walks of life, from CEOs and celebrities to middle-class moms and dads. Private treatment stays off the books of insurance companies. So your treatment experience isn’t just kept private from the public, but also off your medical records.
That being said, public treatment options accept most mainstream insurance provider policies. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, many insurance companies cover the full cost of certain types of substance abuse treatment. Other people may benefit from free treatments, such as attendance at 12-Step meetings, like Alcoholics Anonymous.
Of course, the cost of drug abuse and getting clean isn’t always monetary. Today, close to half of all prisoners held in federal facilities have committed drug crimes – around 95,000 of them, compared to just 5,000 in 1980.
Why Help Is Necessary
High rates of substance abuse often equate to a higher incidence of adverse outcomes stemming from drug and alcohol abuse. This is becoming more prevalent in Colorado, where marijuana was legalized for recreational use in 2012. Now that obtaining or growing the drug legally is easy for individuals to do, they’re taking advantage of it.
Consequently, the rate of adverse events among those who use and abuse marijuana is climbing. An incident occurred in early 2015 in which a Colorado man killed his wife following the ingestion of candy products containing marijuana. A Utah woman was arrested for driving on the wrong side of the highway in August 2015 when she rolled her vehicle off the road and then tried to hijack other automobiles; she was high. Individuals who regularly abuse drugs – even in cases of legal substances, like marijuana and prescription drugs – run a far greater risk of enduring outcomes like this. Treating issues of dependency is the only way out.
Those who suffer with mental illness need treatment just as much, whether substance abuse is an issue or not. That being said, serious mental health disorders affect half of all people who abuse drugs or alcohol. Going untreated can seriously predispose one to relapse when substance abuse is a co-occurring factor. As it stands, the risk of relapse for anyone recovering from drug or alcohol abuse is somewhere between 40 and 60 percent in the first year following recovery.
Relapse is a serious concern even when individuals appear to be doing well in recovery. A 28-year-old Utah man died in August 2015 during an altercation with police who were sent to do a welfare check after the individual has phoned his family and implied he was going to commit suicide. He’d just recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and after a brief period of improvement, he spiraled downward.
All of these negative outcomes can be avoided with the appropriate type of care. Everything from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing to crisis interventions and family therapy modalities are available. No matter where you live, you can seek treatment in the Southwest region. Many flock to this part of the nation from all over to get quality help that they can’t find elsewhere.
The following sites offer more information:
When addiction treatment teams measure drug abuse risks, they often start by looking at a map.
They scan the area and look for spots in which drugs could come in and health and vitality could go out. To these professionals, the Southwest has many risks. This is the area that is close to Mexico, so it can work like a funnel for illicit drugs.
But even though the Southwest has its addiction risks, it also has its recovery opportunities. In fact, this part of the United States is full of treatment facilities that are just waiting and willing to help people in need. Listing all of them could be difficult to impossible, simply because there are so many, but these are the top 25 that are ready to help people in need.
Desert Hope: This treatment facility is located in Nevada, and it provides an amazing amount of support for people with addictions. Rather than trying to push people toward a treatment model they might not be ready for, the talented staff of this facility attempts to meet people where they are. Counselors perform a comprehensive intake assessment, and they develop a program that can deliver long-term recovery, even if people have tried other programs in the past with little-to-no success. The residential treatment facility is gorgeous, secure, and supportive. There are outpatient services on that same campus for people who do not need around-the-clock care. People 18 and older can enroll, regardless of mental health status. This is a facility that can assist with underlying mental health concerns too. Insurance program payments are accepted.
Seven Hills Hospital: This 94-bed psychiatric hospital is in Nevada. The staff here provides high-quality care for adults and adolescents living with substance abuse and addiction issues. The program is run by psychiatrists and mental health professionals who deliver customized care based on an addicted person’s history and plans for the future. Medical detox and residential care programs are available, and they are appropriate for people who are facing crisis situations due to their addictions and/or mental illnesses. The facility is truly state-of-the-art, and it offers the care people need in order to recover. There are also outpatient programs available for people who need less recovery supervision. Walk-in appointments are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Assessments for addiction and mental illness are performed free of charge. To find out more about other payments and insurance availability.
