Tag Archives: addiction

Is the Next US Drug Trend Going to be Heroin?

The Washington Post just published an article that could be predicting a terrifying trend. According to an April 6th article, Mexican farmers are pulling out their marijuana crops and planting heroin poppies instead. So cheap heroin (far cheaper than prescription painkillers) has been increasingly found crossing the border.

kid smoking a jointHere’s what I am concerned about. As more states authorize the use of marijuana for medical or recreational use, there will be more of that drug in circulation. Prices will come down. That is, of course, the main reason Mexican farmers are changing their crops. They want a crop with a higher price attached. What would a savvy businessman in the drug business do? Offer another product that might appeal to someone already using alcohol or marijuana that will make the farmer more money. Continue reading

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

Philip Seymour Hoffman: A Life Taken Too Soon Because of Addiction

late actor phillip seymour hoffmanOn Saturday the 1st of February, America went to bed looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday the next day, but on the 2nd the nation awoke to the tragic news that one of its favorite actors had been found dead in his Greenwich Village apartment. The body of Philip Seymour Hoffman was discovered by a friend of his on the Sunday morning when Hoffman was expected to pick up his three children but never arrived. The actor was 46 at the time of his death, and was widely recognized as being among the finest actors of his generation. Several days after the news spread of Hoffman’s untimely demise, the officials still had not yet released a statement concerning the cause of death, but there can be little doubt as to the answer for this question. It is all but certain that what happened on Sunday is that Philip Seymour Hoffman joined a long list of other talented artists who have lost their lives to drug addiction. Hoffman was found with a syringe stuck into his arm, with several other needles around his apartment. Investigators at the scene discovered 5 empty bags of heroin, along with a staggering 65 full bags of the drug. Continue reading

Will Zohydro be the New Favorite of Opiate Addicts

heroin and prescription opiatesIn December 2012, a group of experts in pharmaceutical drugs was called together by the Food and Drug Administration to provide an opinion on whether or not it was a good idea to permit the manufacture of a new painkiller formulation. The manufacturer was Zogenix. They wanted to sell a new pain pill that contained only hydrocodone, a synthetic opiate.

This panel recommended not approving this new drug. Why? Because formulations containing hydrocodone are among the most popular drugs abused by the addicted. Continue reading

5 Steps to Overcoming Addiction

steps to overcoming addictionIs Beating A Drug Addiction A Daunting Task

People who start using drugs typically do so because they want to feel good. Whether they are seeking an escape from the stress and pressure they experience in their lives or are looking for new and mind-altering experiences, they want to get high. They want to relax. They want to feel euphoria or elation. Drugs may give them these things in the early stages, but before long addiction sets in. The drugs no longer get the person as high as they did before, and eventually the person has to use the drugs simply to feel normal and avoid the crushing lows. Life becomes consumed by the addiction, so that every waking moment is spent using drugs, craving them or trying to find the next fix. This is what happened to a young man who recently shared his story on our Narconon Reviews site.   Continue reading

How Drugs Can Change Your Personality

personality

To most people, the effects of drugs and alcohol on the user are obvious. They may act out, become violent, and get into verbal altercations or simply act like a different person. Drugs and alcohol can intensify behaviors. Take someone who has trouble with controlling his temper. Give him drugs or alcohol and he may become extremely violent. On the other hand, the user may feel that drugs change his personality for the better. For example, a normally shy person may drink alcohol and then become talkative and outgoing, allowing them to put their insecurities behind them. This may seem like a positive effect, but the truth is that it is not. When a person takes drugs, the feelings of pain, stress and anxiety are blocked or masked by the high. The brain will begin to crave these feelings of euphoria, and that is when addiction becomes a problem. Continue reading

The Effects Of Ecstasy On The Brain

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The drug Ecstasy has been labeled as one of the most popular drugs for teens, young adults and adolescents and one of the most dangerous and damaging drugs in existence.

According to Drug Fact research and statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when used, ecstasy causes serotonin to rush to the brain, resulting in extreme feelings of happiness and well-being. There is new evidence showing that this drug can actually be neurotoxic, meaning that it can damage cells in your brain. Long-term users of ecstasy have displayed signs of depression and anxiety. This is most likely because of the lack of ability to naturally replace their serotonin levels.

