As the rate of drug overdoses in rural areas is on the rise, more people outside of urban and metropolitan areas are seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. Cities and surrounding communities generally have more rehab program options. However, there are treatment centers in rural areas that serve people who struggle with alcohol or drug abuse. In addition to enrolling in rural treatment clinics, there are organizations that provide mobile services to communities that are located in less densely populated areas that may not have as many options.
An Increasing Need for Substance Abuse Treatment in Rural Areas
People often associate recreational drug abuse with the fast-paced life in large cities and other urban areas. However, in recent years, rural areas have reported higher rates of opioid addiction and related overdose deaths than larger, more heavily-populated areas. Rural residents are 87% more likely to receive a prescription for an opioid drug from their doctors. Therefore, it follows that the number of opioid-related deaths rose faster in rural areas than in cities in 2019. Access to healthcare, including addiction treatment, is one variable that plays a part in this phenomenon.
Traditional Methods of Treating Substance Abuse and Addiction
Treatment centers in rural areas generally offer the same types of programs rehab centers in cities offer. Prior to beginning a program, a treatment center may recommend a supervised medical detox center to support the client while drugs and alcohol exit the individual’s body. Next, the client will begin receiving treatment in a residential or inpatient program. In some cases, the treatment center may recommend an outpatient program or a hybrid program that combines characteristics of residential inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. If you or someone you know requires substance abuse treatment in a rural area, contact the nearest treatment center. An addiction specialist will provide information about outpatient, inpatient, and hybrid programs that serve rural populations.
Limitations to Substance Abuse Treatment in Rural Communities
While three are treatment centers that treat substance abuse and addiction in rural areas, researchers have observed some disparity between rural treatment centers and rehab programs in cities and large metropolitan areas. Rural treatment centers sometimes have a shortage of clinicians who have extensive experience in treating addiction. Rural treatment centers are also sometimes less likely to prescribe certain medications that can help decrease an addict’s physiological inclination to abuse alcohol or drugs during the treatment process. In addition to program limitations, people in rural areas often do not have the local infrastructure to accommodate people from all walks of life who require access to treatment programs. While these resources may be less available in rural areas, the substance abuse treatment community is coming up with ways to work around common barriers to bringing the same level of care to rural treatment center clients.
Non-Profit Organiziations Help Bridge Gaps
In areas that receive less government funding and do not benefit from major research institutions, non-profit organizations often fill in gaps in access by providing resources rural treatment centers may not have otherwise. Non-profits often make treatment accessible to people who have low income or now income. They help meet the needs of individuals who may also have basic needs like housing and transportation. These organizations also provide parallel care and support to individuals who have a dual diagnosis and require additional services to treat an underlying mental health condition. Therefore, rural residents often rely on a combination of services from different entities to create a well-supported, comprehensive plan for their recovery.
Innovative Approaches to Reaching Rural Communities
The substance abuse treatment community is always looking for innovative ways to bridge the gap in access to high-quality treatment that sometimes exists between cities and rural areas. Some communities are now bringing resources from larger cities to people who need treatment in rural areas by offering mobile treatment services. Mobile treatment clinics are staffed by a driver and licensed treatment clinicians. One important function these clinics serve in rural areas is administering medications that minimize withdrawal symptoms and block the effects of opiates and alcohol. They also provide counseling services to clients who may otherwise not be able to travel to an outpatient center.
Treatment Is Available to You
Whether you live in a bustling city or a small town, we can help you get connected to the resources you need. Contact us today at 833-820-2922 to speak with one of our addiction specialists. We’ll support you in finding the treatment program that best meets your recovery needs.