Fear: A Major Factor in Addiction

drug addict with fearIt 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

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New Painkiller Zohydro May Be Next Big Addiction Risk

painkillerIn light of the headlines in recent months involving the nationwide epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and addiction, you might think that every possible effort is being made to crack down on this major public health problem in order to save lives from the damage caused by addiction and overdose. You would be wrong! Officials at the highest levels, the ones you would expect to be the most concerned about stemming the tide of painkiller abuse, have recently given approval to a new type of painkiller that is even more powerful, and therefore more addictive and dangerous, than what is already on the market.

The new drug is hydrocodone bitartrate, and it is being marketed under the name Zohydro. How much more powerful is Zohydro? It has been reported as being as much as 10 times more potent than OxyContin and between 5 and 10 times stronger than Vicodin. This drug is so powerful, indeed, that even the manufacturer, Zogenix, Inc., has acknowledged that taking as few as two pills, or one pill in the case of a child, could easily result in an overdose. Continue reading

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What Are the Economic Costs of Drug Abuse

economic costsHow 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

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Desperate Krokodil Addict Recovers

Of all the addictions, as terrible as they all are, perhaps the most desperate is an addiction to Krokodil. This is a drug that started being home-cooked in Russia by heroin addicts. Someone realized that they could buy over-the-counter headache medication that contained codeine and strip the opiate base out of it. Then when this drug was injected, it would have an effect similar to that of heroin but it would not last as long.

In these kitchen drug labs, the most caustic and damaging chemicals are used to strip out the opiate. Chemicals like gasoline, lighter fluid, iodine, lye and the phosphorus from the red tips of matches. There is some slight effort, usually, to filter impurities out of the resulting liquid but running the liquid through some paper filters would do nothing to remove caustic chemicals from the final solution. Continue reading

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The Sad State of Many Heroin Addicts

When the unaddicted public thinks of heroin addicts, I suspect that they think of someone strung out due to withdrawal sickness, the way Frank Sinatra was in the movie Man with a Golden Arm. Or if they know something about the drug, they might picture someone “on the nod,” in other words, nodding off as the opiate makes them drowsy.

Not many people realize that many heroin addicts just get enough of the drug to “get well,” as they call it. What they mean is that the amount of heroin they have will just keep the dopesickness, the withdrawal pains away. It’s not nearly enough to get high. Continue reading

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Narconon Celebrates 48 Years of Saving Lives

48 years“We’ve come such a long way from the early days of that behind-the-bars rehab program with a few dozen students,” says Narconon International president Clark Carr. He is speaking on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the Narconon program, which was recently observed on February 19th. This date doesn’t refer back to the day when Narconon opened the doors of its first drug rehab center, but rather to the day when Narconon founder William Benitez originally made the decision to start the program. At the time, he was serving time in an Arizona prison, and it was there that he began delivering the program to the few dozen students to whom Mr. Carr refers in his remarks. Since that time, Narconon has expanded to one of the largest networks of drug rehab centers in the world, with locations spread throughout the United States and across the entire world. Narconon is now one of the most well known names in the field of addiction treatment, and it is widely recognized as having one of the highest rates of success in terms of getting people off drugs for good. Continue reading

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The New and Dangerous Drinking Game: Neknominate

nekominate gameHave you heard of neknominate? Have you been neknominated yet? You may have no idea what that word means, but there is a good chance that your kids do. If they’re in their teens or early twenties, in fact, there is a very high likelihood that they know all about neknomination, whether or not it’s something that they’ve actually done yet. What is it?  Continue reading

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5 Ways to End Drugging in America

americaBefore a less-than-optimum situation can be improved or a problem solved, it must first be recognized and faced for what it is.  Neither the head-in-the-sand approach nor the running away from the truth of it will end-up in a resolution of the problem or an improvement in a bad condition or situation.  So it is with drug and drug use in America.  It is past time for each one of us to take a long, hard look at where the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol is taking us, and where we will ultimately end-up if we don’t pull together and take some heroic measures to turn things around for the better. Continue reading

