Trying to Understand a Methamphetamine Addict

  From time to time, there are shocking and painful news articles that feature a person who was using methamphetamine heavily before the event reported in the news. For example, this story from Utah, June 2014. A woman apparently gave birth to seven infants over a period of time and killed six of them, hiding the babies’ bodies in the garage. (The last baby was stillborn.) She was a methamphetamine addict. In the news report, the police stated that she did not want to deal with the responsibility. A heavy methamphetamine addict is nowhere near this coherent. This may be…

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E-Cigarette Use – Harmless or Another Gateway to Drug Abuse?

Electronic cigarettes are growing in popularity, first being offered as an alternative to smoking, a way for smokers to kick their habits. They provide nicotine and flavoring but not tar and other harmful chemicals. An electronic cigarette uses a small battery to heat a canister of synthetic nicotine with or without other flavorings. Propylene glycol is also heated to make a puff of vapor that is inhaled along with the nicotine. So the smoker feels like they have had a puff off a cigarette. Now, young people are picking up the habit of using e-cigarettes. As more teens start using…

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Benzodiazepines and Cognitive Loss

Benzodiazepines are a widely-prescribed class of anti-anxiety drug. You may not realize it, but most of these drugs are intended for short-duration use. After several weeks or months of use, most of them lose their therapeutic effect. All of these drugs are addictive and have a high potential for abuse which is another reason to only prescribe them for brief periods. While a couple of more recent additions to this list have a longer therapeutic effect, they still have that risk of addiction. A person wanting or needing to come off benzodiazepines must work closely with a doctor because of…

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After Naloxone – What’s Next for Opiate Addicts?

One after another, police departments and emergency responders are being equipped with naloxone devices. If you haven’t heard of these yet, they are devices that provide a pre-set amount of the drug naloxone. This drug will quickly reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. It has the potential to save the lives of many people who would not make it to the hospital to be revived. Opiates work by slowing down the breathing. When breathing slows down enough, a person dies. When naloxone is administered, it directly counteracts the effects of the opiate and a overdoser often perks up in…

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Robin Williams: Drugs Legal and Illegal

“It’s just literally being afraid. And you think, oh, [the alcohol] will ease the fear. And it doesn’t.” This is Robin Williams, four years ago, speaking with an interviewer from the British newspaper The Guardian. He is explaining what it was that drove him to relapse into drinking in 2003, after 20 years of sobriety. “For that first week you lie to yourself, and tell yourself you can stop, and then your body kicks back and says, no, stop later. And then it took about three years, and finally you do stop.” He stopped, getting into rehab and then settling…

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Bringing Back a Culture of Sober Living to America

It has not been that long since drug use was something that few people struggled with or talked about. Before the 1960s, marijuana was just used in isolated areas and heroin use was restricted to certain circles of the population, usually in urban areas. Heroin spread through the jazz and Beatnik subcultures in the 1950s, then when US soldiers went to Southeast Asia in the 1960s, some developed heroin abuse habits and brought those habits home with them. Cocaine use spread across the country in 1985, creating tens of thousands of addicts and filling jails. In the late 1960s, marijuana…

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Watching for the Abuse of Over-the-Counter Substances

If there are young teens or even pre-teens in your household, it would be smart for you to learn about the drugs that they might be tempted to use. There are two types of drugs that this age group might start using: inhalants and cough medicine.   Inhalants are available everywhere. In the average home, it’s hard-to-impossible to lock away all the substances that could be used for inhalant abuse. That would mean that every can of whipped cream, solvent and correction fluid would need to be hidden. Every marker, every stain remover, can of spray paint or computer duster.…

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Are Certain Workplaces More Prone to Drug Use

A recent online article reported on what may be a relatively little-known side of drug use in the workplace.  Oftentimes, drug use is linked to poverty and lack of an education adequate to gaining anything more than menial employment. It is often linked to hopelessness about the future, and the recognition of a lack of opportunity or the means to make a decent living or live a decent life.  But this side of workplace drug use and abuse is an entirely different arena of life.

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Can Addiction Be Predicted

The subject of addiction and what causes it is rife with theories.  Any area of life or behavior which is problematic and not well understood all too frequently lends itself to a plethora of complexities and proposed solutions which ultimately prove unworkable and do not result in a betterment of the condition.  So it is with addiction; the speculation and theorizing as to what causes it and what cures it—and whether or not it can be genetically predicted.

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Are There Really Opiates in Every Town in America?

It seems like everywhere you look these days, there’s news about opiates. This is both good and bad. It’s bad because this means there are so many opiates in circulation that people need to be notified that there’s a problem. But it’s good because I think more people are becoming more aware of that something is wrong and needs attention. If they are more aware of it, they will be more alert to opiate abuse by a loved one. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, heroin abuse is on the rise. Past month use of heroin…

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