Narconon - Addiction and Recovery http://www.narconon.org/blog Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:36:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How Do You Get Someone to Rehab? http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-rehabilitation/how-do-you-get-someone-to-rehab/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-rehabilitation/how-do-you-get-someone-to-rehab/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 09:45:36 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3505 Continue reading

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Get someone to rehabWe understand the difficulty of this task and why families often struggle with getting a loved one to rehab. But it can be done and is done daily by families across the country. If you prepare properly before you try to get your loved one into rehab, the process can go much more smoothly and successfully with less wear and tear on everyone involved. Here’s how you can set the stage for a successful transition from addiction to rehab.

1. Start by researching and choosing the right rehab program.

If the person has relapsed after going to the same kind of program multiple times, this might be the time to look for another alternative. Make sure you understand the program and agree with its fundamental principles. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends a rehab program of 90 days or longer for best results, so keep this in mind as you search.

2. Take a moment and set up your plans for the transition from home to rehab.

Yes, time is critical when someone is using drugs. Taking a little time to organize this transition can pay off by only having to confront the addicted person once, rather than having to chase him down again and again. Have the rehab center ready and waiting, financing worked out, and even transport to the rehab ready to go.

3. When planning the conversation with the addicted person, know your strengths and weaknesses.

do you need support?Are you strong enough to pull this off on your own or do you need support? It’s vital to be honest about this point. There’s no shame in asking for help. Would you be better off having someone else confront the addicted person with the trip to rehab? If the answer is yes, begin to work on your list of who can help. If the addicted person is your child (adult or otherwise), who do they respect? Who has enough authority to get them to listen and agree? It could be the other parent, aunts or uncles, grandparents, a minister or even a respected teacher.

Is the addicted person your spouse? Who knows this person well enough to break through the barriers and get their agreement to go to rehab? This could be the most important transition in this person’s life. This is the time to reach out for support and help.

4. Set up the time for this conversation when the addicted person is least likely to be drunk or high.

Choose a safe place that will be free from interruption or disturbance. Have anyone needed present to ensure physical safety and the effectiveness of this conversation. Make sure children are out of the area.

5. Make it happen.

Ensure that those charged with bringing about this transition to rehab stick to the game plan, are strong but fair and objective. As it progresses, remember that the addicted person does not want to be an addict. He (or she) would rather enjoy a productive, sober life. This is true no matter what the person says about why he does not want to/doesn’t deserve to/can’t possibly go to rehab. It’s like the addiction is talking, not your loved one. You don’t have to reject his communication, but just remember that your mission is really the same his mission, even if he does not say so.

6. Once an agreement to go to rehab is reached, don’t let anything interfere with the plan.

If possible, have someone else go get the belongings that need to be transported to rehab. Avoid anything that would enable the addicted person to waver at all from the acceptance of the need for rehab. Be very alert for all the excuses and emergencies the person might think up at this time. The best scenario is that the person gets in a car with a driver and they go immediately to rehab.

When drug problems exist and persist despite your best efforts to bring about a change, that’s when it’s time to launch a plan like this. That’s when rehab is needed to help this person make a change that he can’t make himself. If you keep hoping that there will be an improvement, your loved one is in danger every day longer he can abuse drugs or drink. And your heartbreak will be extended. When health is declining, when legal problems are increasing, when you can no longer trust this person you care so much about, that’s the time to make the decision to help this person arrive at the door of an effective rehabilitation program.

We know it’s a difficult decision but it could be the best one you ever make. We can help you understand the problem and the solution. Give us a call at 1-800-775-8750 or visit www.narconon.org to learn more about how you can help someone who is addicted to drugs.

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How Addiction Patterns Differ Based on Gender http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/how-addiction-patterns-differ-based-on-gender/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/how-addiction-patterns-differ-based-on-gender/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 00:03:56 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3502 Continue reading

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genderDrugs are addictive, and they can cause addiction in anyone, from any walk of life. Poor people become junkies just as rich people can, and drug addiction affects people from every corner of the globe. But is there a difference between men and women when it comes to addiction? Certainly there are many ways similar to this in which males and females differ, but is the susceptibility to becoming an addict one of them? There is certainly a possibility that this could be the case, and a body of scientific research seems to back up this proposition. For example, one study has looked at the way in which hormones may affect a person’s liability to using drugs and becoming an addict. The female hormones estrogen and progesterone influence a person’s response to stress and consequently how the person reacts to taking drugs. Varying levels of these hormones can have a large impact on the manner and scope in which drug use affects a person. The research has demonstrated that women whose progesterone levels are higher tend not to seek out drugs or other addictive substances in response to stress.

