South Carolina’s beautiful natural diversity and rich cultural history brings joy to the lives of residents and visitors alike. But far too many individuals, families and communities are not able to enjoy these qualities due to the grip of drug or alcohol addiction.
South Carolina addiction treatment programs are working to change this devastating reality. These potentially life-changing programs give a person the opportunity they need to build a more balanced, sober life.
South Carolina Substance Abuse Statistics
Substance abuse and addiction take many forms in South Carolina. Substance use disorders range from those caused by alcohol to those that are fueled by illicit or prescription drug abuse.
South Carolina Prescription Drug Abuse
In 2016, 684 out of the 876 drug-related overdose deaths in the state were related to prescription drugs. Any type of prescription drug can be abused, however, certain classes are abused far more heavily than others:
- Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin,Valium)
- Prescription opioids (Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet)
- Prescription stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin)
The Opioid Epidemic In South Carolina
Though South Carolina hasn’t experienced the opioid epidemic as heavily as some states, it has nonetheless destroyed the lives of countless residents and their families.
Opioid drugs responsible for this crisis include heroin, prescription opioid painkillers and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Potent and deadly fentanyl analogues have also been making their way into South Carolina, including:
- Carfentanil-laced marijuana – Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine
- Gray death – a drug that can contain carfentanil, heroin, fentanyl and U-47700 (Pink)
In 2016 in South Carolina:
- 11,721 people were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder by a state-funded or public treatment provider.
- For every 10,000 residents, 14 people were hospitalized for opioid overdoses.
- 70 percent of drug-related overdoses were linked to an opioid drug.
- There were 100 deaths related to heroin.
- For every 10,000 residents, emergency medical services administered naloxone to 14 people.
- Out of every 1,000 newborns, four were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
South Carolina Addiction Prevention Programs
Limits On Opioid Painkiller Prescriptions
In late 2017, Governor Henry McMaster announced an executive order aimed at preventing opioid abuse. The order limits opioid prescriptions for Medicaid recipients to a maximum of five days for acute and post-operative pain.
South Carolina Overdose Prevention Project
This project educates and equips first responders and at-risk populations—people who are using drugs or concerned family members—with naloxone, a medication that saves lives by reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. This program provides this service even to people who cannot afford to pay for the medication.
South Carolina Addiction Treatment Programs
The addiction treatment program that’s best for each person depends on their unique needs and circumstances. A clinical assessment evaluates each patient’s health and history of addiction and guides treatment providers in creating an individualized treatment plan. South Carolina residents can choose from a variety of addiction treatment services, such as:
South Carolina Intervention Services
Sometimes a person needs help realizing that they need treatment for addiction. South Carolina intervention services can be a good resource for friends and family who are concerned that their loved one needs addiction treatment.
A professional interventionist guides the person in need of treatment and close loved ones through an intervention. The interventionist will moderate the conversation and help loved ones as they express their concerns to their family member. Intervention services may also include transporting the person to treatment once they decide to get help.
South Carolina Drug And Alcohol Detox Programs
South Carolina detox programs are available in outpatient or inpatient settings. Inpatient detox programs are often offered at the same facility as the inpatient addiction treatment services that follow detox, making it easier to transition from detox to rehabilitation. This smooth transition relieves stress and protects a person from outside influences that could trigger relapse.
An inpatient medically supervised detoxification program monitors a person round the clock while their body adjusts to sobriety. Various medications may be used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Withdrawal can be uncomfortable, dangerous, and, with certain drugs, deadly. Alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioid drugs can cause severe withdrawal. A medically supported drug and alcohol detox helps a person to safely detox in preparation for the next stage of treatment.
South Carolina Inpatient Addiction Treatment
The first few days and weeks of treatment can be physically and mentally challenging. The residential setting of inpatient treatment can make the early stages of recovery easier. Living on site at a treatment facility gives a person greater access to treatment staff and recovery resources that nurture sobriety.
High-quality South Carolina inpatient addiction treatment centers offer clients a treatment plan that is built around their unique needs. Services provided may include medically supervised detoxification, drug and alcohol rehab and aftercare. This seamless approach increases stability and the opportunity for recovery success.
During inpatient drug rehab, a person generally has more time to work on the issues tied to their addiction than they would in an outpatient program. The most effective treatment addresses any family, job, educational or social problems that led to or were caused by addiction. This personalized approach helps to ensure that each person is prepared to meet the challenges in their life. Various therapies teach sober living skills, coping tools and ways to prevent relapse.
The intensive format of inpatient addiction treatment makes residential treatment a good option for severe addictions, polydrug addiction and dual-diagnosis treatment, however, individuals from all walks of life may find hope in this type of treatment.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment In South Carolina
Outpatient addiction treatment programs allow a person to seek treatment while living at home. Though this format may initially seem appealing, this flexibility can actually be risky for those in early recovery.
If a person becomes too overwhelmed by stress, cravings or the treatment process itself, outpatient drug rehab could make it easier for a person to leave the program. When a person goes home after treatment each day, they may also be exposed to people, places or events that trigger thoughts of relapse. Inpatient addiction treatment programs offer better protection against these risks.
