North Carolina is a state in the Southeastern portion of the United States. North Carolina is bordered by South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the 28th most extensive and 10th most populous state in the nation. North Carolina is composed of 100 counties, and the two largest metropolitan areas in the state are among the top ten fastest growing in the nation. The capital of North Carolina is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte. As of 2012, the population of North Carolina was estimated to be around 9,752,073, a 2.3% increase since the 2010 Census. Of the people residing in North Carolina, 58.5% residents are state-born, and 33.1% were born in another US state. In addition, 1.0% were born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parent, and 7.4% were born in another country.
North Carolina Drug Use Trends
North Carolina is home to an estimated 10,054,192 residents (2015 est). The state's residents struggle with addiction problems ranging from alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs to dangerous and deadly illicit substance such as cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin. Alcohol and drug addiction know no boundaries and have spread from big cities in North Carolina to the suburbs and small towns. The illegal drug market is thriving in the state due to shipments of cocaine from the Northeast and drug trafficking along the state's major highways. Authorities have begun to recognize a growing problem with the number of migrant workers doubling as smugglers into more rural areas of the state. Foreign and domestic drug trafficking organizations use North Carolina's major airport as well as highways to ship their product in and out of the state with marginal repercussions from authorities.
As one of the most widely abused substance, marijuana use, abuse and addiction problems are widespread throughout North Carolina. A majority of the marijuana in North Carolina is smuggled in through Mexico and other southern states. Local residents also cultivate marijuana for personal use and distribution. Across North Carolina farmland is being used to grow cannabis. Marijuana cultivation using hydroponics has also been seen in suburban neighborhoods as well as apartment buildings.
During 2007 there were 27,748 arrests for marijuana offenses in North Carolina.
91% of all marijuana arrests in North Carolina were for marijuana liossession during 2007. The national average for marijuana liossession arrests was 89% during 2007.
During 2007 there were an estimated 673,000 annual marijuana uses in North Carolina.
The largest age grouli to use marijuana from 2006-2007 in North Carolina was 18-25 years old. This made uli 25.4% of all users that year in the state. The second largest age grouli was 12-17 years old making uli 11.9% of all marijuana users during that time lieriod in North Carolina.
Treatment for marijuana addiction varies based on the severity of the dependence issue. Residents who use marijuana infrequently and require minimal support to stop using can often find the resources they need through outpatient treatment or attending support groups and meetings. These less intensive forms of treatment allow the individual to continue most aspects of their daily life while receiving the care they need to make the necessary changes to their behavior and lifestyle. Residents who have struggled with marijuana addiction for a lengthy period of time or who are poly substance abusers will often need to enroll in a residential or inpatient program. These programs are better equipped to handle and treat all aspects of a person's addiction. Their focus is on helping the individual through their withdrawal symptoms, working with them on resolving underlying problems in their life that contributed to their substance abuse as well as developing new ways of handling life clean and sober.
13,870 residents of North Carolina recognized their marijuana addiction problem in 2012 and sought drug rehabilitation treatment, making up 24.9% of all drug rehab admissions in the state that year. 76.6% of those receiving addiction rehabilitation services for marijuana addiction in North Carolina during 2012 were male and 23.4% were female. The largest age group to enroll in North Carolina drug rehab programs for marijuana addiction during 2012 was 21-25 years old.
Prescription Drug Addiction in North Carolina
Prescription drug addiction often goes undetected for a long period of time. Users are able to hide their prescription use because this form of addiction usually doesn't have an odor when consumed (like marijuana or crack cocaine), does not require much drug using paraphernalia (many people take the medication orally) and symptoms of use can also be minimal to observers. While user's can get away with prescription drug abuse for some period of time with a legitimate prescription from their physician, their addiction will usually escalate causing them to seek the mediation through other sources.
The most widely abused prescription drugs in North Carolina include OxyContin, hydrocodone, Xanax and methadone. North Carolina residents obtain prescription drugs through a number of sources; some legitimately, but a great number of them are obtained illegally. Individuals struggling with prescription drug addiction will steal prescriptions from friends and family, attend pain clinics that do not check their substance use history, purchase prescription medication on the black market that have been stolen from pharmacies and buy prescription drugs online from websites where a legitimate prescription is not required.
During 2012, 14.8% of all North Carolina drug rehab enrollments were for prescription drugs. Residents are recognizing the damage their prescription drug addiction problem is doing to their lives and they are beginning to seek treatment in increasing numbers. Statistics dating back as far as 2000 reveal the number of prescription drug addiction enrollments have continued to grow.
North Carolina drug rehab admissions for prescription drug addiction from 2000-2010:
2000: 774 individuals
2001: 1,008 individuals
2002: 1,012 individuals
2003: 1,136 individuals
2004: 1,477 individuals
2005: 1,717 individuals
2006: 1,601 individuals
2007: 2,088 individuals
2008: 3,158 individuals
2009: 5,091 individuals
2010: 7,097 individuals
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Drug Rehab and Treatment Facts North Carolina
In 2008, 65% of those in addiction treatment located in North Carolina were male.
35% of the individuals in drug addiction treatment residing in North Carolina during 2008 were female.
The largest age group admitted into to drug rehab during 2008 in North Carolina was between the ages of 36-40 (15.9%).
The second largest age group attending drug rehabilitation in North Carolina during 2008 were between the ages of 41-45 (15.7%).
58.9% of the individuals in drug treatment located in North Carolina during 2008 were Caucasian.
Although there are significant differences in the sophistication of clandestine laboratories, particularly between the production of MDMA and methamphetamine, clandestine laboratories can be located anywhere in the world, because of the diversion of essential chemicals from their lawful destinations.
Alcoholism research demonstrates time and time again that regardless of how an individual became alcohol dependent or how he or she understood and acknowledged that he or she has a serious drinking problem, the first step to successful and long-term treatment is a sincere desire stop drinking and to get professional help.
There was an enormous increase in the number of people seeking treatment for cocaine addiction during the 1980s and 1990s. Treatment providers in most areas of the country, except in the West and Southwest, report that cocaine is the most commonly cited drug of abuse among their clients. The majority of individuals seeking treatment smoke crack, and are likely to be polydrug users, or users of more than one substance. The widespread abuse of cocaine has stimulated extensive efforts to develop treatment programs for this type of drug abuse. Cocaine abuse and addiction is a complex problem involving biological changes in the brain as well as a myriad of social, familial, and environmental factors. Therefore, treatment of cocaine addiction is complex, and must address a variety of problems. Like any good treatment plan, cocaine treatment strategies need to assess the psychobiological, social, and pharmacological aspects of the patient's drug abuse.
One important way to effect community change is through the development of an active community anti-drug coalition. Community anti-drug coalitions can and do hold community-wide meetings, develop public education campaigns, and attract sponsors for drug abuse prevention strategies. To strengthen the impact of these strategies on community drug problems, coalitions should focus on implementing research-tested programs and approaches.