New Year’s Day is right around the corner, and millions of Americans will be setting goals for themselves to pursue in 2015. What will your New Year’s resolutions be this year? To lose weight? Make more money? Improve your relationships? Travel more? Quit drugs and alcohol? This last one may not be the most common, but it is certainly one that many people from all walks of life will be making. Continue reading
There’s some subjects that can be successfully addressed with a narrow focus. And there’s others where that just won’t work. Addiction is one of the latter.
If you just focus on one aspect of the addiction problem, you will fail to understand it. Addiction is a serious social, health, cultural, financial, justice, legislative, political and human problem. I can’t think of any stratum of life that isn’t affected by it. Everything from child abuse to rock and roll, from traffic deaths to property crimes, from success in school to success in business, every part of our lives is capable of being touched by someone’s drug use and addiction.
For example, someone was telling me a story about how, many years ago, personnel from a major hospital used to cross the street from the hospital to a grassy strip in front of her office where they would take their lunch breaks and smoke pot. I shudder to think of the mistakes they might have made when they went back to work. Continue reading
In the last couple of weeks, there’s been plenty of exposure of the way national league players have become addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Sometimes it happens because they are regularly dosed with pain medication to cover up injuries so they can play. And sometimes it comes because of the big money, high profile, high stress lives they lead.
A couple of weeks ago, a group of former National Football League players sued the league for the practices that left them injured, disabled and often, addicted. Trainers would clear them to play before their injuries were healed. Sometimes the players were not even told the real extent of their injuries and so were willing to get back to the field – to their own detriment. Continue reading
It is very rare that a person tries heroin or cocaine as the first experience with drugs. Instead, most people who do try drugs have already been using a “gateway drug” for some time leading up to that point. A gateway drug is one which serves to open the door to using harder drugs. The three most common gateway drugs are: Continue reading
On 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
According to a 2011 report by CNN Health, there are 22 million Americans who are addicted to illegal drugs in the United States and all around the world. Addictions vary from gambling, food, and sex, but probably the one which needs the greatest attention are drug addictions. Drug dependency not only ruins the lives of those who are addicted, but also the lives of those who are closest to them. Listed below are 5 of the most addictive drugs and their symptoms. Continue reading
With over 30 million Americans currently struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism, it is shocking to remember the byproduct and repercussions of such a deadly epidemic. Economically, at a state and federal level, the price of addiction manifests through lost productivity and other devastating ways. Fatalities, traffic accidents and injuries related to substance abuse take thousands of lives each year, not to mention the accidental overdoses that occur more frequently amongst prescription drug addicts.
Despite all these tragic losses that result from substance abuse, the most saddening byproduct of substance abuse is the neglect, abuse and maltreatment of children whose parents are addicted to drugs.
Because addiction and alcoholism alter perception and reality very frequently, children of parents who are chemically dependent are not uncommonly found to be put in harm’s way, neglected or otherwise abused.
Child Abuse Clearly Defined
The terms and circumstances, which define child abuse and neglect, are clearly defined at a federal level. According to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, the mistreatment of children is defined as:
Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents and imminent risk of serious harm.
What could this mean in the case of children put in danger by way of drug abuse in the home? While even just exposing children to dangerous and illegal drugs could easily be considered maltreatment, additional abuse or neglect may manifest in any of the following ways:
* Violence or verbal abuse resulting from being drunk or high
* Sexual abuse or behavior which makes a child feel uncomfortable
* Forcing a child to hide an adult’s drug abuse or alcoholism
* Consistently leaving a child alone at home
* Consistently ignoring a child or their needs; lack of attention
The Long Term Effects of Childhood Exposure to Drug Use
Studies exist and have been completed which focus on the long-term effects of substance abuse on the youth who are present. A shocking number of currently detained prison inmates and rehab attendees admit they had a tumultuous upbringing, having experienced some sort of neglect, or physical, sexual or verbal abuse. Further, these individuals were aware of criminality or substance abuse in their environment, setting a powerfully negative example for such youth.
It is wholly observable that children who grow up amongst drug abuse, alcoholism and criminality tend to join into these activities. This creates something of a cyclic trend, making those children who are born into underprivileged homes and neighborhoods more likely to remain ‘in the system’ than those children who are born of better circumstances with attentive, drug-free parents.
Breaking the Cycle; What Can I Do
As we look at analyzing how drug-addicted parents affect children, we conclude that the most important focus of this issue is breaking the cycle of substance abuse amongst youth. Many youth have entered into drug and/or alcohol abuse paths of their own, largely due to their exposure to such activities as a young child. However, this cycle can be taken apart and the course of youth lives can be changed.
* Support local children and family centers; these groups offer a safe environment and supportive care to children when parents are unable to.
