Posts Tagged drug abuse

What To Do When People Around You Are Using Drugs

It could really be a difficult challenge for people to accept that the people they love are using drugs. It does not matter whether it is your child, your spouse, a sibling, or a very close friend of yours—once you find out that they are into drugs, this will probably make you feel that you were not able to do your job to give them adequate support and guidance.

Self-blaming does not result to a positive outcome. What you need to do is try your very best to help them put their attention to new things.

Here is a rundown of the things that you can do in case a person you care about is apparently into drugs:

Address the problem

parent intervention teens

In any kind of problem, you need to confront the issue and accept that it happened. When you do not put in the effort to talk things out with the person using drugs, you are allowing the person to stay in the dark moment of his or her life.

However, it is also expected that this step will be very difficult because there is no single approach that can be effective for all. As a result, you really have to think about the right approach that you will use so that the intervention will be easier or more comfortable for both parties.

Establish communication

phone-communication

It is also important to remember that communication is a two-way street, so make sure that you give them your full attention when they start speaking. Listen attentively and just let them talk about the things they wish to share.

It may also be probably helpful to ask about their future plans and offer your time and assistance. This way, they will have hope that they can achieve their plans, especially if there are ways for them to get over their addiction.

A very large percentage of drug addicts rely on illegal drugs because they are depressed, or because they are suffering from other mental illnesses. In this case, you may ask the person concerned if it is alright for them to visit a specialist who can help him/her in the process. Assure him/her that they are not alone in this.

Be someone’s companion in the process

support

Some addicts resort to drug abuse because they feel that nobody cares for them. Some addicts consider the temporary happiness that drugs can give them as an escape from the painful past or the troubled present.

One strategy that may work to help recovering addicts forget about their dark moments is through hobbies and new activities. If the person concerned is a family member, you may want to ask for the person’s close friend to help you in determining what possible activities may work best.

Once you have confronted and talked to the person, you may now exert your best effort to become the best companion there is. You have the power to distract the person from bad habits, by being that person who opens doors for new adventures for them to engage in.

You may ask the person if any of these sound exciting for him/her: traveling, art lessons, foreign language classes, or sports. Any new activity or a forgotten hobby may probably sound exciting, especially if he/she does it with your company.

The main idea is that you have to make the person feel that you are available. Time is the key.

Encourage the person to ‘sweat out’ the addiction

exercise-mountain-biking

While cooking and baking may sound like a good choice to deflect a person’s attention from doing drugs, sweating out the urge of using drugs is also a very reliable strategy.

Breaking sweat triggers the body to produce higher levels of happy hormones such as serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. These hormones make someone feel happier and contented, and therefore prevent a person from thinking negative thoughts. Music therapy, when partnered with regular exercise, is a good way to deal with almost any type of addiction.

Once a person you love has acknowledge that he/she needs therapy before any type of intervention from experts, it may probably be a good idea to go put exercise as part of the daily routine.

Getting support from family members

family recovery

There is no greater rock to rely on than family. Problems and struggles are easier when you go through them with family.

Once you find out that a family member of yours is doing drugs, it would be best to privately discuss the problem with the person first. Afterwards, the both of you may consult other family members on what possible solutions can be done. You have to assure the person that he/she is loved no matter what, and that the family is not going to judge the bad decisions he/she made.

Dealing with a close friend’s drug addiction is another story. If you are the first one to find out, you have to respect the person’s decision if he/she wants to discuss it with his/her family. Although it is a given that the family should know, all you can do from here is to advice your friend to ask from his/her family’s help whenever he/she is ready.

Once your friend agrees, try your best to offer your full support in the next steps he/she plans to take. After all, you are essentially your friend’s family too!

Getting support from self-help groups

counselling

Some recovering drug addicts attend self-help groups to make them understand their situation better through varying perspectives. You probably have an idea how the drill works in self-help groups: people who share similar circumstance are brought together to discuss how they successfully went through the challenges.

Encouraging a loved one of yours who is into drugs to attend self-help groups will probably help the person in the long run. Perspectives from members of these groups will give the person a better understanding of his/her situation using other lenses.

Discuss treatment options with the person

If the person acknowledges that he/she cannot get over drug addiction without the help of a specialist, you need to be ready to offer other treatment options.

However, make sure that the decision is an outcome of the person’s thorough self-assessment so that the process will be easier. The treatment will be more worth it for the person because it is his/her own decision, and he/she is aware that it is a need to make his/her life better.

Help the person set attainable and meaningful goals

A vital part of the process of helping someone going through drug addiction is making him/her feel that the plans he/she sets are important. While these goals are personally set by the recovering addict, you need to make the person feel that he/she is not alone in the scheme of things.

If, for instance, the person sets a timeline of his/her plans after getting treatment or therapy, you have to ask help from others on how you can all put in efforts to make the treatment plans work.