Just as higher levels of progesterone tend to stress-proof a woman, estrogen seems to have an opposite reaction. A study which involved giving estrogen to a set of women who comprised the subject group found that they experienced negative moods at higher rates than the control group, who were not given the estrogen shots. Clearly, the female hormones can play a role in setting a woman up to use and abuse drugs, or to be safe from addiction. Further data indicate that women who do use drugs and alcohol are typically faster to become addicts, with a shorter runway between the initial exposure to the addictive substance before developing a full-blown addiction. This could be attributed to higher levels of estrogen, and is also associated with higher rates of relapse caused by stress-induced substance abuse; a woman with elevated estrogen levels might be compelled to go back to drinking or using drugs as a result of this hormonal imbalance. Based on these findings, many in the field of addiction treatment are calling for the exploration and development of gender-specific rehab and treatment methods to account for things such as the effect of hormones on addiction and the role that this plays in causing relapse.

Does Narconon treat men and women differently?

Fortunately, gender-specific addiction treatment, and all the additional cost and work involved in developing such an approach, is not necessary. Narconon works equally well on men and women, because it addresses not just the symptoms of addiction but also the cause. As explained by L. Ron Hubbard, whose works form the basis of the Narconon program:

The addict has been found not to want to be an addict, but is driven by pain and environmental hopelessness. As soon as an addict can feel healthier and more competent mentally and physically without drugs than he does on drugs, he ceases to require drugs.

Addiction is more than just a physiological response to drugs and alcohol, but a result of a person’s desperation and search for a refuge from the stress and pressure that make life seem overwhelming. The Narconon program includes counseling, exercises and life-skills courses that help the person move from being effect of life to cause, and which help him or her achieve a newfound level of stability and certainty from which the vicissitudes of everyday living will no longer drive him or her to seeking drugs or alcohol as an escape. Men and women from all walks of life complete the Narconon program with success, and go on to live happy, stable and drug-free lives.

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Palcohol: Convenience or Threat to Youth? http://www.narconon.org/blog/alcohol-awareness-2/palcohol-convenience-or-threat-to-youth/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/alcohol-awareness-2/palcohol-convenience-or-threat-to-youth/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:20:54 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3462 Continue reading

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Does This Controversial Product Mean Convenience for Mature Adults or Certain Disaster for Our Youth?

young person drinking alcoholA year ago, stories hit the media about the inadvertent approval of a new powdered alcohol product, Palcohol. The Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau announced the approval of this product and then retracted it immediately, saying the approval had been an error. We covered this story in an earlier article about Palcohol.

Palcohol is the brainchild of a businessman named Mark Phillips who claimed that his motivation was that he wanted to take a refreshing alcoholic beverage on hikes and kayaking trips without needing to lug bottles of booze. He hired scientists to work out a manufacturing method of powdering alcohol so it can be sold in resealable packets.

This new product, even though it was as yet unapproved, caught the attention of many legislators. In state after state, legislation began to be introduced to ban the product from sales in their state.

States that have banned the product: Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina, Vermont, Utah

Considering or pending legislation: Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, New York, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin. Nebraska has also expressed concerns.

The Palcohol company’s home page now attempts to counter the arguments used by states passing and considering these bans. But their arguments seem to amount to shaming and even contradict themselves. As in these two claims on the home page:

Benefit statement for Palcohol: ”Moderate quantities of flavored Palcohol products…are a fraction of the weight and bulk associated with traditional liquor packaging.”

Argument that people will NOT try to smuggle Palcohol into events: “The volume of a shot of powdered alcohol is 4X greater than the volume of a shot of liquid alcohol so liquid alcohol is much easier to conceal.”

Concerns about Youth Consumption of Alcohol

Mr. Phillips denies that the sale of Palcohol could lead to any increase in alcohol consumption by young people because it will not be sold to anyone under 21. But all the laws in the world have not kept alcohol out of the hands of our youth. And since each person creates their own alcoholic drink by mixing this powder with water, they can make it any strength they want to.

A member of the Michigan Council on Alcohol Problems described the potential problem with this product this way: “It’s like Kool Aid for kids at this point; they just mix it with water and it’s the next binge-drinking thing.”

Young people do love novelty. We could well imagine that an underage drinker who’s already hiding his habit from his parents could thrill in fooling them – and his school or any other authority – with his new ability to conceal Palcohol around the home or secretly take it to events.

