A recent online article reported on what may be a relatively little-known side of drug use in the workplace. Oftentimes, drug use is linked to poverty and lack of an education adequate to gaining anything more than menial employment. It is often linked to hopelessness about the future, and the recognition of a lack of opportunity or the means to make a decent living or live a decent life. But this side of workplace drug use and abuse is an entirely different arena of life. Continue reading
Before 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
To a large degree, perceptions of drug use and addiction can be affected by racial stereotypes. These types of stereotypes have long been perpetuated, to the effect that people of certain races or ethnic backgrounds are more likely to use drugs than others. For example, a Texas legislator speaking in support of one of that state’s early marijuana laws has famously been quoted as saying that, “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes them crazy.” How surprised would that lawmaker have been to find out that people of Hispanic background are actually among the least likely to use drugs? Racial stereotypes relating to drug use have their basis in various sources, whether personal observation, prejudice or to promote a certain agenda. However they arise, they are not always true, and can have harmful effects in terms of limiting the opportunities of those groups who are targeted. At least as bad as this is that such stereotypes also have a tendency to deflect attention away from the groups who actually are using more drugs and need help to avoid addiction and other serious health consequences. Continue reading
Every year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institutes of Health, publishes its Monitoring the Future survey. The survey presents a valuable insight into the current trends and rates of drug abuse in the United States. It serves as a representative cross-section of the American youth, allowing us to see what is happening in terms of things such as: Continue reading
Anyone who is a member of the Millennial Generation and who spent time playing video games in the shopping mall arcades that were common throughout the 1990s can probably think back to the days when the game screens would periodically be lit up with a simple, but powerful, anti-drug message. “Winners Don’t Use Drugs” was displayed prominently below a pixilated representation of the logo for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with all of this presented in stark relief against a plain blue or black background. This message was a powerful one given the context in which it was presented. Children and teenagers had only so many quarters to spend in the arcade, and their goal in playing video games was obviously to win. By having this message posted on the screens between gaming sessions, the FBI was able to tie in the idea of winning at video games with the broader concept of winning in life — achieving success in school, building a successful professional career, enjoying rewarding relationships with friends and family, for example — and communicate that using drugs would only interfere with one’s ability to win in the gaming world or in real life. The message is one that is generally true. For the most part, people who succeed in life do not use drugs, and those who do use drugs are far more likely to see their success be short lived. Continue reading
The image of a young person, eighteen or so years old, heading off to college is one filled with hope and dreams of accomplishments and future careers. Parents look at their child going off to college with pride, but if they are wise, they also feel apprehension. Now more than ever, the college experience places dangerous pitfalls into every young person’s path. And most young people going off for higher education are sadly unprepared.
First Pitfall: Heavy Alcohol Consumption
Fraternity and sorority row are known for their alcohol consumption but binge drinking is hardly restricted to those zones. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, half of all full-time college students binge drink, abuse prescription drugs or abuse illegal drugs. Sixty-eight percent of students drink some alcohol and four out of ten binge drink. Binge drinking frequency is way up as well.
Every year, more than 1,700 students lose their lives in alcohol-related incidents. Some students just go into a coma and never wake up and some die in traffic accidents. It is just as easy for people to need alcohol abuse rehab in college as at any other point in life.
Second pitfall: Prescription drug abuse
Abuse of prescription drugs has been skyrocketing around campuses. At first it was painkillers, tranquilizers and sedatives. In other words, Vicodin, OxyContin, Xanax and Nembutal.
Now stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall are popular drugs on campuses. These are the drugs prescribed to teens and younger children for difficulties in the classroom that some people think need drugging. Ritalin’s main ingredient is called methylphenidate and Adderall is dextroamphetamine. They are strong stimulants, similar to what is sold illicitly to get people high and addicted. Adderall college use can start addiction to this drug early in life.
Third pitfall: Marijuana abuse
A third of college students abuse marijuana, according to the annual survey Monitoring the Future. There are some signs that use may be set to increase. Numbers are already increasing among high school students.
College students who use marijuana tend to engage in other high risk behaviors, like risky sex and mixing alcohol with marijuana or combining other drugs. Students using marijuana also spend more time at parties and less time studying, and tend to have poorer academic performance.
It is not anyone’s plan that a young person graduate from college only to need alcohol abuse rehab or drug rehab to recover from four years of substance abuse. But it can easily happen that a person may need to take a break from higher education for alcohol abuse rehab treatment.
Narconon Programs Help the Recovery of Students as Well as Moms, Professionals and Artists
Narconon drug rehab programs are located around the world on six continents. They have been returning people to sober lives for more than forty-five years. Narconon objectives include helping people detoxify from drug or alcohol use that has left toxic residues in the body, and teaching each person the life skills needed to stay sober in the future.
