New Study Reveals the Way Marijuana Changes the Brains of Young Casual Users

Pot smokerMarijuana use has become a passionate subject, with strong advocates on both sides of medical or recreational use issues. It must be very hard for a parent to know what to think, and even harder for young people to understand the path they should take.

Is marijuana as harmless as some people say? Actually, there is quite a bit of science that provides evidence of the damage that is done when a person begins smoking pot.

We have just received word on a new study that reveals changes that occur in the brains of young people who smoke the drug. Continue reading

Posted in Marijuana Use | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Raising Awareness on Alcohol Addiction

alcohol addictionApril is Alcohol Awareness Month, an event sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD). Recently, the NCADD announced that the theme for this year’s event is “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow,” and they will be promoting this theme in the event which has now been observed for the past 28 years across the United States. Alcohol Awareness Month is observed by groups including schools, colleges, churches and various other types of community organizations around the country. One of the highlights of this year’s event is the weekend of April 4-6, the Alcohol Free Weekend, when Americans were invited to skip drinking for the entire 72-hour period. The stated goal of Alcohol Awareness Month is, “to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.” This year’s focus is on the scourge of underage drinking, a public health problem that causes untold troubles for American families and communities. Some of the facts that NCADD is bringing to the forefront for this year’s event include. Continue reading

Posted in alcohol addiction | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

14 Things to Do During Alcohol Awareness Month

Maybe you’re accustomed to kicking back with your friends and having a few beers over the weekend. But this month, how about participating in Alcohol Awareness Month sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Alcohol Dependence.

Baseball game crowd

So what will replace the time with your beer drinking buddies? How about getting outdoors in the spring weather? Or going to one of the attractions in your area? Here’s a list of suggestions to get your started, some suitable for a family with children and some that anyone might enjoy.

1. Attend one of the early games of the 2014 Major League Baseball season.
2. Take the family to a museum like the Seattle Children’s Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. Continue reading

Posted in Alcohol Awareness | Tagged , , | Comments Off

5 Steps For Choosing a Drug Rehab

choosing a rehabChoosing a drug rehab center isn’t like choosing a destination for your next vacation. It’s not the kind of thing where you can afford to take your chances and know that you’ll have another shot at it if your first choice doesn’t work out. To put it bluntly, your choice of a drug rehab program could make the difference between success and failure in the attempt to get sober for yourself or your loved one, and that’s a difference that could be a life or death one. Make sure that you’re choosing the right one by following the guidelines below: Continue reading

Posted in drug rehabilitation | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Is the Next US Drug Trend Going to be Heroin?

The Washington Post just published an article that could be predicting a terrifying trend. According to an April 6th article, Mexican farmers are pulling out their marijuana crops and planting heroin poppies instead. So cheap heroin (far cheaper than prescription painkillers) has been increasingly found crossing the border.

kid smoking a jointHere’s what I am concerned about. As more states authorize the use of marijuana for medical or recreational use, there will be more of that drug in circulation. Prices will come down. That is, of course, the main reason Mexican farmers are changing their crops. They want a crop with a higher price attached. What would a savvy businessman in the drug business do? Offer another product that might appeal to someone already using alcohol or marijuana that will make the farmer more money. Continue reading

Posted in Heroin Addiction, Marijuana | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

What if we didn’t focus on the heroin epidemic or marijuana but just raised drug-free kids?

I’m watching the headlines these days and there’s so much about this drug or that – Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death triggered plenty of media coverage on the increase in heroin abuse. Zohydro is in the news as a future opiate painkiller formulation that has the potential to be easily abused by anyone with a taste for opiates. Medical marijuana is approved in state after state and several more states have this initiative on the ballot. One celebrity after another is cited or goes to jail for a DUI until it seems like no one is left sober.

After a while, it gets to be overwhelming.

What if we didn’t focus so narrowly on one drug or another? What if we just focused on one thing: raising a new generation that knows better than to pick up a drug or drink before they are legal age? Continue reading

Posted in Drug Prevention | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

The 3 Gateways to Drug Addiction

man drinking alcoholIt is very rare that a person tries heroin or cocaine as the first experience with drugs. Instead, most people who do try drugs have already been using a “gateway drug” for some time leading up to that point. A gateway drug is one which serves to open the door to using harder drugs. The three most common gateway drugs are: Continue reading

Posted in drug addiction | Tagged , , | Comments Off

The Benefits of Observing Alcohol-Free Weekend, April 4-6, 2014

group friends at coffee shopCourtesy of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, we are entering Alcohol Awareness Month which will be observed throughout April. To kick things off, they have announced that April 4 through 6 is Alcohol-Free Weekend.

Set an excellent example of responsible use of alcohol by skipping it entirely from Friday through Sunday.

If you happen to have been drinking a good bit lately, this will be a good test. Can you go that long without a drink? Continue reading

Posted in alcoholawareness | Tagged , , | Comments Off

3 New Synthetic Drugs to Watch Out For

synthetic drugsIf you are a parent and are concerned about keeping your kids off drugs, you will of course be telling them not to smoke pot, not to inject heroin and not to snort cocaine. You might even be on the ball and know to warn your children against the nonmedical use of painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as the abuse of ADHD stimulant drugs including Ritalin and Adderall. Would you know, however, about “Smiles” or “Ice”? How about 4-Methylaminorex or 2CE? Increasingly, synthetic drugs are being found in the hands of young people across the United States. In fact, synthetic marijuana, referred to commonly as Spice or K2, was the second most popular drug among American high school students last year. Here are the details on three of the newest synthetic drugs: Continue reading

Posted in drug addiction | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Interventions Can Save Lives

Addict needing interventionThere is a very unfortunate belief that is held by many families who are trying to help an addicted loved one. And that is that the person must “hit rock bottom” before they can be helped. I don’t know who invented that phrase but they did not do anyone any favors.

This phrase is often repeated by those working in or writing about addiction recovery. But I’ll tell you why it is so dangerous.

With the type of drugs on the market today, a person can easily be dead before they hit rock bottom. Continue reading

Posted in drug rehabilitation | Tagged , , | Comments Off