bulge, The Daily Mail reported Monday.
No matter how it is that you get your news - the morning paper, the evening news programs, RSS feeds, or Twitter - you have most likely heard many reports of doctors under investigation for writing too many prescriptions for pain killers, meth labs being found and destroyed, and celebrities entering rehab for cocaine addiction.
Many Americans however, are unaware of the substance abuse epidemic sweeping our nation today. Substance abuse seems like a problem that exists in a far-away place, away from their neighborhood; it is certainly not a part of their own household. There is a lot of confusion about drug addiction. Many still believe the abuse of drugs is a choice, and simple willpower is all that is need to overcome the problem.
Due to scientific research, we now know that addiction is a brain disease. Addiction is considered a brain disease because drugs change the structure of the brain as well as how the brain works.
Why do some people become addicted while others experiment and then stop?
Susceptibility to addiction differs from person to person and has risk factors and protective factors, just as any other disease. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs will lead to addiction. Protective factors reduce the chance of a person becoming addicted.
Scientists estimate that genetics and environmental factors account for somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of a person's susceptibility. Adolescents are even more susceptible to drug addiction since their brains are not yet fully formed. Ethnicity, gender, and the presence of any mental disorders can influence the risk as well. The genetic causes of drug addiction involve multiple gene sequences. Science has yet to identify all of the genes involved.
Many environmental influences can increase, or decrease, a person's risk for drug addiction. Home and family is usually the most important. Family relationships, parental involvement, socioeconomic status, and conditions at home and in the surrounding neighborhood can greatly influence the course of drug abuse and addiction in teens.
School and peers are a key influence. A child with poor social skills may find it impossible to fit in with others, greatly increasing the risk for addiction. Stress and academic failures also increase susceptibility and risk. During adolescence, friends have the most influence. Adolescents' brains are still developing in the areas that govern decision-making, judgment, and self-control, making them especially susceptible to pressures from friends to try drugs.
Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, research shows that the earlier drug use begins, the more likely it is to progress to more serious abuse followed by addiction. In addition, to early drug use the method of administration can greatly influence a person's vulnerability to addiction.
Because addiction is a disease it is treatable and most importantly it is preventable.
To learn more about substance abuse, addiction, and how to prevent your teen from using drugs, visit Secret Drug Test now.
By Daniel M Manson
While most people know that street drugs like cocaine, heroin and meth can kill you, many also think that marijuana is a "safe drug" and it really isn't a big deal if you use it. For years, the greatest threat from marijuana was perceived to be its tendency to be a "gateway drug." According to Dictionary.com, gateway drugs change your mood and bring about a high, but they don't cause physical dependence. Recent studies have shown that, while marijuana may not cause a physical dependence, it can harmfully affect your body.
Studies on Marijuana Safety
For example, studies by the British Lung Foundation show that smoking cannabis brings four times more tar into yourlungs than smoking regular tobacco cigarettes does. Smoking a single joint every day for a year is approximately equal to smoking twenty cigarettes every day for the same length of time. To simplify this, you are twenty times more likely to get lung cancer from smoking marijuana than you are to get it from smoking cigarettes.
Furthermore, marijuana can be harmful to our youth. The brain does not stop developing when you hit puberty or graduate high school. It continues to grow and develop well into your twenties, according to BBC News in a study on cannabis health risks. The lack of physical dependence does not reflect on the mental dependence upon the drug. Researchers studied over 120 people and how cannabis affects their brains. The results: the drug can develop a tendency for addictive behavior later in life.
How Marijuana Works in the Brain
Here's how it works: marijuana, like any drug, interacts with the brain. The specific receptors in the brain that marijuana interacts with are designed to help you learn, manage things, control your body, etc. Your brain mimics your body in that it grows a lot during your adolescence. It is developing the patterns and functionality that you will have for life. When drugs interact with your brain, they alter the natural design of brain development. Marijuana is no exception. When you abuse a substance, it makes an observable difference in how your brain develops, in this case increasing addictive tendencies.
Can Marijuana Still Be a Gateway
Of course, all of this proof of the physical problems cannabis causes does not negate the fact that it is still a gateway drug. The downside of using marijuana is not so rapidly or visibly apparent as heroin or cocaine, which will leave you looking older, bags under your eyes, spots on your skin, teeth often falling apart or rotting in your mouth. So people still consider it to be "safe" for them to use. Once they realize that this drug, which the government and so many other people are so clearly against, isn't really that harmful, they may be tempted to try other drugs. After all, a drug is a drug, and an addiction is an addiction. The craving wants to be satisfied, it doesn't care what it takes.
