10 Tips for Starting New After Addiction

new start clockGetting sober is hard enough, but making a fresh start in life is in many ways an even more difficult task. Initially, you have to get through the symptoms of withdrawal and conquer the cravings that you feel for another drink or more drugs. Stepping back into the workaday world and resuming a normal lifestyle after spending years as an addict has been compared to coming out of a cave, and it is a process of transition which requires several steps, changes and resolutions to really pull off. If you have recently gotten sober, or are working on your recovery, and want to make sure that you are able to make things go right in your time after rehab, here are ten actions you can take to improve your chances of success: Continue reading

Alarming Increase in Heroin Use Across Many U.S. States

America's heroin epidemic

One recent news story after another reveals the extent of the heroin epidemic rolling across the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.

Like these headlines, for example:


February 2014: How Did Idyllic Vermont Become America’s Heroin Capital?

November 2014: “Region battles cheap, powerful heroin that kills.” (Massachusetts)

January 2015: “Since 2012, authorities track 450 percent rise in heroin-related deaths in Loudoun.” (Virginia)

January 2015: “St. Elizabeth sees ‘alarming’ jump in heroin ODs.” (Kentucky)

2 million in heroin each week in VermontAcross much of the Eastern US, similar stories are told. Heroin has moved out of the inner cities where it has created devastation for decades, and it has now arrived in the suburbs. Many young people who didn’t seem destined for drug use and certainly not for a drug overdose are being lost to heroin.

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The 5 Most Common Behavior Traits of an Addict

five common traits of addictThe behavior of an addicted person is baffling, frustrating, frightening and sad. The power of addictive substances is so strong that many people are overwhelmed by it. Their actions and words are dictated by their need for more drugs but those who know and love him (or her) may not be able to understand why they are acting the way they are. Without realizing that drug use is behind the odd, erratic, abusive or criminal behavior you’re looking at, the mystery may continue for years.

There are a few people who can be addicted to drugs or alcohol and continue to function at a job or in society. Almost no one can succeed equally in all areas of life. The stress will show up somewhere and often, that’s behind closed doors. Thus, wives, children, siblings and parents may see the worst of his behavior while co-workers or friends may think things are fine for quite a while longer.

When someone you love is addicted, the truth is very hard to face. You’re not alone in having a hard time dealing with the personality and morality changes of the one you love. This list is provided to help you separate fact from fantasy. Once you know what’s going on, you can make better decisions and take the right actions.

Common Behavior Traits of an Addict

1. They lie.

They have to tell lies to mislead people about where they were when they were really out buying or using drugs or alcohol. They have to lie about where the hundreds or thousands of dollars went. The more they feel they need drugs, the more likely they are to feel the need to lie. Continue reading

Living with an Alcoholic or Addict

woman receiving abuse from addictThere are plenty of challenging situations in life but surviving life with an alcoholic or addict is one of the most severe. The problems created by that person’s addiction can be life-threatening, can cause bankruptcy and the mental and emotional stress are unrelenting. Since some people continue to be addicted for years, the situation creates a continuous strain that can sap all the happiness out of family members dealing with this problem.

Because the condition of addiction is often so similar from one person to the next, the actions needed to survive this situation may be also be quite similar. Take a look at this advice based on the experience of many who have lived through it before and see what you can implement to improve your situation.

Protect Yourself and Others Who Might be Vulnerable

This is extremely important. You will not be able to help anyone if you are sick, injured or beaten down by worry or abuse. Children must feel that their home and daily environment are safe. This could mean temporary relocation while a lasting solution is found. Or it might mean asking for someone else to provide mental or physical support. For example, asking another family member to move into the home so the addicted person knows that someone else could be present any time they choose to drop by. It will usually means changing locks and proofing the house from intrusion. Schools must be notified that an addicted parent may not pick up children. As much as possible, build a strong perimeter around yourself, children, the elderly and others who could be harmed. Continue reading

Ten Signs You May Be Addicted to Marijuana

10 ways to tell if you are addicted marijuanaThe evidence is quite clear now – yes, many people are becoming addicted to marijuana. It happens in greater numbers among those who start young, but it can happen to anyone. Once you’re addicted, the whole shape of your life begins to shift around to focus on the use of weed. You may not even realize you’ve become addicted. To find out, check your answers to these ten questions.

1. Have you abandoned activities you once enjoyed, such as sports, art, music, writing or traveling?

Research has validated the fact that marijuana brings about mental changes that can nega-tively affect motivation or decisions. Activities that require quick mental competence, concentration or initiative may not be as much fun any more and may be abandoned.

2. Have goals that were once important to you gone by the wayside, such as career or education?

One study from the University of Texas found that marijuana users averaged five IQ points less than those who did not smoke the drug. Another study found that teens who used the drug lost an average of 8 IQ points and that they did not recover these points when they stopped using it. A loss like this could make it more difficult to succeed at work or school. Continue reading

Alcohol Abuse Treatment and Self Help Guide

alcohol abuseHoping to quit drinking and get sober but don’t know how? have you tried to quit in the past but failed for whatever reason? Maybe you just didn’t know how to quit. Though it all begins with the decision to change, there is a lot more to recovery than simply changing one’s mind. Recovery is different for everyone, but there are certain things that must occur, and guidelines that should be followed for a smooth and successful rehabilitation. The team at Helpguide.org has assembled an exhaustive guide to alcohol abuse and self-help, which can be used to assist one in the process of attempting to get sober. Self-guided recovery is not possible in every case — very often it is necessary to get into an in-patient rehab facility — but for those who are able to follow this route, the guide is a tremendous resource. It also provides insight into some of the things that one can expect during a rehab program. The main points of the guide are outlined below: Continue reading

