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Drug Addiction in Idaho


Substance abuse is a huge problem in American society, including the abuse of alcohol, prescription medications, and illegal street drugs. Street drug addiction in Idaho affects people from all walks of life, with physical, psychological, and social problems often developing along with potential addiction and overdose. Common illegal drugs include marijuana, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and many others. While these drugs are generally taken for recreational purposes, addiction can develop as a result of extensive use. Some psychoactive substances cause a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use, with others causing an emotional-motivational reaction. If you or anyone you know is struggling with street drug addiction in Idaho, it’s important to find a professional treatment center as soon as you can.


What is drug abuse?

Drug abuse involves the patterned use of psychoactive substances despite the existence of problems. People abuse a wide array of psychoactive substances, including legal drugs such as alcohol and nicotine, prescription medications such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, and drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Drug abuse is a huge problem across the United States, with people who abuse drugs on a regular basis at great risk of addiction. While drug abuse is often described as the misuse or over use of psychoactive compounds, it has been argued by some that all illegal drug use is abusive in nature due to unknown purity levels and the possible use of contaminants.


What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction involves the compulsive use of psychoactive substances despite negative consequences. Addictive substances are both intrinsically rewarding and positively reinforcing, with tolerance developing over time and withdrawal symptoms likely upon cessation of use. While the concept of “addiction” is closely related to the concept of “dependence”, purely physical drug dependence is possible. For example, medical patients may become physically dependent on their medication without being addicted to it, with a truly addictive state always accompanied by compulsive use patterns, psychological attachment, and drug cravings. Many illegal street drugs are capable of causing addiction, including central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as heroin and marijuana, and CNS stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine.


Drug addiction statistics in Idaho

Drug abuse and addiction cause major problems in Idaho, both for drug users themselves and members of wider society. According to data from the National Vital Statistics Report, 3 million people abuse illegal street drugs across the state on a regular basis, with drug abuse the number one premature killer in Idaho. According to Idaho Drug Control Update, there are 40,000 emergency department visits each year related to illegal drugs, with 3 out of every 10 fatal car accidents also involving illegal substances. Despite these worrying statistics, over 85 percent of people who need help don’t get the support they need to break the bonds of drug addiction. Depending on the substance and extent of addiction, medically assisted detoxification programs may be needed prior to rehab and aftercare support regimes.


The drug treatment process

The drug treatment process is often divided into three separate phases, with detoxification followed by rehabilitation and aftercare support. Detox is concerned primarily with drug discontinuation, with medications often applied during this stage to reduce withdrawal symptoms and stabilize patients. Rehab programs are then initiated, with residential and out-patient programs both available depending on the substance and extent of abuse. Rehab programs typically focus on the psychological aspects of drug addiction, with behavioral, motivational, and cognitive methods used to tackle long-term drug problems. Pharmacotherapeutic programs may also be needed in some situations, especially for alcoholics, heroin addicts, and people with prescription opiate problems. Aftercare support programs are also integral to drug treatment, including relapse prevention regimes, 12-step support groups, and SMART Recovery.



Cocaine is the second most popular illegal drug in the world behind marijuana. There are two forms of cocaine available across the United States, with powder cocaine typically snorted and crack cocaine typically smoked. Cocaine is a CNS stimulant that is taken to increase energy and enhance confidence, with extensive exposure to this substance often leading to dependence and addiction. While cocaine does not cause physical dependence, it is incredibly addictive and closely associated with a range of emotional and motivational withdrawal symptoms. Treatment for cocaine addiction typically includes a combination of psychotherapy support programs, including cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and relapse prevention.


Crystal Meth

Also known as methamphetamine or meth, crystal meth is a potent CNS stimulant and highly addictive recreational drug. While meth can be taken in a number of ways, most people smoke or inject the drug to increase energy, enhance mood, and improve sexual performance. Meth is associated with a range of emotional and motivational withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation, including drug cravings, depression, insomnia, and lack of motivation. While medication treatment is largely ineffective when treating meth addiction, a range of behavioral, cognitive, and motivational techniques have proved effective. Rehabilitation programs for meth addiction are available on a residential or outpatient basis, with aftercare and relapse prevention programs also applied to support the reintegration process.



Heroin is a potent CNS depressant and opioid drug taken recreationally to induce feelings of euphoria. Heroin is a highly addictive drug, with a severe physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome likely upon cessation of use. Common withdrawal symptoms from heroin include sweating, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, cramps, and involuntary body movements. Medications are often administered to help alleviate and manage these symptoms, both during detox and on a long-term basis in the context of opiate replacement therapy. Methadone and buprenorphine are the most widely prescribed medications, with these drugs taken to reduce drug exposure and stabilize patients prior to psychotherapy sessions. A range of behavioral programs are also administered to address the emotional and environmental precedents of drug addiction, including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and contingency management. If you or anyone you know is living with any kind of drug problem, it’s important to contact an accredited treatment center as soon as possible. Help is just a phone call away.