* Demand drug education in all schools in your area; although drug prevention begins in the home, having preventative education at a young age continues to be an effective way to keep kids off drugs.
Every addiction is different, every person addicted to drugs is different. How can one addiction be compared to another to determine which one is the most dangerous addiction?
The list of potential addictive substances is long. There’s cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, morphine and other opiates, marijuana, prescription painkillers like OxyContin and hydrocodone, stimulants like methamphetamine or prescription drugs Ritalin or Adderall, and of course alcohol. Club drugs like GHB, Ecstasy, LSD and Rohypnol add more items to the list of drugs that can cause a dangerous addiction.
Most of these drugs can cause overdoses and some can simply cause such stress on the body that the heart can fail or the liver can be damaged. Even something as legal and available as alcohol can kill outright.
How to measure a dangerous addiction? By its potential to kill? That’s one index. The amount of ruin visited on a person as a result of seeking and using that drug is another way. A third way would be to measure the destruction received by other people in the environment. Children around an addict can be injured, maimed or even killed. Even if not harmed physically, children can suffer damaging neglect and mental abuse. Spouses can be abused and even members of the community may be endangered if the individual becomes paranoid or aggressive.
Different Drugs or Multiple Drugs Affect People Differently
Unfortunately, the norm for drug use in the last few years has become polydrug use. In other words, the person using cocaine also uses alcohol, Ecstasy, marijuana and perhaps even prescription drugs. This is an intensely DANGEROUS habit, as if there are any physical problems that need treatment as a result of the drug use, medical personnel would have an impossible time untangling the complex pattern of drug effects.
Some people on methadone maintenance treatment still continue to abuse heroin, and add cocaine to the mix. These strong chemicals place terrible stresses on the heart, the liver and the central nervous system.
Even in the middle of fluctuating drug usage or polydrug use, there is often one drug that finally hooks a person, eliminating his or her ability to resist the cravings. Sometimes substance abuse will go on for years before it turns in to this kind of addiction. It might be heroin or the intensely addicting crack cocaine or methamphetamine. For a college student, it might be the Ritalin or Adderall they take so they can stay up all hours to study.
The most dangerous addiction is the one that the person throws his or her life away for. The one they can’t leave behind when they want to. The one that overwhelms. Different people have different weaknesses so the patterns vary greatly.
Break Free from Drug Addiction
While the patterns of addiction have a great variety, there is a sure path to recovery for most people. That is the Narconon drug rehabilitation program available on six continents. In Russian, Mexico, the US, Australia and other countries, those who lost the power of choice recovery sobriety. On average, seven out of ten people who graduate the Narconon program remain sober after they return home.
The Narconon program consist of life skills classes that have a definite outcome. These are not drug rehab meetings or a program where people share their drug-taking histories or get confrontational as a supposed method of therapy. It’s all about learning how to develop the skills that will keep one sober. It takes learning which associates may cause one to abandon the plan to stay sober and which ones will support sobriety. It also takes knowing how to deal with life’s daily challenges without feeling the need for a pill or drink.
Most people complete the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in three to five months. Find out how this program can help someone you care about recover from their dangerous addiction. Call Narconon today at 1-800775-8750.
There are some addiction rehab programs that require a commitment of years. When a person uses support groups for recovery, it may be necessary for that person to commit to years of frequent meetings. A therapeutic community may require years of residence for a person to fully develop sober living skills.
On the other hand, a short term program of 28 to 30 days is very often far too short a time to enable a person to rebuild a life that was destroyed by addiction. Perhaps a short term program should be followed by counseling or further service but if a person fails at sobriety as soon as he (or she) goes back to his life, he may not show up for any further service.
When a person who needs rehab chooses the Narconon program for recovery, there are no Narconon meetings to attend. The program consist of courses and excercises in which a person restores his or her life skills for sober living. They consist of periods of time spent in a low-heat sauna in a strict regimen of nutritional supplements on a detoxification program that flushes out old drug residues that can contribute to cravings, even years after drug use stops.
The Narconon program is unique, innovative and thorough. It is thorough enough that seven out of ten graduates stay sober after they go home. It just takes a commitment to do one’s best to get clean and sober, to honestly apply oneself to learning how to live a new, drug-free life. The Narconon staff will take it from here.
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
When a person has been abusing alcohol heavily for many years, it may be that they have to go through a medical detox before they can start the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. According to the National Institutes of Health, withdrawal sickness can start within one to a few days after drinking stops and may last for weeks. For most people, their detox will be over within one to two weeks. A few people, especially those in poor health, it may take longer.
When alcohol withdrawal is over, the person can then start the Narconon drug rehab program. This program usually requires three to five months although a few people take longer. Seven out of ten graduates stay sober after they go home, meaning the Narconon program has one of the best success rates in the field.