Contraband Users Susceptible to Drug Abuse

contrabandThe use of contraband cigarettes among young adults may be a reliable indicator of illicit drug use, according to a new study out of Canada. A team of researchers working at the University of Alberta evaluated data collected from 2,136 high school students in the 9th through 12th grades, using information gathered during the 2010-2011 Youth Smoking Survey conducted by Statistics Canada, a division of that country’s federal government. The major finding of the University of Alberta study was that teenagers who smoke contraband cigarettes are several times more likely to also be found using illicit drugs. Cigarettes in Canada are heavily taxed, increasing the cost of a pack of smokes by around 75%, a measure which is meant in large part to curb the rates of nicotine use by making the habit cost prohibitive. Though this is likely effective to a degree, it also gives rise to a black market which is estimated at around $1.5 billion in value. Some people are making a lot of money by smuggling cigarettes across the border and around the country into provinces with higher cigarette tax rates, and many young adults in that country smoke these contraband cigarettes. Continue reading

Withdrawal Symptoms from Marijuana?

Some People Still Don’t Think They Exist

teen pot userWill marijuana cause withdrawal symptoms if a person quits using it, like other drugs do? There are many people who claim that there are no withdrawal symptoms and that the drug isn’t addictive. You may have heard these two claims repeated over and over again.

However, both of these claims are false. There is plenty of documentation that marijuana is, indeed, addictive and that one does experience withdrawal symptoms after quitting use.

Here’s why you may have heard both claims in the same breath, so to speak. The classic definition of addiction includes compulsive use of a drug despite all the harm and destruction that results AND the presence of withdrawal symptoms when a person quits using that drug. The third characteristic of addiction is that a person will develops tolerance, which means that more of a drug must be consumed to get the same effects as before. When these points exist related to the use of a drug, then addiction exists.

Can marijuana create this condition?

Yes on all counts.

In 2012, more than 300,000 people were admitted to treatment programs to get help for marijuana addiction. (Actually, it was more than this because this number only includes people who went into publicly-funded programs.) These are people who needed support to stop ruining their lives with marijuana consumption. Since only about one person in ten who needs treatment gets it, this means that more than three million Americans were addicted to this drug in 2012.

The Arapahoe House is a treatment facility that accepts teens for treatment. They recently reported that the number of teens being admitted for treatment of marijuana addiction has risen 66% between 2011 and 2014. It’s important to note that marijuana is far more addictive for a young person than an adult. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has calculated that 9% of all people using marijuana will wind up addicted. But when use starts in the teenaged years, that number jumps to 17% – something parents should realize.

Recent Studies Provide Proof of Withdrawal Symptoms for Marijuana

There have been a couple of significant studies in the last few years that provide insight into the phenomenon of marijuana withdrawal.

In 2012, an Australia study monitored the effects suffered when 49 people addicted to marijuana quit using the drug. This group reported: “irritability, sleep difficulties and other symptoms that affected their ability to work and their relationships.”

The study also isolated the symptoms that interfered the most with their daily lives. These problematic symptoms included:

  • physical tension
  • sleep problems
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mood swings
  • loss of appetite.

Then, in 2014, a study followed the symptoms of 76 teens admitted to a substance abuse clinic for treatment of marijuana addiction. Of these, 36 experienced the withdrawal symptoms listed above.

What Conclusion Would You Draw?

Gradually, our society is coming to grips with the fact that this drug is addictive. Perhaps the most important element of addiction to consider is the compulsion to continue to use this drug, even though bad things are happening in your life. A common phenomenon experienced by a chronic marijuana user is seeing the harmful effects happening and not even caring, as heavy marijuana use tends to create a numbness or apathy.

Hopefully, this will clarify the subject for you. If you are using this drug, you now know what to expect when you quit. If you need help quitting and just as importantly, getting your life back on track, call us. We help people recover their ability to live productive, enjoyable lives every day.






Addictive, Damaging Party Drug Ketamine as Fast Treatment for Depression?

Sounds Way Too Good to be True

10 things about ketamine bookletDid you ever hear that saying “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t”? That could apply to plans to use the party drug ketamine to treat depression. In an article published on the website www.nature.com, it’s reported that doctors have been trying out ketamine to treat those struggling with depression. Here’s one reason why ketamine has caught the attention of medical practitioners: doctors may have to wait weeks for there to be any change at all in patients after a drug is prescribed for depression but ketamine’s impact is very fast.

Some doctors think that ketamine should not only be used to treat depression, but also someone who is suicidal. Dr. Zarate of the National Institute of Mental Health has even stated that a person who has just tried to commit suicide may be able to be treated with ketamine and then be released within hours. When a person may have taken years to get so upset with life that he wants to kill himself, it could be deeply irresponsible to just give this person a drug and then send him on his way.

Why Ketamine is a Drug to be Taken Seriously

  1. Ketamine is mainly used as an animal anesthetic. It is occasionally used as an anesthetic for humans and in fact, was frequently used in field hospitals in Vietnam. But the aftereffects of the drug were sufficiently alarming that it has mostly dropped out of use except for specific situations where other drugs can’t used. What were those alarming aftereffects? Hallucinations, delirium, bizarre and frightening dreams that may even occur later, after the drug has worn off.

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The Difficulties in Finding Substance Abuse Treatment

searching netThe latest estimates hold that there are roughly 20 million people across the United States whose drinking or drug use is serious enough that they meet the criteria for having a substance abuse disorder. These people, men and women from all social strata and all walks of life, share one thing in common: Their struggles with substance abuse are out of control and they are losing a battle with addiction. Of these, around 1 in 10, or 2 million people, make it into treatment for their addiction in a given year.  Continue reading