Before taking any substance into your body, you should do the research to find out how it will truly affect you. Do the research. Know what your body will have to go through as a result of what you take into your system.
If you have already started to use any drug, don't listen to people that try to tell you that it's safe. The facts are that almost all of these drugs can harm you-if not now, they will eventually.
For more information on this topic and others go to our main site at Redwood Cliffs drug rehab.
By Robert P Mauer
There can be a tendency among people who do not abuse illicit substances to assume that suburban communities do not suffer the same problems with hard drugs that more urban environments do. Sure, the Johnson's kid got into trouble for smoking a joint at school, or maybe there's gossip about old Mrs. Smith not really needing to take as much valium as she does, but there can be an assumption that something like heroin would never find its way into a gated community or suburban high school. The truth, however, is that heroin, after years of declining use as other drugs became more popular, is making a comeback, and it's strongest in unexpected demographics.
Prescription drugs, many of them pain killers and muscle relaxers, surged in popularity in the late nineties. This rapid rise in prescription pill abuse was caused by a number of factors, such as easier availability and a general misconception that such drugs were safer than "street drugs" like methamphetamines and heroin. As prescription pills became popular, heroin use declined mildly, but as law enforcement and doctors have become more aware of prescription pill abuse and are cracking down on it accordingly, heroin use is once more on the rise. What's more, the recent data on modern heroin use displays a number of disturbing trends.
Heroin used to be the sort of drug that people thought of as an end-game addiction. Which is to say, it was only after experimenting with so-called "gateway drugs" that individuals progressed to the use of hard drugs like heroin. Now, the "gateway drug" theory seems to be in question, as more and more users are admitting to trying heroin without ever having used other drugs, even legal ones like cigarettes and alcohol. Part of the reason, it is theorized, is that as prescription opiates like Percocet and Oxycontin become harder for abusers to cheaply access, they turn to a cheaper alternative: heroin. Of those users who only came to heroin after trying other drugs, the overwhelming majority had started out using prescription painkillers.
In addition to the trend of users going straight to heroin when they decide to experiment with drugs, there are several other ugly statistics. One of these, which comes directly from the Drug Enforcement Agency, is that heroin use in the United States will continue to rise. Another is that the drug has gained the most popularity among middle class communities, and at the same time, the age of the average user has gone down. What this means is that not only is heroin use in the suburbs a growing problem, but users are turning to heroin much earlier in life, with the average having gone down five years to the shocking age of only 21.
Heroin is extremely addictive, and has claimed countless lives-and unless an individual undergoes heroin addiction treatment, it is almost impossible to quit. Here at Malibu Horizon, we are better equipped to combat heroin addiction than most anywhere else in the country. This is due to our extensive expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and ability to tailor a treatment plan to the individual.
By Benjamin Brafman
Drug counseling, when used effectively, can truly make a difference between relapse and recovery. During drug rehab, it is usually not enough to just get off the drugs. It is important to figure out the reasons behind the drug use in the first place. Counseling can be one of the most important components of the recovery process, as it explores multiple factors that can lead to addiction. Here are some of the benefits of drug counseling.
Benefits of Drug Counseling
Many therapists may try to involve a recovering person's family members in the counseling sessions. If family members are willing to learn more about a loved one's addiction and participate in the recovery process, the process of addiction recovery can become smoother. Withthe support of family members, a client may feel inspired to work harder to get better. During the counseling sessions, family members are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings, even if it is difficult to do so. These options are very popular with clients whose families want to be involved.
When a person in recovery is faced with a stressful situation, relapse can be a common occurrence. Some people may feel compelled to turn back to drugs, even if they have been in recovery for 10 years. Continued aftercare drug counseling can help prevent relapse because the therapist can teach a client about the warning signs of relapse and help them develop coping skills to deal with stress and depression.
Find the Root of the Problem
Beating drug addiction is more than giving up illicit substances; it's about searching deep to find the root of the problem. It can be difficult for a client to do that on his own, so a professional therapist can help. A therapist may make you feel comfortable and safe enough to share your feelings and information about your past. By doing so, you can work together to find out what may have triggered your addiction.
Change Self-Destructive Behaviors and Thoughts
The craving for drugs can make you feel out of control in certain situations, regardless of how long you've been in recovery. Often, these feelings can lead to self-destructive behaviors and thoughts. In drug counseling, you can learn how to identify these thoughts and behaviors. A professional therapist may also teach you how to change these thoughts and behaviors and replace them with more constructive ones.
