Monthly Archives: September 2012

New Report Finds More Mental Health Woes In College Kids Who Abuse Prescription Drugs

It’s no secret that while in college, a large proportion of students become involved in complicated and dangerous activities that have nothing to do with their educations. The sorority and fraternity systems are known for their heavy alcohol abuse and along with alcohol consumption can come overdoses, injuries and risky sexual activity. But in recent years, prescription drug abuse has become a rising problem. Now, there are more mental health woes in college kids who abuse prescription drugs.

A new study published the results of a survey of 26,000 American college students, completed in 2008. There were forty college campuses included in this survey. The alarming results of this survey showed a college population in which increasing numbers feel depressed, hopeless and even suicidal. The ones who expressed these feelings were more likely to also abuse prescription drugs. The survey found that 13% of students expressed these feelings.

These mental woes in college kids who abuse prescription drugs were particularly pronounced in young women who were abusing painkillers. It was thought as a result of this survey that students were trying to relieve their stress by abusing these drugs.

Keeping Students On Track For Their Goals

Abusing drugs is a fast track to addiction and addiction is an excellent way to destroy one’s dreams. When a college student finds himself (or herself) addicted, he is likely to leave his education incomplete and take any job that will enable him to get the drugs he needs to continue abusing. Some students will even stoop to dealing drugs as a way of keeping their heads above water. That can lead to arrest and the instant end of all future plans and dreams.  But recovery from addiction can mean putting that person back on the track they envisioned for their future.

Addiction Recovery Happens Every Day At Cal Narconon

The website www.calnarconon.org takes you to information about Narconon Northern California. At this location in the coast range of the state, people are finding lasting recovery from addiction every day. Just like in forty other locations around the world, the Narconon program rebuilds broken lives from the ground up. It’s not something that can be accomplished in 28 days. By the time a short-term rehab program has been completed and a person is back on the street, a person is just starting to be free of the drugs that have been circulating in his body. As a sober viewpoint just starts to surface, instead of then learning sound and reliable life skills, that person has to face all the people he was doing drugs with before, all the places where he was arrested, or used drugs, or watched someone overdose. He has to deal with cravings that may be incessant. It’s no wonder that a short term program often fails to provide sobriety.

But Narconon in Northern California (calnarconon.org) offers a long term program that a person competes at his own rate. No one ushers him out the door as soon as the month is up. He leaves when he has gone through the detoxification program that helps with cravings, when he has learned the life skills that will help keep him safe in all circumstances, and when he has renewed his personal integrity and moral code.

This is a short story about a thorough program. To really understand how this program gets its result of a 70% sobriety success rate, you’ll need to find out more about it. Call an Intake Counselor today and ask how the Narconon program can help someone you love who is struggling with addiction. Call Narconon at 1-800-775-8750 today.

Source:  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_126429.html

Is Drug Addiction Driven By Brain Cells That Control Hunger

There’s new research that is looking into whether or not the same function in the brain that triggers hunger and overeating may also drive drug addiction. This new research, performed at the Yale School of Medicine, motivated researchers to try what they called “genetic approaches” to reducing the interest in cocaine among mice. Researchers tried altering the genetic makeup of the mice by transferring genes from another species into the mice. They were trying to determine if they could manipulate the mouse’s interest in either food, novel items or activities or cocaine.

Did they prove whether or not drug addiction is driven by brain cells that control hunger? All the research showed was that in mice, not humans, when a mouse is less interested in food, they are more interested in cocaine or novelty. And these were mice in which the genetic material had been artificially changed around.

Is This Research Useful

It is useful if it means that the results of drug rehabilitation programs can be more reliable, more long-lasting for humans. But this research is very far from proving anything of the type.  Other research is being done to find a vaccine that makes cocaine ineffective. In this research, some people are being injected with a molecule composed of inactivated cholera toxins combined with a breakdown product of cocaine. In the Yale School of Medicine research using mice, researchers were interfering with nerve cell signals by knocking them out with diphtheria toxins. So far, these researches have accomplished no improvement of drug rehabilitation results.

