I’ve been seeing comments on Facebook and Twitter about a National Leadership Conference for Young People in Recovery that’s being held right now in Denver. Young People in Recovery is a national organization that invites people to establish chapters in their town that provide support for teens and young adults in recovery and teaches them how to act as advocates for social change.
As I look through Facebook, I see mentions of young people flying in to Denver from Young People in Recovery Chapters all over the country: New Jersey, Texas, Chicago, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Wisconsin, Maine, and more.
From the pictures of these teams of people arriving in Denver, there’s a lot of scrubbed faces and enthusiastic teens involved in this activity. In their home towns, they put on all kinds of events and races and attend street fairs to distribute drug prevention meetings. They advocate for better care for the addicted, more funding for treatment, and organize support at a grassroots level. Continue reading
The non-medical use of prescription drugs is identified as the use of the drug for the feeling or experience the drug causes—the high. The misuse of these powerful and potentially highly addictive drugs can involve taking too much or too little of the drug; or taking it too long or too often. Prescription drug abuse and addiction is a nationwide problem, with states attempting to put safeguards in place to curtail the escalation of abuse, and minimize the dire consequences. The state of Missouri stands alone on the issue of a prescription drug database. Continue reading
From Seattle, a report has just come out that illustrates the migration from prescription pain pill abuse to the use of heroin, with deadly results. This is a tragic trend that has been seen in every corner of our country. In New England, the effect of this migration has been particularly brutal.
You may have already heard about this trend in your local newspapers. It’s been on the front pages for the last few years – local kids dying from heroin overdoses to the total astonishment and shock of their families. The potency of heroin is so variable that just because these teens and young adults survived their abuse of prescription drugs, a highly potent dose of heroin could catch them completely off guard and end their chances of recovery, happiness or success in life, forever. Continue reading
I was just reading an article about Ecstasy – actually, it was about pills SOLD as Ecstasy. It’s long been known that these pills could contain just about anything. Methamphetamine, heroin, caffeine, inert fillers or it could actually contain methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Otherwise known as MDMA or Ecstasy.
Pills sold at music festivals, raves or nightclubs have completely unpredictable ingredients. So much so that organizations have sprung up just to test pills for partygoers and assure them that the pills were “pure.” Of course, that label overlooks the fact that some people die after consuming pure Ecstasy, so “purity” is no guarantee of safety.
That said, there is a recent trend toward the inclusion of a very dangerous drug in these pills. That drug is PMA – Para-Methoxyamphetamine. You can see that it is chemically somewhat similar to MDMA. But it is even more dangerous than MDMA. Continue reading
You got drunk last night – it doesn’t happen often but it was a celebration and you got carried away. You’d given your keys to a friend who took you home and tucked you into bed. When you wake up and deal with the headache and nausea, you still need to drive to work. You were careful to not to drive last night, but what about today? Are you still impaired? After all, shouldn’t your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) be zero by now?
A new study shows that it’s quite possible for you to be an impaired driver when you get behind the wheel to go to work this morning. Continue reading
The subject of addiction and what causes it is rife with theories. Any area of life or behavior which is problematic and not well understood all too frequently lends itself to a plethora of complexities and proposed solutions which ultimately prove unworkable and do not result in a betterment of the condition. So it is with addiction; the speculation and theorizing as to what causes it and what cures it—and whether or not it can be genetically predicted. Continue reading
It seems like everywhere you look these days, there’s news about opiates. This is both good and bad. It’s bad because this means there are so many opiates in circulation that people need to be notified that there’s a problem. But it’s good because I think more people are becoming more aware of that something is wrong and needs attention. If they are more aware of it, they will be more alert to opiate abuse by a loved one.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, heroin abuse is on the rise. Past month use of heroin was reported by 281,000 people in 2011. In 2012, that number was 335,000. Continue reading
One of the most common things that happens with the families of drug users is that they think there is a problem, they’re sure there’s some kind of problem, but they can’t identify it. A drug user will exploit their uncertainty to deny everything and continue to use drugs.
This really is a strange phenomenon. One might think that when a drug user starts running into problems caused by the drugs, they might lay off the drugs or ask for help. Well, a few do. But when a person is truly gripped by addiction and driven by cravings, it’s very common that they cover up their drug use and manipulate those around him (or her).
Even if a family finds drugs on the person or in the home, the user will still try to manipulate the situation. “Those don’t belong to me,” or “I only did it this once.” Or maybe, “Yes, I was using a few pills [plus cocaine plus marijuana plus heroin that go unmentioned] but I can quit.”
This is one of the saddest things about addiction. The condition itself prevents the person from getting help. It’s like addicts become wired to prevent detection or recovery.
Certainly there are a few exceptions. But when this deception exists, it can delay rehabilitation by years. Meanwhile, the problems get worse and worse. Families are mystified as to why the person’s life continues to fall apart. Continue reading
Maryland has long struggled with a heroin problem. In fact, the Baltimore inner city has been renowned as a center of heroin abuse and addiction for many years. It’s not uncommon for multiple generations in the same family to seek help for addiction at the same time. But as opiate painkillers introduced a broad spectrum of people to a dependence on this type of drug, heroin abuse has followed and spread across the Maryland landscape. After all, there are drugstores in every town in every state in the US. And far too many states have unscrupulous doctors who are willing to make the money by selling prescriptions for addictive substances. The migration to heroin is seen as necessary when money sources dry up, because heroin is so much cheaper than pills.
Even though Maryland already had a high rate of heroin abuse, recent news reports state that there has been an 88% increase in heroin-related overdoses in a two year period. This increase really takes the problem to a fever pitch in the state. Continue reading
For the last several years, the mainstream media has been reporting on the way that painkiller addiction has been working its way into the homes of people who never would have used an illegal drug. This addiction was initiated by the legitimate prescribing of painkillers like Vicodin, Lortab or OxyContin. As a person’s body builds tolerance to the pills, they need more of the drug just to feel normal and keep the pain away. This route to addiction is insidious because the person using the medication may not even realize when legitimate medical use slips into misuse and addiction.
Now, the story is emerging of how soldiers returning from deployments overseas either come back addicted to pain medication or how it develops after they continue the medication in the US.
One of the latest media stories on this tragic problem appeared in the Huffington Post. According to a study published on their website, nearly half the soldiers who return from deployment have chronic pain and 15% are using opioid (synthetic opiates) painkillers.
It’s also notable that of those taking painkillers, 44% state that they have had mild or no pain in the last month. Continue reading