Before the Detox, the 28 Day Drug Rehab, the Long Term Residential Addiction Treatment,  and the Sober House

The entire maze of drug and alcohol addiction resources and choices – the intervention, detox, 28 day program, long term residential drug rehab, sober house, recovery coaching option, and outpatient treatment  – can be overwhelming for families. To guide parents through that maze, leading medical centers such as Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) now offer help in making sense of substance misuse treatment options, while at the same time educating us about cutting edge approaches to addiction treatment for our child.

From the experts at MGH a new approach to addiction intervention has emerged, and it asks much from those of us who love a drug addict. Read more

new hampshire drug addiction

New Hampshire Drug Addiction

This article gives an overview of the New Hampshire drug addiction scene. But behind the addiction problem is the trafficking business.. But behind the addiction problem is the trafficking business.

The focal point of New Hampshire’s drug trafficking is Manchester in the southern part of the state. Drug dealers most often acquire their supplies from the Lowell, Massachusetts area just a few miles away. Cocaine, some of which is converted to crack cocaine, and heroin are the primary drugs that travel on this channel.

Nearly all the cocaine and heroin sold and used in this area are sourced out of New York City, one of the primary drug distribution points in the country. Other drugs are trafficked across the remote and largely unpatrolled Canadian border.

National and Local Gangs Control Much of Retail Distribution of Cocaine and Heroin

Much of the drug activity in the Manchester region is controlled by gangs, either national gangs that have been growing in strength, or copycat gangs that have arisen in the last few years. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has established a New Hampshire Safe Streets Gang Task Force to counteract the influence of gangs and drug traffickers in the area. In April, 2009, the Task Force reported the seizure of 45 kilograms of cocaine and nearly a quarter of a million dollars from seven suspected gang members in an attractive suburban home outside Manchester.

Much of the property crime in the state is thought to be drug- and gang-related. These crimes include thefts from corner stores, banks and gas stations and home invasion robberies. Unfortunately, prisons and jails serve as breeding grounds and recruitment pools for gang members. More local youth follow the examples of national gangs and establish their own gangs in outlying areas, further compounding the problems from gang activity.

Canadian Drug Traffickers Contribute to the Problem

Potent hydroponic marijuana and synthetics such as MDMA (ecstasy) and controlled prescription drugs such as oxycodone or benzodiazepines come across the Canada-U.S. border, not just for local use but also destined for other regions of the U.S. Weapons and cash pass across the border to the north.

As the southern border of the United States is patrolled by far more personnel than the northern border, the ratio of seized drugs to trafficked drugs is thought to be low in the north.

Marijuana is the most widely abused drug in the state and Canada’s hydroponic marijuana is far more potent than Mexican commercial-grade marijuana. Analysis of commercial-grade Mexican marijuana shows levels of marijuana’s active ingredient (THC) as high as 9 percent, up from 3 percent two decades ago. Hydroponic marijuana from Canada may have a potency as high as 25 percent THC. The higher the THC, the more likely it is that a user will become dependent or addicted.

Southern Part of New Hampshire Sees Deaths, Suicides Related to Drug Abuse and Addiction

Based on 2007 reports from the Drug Abuse Warning Network, three counties in the southern part of the state experienced 89 deaths and 21 suicides in which drug abuse was involved. These three counties are Rockingham County, Strafford County and Hillsborough County which includes Manchester. Nearly all the deaths involved multiple drugs with the exception of a few opiate and cocaine deaths. Alcohol was involved in about a third of all deaths.

By the time high school students graduate in New Hampshire, six out of ten of them have smoked marijuana. More than a third are current users of the drug. About a fifth have used cocaine.

Alcohol sends the most people into drug rehabilitation facilities, accounting for nearly half of all admissions in 2008. Opiates such as heroin, methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, methadone, Suboxone, morphine and codeine contribute another 25 percent of those seeking addiction treatment and cocaine adds approximately 10 percent of the addicts who enter rehab centers.