When there is a rehab as effective as the Narconon long-term rehab program then there is no need to inject either mice or people with diphtheria or cholera toxins. When a person uses the Narconon program to recover from addiction, there is no reason to inject a person with anything. There are no drugs used as part of treatment. Only generous doses of nutritional supplements and plenty of one-on-one work with a recovering addict.

Why Nutrition Is Used At A Narconon Drug Addiction Rehab

When a person comes into one of more than forty Narconon centers after years or even decades of being addicted, they are normally in terrible physical condition. Bottles of alcohol, baggies of heroin, lines of cocaine or crushed prescription drugs all create toxic loads that the body has to deal with. And a person addicted to any of these substances usually does not take good care of himself (or herself). A person on stimulants may stay up for days, a heroin or opiate addict may skip meals, a person smoking marijuana may only eat junk food. An addicted person’s body is normally run down and depleted. As drugs are withdrawn when they get to rehab, all the aches and pains they would normally feel the aches and pains they cannot perceive because of the constant consumption of drugs or alcohol begin to show up. The person’s real mood also shows up, no longer covered up by drugs or alcohol. A person starting rehabilitation can sink into a depression simply because of the losses and pain, depletion of the body and aches and pains that are now able to be felt.

This is a major reason that a Narconon drug addiction rehab gives each person generous doses of vitamins and minerals as soon as they arrive. These vitamins begin to soak into the body, alleviating aches and muscle pain and lifting the person’s mood. Continuous attention by the staff to keep the person moving and busy and assisted in every way possible also keep the mood positive.

This is only the beginning of the long-term, holistic Narconon drug addiction recovery program. Every phase of this program is as carefully thought out to add up to lasting sobriety.

Don’t wait for researchers to modify the genetics of mice to find out what makes them less interested in cocaine. Find help for a loved one now. Find out about the whole Narconon program now by calling 1-800-775-8750.

Source:  http://in.news.yahoo.com/neurons-controlling-hunger-drive-drug-addiction-study-055111728.html

Adderall Abuse Becoming More Popular Among Teens But Are Parents Starting To Wake Up

There are plenty of stories covering the phenomenon of students abusing Adderall, the drug that is so often prescribed when a child seems too active or unfocused to a teacher or a school medical staffer. Young people in high school and college are relying on Adderall as a stimulant to help them stay up long hours and focus on studies far beyond their normal limits. Some students who don’t use Adderall by having a prescription or by acquiring it illicitly complain that the drug provides an unfair advantage to those willing to use any tactic to get ahead even a dangerous or addictive one.

According to a blog on the Huffington post, some students simply consume normal doses of Adderall, some take more of it than normally prescribed and some people snort it. Snorting the drug provides a fairly instant increase in energy, the same way that snorting cocaine or methamphetamine would. After all, Adderall is made up of different forms of amphetamine, very similar to the street form of this drug. With Adderall abuse becoming more popular among teens, it would be smart to understand the potential for addiction to this kind of drug or other drugs.

Adderall Classed With Cocaine And Morphine

Adderall is classed by the Drug Enforcement Administration in the same class as cocaine and morphine. Despite this, parents usually knuckle under when a doctor tells them that their child needs this drug in order to fit someone’s idea of normal behavior. Other students are willing to take an uneducated risk and ask friends who have prescriptions to sell some of their pills. Some students will also go to health services or family practitioners and tell the lies that will get them the pills, although student health services are starting to wise up and are restricting the drugs more than before.

Some young people who start using Adderall to give them a chemical “edge” in their studies may suffer two damaging fates: they may become addicted or harmed by this drug, being unable to stop taking it; or they may progress on to the abuse of other harmful and addictive drugs. One researcher found a clear link between the use of stimulants by youth with the use of cocaine in later childhood or adulthood.

Each year, almost 21 million prescriptions for these drugs are given, just for children between 10 years of age and 19. This number has increased 26 percent since 2007. The hand of medical doctors or psychiatrists must be seen in the fact of Adderall abuse becoming more popular among teens.

