When the World Cup is held, the world seems to hold its collective breath. Unlike sports that are primarily American – football, basketball and, to a lesser degree, baseball – soccer truly is international. If this year is anything like earlier years, there will be as many as three billion people watching some or all of these games on television.
But as early-arriving news sources have revealed, there is a more sinister side to Recife, the city in Brazil that hosts this event. Many children are forced into prostitution in Recife, children in their early teens or even boys and girls as young as 10.
To deal with the pain and anguish of abandonment, hunger and prostitution, these children become addicted to using inhalants, usually a kind of glue they call “cola.” Continue reading
When you’ve got a loved one who is addicted, it seems like all the rules change. The ways you have learned to care about and be patient with them just don’t work any more. The problem is that it often takes family a very long time to learn this lesson. It’s very hard to shift gears this thoroughly – after all, as we learn to be parents, aunts, uncles, sons and daughters or grandparents, we learn to forgive and trust.
When drug or alcohol addiction enter the scene, either the rules must change or everyone may lose the game. It becomes necessary to suspend trust and admit the problem to other family members or one’s minister or doctor. Old rules about privacy may need to be tossed out if the addicted person is to get help. Continue reading
Have you ever heard of a “super-frequent user” in the context of medicine and health? Doctors and others in the field use that term to refer to those patients who they see all the time in the emergency room, specifically those who end up in the ER at least 10 times per year. Understandably, doctors are concerned about these patients, and want to find out what the problem is so that they can help them improve their health and lead a happier existence. There has long been a widespread assumption that in most cases, super-frequent users were probably by and large drug addicts or alcoholics, and this assumption appears to have been confirmed by a study released recently by the Henry Ford Health System. Continue reading
The news media seems to have moved on to other topics than synthetics, perhaps because of all the furor surrounding marijuana in so many states. But at the same time that synthetics fell off the front page, that criminal industry has continued to operate. In fact, in the last few days, news reports have surfaced of a rash of overdoses in the Dallas area. In just 48 hours, just two Dallas-area hospitals received 30 people who had overdosed on “synthetic marijuana” called K2.
You may not realize that K2 really has nothing at all to do with marijuana, other than affecting some of the same parts of the brain. The nickname implies that someone synthesized (found a synthetic method of duplicating) marijuana but this is completely untrue. The chemicals used as “synthetic marijuana” are usually from a class of drug called cathinones. You can read more about this class of drug here:
Drugs in this class include mephedrone, methylone and MDPV.
The people arriving at the ERs were often psychotic, heavily agitated and in danger of hurting themselves or others. Many had to be sedated or restrained. Continue reading
Glow parties are one of the latest ways for young people to get out, cut loose and enjoy a good time. They’re especially popular among teenagers, with high school students across the nation hosting and attending these types of events. In many cases, glow parties are ticketed events, where guests are required to purchase their admission to the party, and the money raised through ticket sales goes to pay for the elaborate decorations found at a typical glow party. Usually, a glow party will take place at a large venue such as a vacant warehouse, where powerful sound systems are set up to pump the music out while the party goers dance to the rhythm. In theory, glow parties are supposed to be a safe place for high school students to have fun with their friends. They are typically promoted as being alcohol free, making them an attractive alternative in the eyes of parents worried about letting their children attend parties where they could get into bad situations by drinking. More and more, however, word is getting out that glow parties might not be that safe after all. Continue reading
It is very rare that a person tries heroin or cocaine as the first experience with drugs. Instead, most people who do try drugs have already been using a “gateway drug” for some time leading up to that point. A gateway drug is one which serves to open the door to using harder drugs. The three most common gateway drugs are: Continue reading
If you are a parent and are concerned about keeping your kids off drugs, you will of course be telling them not to smoke pot, not to inject heroin and not to snort cocaine. You might even be on the ball and know to warn your children against the nonmedical use of painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as the abuse of ADHD stimulant drugs including Ritalin and Adderall. Would you know, however, about “Smiles” or “Ice”? How about 4-Methylaminorex or 2CE? Increasingly, synthetic drugs are being found in the hands of young people across the United States. In fact, synthetic marijuana, referred to commonly as Spice or K2, was the second most popular drug among American high school students last year. Here are the details on three of the newest synthetic drugs: Continue reading
It may not seem like it to a person who has never been addicted, but fear is a big reason that the addicted stay addicted. The continuous presence of fear is a big part of what keeps them locked in their addictions.
When they are high, they don’t feel any fear. They feel confident, relaxed, happy, hopeful, even magnanimous. They may feel they can take on any challenge, even if this is a complete illusion. They may be mellow, euphoric. Continue reading
How much do drugs really cost the United States? We all know that drugs are taking a major toll on society, but what is the real impact that they have on our country? It’s difficult to answer this question with any type of certainty, since it would be almost impossible to tally up every one of the many different types of costs and the total value of lost potential as a consequence of drug abuse and addiction. In 1990, however, an attempt was made to find an answer, in a study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The study was titled, “Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Mental Illness: 1985,” and it was the result of an exhaustive analysis of the available economic and public health statistics, with the goal of estimating the dollar value of the costs of drug abuse, alcohol abuse and mental illness in this country. The answer they found was truly staggering, with a price tag of $218.1 billion for the losses our economy suffered that year as a result of substance abuse and mental illness. Drug use and alcohol abuse together accounted for 52% of the total, a figure that amounts to $113.41 billion. With inflation factored in, this figure adds up to $246.55 billion. Continue reading
That is a very sad statement. But more and more, I find evidence that it is true.
One might just hope that our high numbers of drug-abusing teens are just due to parents not knowing exactly how to approach the subject with their kids. Or maybe they will talk to their kids about a few drugs and omit others.
But all too often, parents are actively involved in their children’s drug abuse. Continue reading