Drug counseling has many benefits. Participating in counseling during recovery can help you realize the reason behind your addiction and learn much healthier ways to deal with stress. Going to counseling sessions can help prevent relapse and make you a happier and more fulfilled individual.
Ben Brafman, LMHC, CAP is the President and CEO of Destination Hope, a licensed dual diagnosis substance abuse treatment center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ben has more than 20 years of experience in the addiction and mental health fields, which led him to develop a combination of innovative treatment protocols at Destination Hope. He has been published on various topics including dual diagnosis and chemical dependency, and gives back to the community by educating other addiction counselors at his Academy for Addiction Professionals.
When you think of orthopedics, you probably don't think of smoking. After all, bones, joints, and muscles may seem unrelated to the lungs. However, when they undergo surgeries for hip replacements or injuries, current smokers are more likely to experience infection, significant pain, and poor healing.
Risks for Smokers During Surgery
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, current smokers are 53 percent more likely to have serious heart and lung problems after major surgery than people that have quit smoking. They are also 17 percent more likely to die after major surgery. Fortunately, the risks that smokers experience during procedures involving orthopedics aren't as severe as the risks they experience during major surgery. Still, smokers do have more problems than their non-smoking peers.
Dr. Bhaveen Kapadia of Sinai Hospital in Baltimore found that 8 percent of smoking patients required additional surgery within four years compared to just 1 percent of their non-smoking counterparts. Dr. Kapadia found that smokers scored about 1.5 points higher on a 10-point pain scale than patients that did not smoke. Also, fractures took about six weeks longer to heal, and smokers were more than twice as likely to experience fractures that did not heal.
Quitting smoking can significantly reduce these risks. While patients don't have risks as low as people who never habitually smoked, they still have much lower risks than current smokers. Many doctors suspect that smoking prevents sufficient oxygen from getting to the tissues. This lack of oxygen slows down the healing process and exposes smokers to more risks.
The CDC estimates that 70 percent of smokers want to quit, but quitting is not as easy as non-smokers may think. Experts suggest following that people who want to quit smoking before orthopedics procedures follow these five tips for success:
1. Don't smoke any tobacco or tobacco products. Every cigarette smoked does more harm to the body. Even occasional smoking is extremely harmful to the lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
2. Write down the reasons that you want to quit smoking. Some people want to discourage their children from smoking, and they want to protect their loved ones from secondhand smoke. Others decide to quit smoking to improve their health and their appearances.
3. Expect withdrawal symptoms. While some people do not experience withdrawal symptoms, other people have symptoms lasting up to a month. Use nicotine patches to lessen symptoms before your orthopedics procedure. You can also quit smoking with a friend or with the help of a support group. Support from others won't decrease withdrawal symptoms, but it can make them easier to withstand.
4. Take advantage of free resources. You can call the CDC's hotline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or you can look online for information about quitting. If you're worried about gaining weight, then look online for tips about controlling weight gain when you quit smoking.
5. Be optimistic. Half of all smokers have successfully quit. You can also quit smoking before undergoing procedures involving orthopedics. You could increase your chances for successful surgery, and you could give your health a significant boost.
Cravings are a normal part of giving up anything, they are unpleasant but they will happen particularly if you are withdrawing physically. Just because you are experiencing a craving it does not mean you have to act upon it. Therefore it is important that you are prepared for cravings and have a strategy for coping with them when they occur.
People use drugs in a wide range of situations many things are likely to be associated with drug use, these associations may trigger cravings. However cravings can occur not just for drugs or alcohol but any other addictive behaviour which provides us with instant gratification such as gambling, pornography, smoking and even sugar!
The idea of conditioned learning was highlighted in an experiment with Pavlov's dogs. Pavlov rang a bell every time foodwas given to the dogs, after a while ringing the bell alone would make the dogs mouth water. Cravings can be similar, in the same way as a particular song may make you think of a person, particular situations will make you think of your addiction. If you keep ringing the bell, but not producing food, the dog's mouth will stop watering when the bell rings.
There is a time limited nature for cravings; they usually peak and disappear in an hour or under, if not followed by drug use or activating your addiction. After a while the cravings will come less frequently and will become easier to manage, until they stop. So each craving you do not give into brings you closer to no cravings at all.
For some you may be experience constant cravings, it may be cognitive and you can't get it out of your head, for others physical, or even emotional, distressing thoughts can make you get nervous. Cravings will vary depending on the individual and the addiction.
For some people it's a big problem, others deny it, you may find that you have just ignored cravings and then found yourself being impulsive and indulged in your addiction.
It is important to be aware of what triggers, places, events, people or emotions produce cravings as these may be high risk situations that you need to avoid.