But here and there, some parents are starting to object and refuse to start using these medications or getting their children off them.

Narconon Rehab Centers Offer Help To Those Who Lost The Fight

When a person relies on a drug like this, it is easy to become addicted without ever realizing it is happening. A student finally realizes they cannot stop using a drug, or they are drawn to abuse other drugs. These people may find themselves in a Narconon rehab center, one of more than fifty on six continents around the world.

At Narconon rehab centers, they will find only healthy means of leaving drugs behind. That means they will not be treated with other prescription drugs that are themselves addictive. This is a vicious cycle that is experienced at many drug rehab facilities. Drugs such as Xanax, Valium, barbiturates as sleep aids, Prozac, buprenorphine or methadone are given at many other rehabs around the US and in other countries.

But Narconon only helps a person find complete sobriety through the use of nutritional supplements, one-on-one work with the staff to relax and find calmness, and the services of the program that quickly help a person achieve more stability.

The whole idea of the Narconon program is to make a person strong and capable, thereby able to build a drug-free life. At that point, the use of addictive drugs becomes unattractive. Find out how this program can help someone you care about who wants to leave drugs behind. Call 1-800-775-8750 today.

Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marilyn-wedge-phd/kids-adderall-abuse_b_1584999.html

Media Catching Up To The Risky Rise Of The Good Grade Pill

After years of growth in the use and abuse of prescription stimulants by America’s students, major media outlets are finally spreading the word. A thorough article in the New York Times exposed the extent to which America’s youth are relying on prescription stimulants like Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta and Vyvanse to boost their ability to ace tests, finals and placement exams.

At highly competitive high schools like those where the students are expected to progress on to Ivy League schools, the use of these drugs has gotten even more prevalent. While surveys like the annual Monitoring the Future survey of 8th, 10th and 12th graders states that use of stimulants has declined and is holding steady at that lower level, anecdotal information and interviews with the students in these environments tell different tales. In some high schools and colleges, students, faculty or medical staff estimate use at 25%, 33% or even 40% of the student body.

The culture of American schools seems to have accepted this risky rise of the good grade pill, despite the dangers that accompany it. While little news coverage attests to the addictiveness of this pill and the fact that some students progress on to abuse of other drugs, the New York Times article pulls no such punches. This article comments on some students winding up in rehab and others progressing on to use of stimulants like cocaine or opiates like Percocet. In fact, the risky rise of the good-grade pill is endangering our young people, either by the toxic effects of the drugs themselves, by the possibility of addiction or by the tendency of some of these students to move on to the use of other drugs.

Creating A Drug-Free Culture For Youth

Teaching children that it’s wrong to rely on drugs for achievement or mood modification is going to involve getting all the young people currently using drugs off them totally. Some of these people will need rehabilitation in order to stop. Many others will need drug education to teach them clearly enough why drug use is damaging. If they feel compelled to illicitly acquire these drugs, or to lie to medical personnel about their reasons for needing them, they will need to get a firm grasp on the rationale behind staying sober. It is likely to take a clear understanding of the value of a drug-free life to shift a student’s viewpoint over to a desire to face life sober.

Drug Rehab Meetings May Help Some But Others Will Need More

Around the world, there are tens of thousands of drug rehab meetings. It’s possible to find drug rehab meetings in almost any small town, at almost any time of the day or night. Some people find that these meetings bring them success, but other people need much more intensive help.

When a person starts being addicted very early or when they spend many years being addicted, they can lose the social skills required to interact with others. They could attend drug rehab meetings for years without coming to grips with their own issues.  That’s why the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program does not rely on this type of meeting. Every step of the Narconon program is calculated and designed to address a specific aspect of addiction.

Over forty-five years, the Narconon program has built up an impressive history of helping the addicted leave the habit and the damage behind. Seven out of ten Narconon graduates go on to build sober lives for themselves after they go home.  Find out more about this unique program by calling 1-800-775-8750 today.

