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Drugs

Combining Painkillers and Alcohol

Managing Chronic Pain: The Dangers of Combining Painkillers and Alcohol

It may not be the smartest way to deal with pain, but the use of alcohol as a pain reliever has a long history in this country, the most likely reason being that while alcohol may be readily available, useful medication is often not. Even people who already take prescription medications to treat chronic pain sometimes use alcohol to intensify the pain-relieving effects of the medicines, a dangerous combination that can result in severe or even deadly consequences. If you are suffering from chronic pain and you have been combining painkillers and alcohol to relieve your symptoms, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to find a safer way to manage your pain.

Combining Painkillers and Alcohol

Many over-the-counter and prescription medications carry warnings about the risk of taking the drugs with alcohol, which can cause serious health problems. Combining painkiller drugs and alcohol, for example, can increase the risk of respiratory depression, particularly among older individuals, possibly causing them to lose consciousness, stop breathing and die. Despite this threat, alcohol abuse remains a serious public health concern in the United States, particularly among those experiencing chronic pain symptoms. In fact, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that approximately 28% of people with chronic pain use alcohol to alleviate their symptoms, whether it is an acute pain associated with a toothache or constant suffering from arthritis or a recurring injury.

The likely reasoning here is that many people see alcohol use as a means of dealing with stress, and chronic pain can be a significant stressor. And while alcohol doesn’t have any direct pain-relieving properties, laboratory studies have shown that alcohol can reduce pain in humans and animals. Alcohol is a depressant, after all, meaning it depresses the central nervous system and slows down vital functions, which explains the slurred speech, unsteady movement and slowed reaction time we typically associate with alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol to relieve chronic pain may affect the central nervous system in such a way that it results in a mild amount of pain reduction, but it ultimately increases the risk of other serious complications.

Prescription Drug Abuse

The danger here lies in the fact that alcohol doesn’t mix well with medications, and people who suffer from chronic pain may face more immediate problems associated with the use of alcohol, especially if they are taking a painkiller medication. What’s more, prolonged, excessive exposure to alcohol can increase pain sensitivity. The increase in sensitivity could be the reason some people continue drinking, to avoid withdrawal-related increases in chronic pain, and may even result in small fiber peripheral neuropathy, a painful type of nerve damage that can cause a tingling, “pins and needles” sensation in the extremities. Whatever short-term relief from pain alcohol use may offer, it is far outweighed by the risks associated with combining painkillers and alcohol for chronic pain relief.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Today

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, and there appears to be a common theme of patients self-medicating with alcohol and painkiller drugs as a means of coping with pain. For those suffering from chronic pain, it’s important to understand that mixing prescription painkillers and alcohol can have potentially deadly consequences that outweigh any possible pain-relieving effects of the combination. If you regularly use alcohol with painkillers to relieve chronic pain, it may be time to speak to a professional about the benefits of substance abuse treatment for alcoholism or painkiller addiction. Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to talk to a qualified addiction recovery counselor about your treatment options.

cocaine and careers

Are Executives Choosing Cocaine Over Their Careers

Drug and alcohol abuse is a problem factor in our country make no mistake, one of which is considered to be our most difficult health problem at this time. At this point, drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, is a brutal and harsh issue of the very worst kind, and it is getting worse with each passing year to the point where it borders on being a national emergency.

As addiction has gotten so concerning and so serious, we as a nation have begun to study this problem far more seriously in an effort to really get a handle on it and to get a good idea of where exactly this problem is going in our country.

Executive Cocaine Use Studies

Research has been done on cocaine use and the findings are as follows:

  • Studies show that, in a big way, cocaine is making a huge comeback in our country, in spite of our efforts to do something about it and to take it down a notch. As it stands though, and after what seemed like years of becoming less and less of an issue, cocaine is now back and with a vengeance.
  • Studies show that about thirty-five percent of Americans of the age of eighteen or older have tried cocaine at some point in their lives. This is the sad truth of it. There are a lot of people who have had a run in with this drug at some point.
  • As cocaine has become more common and popular, crack cocaine has also come on the market and has become a lot more common and popular too. Now, studies show that crack cocaine is almost more common and more regular than powdered cocaine is, which is upsetting and worrisome, to say the least.
  • Cocaine abuse and addiction is truly a hardship. Studies show that about half of those who try heroin at least once will become addicted to it. Sixty-five percent of those who try meth once will become addicted to it. But no less than seventy-five percent of those who try cocaine will end up becoming addicted to it, which just goes to show how terribly addicted this substance really is.
  • Studies show that there are currently well over ninety-five thousand American youths who are addicted to cocaine. This is just in the age group of 16 to 28. Nationwide, cocaine addiction statistics number in the high six figures.