The abovementioned strategies may be helpful for people to get away from their drug addiction. However, there is also a need to know the root causes why people use drugs in the first place. Knowing the reasons behind drug addiction can also make things easier for people to accept their loved one’s drug addiction. As said earlier, self-blaming is never part of the solution.

Read on the following common reasons why people resort to using drugs:

1. Stress reliever

The body has a natural response to stress, but the way we go through different sources of stress will always vary for every person.

We need to be aware that people have different outlets to relieve stress: some sleep for longer hours, some eat in huge amounts, some go spend large amount of money for shopping, and others do strenuous activities such as sports. However, some people use illegal drugs to relieve their stress, claiming that using drugs is the only thing that gives them a different kind of high.

More often than not, they consider the bad habit as their stress reliever because they become less sensitive of the daily pressures of life caused by work, family conflicts, and failed relationships.

Because of the temporary high that drugs provide, users will rely on them believing that the feeling kills the stress they are going through, even just for a while.

2. Peer pressure

Some drug addiction cases are results of peer pressure and the longing to fit and feel wanted in a group. If the person is in close contact with those who are also into drugs, there is a big chance that the person will be invited and forced to use drugs too.

Peer pressure does not only happen at a young age. In fact, it knows no age, although teenagers are most vulnerable to it.

If a family member of yours is doing drugs as a result of apparent peer pressure, then it would be best to advice the person to limit interactions with these bad influences. If you are a parent of a teenager doing drugs with his/her friends, it may be best to talk to your child and make him/her feel that you understand what peer pressure does to a person. It is a wake-up call for you to spend more time with your family, especially your child who’s undergoing identity crisis.

3. Boredom

Boredom is a scary and tricky state that brings about a lot of possibilities. Sadly, one possibility is doing drugs. People using drugs out of boredom have probably very few options on where to dedicate their spare time.

Having said that, it is very important to offer your time to deflect attention by sharing hobbies and interests with people recovering from drug addiction. It does not have to be a grand activity. You may simply download movies and watch it with them, go to the park and have a small picnic with family and common friends, or visit museums that offer free admission.

Most Commonly Abused Substances

One of the reasons why people use drugs is because they find it too available and that it can be easily and readily accessed anytime. Here is a list of commonly used drugs that are considered popular compared to others:

  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis / marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Amphetamines
  • LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
  • Opium
  • Psychedelic Mushrooms
  • Solvents

Conclusion

Early intervention is key to addressing drug addiction, and it’s important that you give your time and attention to your loved one who may be addicted to drugs. On a final note, your mindset to help them should not be disciplinary in nature. Rather, it must come from love and concern for the recovering addict.

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Keep Your Kids Away From Drugs By Letting Them Wear ‘Marijuana Goggles’

If you are afraid that your children might pick up the habit of drug and alcohol abuse, you might find some hope in this bit of news.

marijuana-goggles-visionLocals of Hancock County recently announced in a news article that they have come up with a concrete solution to discourage teenagers from using illegal drugs: “marijuana goggles“. The pair of spectacles gives a first-person simulation of the view of someone who smokes marijuana, even if the wearer does not smoke it.

A handful of teenagers, who were members of the Hancock County Youth Council, tried the goggles on themselves, and were surprised with the results. In a clear show of the device’s capability, the teenagers were able to finish a simple maze within 12 seconds, but took them four times the amount of time when they wore the goggles. They also tried a driving simulation, which they found difficult to do, considering that marijuana users have a hard time discerning the color red — which is the color of the stop sign in a traffic light.

The device was brought into the county by Neighborhoods Against Substance Abuse (NASA) member Tim Retherford, who let the youth council try the goggles. “Anytime you can do an activity — something that’s interactive with them, or something that provides education, that’s great. These actually simulate the loss of some of your cognitive functions,” Retherford said.

Blair Viehweg, a senior who lives in Mount Vernon, said that the wearing the goggles provokes the thoughts of the teenagers who wear the device. “I think it impacts them a lot because they can see how real it is,” Viehweg added.

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Nearly 40 Percent of Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Involve Both Drugs and Alcohol

Addiction specialists and medical experts have often reminded us that mixing drugs and alcohol is never a good idea, but it seems that a significant number of individuals are not paying attention to this.

alcohol and drugs combinationA SAMHSA news release cited a recent report showing that 37.2 percent of admissions to drug treatment facilities involve dependency on or addiction to both substances. The document, entitled Nearly 40 percent of Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Report Alcohol-Drug Combinations, is based on SAMHSA’s Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) received during 2009 and up through Nov. 3, 2010. It says that 23.1 percent of all admissions reported the abuse of alcohol and one other drug, and 14.1 percent reported the abuse of alcohol and two or more drugs.