In the next few months, we should see how many more states adopt legislation to ban this product and how many embrace it. It could be another couple of years before we learn what harm this product actually does when it’s on the market.

Alcohol poisoning is already enough of a problem, but how much easier will be to reach a fatal limit with this stuff?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/04/21/305637545/powdered-liquor-now-legal-but-won-t-be-in-your-margarita-soon
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/12/just-add-water-here-comes-powdered-alcohol/

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Painkillers, Heroin, Addiction and Overdose http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/painkillers-heroin-addiction-and-overdose/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/painkillers-heroin-addiction-and-overdose/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:28:18 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3454 Continue reading

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Is it Possible to Find Stable Recovery?

Did you see our recent blog post about injuries and the painkillers prescribed during healing leading to addiction? Did you wonder if it ever really happens this way?

cody hider

http://www.telegram.com/article/20150315/COLUMN01/303159911/0&template=MOBILE

You may be certain that it does. Today, we found yet another article of a young man who got started taking painkillers after sports injuries in high school. In March 2015, he died of a heroin overdose at 23. There are so many of these stories that it becomes clear beyond any possibility of doubt that this is a common path to addiction and even to overdose.

The young man was named Cody Hider and he was from Spencer, Massachusetts. The news article about his death states, “His parents believe Cody’s heroin addiction started shortly before college, after he took painkillers for a multitude of sports-related injuries.”

Here’s some other stories that were too easy to find:

Joe Abbadessa in New York tore a ligament in high school and began taking Vicodin. That led to an heroin addiction that lasted until he was 21 when he finally got the help he needed to get sober.

Patrick Trevor injured himself playing lacrosse in high school and was given 30 days of oxycodone. He immediately realized he enjoyed the sensation the drug gave him. He became addicted and migrated to less-expensive heroin. As of June 2014, he had been sober for 18 months.

Graham Dooner was also a lacrosse player in high school in New Jersey. He injured himself during a game when he was a senior and was given Percocet. He kept taking the pills so he could continue to play. In 2011, he switched over to heroin. He had been injecting heroin for two years when he was arrested along with 89 others in a sweep of heroin users and dealers.

Chris Jacquemain and Tyler Campbell were friends and Ohio college football players. Chris, a quarterback, began using OxyContin for a shoulder injury. Tyler needed surgery to repair a shoulder injury after a heavy season of tackling opposing teams. He left the surgery with a prescription for 60 Percocet. Despite both going to rehab, they both began using heroin and died of overdoses in 2011.

RJ Horton from Scottsdale, Arizona, started taking painkillers after a sports injury at 16. He found that it took less heroin to produce a high. He overdosed on heroin five times in four months but survived. As of January 2015, he was staying sober by living in a halfway house in Phoenix.

This list could go on. There are too many of these stories. There are also women who become addicted to painkillers and heroin but four times as many males go down this road as women. It is more common for women to begin using pills and heroin with a boyfriend or husband.

But sometimes, you find a story with a happier ending.

Brandon was also a young athlete, a competitive bicyclist. He tore ligaments in a knee in his teens and began taking painkillers. He kept getting injured and kept taking painkillers. He noticed he felt better when he was taking them. He switched to heroin when he was a senior in high school. For the next few years, his entire focus was on getting the drugs he needed to prevent withdrawal. Even going to rehab multiple times didn’t touch his addiction. The day came when the realized he needed to get clean for good. He and his family found the Narconon program on the internet. But even after he arrived, he questioned whether or not he really wanted to get sober. When he heard the other students talking about how much better they felt, he began to think he could succeed too. “I started having a natural happy feeling — I hadn’t felt that in so long,” he said.

As he completed the program, he said that he began to let go of old resentments about events that had happened years before. In fact, he said that he began to grow up on this program. Since he had started using drugs so young, he’d never had a chance to mature.

After he graduated from this program, Brandon said, “I’m glad I did this program. With my experience in rehabs, I don’t think people could find a better place to be.”

 

 

 

http://www.telegram.com/article/20150315/COLUMN01/303159911/0&template=MOBILE

http://www.myfoxny.com/story/25673515/sports-injuries-can-lead-to-opiate-addiction

http://www.cleveland.com/sports/college/index.ssf/2012/02/football_could_not_save_chris.html

http://www.northjersey.com/news/health-news/the-grim-life-of-north-jersey-s-suburban-heroin-addicts-1.611119

http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2015/01/first-responders-hospitals-on-front-lines-of-arizonas-heroin-crisis/

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The Most Common Drugs that Make a Person Aggressive or Angry http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/the-most-common-drugs-that-make-a-person-aggressive-or-angry/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/the-most-common-drugs-that-make-a-person-aggressive-or-angry/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:54:02 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3439 Continue reading

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drugs that make a person aggressive or angryFor some families, their first discovery that a loved one is using drugs is an all-out battle with someone who’d previously been calm and friendly. Without knowing that drugs are behind the aggressive tirade they’re witnessing, it’s a terrifying experience.  The person often becomes violent putting others around him at risk.   Police may be called, the drug user may be arrested or thrown out of the house.