A Better Today Recovery Services: This large treatment provider in Nevada can provide care for every stage of the recovery process. There are intervention services available for families dealing with denial. There are inpatient programs open for people who need comprehensive care around the clock. There are outpatient programs for those who have completed inpatient programs or who need touchup on sobriety skills. And there are aftercare programs for people who need to boost their resolve to live a sober lifestyle. Insurance payments are accepted.
Step 1: Men living in Nevada with addiction may benefit from this transitional living facility. Rather than living in the community that fostered the addiction, they can move into a sober environment that is filled with other people committed to recovery. While they live in this community, men can receive substance abuse counseling, so they know what to do to make sobriety stick. Fees are on a sliding scale, and Medicaid payments are accepted. Health insurance payments are also accepted.
STEP2: Women with addictions who are living in Nevada can get help through this organization. STEP2 provides comprehensive residential care for women with addictions, and those who enroll can bring their children with them as they heal. There are also outpatient programs available for women who do not want to leave their families and communities behind. Services are provided regardless of a woman’s ability to pay for care.
Vista Taos Renewal Center: Smaller facilities can, at times, provide a form of personalized care that a larger facility simply cannot match. That is what the team attempts to do at this treatment facility in New Mexico. Care is provided on a residential basis, but the client list is kept small, so each person who enrolls has the opportunity to get one-on-one addiction help that can make a real difference. Health insurance plan payments are accepted.
Shadow Mountain Recovery: This organization provides care throughout the southern portion of the United States. There are programs available in Taos, Denver, Aspen, and Colorado Springs. Each facility offers a comprehensive approach to recovery that blends traditional addiction care with soul-boosting exercise opportunities. And each facility provides a luxury environment that boosts comfort and treatment compliance. Insurance plan payments are accepted.
Lighthouse Counseling: People who would prefer a faith-based approach to recovery might enjoy care with this New Mexico agency. The team provides outpatient care for addiction, and the therapists attempt to include aspects of spirituality throughout the course of each addiction session. Most insurance plan payments are accepted.
Crossroads for Women: This organization is designed to help women who have struggled with addiction, domestic violence, or both. The organization is located in New Mexico, and care is provided on an inpatient basis. Women who use this program may be homeless upon admission, or they may be facing severe financial difficulties due to their addiction issues. The team aims to reduce trauma and help these women to heal. Much of this program is supported by donations, not by admission fees.
Rio Grande Alcoholism Treatment Program: This organization has been hard at work in New Mexico for more than 30 years. It provides both inpatient and outpatient addiction recovery services, along with ancillary support services that can help people to make changes that can stick. All therapies provided are evidence-based. To find out about payments and insurance programs accepted.
The Meadows: This program in Arizona provides a wide variety of different treatment options. Those who do not truly believe that they have an addiction may benefit from attending a 5-day workshop to learn more about addictions. Those who know they need help can get it through inpatient or outpatient care. And those with mental illnesses, including eating disorders, can get care for those issues here too. Insurance payments are accepted, in some cases, and there are financing options open to people in need.
Cottonwood Tucson: This treatment facility is located on 35 acres in Arizona. Addiction is the main focus of the therapies provided, but the team can also assist with mental health concerns that might appear in concert with addiction. There are programs for both adults and adolescents, and everyone who enrolls is provided with a medical, psychiatric, and psychosocial assessment before treatment begins. Insurance payments are accepted, and there are financing options available.
Sundance: This organization in Arizona provides addiction treatment in a lush and resort-like setting. There are separate programs for men and women, which helps to cut down on distractions, and all of the therapies offered are evidence-based. Residential care and outpatient care are available. Insurance payments are accepted.
