St. Louis, Missouri is one of the high intensity drug trafficking areas (HIDTA) in the Midwest Region. The Metropolitan Area of St. Louis that is located in east central Missouri on the shores of Mississippi River has a population of 1.3 million people. St. Louis is one of main consumer markets in the Midwest. It is also a major hub and transshipment point for the drug traffickers from Mexico. Main drugs that are supplied through St. Louis are heroin, Cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and it goes from here to the neighboring cities and territories like Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin and Nebraska. As St. Louis is convergence point of Interstate highways 44, 55, 64, and 70, it gives an easy access to transport illicit drugs to the Mexico based drug trafficking Mafia from the southwest border to markets that are out of HIDTA region and St. Louis. This has made many citizens of the city drug addicts and there are many drug rehab centers St. Louis, Missouri to cater to the growing number of drug addicts.
Functioning of Drug Rehab Centers St. Louis, Missouri
In 2008, the admissions in St. Louis drug rehab centers were approximately 13,300. Of them 68 % were male and 32% were women. 6% of the patients were under the age of 18 and the age group between 24 and 34 were most vulnerable. They formed more than 35 % of the total admissions. African Americans were the most affected ethnic group. Heroin was the most preferred drug, followed by cocaine and Marijuana.
There were 67 drug rehab centers St. Louis in 2009 and most of them reported the cases of high heroin use among the Hispanic White youth and the Hispanic blacks used Marijuana. African Americans used all kinds of drugs. Mexican DTOs presence has increased in recent times at St. Louis and at present they are the Kingpins in the distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and Marijuana in this area. Their primary sources of supply are Phoenix and Tucson. They also get it from Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Chicago and other parts. The street gangs consisting of African Americans dominate the local retail distribution. This has increased the abuse of drugs among the African Americans and also among school going youth. Federal Agencies involved in anti drug trafficking have reported that the presence of African American street gangs have increased in St. Louis. This may be to increase the drug abuse among younger school students.
There are effective and accessible drug rehabs in St. Louis. Their importance has also increased with the increase of drug abuse case. These centers use various methods to rehabilitate the drug addicts. There are many centers that have proved themselves in the art of healing drug addicts. They try various methods for treating the abuse of drugs. They believe that it can be cured if there is a voluntary inclination on the part of the individual to stop the abuse of drugs. Psychotherapy, counseling, support groups, physical exercises, entertainments, family therapy, and in-patient or out-patient programs are employed by them to control the abuse of drugs. Prolonged treatments have yielded positive results and the doctors believe that long term treatments will give better result. Recovery rate was high for inpatients who have stayed longer. Statistics shows that these St. Louis drug rehab centers could reduce the drug abuse and have recovered many drug addicts and have shown them the right path in their life.
There are drug rehab St. Louis centers based on physical, spiritual, and mental treatments. Many Christian rehab centers believe in spiritual treatment and such centers claim that they have treated the drug abuse patients and they have achieved more than 80 % positive result in reforming drug addicted youngsters into main stream life through spiritual treatment. Focus of spirituality is on all the senses of body and mind. In this process they aim at detoxification. Detoxification is a process in which the rehab centers give their attention in removing the toxins, the harmful substance that has accumulated in body because of prolonged abuse of drugs. Biochemical treatment will also be given for neutralizing the harmful chemicals. After this treatment, the focus will be on healing the addicts emotionally. They give constant counseling and increase the patient’s spiritual commitment.
The detoxification process will end only when the symptoms related to withdrawal is stopped altogether. Period required for detoxification of the body system depends on the intensity and type of the drugs used. The treatment may go up to 14 days for people addicted to heroin and detoxification period may go up to six weeks. Certain drugs will have higher impact on body and it is not easy to recover such patients. Withdrawal symptoms will be high and the patients may be driven to sometimes fatal condition like “Cold Turkey”. Treatment will have to be slow and only gradual reduction of the use of drugs can recover them without causing any harm. To locate the best drug rehab centers St. Louis, Missouri, the best possible method is the feedback from the beneficiaries. Centers located in a peaceful atmosphere are better placed to treat drug abuse patients. Facilities like massage, yoga and counseling by spiritual leaders will be an added advantage.