For a relatively small state, Alabama has a significant number of residents who struggle with drug addiction, alcoholism and mental health issues. Like many places in the U.S., prescription drug abuse in Alabama is a major concern, as are instances of heavy drinking and an increase in deaths by suicide.
Quick Alabama statistics:
- Alabama state population: 5 million
- Roughly 4.5% of people — half a million residents — in Alabama have a serious mental illness
- An estimated 2.6% of adults age 12 and over abuse drugs or have a drug dependence
- Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in Alabama, which includes addiction to drugs like codeine (purple drank), morphine, and oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
Alcoholism in Alabama
In the state of Alabama, the number of total deaths related to alcohol abuse is very concerning. This includes chronic illnesses of the liver, drunk driving fatalities and other causes of death. That said, Alabama also has the lowest death rate from alcohol poisoning in the U.S. An estimated five deaths per million are the result of alcohol poisoning in the state, which is quite low compared to other states nationwide.
Alabama has a number of facilities, both luxury and payment-assisted, that provide treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction. Bradford Health Services - A Reprieve for Women is a luxury rehab center located in Tuscaloosa. The facility is open to women and specializes in treatment for alcoholism and substance abuse. Bradford helps women create a plan of action for recovery that focuses on three aspects: spirituality, community, and self.
Located in Mobile, Dauphin Way Lodge is a payment-assisted treatment facility that offers both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs for those struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction. Dauphin Way Lodge is centered around the 12-step model of treatment and offers a family program and aftercare support. Aftercare support can involve a sober living arrangement like a halfway house, career counseling and making a sustainable plan for recovery. The facility is a rehabilitation center run by The Salvation Army and provides room and board for a six-month or year-long recovery program.
Drug Abuse in Alabama
Alabama has one of the highest rates of prescription narcotic use in the U.S. Prescription narcotics include drugs like codeine, morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone, the abuse of which can lead to addiction.
In Alabama, there are several treatment options for substance abuse and drug addiction, including both luxury rehab centers and payment-assisted facilities. In addition to providing treatment for alcoholism, Bradford Health Services - A Reprieve for Women in Tuscaloosa also offers programs for women with other substance abuse issues, such as opioid addiction. Bradford provides a six-month rehab program that helps young women transition back into college or a career and also offers therapy for those with trauma, grief, body image or relationship issues.
For those in need of a payment-assisted rehab center, Northwest Alabama Mental Health Center - Carraway Drive in Haleyville provides services across five counties for residents who are suffering from chemical dependency. The center also offers treatment for the mentally ill and those with intellectual disabilities. Northwest Alabama Mental Health Center places a heavy emphasis on treatment for children, family members who struggle with drug addiction and care for the elderly. The center is open to adults and young adults and accepts Medicaid and Medicare.
Mental Health in Alabama
Mental health issues affect thousands of people in Alabama. According to data from 2012, nearly 22% of adults in a representative sampling of Alabama adults have been told by a doctor that they have depression. In some cases, mental illnesses go undiagnosed or untreated due to lack of access or a shortage of providers. Suicide has increased in Alabama in recent years.
The state of Alabama does provide treatment facilities for residents with mental health issues or disorders. One option for those in need of a payment-assisted facility is the Cahaba Center for Mental Health. Located outside of Montgomery in the city of Camden, the Cahaba Center specializes in treating patients with mental illnesses like clinical depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, among others. The center offers many different types of therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), trauma therapy, group therapy, couples therapy and eating disorder treatment. Cahaba Center is open to adults, young adults and children and accepts Medicaid, Medicare, health insurance plans and military insurance coverage.
Does Medicaid cover drug rehab in Alabama?
There are many rehab centers in Alabama that accept Medicaid as an option for financing treatment. Due in part to the passing of the Affordable Care Act, insurance providers, including Medicaid, are required to cover the basic conditions of drug and alcohol abuse treatment. In order to qualify for Medicaid, residents must meet certain requirements or have a designated low-income status determined by the federal poverty level.
The Alabama Medicaid website has a wealth of information for residents who need to find a treatment center for drug or alcohol addiction. Through the website, one can apply for Medicaid and learn about what types of medical benefits the program provides. Residents can also research providers in their area who accept Medicaid for substance abuse treatment.
What exactly do you do while in rehab for substance abuse?
The process for recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism varies depending on the facility or treatment program. Many rehab centers in the state of Alabama offer 30-, 60-, or 90-day inpatient rehab programs, along with outpatient services and aftercare support.
Some rehab participants elect to undergo medically-assisted detox. For those struggling with opioid addiction, detox can include being prescribed buprenorphine, a drug that aids in weaning the body off opioids in a safe way. Another drug prescribed during detox is Vivitrol, which has been shown to be effective in the treatment of opiate and alcohol abuse.
In Alabama, many rehab centers provide different types of therapy and treatment plans for those struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Typical rehabilitation methods include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), group or family therapy and 12-Step Programs. In addition to therapy, many facilities offer recreational facilities like a fitness center or outdoor activity area. Many rehab centers also provide a holistic approach to treatment, which can include spiritual guidance or Eastern medicine practices like acupuncture.
Alabama: Looking Ahead
Alabama is actively working to combat the rise of opiate addiction and prescription drug abuse in the state over the last few years. Alabama has created a prescription drug monitoring program to track all controlled prescriptions. The state is also attempting to reduce instances of drunk driving. In 2014, the state passed legislation that expands the use of ignition interlocks to include first-time convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater.
While Alabama is small in size, there are quite a few options for those seeking help for substance abuse, drug addiction or mental health problems. Residents with Medicaid benefits can participate in a state-funded or low-cost treatment program, and there are other facilities that also accept patients with financial need. Additionally, Alabama has multiple treatment centers that specialize in mental health issues. Help is available to those who need it.