Why Many People Don’t Seek Treatment for Addiction

In the United States, more than 23 million people live with addiction. The greatest number of these people are trapped in the abuse of alcohol. And while a smaller number cite drugs as their primary problem, the truth is that with polydrug use (the use of multiple drugs at a time or close together) the norm rather than the exception, the lines are definitely blurred.

The biggest group of people going to rehab are going because of alcohol problems. But look closer. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports on the substances that drove 1.8 million people to treatment in 2012. Of these people, 701,147 people needed help for alcohol. But 45% of these people were struggling with the use of alcohol plus another drug. The remainder listed illicit or prescription drugs as their primary problems.

But of course, the vast majority of people who needed treatment never got it. More than 20 million people damaged their lives, trashed their health, lost their jobs, alienated their families or lost custody of their children due to drugs or alcohol. What’s more, in 2012, about 88,000 people died from alcohol-related causes. Every year, more than 100 people a day die from drug overdoses and more die from injuries or illnesses related to their drug use. These people will never have the chance to go to rehab. Continue reading

Does the Increasing Potency of Marijuana Have any Connection to the Number of People Going to Rehab for Pot?

By now, most people know that marijuana has gotten far more potent over the last few decades. Here is a chart showing the average potency of marijuana between the mid-1990s and 2013. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, the potency rose from about 1.5% to 4% but then the growth really took off. By 2013, average potency was nearly 13%.

marijuana potency statistics

These potency numbers are obtained by testing samples of drugs seized by law enforcement. Note that medical marijuana businesses promote much higher potencies for their products, of-ten in the 25% to 30% range.

Those who feel that marijuana should be legal for everyone to use will tell you that smokers “adjust their dosage” by smoking less. If this were broadly true, then it would seem that as the po-tency went up, the number of people going to rehab would remain about the same. Continue reading

Narconon Arrowhead ‘Decking the Halls’ for Christmas

christmas decorationsPeople who spend their holidays in rehab may feel like they’re going to be missing out on the festivities, but those who are are Narconon Arrowhead this year don’t have to have that problem. The staff and students of the Narconon center in Oklahoma are kicking off the holiday season with a “Deck the Halls” party early in December. It’s a yearly tradition, and everyone works together to decorate the building for the Christmas holiday, including a beautiful tree in the lobby. Decorating the center is not all that the people at Narconon Arrowhead do, and indeed the holiday season sees a flurry of activities to celebrate the occasion, spread the spirit of the holiday, and to have fun while doing it. Continue reading

Is it Okay if Your Child Drinks a Little or Smokes a Little Marijuana?

teens smoking marijuanaAs long as he (or she) is not overdoing it, are you okay with a little drug use by your kids? Does it not worry you if your child drinks as long as they do it at home or the home of someone you know? And how about marijuana? Is this fairly harmless, as far as you’re concerned? And if they smoke, is it just not worth arguing about? Just as long as they don’t move on to “hard drugs” like heroin or cocaine.

Maybe these ideas horrify you. Maybe they don’t. For many parents, they are acceptable. Should they be?

Vital Information for All Parents on the Effects of these Drugs

There’s a number of reasons why it’s a very bad idea to condone use of these drugs. The primary one centers on the fact that tobacco, alcohol and marijuana act as gateway drugs to more serious drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and synthetics. It’s not us saying that, it’s the National Center on Addiction and Drug Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) that says it. Continue reading

Annual Thanksgiving Dinner For Patients & Families Held at Narconon Arrowhead Facility

thanksgiving dinnerMany people who are considering getting into rehab so that they can finally quit abusing drugs or alcohol hesitate to do so during the holidays. They don’t want to miss out on everything, or maybe they are concerned about letting their loved ones down by not being there for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Likewise, the family of an addict might sometimes encourage him or her to put rehab off until after the holidays, not wanting to be apart and thinking maybe that the spirit of the season will somehow help to provide a buffer against the problems that come with substance abuse. Fortunately, it doesn’t always have to be an either/or choice. Those who choose Narconon Arrowhead for their rehab program get to spend the holidays with their loved ones, while also making progress on their recovery from addiction during the holidays. Continue reading

