Just 30 miles north of Atlanta,
was founded in 1897 in Cherokee
County. Starting as
an agricultural community, Woodstock has grown
into a vibrant suburb of Atlanta.
Access to nearby cities such as Kennesaw and Marietta is easily obtained via the major
highways of 75 and 575.
Woodstock is home to a wide socioeconomic group
ranging from housing costs of $50,000 in neighborhoods such as Farming and
Riverchase to housing costs of $400,000 in Claremore Lake
and Woodlands Views. The income per capita in Woodstock is 6% higher than the national
average and the poverty level is 65% lower.
continues to grow and expand, an increase of drug distribution is also growing,
particularly with methamphetamine, a Schedule II substance. According to the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), methamphetamine abuse is on the rise in Atlanta as well.
Woodstock is ranked number
five of the top 10 cities not to live in in Georgia
a publication that uses data and analytics to provide insightful information.
Most of their information is acquired through the census and FBI data and is
often a resource for major print, television, and radio programs nationwide.
Conversely, Woodstock is also
noted as one of the top 50 places to
live in the United States. It
boasts a diverse and vibrant community and considers itself to have a spirit of
a revitalized community.
According to the “Behavioral
Health Barometer” published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA), Georgia experiences
drug abuse statistics that are similar or slightly less than the national
average. However, according to U.S. Department of Justice National Drug
Intelligence Center (NDIC), Woodstock does not
compare to the high intensity drug trafficking area of Atlanta.
Even with city-sponsored initiatives such as “Project Drug
Drop” Woodstock still experiences significant drug
arrests, and the number of substance abuse facilities in Woodstock has increased to 146.
If you or a loved one is questioning whether you have a drug
abuse issue, you are wise to explore it further. If you are unsure of where to
start, you may consider speaking first to your family doctor to get more
information. There may be cases when an assessment may be court ordered, so
it’s important to understand what happens during an assessment.
Frequently, the first step toward recovery is to get an
assessment. If you are uncertain what to expect, you can find online
self-assessment tools to start. However, working with a professional evaluator
will probably give you a clearer and more objective evaluation. During the
assessment, the evaluator will often:
Ask general questions
about your background, history, and current lifestyle
Explore any physical and
mental health concerns
Delve into your alcohol
and drug use
You may be asked to take a blood or urine test to allow the
evaluator to glean more information.
Typically, the result of an assessment is a recommendation.
This recommendation can vary based on the information you provide and can range
from outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, or active participation in
Often occurring by phone, a pre-intake is the process by
which a person explores a potential treatment program to determine whether this
is an appropriate fit for them. During this conversation, the intake counselor
is looking to determine if you:
Demonstrate the need for
Have a co-occurring mental
health issue that will need to be addressed
Are eligible and
appropriate for their services
You, on the other hand, should be prepared to ask any
questions that you have about the facility, programs, fees, treatment options,
and more. Your goal is to get all of the information you need to make a good
decision about where to pursue treatment.
Once you have selected the program/facility to receive
addiction treatment services, the first step is the intake process. In most
cases, you will meet with a doctor, counselor, or therapist. The addiction
specialist will review your mental health history as well as your medical
history. You may also receive a physical exam or a mental health screening at
this time. The purpose of this is to ensure that you will receive the treatment
services that will best meet your needs.
It is vital that you are honest in your responses, as your
answers form the foundation for your initial treatment offerings. All the
information you provide is confidential so your complete candor allows the
addiction team to individualize services for your needs.
It is also important that you bring to your intake
evaluation a list of your medications. This includes prescribed medications,
over the counter medications, and any herbs or supplements you may be taking.
After completing this process, you will move forward to the
next steps of treatment as determined by your intake evaluation. Often, this
will include a formalized detox.
As the name implies, detox is used to remove toxins from
your body. By first clearing your system of the harmful substances that have
commandeered your brain, you are in a better position to benefit from
additional treatment options.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA), the detoxification process
consists of the following three sequential and essential components:
Fostering patient readiness for and entry into
A detoxification process that does not incorporate all three
critical components is considered incomplete and inadequate by the consensus
Social detox is often a short-term strategy while a
medically supervised detox is done under the specific care of medical and
mental health professionals. Regardless of the method, both are intended to
help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and provide encouragement and
professional support during the process.
There are several components that factor into which detox
option is best for you including:
Your drug of choice
The duration and frequency
Single substance versus
Previous detox attempts
Your current health and
your goals for treatment
Detoxification is not only important mentally as you prepare
yourself for recovery but may also be medically necessary. Detoxing from a
substance without the guidance and supervision of specially trained
professionals can result in an unpredictable and potentially dangerous
withdrawal. A formalized detox program will not only increase your safety but
also your comfort.
