Posts Tagged drug abuse
Celebrity status and drug abuse have often been somehow linked for years, even decades, now. Here’s our list of the most shocking drug revelations for the year 2009.
Yes, that would be the Andre Agassi who won eight Grand Slam singles tournaments and an Olympic gold medal during his very successful career. In his autobiography “Open” which was published in November of 2009, he admitted to have used crystal meth during his tennis playing years. Crystal meth or methamphetamine increases alertness and vigor, and is known to produce euphoria in high doses.
The shocking MJ death was a result of “acute propofol intoxication in combination with the use of sedatives”. Jackson who was scheduled to have a concert tour died of propofol intoxication in his sleep. His personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who administered propofol to the King of Pop, has already been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Front-man Steven Tyler checked himself in to a drug rehab facility on December of 2009 for abusing his prescription pain medication drugs. The 61-year-old rock star of the famous Aerosmith is allegedly making plans to leave the band after his recovery.
Whitney’s appearance in the Oprah Show shocked the world with her revealing confessions of her drug abuse. She even had her own Marijuana Rock Cocaine recipe: “You put your marijuana, you lace it, you roll it up and you smoke it.”
Not so shocked? Well, she’s been all over the news for quite some time now that her name has almost become a staple in the world of celebrity drug scandals. The year 2009 was no exemption for our little drama queen; being in and out of rehab for years mostly for alcoholism and abuse of prescription drugs.
Drug addiction is a difficult battle to fight alone. While beating it is dependent on the will power of the individual, it really is not that simple. While the drive to kick the habit off may be present, the body’s dependence on the drugs states otherwise. It becomes a battle between the mind and the body, where both struggle for dominance over the other. So what must the individual do in order to win over the trap of drug addiction?
The first step is probably the most difficult part – accepting the weight and reality of the problem. This is something that is easy for us to say, but excruciatingly difficult to do. After all, who in the world wants to admit to having a drug problem? That would be equivalent to saying that you have become a slave to an object; it’s also the same as saying that you no longer have full control of your life, and that your habit is the only thing that keeps you going.
Beating drug addiction is more than just changing modes of behavior. The main thing to remember about it is that it is a condition that is hard to control. The next step would be to seek out help from close friends and family about the addiction. The primary reasons for doing drugs are mostly social in nature, mainly revolving on self-esteem and acceptance of problems. Having close social links around you can help you slowly get over it.
The recovery stage is the longest one, after all. A lot of pain may come during this phase, but when you are finally done with everything, all the struggles will be worth it.
Teenagers and drugs may be likened to macaroni and cheese – it can be difficult to separate one image from the other. Maybe it’s because of the raging teen hormones, or maybe it’s something more. Whatever the case, both of them are inextricably linked, owing partly to the influence of mass media in society today. The main thing here is to understand how and why drug addiction begins among adolescents.
Teenagers are highly social beings, and it is during this stage of life that the identity crisis begins. In high school, they struggle to be recognized, while some struggle just to be accepted for who they are. In some scenarios, drug use has become a culture among them, and those who refuse to try it are labeled as “uncool”, effectively casting them out from the main group. It is during this stage that teenagers start to rebel, and where their behavior starts to become a bit unpredictable
It is not wrong to want to be accepted, but drug abuse definitely is. Teenagers know this deep down, but at this stage, they may not yet see the long-term effects of addiction. This is the challenge that adults must face – to make them understand that drug abuse is not as glamorous as they make it out to be.
Whenever possible, try to stop their drug use during the early stages. Convincing them to quit after a prolonged amount of time would be more challenging; they would simply refuse your help. Some might relent for a while, but the relapse can prove too strong for them to fight alone, and you would have to go through a lot of time and spend money just to help him. All the same, reassure them that they can kick the habit completely, and support them on the road to recovery.
The dangers associated with the use of Ecstasy, the popular club drug, are also not unknown. But recently a study conducted by Dr.Una McCann and colleagues of John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore revealed a disheartening fact. The US researchers found that the widely used club drug actually increases the risks of sleep apnea– a breathing problem characterized by stopping of breath and gasping for air in deep sleep.
In sleep apnea the muscle tone in the throat becomes excessively relaxed resulting in blockage of the airway. The person struggles to breathe and this happens several times during his period of sleep often leaving 10 seconds or more within breaths. The sleeper actually fails to notice this until the next day when he might experience daytime drowsiness, headaches, irritability – all of which result from sleep apnea. Apnea might also lead to driving accidents, cognitive problems, stroke and heart disease.
The researchers monitored the sleep of 71 ecstasy users who had used it at least for 30 times but had not used it or any other illicit drugs within the previous fifteen days. 62 people who never used ecstasy served as the control group. The age of the volunteers ranged from 18 to 46 years with an average age of 24 years. None of them reported of having any sleep disturbances in the past.
Based on the number of breath stoppages per hour, the researchers rated sleep apnea as mild, moderate and severe. One of the ecstasy users had severe apnea while 8 had moderate apnea. The mild rate was more or less same within the two groups (27% between non-users and 21% within users). Longer the period of use greater the number of sleep apnea episodes.
Dr. McCarn said, “Our findings may be explained by how ecstasy damages neurons related to serotonin, a chemical in the brain that is involved in sleep regulation and breathing, among other important functions.”
Flashing blood is the new technique of addiction that is gaining immense popularity among the teenagers along the Kenyan coast. It is a cash saving method whereby a user injects himself with heroin or any other illicit drug. He then draws a syringe full of blood and pass on the syringe to the next injector to inject himself. Thus these users are not only sharing needles or other paraphernalia but also blood. No wonder the numbers of Hepatitis C and HIV positive cases are escalating in geometric progression.
Recently a study on drug abuse had been conducted at Kalindini and Mombasa districts. The study, sponsored by National AIDS Control Council and carried out by DARAT, an organization based in Mombasa, indicated that a sample of 120 narcotic users including injecting drug users showed an exceptionally high rate of Hepatitis C and HIV positive cases. The drug users were all residents of Mombasa and Kalindini.
Dr. Timothy Mugusia, who was involved in the study said, “Over 70 per cent of them were found to be infected with hepatitis C while half of them were HIV positive.” He also said, “An abnormally high rate of HIV and hepatitis among injecting drug users at the Kenyan coast points to ‘flashing blood’ among local users.”
The practice was first reported in Dar es Salaam two years ago. Sheryl McUrdy of the University of Texas and Paul Kilonzo of the University of Dar es Salaam first reported the incidents of flash blood in a study published in the African Journal of Drug and Alcohol studies in 2006.
Dr. Mugusia estimated that there are around 6,000 drug injectors in Mombasa and Kalindini and most of the users are in their early 20s. The women in Mombasa have threatened to strip publicly if the government fails to take any immediate steps to check drug use in this part of the city since it is eroding the productivity of the youth.