If the angry aggression is severe enough to send the person into a breakdown, he (or she) may end up in the emergency room. Most people in this condition are unable to tell doctors what they have taken so medical staff have to guess, a risky tactic when they are trying to save the person’s life.

And these problems most often trace back to a small bag of whitish powder or crystals. Sometimes they are purchased from a drug dealer or they might come from China or Poland via an underground website.

The real danger of a drug that can make someone severely aggressive and angry is that some of them can also put a person into a physical meltdown that can result in death. Or they could become angry at the wrong person and find themselves on the receiving end of an assault.

Stimulants are Most Frequently the Culprits

bath saltsThe various stimulant drugs, especially when taken heavily or on a long binge, can bring about paranoia or hallucinations. When they do, the drug user may feel the need to strike out at those around him, just for his own protection. It’s common that he’ll think that people are trying to harm him or that cars are following him or that there are evil people living in his walls or television. He may finally crash after being up for days, but if he has more of the drug, he’s likely to start right up again when he wakes up. Stimulant drugs are very highly addictive for most users.

This class of drugs includes:

  • Cocaine
  • Crack cocaine
  • Methamphetamine and amphetamine
  • Bath Salts like mephedrone, MDPV or methylone
  • Spice, also known as synthetic marijuana

Drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine or amphetamine usually cause these dangerous effects after long binges or heavy, chronic use. Bath salts or spice can cause problems at any time.

Hallucinogens and Other Drugs Can Also be Dangerous

PCP and LSD are hallucinogens which means that they can cause a person to get aggressive if their hallucination scares them. PCP is more known for causing dangerous aggression. PCP also deadens pain which means some people on PCP will not stop attacking even when wounded.

Ecstasy has been known to occasionally cause paranoia and panic attacks that could cause person to become aggressive.

And while marijuana is normally associated with a sedated effect, it can cause some people to experience aggressive outbursts or even periods of psychosis. A study in the Netherlands showed that this behavior was associated with frequent and heavy use.

A New Drug on the Scene – Flakka

In 2014, a new drug began to be seized in Florida and a few other places in the US. It’s a synthetic that until recently could be purchased legally. The very long technical name for the drug is α-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone but it’s usually called alpha-PVP. It may be sold as a whitish or tan powder similar to cocaine, or in a rough rock form. A year ago, this drug was being called Gravel. Now it’s called Flakka. It’s been associated with hallucinations and aggressive, angry behavior.

One of the possible results of using Flakka is a state called “excited delirium.” In this situation, a person acts violent, agitated and paranoid. He overheats so severely that his organs break down which results in death.

There are no safe stimulants or synthetics. With synthetics or any illicit drug, there’s no way of knowing what you’ll get when you receive your bag of drugs. Flakka, for example, usually contains alpha-PVP but could also contain cocaine or methamphetamine.

If you need to learn more about these dangerous synthetics, you can find a wealth of information here, along with suggestions on how to help someone who is using or prevent someone from ever starting:   http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/synthetics/

If you need help knowing what to do for someone you care about who is abusing prescription drugs or using illicit drugs or too much alcohol, check out our Family Help Guide. It’s all here, all in one place, from determining what drug they are using to making a decision about what rehab to choose.

Knowledge is essential to avoid the serious problems that can result from using these drugs that can make you aggressive, angry and completely out of control.

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2006/02/01/Study-Link-between-marijuana-aggression/UPI-28721138819619/#ixzz1vBESUXf0

http://articles.dailypress.com/2014-05-17/health/dp-nws-spice-side-20140517_1_synthetic-marijuana-psychosis-thc

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Prescription Drugs Contribute to Recent Disease Outbreak http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-use-2/prescription-drugs-contribute-to-recent-disease-outbreak/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-use-2/prescription-drugs-contribute-to-recent-disease-outbreak/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 01:24:12 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3436 Continue reading