Dealing with Late Night Cravings: 5 Keys
This will help you to recognise cravings for what they are, avoid high risk situations, triggers and cope with cravings rather than act on them.
1. Distraction Techniques: Do some exercises, housework, find a hobby, go to events, call or visit a friend, play computer games, go for a walk, have a tea of coffee, cook a meal, do something nice for someone else, watch a good film. Find something you enjoy that will distract you.
2. Talk About It. Have a conversation with a friend, relative or professional who supports you giving up and changing your additive behaviour. They can help you find alternative coping strategies or maybe resolve some of the issues which trigger you emotionally.
3. Go With The Craving: Get an image of surfing a wave. The idea is to let the craving occur, peak and pass. The idea is not to make it disappear, but to experience it in a different way, which makes it less dangerous. Relax and focus on the experience, focus on how it feels, where it is, how strong it is, if it moves or changes. When it's over rate how intense it was before and after on a scale of 1- 10.
4. Remember The Negative Consequences:List on an index card the reasons why you want to stop using and the negative consequences of starting again/carrying on. Keep the card in your purse/wallet and read it when the craving starts. Add things to the card as you think of them, or as things change.
5. Positive Self Talk: Saying positive things to yourself can be a simple way of keeping your sense of control over the cravings. It is helpful if you already have the statements prepared in your head so that you can call upon it when the cravings are strong. Some examples are: I can cope with this, it will pass soon. I am stronger than this craving; I'm going to prove it.There is no craving that is more important than all my hard work, I'll beat this. I've done it before, I can do it again.
People Want Freedom 'From'!
All over the world in so many places we read about in the daily news: People are rioting for freedom. "We Want Our Freedom" they cry- with loud voices along with large placards. 'And great for them!' I say. But have you thought how most of what they talk about with this famous freedom of theirs is FREEDOM FROM. Freedom from a dictatorship... freedom from entrenched dictators, But the key word is always FROM. In other words they want to be free FROM some thing,... from something, from what they don't like.
What About Freedom 'To'?
And certainly, you need to first get freedom FROM. But do we hear muchabout what they'd like freedom TO DO... What they want it TO BE. They don't seem to talk about THAT. And THAT is what I feel is the problem with folks who are preached to stop their smoking- to get their freedom from nicotine and from the nasty parts of their cigarettes. And that's all well and good. But what are these smokers told to do with their great freedom? Once they get freedom FROM their smoking, what can they then have freedom TO DO, TO BE?
Have you ever wondered? Yes, once you stop smoking you breathe better, you smell better, your health is much better, You can live much longer. As I say, it's all well and good. But what do you want TO DO with your freedom once you have freedom FROM your smoking?
So Many Things To Do!
I really don't hear much from any of the plans about what your freedom allows you to do once it's yours. It is a funny thing why we all don't go there often. And it is only when folks have freedom to do some great things that the smoking habit begins to look very debilitating for those who have it. You see, there are so many things you will have freedom to do once you are free from all your smoking.
"What Sort Of Things?" You Ask!
"What sort of things?" You ask? Well, let's start at the low end of ourselves: The Instinctive. Now you'll have freedom to romp around with grandkids- play with them till they've had enough- not stop when you're worn out. You'll have freedom now to build up your whole Instinctive Force- work out in a way that totally benefits-without concern for heart attacks. You'll have freedom to build up your capacity to exercise as someone much younger than you now are. And moving up from there- There's freedom for intimacy-- a lot more than before. And if your partner wants to bear children, you'll have freedom now to impregnate her much more quickly than if you were smoking and less virile.
I Could Go On And On!
I could go on and on with many more freedoms you'll now have: to accomplish things- but suffice it to know from just these examples: that freedom from smoking really grants you greater freedom to fulfill life's blessings for you and all those whom you love.
Their first order of business is to make sure that the recovering individual's home, workplace and vehicle is free of any mind and/or mood altering substances. Then, the Sober Companion will stay real close and escort the client everywhere they go, however, they will not interfere with work or school. The sole purpose in hiring this type of professional is to assist the newcomer in sobriety in staying away from drugs and alcohol.
Professionals like this are often used instead of long-term, expensive treatment centers. Studies have shown that this type of personalized care beats that of treatment centers due to the fact that treatment centers typically house people who really don't want to be in treatment and that mind-set can be like a Cancer within said treatment center. Those who hire Sober Professionals to be by their side typically do much better in their recovery. Typically, the cost factor for both types of care are the same. Sober Companions typically charge anywhere from $600 to over $1000 per day which is roughly the same cost you would find at a 30 day treatment program.
