Alexandria, Virginia, is part of the larger Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It’s about seven miles from the capital, and it’s home to many people that work in the country’s government center. Alexandria is also home to many that are members of the military and are based close to the capital. Coastal metropolitan areas of the country are often vulnerable to the illicit drug trade, especially in densely populated cities.
Even in the D.C. metropolitan area, substance abuse is a significant threat to public health issues. Learn more about the drug problem that Alexandria faces and how access to drug rehab can help.
Addiction is a serious problem in the United States. Millions of adults meet the qualifications for a substance use disorder in the country. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 20.2 million adults had a substance use disorder within the past year in 2014. Only 2.5 million received treatment.
There were 67,367 drug overdose deaths in 2018. Illicit and prescription opioid deaths were involved in 46,802 of those cases. The state of Virginia saw 1,193 of those opioid deaths in 2018, which is a slight decrease from the year before. There were 191 opioid overdose deaths in D.C. alone, a decline from 244 in 2017. Both illicit and prescription opioids can be abused. In D.C., there were 25 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 people. In Virginia, the rate was nearly 49 prescriptions per 100 people. In 2018, Alexandria saw 69 opioid overdoses, and 61 were fatal.
Opioids are a significant problem in Alexandria and the surrounding area, but they aren’t the only substance of abuse that poses a threat to public health. Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the country. After the largely decriminalized marijuana, prescription opioids were the most common drugs of abuse, with 3.6 percent of Americans misusing narcotic pain-relievers. Cocaine, hallucinogens, methamphetamine, and heroin are the next most common illicit drugs.
A spike in drug overdose deaths in the last few years involved the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is extremely potent and can be mixed into heroin and other drugs. Fentanyl can be deadly in very small doses when it’s mixed into other substances; users may take a life-threatening dose without knowing.
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Addiction is a chronic disease that can lead to a variety of medical, psychological, and social issues. Substance use disorders can lead to strained relationships, chronic health issues, and financial issues. Severe substance use issues increase your risk of overdose, being involved in violent crimes, and experiencing homelessness.
Though it’s chronic and there is no known cure for addiction, it can be treated with effective therapies. Treatment may involve pharmacotherapies and psychotherapies. Effective addiction treatment should address the whole person, including physical, psychological, and social needs. Addiction is complicated and may come with underlying issues like mental health issues.
For that reason, addiction treatment is complex, addressing more than just substance use issues. You may go through different therapies that are designed to treat the physical and behavioral issues related to addiction, as well as underlying issues like mental health problems.
City of Alexandria. (2020, March 23). Alexandria Opioid Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.alexandriava.gov/dchs/adultservices/default.aspx?id=102353
Lipari, R. N., Ph.D., & Van Horn, S. L. (2017, June 29). TRENDS IN SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS AMONG ADULTS AGED 18 OR OLDER. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2790/ShortReport-2790.html
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, May 02). Virginia: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/virginia-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, July 02). Washington D.C.: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/washington-dc-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. (2018). 2018 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Releases: CBHSQ Data. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/release/2018-national-survey-drug-use-and-health-nsduh-releases