Why Non-Addicts Often Misunderstand the Concept of Recovery

confusedA person who is said to have recovered from an illness can be understood to have successfully fought of the bacteria or virus causing the illness and to have regained the level of health which he or she enjoyed prior to that illness. This is the common understanding of the word “recovery,” and based on this most of the general public impute this definition to the word when used in the context of addiction. Continue reading

The Rise in Heroin Use May Be Linked to the Decline in Prescription Drug Abuse

prescription drugsIn the middle of January, an issue of the New England Journal of Medicine featured a report that was heralded as cause for celebration. The report carried news that the rates of prescription painkiller abuse and addiction in the United States were finally starting to decline, after years of alarming increases. Astonishing numbers of Americans had gone from using painkillers medically to abusing their pills, and finally many became addicted. Things got so bad that more than 15,000 people were dying every year, in what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention termed a “deadly epidemic” of painkiller abuse. So with things having gotten as bad as they did, any news that the clouds were parting would of course be welcomed and provide considerable encouragement. But there is another facet to the situation which must not be overlooked before a final verdict is laid down and a decision is made as to whether we are finally on the verge of winning this battle in the war on drugs. That facet is heroin. Continue reading

A Family Guide to Stopping Meth Abuse

stop methMethamphetamine is, without a doubt, one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs available. It does not even carry with it a veneer of being glamorous or cool, so devastating are the effects of using it. You would have a hard time finding a person who had been using methamphetamine for any period of time and yet who was able to keep up appearances or remain a functioning addict, someone who can still operate in the day-to-day world without letting the consequences of drug use cause obvious effects. If you have a family member who is using meth, you most certainly know that something is going wrong, even when you have not yet confirmed the fact that meth is the problem. Meth addiction can quickly take over a person’s life, causing things to get out of control and tearing apart the family of the addict. It is absolutely vital that you take action to handle the situation if a member of your own family is using meth, and you must do what you can to prevent the problem from developing into a full blown addiction, to get the person into treatment if he or she has already crossed that line.  Continue reading

10 Tips for Starting New After Addiction

new start clockGetting 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

Alarming Increase in Heroin Use Across Many U.S. States

America's heroin epidemic

One recent news story after another reveals the extent of the heroin epidemic rolling across the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.

Like these headlines, for example:

 

February 2014: How Did Idyllic Vermont Become America’s Heroin Capital?

November 2014: “Region battles cheap, powerful heroin that kills.” (Massachusetts)

January 2015: “Since 2012, authorities track 450 percent rise in heroin-related deaths in Loudoun.” (Virginia)

January 2015: “St. Elizabeth sees ‘alarming’ jump in heroin ODs.” (Kentucky)

2 million in heroin each week in VermontAcross much of the Eastern US, similar stories are told. Heroin has moved out of the inner cities where it has created devastation for decades, and it has now arrived in the suburbs. Many young people who didn’t seem destined for drug use and certainly not for a drug overdose are being lost to heroin.

Continue reading

The 5 Most Common Behavior Traits of an Addict

five common traits of addictThe 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

Living with an Alcoholic or Addict

woman receiving abuse from addictThere 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.

Realize That You Didn’t Cause the Addiction

Unless you were feeding the person drugs or alcohol yourself, you probably didn’t have much to do with causing the addiction. The addicted person may have you believe otherwise. It is very often the nature of addiction that the addict manipulates those around him to keep them from interfering with his ability to get and use drugs. He will accuse others of not understanding, not supporting, not helping, not realizing how upset/unlucky/sick he is – and so on down a long list. These accusations won’t make much sense and there’s probably little (if any) truth to them. You have to stay strong and not accept these claims.

But while you protect your own sanity by rejecting the manipulation, there is very little to be gained by antagonizing the addict. Don’t bother telling him that he’s manipulating or lying. Just skip it, get yourself to a safe place, ask for support or protection from friends or family.

For further advice on surviving this challenge, read the Narconon publication, 14 Rules You Must Never Break When Dealing with Addiction, available at no charge. It’s available here: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/rules/.

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.  If they are not living with you, it may mean 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

Ten Signs You May Be Addicted to Marijuana

10 ways to tell if you are addicted marijuanaThe evidence is quite clear now – yes, many people are becoming addicted to weed. It happens in greater numbers among those who start young, but it can happen to anyone. Once you’re addicted, the whole shape of your life begins to shift around to focus on the use of weed. You may not even realize you’ve become addicted. To find out, check your answers to these ten questions.

1. Have you abandoned activities you once enjoyed, such as sports, art, music, writing or traveling?

Research has validated the fact that marijuana brings about mental changes that can negatively affect motivation or decisions. Activities that require quick mental competence, concentration or initiative may not be as much fun any more and may be abandoned.

2. Have goals that were once important to you gone by the wayside, such as career or education?

One study from the University of Texas found that marijuana users averaged five IQ points less than those who did not smoke the drug. Another study found that teens who used the drug lost an average of 8 IQ points and that they did not recover these points when they stopped using it. A loss like this could make it more difficult to succeed at work or school. Continue reading

Alcohol Abuse Treatment and Self Help Guide

alcohol abuseHoping to quit drinking and get sober but don’t know how? have you tried to quit in the past but failed for whatever reason? Maybe you just didn’t know how to quit. Though it all begins with the decision to change, there is a lot more to recovery than simply changing one’s mind. Recovery is different for everyone, but there are certain things that must occur, and guidelines that should be followed for a smooth and successful rehabilitation. The team at Helpguide.org has assembled an exhaustive guide to alcohol abuse and self-help, which can be used to assist one in the process of attempting to get sober. Self-guided recovery is not possible in every case — very often it is necessary to get into an in-patient rehab facility — but for those who are able to follow this route, the guide is a tremendous resource. It also provides insight into some of the things that one can expect during a rehab program. The main points of the guide are outlined below: Continue reading

Contraband Users Susceptible to Drug Abuse

contrabandThe 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