Arizona joined the United States as the 48th in 1912. Today, it is widely known for the Grand Canyon, which forms one of many colorful natural landforms in the state. The Colorado River, the Pained Desert, the Red Rock State Park, the Sonoran Desert, and the Petrified Forest National Park are all also found here.
Even with such majestic beauty, Arizona struggles with an epidemic of grand proportions involving drug and alcohol use, abuse, and misuse. In particular, the state has high rates of the abuse of street drugs, alcohol, and pain relief medications.
The NSDUH - or the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - reports that Arizona has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States. From 2010 to 2011, for instance, almost 6 percent of the entire population above the age of 12 years was abusing this class of drugs.
Among these medications, the most commonly abused include benzodiazepines, pain relief medications, and opiates. State officials also cite that this is due to the fact that there are certain factors that contribute to the high rates of medication abuse in Arizona. These include but are not limited to doctor shopping, patients selling and sharing unused drugs, doctors writing too many prescriptions, and inadequate public education about the dangers and risks of prescription medication abuse.
Although most people assume that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs due to the fact that they are issued in pharmacies on the instructions of a licensed medical professional, this is not the case. In fact, abusing these medications can lead to as many consequences as you would struggle with if you were addicted to street drugs.
From 2008 to 2013, the state reported a 100 percent rise in the total number of overdoses involving opioids, for instance. During the same period, there was a rise of 99 percent in the number of arrests involving a DUI - driving under the influence - offense.
Of the people who are already dependent on opioid medications, many end up abusing heroin. This is because heroin is more widely available at a cheaper price. Unfortunately, users of this drug do not realize that it is highly dangerous and its illicit status can lead to problems with the law.
Apart from prescription drugs, alcohol is another problematic substance of abuse in the state. The Department of Health Services in Arizona has defined binge drinking as the use of more than 5 alcohol drinks within any given day.
The CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - has also reported that many people in the state struggle with serious binge drinking issues. This is particularly true for non-Hispanic Caucasian males aged from 35 to 65 years. For instance, almost 5 percent of all the hospitalizations reported in the state as well as 2.5 percent of the visits to an emergency room were linked to a binge drinking incident in 2013.
Luckily, there are several recovery programs and centers in the state that can help you overcome your substance abuse and addiction problem. These Arizona addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs offer various recovery services to guide clients towards a lifestyle of sobriety and health.