Ecstasy contains MDMA, which affects the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, leading to overheating. Drinking too much water, as users often do, can flush out their bodies’ supply of potassium. This can cause their organs to swell, which has proven to be fatal. Along with the risk of overdosing, it is important that you know the signs of club drug use, which include elevated temperature, high blood pressure, increased heartbeat, hallucinations and vomiting. Continue reading

How Should Drug Addiction Be Treated

addictionThe United States drug czar, R. Gil Kerlikowske, who is the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recently delivered a speech in Little Rock, Arkansas. He spoke before an assembly of around 700 people who were gathered to discuss the issue of prescription drug abuse. Non-medical use of prescription drugs including sedatives, stimulants and opiate painkillers has become an enormous problem in the United States, as highlighted by Mr. Kerlikowske when he reported that drug overdose now kills more Americans than motor vehicle accidents and gunshot wounds combined. Of all types of drugs, pharmaceutical medications are a leading culprit in what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as a “deadly epidemic” of abuse. For example, painkiller overdose kills around 15,000 people every year, more than both heroin and cocaine combined. During his speech, the drug czar also forward his view of how we as a nation should be attempting to solve this enormous public health problem. Rather than treating addiction as a moral failure on the part of the addict, he believes that the most effective approach would be to consider addition as a disease of the brain. His opinion is that addiction treatment should be geared to this viewpoint, which typically involves the use of medications to supplant the drug of addiction and in some cases to directly change the chemical balance of the brain in hopes of rewiring the areas which are involved in drug addiction.

In sharing this viewpoint, Mr. Kerlikowske waded into the middle of an ongoing debate concerning the nature of addiction. On the one side, many argue along with the drug czar that addiction is a purely physiological phenomenon. Not only does the body become addicted through the mechanics of dependency, but certain people are thought to be genetically predisposed to getting hooked on drugs and alcohol. For example, a recent study seemed to demonstrate that some people’s brains are less sensitive to alcohol, and that these people are therefore more likely to become alcoholics since they have to consume more alcohol in order to get drunk. On the other side are those who consider addiction to be more of an emotional and moral problem. Addicts are supposed to have fallen into the trap of dependency as a result of a lack of moral fiber or a failure to exercise self-control. Fortunately, neither of these two camps at either end of the spectrum account for all of the views on addiction and the most effective avenues for treatment.

Narconon Increases Ability Rather than Treating Disability

The Narconon drug addiction rehabilitation program takes a balanced approach towards the treatment of addiction, and in doing so it achieves an outstanding success rate of around 70% in terms of getting people off of drugs and alcohol for good. Rather than placing the sole emphasis on the physical or emotional/mental aspect of addiction, it addresses both. At the outset of the program, students (as patients are referred to in Narconon) begin a process of physical detoxification. This involves a combination of moderate exercise, good diet, nutritional supplements and time spent sweating in a dry heat sauna. The purpose of this activity is to cleanse the body’s tissues of the residues left behind by past drug use. These residues are found to be largely responsible for the cravings that recovering addicts often experience, and by flushing them out of the body the person gets a fresh start physically. Beyond detoxification, students also receive counseling that brings their attention more into present time, rather than having it stuck on past experiences of drug use and past upsets in life. They also study a number of different life skills courses that boost their ability to cope with pressure and stress, to make ethical decisions, to communicate with others, to learn and to choose the right type of people to associate with. Taken together, these steps work to increase the student’s ability to overcome addiction and to succeed in life, rather than looking at an addict as someone who suffers from a brain disease or who is morally weak. The proof of the validity of this approach is in the numbers. As mentioned above, nearly three quarters of Narconon graduates stay sober after completing the program, a figure that is among the best in the field of addiction treatment.

To see the full Narconon study video visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNFDimLNTzs

The Affects Of Long Term Drug Use On The Brain

brain 2Drugs work by changing the brain’s chemistry and by affecting the neuron signaling in many ways. The job of the neurons are to control cognition, muscle movement, sensory information and emotions. They communicate with each other using synapses. As the neurons connect to the synapses, they release special chemicals called neurotransmitters. All of these things work together as part of a normally functioning brain. Some drugs are similar in structure to neurotransmitters and are able to bind to neurotransmitter receptors on neurons.

Drugs like cocaine and amphetamines stimulate neurons to release abnormally high amounts of these neurotransmitters. Others cause the release of high amounts of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter. This is what is responsible for the euphoric highs that drug users talk about. Continue reading

Why Helping Others Can Be Best Cure for Addiction

People Magazine recently featured a cover story on actor Matthew Perry. For more than a decade in the 1990s and 2000s, Perry had a starring role in the mega-hit NBC sitcom “Friends,” a position which earned him international fame and a salary reaching as high as $1 million per episode. While most people would assume that such success would mean that he would be living on the top of the world, the truth of the matter was another story entirely. In reality, Perry was struggling with an addiction to the opiate prescription painkiller Vicodin, as well as being an alcoholic. In his own words, Perry says that eventually “things got so bad that I couldn’t hide it, and then everybody knew.”

He spent years trying to get sober. Rehab worked for him only when he finally made the decision that he wanted help. In his current life as a recovered addict, he now has turned his efforts to helping others to overcome similar problems to the ones that he himself faced. Continue reading