Getting sober is hard enough, but making a fresh start in life is in many ways an even more difficult task. Initially, you have to get through the symptoms of withdrawal and conquer the cravings that you feel for another drink or more drugs. Stepping back into the workaday world and resuming a normal lifestyle after spending years as an addict has been compared to coming out of a cave, and it is a process of transition which requires several steps, changes and resolutions to really pull off. If you have recently gotten sober, or are working on your recovery, and want to make sure that you are able to make things go right in your time after rehab, here are ten actions you can take to improve your chances of success: Continue reading
The behavior of an addicted person is baffling, frustrating, frightening and sad. The power of addictive substances is so strong that many people are overwhelmed by it. Their actions and words are dictated by their need for more drugs but those who know and love him (or her) may not be able to understand why they are acting the way they are. Without realizing that drug use is behind the odd, erratic, abusive or criminal behavior you’re looking at, the mystery may continue for years.
There are a few people who can be addicted to drugs or alcohol and continue to function at a job or in society. Almost no one can succeed equally in all areas of life. The stress will show up somewhere and often, that’s behind closed doors. Thus, wives, children, siblings and parents may see the worst of his behavior while co-workers or friends may think things are fine for quite a while longer.
When someone you love is addicted, the truth is very hard to face. You’re not alone in having a hard time dealing with the personality and morality changes of the one you love. This list is provided to help you separate fact from fantasy. Once you know what’s going on, you can make better decisions and take the right actions.
Common Behavior Traits of an Addict
1. They lie.
They have to tell lies to mislead people about where they were when they were really out buying or using drugs or alcohol. They have to lie about where the hundreds or thousands of dollars went. The more they feel they need drugs, the more likely they are to feel the need to lie. Continue reading
There are plenty of challenging situations in life but surviving life with an alcoholic or addict is one of the most severe. The problems created by that person’s addiction can be life-threatening, can cause bankruptcy and the mental and emotional stress are unrelenting. Since some people continue to be addicted for years, the situation creates a continuous strain that can sap all the happiness out of family members dealing with this problem.
Because the condition of addiction is often so similar from one person to the next, the actions needed to survive this situation may be also be quite similar. Take a look at this advice based on the experience of many who have lived through it before and see what you can implement to improve your situation.
Protect Yourself and Others Who Might be Vulnerable
This is extremely important. You will not be able to help anyone if you are sick, injured or beaten down by worry or abuse. Children must feel that their home and daily environment are safe. This could mean temporary relocation while a lasting solution is found. Or it might mean asking for someone else to provide mental or physical support. For example, asking another family member to move into the home so the addicted person knows that someone else could be present any time they choose to drop by. It will usually means changing locks and proofing the house from intrusion. Schools must be notified that an addicted parent may not pick up children. As much as possible, build a strong perimeter around yourself, children, the elderly and others who could be harmed. Continue reading
The use of contraband cigarettes among young adults may be a reliable indicator of illicit drug use, according to a new study out of Canada. A team of researchers working at the University of Alberta evaluated data collected from 2,136 high school students in the 9th through 12th grades, using information gathered during the 2010-2011 Youth Smoking Survey conducted by Statistics Canada, a division of that country’s federal government. The major finding of the University of Alberta study was that teenagers who smoke contraband cigarettes are several times more likely to also be found using illicit drugs. Cigarettes in Canada are heavily taxed, increasing the cost of a pack of smokes by around 75%, a measure which is meant in large part to curb the rates of nicotine use by making the habit cost prohibitive. Though this is likely effective to a degree, it also gives rise to a black market which is estimated at around $1.5 billion in value. Some people are making a lot of money by smuggling cigarettes across the border and around the country into provinces with higher cigarette tax rates, and many young adults in that country smoke these contraband cigarettes. Continue reading
Sounds Way Too Good to be True
Did you ever hear that saying “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t”? That could apply to plans to use the party drug ketamine to treat depression. In an article published on the website www.nature.com, it’s reported that doctors have been trying out ketamine to treat those struggling with depression. Here’s one reason why ketamine has caught the attention of medical practitioners: doctors may have to wait weeks for there to be any change at all in patients after a drug is prescribed for depression but ketamine’s impact is very fast.