Choosing the right person for you or a loved one can be difficult. You want to make sure the who you chose will be a good match for you. There are services out there that only deal in sober professionals like this and are able to match you up with the right companion. Try to find a reputable network that deals specifically with this type of service. Don't go with the fly-by-night individuals that talk a great game on the phone. Only deal with a reputable Network.
Sober companions will take you to the best 12-step meetings around that meet your needs. They will help you to gather a 12-step social network of individuals that will be there for your support long after the companions contract has expired. They basically become your best friend in early recovery and are a great sounding board for you as you go through the initial days of recovery. Although they are comparatively priced to long-term treatment centers, they are a personalized to your needs and are available to travel with you if that need arises.
Many in the entertainment industry utilize these services as they are constantly on the move and are frequently around drugs and alcohol. Sober Companions are there to hang out with you to help you stay away from these influences. They can be hard on you at times, but after all, that's what you are paying them for. Remember, that they are just like you. The best ones are those too who have been in your shoes at on point in time. They should be in recovery themselves and working their own 12-step program. They have had the same thoughts and feeling that you are going through right now and will be there for you no matter what.
In conclusion, Sober Companions are a wonderful alternative to drug and alcohol treatment center. Why pay for a treatment center when you could have 24 hour personalized support at your beck and call? Unless you are looking for a 30 day vacation with a private Chef, massage therapy and maybe some horseback riding, hire yourself a Sober Companion. After all, the end result, with whatever you choose, is going to be a 12-step recovery program if you are in fact serious about getting and staying sober. Good luck in your or your loved ones process of recovery.
The Fact about Smoking is that cigarette smoking is the reason for many fatal diseases like cancer and stroke. Emphysema, bronchitis and chronic airway obstruction also are caused by smoking. A person who is the victim of one of the smoking related diseases may also victimize 20 more persons who become passive smokers. This is one serious effect of smoking on the society.
Statistics of the bad effects of smoking
According to the world wide statistics available nearly 5 million people die annually because of smoking. It is predicted that by 2030 there may be 8 million deaths worldwide. The active smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
As of now there are 1.1 billion smokers in the world, if the same trend continues there may be an alarming increase of 1.6 billion smokers by 2025.
The 3000 million Chinese smokers consume approximately 1.7 trillion cigarettes per year or 3 million cigarettes a minute. Approximately 10 million cigarettes are sold every minute worldwide.
The discarded filters of these 3 million cigarettes weigh nearly 20 billion pounds. They create a hazardous waste of very slow degradable plastic called cellulose acetate and toxic chemicals of tobacco. This plastic material takes 18 months to 10 years to degrade rising the atmospheric pollution to an alarming level.
Each cigarette contains approximately 8-9 milligrams of nicotine. The nicotine of 4-5 cigarettes if ingested totally can easily kill an individual but most of the smoke is left into the air thus polluting the atmosphere continuously. The little amount of the nicotine consumed may not kill the individual instantly but definitely reduces the life span drastically.
The manufacturers of cigarettes use number of additives and ambergris (a whale vomit) which is one of those additives. The passive smoker's health is also damaged by the smoke of the cigarette as it contains dangerous chemicals, poisons and toxic chemical compounds.
Smoking is like an automatic gun which may go off unnoticed. Most often it is a slow killer but at times the youth may also fall victim to the fatal effects of smoking. The lungs and other parts of the body are poisoned and become impaired due to the toxic deposits of the inhaled cigarette smoke.
Smokeless tobacco products generally cause cancers of mouth, throat and lung
The facts about tobacco states that the habit of smoking in teens starts before the age of 18. But 25% of them start smoking before 10 years for the first time. The early habit turns out to be a long term addiction.
The counseling about the bad habit and effects of smoking should always begin at home. This can help the kids, in developing aversion towards smoking and use of tobacco or other intoxicating drugs.
Employees are an important asset for running a business. They need to have the necessary skills and above all, health to perform optimally at workplace. If employees are under the influence of psychotropic substances, it is likely to hit their productivity massively. Drug testing programs are an option worth to consider preventing such a situation. This article emphasizes the use of drug testing programs at workplace and explains how they are beneficial.
Workplace productivity is important for employers:
Employers are focused on maintaining optimal productivity at workplace. Productivity plays an important role in healthy growth of the business, growth of employees and profitability of the enterprise in the long run.
Drug free environment in workplace creates a good working environment to all employees, this in turn, improves a competitive functioning for achieving higher productivity. Drug tests at working places help improve concentration on job performance, moral values and attendance. These testing programs during before and after employment makes it sure to hire healthy workforce.