Keeping Up with the New Synthetic Drugs on the Market

synthetic drug packagingFor many decades, changes in the illicit drug market occurred very slowly. In the 1960s, a number of new psychedelics arrived in the US and other major markets and stayed. Cocaine began to show up in volume in the US in the 1980s and was soon followed by a new way of processing the drug – crack cocaine. In the 1990s, the number of painkillers on the market increased and the volume of prescriptions in circulation skyrocketed.

But these changes are nothing compared to the tsunami of new drugs we have seen in the last several years. To give you an idea of the volume, a European drug monitoring agency reported identifying more than 350 “new psychoactive substances” on the market (this is their name for these new synthetics). In 2013 alone, 81 new substances were added to this list.

Why Are the Number of Synthetic Drugs Increasing So Fast?

Is it baffling why there are so many different synthetics being sold? Here’s why that’s happening. Continue reading

Finding Rehab During the Holiday Season

person needing drug rehabEach year as the holidays approach, families may postpone their efforts to get a loved one to rehab. It may be that that families are so desperate to see a loved one who was lost to addiction that they don’t even want to think about sending him (or her) away. After all, it may be the only time they see this person this year. Moms and dads may want to have just a few moments of family togetherness with this person they’re worrying about night and day.

This feeling is completely understandable.  Of course they want to have a nice holiday celebration with everyone together again.

Comments from several addicted people who did show up for their holiday dinners after being away shows that no one got what they wanted from these celebrations. Continue reading

How Do We Really Fight Drug Abuse?

teens smoking marijuanaIt’s not hard to find controversial opinions about America’s war on drugs. The dialogue on the subject gets passionate, argumentative and even downright combative at time. Some people argue that we need a highly militarized solution to the trafficking of drugs. Other people say that drugs should be legalized, that this will somehow cure the problem.

Neither one of these seem like solutions. We do know one thing, however: the most vital war on drugs is fought at home. Parents fight this war to protect their children.

Outside the home, most children of twelve and older will see some kids their age and older using drugs or drinking. While they are in single digits, they may hear from another child how cool it is to find spray cans or cleaning supplies around the home and inhale the fumes. The chance that they will someday walk into a home where there are drunk or stoned young people is about 100%. Continue reading

Narconon Arrowhead Provides Alcohol Prevention for Thanksgiving

thanksgivingIf you ask most people what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving, you will hear many say that what they most value is their family and friends. They are thankful for the time they get to spend together, and for the fact that they can look forward to many more years of happiness with their loved ones. In this spirit, Narconon Arrowhead is sharing alcohol abuse prevention tips this Thanksgiving to help people across the country to keep those they care about safe from the dangers of binge drinking and alcoholism during the holidays. The staff of Narconon Arrowhead know from their experience working with recovering addicts, a background which many of them share personally, that the holidays often bring a greater risk of heavy drinking than the rest of the year.  Continue reading

The Truth About Marijuana Potency Claims

Average marijuana potency 2013In Canada, a former corrections officer and pro-drug-legalization advocate objected to warnings that the potency of marijuana was tripling and quadrupling, resulting in a dangerously potent drug. John Anderson responded to this news by saying, “If you look at the difference between one and four percent, that’s 300 percent so I suppose they have an argument there.” He was was quoted by Day6 of Canadian radio station CBC.

Let’s look at the truth or accuracy of his statement.

Marijuana’s Potency

It’s not exactly correct to say that pot’s potency has increased 300%. It’s also inaccurate to scoff about marijuana potency increasing from one percent to four percent. The situation we have is truly far more serious.

The correct percentage of increase all depends on the which year you choose for comparison with today’s pot. It also depends on which cannabis product you use – regular marijuana or sinsemilla (leaves from unfertilized, seedless female plants). Continue reading