Loss of Life Skills
Everyone around an addicted person sees that he loses more life skills the longer he is addicted. He stops being able to communicate openly, he has secrets – things he does not want anyone to know. He has done things he would never have done were he not addicted. He has put his addiction before his family and his integrity. Bringing this person back to sobriety includes restoring his own personal integrity. The Narconon program has a workable process for helping bring this about.
You can learn more about the science of this program by visiting http://www.drugrehab.net/scientific-research/.
Find out more about this holistic, drug-free program and how it can help someone you care about. Call the international management offices of Narconon in Los Angeles at 1-800-775-8750 today. There are fifty Narconon drug rehabs around the world. Find out where the one that is closest to you is located.
As a teen, Brandon was a BMX rider — bicycle motocross or stunt riding — and that led to him tearing ligaments in his knee. The injury resulted in his being prescribed opiate pain medication and that started him on the road to addiction.
Today, Brandon shows his BMX roots by sporting a knit cap pulled low with wild dark strands of hair flying every which way. Now in his early 20s, he still has a boyish look, with glossy dark eyes and a couple of piercings here and there. Brandon has just finished recovering his sobriety at one of the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.
When he hurt his knee, he had to have reconstructive surgery. He took the opiates after the surgery and then kept taking them after the knee had healed because he realized that he felt better than when he didn’t take them. He never knew they were addictive.
Pain Pill Use Becomes Pain Pill Abuse
He kept hurting himself after that so kept being prescribed more pain medication for awhile. When he was finally taken off the drugs, he felt sick and didn’t realize he was in withdrawal.
His friends at the time were abusing opiate pain medication so he began to abuse them at social events. While he was sixteen years old, he began to snort OxyContin. Every time he did, he didn’t feel bad or sick any more. He was also drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
His parents took notice and sent him to a ninety-day rehab when he was seventeen. It might have helped if Brandon wanted to quit but he didn’t. He didn’t yet see the problem that others saw. As soon as he got out, he was smoking marijuana and drinking and soon gravitated back to pain pill abuse.
Brandon Makes the Switch to Heroin — and Hard-Core Addiction
He was a senior in high school when he started snorting heroin. There was plenty of heroin in the Richmond, Virginia area where he was living. After a month of snorting heroin, his friends told him that injecting it was “the way to go.” That was the beginning of his hard-core addiction.
From time to time, he’d get himself into a rehab program that would give him buprenorphine in the form of Suboxone. That would get him off heroin and prevent withdrawal sickness. He didn’t really give any thought to the fact that he was still on an opioid drug every day. He just knew that he felt all right and thought that meant he was doing better than when he was on heroin.
But then there were always the friends using heroin. He kept slipping back into heroin use and would sell his Suboxone while he was using the heroin. Or he’d take some Suboxone in the morning so he could maintain while he was at work hanging drywall for his father and then when he got home, he would use heroin. While doubling up on opiates like this can bring about an overdose, he was just too lost to think about it or care.
Only Purpose in Life: Getting More Heroin
His only purpose in going to work was so that he could continue to buy drugs. Friday nights and Saturdays were devoted to partying with drugs but by Sunday his money would be gone.
About the time he turned 21, there was a break in the addiction when he went to a long-term rehab for young people. But even this eleven month break did not give him what he needed. Just a few weeks before he was due to graduate, he and another person at the rehab drove away in one of the rehab’s vans and got drunk. Brandon left this rehab the next day.
The alcohol abuse continued after he left but then progressed to heroin use within a month. The next two years were devoted to heroin abuse. He would get a prescription for Suboxone from a doctor but didn’t take it unless he could not get his hands on heroin. He was always “scheming and scamming,” as he put it, figuring out how to get money for heroin.
The Day Finally Comes that Brandon Knows He Needs to Get Clean
He finally realized that he needed to beat the addiction. With his family, he found the Narconon program on the internet. He chose this program from among several he and his family were looking at and together, they made it happen.
Even though he chose this program, he wasn’t really sincere in his efforts to get clean at first. It took hearing other students talking about how much better they felt for him to start to give the program his best efforts. It wasn’t long until he began feeling good about himself for the first time in a long time. “I started having a natural happy feeling — I hadn’t felt that in so long,” he said.
As he progressed through the program, he began to let go of old resentments about things that had happened years before. He said he finally began to mature while he was on this program.
The Narconon program was the first rehab he ever finished and he was very proud of himself for the accomplishment and for finally getting sober. He decided to stay on at the Narconon rehab center to help other people get through their own recoveries. He’d tell other students who might be having a hard time at the beginning of their rehabs, “Dude, if I can do it, you can do it.”
He concluded with this statement: “I’m glad I did this program. With my experience in rehabs, I don’t think people could find a better place to be.”
If you know someone who needs help with drug addiction, call a Narconon drug rehab counselor today. We’re here to help.