Golden Globe-winning actor Brad Pitt confessed in a recent interview with Esquire magazine that his marriage with Jennifer Aniston was also the time he found solace in drugs, the Fox News reports.
“For a long time I thought I did too much damage – drug damage. I was a bit of a drifter. A guy who felt he grew up in something of a vacuum and wanted to see things, wanted to be inspired. I followed that other thing. I spent years f***ing off,” Pitt told the magazine. “But then I got burnt out and felt that I was wasting my opportunity. It was a conscious change… This was about a decade ago. It was an epiphany.”
Pitt believes his foray into drugs has something to do with his marriage and referenced his 90’s pastime of “sitting on a couch, holding a joint, hiding out.” He admits, though, that his life turned differently when he married Angelina Jolie, whom he met and co-starred in the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
He credits his union with Jolie and his relationship with their kids as the reason for his new found happiness and sobriety.
“I always thought that if I wanted to do a family, I wanted to do it big. I wanted there to be chaos in the house … there’s constant chatter in our house, whether it’s giggling or screaming or crying or banging,” Pitt said. ” I love it. I love it. I love it.”
How do you talk to kids about substance abuse?
That’s a question many parents have been asking for years, because the truth is, explaining to children the basic concept of drug and alcohol abuse can be quite difficult. You need to be careful with your choice of words to help them understand why abusing drugs, alcohol, and tobacco is dangerous. Sometimes you wish you could just tell them to read available information on the Internet so they’d get an idea, but even that may not work if the materials don’t interest them or are harder to comprehend.
So we searched for some kids-friendly books on substance abuse and here’s what we found:
Daddy Doesn’t Have to Be a Giant Anymore
Children see their dads as their protectors but even them need help sometimes. In this book, a little girl sees how his father falls victim to alcohol. The addiction gets worse that it results to tarnished relationships within the household. One day, the girl’s dad agrees to seek treatment which helps restore the family. Pages are presented with pen-and-ink, watercolor, and pastel drawings that emphatically displays the emotional impact of the situation.
An Elephant In the Living Room The Children’s Book
This book is ideal for 9 years old and up. The illustrated story is designed to help understand and cope with the problem of alcoholism or other drug addiction in the family. It also helps a parent to open the lines of communication on topics that are usually challenging to discuss among kids.
Emmy is a typical kid who only wants to have a happy family, except her mother is struggling with alcohol problem. The book shows the humiliation and pain a little girl has to endure just because her mom makes a bad choice. Her compelling journey to find the answer is one that will empower any youngster struggling under the shadow of a parent’s addiction.
My Big Sister Takes Drugs
This 32-page paperback captures the dilemma of a family when one of its members becomes addicted to drugs. It delivers a realistic portrayal of how a boy’s life has been impacted when his older sister started using drugs and eventually ending up in rehab. Watercolored images were complemented by easy-to-understand text to keep a young reader’s interest.
Teenagers struggle with so many issues, but the most common of which is addiction to banned substances.
The May 2013 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) showed that drugs, alcohol and tobacco abuse and dependence affect 1.7 million U.S. adolescents aged 12-17 years, two-thirds of this population had reported illicit drug use disorder in 2011.
Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), CDC found that alcohol use and abuse were highest among teens living in the West. During 2010 and 2011, more than 28 percent of adolescents aged 12-17 reported using alcohol during the past year.
Meanwhile, nearly 700,000 12 to 17-year-olds are addicted to tobaaco. Ruth Perou, PhD, CDC’s Child Development Studies Team Leader, told NBC News that this addiction doesn’t pertain to casual user or experimentation, but serious addiction.
“You are looking at something that is debilitating and really impairs their ability to function day to day,” Perou explains.
Aside from alcohol and tobacco products, the most commonly abused substances were marijuana, cocaine, heroin, inhalants, and prescription drugs.
Perou said CDC is working to help come up with more approaches that work in treatment all substance abuse and mental health disorders that are killing the potentials of today’s youth. She invites parents and teachers to check CDC’s available information which can help in spotting risky behaviors in kids and teens.