When working places are affected by the illicit drug abuse, it affects the action of other employees too. Drug testing helps improve the safety levels; performance of employee's which are the critical factors for successful functioning of business.
Deterrent to employees:
Conducting these tests at workplace acts as a deterrent to employees; they fear of being caught. It might also lead to consequences such as mandatory health checkup - in house or sending the employee for a referral program. All this is likely to be embarrassing to employees. Drug testing, therefore, works as an effective deterrent to employees.
Better employee attitude:
Drug-free working environment improves relationship among employees and they can work with a team spirit that leads to healthy relationship among employees and employers. When employees are healthy, they are more likely to have a positive attitude towards the job.
Employers' expenditure on healthcare reduces:
Drug testing leads to reduction in number of visits by the employee's to hospitals because the employee stays away from drugs. Consequently, there are fewer ailments and complications, the hospitalization charges of which are expensive. The number of insurance claims on the employee's tends to decrease. This in turn, reduces expenses on premium for employees' health insurance coverage.
Less number of casualties and therefore less insurance claims:
Studies reveal that drug tests conducted at companies on a regular basis reduce the risk of accidents by 71.2% annually and thus ensure safety at workplace. When employee's safety and health is protected, businesses can considerably reduce expenses on insurance claims.
Companies that make mandatory tests on their employee's for reducing drug abuse will help in reducing significant amount on insurance premiums because insurers charge higher premium for such employees. When there are fewer accidents, the number of insurance claims decrease as well. Insurers are likely to provide insurance at lower cost on employer's by providing discounts on premium payments when the workplaces are drug-free.
To accomplish a drug free environment at workplace, an effective method of enforcing drug testing program is, using test kits. These kits are reliable, fast, accurate and economical. These kits have been approved by FDA and have been standardized by SAMHSA.
Drug testing programs are beneficial to both employers and employees. They help increase productivity and profitability of businesses.
Most people know that there's more than one way to take a drug, but it's less common knowledge that the method of administration can also affect how easy it is for a user to become addicted. One of the main reasons for this is that different methods of administrating will speed up or slow down how quickly that drug gets into your blood stream.
Most drugs need to get to the user's brain to have their characteristic effects, so the quicker a drug hits the blood stream, the faster it will get to the brain and kick in the effect the user is trying to create. This is where the connection between the method of administration and the likelihood of addiction comes into play.
A big part of whether or not you'll become addicted to a drug is based on how quickly it can start affecting your brain chemistry. Many drugs work by making the brain release chemicals like dopamine or blocking the re-uptake of these same chemicals (causing them to stick around and affect the body longer.) The quicker the "pleasure chemicals" like dopamine can get released, and thus the harder they hit your system, the higher the likelihood that you will get addicted to the drug that caused the reaction to take place.
Because of this connection, it's important for families to know how the ways of taking drugs will affect the body and how addictive they can make a drug.
Inhaling is one of the most common ways of taking a drug. Inhaling means taking a smoke, vapor or other gas into the lungs, and is this is the method used every time someone smokes cigarettes or marijuana. It is also the method used when someone "huffs" chemical vapors.
When tobacco or marijuana smoke (or any other drug vapor) enters the lungs, it is very easy for these chemicals to cross into the bloodstream. This is because the lungs are designed to let oxygen and carbon dioxide quickly pass into and out of the bloodstream as well. Due to this, inhaled drugs can start to affect the body and brain very quickly.
Snorting means inhaling a drug into the nasal cavity. It is the main method of administration for powdered cocaine. Because of the mucous membranes in this cavity (which are similar to the mucous membrane in the lungs), snorting can also lead to a quick high, but this method usually takes longer than inhaling a drug.
For this reason, some uses will try to smoke a drug in a form like crack cocaine instead of using a form that can be snorted.
One of the most common drugs on the planet is alcohol, and it is used by ingesting it (drinking it.) Other drugs that can be ingested include prescription drugs and marijuana. Marijuana is ingested by mixing it in with foods like "pot brownies."
When these drugs are brought into the stomach and digested, they pass into the bloodstream through the stomach lining. This is usually a slower method of bringing the drug into the blood stream, however.
Injecting a drug is the fastest way to administer it to the brain. The reason for this is that the drug is being introduced directly into the bloodstream through a needle, and from there it can reach the brain in moments. Heroin is one of the main drugs used by injection.
Because it is the fastest method of administration, injection can also cause higher rates of addiction than other drugs. This method hits the brain like a sledgehammer, causing spikes in brain chemicals that can quickly cause the user's body to start adjusting into a state of addiction.