Outpatient treatment has excellent results when used to help a person transition from an inpatient addiction treatment program to independent life after treatment. Used in this was as a step-down level of care, traditional outpatient and intensive outpatient programs help newly recovered individuals strengthen their sobriety.
South Carolina Aftercare And Alumni Services
Recovery shouldn’t end when a person leaves treatment. Many South Carolina addiction treatment centers offer aftercare and alumni support services. These services encourage a person and support them as they overcome struggles they face throughout their recovery. Aftercare options may include:
- Alumni mentorship programs
- Job coaching
- Online recovery classes
- Support groups
- Sober living homes
Aftercare services provide a person with tools to prevent relapse and build a fulfilling life in recovery.
Specialized South Carolina Addiction Treatment Programs
Many people find that they’re more successful in treatment if they seek out specialized addiction treatment programs that address their needs and preferences. Choices for specialized South Carolina addiction treatment programs may include holistic programs that focus on whole-body wellness, LGBTQIA-friendly programs, programs designed for professionals and executives, as well as religious and 12-step programs.
In addition to these, some of the most widely used specialized addiction treatment programs are:
In certain cases, medications may be used to help patients stay sober. Medication-assisted treatment combines medications with behavioral therapies and counseling to promote long-term recovery.
Medications for opioid use disorders include:
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone)
Medications for alcohol use disorders include:
- Acamprosate (Campral)
- Disulfiram (Antabuse)
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
Interacting with peers during treatment can greatly enhance a person’s experience. Some people are more comfortable and more easily able to focus on their recovery in a gender-specific treatment program. Gender-specific treatment programs provide this opportunity.
Many people begin abusing drugs or alcohol due to mental health issues. Prolonged substance abuse can make these conditions worsen or cause them to appear for the first time.
When a person is struggling with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders, they have a dual diagnosis. Dual-diagnosis treatment programs recognize and treat the ways each of these conditions influence the other. This integrated treatment approach gives a person a greater chance of success, stability and all around better health. These programs treat anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other forms of mental illness.
South Carolina Addiction Treatment Therapies
Many circumstances can lead a person to addiction. For a person to heal and find sobriety, it’s critical that treatment determines each contributing factor and finds appropriate treatments for them. Negative, self-destructive ways of thinking, feeling and behaving are some of the most damaging ways addiction changes a person.
Evidence-based behavioral therapies are some of the most effective ways to treat the causes and effects of addiction. These sessions may include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- 12-step facilitation therapy
Therapy and counseling sessions are offered in an individual, group and family setting to help a person regain balance in all areas of their life.
Addiction damages a person’s body, mind and spirit. Bringing better health and harmony to these critical areas is an important part of treatment. A growing number of drug rehab centers provide alternative and complementary treatments for addiction that focus on this goal.
Addiction treatments that may be used to encourage mind-body-spirit wellness include:
- Nutrition and physical fitness classes
- Tai chi
Addiction can make it difficult to experience pleasure or meaning in life. It can also tear down a person’s self-confidence. A variety of therapies seek to renew and invigorate a person by challenging and inspiring them. These therapies increase resilience and inner strength and may include:
- Adventure or wilderness therapy
- Art or music therapy
- Equine therapy
While many of these methods work to reduce stress, certain practices target this goal more heavily than others. Meditation, yoga and mindfulness and stress-management practices teach a person to handle stress in a healthy way. Stress reduction can help a person significantly reduce their risk of relapse.
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How To Pay For South Carolina Addiction Treatment
When planning for treatment, many people are uncertain how they’ll pay for it. The good news is that many health insurance plans offer benefits that cover treatment. In South Carolina, insurance providers may include:
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina
- Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas
If a person still can’t afford treatment, there are several options they might look into on their own, such as:
- Help from close loved ones
- Medical credit cards
- Personal loans
Some treatment centers will work with a person and their family to find additional options that can make treatment more affordable. These may include:
- Financing options or monthly payment plans
- Scholarships or grants
- Sliding-scale fees based on income
- Treatment Program Length
Short- and long-term treatment options are available in South Carolina. Short-term programs last 28 to 30 days or less. Many people need longer treatment, such as programs lasting:
- 60 days
- 90 days
- 120 days
- A year or longer
Treatment program length depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The severity of addiction
- Family or career responsibilities
- Level of support from family or friends
People struggling with a medical condition, co-occurring disorder or polydrug addiction may need a longer time in treatment.
Traveling For Addiction Treatment
Making sure that a person has access to highly trained addiction specialists who deliver evidence-based care increases the likelihood of successful long-term recovery. Sometimes, traveling to an out-of-state treatment program makes it easier for a person to find the right combination of therapies they need.
Once enrolled, many people find that the privacy and distance make it easier for them to focus on their recovery. Choosing an out-of-state program also removes a person from triggers in their home or community that could cause relapse.
- South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services—By the Numbers: The SC Opioid Epidemic
- The Post and Courier—Gray death: New ‘very deadly’ drug cocktail reaches South Carolina as authorities combat opioids
- United States Drug Enforcement Administration—DEA Issues Carfentanil Warning to Police and Public