Sources:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F01E2DE1339F933A25755C0A9649D8B63&emc=eta1&pagewanted=5

What Are The Signs Of Heroin Use In A Loved One

Heroin is a very dangerous illicit drug. It is an opiate and is classified as a depressant. Heroin is highly addictive and many users have admitted being hooked after the first use. Another danger is that the drugs are not created equal. So users do not know the purity of the heroin that they are using. This greatly increases the risk of side effects, overdose and death.

Heroin is most often taken intravenously. However, it can also be smoked, snorted or taken in pill form.  Another method of use is to lace it with other drugs. The side effects can vary depending on the method of consumption.

The Main Warning Signs Of Heroin Use

There are many things to look for to indicate that someone may be using heroin or other drugs. One of the main things to look for are dramatic changes in the person’s life. Here are some areas of life that may be changed:

Performance – This can be work or school related. Is this person doing poorly in class or work where they used to do well? Is there poor attendance? No attendance? Look for area where a person used to do well but is now doing poorly.

Personal care – This is a common sign to many drug users. When a person is on Heroin they may no longer look like they take care of themselves. They may look like their clothes are dirty. Like they aren’t showering or brushing their hair. They can look like they generally don’t care about their personal hygiene.

Recklessness – Someone using heroin often may not care about the consequences of their actions. The may steal money or break the law in order to get their next fix.

Withdrawal from friends, family and activities – Another sign of heroin use could be withdrawal from normal activities. Heroin users often become withdrawn from family and friends that they used to be close to. They may become secretive about who they are spending time with.

There are also physical things to look for if you suspect someone of heroin use:

•    Weight loss
•    Runny nose (no other symptoms of sickness)
•    Track marks in arms from needles
•    Infections or abscesses
•    Loss of menstrual cycle for women
•    Cuts, bruises or scabs

Here is paraphernalia to look for from heroin users. Below are some common items that you might find:

•    Needles or syringes
•    Burned silver spoons
•    Aluminum foil and/or gum wrappers which have burn marks
•    Missing shoelaces. These are often used to tie off veins.
•    Straws with burns.
•    Plastic bags containing white powdery residue
•    Water pipes or other pipes.

In addition to the physical signs listed above, there are definite behavioral signs to look out for as well:

•    Lying or being deceptive
•    Avoiding eye contact
•    Increased sleeping
•    Slurred speech
•    Sudden worsening of job or school performance.
•    Decreasing attention to hygiene and physical appearance
•    Loss of motivation or apathy
•    Withdrawal from friends and family
•    Lack of interest in hobbies and favorite activities
•    Stealing or borrowing money from family and friends, or valuables go missing
•    Hostile behaviors toward family and friends
•    Wearing long pants or long sleeves even in very warm weather. The purpose being to hide track marks.

Help Through Narconon News

Narconon-news.org warns that if you notice someone displaying some of these signs, don’t ignore it. Heroin is a very dangerous drug and you have a chance to quite possibly save this person’s life. It is nearly impossible to quit heroin alone. Please contact us narconon-news.org. We have professionals who can help with the exact treatment needed to get someone off of heroin.

Sources:

http://www.opiates.com/heroin/heroin-side-effects.html

Why California Drug Arrests Have Increased

California is one of America’s largest states. Dozens and dozens of bustling metropolis areas, rural countryside’s, Beautiful wine vineyards, beaches, mountains, redwood forests, snowy peaks, deserts and valleys. Yes, California has a bit of everything. Unfortunately, with the vast numbers of people in America’s most populated state, there are also problems. One of the biggest is drugs.

A Look At California’s Numbers

A report on California’s drug arrests indicates a 39% increase in juvenile related drug arrests. During that same time period, the adult drug related arrest percentage increased by 11.4%. Felony and misdemeanor marijuana arrests happened to be the only areas where juvenile arrest rates were higher than adult rates. Marijuana offenses were the main player in the 39% increase that was reported.

