Kansas is one of the states at the very heart of America. From hunting and fishing to farm and ranch experiences, Kansas is a true outdoor-lovers paradise. But Kansas is also steeped in history, as the Great Plains and prairie that stretches for miles tells the story of the American pioneer.

Despite all its beauty and rich heritage, Kansas isn’t immune to the growing drug epidemic that’s sweeping the country. Heroin has made its way to both big cities and small towns, and according to Dr. Sarah Martin-Anderson, a part of the Kansas City Health Department, heroin is the number 1 drug-related death substance in the area. For those who struggle with opioid, heroin and other addictions there is help.

Opioid Abuse in Kansas

People who struggle with opioid or heroin abuse don’t plan to become addicted. A person’s first exposure to opioid is typically when he or she is prescribed the medication to treat pain after surgery, injury or to control pain from a chronic condition such as lupus or fibromyalgia.  Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the pain. These receptors control the body’s perception of pain and are also the brain’s reward center.

With prolonged use, opioids begin to do the work of the opioid receptors making the user believe she needs the drug to feel normal. Once this level of drug dependence is present, addiction isn’t far behind. If you or a loved one uses opioids to control pain, look for the following signs of a developing addiction:

  • Taking more of the drug before the next dose is due
  • Taking the drug for longer periods of time than prescribed by a physician
  • “Doctor shopping” to get new prescriptions
  • Needing a supply of the drug on hand at all times
  • Becoming preoccupied with getting and using the drug
  • Engaging in illegal behaviors, like stealing, to get more of the drug
  • Participating in dangerous activities, like driving, while under the influence of the drug
  • Changes in appearance, especially in the area of personal hygiene
  • Changes in behavior, such as severe moods swings and depression
  • Becoming more involved with people in the drug culture

Once a person is addicted to opioids, getting new prescriptions becomes impossible over time. This is when the user turns to painkiller sold on the street. But black market opioids are very expensive, so the typical user turns to heroin because it’s cheap and easy to get. Heroin is almost always mixed with other substances which makes it very unpredictable. This dramatically increases the risk of accidental overdose, which can quickly lead to coma and death.

Kansas Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Addiction treatment begins with medically-supervised detox. Detox gives the body a chance to rid itself of the toxins of the drug. Many facilities offer dual diagnosis/co-occurring disorders treatment. This means any mental illness is treated simultaneously with the addition, greatly increasing the likelihood of treatment success.

Treatment programs consist of individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and other holistic options that treat the whole person. After treatment, you or your loved one’s recovery team will plan an aftercare program of support group meetings and continued therapy sessions. Proper aftercare helps prevent relapse.

The following treatment programs are just two of the options available in Kansas:

Valley Hope Association, Norton

This facility is one of nine residential treatment programs and outpatient offices in seven states. Valley Hope Association has been treating addiction since 1967 and is considered a leader in the treatment of addictive disorders. Valley Hope offers free services to those 16 and older and provides round-the-clock nursing care, medically-supervised detox, residential care and family services.

Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Shawnee Mission

This facility offers intensive inpatient care in a hospital setting. Shawnee Mission Medical Center uses a 12-Step approach to treatment and encourages family participation. They also provide a relapse prevention program, mental health stabilization and medically-supervised detox.

Finding Help for Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, realizing you have a problem and reaching out for help is the first step. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about treatment options. Call us now.

Kansas Drug and Alcohol Rehabs