What Happens When You Do Cocaine

What does cocaine do to you? How does cocaine affect the body? What happens when you do cocaine? These are all questions that unfortunately people who take cocaine usually do not ask or find the answers to. In fact, more often than not such people will just consume and take part in cocaine abuse without a care in the world, not caring that they are consuming the single most addictive drug known to mankind, and not knowing that there is a good chance that cocaine abuse will also be the end of them.

Unfortunately, cocaine use and abuse are all too common amongst executives and people higher up. Cocaine has often been thought to be a gentlemen’s drug of sorts, and that is concerning and risky, to say the least. This is a substance that causes intensive and worrisome hardship for people, yet business executives and CEOs are becoming addicted to it left and right. When this happens, such people need to get off the habit as quickly as is possible. For more information on how executives can get help for a cocaine addiction, reach out to Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at 1 (877) 474-7112.

cocaine side effects

The Dangerous Effects of Cocaine Use

One of the most widely-used and abused illegal substances in the United States, cocaine is a potent, addictive substance. It enhances the activity of the central and peripheral nervous systems, resulting in increased energy and alertness in users. As a recreational drug, cocaine produces an intense feeling of euphoria that can last from a few minutes to a few hours. When a cocaine user becomes dependent on the pleasurable feelings caused by the stimulant drug, his or her body will experience an adverse reaction to periods without it. If you recognize signs of cocaine abuse or addiction in yourself or a loved one, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to learn about the benefits of participating in a cocaine addiction recovery program.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that you can find in many forms, including a white powder, paste, or a solidified, rock-like substance known as “crack cocaine.” Depending on the way you use the drug, snort, smoke or inject, cocaine can deliver a rapid-onset, rewarding high that accompanies some pleasurable effects, including an increase in energy, feelings of euphoria, elevation in mood, and an inflated sense of self-esteem. Since cocaine temporarily suppresses appetite and decreases the need for sleep, some people also use the drug to lose weight, remain alert, improve their concentration, or accomplish a demanding task.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

While cocaine can deliver a range of pleasurable effects for users, the stimulant drug also renders a host of unwanted short-term consequences. Some common adverse short-term effects of cocaine use include:

  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Adverse Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

Whether it’s occasionally used for a short duration, or for extended periods of time, any use of cocaine can have negative consequences on the health of users. Some possible lasting health effects of cocaine include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Nosebleeds (from snorting cocaine)
  • Unrelenting headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Seizures
  • Addiction
  • Overdose
  • Death

Signs of Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

Regular cocaine users may develop a tolerance for the drug which means their body has built up a resistance to cocaine, and they will need increasingly larger amounts of the stimulant to get the same effect from it. Repeated cocaine use may result in dependence, which can lead to a cocaine addiction, occurring when the user feels compelled to keep using the drug, despite adverse personal and professional consequences associated with the substance abuse. Unfortunately, cocaine is a highly addictive drug and users who become dependent on it may exhibit telltale signs of addiction, like:

  • Neglecting or abandoning what were once life priorities
  • Getting in trouble with the law
  • Exhibiting uncharacteristically risky behavior
  • Continuing to use cocaine despite significant negative consequences
  • Experiencing troubled personal, professional, and social relationships

How to Address a Cocaine Addiction

Recovering from an addiction to cocaine can be extremely difficult, and the cravings that accompany cocaine withdrawal can be intense, but with the proper care and support via an outpatient or residential rehab program, cocaine abusers can overcome their addiction and regain control of their lives. If you are a frequent cocaine user, and you think you may be addicted to the stimulant drug, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to find out how one of BRS Rehab’s proven substance abuse programs can help.

mdma abuse

The Dangerous Effects of MDMA Abuse

One of the most popular drugs used at dance parties, raves, and nightclubs, MDMA, or ecstasy, is known as a “club drug.” MDMA is a psychoactive drug abused by teens and young adults seeking the pleasurable high for which ecstasy is known. Because of its widespread use among adolescents and young adults in the United States, many people don’t realize that MDMA causes a host of adverse health effects. Two dangerous effects of MDMA abuse are overheating and dehydration. These two conditions can lead to muscle tissue injury, kidney failure, high blood pressure, heart failure, and death. If you or someone you know are struggling with an addiction to MDMA, consult the substance abuse counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today.