Another section of the same report indicates the amount of drugs seized at the southwest border of California.  According to the report, cocaine and methamphetamine seizures steadily increased over the past 20 years and do not show and signs that they are leveling off or decreasing. At the same time, Marijuana seizure has decreased gradually over the past two decades.

The interesting thing to notice is that while there are way less marijuana being seized at the border, there are significantly more arrests for the drug than any other drug in the state. In fact, another report indicate that marijuana arrests have spiked to alarming numbers over the past decade, while the arrests for all other illegal drugs, possession, manufacture and selling, declined substantially.

What’s The Reason For The Drug Use & Arrest Increase

Many articles are being written that all state the same thing about the recent rise in marijuana arrests:

In 1990, half of California’s marijuana possession arrestees were African-American, Latino, Asian, or other nonwhite and 35% were under 20 years old. Ten years later, in the year 2010, 64% were nonwhite and 52% were under age 20. Marijuana possession arrests of nonwhite teens spiked from 3,100 in 1990 all the way to 16,400 in 2010. This indicates a jump that is 300% greater than population growth for that group.

According to the same report, California’s African-American population is 4 times more likely to be apprehended for marijuana possession. Additionally, they are 12 times as likely to be jailed for a marijuana felony arrest. Finally, African-Americans are 10 times more likely to be imprisoned for marijuana than any other racial or ethnic group.
The summary is that articles on this matter state that marijuana arrests are being used as a tool of racial discrimination. The statistics are hard to argue with. The bottom line is that California has a drug problem that is not being addressed correctly.

Help For Marijuana And Other Drugs

Although California has a very high rate of drug use and arrests, it is also a state that has many different options for drug rehabilitation and help for those addicted to break the cycle of crime and addiction. The Narconon program is one great option in California and offers the Narconon sauna treatment. This treatment is very successful in treating addiction and completely drug free. It focuses on removing residues from the body and drastically reduces physical drug cravings.

If you or someone you know is using marijuana or other drugs we can help. Don’t ignore warning signs that a family member or loved one is addicted to drugs. For more information on treatment through Narconon sauna, what to look for to determine if there is a problem, or help to get someone on the road to recovery, please contact us now.

Sources:
http://ag.ca.gov/cjsc/publications/misc/drugarrests/drugarrests.pdf

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_california.pdf

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/crime/marijuana-arrests-skyrocket-california

What A Parent Needs to Know About Teenage Drug Use During Summer Months

Listen up parents! Ready for some shocking truth to come your way? I’m sure it’s no real surprise that teenage use of drugs during the summer months increases.  After all, its summer break and you probably recall your own teenage parties and memories of crazy youth.

To a greater or lesser extent, you most likely have some sort of plan or strategy to keep your kids active in positive activities and supervised. Perhaps camps, lessons, ensuring another parent is supervising during any sleepovers, curfews, etc. But once those things are in place, is that where your plans end and you get back to your job, errands and the rest of the “To Do List”? If so, it may be wise to take a closer look at the actual statistics during summer months and once armed with the information, you may want to add a couple of additional steps to the drug prevention list in your household.

The Hard Facts

According the U.S. Health Officials, first-time smoking of cigarettes and marijuana and drinking of alcohol among young adults are highest during the summer. Yes, we have covered that. However, let’s take a look at actual numbers, shall we? The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration interviewed more than 230,000 young adults from 2002 to 2012. The findings? On an average June or July day, more than 5,000 teenager smoke cigarettes for the first time, compared to about 3,000- 4,000 in the other months. In addition to this, more than 11,000 teens try alcohol for the first time during the summer, while first-time alcohol use during the rest of the year is about 5,000-8,000.
In addition to first-time use of alcohol and cigarettes, other drugs like marijuana, hallucinogens and inhalants increase during the summer months as well.

What Can a Parent Do?

It’s a tough reality that once a teenager has tried smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and trying other forms of drugs, their chances of repeated use increase. And let’s not forget that some of these are gate-way drugs, opening the door to trying and using harder street drugs.

