Fear of Legal Repercussions Prevents Many Addicts from Seeking Help

legalNews reports from California since the enactment of Proposition 47 in the November 2014 elections have brought to light an interesting relationship between drug rehab treatment and the legal consequences — or lack thereof — of living as a drug addict. In last year’s elections, the voters of California approved Prop 47, a measure which reduces the punishment for most drug crimes in that state. Provided that it is a “non-serious and nonviolent” drug crime, the offense has in most cases been reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. Continue reading

Community Events Being Held in Observance of National Drug Facts Week

drugsWhen it was first launched in 2010, National Drug Facts Week was observed by people across the United States, but it was at that time limited to 92 events scattered throughout the country. Now, five years later, the annual event has ballooned in scope and size, to the point where it has spread far and wide and in 2015 it was observed at a total of 1,557 events nationwide, an average of more than 30 per state. The event was held this year from January 26th through February 1st, and as in every year it was sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), along with several other federal agencies: Continue reading

How to Have Fun during Spring Break without Drugs or Alcohol

drug free spring breakPlanning to go to Spring Break this year? Maybe your destination is South Padre Island or Panama City or Fort Lauderdale. Or maybe you’ll catch a flight to Cancun or Jamaica. You and hundreds of thousands of other young people will be welcomed at any of these Spring Break destinations.

While many people might be headed to these places with the idea of heavy drinking and drugs, wild nights and promiscuity, what about getting a group of friends and doing something that is truly fun and adventurous?   Who says it always has to be about getting drunk or high?

It make take a little creativity, but there are many things you can do on spring break that can be just as exciting without all the misery that comes from a week long binge.  For the more adventurous, you might even want to try some extreme sports such as skydiving and rock climbing.

Here are just a few ideas for drug and alcohol-free activities in some prime Spring Break destinations that will create memories you can enjoy for years.  Instead of hazy memories of upsets, tears, hangovers and fights – or worse.

Spring Break Adventures

scuba divingCancun: Take an ATV tour of the jungle canopy near Cancun, followed by ziplining through the trees or into a water-filled crater in the middle of the jungle. If you prefer, swim with dolphins or tour some of Cancun’s coral reefs.

Fort Lauderdale: Scuba, free dive or snorkel along coral reefs or investigate underwater wrecks like the 325-foot Copenhagen. Just about any watersport you can think of is available, such as paddleboards, waverunners, kayaks or jetpack rides. Or take one of those cool airboats through the Everglades. Continue reading

How to Get an Addict to Seek Help

helping an addictThe family members of an addicted person often watch in horror as everything valuable to the addict is lost. Relationships are destroyed as the addicted person steals and lies repeatedly. It’s common for a spouse to leave and take children away for their protection.

But this doesn’t mean that the family just sat idly by while all this destruction took place. In most cases, they have made repeated appeals to the addicted person to please quit using drugs or drinking. When it became obvious that the problem was not going to go away, they usually began to look for a rehab program. Where things stalled was in trying to get the addicted person into the program.

The bitter truth of addiction is that the condition itself prevents its own resolution. A rehab program can be prepared to accept the person but he (or she) very often disappears instead of starting the program that could save his life. To get this person into rehab, the first thing a family needs to do is understand why this happens. Continue reading

What Does the 49th Anniversary of Narconon Mean to Us?

narconon-49-year-anniversaryOn February 19th, the Narconon network celebrates its 49th birthday. On this day in 1966, William Benitez made the decision to found a rehab program to be called Narconon. He was in prison in Arizona at the time and he wanted to first help other inmates who were in jail because they could not stop using drugs. It took several months for him to convince prison officials to let him run the country’s first inside-the-prison rehab program but he finally was able to gather other inmates who wanted to get sober and teach them about the personal abilities he had been able to rebuild by studying the works of humanitarian and author L. Ron Hubbard. After he was released from prison, he established the first Narconon center in Los Angeles, teaching the same principles.

Now, almost 50 years later, there are Narconon rehab and prevention organizations and groups around the world. More than 38,000 individuals have graduated from this rehab program and that doesn’t even count those who graduated in the early years, before we started keeping official records.

