Although rarely discussed, a large number of Americans who have a physical disability are also struggling with a substance abuse problem. According to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 9 percent of the 54 million Americans who are physically disabled are abusing drugs or alcohol. The same study further revealed that substance abuse is also a problem among those with mental disabilities, with 7 to 26 percent admitting to abusing drugs or alcohol as well. And for those who do not have the financial means to pay for addiction recovery services, breaking the cycle of addiction can seem that much harder.
WHY DO SO MANY DISABLED AMERICANS HAVE A PROBLEM WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE?
Studies show that the overwhelming majority of disabled individuals in America who abuse drugs or alcohol do so to cope with the feelings of frustration, anxiety, and depression associated with being disabled. Along with their physical or mental disability, many of these same individuals are also dealing with many of the same problems that often impact the lives of those who are not disabled, such as family, work, or financial troubles. And for many of them, the euphoric high that comes from abusing drugs or alcohol offers a much-needed escape from these problems that can weigh so heavily on their lives.
COMMONLY ABUSED SUBSTANCES AMONG THOSE WITH DISABILITIES
When an individual seeks help in overcoming their addiction, their substance of choice often determines what kind of addiction recovery services will work best for them. That said, let’s take a look at a couple of the substances that are commonly abused by those with disabilities:
Alcohol – Because it is easily accessible and doesn’t carry the same stigma as other drugs, alcohol is commonly abused by individuals with disabilities. It is also often considered a gateway drug, insomuch that individuals with an alcohol problem typically move on to abusing even harder drugs.
Pain medication – Sadly, a large number of individuals who are physically or mentally disabled abuse pain medications, namely prescription and street-level opioids. And because of the highly addictive nature of these drugs, it doesn’t take long for them to develop a severe addiction.
Of course, there are many other substances that disabled individuals use to self-medicate; however, opioids and alcohol are the most common.
ARE THERE FREE DRUG REHAB PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO THOSE WITH DISABILITIES?
For those who are disabled and ready to break the cycle of addiction but don’t have the financial means to pay for substance abuse treatments, there are several ways to get the help you need to turn your life around, some of which include the following:
State-funded rehab facilities– For those who are not familiar with them, state-funded rehab facilities are those that receive funds from both the state and the federal government to help low-income and uninsured individuals overcome drug or alcohol addiction. Those who are interested in pursuing treatment at these facilities will have to prove that they are a U.S. citizen. They will also be asked to provide the following:
- Proof of income
- Proof of residence
- Information concerning their addiction
All in all, state-funded rehab facilities provide individuals with free or low-cost addiction recovery services for those who are ready to end their relationship with drugs or alcohol. It is important to note that the quality of care offered at these facilities is on par with that of most private rehab facilities.
Free rehab programs – Along with state-funded rehab facilities, many states offer free rehab programs through the Salvation Army and other charitable organizations. To be eligible for these programs, individuals must demonstrate a need for treatment, typically by way of a letter of medical necessity from a licensed physician. They must also provide information related to their income status. And in most cases, they will be asked to provide proof of U.S. citizenship along with proof of residence.
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
Thanks to the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, all organizations, including free and state-funded rehab facilities, must provide services to individuals who are disabled. In short, disabled individuals who are ready to put substance abuse behind them can take advantage of the same resources available to those who are not disabled. It is also worth noting that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration maintains a comprehensive list of free and state-funded facilities for each state.
In summation, if you’re disabled and ready to seek help overcoming your addiction, there are free and state-funded rehab facilities that you can turn to for help. For more information related to substance abuse treatments for the physically and mentally disabled, consider speaking with one of our associates today at 772-266-5320.