By knowing these methods of drug administration, families have that much more education about this major problem in society. Use this information to help your family stay drug-free.
Drug abuse can cause many problems in a person's life, including leading to losing one's job. Often unable to show up to work on time or be trusted to complete tasks correctly, many addicts have difficulty holding down a well-paying job. The other side of the coin, however, is that not having a job can also lead to drug use.
There are many reasons why drug addicts first use drugs, but not having a job can be a major one. There are several reasons for this. The first is simple boredom. Without a purpose to fill the day, one can only watch so much TV and browse the internet for so long. Many addicts that started out unemployed say that they were simply bored when a friend or acquaintance first offered them an illegal drug. Due to a lack of anywhere to be or anything to do, these drugs could add excitement and pleasure to otherwise dull days.
Another reason that unemployment can lead to drug abuse is due to the stress inherent in being out of a job. Without consistent, paying work, adults usually start to fear what will happen to them. Some obvious stressors include wondering how one will pay the bills or rent, purchase groceries and gas, etc. Finding a job itself costs money in printing out resumes and driving to interviews. Every day that a person goes unemployed, the stress builds and builds.
Drugs can seem like a path out of this stress. Because of their near-instant effects of artificial calmness, euphoria or optimism, these drugs can work as a temporary stopgap against the pressure and despair of being out of a job. When the drug's effect wears off, however, the addict is right back where he started, but his stress can be even higher. He now has even less money than when he started, because drugs are expensive.
This use can start a vicious cycle. The person is using drugs because he is running out of money, but the drug use itself causes him to lose more money. Realizing this, the addict will often use the drug again so he can once again slip back into a stress-free, blissful state. The cycle only ends when the addict completely burns out or eventually gets help.
The idea that unemployment can cause drug abuse isn't just an anecdotal story or a nice theory, though: several studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between high unemployment and higher drug use. The two seem to go hand-in-hand.
While all families should be aware of and watchful for the signs of drug addiction in their loved ones, this shows us that special care should be taken when someone we know or care about loses their job. While it may be difficult to immediately get them back into employment, you can help mitigate the chances of them starting to abuse drugs.
One way of doing that we have found successful is helping them focus on keeping purpose in their life. Help them work on applying for other jobs. Encourage them to spend time with family and friends (ideally ones that don't do drugs themselves, of course.) Help the person focus on the goal of returning to the work force, but also help them find productive ways to spend their time until that happens. We may not always see unemployment coming, but we can help ensure it does not lead to a drug problem that can ruin a life.
Understanding The Difference Between Behavioral and Chemical Addictions
Again I'll use simple terms to describe the differences. Very roughly it is estimated that it can take 7 or 8 years to reach alcoholism, that is a full blown chemical addiction. But what happens in the years preceding that? In my case the Alcoholism Stages were something like this:
- First alcoholic drink at the age of 13. A half-pint can of Watneys Pale Ale.
- First drunkenness at 16 at a wedding. 7 small cans of beer, or 3.1/2 pints
- Got married at 20. My wife was very homesick initially, and I started to drink more to try to cope with it.
- First child, a daughter, at 21.
- Second child a son at 25, and by this time drinking spirits regularly
- Pressure of work. An excuse for heavier drinking, and started getting objections to it from my wife and parents which I ignored.
- Aged 28-29. Stopped drinking for 12 months.
- Restarted drinking and back on it full blown within 2 weeks. Becomes a way of life.
- 29-39 Alcoholism
- 39-52 Dry
My estimate, or reckoning, is that my behavioral addiction turned to chemical addiction around the age of 29.
This is when a drinker's use of alcohol becomes a habit, then a way of life. At this stage it is reversible because if the drinker reforms, or cuts back they are still able to take alcohol, but in moderate quantities and still be in control of it.
For example, one may go to the pub every evening to enjoy the social atmosphere with other drinkers, or may enjoy a drink with company in one's own home. Nothing wrong in that you may say, but beware when you believe that you need drink to make a social gathering work. Alcoholism Warning Signs are when it becomes a habit initially, say to have a drink at lunchtime, another when coming home from work, then one or two in the evening. It becomes part of your life, part of your routine, and you find that it becomes a way of life. At this point you may even kid yourself you need a drink in the morning to help with facing up to the day ahead, and so on. You'll find that you are making the day revolve round drinking opportunities - and opportunities there are, but by this time you beginning to get devious. Hiding the bottles or receipts, disguising the alcohol in the glass with coke. Eating strong mints and so on. As this becomes full-blown,the change comes. You won't know exactly when it happens, but you find out the results later. The behavior dependency facts can be corroborated by any honest alcoholic.
