Staying Sober and Drug-free Through the Holidays

celebrating with friendsThere are many reasons that holidays can be a difficult time for someone who is trying to stay sober. It might not even be that a person has been addicted and is in recovery. It could just be that they realize they are not at their best when they drink or use drugs. Unfortunately, the holidays are a time that many people who might not indulge loosen their own restraints. Just being around people who are indulging can be difficult for a person who is trying to stay sober.

Of course, the major drug used during these times is alcohol. But other people may turn to prescription medications to deal with the stress of long days or problematic relationships with family. If they consume more pills than recommended or use someone else’s prescription, then they are abusing these drugs. Benzodiazepines, painkillers, sleep aids – these are all commonly abused prescription drugs. All of them are addictive and have problematic side effects. Some of them can be deadly, especially in combination. Continue reading

Alcohol-related Drownings – Preventable Deaths

two men drunk at barPicture a group of young men or women going out on a winter’s evening. They’re going to have dinner and then hang out at a bar for awhile. Maybe there’s a lot of people they know at the bar and they stay longer than they planned. There’s a lot of alcohol flowing. It gets late and a few people start to leave. One young man knows he’s too drunk to drive home so he sets off to walk the mile or so home. But he never arrives. The police are involved a day later and they don’t find him anywhere. It’s a mysterious loss until weeks later, someone finds his body in a frozen pond. He was so disoriented that he wandered into a park, tumbled into the pond and was too cold and disoriented to rescue himself. Continue reading

Shire Pharmaceuticals Settles False Marketing Lawsuit for Adderall

adderallIn September, Shire Pharmaceuticals, the developer and marketer of Adderall, settled a lawsuit claiming that they falsely marketed this drug. The lawsuit, brought by a former executive of the company, stated that Shire had made marketing claims about this drug intended to treat problems controlling one’s attention (referred to as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by doctors and psychiatrists) that were not supported by clinical evidence.

For example, the lawsuit states that Shire claimed Adderall XR (extended release) was superior to drugs from other manufacturers treating the same condition when there was no such evidence on hand. Also that Adderall XR could help prevent some problems thought to be associated with ADHD, again when there was no such evidence. The list of these problems included:

• Poor academic performance
• Loss of employment
• Criminal behavior
• Traffic accidents
• Sexually transmitted disease

Shire did not admit wrongdoing but settled the claim for $56.5 million. Continue reading

The Surgeon General Speaks Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction

The weekend of November 15-16, 2014, the U.S. Surgeon General was speaking at the American Public Health Association meeting in New Orleans. He had plenty to say about the use of drugs and excess use of alcohol.

He told his audience, “Without healthy people we are nothing. Without a healthy people, we have no future.” He also reminded the crowd that the World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Surgeon General discusses substance abuse
There are many paths to being healthy according to this definition. One of those paths is avoiding the use of drugs and the excessive use of alcohol. The Surgeon General agrees, as his strategy for achieving health includes this statement: “Preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use improves quality of life, academic performance, workplace productivity, and military preparedness.” Continue reading

Narconon Fresh Start Educates 100,000 Kids on Dangers of Drugs

school kidsSouthern California is a center of focus in the nationwide drug epidemic. Drug trafficking organizations transport their contraband across the border with Mexico and in through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Many drugs such as methamphetamine are even produced locally. Southern California is also home to a major force for change in the fight against drug abuse and addiction, Narconon Fresh Start. Continue reading

Narconon Tijuana Holds Two Year Anniversary

tijuanaOn October 25, around 100 people gathered at the Narconon Tijuana drug rehab center to celebrate the second anniversary of the center’s grand opening in 2012. It was not long ago that Padre Jaime Lares Chairez, a Catholic priest working in Tijuana, decided to open a Narconon center, but in that time the organization that he established has saved many lives and has begun shining the light of hope into a city plagued by the effects of drug abuse and addiction. It all began when Padre Lares, who had already been working to help addicts in his community, attended a workshop that Narconon International provided to Twelve Step centers in Tijuana. Continue reading

Addiction Often Starts with Legitimate Prescription Drug Use

It took a long time for this picture to come to light – how all too people often become addicted after taking medications that were prescribed by their doctors.

It’s not exactly a new trend, but it’s one that has seen explosive growth in the last two decades. Here’s a few milestones on the way to our current epidemic:

Late 1800s: Doctors prescribed laudanum for pain, menstrual cramps, “hysteria” and many other problems. Laudanum is opium dissolved in alcohol and it created addicts.

cocaine advertisement early 1900sTurn of century: Patent medicines offered cannabis, opium, morphine, alcohol and cocaine for anything that ails you. Because the medications were “patented,” they didn’t have to disclose their ingredients. Gradually, the distribution of these drugs was brought under the control of physicians and laws controlling their possession and sale made it a little harder to become addicted.

1950s: Drugs like tranquilizers (Miltowns) and barbiturates (sleeping pills) began to be more widely prescribed. Some people, like Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, died from overdoses. Continue reading

Narconon Participates in Drug Prevention Activities

kids classroomOctober was National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, an annual event sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Across the nation, organizations held events and engaged in activities aimed at the goal of raising awareness of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, and the month was ushered in with a proclamation issued by President Obama. Among the large number of organizations which took part in National Substance Abuse Prevention Month this year were the many Narconon drug rehab centers located across the United States. Continue reading

Narconon Arrowhead Observes Red Ribbon Week 2014

oct calendarFrom October 23rd through the 31st, the staff and students of Narconon Arrowhead celebrated Red Ribbon Week, annual event which is part of the broader Nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign, sponsored by the National Family Partnership. Throughout the week, Narconon Arrowhead was working to spread the message of Red Ribbon Week, which this year was summed up with the theme “Love Yourself. Be Drug Free.” Red Ribbon Week is all about promoting awareness of the dangers of drug use and the negative impacts of drugs on the individual and society, and Narconon Arrowhead is a strong supporter of the event. Continue reading

Parents Share Stories of their Child’s Drug Overdose in Effort to Save Other Lives

It’s a new online trend: Parents sharing photographs of their children in hospital beds – or worse – after they overdose or suffer life-threatening reactions to illicit drugs.

father posts image of son after heroin overdoseIn three of these cases, the teens or young adults were hooked up with tubes, wires to monitors, sometimes respirators. They were all – two young women and one young man – in comas caused by their drug use. The two women had taken Molly (the crystalline form of Ecstasy although it may actually contain other substances as well.) The young man was in a coma after he overdosed on heroin.

In the fourth case, a parent took a photo of his child just after he died of a heroin overdose and was delivered to a funeral home.

A Colorado Rave Almost Took One Young Life

Here is one of those photos, as published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper. According to the story, this seventeen-year-old girl took Molly at an electronic dance festival in Colorado in September 2014. Was it a bad batch of the drug or was this just her reaction to taking it? Reports from the event said that the venue was oversold, overcrowded, hot and cooling water was hard to come by. Continue reading