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A Look Into How Employers And Locals Deal With Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a growing health concern, but what of the economic impact?  Inactive or unproductive employees lead employers and locals to deal with substance abuse as the problem continues to have financial consequences.

Job Costs

Employers are encountering more and more drug addiction in the workforce.  Not only are accidents more frequently caused by employees working under the influence, the hiring pool is limited.

Addiction centers have seen a few trends over the years, the biggest being that patients appear to be getting younger and younger.  Many have never even held a job before.  After recovering from addiction, they will have to learn a brand-new trade and become accustomed to the workplace for the first time.

In addition to the economic impact of fewer productive workers in society, there is the issue of publicly-funded treatment centers filling up on a daily basis.  Many recovering addicts end up returning two or three times before actually abstaining from drug use.

One Example Is State Of Alaska

Alaska is one state that is confronting the economic situation caused by drug abuse in their area.  In 2010, the impact on the state’s economy from drug abuse was an approximate $1.2 billion, with $673.2 million from lost productivity.

Of an estimated 16,951 adults seeking help for substance abuse, 42.8 percent are low-income.  The state spent approximately $35 million providing treatment in 2010.

Experts say that drugs affect all demographics, no matter what the race, age, or status.  People in their forties and fifties may be in the same clinic with eighteen-year-olds who have never held a job.  The baby boomer generation recently saw a surge in drug abuse.

One notable change, however, is that those admitted to treatment facilities seem to be getting younger and younger.  Not only have that, a large percentage seemed to be women.  More and more of those in their prime job-building or family-building years are being hooked by drugs.

Approximately 21,000 Alaskans age twelve and older are addicted to alcohol.  Alcohol is considered a gateway drug leading to heavier substance abuse.

Increases in drug use leads to a rise in criminality.  Drug or alcohol-related incarcerations led to a productivity loss of $63.7 million in 2010.  Addicts often go to desperate measures in order to obtain their next fix, many turning to burglary and even murder just to get what they want.

Signs Of Drug Addiction

Experts urge employees to watch for signs of drug addiction in their fellows and encourage them to seek treatment right away.  Be alert to the following signs in the workplace:

•    Being frequently late
•    Extended breaks or lunches
•    Avoiding job supervisors
•    Frequent accidents on or off the job
•    Unexplained absences from work, including excessive use of sick leave
•    Changes in work performance, such as suddenly becoming sloppy or careless
•    Poor personal hygiene
•    Physical changes such as weight gain or weight loss
•    Severe mood swings
•    Unusual, unexplained behavior

If you see any of the above signs or notice drug paraphernalia do something about the problem. The best action to take is to get an addicted person help through treatment. This will allow him or her to focus on the underlying reasons behind the problem. It will also help to break the cycle of drug use and even can offer a physical component to handling the problem. This can aid in detoxification and handling physical drug cravings.

The Narconon program offers all of the above and aids in full recovery from addiction where seven out of ten graduates remain drug free.

For more information or to find a Narconon center contact us today.

Source:  http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2012-11-25/employers-locals-deal-with-substance-abuse

Parents Need To Know The Facts About Teen Marijuana Use

Marijuana continues to be a national favorite among illicit drugs, according to a recent study by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Prescription drug abuse, binge drinking, hallucinogens and even tobacco use are down.  Marijuana, on the other hand, remains at the top of the list, with the number of pot smokers rising to 7% of the population instead of the 5.8% in 2007.

SAMHSA surveyed seventy thousand people aged twelve and older, all representative of the entire country’s drug use.  The poll determined that 8.7% of the population aged twelve and older admit to drug use, a total of approximately 22.5 million drug users across the U.S.

When American kids choose marijuana over prescription drugs, parents need to be educated on the use of the drug. Mainly to stop marijuana use but also because marijuana use often leads to prescription drug use and other drug addiction issues.

About Marijuana

Marijuana comes from the dried leaves and other parts of the cannabis plant.  It is typically rolled into a cigarette and smoked, and occasionally it is baked in food such as brownies.  It can have a wide variety of effects.  Usually it has depressant properties, meaning it slows down metabolic functions in the body, giving people a relaxed, drowsy feeling when they use it.  Sometimes, however, it can have a stimulant effect, causing the heart rate to increase which can make the user anxious and jittery.

Marijuana slows mental capacity, causing memory problems, delayed reaction time, and smaller attention spans.  For this reason, it causes accidents–on the job, on the road, and at home.  Recent studies show that it may lower I.Q., especially if used while the brain is still developing during the teenage years.

So why is this drug so popular?  It is touted as a “safe” drug, and it’s true, alcohol and tobacco cause more deaths per year directly.  Very few people overdose on marijuana.  Yet it causes impaired judgement thereby increasing accident risks.  Roughly seven percent of drivers involved in automobile accidents tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.  Not only that, pot can be a gateway drug, leading to heavier drug use.

Other Effects Of Marijuana

Marijuana has a negative effect on the lungs, causing respiratory problems similar to tobacco.  It can cause burning or stinging in the throat, chronic coughing, increased phlegm, more frequent acute chest ailments, increased risk of lung infections, and obstructed airways.  Marijuana smoke is more carcinogenic than tobacco, and since pot smokers inhale deeper and hold the smoke in their lungs for longer periods of time, it increases the risk of cancer.

Cannabis also has an impact on the heart.  Shortly after smoking marijuana, the heartbeat increases and blood pressure drops.  The heartbeat can increase by twenty to fifty beats per minute, or even more if combined with other drugs.  A user’s risk for heart attack is four times higher within the first hour after smoking pot.

Marijuana can also cause delusions, hallucinations and disorientation, especially when used in large quantities.  It affects coordination, thereby impeding athletic performance.  It also has a tremendous impact on academic performance, due to its mental effects.

If a parent finds out that their child is using marijuana it is best to get them immediate and professional help. Letting a marijuana addiction continue will often cause the issue to get out of control not only with the use of more marijuana but other drugs like prescriptions and even illicit substances like heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.

For more information or to find a Narconon center contact us today.

Source:  http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1112700719/marijuana-prescription-drugs-teens-samhsa-092512/