What is MDMA?

MDMA is a synthetic drug that acts as both a stimulant and a psychedelic, producing in users an energetic effect, as well as enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences and distortions in time and perception. As a recreational drug, MDMA is typically taken orally as a tablet or capsule. Its effects can last between three and six hours. The effects depend on the individual taking it, the dose and purity, and their environment. Once taken, MDMA absorbs rapidly into the bloodstream, where it exerts its primary effects in the brain by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that allow nerve cells to communicate with one another. By doing so, MDMA produces a “high,” or rewarding stimulant effects that keep users coming back for more.

Warning Signs of MDMA Abuse

MDMA has become a popular drug among adolescents and young adults in the nightclub scene. Some of its popularity is because it produces pleasurable feelings of emotional warmth, decreased anxiety, mental stimulation, and self-confidence. Other effects of MDMA abuse are empathy towards others and a general sense of well-being which can occur within an hour or so after taking a single dose. However, there are also adverse psychological effects associated with the use of ecstasy similar to those experienced by amphetamine and cocaine users. Some common symptoms of MDMA abuse include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lack of appetite
  • Impulsiveness
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Muscle cramping
  • Restlessness
  • Involuntary teeth clenching
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Sadness
  • Significant reductions in mental abilities
  • Reduced interest in and pleasure from sex

Long-Term Consequences of MDMA Abuse

Because of its stimulant properties and the types of situations in which people take this drug, MDMA is associated with vigorous physical activity for extended periods of time. Such an amount of activity can lead to one of its most significant adverse effects, a noticeable rise in body temperature called hyperthermia. Hyperthermia can lead to muscle breakdown, kidney failure, and heart failure. Some other adverse long-term MDMA effects may include:

  • Lasting brain damage affecting thought and memory
  • Psychosis
  • Convulsions
  • Damage to parts of the brain that regulate emotion, sleep, and learning
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Addiction
  • Death

Overall, the adverse effects of ecstasy are modest and are not associated with severe medical conditions in normal users. However, in some cases, the use of ecstasy can lead to an overdose. An overdose can happen, especially when a user combines it with alcohol or other drugs. Mixing substances is common considering much of the ecstasy and MDMA sold on the street contains a variety of additives, including methamphetamine, cocaine, ketamine, caffeine, ephedrine, and over-the-counter cough medicines and pain relievers. Symptoms of an ecstasy overdose may include seizures, panic attacks, loss of consciousness, high blood pressure, and faintness.

Contact the Substance Abuse Experts at BRS Rehab

MDMA is considered to be one of the most widely used club drugs in the world. While ecstasy is not as addictive as other illicit drugs, like methamphetamine and heroin, it still poses a significant health risk to those who take it illegally. Despite this risk, ecstasy use remains prevalent in the United States. In 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that an estimated 695,000 Americans aged 12 or older were current MDMA users. Current means they had used an ecstasy-type drug during the previous month. If you believe a loved one is abusing MDMA, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to find out how you can help.

snorting cocaine effects

The Effects of Snorting Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerful, addictive drug that comes in many forms. The powder form can be snorted or dissolved in liquid for injection. “Crack” cocaine is a form of the drug that has been processed into a hard rock crystal.  Users heat the crystals to release vapors that are then smoked. All three methods release cocaine directly into the bloodstream, where it travels to the brain and causes euphoric effects. The danger of cocaine is that its stimulant effects can cause severe adverse reactions that may result in serious medical complications, hospitalization or even sudden death. If you know a friend or family member is abusing cocaine, don’t hesitate to get him the help he needs. Call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at our toll-free number and speak to a qualified addiction recovery counselor.

Impact of Cocaine on the Body

Cocaine is known as a “party drug,” used as much on the street as it is in the boardroom, but there are important things to know about cocaine effects on the body. Cocaine has the greatest impact on the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord.  It acts as a stimulant and increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. It then causes the user to feel energetic, euphoric, mentally alert, and talkative. However, cocaine users may also experience feelings of anxiety, irritability, restlessness, paranoia, and panic.

Snorting cocaine can have dangerous side effects, as it causes significant amounts of the drug to instantly enter the bloodstream.  The result is potentially life-threatening damage to the lungs, heart, brain, kidneys and other organs. Snorting cocaine also causes damage to the nasal passages. This damage can result in frequent nosebleeds and a loss of sense of smell.  Snorting cocaine will lead to a serious addiction problem within days or weeks after repeated use.