This is the stage from which there is no return. Quite simply there is a chemical reaction that occurs in the brain, an imbalance of chemicals that is like flicking a light switch. You have now become dependent on alcohol. You are unable to stop at one drink, and your drinking spirals out of control. You have one, then another, then another. Weekends and bank holidays stretch out endlessly, punctuated with drinking/sleeping/drinking. Weekdays not so bad because you can crash out into bed, until the next morning when you've got the Physical Effects Alcoholism brings: you feel nauseous, your head pounds, you shiver and sweat... You realize how bad the drink is making you feel, the terrible Effects of Alcohol, so you make a promise not to touch it for a day or a week. As soon as that time is up, your straight back on it.
My point is this. Most observers cannot understand why you can't control it, but when this stage is reached, it is literally impossible to stop at a single drink. And I mean literally. You have to have another, and another... It's a vicious illness, and that's what it has become, and you have to have the guts to face up to it that you're caught, trapped.
Kindly, well-meaning friends and family may try to help by offering to control your drinking by keeping the bottles out of sight and pouring you a drink at an agreed time. It never works, it can't do. The drinker goes underground with his own supply of liquor and drinks surreptitiously, deceitfully. Hiding places are found which only someone with experience of alcoholism could relate to. Toilet cisterns, inside the vertical vacuum cleaner, mixed with lemonade and left on a shelf in the garage, concealed in cans of cola to name a few.
What Do Behavioral Addiction and Chemical Addiction Have In Common?
Both are slowly killing you. You'll know about it from pain around your liver and kidney areas. You start vomiting and feeling nauseous even without the drink. You get shaking hands, your body shrieks at you to stop. You can't think clearly or concentrate, and you are wracked with guilt as you realize you made a fool of yourself again in front of friends. But very importantly, both behavioral addiction and chemical addiction bring out the base human traits of deception, deceit, lying, deviousness, cunning and so on. You become a very difficult person to live with. These chemical dependency facts are confirmed by my own experience.
There are many layers to drug addiction and its effects. On a physical level, addiction does more than saturate cells with dangerous toxins--it leaches vital nutrients, leaving a recovering addict drained, parched and gasping for vitality. In today's current food culture, it is nearly impossible to fully recover from drug addiction with supplementing the diet. Adding essential nutrients to the diet can aid recovery and be the make or break point between rehabilitation and relapse.
Bandaids, or Full Recovery?
Conventional methods of treatment for drug addiction involve methadone--in other words, replacing one narcotic with another. Not only does this continue addiction, it creates a number of health problems and side effects including depressed breathing, wheezing, low blood pressure, severe constipation, vomiting, cloudy thinking, sedation and death.
While this method of treatment may be ideal for physicians and administrators who make their living on addiction, it is not the optimum solution for addicts. In fact, it is not even a solution.
The Importance of Vitamins
The role of vitamins in the human system was discovered in the search for a remedy for scurvy. With so many seamen returning from their journeys suffering from gum disease, anemia, weakness and even death, research began as to the cause of the problem. What was discovered was the value of a nutrient found in fresh fruits and vegetables: vitamin C.
Vitamin C is not produced naturally by the human body. It must be obtained from diet. Nowadays, however, the American diet consists mostly of processed foods, which are lacking in vitamins and minerals. If one does eat fresh fruits and vegetables, they come from such depleted soil that even this is not sufficient to maintain health.
Add years of drug addiction to the equation, and you have a body that is severely drained. Not only does it lack vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient that must be continually replaced, it is deficient in a number of other vitamins and also minerals, which are necessary for the body to absorb vitamins. This is why withdrawal and recovery can be so difficult. Body pains, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, sleep problems, delirium tremens, and various other withdrawal symptoms can be greatly eased by supplementing the diet with the nutrients it has been robbed of.
Vitamin C plays an essential role in the body's management of stress. All mammals besides primates, guinea pigs and humans convert glucose to ascorbate (vitamin C) when they are under stress. As drugs place serious stress on the body, vitamin C supplementation can greatly aid a recovering addict's ability to cope with it. It helps tissue heal, increases appetite, aids sleep, and increases mental alertness.
B vitamins are also known as the "anti-stress" vitamins. They promote a feeling of wellbeing, help convert food to energy, form healthy red blood cells, and reduce the risk of heart disease. B vitamins are severely lacking in drug addicts, which is why supplementation is key.
Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies contribute to painful withdrawal symptoms. By replacing the nutrients lacking through diet and supplementation, an addict can have a much easier time in rehab.