Effective Drug Rehabilitation and Drug Abuse Prevention Needed in New Hampshire

What is needed for New Hampshire citizens is substance abuse treatment centers that enable drug and alcohol addicts to leave drugs and alcohol behind them and in which they can learn to live productive, enjoyable lives again. And young people in New Hampshire need effective drug abuse prevention programs that teach them why they should avoid alcohol abuse or use of narcotics.

WELCOME HOME to Riverbank House, a unique and affordable option for men seeking recovery from addiction and self-destruction. Our quality residential experience, innovative enrichment programming, and collaborative approach to self-restoration are designed to offer vital support as you make your way through the 12-step recovery process and rediscover your enthusiasm for a life lived with clarity and purpose. Together — with guidance, structure, and common purpose — Riverbank House community members develop the spiritual, emotional, and physical practices essential to a full life of vibrant, sustainable addiction recovery.

Located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and situated on the banks of the Winnipesaukee River just downstream from beautiful Lake Opechee, Riverbank House is not an institutional drug rehab facility. Our flagship property at 96 Church Street, a fully restored 19th century mansion, offers an atmosphere of unpretentious warmth, and comfort; with 6,500 square feet of interior living space and an expanding campus, Riverbank House offers flexible options for group activities, individual privacy, and relaxed fellowship within an environment of mutual support and true belonging.

Whether you are new to recovery or re-committing yourself to the journey, Riverbank House offers you safe haven, a place to settle in as you give yourself the gift of time. While Riverbank House does accommodate a small number of 28-day residents, our program is founded upon the long-term, extended care rehabilitation model endorsed by addiction specialists and supported by research findings. Length of stay is the single greatest predictor of success in overcoming addiction to drugs and alcohol.


The Cost of Drug and Alcohol Addiction on Families

Drug addiction and alcoholism are addictions that most people are familiar with, but there are many addictions families suffer from. The fact is that any addiction from drugs and cigarettes to shopping and gambling can have disastrous social and financial consequences. When the addict has a family, the cost of the addiction can wreck the home and have long-lasting effects on every person he or she touches.

Addictions are largely defined by their fruitless struggle to overcome diminishing returns. A diminishing return is when a large quantity of something is not proportionately satisfying as a small quantity. For example, eating a single piece of cake is satisfying; eating ten slices of cake is not ten times as satisfying. Each subsequent slice will be less satisfying than the last.

When a person is addicted, they often recognize that their addiction is unsatisfying, but continue consuming in hopes that they can obtain the pleasure or satisfaction that they associate with the activity. The addictive substance may be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms that create demand for the activity even when it’s inherently unpleasant; this chains addicts to their behavior and makes it difficult to stop even when they no longer enjoy it.

Addictions and Poverty

There’s a reason why addictions are often associated with poverty. Many addictive behaviors begin as a method of escapism and pleasure seeking, and people who suffer financially are often drawn to them as a means to avoid serious problems. Addictions provide instant gratification, which is something sorely lacking in most low-income households that struggle to survive from one paycheck to the next.

The relationship between addiction and poverty travels both ways, however, and addictions can often lead to financial ruin or make maintaining healthy finances impossible. Simply put, addictions are expensive to maintain, and their cost increases the longer a person has them. Addictions never level out; as it becomes harder for a person to reach the same level of satisfaction, they will need to engage in addictive behaviors more and more often, resulting in higher expenses.

Of course, secondary factors come into play as well. Serious addictions interrupt every facet of a person’s life. It can lead to marital troubles and divorce, loss of jobs and criminal charges if the addictive substance is illegal. Drug and Alcohol detox services are expensive, and people often find themselves ill equipped to deal with life after quitting, which leads them back to their addictive behaviors. As the addict becomes embroiled in deeper poverty and despair, they often turn to the addiction for comfort, causing a vicious self-fulfilling cycle.

The Cost of Addiction

Addiction costs are insidious, often creeping into a person’s finances without notice. People who may have a difficult time paying off debt or making regular rent payments somehow always find money to pay for addictions; this is usually because they are willing to make sacrifices to feed the addiction. This makes people less likely to realize how damaging the financial impact of an addiction is until it’s too late.

