Posts Tagged drug abuse risks

$100,000 Assistance Given to Mental Health Initiatives

The National Council for Community Behavioral Health has selected the Area Mental Health Center (AMHC) to participate in a national campaign to improve services for patients with mental illnesses and addictions.

substance abuseAs one of the 10 behavioral health organizations chosen, AMHC will be rewarded with $100,000 as a participant in the newly formed Co-Occurring Disorder Learning Community.

Lauren Lueck, marketing coordinator for AMHC said that their agency’s inclusion in the program will help them provide better and more effective services and care to patients with mental disorders and substance abuse problems.

People who are suffering from their addictions also develop mental disorders. Statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show that up to 75% of addicts have mental health issues and 50% of those with mental health issues are also confirmed substance users or addicts.

The AMHC will be working with experts on the field of mental health and substance abuse. In the next year and a half, AMHC and its partners will develop and implement comprehensive assessment and treatment methods.

Executive director for AMHC Ric Dalke says that they truly appreciate everything that has been provided for their organization. “We are honored to have this opportunity to strengthen our knowledge and skills to help those who are experiencing serious emotional disorders along with substance abuse problems.”

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Role of Drug Abuse in Spread of HIV Discussed at AIDS Conference

There are various ways through which one can contract the AIDS virus, and one of them is through the sharing of needles by those who inject illegal drugs. At the 18th International AIDS Conference held in Vienna, Austria, drug abuse and its role in the spread of the HIV virus were among the frustrations and issues that were discussed, along with little successes.

drug abuseA feature on the Los Angeles Times by Evan Wood shared that the bi-annual meeting was attended by HIV experts that consist of thousands of scientists and physicians, as well as activists who are leading the fight against HIV and AIDS. Incidentally, the choice of host city – Vienna – is also rooted in the connection between HIV infection and drug use.

The city, according to the feature, is considered as the “gateway” to what was termed as one of the “most rapidly growing HIV epidemics” in the world. This epidemic is said to be happening among heroin users in Eastern Europe. Statistics that were mentioned by Wood indicate that injecting illegal drugs constitute about one out of three new HIV infections (outside of sub-Saharan Africa), while 70 percent of those who inject illegal drugs contract HIV (in certain areas of Eastern Europe and Central Asia).

Michel Sidibe, the executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), wrote on the medical journal Lancet: “The war on drugs has failed.”

The statement is in reference to the effect that the criminalization of drug abuse has, including the fact that addicts are driven further underground, which in turn leads to unsafe practices such as the sharing of needles.

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Drug Abuse and Irreversible Brain Damage

In our lives, it is a well-known and sometimes unaccepted fact that all things change. While the good parts in life may not last as much as we would like them to, be relieved that the opposite also applies: the bad things in life don’t last forever either. With this in mind, we must stand resilient against life’s challenges and find ways to move forward.

brainThis nugget of wisdom may be true, but in the context of brain damage caused by drug abuse, it’s a different story altogether. You may think that the process is reversible, but it is actually not. Most are probably thinking that our brain can just go back to the way it used to be if we have absolutely no contact with drugs for a prolonged period of time after a few episodes with drugs – just like getting some sleep to relieve yourself of fatigue or recovering from a dreadful hangover. Well, most are wrong.

If it were that easy, then it will be perfectly okay for everybody to do drugs and be heedless of the consequences of the act. However, our brain’s neurons do not restore themselves the way the rest of our body does. Anything that adversely affects our mental capacity and physical state is dangerous for our brain, and drugs are especially guilty in this case.

So before you even think about getting your fix or trying drugs for the first time, consider the long-term effects first. Is it really worth losing your mind over? Is it really worth wasting your life for?

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