Experts recommend taking the following steps with your teenagers:

1.    Keep them busy with productive activities to cut down on boredom and give them something to do. Also, it can be additionally helpful to set a goal within the activities that has worth in the eyes of your teenager. If they are taking a class, involved in a sport, or in any way active in something that interests them and contains a goal they wish to reach, they are less likely to risk throwing it away by taking part in drugs.

2.    Ensure adequate supervision as much as possible. Perhaps your teenager is at an age where they no longer require a 24 hour babysitter, but they can be made to check in regularly and to not be left somewhere for hours at a time. The longer a teenager is left alone, the longer they have to try a drug without worrying about being caught. It’s also important to take note of who is doing the supervision. For example, if they are being watched over by the parent of one of their friends, have you met the parent(s)? Not all adults are equal in their level of responsibility and care for their children. Ensure you take the additional step of meeting the parents that may be watching your teen, not just in the summer, but all year round.

3.    Educate your child. You may very well be told by your teenage daughter or son that they know drugs are bad and they don’t need to talk about it. Yet, sitting them down and looking at statistics and articles on drugs and asking questions to ensure their understanding on how drugs can negatively affect a person’s life is well worth the time invested. Often enough, a reminder can go a long way and if your teen has the idea that they may drink alcohol or try drugs for the first time in the near future, it may just steer them back onto the right path.

4.    Come up with a rewards and penalties system. Inform them of what the consequences will be, possibly in terms of loss of privileges, if they do try drugs and alcohol. However, set up a system where the penalties will be less if they ever come clean on any alcohol or drug use. This ensures that you keep it safe enough for your teenager to trust that they can always talk to you about the subject and get help and guidance when needed. Establish a rewards system where they will earn something of value to them if they say no to drugs and continue to do so despite any possible peer pressure.

Additional Help

If you need any additional information on the subject of teenage drug use during the summer months, advice or articles to share with your teen, please narcononcenter.com.

We offer free drug education and prevention services as well as effective rehabilitation for all types of drug or alcohol addiction problems.

Source:
http://thesouthend.wayne.edu/article/2012/07/teen_drug_use_increases_during_summer_season

Studies Show That Bath Salts Are As Addictive As Cocaine

A recreation drug called bath salts which is a synthetic methamphetamine has been gaining popularity over the past couple of years. Up until very recently it was legal and sold in convenience stores. New reports indicate that they have very similar addictive effects as cocaine.

Bath salts are composed of different variations of a compound called cathinone, which comes from the khat plant. Presently cathinone is banned in 42 states. Mephedrone is one of the common derivatives of cathinone. In October of 2011 the substance was federally listed as a schedule one controlled substance for one year, pending further study. On July 9th, 2012 President Obama signed a law that made bath salts containing mephedrone or the stimulant MDPV a controlled substance.

Study Indicates Similarities

Studies were conducted on mice using a technique developed in the 1950s called intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS). This study measures a drug’s ability to activate reward circuits. Animals are trained to perform a task such as pressing a lever or button or spinning a wheel in order to receive a reward.

The mice were implanted with brain stimulating electrodes. With these electrodes,  measures of their wheel spinning effort were made before, during and after they were administered various doses of either mephedrone or cocaine.

Results of the study showed that both drugs increased the ability of the mice to be rewarded by self-stimulation. Doctors stated that the effects of mephedrone and cocaine  were very similar.

The Basic Dangers Of Bath Salts

Bath Salts were only made illegal in recent months. However, there is a laundry list of frightening side effects that have been reported. Officials report that the drug can cause hallucinations, delusions, thoughts of suicide, violent behavior, paranoia, reduced motor control and physical ailments, seizures, nausea, vomiting and even death.

Another horrifying detail about these drugs is that they are thought to be the cause of a wave of attacks being labeled, “zombie attacks”. The most notable was the infamous attack in south Florida this summer where a naked man on the drugs was shot to death by police officers after violently attacking and eating most of a homeless man’s face.

