Prince George's County is a county that is located in the southwestern portion of the state of Maryland. Home to an estimated population of over 909,000 people according to the United States Census Bureau, Prince George's County is the second-largest county in the state by population. But one of the drawbacks of being densely populated during America's drug epidemic is that it almost guarantees increased rates of drug use and overdose. From 2015 to 2017 there were 360 drug deaths for every 100,000 residents of Prince George's County according to a report published by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, a rate which was one of the highest for any county in the state during that time. This shows exactly how many lives could have been saved if those people had gotten the right kind of help for their needs at the right point in their life. But unfortunately, many people never make it into drug and alcohol rehabilitation and detox facilities before overdosing and dying from drug use. This can be puzzling, but is important o examine so that we can better understand how to help people and save lives.
One of the biggest reasons why people never get the help they need is because they reject it. This does not mean that they do not want the help deep down, but their addiction has them living in constant fear of not having the drug. A person who is in the relatively early phases of addiction will frequently refuse help when it is offered. This is because they still value the drug highly and have experienced very few consequences from it yet. The drug is solving some major problem in their life, so is viewed as a solution rather than the problem itself. It of course is a bad solution however drugs provide temporary relief and escape from whatever the problem is. It could be anything from physical pain to mental anguish, but the drug will help make this more bearable if only for a short period. When the drug wears off, the problem returns but only worse now. Nothing provides any relief except for the drug, so the person is extremely unwilling to part with it.
Anyone who would try to get this person to stop using drugs begins to be viewed as an enemy. This is why the person who is in early addiction will go to great lengths to hide their drug use and will lie when confronted about it. If caught red-handed, they will usually say that this was the first time or that they will quit, etc. This is untrue and they will just become more secretive. If backed into a corner or pushed toward treatment the person usually becomes hostile and tries to leave. This is a sure sign that the person is using drugs since anyone who wasn't would understand why you were trying to help save their lives potentially. Until the person experiences enough negative consequences as a result of their using drugs which outweighs the perceived pain of not having the drug, they will continue using them.
Even though it may seem very difficult to help such a person, it is quite possible and often easier than getting through to someone in the later stages of addiction. The first thing that you must do is confront them on any suspicions that you may have about their drug use. Anyone can look back after a tragedy and see the signs they missed, but we only remember these because they were once suspicions or things that did not sit well with them. When you see these things, you must bring them up and be direct. This does not mean being accusatory or disapproving. If they do not know yet that drugs are bad you are not going to teach them now. It is much more important to be understanding and willing to listen. Despite this, they will probably lie and deny it. Do not get upset with them. Just keep trying to initiate the conversation whenever you see something that is wrong. What you are doing is letting them know that you know and that you are there for them. You are bringing the issue to the forefront which will speed up the process of them eventually becoming honest with you and reaching out for help. If you do not do this, they will continue to hide it from you for as long as they can, or until they become so apathetic about life that they do not care anymore. At that point, it can be very difficult to help anyone. The idea is that you are trying to get them to be receptive to help before it is too late. Knowing these things, you can help save someone's life from addiction.
Here is a list of the different treatment centers in Prince George's County, Maryland. The list can be incomplete so please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.