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prescriptionOverdose, often fatal, has been one of the major concerns associated with the massive rise in rates of prescription drug abuse over the past several years. Painkillers have killed more than 15,000 Americans on an annual basis, and drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death, surpassing even car accidents. But now a new threat has arisen in connection with the painkiller abuse problem, with a report from Indiana of a sudden outbreak of cases of HIV. The sudden spike in HIV diagnoses began in the middle of December, and was announced by state health officials at the end of February. Over this period, a total of 27 people were diagnosed as having HIV, and another 10 were given a preliminary diagnosis, with follow-up testing required to provide confirmation. What they all had in common was that they had injected oxymorphone hydrochloride, a prescription painkiller marketed under the brand name Opana. The drug is one of many common opiate pain medications which have been spreading throughout the country as a drug of abuse and addiction, and the fact that it is commonly injected makes it a prime candidate for spreading diseases such as HIV.

The upsurge in rates of HIV in Indiana echoes past episodes in which a spread of the disease was associated with high incidence of intravenous needle use. This is one of the most harmful consequences of injecting drugs, that it exposes the addict to the risk of HIV and other highly infectious diseases. Drug users who shoot up often resort to sharing needles when the supply is low, even when they know better. Sometimes the craving for another fix is just so desperate that the person will take a needle from a friend or even a stranger just to get high and put an end to the torture of withdrawal. In this way, diseases such as HIV can rapidly spread in areas where many people are using intravenous drugs like Opana, heroin and others, and immediate intervention is required to protect at-risk populations from further spread. One common solution is to set up needle exchanges at centers where drug users can come to obtain a supply of clean needles. This might be seen as enabling or condoning drug use, but as a practical matter it makes sense; the users are going to shoot up however they can, and offering clean needles at least mitigates the spread of disease.

Drug Addiction Can Ruin a Life in More Ways than One

Getting help for an addict — yourself or a loved one — is absolutely vital. Not only is he or she at risk of overdose, there are a number of other serious threats that pose themselves to a person who uses drugs, as the HIV outbreak in Indiana demonstrates. The longer a person continues using drugs, the greater is the chance that he or she will end up with a serious disease, be injured in an accident, be a victim of violence or suffer some other tragic outcome. Even if the person escapes the threat of disease, there is yet the likelihood that he or she will face a bleak future of failure and unfulfilled potential. The grip of addiction is so strong that it can drive a person to do virtually anything, including sharing infected needles and flushing one’s future down the drain. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to painkillers or another drug, take action now to get treatment and pursue recovery before it is too late. Some of the consequences of addiction, such as possibly getting a life-threatening illness, are beyond the power of rehab to treat, so it is important to get sober while there is still a chance of a full recovery.

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How Drug Abuse Affects Relationships http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/how-drug-abuse-affects-relationships/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/how-drug-abuse-affects-relationships/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 20:44:02 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3427 Continue reading

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Drugs and a loving relationship mix about as well as dynamite and a match – the combination can be explosive. And the destruction can be widespread, reaching far beyond immediate family.

relationship destroyed by addictionIt may not have seemed so serious when drugs use first started. It looked like everyone was having so much fun or maybe they seemed mellow and untroubled. Maybe it was beer and marijuana in the garage of a teenaged friend while his parents were away. Maybe it was Ecstasy at a music festival. Or shots on one’s twenty-first birthday. Just because everyone else was doing it, it was hard to be the only one to refuse. And so it started.

For some people, that was their very first step toward a downward spiral that would steal everything they value, including their loving relationships. Why does this happen?

Drugs Move In and Take Over

When recreational drug use marches forward into addiction, the drug user starts to be driven by cravings for a continued diet of those drugs. Increasingly, getting the drugs he (or she) needs becomes the most compelling thing in his life. Of course, this means that his relationships are going to go onto the back burner.

For many addicts, the first thing they think about when they wake up isn’t the welfare of their children or how their spouse or aging parents are doing. It’s whether or not they have the drugs they need for the day.

The Emotional Roller Coaster

How do these relationships get destroyed as addiction takes hold? It’s not possible for an addicted person care for his relationships with others. Now he is going to have secrets like the fact that he spent rent or food money on drugs or he was not where he said he was the other night. Maybe he has to run out to get drugs in the middle of the night and doesn’t dare admit where he was going. Lie after lie – he becomes uncomfortable and defensive. If he’s questioned about any of these things, he is likely to go on a verbal attack, just to cover his own tracks. He will often criticize others in attempt to remove attention from himself and his drug use.

