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. Continue reading
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 was reported by 281,000 people in 2011. In 2012, that number was 335,000. Continue reading
One of the most common things that happens with the families of drug users is that they think there is a problem, they’re sure there’s some kind of problem, but they can’t identify it. A drug user will exploit their uncertainty to deny everything and continue to use drugs.
This really is a strange phenomenon. One might think that when a drug user starts running into problems caused by the drugs, they might lay off the drugs or ask for help. Well, a few do. But when a person is truly gripped by addiction and driven by cravings, it’s very common that they cover up their drug use and manipulate those around him (or her).
Even if a family finds drugs on the person or in the home, the user will still try to manipulate the situation. “Those don’t belong to me,” or “I only did it this once.” Or maybe, “Yes, I was using a few pills [plus cocaine plus marijuana plus heroin that go unmentioned] but I can quit.”
This is one of the saddest things about addiction. The condition itself prevents the person from getting help. It’s like addicts become wired to prevent detection or recovery.
Certainly there are a few exceptions. But when this deception exists, it can delay rehabilitation by years. Meanwhile, the problems get worse and worse. Families are mystified as to why the person’s life continues to fall apart. Continue reading
Maryland has long struggled with a heroin problem. In fact, the Baltimore inner city has been renowned as a center of heroin abuse and addiction for many years. It’s not uncommon for multiple generations in the same family to seek help for addiction at the same time. But as opiate painkillers introduced a broad spectrum of people to a dependence on this type of drug, heroin abuse has followed and spread across the Maryland landscape. After all, there are drugstores in every town in every state in the US. And far too many states have unscrupulous doctors who are willing to make the money by selling prescriptions for addictive substances. The migration to heroin is seen as necessary when money sources dry up, because heroin is so much cheaper than pills.
Even though Maryland already had a high rate of heroin abuse, recent news reports state that there has been an 88% increase in heroin-related overdoses in a two year period. This increase really takes the problem to a fever pitch in the state. Continue reading
For the last several years, the mainstream media has been reporting on the way that painkiller addiction has been working its way into the homes of people who never would have used an illegal drug. This addiction was initiated by the legitimate prescribing of painkillers like Vicodin, Lortab or OxyContin. As a person’s body builds tolerance to the pills, they need more of the drug just to feel normal and keep the pain away. This route to addiction is insidious because the person using the medication may not even realize when legitimate medical use slips into misuse and addiction.
Now, the story is emerging of how soldiers returning from deployments overseas either come back addicted to pain medication or how it develops after they continue the medication in the US.
One of the latest media stories on this tragic problem appeared in the Huffington Post. According to a study published on their website, nearly half the soldiers who return from deployment have chronic pain and 15% are using opioid (synthetic opiates) painkillers.
It’s also notable that of those taking painkillers, 44% state that they have had mild or no pain in the last month. Continue reading
When you’re a non-drug-using adult, it’s hard to understand why anyone, anywhere would ever use a drug as dangerous as Spice. Also called K2 or referred to by brand names invented by illicit chemists, Spice has caused some of the most intense physical damage and even fatalities. It can happen in the first use or the tenth. You really don’t know what you’re getting, chemically speaking, and you don’t know how your body will react to it.
But some young people have not heard about these dangers. And some other young people think that “it won’t happen to them.” But they never know what’s going to happen until it has already hit them – and then it may be too late.
A new report from Spain describes such a case. Professors of medicine in Castallon reported on a person who suffered a catatonic psychotic break after using Spice. But that’s not all. The person also suffered from difficulty moving and was bent over even months after he stopped using Spice. He had stiffness in the head and neck and could not control his motions. Continue reading
Everyone knows that there are legal limits for driving while drunk. But now some nations and US states are working hard to determine what the legal driving limits for drug use should be. After all, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has documented the fact that many drugs of abuse make it harder or even impossible for a person to continue to drive competently after use.
In the NHTSA documentation for marijuana, the agency describes the effects of using marijuana before driving: “The short term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficultly in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination. Heavy users may have increased difficulty sustaining attention, shifting attention to meet the demands of changes in the environment.”
When a person takes the club drug Ecstasy (MDMA), the NHTSA noted these impairments occurred in some drivers: “Speeding, jumping red lights, hallucinations/delusions, and a sense of detachment in five impaired driving cases.” Continue reading
Do you have a son or daughter or maybe a friend who spends a lot of time going to nightclubs or dance clubs? Then the chances are very good that they are using drugs as well. Probably a combination of drugs which increases their risk of harm or even death.
The drugs used at these clubs, similar events like music festivals and especially Spring Break trips include:
• And the many different new synthetic drugs on the market.
What makes things even worse is that many young people abuse multiple drugs – either all at once or in rapid succession so that all the drugs are active in their bodies at one time. This is an extremely risky habit that results in death far too often. Continue reading
From 2004 to 2009, the Labour government in the UK reclassified marijuana into a lower level of legal penalties. If we looked at the result of this action, could we possibly predict what might happen in the US as a result of increasing medical and recreational use of this drug?
• According to a recent report from the Daily Mail, there was a 25% increase in the use of this drug and a sharp increase in crime.
• Researchers at Newcastle University found that occasional use of marijuana increased 25% and regular consumption increased 8%.
That’s not the only indicator that marijuana use is likely to increase in the US as penalties are lowered.
• A survey done of US high school students showed that among the students who had used marijuana at least once, 65% would be more likely to use pot if penalties were eliminated.
• Among teenaged heavy users, 78% said they would be more likely to use it.
• Even among those teens who had never used marijuana, 16% said they would be more likely to use the drug. Continue reading
Summer is officially here, and the relief and freedom felt by most teenagers across the United States is accompanied by the concern and worry that many parents are experiencing about their children’s well being. Now that your kids are out of school, how can you be sure that they will stay out of trouble? How do you know that they won’t get involved with drugs? There are things that you can do to help them stay safe and enjoy a drug-free summer, and Narconon is sharing 10 tips that you can use now: Continue reading