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Why Heroin Addiction Treatment Could Be Stopped By Insurance

heroin addictionWhen reports hit the news of the heroin overdose death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, one item in the story that attracted attention was the fact that only months before his death, the actor had checked into rehab in an attempt to get sober. If Hoffman had been to rehab, and so recently, shouldn’t he have been clean? Shouldn’t he have been able to avoid a tragic overdose death? Questions like these were in the minds of many after Hoffman was found dead with a needle in his arm and dozens of bags of heroin in his apartment in Manhattan. What many overlooked was the fact that Hoffman’s recent stint in rehab was a brief one. He spent only 10 days in treatment, a period that many in the field of addiction recovery will confirm simply is not long enough to make a meaningful difference. To put it simply, drug rehab is not something you can do overnight, and when so much is on the line — one’s chance of enjoying a future of happiness and health — it is well worth the time and effort to make sure it is done right. The proof is in the results, and the final outcome of the situation confirms that 10 days in rehab simply was not long enough for Philip Seymour Hoffman to beat his addiction to heroin. Continue reading

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How Terrifyingly Easy it is to Start Using Drugs

person offering a jointI’ve just read through a dozen interviews from Narconon graduates in which they describe how and why they started using drugs. These interviews make so very clear that it’s incredibly easy for a young person to decide to just go along with what everyone else is doing – drinking, smoking pot, even using much stronger and more deadly drugs.

If a child does not understand clearly and with conviction why using drugs is dangerous and has not made a firm decision to remain drug-free, then anything can happen.

How Kids Can Begin Using Drugs

Let me share a few of these quotes with you.

“In high school, I started smoking marijuana with my friends. They told me there was nothing wrong with it, that it was kind of normal and everybody was doing it. So I just kind of joined in and started smoking marijuana.”

“How I started using marijuana, I was in middle school, around 12 years old, didn’t really know who I was as a person. I looked around to see what I wanted to be like, what I wanted to strive to be. I wanted to fit in, I wanted to be a social person. And that’s one of the reasons I started using marijuana.”

“So I started using marijuana, I was a freshman in high school. I was out partying and drinking and somebody had weed there. So I smoked it. My decisions weren’t the best, I was a little drunk. And then a couple of days later my buddy was like, ‘Hey, you want to smoke again?’ I was like, ‘Sure, I guess.’ I’d done it before.”

But that’s not as far as it usually goes. What should really concern a parent is how easy it was to transition to harder, more addictive and deadlier drugs. Here’s how our graduates described this progression to using heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine.

“As far as the transition from smoking pot every day to using harder drugs, I had run into somebody who said, ‘Hey, I’ve got some opium,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Opium, that’s cool, it’s like pot times ten.’ And before I knew it, we were sitting in my car smoking heroin. And then he’s like, ‘So man, we just did heroin.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ You know what I mean, because I had no idea. But it felt incredible, and I was like, ‘Oh, cool.’”

“I started smoking pot to fit in with everybody. And it looked like everybody was having a good time. And they told me, ‘Nobody’s died from smoking pot.’ So I did it and it progressed into cocaine and heroin and my life was just downhill.”

“From then on, it just kind of snowballed. I became okay with using other things, this that and the other. It’s not like I set out to be a heroin addict, I don’t think anyone does but it ended up that way. Before I knew it I was too deep to pull myself out.”

“My thing with starting with methamphetamine – my best friend started. Her sister started using it, they started hanging out a lot and I felt like I was losing my best friend so my curiosity grew really strong. I was pretty much determined to use it at that point so I could see what they were doing that seemed like so much fun. Yeah, so it was pretty easy to use it after I had used all the other stuff.”

Talking About Substance Abuse in the Home

I know it’s not the easiest thing to talk to your kids about drugs. But these stories show what can happen if you don’t.

The first thing you need to do is to learn about the drugs that are out there right now, drugs that your kids might be offered. And take the time to explain the effects and dangers associated with each drug.

To help you, we have created quick guides to understanding prescription drug abuse…

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/10-things-prescription-drugs.html

… and marijuana.

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/marijuana-facts.html

You can find complete guides to different drugs and how to talk to your children about them below:

Marijuana: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/marijuana/

Heroin: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/heroin/

Cocaine: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/cocaine/

Stimulants like methamphetamine or Ritalin: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/stimulants/

Synthetic drugs like Spice or “bath salts”: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/synthetics/

Alcohol: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/alcohol/

 

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