And emotionally, an addicted person is just not the same any more. As a person uses drugs, emotional tone continues to go lower and lower, and this alone will drain much of the life out of a relationship. Perceptions become dull and life will not provide much true pleasure any more. She may be afraid of being rejected if she admits she’s using drugs so she keeps her secret. If her husband, boyfriend or parent starts to question her on what’s wrong, she could very well blow up in anger.

Some addicts don’t just become defensive, they become abusive. This goes for any drugs. Many people become mean, angry drunks and drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine often make users paranoid, which easily leads to anger and abuse. Any addict who feels threatened may feel compelled to fight back to protect the supply of drugs that hold him prisoner.

Is There Any Hope?

happy couple with good relationshipThe good news is that an effective recovery program can bring that person you really are. If it’s your loved one who was stolen away, they can come back into the light. When the effects of drugs are eliminated, when the person has a way to regain a bright outlook on life, and when he regains his self-respect and integrity, then that loving person can once again take control of his life and his relationships. The Narconon drug rehab program has been the start of a whole new life for many people who thought their relationships were gone forever.

The father of one person who completed the Narconon program said that when he attended his son’s graduation, “It was like seeing a whole new person. The Narconon program has changed my son’s life – it’s like night and day.”

A mother got her son to a Narconon center after discovering his crack cocaine addiction. After he returned home, she said, “I was so grateful that he completed the program and was in a different place. I am so delighted when I see my son with his brother and they have a relationship – when I see Josh with his cousins and they have a relationship – he would never have had these relationships with his friends and family without Narconon.”

You can have that loving person back in your life again. Call Narconon today to start the healing process for someone you love – or for yourself.

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Should Professional Sports Organizations Punish Athletes with Addiction? http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/should-professional-sports-organizations-punish-athletes-with-addiction/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/should-professional-sports-organizations-punish-athletes-with-addiction/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 20:09:02 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3421 Continue reading

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basketballJosh Hamilton is an outfielder for the Anaheim Angels, a Major League Baseball team. He has won the most valuable player award for the American League, and has been chosen to play in the all-star game five times. As a first-round draft pick, Hamilton has in many ways lived up to the promise of his career, performing as one of the best baseball players in the league, but at the same time the pressure that comes with such expectations has taken its toll on him, and has threatened his ability to continue his career. Beginning early, he was discovered to suffer from drug addiction. His team sent him to the famed Betty Ford Center for rehab, but this attempt at sobriety was not successful in the long run. Hamilton failed a drug test in 2003, and again in 2004, after which the league suspended him for a season. The next few years saw a pattern of rehab and relapse, with suspensions from playing mixed in. Addiction was ruining Hamilton’s life. More recently, it appeared that he was getting things under control and he was again living up to his promise as an outstanding athlete, but reports late in February surfaced that he may have suffered a relapse once again over the offseason.

Hamilton has been summoned to New York to address what has been termed a “disciplinary matter” on the subject of his relapse into drug use. Now, speculation is running rampant in the sports news world as to what specific type of sanction, censure or punishment Hamilton might face from the league. Many commentators are coming down on the side of an approach to handling the situation without formal punishment. A piece on NBC Sports, for example, holds that Hamilton should not be formally punished on the basis that addiction is a disease and that Hamilton is not actually willfully doing anything wrong. And there is some truth to that viewpoint. Hamilton, like other addicts, does not want to keep falling off the wagon, doesn’t want to keep getting in trouble and does not want to continue letting others down. It’s not merely a matter of lacking character or moral fiber; the fact that the person is addicted means ipso facto that he or she doesn’t have a choice in the matter.

Can punishment be motivation to quit?

The view voiced by NBC Sports and others, that addiction is a disease, has the advantage of taking a compassionate stance on the question of how to handle an addict, but it does not quite hit the mark, or open the door to a handling for that matter. Addicts aren’t necessarily choosing to go on being addicted, but they do have some choice in the matter. Once a person decides to quit, he or she can begin making changes for the better. That’s what makes the difference between success and failure in rehab — a person has to want to quit and get sober for rehab to work. In the case of someone like Hamilton, who has been to rehab but failed several times, it may be that he has not yet made this decision. It could be that Hamilton has been going to rehab at the behest of others around him who said it was necessary for his career, but he may not yet have chosen to quit. In the debate over whether — and how — professional athletes who use drugs should be punished, there is certainly truth to the side that argues in favor of a compassionate approach, but it should perhaps also be taken into consideration that the stakes have to be high enough to motivate the athlete to quit drugs and alcohol. A slap on the wrist might be embarrassing or inconvenient, but tougher consequences may be necessary to spur real change. As long as professional sports leagues hold their players up as role models for children and young adults, there is a responsibility to ensure that the behaviors displayed by the athletes do not send the wrong messages. And at the end of the day, a tough penalty for substance abuse may save the athlete’s life, by getting him or her to quit before it’s too late.