When alcohol is used with other drugs, it tends to be ingested in greater quantities than when used alone. Combining alcohol with other drugs can be dangerous. For example, taking benzodiazepines concurrently with alcohol increases the chances of serious injury or death.

“Even by themselves, alcohol and drug abuse can be devastating to one’s health and well-being, but a combination of drug and alcohol abuse increases one’s risk of serious, life-threatening consequences even more,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “If you or anyone you know has a problem with drugs and alcohol, together or by themselves please seek help immediately – it is available and it can help.”

Given the dangers associated with the dangerous usage pattern, SAMHSA stresses that treatment providers identify patients who use alcohol with other drugs in order to provide ample treatment approach.

Some of the drugs that create dangerous effects when combined with alcohol include sedatives, prescription drugs, cocaine, and opiate painkillers.

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Nations’ Capital Tops in Drug, Alcohol Abuse

Drugs and alcohol abuse is one of the biggest problems that the country has, and the nation’s capital tops the list for the most number of cases of substance abuse in the United States.

drug abuseA new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that the District registered an 11.3% of people 12 years old and above who are into drugs and alcohol addiction. Virginia follows with 9.4% and Maryland at 8.1%.

Analysts identified factors such as the wide distribution of drugs, highly stressful living, and inadequate efforts to encourage abusers to seek treatment as the causes why the District topped the list. The latest SAMHSA report also showed the most abused substances in D.C. which includes marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol.

Babette Wise, the director of the drug and alcohol abuse program of Georgetown University Hospital also has her own interpretation why the city climbed at its present level. She says most workers in the District have the idea that work is also a social event, wherein they get to attend parties and functions which give them the opportunity to drink. This is why some who are already in an addiction may find it hard to admit that they need help.

“People will think, ‘How can my relative be an addict when he has this high position or she’s making all this money?’” Wise said.

A big percentage of D.C. residents are into highly stressful jobs or are in poverty which fuel drug abuse. Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Lieberman from the George Washington University says that when these people end up in emergency rooms, treatment will be more successful if done a few days after being discharged from the hospital. Unfortunately, this scenario doesn’t always happen making an addict more agitated and with lesser chances of getting sober again.

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Volatile Substance Abuse and the Need for Proper Education

Research shows that most drug users usually start with volatile substance abuse before they become fully hooked on illegal drugs. The need to have drug education plays an important role to prevent young people from experimenting with these types of substances. It is very alarming to know that the youngest to die due to volatile substance abuse was a boy at seven years old!

volatile substanceThe biggest problem that parents may face regarding this type of abuse is that most of these volatile substances are inexpensive and legally available. Simple household cleaning agents and substances found in offices may contain certain ingredients like solvents and propellants that can be easily inhaled. In a certain household, there may be up to 50 products that can be abused. Examples of these products are aerosols, nail polish removers, permanent marking pens, and paint thinners.

The vapors of these substances are usually inhaled directly when there are open containers or spray canisters left in the house. Unlike most drugs, there are no needles, pipes, or any material needed to administer the drugs. We often see children inhaling volatile substances in plastic bags or rags saturated with these harmful materials.

Inhaling these substances, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, may bring about some undesirable effects on the body. Adults and young children alike will experience symptoms like vomiting, headaches, hallucinations, and speech problems when exposed to these drugs. Solvent abuse can also dramatically decrease the amount of oxygen in the blood which can lead to hypnoxia. Things can go from worse to worst when a person continues this habit which will result to damage in the kidneys, brain, and liver. The nervous system will also be greatly affected and we all know what this can mean.

Proper education that starts in our homes plays a very important role. It would help if children’s curiosity will be addressed at the earliest stage so as not to promote experimenting on these harmful substances. Give enough information that may send the proper signal for children to stay away from these volatile substances.

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Stupid Things People Do When They’re High

Did you ever stop to wonder what people are actually capable of when they’re high? Well, they do a lot of crazy things since being high is somehow a kind of release — from inhibitions and proper thinking. This mental state can make one believe that anything and everything is possible, even if they’re not. There are serious detrimental side-effects to this condition, which makes it quite unpleasant to experience.

Harold and KumarTake the lead characters of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, a film about two friends who decided to go to White Castle after smoking cannabis. Of course, the trip did not prove to be as easy as they initially thought and they went quite a long way before reaching the restaurant.

Behavior during drug use is a central theme in the movie, as shown by its seemingly ridiculous premise. For neophytes in this genre, it may take a while to get used to since the shock factor of the things that they do may prove to be too extreme for some. But when placed vis-à-vis the real behavior of drug users, Harold and Kumar are rather manageable since drug abusers can resort to violence and lots of crazier things in order to acquire drugs.

While the movie itself is comical in nature, it also makes you think: do you want others to see yourself that way — the laughing stock of your group, to not be treated seriously by your peers and colleagues? I don’t think so. It’s probably one of the movies you can check to see how stupid one can be when on drugs.

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