Because addictions are cumulative, they will cost more to maintain the longer a person has them. For example, consider smoking. A single pack of cigarettes costs around $6, although it may be more or less expensive in some areas depending on state taxes. A person with a light nicotine addiction may smoke a pack a week. As their tolerance rises, this may double, and then triple, until they become pack-a-day smokers.

At that rate, an addiction that once cost less than $25 a month to maintain can easily become a $180 per month addiction, and it’s not uncommon for many chain smokers to go through more than one pack a day. A pack-a-day smoking habit translates to around $2,160, or about 10% of a person’s income at the poverty level. Considering nearly 30% of smokers are below the poverty level, this has a huge impact on people’s lives.

Other addictions are much more expensive, and people are often addicted to multiple things. Estimates suggest that hardcore drug addictions can cost easily half of a person’s income at poverty level, and the true cost might be even higher.

Other Costs of Addiction

The cost of purchasing an addictive substance or engaging in addictive behaviors like shopping or gambling isn’t the only price that addicts and their families pay. Other costs are deep reaching and often surprising:

  • Missed or lost work or inability to find a job due to the addiction
  • Increased car, health, life and other insurance premium costs
  • Loss of income due to not graduating high school, college or obtaining an advanced degree
  • Medical costs; many addictions cause health problems that can add up to massive costs throughout a person’s lifetime
  • Opportunity costs of life experiences or education lost while spending time searching for and using drugs or other addictive substances
  • Legal bills; DUIs and other legal problems can often result from addictions, and the subsequent legal costs can be staggering

The financial side effects of poverty itself begin to snowball the longer a person lives hand-to-mouth. Bad credit, missed payments, toxic debts and late fees can all put further strains on finances. When people neglect household expenses to cover the cost of addictions, these strains can reach a breaking point.

Impact of Addiction on Families

There is a strong correlation between addiction, poverty and abuse. Children from low-income families are 25% more likely to be abused than those from middle-income households, and children of alcoholics are four times as likely to be abused as other kids. Moreover, 80% of child abuse and neglect cases are associated with some form of substance abuse.

The problem multiplies over generations. As many as 20% of abusers grew up in abusive households themselves, and it’s much harder for children in low-income households to break free of this lifestyle. They may adopt their parent’s addiction, pursue a different addiction or simply be ill equipped to deal with financial realities due to growing up without money to budget or any clear guidance on how to handle finances.

Stopping the Cycle

It’s easy to brush off addiction as something that other people suffer from. It’s harder to see our own addictions. The truth is that addictions are rarely as clear-cut and obviously evil as after-school specials and drug prevention programs would have us believe. For people in the midst of an addiction, it simply feels like a lifestyle, and it’s always easy to justify behaviors.

Drugs and alcohol aren’t the only addictions that can ruin a person’s life and finances. Video games, pornography, the Internet and even fast food can all become addictive if a person allows them to overrun their life. Once any single activity begins demanding a person’s money and attention at the cost of their health, relationships or lifestyle, that activity could be classified an addiction. Even if your reliance on World of Warcraft won’t put you in prison, it can still negatively impact your life by draining your finances and eating away valuable time you could spend on other things.

Once you can honestly recognize that an activity, habit or substance has more control over you than it should, it’s time to get help, even if the substance seems innocuous. As tempting as it is to seek instant gratification, the only way to deal with poverty and gain financial freedom is to strip away every possible extraneous expense from your budget and focus purely on your future. This is impossible if you’re putting every extra penny that you have toward an addiction instead.

People must ultimately make a choice between the instant gratification of an addiction or the long-lasting, healthy rewards of good financial habits and planning for the future. By recognizing and honestly assessing their habits, making a concentrated effort to stop, building a support group and seeking professional help when necessary, addicts can begin to regain control of their lives. Over time, this will enable them to take the first step toward financial freedom.