The Sanctuary at Sedona: This addiction treatment facility is located in Arizona, on beautiful grounds that offer stunning views of the desert. Inpatient care with a strong clinical component is available, and the team uses an integrated holistic approach to ensure that all of the damage caused by addiction is addressed. The center uses a non-12-Step approach. Financing is available.
Sol Recovery Center: Adults in Arizona with addiction issues may benefit from this Scottsdale treatment facility. Inpatient treatment is available, and the care provided in these programs could help with trauma recovery, relapse prevention, and family connections. There are also outpatient programs for those who need a less structured healing environment. Payments from insurance programs are accepted.
Courage to Change: This addiction treatment program is located in the heart of Colorado. The team uses an integrated and holistic approach to help people recover from addiction, and the therapies provided include both counseling and nutritional support. There are career rehabilitation courses and family therapy sessions to help round out the healing. Care is provided on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Financing is available.
The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake: This rehab facility in Colorado provides addiction care in a safe and secure environment. The care is offered on a residential basis, on breathtaking grounds that can boost a feeling of health and serenity. The team is available around the clock to deliver state-of-the-art addiction care, which includes counseling, support group work, medical detox, and more. Payments from insurance programs are accepted.
The Raleigh House: This Colorado organization provides care for both alcohol and drug addiction. People 18 and older are welcome to enroll, and those who do are provided with care that comes with a high staff-to-client ratio. Treatment programs last for 90 days, and when they are complete, outpatient programs help to make those lessons become habits. Admissions staff is ready to answer questions about payments and insurance coverage.
Aspen Pointe: Colorado residents may be familiar with this organization, as it provides a number of mental health services within the state. Many of those services have to do with addiction and recovery. There are programs for both adults and children, and there are a variety of different options both groups can try as they heal. For example, adults may access either inpatient or outpatient programs. Teens have other options to choose from.
Jaywalker Lodge: This Colorado organization provides care for addictions that strike young men. The group utilizes evidence-based therapies for addiction, and it provides exercise opportunities and recreational opportunities young men might both enjoy and learn from. This organization utilizes a 12-Step format. Insurance payments are accepted.
Alpine Recovery Lodge: Located in Utah, this addiction treatment facility offers residential care in a setting that is soothing and gorgeous. The rehab team customizes treatment, and they can handle addictions that are complicated by mental illness. There are aftercare programs that can help to enhance healing too. Insurance payments are accepted, and there are deferred payment plans for people in need. To find out more, call (888) 579-8569.
Cold Creek Behavioral Health: A network of help is available through this Utah organization. Residential treatment, day treatment, outpatient treatment, and sober living homes are all on offer through this organization. Each program utilizes evidence-based medicine. The patient-to-staff ratio is kept low, so everyone has access to a personal touch. Insurance payments are accepted.
Ascend Recovery: Clinicians living and working in Utah founded this treatment program for addiction. Care is provided across the full spectrum of recovery, beginning with medical detox and ending with aftercare. Mental health issues that underlie addictions can be addressed in this program. Payments from insurance programs are accepted.
Renaissance Ranch: Gender-specific addiction recovery is available through this Utah treatment program. Treatment programs utilize counseling, support group work, and experiential therapy. All of the therapies also come with a Christian focus, allowing for a spiritual component to healing that some people might enjoy. Inpatient and outpatient programs are both available. To find out about insurance coverage and payment options.
Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort: Treatment offered in a luxury setting is the focus of this Utah organization. Rooms are serene and private, and there is a spa on the campus that helps to boost healing. Therapies are evidence-based, and the residential program is designed to help people deal with all of the damage an addiction can cause. Insurance payments are accepted.
The Southwest is clearly home to a number of addiction treatment programs that could help you to deal with an addiction issue. Explore these facilities, and you could find just the solution you have been looking for.
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