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An article was published on June 4, 2009, which provided information on illicit drug use in the State of Rhode Island. The statistics gathered were from a national survey, conducted by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that was conducted between 2006 and 2007, and involved people aged 12 years or older, who were asked if they had used illicit drugs during the previous month before they were interviewed.

The drugs that people were asked if they used included marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, and certain prescription medications. With the latter, the respondents were asked to specify if they were using them in ways other than they had been prescribed. The survey revealed that not only was illicit drug use in Rhode Island the highest in the nation, it had increased since the last survey was conducted between 2005 and 2006.

The survey was conducted by means of personal interviews with 135,672 people from all across the United States. The high rate of illicit drug use in Rhode Island is apparent when numbers are compared with those of other states. For example, in Iowa, the rate of illicit drug use was 5.2; Rhode Island's figure was 12.5.

Alcohol use was also included in this survey, and those figures were high for Rhode Island residents ages 12 and older. 63.1% admitted to having consumed alcohol within the past month before participating in the survey. The national rate is 51%, and 56% for Northeastern states overall. Further, 21.6% of those who admitted to alcohol use were under the legal drinking age, and this was higher than the national rate (16.2%) and Northeastern states overall rate (18.2%).

Further, not only were more people using illicit drugs, but the survey also reported that those who were between the ages of 12 and 25 were not taking advantage of Rhode Island's drug and alcohol detox programs and centers. Rhode Island officials, however, wanted it made clear it was not because of unavailability as the State had recently been awarded grants that they used to open more centers and improve services at existing ones. There is rarely a delay in getting someone who needs treatment into a facility once they admit to needing these services.

Oftentimes, whether it is Rhode Island or any other State, reluctance to seek help at drug and alcohol detox programs and centers stems from a person's not knowing what to expect. They may have a mental picture of being "institutionalized" in a cold, sterile environment, left alone to go through the agonies of withdrawal, then lectured constantly for the remainder of their stay on their weakness at having allowed themselves to become addicted.

In fact, this cannot be further from the truth. Facilities may be utilitaritan in nature, whether because of budget restraints or other reasons, but they must meet certain health regulations and standards. Further, treatment does not consist of constant lecturing; rather, individual and group counseling sessions are held, and participants are encouraged to offer their own opinions as to why their addiction may have occurred, and how they can help themselves, with the support and guidance of the treatment center staff.

Some of the drug and alcohol detox programs and centers may be designed to treat adolescents or young adults. This is a good thing, especially since statistics show that alcohol abuse is rather high, especially among adolescents or those too young to legally consume alcohol.

In these centers, young people can talk with people their own age and staff members who do understand what they are going through (often a common complaint, especially among teenagers.) They, too, can gain insight into how their addiction may have started, and how they can find ways to help themselves. Again, counselors and other staff members will be there to provide encouragement and support.

http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/
http://www.mhrh.ri.gov/SA/

Rhode Island Drug Rebab Centers and Rhode Island Addiction Treatment Programs