The fact that is undeniable is that these are dangerous drugs that should not be taken even once. They are proven to be extremely addictive and can send people in to violent delusions.

Drug Abuse Warning Signs And Help

Besides the obvious symptoms of this drugs use when a person is on it, here are some things to look out for if you suspect a friend or family member to be using drugs:

•    Mood swings and odd behavior
•    Anxious, negative, destructive, argumentative behavior
•    Acting shut off and secretive
•    Suddenly seems to be less happy than they used to be
•    Overly exhausted or conversely, hyperactive
•    Has drastic weight fluctuation
•    Cheats, steals
•    Always needs money
•    Is sloppiness in appearance and bad personal hygiene

The drug Narconon program suggests that if you are suffering from drug problems or suspects a loved one of drug addiction, contact us. We are here to help and have professionals who can set you on the path to recovery through long term, drug free treatment that achieves an over 76% success rate for permanent recovery.

It is never a wise decision to let a Bath Salt addiction go unhandled. Violent and unpredictable behavior can occur with any use of the drug and individuals need to be aware of the symptoms above and take actions if they see a loved one or friend using this drug

For more information on this growing problem or to find help now contact the drug Narconon program.

Sources:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/07/26/bath-salts-may-be-as-addictive-as-cocaine-study-suggests/#ixzz26UuL9axd

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2178325/Meow-meow-Banned-bath-salts-effect-brain-way-cocaine.html

Teenage Tobacco Use Drops But Marijuana Use Increases

Is it the 60’s all over again, minus the tie-dye shirts and peace signs? A dramatic increase in the use of marijuana among teenagers may beg this question? More importantly, what does this mean for those teenagers partaking in the use of marijuana? What they may refer to as weed, pot, grass, bud and the list goes on. Have drug education programs in our country not focused enough on marijuana? Are parents not as on the ball with doing everything possible to inform their children on the negative effects of this drug and the importance of eliminating its’ use? Whatever the reason is, the teenage use of tobacco has decreased, while the use of marijuana has climbed.

The Statistics

The Partnership at Drugfree.org conducted anonymous surveys with 3,322 teens in grades 9-12. The survey result found that nearly 1 in 10 teens said they smoke marijuana at least 20 or more times a month! Believe it or not, this is an 80 percent rise in past-month marijuana use among teens since the organization’s 2008 survey.
What should also cause some alarm is the fact that teenagers smoking marijuana 20 or more times a month went from 5 percent in 2008 to 9 percent last year, or about 1.5 million teens smoking pot that frequently.

And why are teens increasing their use of marijuana and decreasing their use of tobacco?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey which found that 23 percent of high school students say that they’ve recently smoked marijuana, while 19 percent of high school students say that they’ve recently smoked cigarettes.

One expert says that a factor in the rise in marijuana use is that teens perceive the drug to be less harmful for their health than cigarettes.

The Parents’ Role

Unfortunately, Partnership at Drugfree.org President, Steve Pasierb, reports the mindset among parents is that a little marijuana or a few pills is no big deal.
Is this true? Should parents primarily focus on harder drugs?

Well, let’s consider this simple fact. Teens who smoked 20 times or more a month were almost twice as likely as kids who smoked pot less frequently to use ecstasy, cocaine or crack, according to the report.

It’s important for parents to properly educate their children in the health risks of marijuana itself and the very real danger of it leading to the use other street drugs.

Some Of Marijuana’s Mental And Physical Health Risks

1.    Are cigarettes are worse for you than marijuana? People who smoke marijuana often have the same respiratory problems as cigarette smokers. These respiratory problems may include daily coughing and phlegm production, even symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and frequent colds. What about those cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarette smoke?

Well, marijuana contains some of the same, and sometimes even more, of  same those very cancer-causing chemicals

2.    Marijuana can bring about an increase in lung infections like pneumonia.

3.     A study from 2009 suggests that regular and long-term use of marijuana may increase the risk for testicular cancer.

