Haverhill is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, with a population of around 64,000 people. As a town in the coastal Northeastern United States, it’s vulnerable to the opioid epidemic, which has significantly impacted that region. Illicit opioids like heroin have been increasing in availability over the past 20 years as transnational criminal organizations have increased trafficking to the U.S. Meanwhile, the overprescription of opioids has increased the availability of excess pills, which can lead to dependence and illicit drug use.
Other substances also continue to be a problem for Haverhill and cities like it. For that reason, access to available drug rehab is essential for public health in Haverhill. Learn more about addiction in the area and the need for drug rehab.
Opioids are the most significant driving force in the addiction and overdose epidemic in the U.S. Heroin is one of the chief contributors, but the most recent spike overdose deaths since 2016 are linked to fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. In Massachusetts, 88 percent of drug overdose deaths involved opioids in 2018. That same year, 1,806 overdoses involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
Overdose rates have plateaued in recent years, but they remain high. In 2019, there were an estimated 2,023 opioid overdose deaths.
According to a recent study, alcohol remains a serious problem for Massachusetts, even when compared to the rest of the nation. A little over 21 percent of adults in the state reported binge drinking, where the national rate is around 16 percent. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse contributes to the deaths of roughly 88,000 Americans each year.
Alcohol and marijuana are the most commonly abused drugs in the United States, and both are legal to use recreationally in the state. Heroin is among the most easily accessible drugs in Massachusetts because it’s cheap and easy to find. Stimulants like cocaine and meth are common as well. Prescription amphetamines are sometimes abused by students who are seeking a performance boost.
Other common substances include:
Massachusetts has seen a significant increase in overdose deaths in the past 20 years, with the most profound spike in the last 10, largely due to opioids. Opioid drug use nearly doubled between 2000 and 2012. However, the increased availability of the deadly fentanyl caused those numbers to more than double between 2012 and 2019.
Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that requires treatment to address effectively. Addiction treatment is a complex process that addresses medical, psychological, and social problems that may be related to substance use. Addiction often comes with underlying problems that contribute to your substance use disorder or come as a consequence of addiction.
Treatment is a personalized process that’s designed to address a range of individual issues like mental health disorders or medical complications. When you first enter a treatment plan, you’ll go through an assessment with a therapist who will help you formulate your treatment plan.
Treatment also needs to be readily available. Ideally, a community should have nearby treatment options that are ready to begin treatment soon after a person seeks it out. Each moment in active addiction is dangerous, and the decision to seek treatment may soon be replaced with powerful compulsions to use.
American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, June). How is heroin linked to prescription drug misuse? from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/how-heroin-linked-to-prescription-drug-misuse
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, April 3). Massachusetts: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/opioid-summaries-by-state/massachusetts-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms
O'Laughlin, F. (2020, March 5). Report: Massachusetts has one of the biggest drinking problems in America. from https://whdh.com/news/local/report-massachusetts-has-one-of-the-biggest-drinking-problems-in-america/