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Heroin Addiction Treatment in Fort Smith

3 Minute Read | Published Nov 30 2023 | Updated Dec 01 2023

Fort Smith, Arkansas, located in Sebastian County, has been greatly affected by the nationwide opioid epidemic, with heroin addiction being a major challenge that the community is facing. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, Sebastian County had the highest rates of overdose deaths in the state in 2016, with heroin and prescription opioids being the main cause. The National Institute on Drug Abuse also reported that Arkansas had the second-highest rate of opioid prescriptions in 2019, with 78.5 prescriptions per 100 individuals.

As a result of the rising rates of heroin addiction, there has been a growing need for effective treatment and rehabilitation programs in Fort Smith. Here is a look at some of the research about heroin addiction treatment in Fort Smith, Arkansas:

1. Types of Treatment Programs Available

There are various types of treatment programs available in Fort Smith, Arkansas, including inpatient and outpatient treatment, medication-assisted treatment, and behavioral therapies.

Inpatient treatment involves individuals staying at a residential facility for a specified period, usually around 30-90 days. It provides individuals with 24-hour medical and emotional support, a structured recovery program, and a drug-free environment.

Outpatient treatment allows individuals to receive treatment while they continue to live at home. These programs are suitable for individuals with mild addiction or as a step-down after completing an inpatient program.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines behavioral therapy with FDA-approved medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, to treat heroin addiction. MAT has been found to be effective in reducing opioid cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and relapse rates.

Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management, are also used in heroin addiction treatment to help individuals develop coping strategies and address underlying issues that contribute to their addiction.

2. Common Co-occurring Disorders

In addition to heroin addiction, individuals seeking treatment in Fort Smith often have co-occurring disorders that also require treatment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the most common mental health disorders in Arkansas are major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

3. Unique Challenges in Heroin Addiction Treatment in Fort Smith

One of the unique challenges in heroin addiction treatment in Fort Smith is the lack of access to effective treatment options, especially in rural areas. According to the Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, there are only 21 licensed substance abuse centers in the state, with most of them concentrated in urban areas.

This scarcity of treatment options makes it difficult for individuals to access timely and affordable treatment, leading to a higher risk of relapse and overdose death.

4. Efforts to Address Heroin Addiction in Fort Smith

There are several efforts being made to address heroin addiction in Fort Smith, including:

- Expansion of medication-assisted treatment programs: The Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services has allocated funding to expand medication-assisted treatment programs in the state, including in Fort Smith, to help individuals with opioid addiction access effective treatment.

- Community education and awareness: Organizations, such as Arkansas Community Coalition, are working to educate the community about the dangers of opioid addiction and the available treatment options in Fort Smith.

- Expansion of naloxone distribution: Naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, is being distributed to first responders and community members to help prevent overdose deaths in Fort Smith.

In conclusion, heroin addiction treatment in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is a pressing issue that requires attention and resources to address effectively. The availability of treatment options, education, and community outreach efforts are essential in combating the opioid epidemic and promoting recovery in the community.
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