In terms of substance abuse and addiction, Alabama shows some of the highest rates in the United States. However, opioids are among the most common substances of abuse in the state.
In 2018, for instance, it was reported that close to 50 percent of all the drug overdose deaths that were listed in the state involved opioids. These deaths came to a total of 775 and 381 of them were related to an opioid or an opiate drug. Even so, the state did not release data that met the inclusion criteria to list the specific opioids that were involved.
Doctors and physicians in the state wrote about 97 prescriptions for every group of 100 people in 2018 alone. This rate was the highest in the United States at almost 2 times the average across the country - which was 51 prescriptions for every 100 people.
The state has also seen a rise in the rates of NAS - or Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome - and NOWS - or Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome. These disorders occur when women take opioid drugs during their pregnancy.
Unfortunately, Alabama does not have any standard in the hospital coding and NAS-NOWS provider practices that are common in other states. For this reason, there have been variations in the rates that are reported.
In 2016, 7 cases of NAS or NOWS were reported across the United States for every 1,000 births conducted in hospitals. The rates that were highest were among Alaskan Natives and American Indians at a rate of 15 for every set of 1000 births while Caucasian Non-Hispanics reported a rate of 10 for every set of 1000 births.
The Department of Mental Health in the state of Alabama provides resources to help individuals struggling with opioid abuse and addiction as well as their families and loved ones. These resources are also useful for addiction recovery professionals and other health care service providers.
In the state, as well as in the rest of the country, the opioid epidemic is now considered to be an economic and public health crisis. It has been eroding the overall quality of life for many people living in Alabama.
People continue dying while families get devastated in the process. Further, opioids have been having a negative impact on almost every sector of the economy - including local government, business, education, and health care. This is not exactly surprising especially considering that substance abuse and addiction does not recognize any class, race, or neighborhood.
Alabama reported a total of 5,128 overdose deaths between 2006 and 2014. In 2014, the death rate was set at 14.9 fatalities for every segment of 100,000 people. According to the CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - heroin and prescription opioids accounted for the greatest number of overdose deaths in the state.
Today, there are a number of addiction treatment and rehabilitation facilities in the state. Irrespective of the type of substance use disorder that you have been struggling with - and whether or not it involves opioids - you can be sure that these centers can help you achieve a lifestyle of sobriety and recovery in Alabama.