Long-Term Effects of Snorting Cocaine

Pleasurable stimuli will cause the brain to release of dopamine, but cocaine prevents dopamine from being reabsorbed by the brain.  Thus, it causes a build-up of dopamine and triggers an intense feeling of euphoria. The euphoric effects of snorting cocaine typically only last between 15 and 30 minutes, but the adverse effects of cocaine use can be long-lasting, possibly causing irreversible harm to the brain and body. Snorting cocaine is especially dangerous if you don’t know the purity of the cocaine you are taking, and because of this, even frequent cocaine users can overdose on the drug. Some of the most common long-term medical complications occurring with cocaine use include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Strokes
  • Neurological problems
  • Gastrointestinal complications
  • Heart attacks
  • Coma
  • Overdose

In severe cases, snorting cocaine may also result in sudden death, typically due to cardiac arrest or seizures, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than 5,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2014 were due to cocaine.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Today

Not everyone who snorts cocaine becomes an addict. However, permanent changes in the brain make it less sensitive to the effects of dopamine and therefore it is harder to get high.  Repeated cocaine use can result in a cocaine addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to cocaine, contact the substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss the best course of treatment for your situation. BRS has a number of treatment programs designed specifically for cocaine abusers and can help you or your loved one regain control of your life.

adult cocaine abuse

Cocaine Abuse: Why Adults are Turning to the Party Drug

A popular drug in the 1980s, cocaine has re-emerged recently as the party drug of choice. Furthermore, it not just younger individuals experimenting with illegal drugs, but adults, particularly those over the age of 50. Although alcohol and prescription drug abuse are well documented in older adults, the use of illegal drugs is not. Now that the people who likely used cocaine in the 1960s are approaching retirement age, some are continuing to indulge in illicit drug use well into their 50s and 60s. If you or someone you know are struggling with cocaine abuse or addiction, or if you’re wondering what damage does cocaine do, call today to discuss the available treatment options for adult cocaine abuse with a certified addiction recovery counselor at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

The Glamorous Allure of Cocaine

Everyone assumes that the use of cocaine and other illegal drugs is a problem affecting only the young. However, recent research shows that older adults, particularly those above the age of 50, are also dealing with cocaine abuse. One study of an inner-city population above the age of 50 seen in the emergency department of a major hospital in Los Angeles shows them testing positive for illegal drugs. As the Journal of Addictive Diseases publishes, “cocaine with or without another illicit drug is the overwhelming drug of choice.” The reason why adult cocaine abuse is so prevalent is that individuals perceive it as a safe, recreational “dinner party” drug that is non-addictive. Furthermore, this is one drug that celebrity users are increasingly making appear glamorous.

Health Consequences of Adult Cocaine Abuse

The unfortunate truth about cocaine is that the intense addictiveness can result in individuals continuing their drug habit even when they know about the risks. There are serious health consequences to consider with cocaine use, after all. “Because of its cardiovascular toxicity,” the authors of the Journal of Addictive Diseases study note, “[cocaine] use may cause cardiac and central nervous system (CNS) events in older persons who may already have significant atherosclerosis.” In older adults who may have cardiovascular issues without any diagnosis, the side effects of using cocaine may be even more pronounced, possibly including heart attack, abnormal heart rate, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy.

Individuals can smoke, snort, or inject cocaine. The duration of the drug’s euphoric effects depends on the method of administration. Unfortunately, no matter how one administers cocaine, its side effects can be devastating. Injecting cocaine can cause severe health problems in users, resulting in collapsed veins and bacterial infections of the heart valves and blood vessels. In an equal manner, the symptoms of snorting coke may include damage to the nasal cavity, tissue erosion, nasal septal perforation, and other problems. Even attempting to discontinue the use of cocaine can result in serious side effects, causing withdrawal symptoms like paranoia, exhaustion, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and intense cravings for the drug.

Contact the Addiction Recovery Specialists at BRS Today

Much is unknown about how cocaine abuse and abuse of other illegal drugs may affect older adults. The side effects of these drugs often mimic, and may also exacerbate, conditions that accompany the natural aging process. If you know someone who is struggling with a cocaine addiction, you can help by putting them in touch with the substance abuse counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services. Call to speak to the experts at BRS Rehab today. With the right addiction recovery program, your loved one can overcome his or her addiction to cocaine and live a happy, sober life free from illicit drugs.

vaping

Is Vaping Encouraging Drug Use Among Young Professionals?

