Birmingham has a population of 212, 237, and is the government seat of Jefferson County. The oldest ballpark, Rickwood Field, is located in this city. Piper Davis, Willie Mays, and Jackie Robinson are all legends who played here. The second largest urban nature preserve, Ruffner Mountain, is only 10 minutes from Birmingham. Founded in 1871 as a steel-making city, Birmingham Alabama exploded overnight, becoming “The Magic City.” Today, it is a financial and medical center, as well as offering fabulous shopping, year-round entertainment, and world-class dining. According to recent statistics, Birmingham has more than 5,000 people who abuse prescription drugs, and roughly 67 people from here die from illnesses associated with alcohol abuse each year. There are many rehabilitation and treatment centers in Birmingham, Alabama. Heroin deaths in this city have increased 140% as of 2014, with 123 confirmed and 18 suspected recorded deaths.
Montgomery has a population of 205,764, and it is Alabama’s capital. The city bird is the cardinal, and Montgomery’s flower is a rose. Because drug and alcohol abuse is common in AL, Montgomery has many rehab therapy facilities for treating patients with mild or serious addiction. In a 2010 study called “Express Scripts,” by the International Society on Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes, Alabama doctors wrote an average of 117 narcotic prescriptions each year, which is enough for every privately insured individual in this state. This was much higher than the national rate of 0.67 per person per year. Alabama conducts Pride Surveys for students grades 6 through 12. Researchers found, that in Alabama during the 2008-2009 school year, students used alcohol, cocaine, and steroids more than the national average. Statewide, 20% of surveyed students consumed alcohol during the last 30 days.
Mobile is a large city with a population of 195,000. It is only 32 miles from the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Alabama Bay. Because Mobile is an expansive city, there are several good treatment centers and rehabilitation facilities located here. Two of the most abused illegal drugs in Mobile are methamphetamine (meth) and heroin. In addition, RX or street prescription drug use continues to increase in this state and the city of Mobile, based on data from the Alabama Department of Public Health. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are 10 substance abuse clinics in Mobile, AL that can help patients with detox, therapy and standard rehab programs. In 2013, officials in Mobile held a summit meeting regarding the teen prescription drug abuse problem in that city.
Nicknamed Rocket City, Huntsville has a population of 180,000. This city is located in the Tennessee River Valley, and it is home to many high-tech and bio-science companies, such as the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. There are 57 parks in Huntsville, with Big Spring International Park being the main one. This park contains the Museum of Art, and is the site of many festivals. Types of care found at treatment facilities in Huntsville include day treatment, partial hospitalization, detoxification, methadone maintenance, residential, and outpatient. Huntsville has over 25 biotechnology firms and the non-profit Hudson Alpha Institute has contributed to genetics work for the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE). Regardless of a thriving economy, Huntsville, Alabama has problems with pharmaceutical diversions. In this city, and other Alabama towns, Vicodin and Percocet have high incidence of diversion. The National Substance Abuse Index cites doctor shopping, fraudulent internet purchases and direct illegal sale and distribution of drugs by healthcare workers as the main reason for Alabama’s drug problem.
Population 90,450, Tuscaloosa was Alabama’s capital in the early 1820’s. Known as the “Druid City” because of the many water oaks, this city has become also well-known for the University of Alabama’s sports programs, especially football. This university remains the dominant cultural and economic engine in the city. Tuscaloosa has Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. There are more than 150 substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers in the state of Alabama, with many being located in Tuscaloosa, according to a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The high number of clinics in this medium-sized city could be directly related to the alcohol and drug epidemic that is resounding through the streets. Another factor could be the University and the draw that young people are having towards prescription drugs, black tar or powder heroin and the fallout that happens from the swift, powerful addiction.
With an estimated population of 81,619, Hoover, Alabama was named after William H. Hoover, who owned a local insurance company back in the 1900s. The city began to boom after the Riverchase Galleria shopping-office-hotel complex opened in 1986. Hoover is in both Shelby and Jefferson counties in the north central region of Alabama. Considered to be part of the Birmingham-Hoover metropolitan region, this city is home to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. In Alabama, there are 147 substance abuse rehab therapy centers, which were included in the 2011 N-SSATS report.
The Alabama survey response rate was 95.6%, with almost 16,000 clients receiving drug counselor or doctor treatment in March of 2011 alone.
This smaller Alabama city has a population of 65,500 and is called the “Peanut Capital of the World,” because more than half of the peanuts produced in the U.S. grow in this city. Located in the southeastern corner of Alabama, Dothan is near the Florida Panhandle. Dothan, AL hosts the National Peanut Festival each year. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, (DEA) methamphetamine has become a big problem in Alabama cities, including Dothan. There were almost 300 meth lab seizures in 2004 alone. While meth labs are found in isolated, rural communities, the drug makes its way to the larger citiesuch like Dothan and then moves on to main trafficking hubs for distribution. Even though Dothan is not as large as some of Alabama’s main cities, it still has a number of top rehab centers which are equipped to treat methamphetamine addiction; detoxification, counseling, medications, and aftercare.
The smallest city of our statistical reporting, Decatur has an estimated population of 155,683 and is part of the Huntsville metropolitan area. Originally called Rhodes Ferry Landing after landowner Dr. Henry Rhodes, Decatur, Alabama is named in honor of U.S. Commodore Stephen Decatur. This city is known as “The River City” because it is located along the Tennessee River. This AL city is the county seat of Morgan County, and it is growing, according to statistics. Decatur’s early success was due to the railroad routes and boating traffic. Through the 20th century, the city had steady growth, with economy now focused on cargo transit, manufacturing, and hi-tech industries, such as United Launch Alliance and General Electric. According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), clients with both alcohol and drug abuse problems in cities like Decatur make up 84% of those treated.