“We have to take the focus off the individual drug and look at why people are using drugs…To improve peoples’ lives, the healthy choice has to become the easy choice.” ~Kim Papich, spokeswoman for the Spokane Regional Health District
Like other cities in Washington State, Spokane faces a number of challenges in the fight against substance abuse. According to the Risk and Protection Profile For Substance Abuse Prevention In Spokane County, 2013–2014 saw a year-over-year increase in deaths in Spokane County that were due to alcohol or drug-related causes.
Although the AOD death rate has been relatively stable in the last couple of years, there were still 62% more deaths than in 2005. Prevention efforts such as awareness campaigns, educational programs, and Prescription Drug Take-Back days have all had had a positive effect on the situation, but adjustments need to be made as new drug threats continue to emerge in the area.
Substance Abuse Statistics for Spokane County
Before other issues can be discussed, let’s first take a closer look at the magnitude of the drug and alcohol problem in the area:
- In the three-year period between 2012 and 2014, there were over 1,500 AOD deaths
- In just one decade, the percentage of total Spokane County deaths that were attributable to drugs or alcohol has risen from less than 9% to over 12%
- Since 2013, fatal overdoses in Spokane County have risen by over 60%
- Almost 18% of adults in Spokane County engage in binge drinking
- 40% of automobile deaths involve alcohol
- Hospitalizations due to unintentional opioid poisoning, although lower than 2012’s all-time high, are still approximately triple 2005’s total
- One-quarter of those hospitalizations are because of heroin
- Judging by needle exchanges, intravenous drug use is up in Spokane:
- The number of visits rose from 7,054 in 2012 to 9,199 in 2014
- The number of people exchanging needles rose from 12,442 to 16,809
- In 2014, nearly one million needles were collected
- Spokane Regional Health District’s needle exchange program reports that 8% of their clients list heroin as their drug of choice, followed by methamphetamines at 57%
- Between 2012 and 2014, the number of needle exchange clients preferring heroin increased 5%
- During that same period, the number of needle exchange clients preferring methamphetamines skyrocketed by almost 40%
- In one year, 2014–2015, heroin-involved deaths in Spokane County more than tripled
- Methamphetamines are still responsible for more deaths in Spokane County than heroin
- In order, the specific substances listed on death certificates as the cause of death are:
- In a 10-year period, 1999-2008, deaths due to accidental prescription overdoses rose by a factor of 20
- Most fatal opioid overdoses involve multiple drugs
- Meth is involved in 20% of all fatal opioid overdoses
Examining the Availability of Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Spokane, WA
“Drug use is on the rise in this country and 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. That’s approximately one in every 10 Americans over the age of 12—roughly equal to the entire population of Texas. But only 11% of those with an addiction receive treatment. It is staggering and unacceptable that so many Americans are living with untreated chronic disease and cannot access treatment,” –Dr. Kima Joy Taylor, director of the Closing the Addiction Gap Initiative
Is the situation similar in Spokane? At last count, Spokane County had 484,318 residents, 387,938 of whom are 18 or older. That means that there are at least 38,000 Spokane County residents who are suffering a drug or alcohol addiction. Furthermore, that means that approximately 34,000 people in the Spokane area are not receiving treatment for their substance abuse disorder.
What kind of treatment resources are available in the immediate Spokane County vicinity for drug addicts and alcoholics who are ready to seek treatment? Unfortunately, there are less than 40 outpatient programs and only 14 inpatient programs in all of Spokane County. And that’s to serve the thousands of individuals currently in treatment, and the many thousands more who are in need of a quality drug or alcohol rehab program.
The available Spokane drug rehab situation becomes even bleaker when you take into account the fact that not every program accepts every substance abuser in need – several programs only cater to certain very specific segments of the population, including:
- Adults only
- Youth only
- Males/Females only
- Pregnant and Postpartum Women only
- Veterans only
- Native Americans only
- Incarcerated prisoners only
- Individuals who were involuntarily committed only
It’s easy to see why some Spokane rehab programs have huge, months-long waiting lists.
What Does All of This Mean for Someone Needing Drug or Alcohol Treatment in Spokane, WA?
These numbers mean that anyone in the Spokane County area who needs professional help for their substance abuse disorder might have to do a little bit of homework and think “outside of the box” if they’re going to find high-quality addiction treatment in a timely manner. One solution is choosing a rehab facility outside the immediate Spokane area. This has three chief advantages:
- Treatment can begin sooner
- A bigger pool of addiction recovery programs to choose from also means better choices: people can choose the program that offers the services and treatment strategies that work best for them as an individual
- Being away from home means fewer distractions: the person in recovery can better focus on the most important thing, thus regaining their sobriety and sanity
With that in mind, Northpoint Recovery, located conveniently in Boise, Idaho, might be the best choice for Spokane residents who want to best combat their disease of addiction. Northpoint offers medically-supervised drug and alcohol detox, intensive inpatient rehab, and an evidence-based treatment strategy that is tailored to each individual client.
With the best staff-to-patient ratio in this region of the country, Northpoint can meet the unique needs of every patient and give the personal attention that a person new to recovery needs.
Northpoint Recovery is proud to provide the highest addiction recovery care to the residents of Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. Call us today at 208.486.0130 and let’s talk about getting you the effective rehab treatment you deserve.