Archive for May, 2013

Florida Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Supports State Efforts Against Prescription Drug Abuse

One of Florida’s widely recognized rehab center is working with the state to help fight non-medical use of prescription drugs.

prescription drug abuseDestination Hope recently expanded its facilities to offer treatment to men and women who struggle with prescription drug abuse. Its goal is to provide a safe, calm environment where individuals can focus on recovery. The center believes their service and expansion will serve as community support for government efforts to reduce the number of Floridians getting addicted to Rx medications.

“Prescription drug addiction is often viewed as the most difficult form of substance abuse to fight,” Ben Brafman, chief executive officer and founder of Destination Hope, said in a news release. He added that the state and community centers’ involvement in addressing the problem could lead to better treatment options and prevention of new cases of addiction.

“Our goal is to decrease the number of Americans who are addicted to legal drugs,” Brafman said. “In turn, this will ideally prevent them from turning to illicit drugs like heroin or opium. To treat addiction, we need to treat the whole person, giving them the skills to live a healthy life, free of addiction to any unhealthy substances.”

Florida has one of the worst cases of prescription drug abuse in the country. The state is vigorously trying to combat the problem through a series of anti-prescription drug abuse laws and regulations. Early this month, Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the “Born Drug Free Florida” campaign which aims to reduce the number of infants being born addicted to prescription drugs. She also recently joined 22 other attorneys general in urging Urban Outfitters to stop selling products that promote prescription drug abuse.

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Study Finds Connection Between Steroid Use and Mental Health Problems

Anabolic steroid is widely used by teenagers and professional athletes to beef up their muscles and enhance physical strength. However, a new Swedish study concluded that such performance-enhancing drug can have certain effect in the user’s mental health later in life.

steroid abuseResearchers from the University of Gothenberg studied a group of former Swedish athletes to look for links between anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) use and mental problems. Of the nearly 700 wrestlers, weightlifters, powerlifters and throwers who competed at the elite level sometime between 1960 and 1979, 20 percent admitted using steroids during their active careers.

The researchers found that athletes who have used steroids were more likely to have been treated for depression, concentration problems, and aggressive behaviour. AAS users were also  considered high-risk users other banned substances.

“What we were able to show, though, is that psychiatric symptoms and use of steroids and other drugs tend to reinforce each other in a vicious cycle,” Claudia Fahlke, director at CERA, said in a news release. “This suggests that the anti-doping efforts remain very important, both in and outside of sports.”

The study was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Doctors Warn Against a Dangerous Trend Called “Smoking” Alcohol

Teens and young adults are getting overboard when it comes to experimenting with drugs and alcohol. If you’re not up-to-date with your child’s activities you might miss the opportunity to keep him/her away from dangerous fads like “smoking” alcohol.

smoking alcoholWhat is “smoking” alcohol, anyway? Why should you be concerned about it?

Fox5 recently featured a story about smoking liquor instead of drinking it. The method involves pouring alcohol over dry ice so the vapors can be inhaled. But while it sounds harmless, doctors say the technique can have potentially fatal consequences because it sends larger and purer doses of alcohol to the brain, bypassing the liver and the organs.

Dr. Lawrence Pohl, medical director of the Mission Valley Medical Clinic in San Diego, California, explained that smoking alcohol is toxic to the lungs and can cause other serious side effects. “The concern is it can go to the bloodstream quickly, to the brain quickly, to the lungs,” he said.

Research shows that inhaling alcohol causes rapid intoxication and impairment. It’s also more likely to lead to substance abuse.

“Such extreme measures strongly suggest the presence of a serious substance abuse disorder,” Dr. Paul Hokemeyer told MailOnline. “In addition to the obvious physical risks this trend presents, it draws into question their judgment and impulse control.”

Even more concerning to these health care professionals is when teens are pressured to try the technique without being aware of what it can do to them.

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How to Know if Your Teen is Using Marijuana

Marijuana is the most widely abused drugs among teens and adults. It is often smoked as a cigarette or in a pipe or bong; sometimes ingested in the form of  marijuana-laced cookie, candy, or drinks. If you are concerned your teenager might be using marijuana, there are several ways for you to know it aside from drug testing him/her.

Here are some of the telltale signs to look for:

smoking marijuana1. Take note of your teen’s eyes. Marijuana use can immediately cause dilation of blood vessels in the eyes, thereby, making them bloodshot.

2. Observe your teen’s conversation pattern. Does s/he suddenly have difficulty conveying her/his ideas? Does s/he often lose track of her/his thoughts mid-sentence? Does s/he laugh uncontrollably or exhibit a sense of paranoia when talking? As a mind-altering drug, marijuana can cause short term memory loss, distorted perception, and trouble with thinking and problem solving.

3. Use your sense of smell. Teenagers will do everything to cover up their bad habit. Still, you can smell the distinctive odor of marijuana in your child’s clothing, car, or room. Also pay attention if your teen has suddenly started using air fresheners or scented candles more often than needed as this could indicate an attempt to mask marijuana’s smell

4. Look for drug paraphernalia in your teen’s room. This is perhaps the most intrusive way of checking whether your teen is into marijuana but it can help in saving your child from the dangers of substance abuse. Some things to look for are rolling papers, lighters, pipes, roach clips used for holding the burning end of a marijuana “joint.”

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Why Drinking Rubbing Alcohol is Harmful

Last week, New Jersey investigators found nearly 30 bars and restaurants in the region are serving pricey drinks containing rubbing alcohol, food coloring, and dirty water. They said no health issues were reported, but existing documents reveal consuming rubbing alcohol is far from being safe.

drinking rubbing alcoholTo begin with, rubbing alcohol contains 70%  isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol). It is commonly used as a disinfectant, antifreeze, and solvent in perfumes and other cosmetic products. According to the International Programme on Chemical Safety, oral ingestion is one of the most common routes of exposure to rubbing alcohols. Symptoms include drowsiness, dizziness, slurred speech, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of coordination. It can also severely irritate mucous membranes, the sensitive tissues lining the throat and airways. More serious health problems following massive exposure to rubbing alcohol include loss of consciousness, slow breathing, low body temperature, coma, even death.

If you or anyone you know accidentally or intentionally swallow rubbing alcohol, immediately contact the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) for further instructions. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) advised not to drink milk or water if you are having symptoms that make it hard to swallow. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

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Brad Pitt Admits Drug Abuse During Marriage with Jennifer Aniston

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.

Brad Pitt“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.”

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