Parents, Schools Giving Away Expensive Prizes to Prevent Teens from Attending Wild After-Prom Parties
We all know that reward system is often used in motivating a child or an employee to behave well. But will this same approach work for teenagers if it means skipping unsupervised after-prom parties?
Various schools around the U.S. have lined up extravagant goodies, such as brand new cars, iPads, and college scholarships, in the hope of attracting teens to attend supervised, alcohol-free events after their annual high school proms.
According to Reuters, the prizes are sometimes provided by local businesses while others are purchased through parent-led fundraising.
In Roanoke, Virginia, one student will be given a new 2013 Nissan Juke and two others will get iPads.
“Research shows that if they stay to the end of the after-prom party, they are more likely to be alcohol- and drug-free,” said Kathy Sullivan, the director of the Roanoke group.
In Pennsylvania, one high school student will drive away a black Honda Civic just for going to a supervised after-prom party. In Derby, Kansas, a high school booked an entire amusement park for its after-prom party.
Meanwhile, Allen High School in Allen, Texas gave away eight $250-worth of scholarships, several computers, a party for 20 at a local barbecue restaurant and tickets to a Texas Rangers baseball game.
At the Johnson City, New York, students have a chance to get microwaves, laptops and television sets. On top of that, attending students will be given a suitcase with $100 worth of merchandise.
America’s Empire State of the South unveiled a new program aimed at fighting teen prescription drug abuse.
Generation Rx (GEN Rx) Project was launched last week at the Georgia Capitol in response to the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse among youth and adults aged 12 – 25 in Georgia. Present at the launch were Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) Commissioner Frank Berry, members of the Georgia Legislature, and youth from Catoosa and Gwinnett Counties.
“The abuse of prescription drugs by youth in Georgia and across the country has grown substantially since the 1990s,” Commissioner Berry said in a news release. “Every day, 2,500 youth aged 12 to 17 abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time, and nearly 20 percent of teens report abusing medications that were not prescribed to them.”
GEN Rx is funded by a $2.6 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It uses a four-pronged approach which includes the following:
- Education and awareness about the dangers of abuse
- Promoting the utilization of Georgia’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
- Education about the proper disposal of unused and expired medications
- Collaboration with law enforcement to eliminate improper prescribing practices
In the last few years, the state of Georgia has been addressing the crisis through several programs and local government efforts. In 2011, the state adopted the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) which enables pharmacists to track the issuance of prescription drugs to identify individuals who are “doctor shopping,” as well as pill mill operators.
There’s also the “Think About It” Program launched by the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation recently to increase awareness on the issue of prescription drug abuse and coordinate efforts by multiple collaborative partners.
Looking for an effective addiction treatment program is like finding quality education for your kids. You go through a long list of options you can find on the Internet, review recommendations from friends, check whether the system will work for you, assess if the program specifically addresses your problem…the list goes on. To put it more bluntly, it entails a lengthy research unless you just want to waste money paying for a program that wouldn’t keep you sober long enough.
In the recent years, we have seen a lot of substance abuse treatment centers opening here and there. All of them promise to help addicts get their lives back using this and that programs. The question is: are any of those programs the right one for you?
If you will take an addiction treatment facility’s claim at face value it won’t be any easier for you to pick the right substance abuse treatment program.
A New York Times feature cited a 2012 study conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University which concluded that “the vast majority of people in need of addiction treatment do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.”
The CASA Columbia report has exposed the sad truth that most of those providing addiction treatment are not medical professionals and are not equipped with the knowledge, skills or credentials necessary to provide the full range of evidence-based services.
So how do you make sure then that you’re not wasting time and money for an addiction treatment?
Anne M. Fletcher, a science writer and author of “Inside Rehab” and “Sober for Good,” offers the following guidelines:
1. Get an independent assessment of the need for treatment and kind of treatment needed from an expert who is not connected with the rehab center you are considering.
2. Check the credentials of the treatment program’s personnel.
3. Don’t choose a program just because it’s popular.
4. Meet with the therapist who will treat you and ask about your treatment plan.
5. Find out if you will receive therapy for any underlying condition, like depression or a social problem that could get in the way of your recovery.
6. Look for programs that use research-based approaches.