In 1982, former First Lady Betty Ford lends her name to a
treatment center for alcoholism and other drug addictions. Since that time,
inpatient treatment facilities have grown and evolved offering people many
choices. Regardless of which option you choose, trained professionals will
guide you through the treatment program and offer you the required services you
In a residential treatment program, a person leaves their
home and temporarily moves into the facility. This is an optimal choice for
Are at risk of relapse in their home or
Have a serious emotional and behavioral problem
in addition to their addiction
Haven’t been successful in outpatient treatment
Need intensive supervised help that is implemented
by trained staff
There are several key values that an effective residential
treatment program offers:
A comprehensive assessment
An individualized treatment plan
Individual and group therapy
Ongoing access to nursing staff
Every residential program varies slightly in services offered
as well as length of treatment. It is therefore important to ask about this in
your pre-intake conversations to determine which program will best suit your
Partial Hospitalization Treatment
One treatment option that provides you with a bit more
flexibility is a partial hospitalization program (PHP), which allows a person
to live at home, or possibly a sober house or halfway house, but who attends a
substance abuse treatment center to for treatment during the day.
Treatment may include group therapy, individual therapy,
life skills, vocational counseling, and drug and medical evaluations. While
these services are very common in inpatient and outpatient treatment, in a PHP
the services are typically offered for 5 to 7 days.
A person who would best benefit from this treatment option
would be one who:
Wants to receive the high
level treatment offered at inpatient facilities
Is not comfortable in an
inpatient setting due to family or work obligations
Needs to seek an option
that is paid fully by many insurance companies; while many insurance
companies will partially pay for some addiction treatment, most will cover
this option fully.
Need a lower cost solution
for their treatment needs
If you have the need to live at home, have already completed
a residential treatment program and would like additional recovery support, or
if you don’t require a medically-supervised detox, then you may be a good
candidate for an intensive outpatient program (IOP).
IOP meetings are typically scheduled for 2 to 4 hour
sessions 3 days per week. They are flexible enough to be held outside work or
school schedules and are often offered during the day as well as in the
evenings. The focus of IOP treatment is to help a person get sober, stay sober,
and avoid relapse. After identifying any psychological problems and the
underlying reasons that may contribute to substance abuse, counselors help
attendees improve coping and problem-solving skills, implement positive lifestyle
changes, develop a positive support network, and get involved with support
systems in the community.
When people think about outpatient treatment, the primary
consideration they have is the need to remain in their home, whether this is
due to care-giving responsibilities, work, or other obligations. It is often
the case that when making a decision about outpatient treatment, many people tend
to compare the services available at an inpatient treatment option against the
services available at an outpatient treatment option.
In actuality, many of the comprehensive addiction treatment
services are available in both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. One
differentiator is that while both program types focus on family support and
involvement, outpatient treatment patients can immediately begin applying the
lessons learned from outpatient treatment programs to their daily life experiences.
The successful result of an addiction treatment program is
that a person is no longer drug addicted. To ensure ongoing success, aftercare
is critical for relapse avoidance. The most common options for aftercare
12-step support groups
It is important to think of aftercare as just one aspect of
the continuum of treatment to ensure that people live a drug-free lifestyle for
the rest of their lives. Assuredly, this is a long-term commitment and these
aftercare solutions provide great support.
Sober living is a viable option for many people as an
aftercare solution. The mandate of a sober living home is that they are free of
alcohol and drugs for individuals in recovery. In most cases, people who reside
in a sober living home pay the costs and maintain the home by contributing to
the upkeep of the house through rent and chores.
Whether the home is owned by a business, religious group, or
privately-owned, there are several benefits inherent in choosing a sober living
Sober living has been
shown to enhance abstinence. People in sober living encourage ongoing
treatment even going so far as to go to support group meetings together.
Sober living has built-in
understanding and support. The people who you live with in this
environment understand, know, and have lived with experiences similar to
yours. Not only do your housemates understand but are also in need of your
reciprocated support. This mutually beneficial relationship can have a
strong impact on your ability to avoid relapse.
Sober living offers
accountability. Everyone who has participated in drug treatment wants to
stay sober, but the relapse rate being so high indicates how difficult
this goal is. Living with people who hold you accountable for your
sobriety is a powerful recovery tool.
is often difficult to go directly from treatment back to your lifestyle. Sober
living can give you a safe place to “dip your toes” back into the real-world