Is vaping encouraging drug use among young professionals?  The latest trend among smokers is “vaping,” or using a handheld electronic cigarette that vaporizes a flavored liquid, typically made of nicotine, glycerin, propylene glycol and flavorings, that is then inhaled by the user. Vaping is typically seen as safe, or at least as a safer alternative to smoking marijuana or traditional tobacco cigarettes, particularly among adolescents and young adults. However, there are serious misconceptions about the safety of e-cigarettes and vaping, and many believe that young professionals who vape may be more inclined to begin using drugs. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 926-5530 to speak to an experienced substance abuse counselor.

Vaping Encourging Drug Use is a Valid Concern

E-cigarettes have been around for more than a decade, but their use has skyrocketed recently, due in large part to the fact that e-cigarettes and their accessories have become more easily accessible to the average person. Originally marketed to nicotine users as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, vaporizers, also known as vape pens, are now a popular accessory for young professionals who want to get high without drawing attention to themselves at work. And rather than having to risk shopping for pipes or bongs at a head shop, they can simply go to any one of the vape shops popping up in towns across the country to get themselves an e-cigarette.

Many smokers begin vaping as a means of quitting smoking or reducing their nicotine intake, but, when used by nonsmokers, vaping encouraging drug use is an issue because it may make users more likely to experiment with drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than a quarter-million youth who had never smoked before used e-cigarettes, and in a 2014 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers warn that “nicotine use is a gateway to the use of marijuana and cocaine,” and that this gateway model of drug abuse can be applied to the growing use of e-cigarettes.

Why Young Professionals Use Vape Pens

The main draw to e-cigarettes is that they are sleek and discreet, a much more sophisticated and subtle alternative to tobacco or marijuana cigarettes for young professionals attempting to cultivate a certain image in the workplace. And, because vaporizers are legal, these professionals can vape all day long, from the comfort of their office, rather than sneaking outside for a puff, or waiting until they get home at the end of the day to get high. Some people also find that vaping, when compared to smoking marijuana, doesn’t hinder their productivity or make them feel tired, making e-cigarettes a popular option for young professionals to use at work. And, because water-soluble synthetics can be easily converted into a liquid concentrate that can be vaped, just like nicotine, without producing that telltale marijuana scent, it’s nearly impossible to tell whether a vape pen contains nicotine or marijuana concentrate without actually testing it.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services for Help

Despite the growing trend of e-cigarette use in the United States, the long-term effects of vaping remain unknown, and many believe that vaping encourages drug use. If you know someone at work who vapes, and you believe he or she may be struggling with a substance abuse disorder, don’t hesitate to get your coworker the help he or she needs. Call the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 926-5530, to discuss the available treatment options.

lines of cocaine

Cocaine: The Party Drug Executives Abuse at Work

Cocaine, the party drug, is abused among business executives and this remains a serious problem in the United States. Just last year, a top executive at Chipotle was caught in a police crackdown on a cocaine trafficking ring in New York, and a New Jersey surgeon had his medical license suspended indefinitely after he was accused of using cocaine. Cocaine abuse among business executives may seem like nothing more than a stereotype from the 1980s, where the drug was widely used for after-hours entertainment and as a sweetener for business deals, but research shows that abuse of cocaine and other drugs remains a widespread problem among high-powered execs even today.

The Allure of Cocaine the Party Drug in the Business World

Compared to other illicit substances that users typically associate with at least a little bit of shame or embarrassment, cocaine has a certain mystique associated with it that only adds to its appeal. Plus, cocaine is expensive, it’s somewhat glamorous, or at least glorified, and it’s related to a far more fast-paced, lucrative lifestyle than most other drugs. The use of cocaine is also widely accepted in today’s society, more so than the use of drugs that are associated with more adverse side effects, like heroin and methamphetamine, and the drug is favored by business executives, who are typically seen as high-powered individuals with the world at their fingertips.

Why Business Executives Abuse Cocaine at Work

It’s no wonder that cocaine has become the drug of choice among business executives. “They have the disposable income,” says Dr. Mark Gold, acting chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine. “They have lives which are often responding to the next crisis. They have access to drugs, drug-using friends, and associates, and they feel that drugs are part of the spectrum of entitlement.” In other words, they work hard, so they deserve it, they have the money to pay for it, and, that anthem of drug users everywhere, everyone else is doing it.