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8 Good Reasons to Quit Using Drugs http://www.narconon.org/blog/sobriety/8-good-reasons-to-quit-using-drugs/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/sobriety/8-good-reasons-to-quit-using-drugs/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 18:12:46 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3413 Continue reading

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reasons stop using drugsIf you are looking for reasons to stop using drugs, chances are very good that you have noticed that your life is not as happy, enjoyable or successful as it was before. Maybe you’ve been convinced that you can use drugs and still keep things together. Sometimes it can be done for a while, depending on the person. But by the time one’s drug use or alcohol use reaches the point of being addiction, one’s life has already begun a downward slide.

Hopefully, you’re reading this before you’ve gotten to that point. To give you some encouragement, here’s eight excellent reasons to quit using drugs.

  1. You’ll be healthier. There’s not a drug out there without some harmful effects as all drugs are basically poisons. The exact effects vary by drug. Heroin or painkillers suppress the action of the lungs and this can lead to tuberculosis, pneumonia or abscesses. Marijuana causes changes to the brain similar to the those that occur with schizophrenia, not to mention the damage to your lungs. Methamphetamine is extremely hard on the entire body, especially the nervous system and brain. The heavy use of many drugs or alcohol leads to extreme weight loss and malnutrition that can affect one’s ability to resist illness.
  2. You’ll reduce your risk of death. Many drugs can cause death the first time you use them, and others can have a damaging effect long-term. Cocaine is very stressful on the heart and arteries which can trigger an immediate cardiac arrest or heart attack. Alcohol can kill by overdose or increase the risk of accident. Any opiate can cause a fatal overdose. Synthetics like Ecstasy can cause you to overheat which can cause organ breakdown. Stop picking up the drugs and you have a better chance at a long life.
  3. You will be more likely to keep a good job. One of the typical signs of the slide into addiction is lost jobs. It’s very common for a person using drugs to blame others for this setback. But normally, it’s because the person stopped performing as well on the job. There were probably more sick days taken. Project were not taken to completion. Mistakes were made. Customers were neglected and co-workers were alienated. The end result: No more job.
  4. You can preserve your relationships. If one’s spouse or family members are not drug users, it is common for the relationships to either be seriously damaged, or to be ended when the other person won’t tolerate the drug use anymore. If those around you are using drugs with you, then any children may be taken away. All your lives will probably go on the same downward spiral together.
  5. You’ll have more money. If you have an addiction to heroin, it’s usual to pay $150-$200 per day on this habit. Painkiller addiction will cost more. Cocaine as well. Marijuana might still cost thousands per year and alcoholics might spend $300 to $500 a month. It depends on one’s tastes and location. All this money could be going into your pocket to improve your life.  If you were committing illegal acts to get the money, you will now safe from being arrested.
  6. You will gradually regain the ability to feel real, authentic emotions once again, like joy over wonderful things happening, sadness when it’s appropriate. Drugs and alcohol mask one’s real emotional responses to life’s events. Sedatives and tranquilizers will cover everything with a bland sameness. Opiates and marijuana may make one feel mellow even if one’s life is crashing down around one’s ears. Meth and other stimulants will provide a completely delusional set of emotional reactions. Long term use of drugs can result in apathy and depression, especially once you come down from them.drunk people fighting
  7. People will like you better. This is almost a sure thing. So many people become mean or aggressive when they are drunk and heavy marijuana use can trigger panic attacks or personality changes that could make you a burden on your friends. If you overdose in front of someone, they will have to tote you off to a hospital and this is not a good way to make or keep friends. Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine often make people aggressive and paranoid – terrible qualities for a friend or relative.
  8. Perhaps the most important reason to quit using drugs is that it’s is a dead end activity. The end result of addiction is either death, jail or sobriety. Yes, it’s tough to face the prospect of quitting drugs. The outcome of not making this choice is far, far worse. The answer for many people is to find a rehab program that offers a program with good result statistics and that aligns with one’s own philosophy. Many programs prescribe drugs for those in recovery, either during withdrawal or throughout the program and after returning home. Some people are fine with this but many others would rather come off drugs completely. At Narconon, we have a fully drug-free program that focuses on detoxification and building skills to live a drug-free life. At Narconon, you have enough time to develop these skills as there is no set time limit.