Some doctors think that ketamine should not only be used to treat depression, but also someone who is suicidal. Dr. Zarate of the National Institute of Mental Health has even stated that a person who has just tried to commit suicide may be able to be treated with ketamine and then be released within hours. When a person may have taken years to get so upset with life that he wants to kill himself, it could be deeply irresponsible to just give this person a drug and then send him on his way.
Why Ketamine is a Drug to be Taken Seriously
- Ketamine is mainly used as an animal anesthetic. It is occasionally used as an anesthetic for humans and in fact, was frequently used in field hospitals in Vietnam. But the aftereffects of the drug were sufficiently alarming that it has mostly dropped out of use except for specific situations where other drugs can’t used. What were those alarming aftereffects? Hallucinations, delirium, bizarre and frightening dreams that may even occur later, after the drug has worn off.
With horror, families of an addicted person watch their loved one destroy himself (or herself) with drugs or drink. The damage is obvious to them. His health is declining. His morals and ethics are gone or nearly gone. Many times, there have been criminal acts such as selling drugs, thefts, assaults or worse. His family may be gone or about to go or the children may have been taken away. Everything valuable is long gone. “How can he do this to himself? And us?” they ask.
So how can he keep taking the drugs or drinking? There have already been overdoses or blackouts or perhaps his life is just passing him by, neglected.
This deterioration is painful, as is the fear that something more dangerous will happen.
How can he possibly do this to himself? He was so bright and his life held so much promise. Doesn’t he see what he is doing to himself?
That’s the problem. To a marked degree, he doesn’t. Why is this? Continue reading
Since there are more than 23 million Americans struggling with drug or alcohol abuse problems, there are many millions more family and other loved ones suffering right along with them. This could make this problem one of our country’s most pervasive ills.
One survey reported that 64% of people have experienced addiction in someone close to them. A father, mother, child, uncle, close friend – it’s not hard to find someone who has lost control of their drug or alcohol consumption.
So it is both important and useful to have some guidelines when you’re dealing with an addicted person. To help you in this crisis situation, here are some Do’s and Don’ts.
Do: Maintain your own balance and integrity. Don’t let the addicted person draw you into using drugs or alcohol with him/her. Also don’t let him convince you that you’re wrong for seeing the problem.
Don’t: Expect results just by asking him/her to quit. It will seldom (if ever) do any good to say, “If you loved me, you’d quit.” The compulsion to get more alcohol or drugs is bigger then he is and it’s usually bigger than his love for his family. It’s just flat-out overwhelming. If you accept this, you can get started on the solution. Continue reading
For a decade or more, businesses have been modifying their products and services to suit the needs of the growing number of Baby Boomers. And with good reason. At this time, there are about 41 million adults 65 and older. But in 15 years, that number is expected to increase to 73 million. When the elderly are addicted to either drugs or alcohol, there are often special considerations that must be taken into account for rehab to succeed.
Addiction among the elderly is increasing but not just because we have greater numbers in that age group. The rate of illicit drug use is also increasing. In 2002, only about 2.7% of people in their 50s used illicit drugs. By 2011, that number had more than doubled to 6.3%. Among men aged 50 – 59, the rate of illicit drug use reached 8%.
Today’s elderly were in the first large wave of Americans trying illicit drugs in the 1960s and may return to this practice if their later lives prove too stressful or lonely. The loss of a spouse or close friends may trigger drug abuse even if the person has been sober for decades. A person who is forced to give up their home and move into assisted living may use more pills than prescribed to cope with the stress. Continue reading
So far, news media have broadcast stories about two states that report similar rates of rehab admissions for opiates and alcohol. This may not be startling news until you realize that in most states, most years, alcohol far outstrips any other drug in the number of people sent to rehab. Here’s some specifics to look at.
New Jersey: According to Governor Christie, nearly half of all New Jersey admissions to treat-ment in 2013 were due to opiates or synthetic opiates (opioids) like hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lor-tab), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan) or heroin.
Chart data source: http://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/teds07/TEDSHigh2k7.pdf
Compare that to this chart showing national statistics in 2007 for the drugs sending people to rehab. Alcohol was far and away the top drug driving arrivals at rehab centers. Continue reading
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