Likewise, we’ll never exactly know how many people have been reached with our drug prevention curriculum. In Russia, one of our drug educators reached more than 250,000 people in six years. In Southern California, one drug ed team reached 100,000 young people last year. And in Nepal, the center in Kathmandu has reached out to more than 650,000 people in person and via radio and television, to educate them on the dangers of drug use. Continue reading

One of the Best Ways to Keep Kids Off Drugs

Parents these days have their work cut out for them. Drug distribution channels crisscross the country and heroin has worked its way out of the inner cities and into the suburbs. More than twenty states have legalized medical marijuana and four have made recreational marijuana use legal, increasing the amount of the drug in circulation. Of course, there’s alcohol in every city and town. Can parents still keep their kids drug-free till adulthood?

teen thinkingMany youth state that their parents do have conversations with them about marijuana and alcohol but those parents may not be familiar with all the other drugs available to youth. They may not think their children have access to painkillers, Ecstasy or any other many dangerous synthetic drugs on the market. It’s hard for parents to stay up-to-date on every drug their children might be exposed to.

But you can do something effective even beyond educating yourself and your kids about drugs. When parents work with their children to set and achieve goals, this is one major way they can help keep their kids drug-free. Working toward these goals, they have a purpose and life becomes a more of a game. Continue reading

Two Signs You May be Addicted to Alcohol

vital signs of addiction to alcoholAlcoholism can be a tricky problem to diagnose. That’s partly because alcohol is usually slow to addict – for some people, it can take years for them to become full-blown alcoholics. So alcoholism may creep up on one so very gradually, it’s unnoticeable.

It can be deceptive, too. Some people who drink almost every day may comment that because they can go a day or even two without drinking, they are not alcoholics.

So how can one judge whether or not alcoholism exists?

What really counts when you are judging alcoholism are these two important factors:

1. Can the person control his (or her) drinking? Can he make a decision to reduce his consumption or quit? Or can he not?

2. Is he dependent on the use of this drug? This could be psychological or could be physical. Continue reading

The Dark Web of Online Drug Sales

The dark world of online drug salesSeveral years ago, about the only way the internet was involved in the sales and use of drugs was through fraudulent internet pharmacies. A large number of these companies sprang up across the US and around the world, selling prescription drugs (often counterfeit) without asking for a prescription from a doctor.

It took awhile, but most of these companies operating in or delivering to the US have been shut down. There are still online pharmacies in existence, but now most of the ones operating in the US are legitimate pharmacies registered with their states and operating within the law.

While that was happening, however, a new online world of drug sales grew to fairly massive proportions. And this world has entirely new and ominous characteristics. Continue reading

Dangerous Alcohol-Medication Interactions Putting Americans at Risk

alcohol boozeYou have seen it before; the warning on the label of a bottle of pills or a box of medication, urging the user to not mix the drug with alcohol. You might not have worried too much about it, because you weren’t’t inclined to be drinking alcohol when suffering a cold, the flu or whatever other malady is leading you to need medication. But what if you take prescription drugs on a regular basis, as is the case with nearly half of the American population, according to a report issued last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the most common prescription drugs carry this warning against using alcohol while taking the medication, but it is not the case that half of American adults avoid alcohol. Only 30% of the adult population abstains entirely from drinking, per data from the National Institutes of Health, so clearly there is a large number of people who “break the rules” by violating the prohibition on the bottle label and drinking alcohol despite also using medication. And indeed that is the case. A recent study, also published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reports that nearly 42% of American adults who drink admit to also using medications which have been demonstrated to have potentially dangerous interactions with alcohol. This is based on survey data collected from more than 26,000 adults from across the United States. Continue reading

How to Talk to Your Kids about Drugs

Talking to Kids About Drugs bookletAs a child approaches his (or her) teens, he becomes more mobile. There are more sleepovers, more parties, more freedom to leave the home and hang out with friends. The more freedom and time away from home, the more opportunities there are to discover alcohol and drugs.

It’s not even a question of if a child will encounter drug and alcohol use. It’s when. In addition to every other responsibility a parent faces in raising a family, here’s another one: keep all one’s children drug-free until adulthood.

But it can be hard to find a good authority to provide effective guidance on dealing with this part of raising kids. Which is why Narconon reaches out to parents with all kinds of helpful information. We’ve been educating kids for nearly fifty years on the dangers of drugs – and our drug prevention curriculum has been proven to successfully reduce drug abuse numbers. If you’d like to see the study on our program you can find it here: http://www.substanceabusepolicy.com/content/3/1/8

A Wealth of Resources

Over the years, we have created a wealth of resources to help parents effectively educate their children on both drugs and alcohol. Continue reading