There are many more reasons, but these are probably enough.   Life is better without drugs, as countless people who’ve ended their addiction and  are living drug-free can attest.     If you need help quitting drugs, give us at 1-800-775-8750.

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Is it Addiction? How to Tell if This Problem Exists in Your Family http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/is-it-addiction-how-to-tell-if-this-problem-exists/ http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/is-it-addiction-how-to-tell-if-this-problem-exists/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 16:00:18 +0000 http://www.narconon.org/blog/?p=3404 Continue reading

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Have you ever known someone who was addicted to either drugs or alcohol? If you did, the chances are pretty good that the problem went on for quite a long time before it got fixed, if it ever did get fixed.

At Narconon centers around the world, we talk to families all the time that are struggling with the addiction of a loved one. And unfortunately, the situation has all too often been going on for several years.

person drinking alcoholIf you haven’t ever been close to someone while they were addicted, you might shake your head at this and wonder how in the world it’s possible for the family to miss the fact. Actually, it’s easy to do. Addicts nearly always become secretive and manipulative. They know they are doing something that is wrong by their own (former) standards and they know their spouses, their parents, children, employers and friends would disapprove. So they keep their new habit a secret.

And because they are addicted, they know they’ll get sick and/or miserable if they go off the drugs they have become accustomed to using every day. Beyond that, they depend on these drugs or drinks to be able to cope with life on a daily basis. Stopping these drugs will make them crash head-on into their own guilt and the problems they’ve been covering up with these substances. Just to tolerate life, just to be able to function, they feel they need to continue using these drugs. So they must manipulate those around them to keep them from looking too closely or interfering.

What Form Does this Manipulation take?

They’ll try anything they can think of. For example:

“It’s your fault I’m so miserable.”
“You never support me.”
“If you cared, you’d give me ($50, $100, $500) now that I’m in trouble.”
“All you ever do is accuse me of things! What about what YOU do?”
“He was totally out to get me.” (About his boss after a job is lost.)
“I got robbed of my rent money and you don’t even care.” (After the rent money was spent on drugs.)

The manipulation takes on a thousand forms. Whatever the addicted person can do to divert attention or suspicion is what he (or she) will do.

So Why Don’t Families Spot This?

It’s because family members love each other. When one of them becomes addicted, he’s still loved and cared about by family members. Loving family members care for each other by being patient, by helping each other when there are problems, by trusting.

Unfortunately, these characteristics cause loving family to play right into an addicted person’s hands. They enable the addict to take enormous advantage of their love and trust.

On one side, you have lies and manipulation. On the other side, you have trust and willingness to help.

The addict lies about losing a job and being broke. The family tries to help him find a new job and supplies some rent and food money. Which goes to drugs.

The addict lies about why his wife left him with his child. The family (who hasn’t talked to the wife) sympathizes and is sure the wife was terribly unfair.

The addict is arrested so of course he lies about drugs being planted on him or their being left in his car by someone he gave a ride to or he says he only had one drink on the way home. He complains about harsh treatment by police. The family is ready to challenge the police department. The problem is that everything he’s saying is a lie.

This can and does go on for years without the family ever realizing the truth.

Preventing This from Happening

is it addiction you're trying to solveThese’s an important characteristic that’s common to these situations. And it’s this:

No matter what help you give, it never resolves the situation the person is complaining about.

And here’s why: The problems don’t resolve because the real reason is out of sight.

When families have been trying to help an addicted loved one out for years and the situation stays the same, then it’s time to look at a different cause that is out of sight. Is it addiction? Are you seeing the signs of drug use over and over again, without realizing what you’re seeing? The Family Help Guide from Narconon can help you identify those signs. For that free booklet, visit: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/addiction-help-guide.html.

Perhaps there could be some other problem that is driving the person’s life awry, such as a medical problem or huge debts she does not want to face. By ruling out the possibility of drug use or addiction, then you have a better idea what to talk about and where to look.

Ruling out drug abuse can be done by using the Family Help Guide, doing drug tests if needed and bringing in the family physician to help. Addiction is so widespread that millions of families are dealing with the problems it brings and millions don’t even realize it. But when the real reason is not identified, then the problem can just continue to be as destructive as ever.

When the underlying problem is addiction, the solution is choosing an effective drug rehabilitation program, one that enables the addict to take all the time needed to rebuilt sober living skills for his new sober life. The Narconon program has no time limit, meaning the person graduates from the program when he has those skills under his belt. That’s why the program has such a good success rate. For objective evidence of that success, visit http://www.narconon.org/about-narconon/results.html.

To get immediate help for someone you care about, call 1-800-775-8750.

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