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The state of Wyoming is the 10th largest state based on land mass, but the least populated state with fewer than 600,000 residents. It is characterized by its mountainous regions. The state's economy is driven by the mineral extraction industry and cattle ranching. It's also a state with a fair amount of drug-related issues.
Many Americans still hold the belief that a majority of the nation's drug problems come out of states like California, New York, and Florida. That might be the case if viewing raw data, but per-capita analysis paints a very different picture. Taking each state's total population into consideration, it becomes clear we still have significant drug issues from shore to shore. Wyoming is no exception. Based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The state ranked 23rd in the nation in 2015 for per-capita drug overdose deaths with 16.4 for every 100,000 people in the population.
In the 1970s, late former President Richard Nixon proclaimed a war on drugs. Over the past four decades, that war has continued. If a conservative state like Wyoming can put forth the drug overdose-related data represented above, it's clear drugs are still winning.
This isn't a problem confined to the US. The proliferation of prescription drug abuse has become a global problem. Additionally, very little progress has been made worldwide to curtail the invention of new synthetic drugs like meth or ecstasy. The question all of this information prompts is, "why are the world's people still falling victim to substance abuse."
The world, especially the United States, is constantly being bombarded by societal changes. This creates a lot of stress in the lives of people who don't handle change well. Drugs and alcohol have long been used as an escape vehicle from the realities of life. For decades, most of the nation and world's drug problems involved illicit drugs like LSD, heroin, and cocaine. In 2016, 48.5% of the US' population over 12 years old reported a least one incidence of illicit drug use.
How things have changed. In recent months, US President Donald Trump was forced to proclaim that prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic levels. These are legitimate medications that patients depend on for pain relief and mental health stabilization. The very things the medical profession prescribes to help their patients have become the things patients must fear the most. Where do we go from here? Solutions
When it comes to possible solutions, very little has changed. The focus has to be put on education. Our youth need to understand the dangers related to drinking and abusing drugs. This kind of education won't solve all of the problems, but it's still the best place to start.
Beyond education, the nation needs to have the resources to treat people who fall victim to any kind of substance abuse. It's a back-end solution to some of the ongoing substance abuse issues, but one-by-one, it offers the opportunity to deal with drug abuse one person at a time.
Substance abuse counseling approach
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Brief intervention approach
12-step facilitation approach
Contingency management motivational incentive
Dialectical behavioral therapy
Rational emotive behavioral therapy
Community reinforcement plus vouchers
Cash or self-payment
Private health insurance
Federal or any government funding for substance abuse programs
State financed health insurance plan other than Medicaid
Military insurance e.g. TRICARE
Access to recovery ATR voucher
IHS Tribal Urban ITU funds
No payment accepted
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