4.    Marijuana affects brain function. This can cause difficulties in the ability of a person to do more complex tasks and can blunt an individual’s ability to carry out academic, athletic and other goals that require one to be focused and alert.

5.    Studies have shown that early use of marijuana may increase a person’s risk of developing psychosis (a severe mental disorder in which there is a loss of contact with reality), including delusions, hallucinations, etc.

6.    Addiction is also possible with long-term use of marijuana.

For more information on what you can do to better inform your teenager on the dangers of marijuana use, please contact our drug rehab services organization today.

Sources:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57426249-10391704/report-frequent-marijuana-smoking-up-80-percent-among-teens/
http://www.drugs.com/marijuana.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/08/marijuana-use-among-us-te_n_1582017.html

Have We Been Ignoring Synthetic Drug Use Amongst Teens?

There are many drugs in use among teens today. Most of them have seen a skyrocketing spike over the past decade. With marijuana, heroin, prescription drug abuse and alcohol all being used by record numbers of young people. There has been the birth of a new breed drug which may have not received the attention it ought to.

This is the synthetic drug or designer drugs. Over the past ten years it came into existence and has since been rising in numbers among teens and adults. There are three basic categories of synthetics: synthetic marijuana (called K2 or Spice), synthetic methamphetamine (called Bath Salts) and herbal ecstasy. Currently the most used synthetic is synthetic marijuana.

What Is Synthetic Marijuana

The oddity about this drug is that up until recently it was legal. It is basically plant leaves that are sprayed with a chemical substance that, when smoked has a similar effect on the brain as THC. It has been sold under labels such as “plant food”, “potpourri” and “not for human consumption”. It has been sold in smoke shops across the country until just recently when laws were passed making the drug illegal. Crackdowns on these shops ensued after that.

Some of the dangers of synthetic marijuana are:

•    acute anxiety or paranoia
•    panic attacks
•    hallucinations
•    persistent coughing
•    feelings of nausea or vomiting
•    unable to stay with one thought for longer than a few seconds
•    irregular heart beats
•    psychotic episodes
•    tremors or seizures.

When educated on these dangers it is easy to see why this drug would be banned.

The Other Synthetic Drugs

“Bath Salts” are another drug that follows the same ideas of synthetic marijuana, where they imitate another drug. In this case, “Bath Salts” are mimicking cocaine. Until recently it was thought that synthetics were safer alternatives to the illicit street drugs. However, officials report that the drug can cause hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, violent behavior, paranoia, reduced motor control and physical ailments. Maybe the most violent drug related attack in recent years, this summer’s horrific “zombie attack” in Miami is being linked to this powerful drug.

Herbal Ecstasy is snorted, swallowed or smoked. Until the recent laws passed making it illegal, it has been sold in convenience stores under the brand names “Herbal Ecstasy,” “Cloud 9″ and “Ultimate Xphoria”.

Ephedrine (the main active ingredient in Herbal Ecstasy) effects the cardiovascular and central nervous system. It can cause seizures, heart attacks and strokes.
What to Do About The Growing Synthetic Abuse Issue
These synthetics have seen a rapid rise in usage due to the image that was pushed that they were safer and legal. Fortunately, both of these points are becoming discredited, as the laws have been passed saying that they are illegal and dangerous to your health.

It is important to keep promoting the truth about the dangers of these drugs as they are anything but safe and natural. If you know of someone using these drugs contact us for help to get them off of these dangerous and illegal substances.

Narconon has been educating youth and adults alike on the side effects and problems with synthetics through drug prevention lectures delivered across the country. Every community member, parent and adult should make sure that kids know about how dangerous synthetics can be so that they do not try them in the first place. By working together with organizations like Narconon and with each other we can educate the youth and stop them from using drugs.

For more information on the growing synthetic problem or to find help for a loved one, contact Narconon today.

References:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2012/06/13/spice-vs-bath-salts-the-other-designer-drug-scare/

http://www.drugfree.org/drug-guide/herbal-ecstasy