Drug toxins tend to lodge in the fatty tissues of the body and can remain there for many years unless the right combination of time in a sauna, generous nutritional support, moderate exercise and careful supervision are provided. This is the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program, part of the overall rehabilitation service offered by Narconon centers around the world. Facilities are located in Russia, Italy, Taiwan and England, and in the US, Narconon Georgia services the Atlanta area and Narconon Vista Bay helps those in Northern California, in addition to many other US centers.
Call the Narconon alcohol program to get help with alcohol abuse. Our counselors are ready to assist you.
http://www.casacolumbia.org/templates/publications_reports.aspx: National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse
The first time Ryan tried alcohol, he got a buzz off a drink a family member gave him. He was only ten years old. A couple of years later, he had a large dark beer in Europe that was quite intoxicating for the twelve-year-old. For reasons that are difficult to understand, this second drink was the beginning of a habit of stealing alcohol from friends, neighbors or family.
He hit many houses in his neighborhood to steal alcohol, sometimes more than once. At one house where the garage door was left open a few inches for a pet, he found he could slide under the door and get alcohol out of the garage refrigerator.
His ability to find alcohol and steal kept him and his friends with plenty to drink. As he and his friends got older, they started vandalizing things in the neighborhood when they were drunk. But he never got caught.
In High School, Drug Use Escalates
As he approached high school, some of his friends had started using marijuana and harder drugs. He heard some positive things from those friends about their drug experiences but he was afraid to touch them. Eventually, his fear wore off and he tried the drugs his friends were using, starting with marijuana and moving on to LSD and Ecstasy.
Pretty soon, he was partying hard every weekend — but he was still able to keep his grades up in school. He started going to school high on marijuana and then progressed to smoking weed at lunchtime. Somewhere in this time period, he started using cocaine as well.
By his junior year in high school, the drug use began to catch up with him. His first consequence came when he was suspended for alcohol use at school. The next consequence came when he was kicked off the soccer team and lost his chance at the soccer scholarship that was supposed to pay for his college.
Ryan’s Home Life Begins to Fall Apart
His home life began to unravel as well, as his parents caught him with drug paraphernalia and began to discover his lies. He said, “I managed to make it almost all the way through high school, right up to the end when I crashed and burned. I got expelled from high school.”
Ryan attended a remedial school so he could get his diploma and went off to Bozeman, Montana for college. Montana is a beautiful spot, but he said, “It’s full of drugs.” He told himself, “You can party but you’ve got to buckle down and get some good grades.” It only took weeks for him to start skipping class and using every drug he could find. He even tried heroin for the first time. “By this time, I was lost,” he commented.
About this time, he began to get sick, being laid out with pneumonia and mononucleosis and not recognizing that he was harming himself through his drug use. A trip home enabled him to return to a more robust condition. When he was well, he thought he’d go back to school and try it again but immediately fell into the same pattern.
Arizona and Methamphetamine: A Bad Combination for Ryan
After struggling through one year in Montana, he joined a college friend in Arizona. That was the environment that introduced him to methamphetamine. He lost that robustness, dropping more than 40 pounds to “skin and bones,” as he describes it.
To make some money, he joined in with others to start moving small quantities of drugs around the state. A threatening run-in with one of the drug dealers resulted in his having to leave town so he went home. Not surprisingly, his parents were appalled at his gaunt appearance. They started helping him clean up his life.
Ryan Again Loses the Battle for Sobriety
As he got his life back on track, he tried to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He went west again, intending to complete college in Colorado.
But it all rapidly went south again. He started using drugs again but this time, added heroin to the mix. And while he had tried heroin before, this time he was addicted. He was also using cocaine and methamphetamine.
He went through withdrawal from heroin at about this time, and thought he was going to die. He tried to restrict himself to heroin use only once every second or third day so he would not have to go through withdrawal again but it would never last. He’d be back to using heroin within a few days. Then he overdosed and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Rehab and Jail Fail to Help
As unbelievable as it might seem, things got even worse after that. The using and selling of drugs got heavier and he lost more touch with any good values he had as a young man. He went to a couple of drug rehabs but there was nothing there he could identify with. He went to a doctor for help, but he only prescribed Wellbutrin and Ritalin after a short visit.
He started being arrested for drug possession and after pawning a stolen item landed him in jail for a longer period, knew he had to get clean for real. His parents said the only way they would help him was if he went from jail straight to rehab.
Because he had not done well at earlier rehabs, his parents started looking for a different kind of rehab this time. They finally settled on a Narconon drug recovery facility. Ryan liked the fact that you could handle the effects of drugs on the body through the sauna detoxification step, called the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program. The life skills portion of the program helped him begin to confront life again instead of running away from it.
Once he had finished the Narconon drug rehab program, Ryan felt he had a lot to make up for so he spent the next several years working at the center that helped him turn his life around. That way, he could start others on the path to lasting sobriety. He’s been sober for more than seven years and has a beautiful wife and two small children. He now has a healthy life of his choosing, one that he never could have created as long as he was using drugs.
Get more information on how the Narconon drug rehab program helps people like Ryan recover from alcohol and drug abuse.