The real reason why some business executives are abusing cocaine the party drug in the workplace is a little more complicated, though. The top three reasons business executives abuse cocaine and other stimulant drugs at work are: to manage mental health issues, to cope with work-related stress, and to deal with the pressures of their job and the economy. Not only do business executives face the pressures of succeeding in a challenging business environment, but they also work long hours and do tedious work for demanding bosses. The ability to escape all of this with just one “hit” is what keeps cocaine users coming back for more.

Adverse Side Effects of Cocaine

Unfortunately, the health effects of cocaine the party drug are far-reaching, even for high-powered business executives who have all the money, power and influence they could ever want. While people who abuse cocaine typically do so in search of the drug’s short-term effects, which include extreme happiness and energy, and a greater ability to focus on a task, other side effects of cocaine include irritability, paranoia, and unpredictable behavior, and long-term cocaine abuse may result in frequent nosebleeds, loss of sense of smell, organ damage, mood swings, and possibly even full-blown psychosis.

Cocaine’s Staying Power in the United States

Even as experts warn about the serious health consequences associated with its use, cocaine, a hip designer drug in the 70s and 80s, remains the party drug of choice for business executives today, and recent reports have warned that cocaine’s staying power has to do with its ability to make users feel like they can accomplish anything. And this is a valuable effect for executives in challenging work environments. According to a 2015 analysis of employer-issued drug tests in the workplace, there have been “steady increases in workplace positivity for cocaine in the general US workforce during the past two years, reversing a prolonged period of decline.”

executives self-medicating to avoid burnout

Why Executives are Self-Medicating to Avoid Burnout

Many business executives today are self-medicating to avoid burnout.  The image that comes to mind when many people think of an addict is a homeless person on the street, dirty and alone, and desperate for his next fix, but the unfortunate reality of addiction is that it can affect virtually anyone, even successful business executives who may turn to drugs to keep from burning out in a notoriously fast-paced, high-powered industry. If you know someone who is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t hesitate to intervene and get the person the help he or she needs to get sober, before it’s too late. Contact the professional substance abuse counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to find out how you can help.

Top Drugs Abused by Business Execs for Self-Medicating

When it comes to self-medicating or using illicit substances to increase their productivity at work, business executives typically turn to stimulants, or “uppers,” which may temporarily improve their concentration, help them keep up with strict work deadlines, and stave off depression. They may also abuse prescription painkillers to numb chronic pain or other health problems interfering with their ability to focus at work. The most common drugs abused by business executives include:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Vicodin
  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • OxyContin
  • Alcohol

The Dangers of Self-Medication

One common reason successful business executives may abuse substances like cocaine, heroin or prescription drugs is to self-medicate or treat an underlying condition, like chronic pain, depression or anxiety, to stay on top of their game and avoid burning out. Business executives on Wall Street, in the financial services industry, and in other high-powered industries face an immense amount of stress and pressure on a daily basis and are expected to keep their clients happy, negotiate multimillion-dollar contracts, and maintain 110% productivity, all in a day’s work. As a result of this stress, they may turn to illicit substances to get an edge in a highly competitive industry, improve their concentration, numb their emotions, and disguise any signs they are feeling burned out. Unfortunately, in most cases, self-medication only exacerbates the problem they are trying to get under control, and may even result in a lifelong addiction.

Common Signs of Job Burnout

Many business executives in highly-competitive industries feel the pressure of keeping up with the fast-paced lifestyles of their co-workers while ensuring that they are on the path to business success and end up working long hours, become obsessed with their career, and let their health and well-being take the backseat to their performance at work. These are all factors contributing to job burnout, which David Ballard of the American Psychological Association describes as “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance.” Some common signs of job burnout include the following:

  • Exhaustion
  • Frustration and other negative emotions
  • Lack of motivation
  • Cognitive problems
  • Poor performance at work
  • Problems with personal and professional relationships
  • Making poor health and lifestyle choices
  • Generally decreased satisfaction
  • Chronic health problems

What to Do About Job Burnout

Job burnout often occurs over a long period of time, as the person attempts to cope with chronic job-related stress and the effect it is having on their health, interpersonal relationships, and performance at work. They may begin to self-medicate in an attempt to manage or disguise these problems, which will only make them worse. If someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of job burnout, Dr. Ballard of the American Psychological Association recommends helping them: set boundaries by unplugging from work while enjoying time with family and friends, cultivate a rich non-work life, and practice relaxation techniques, which may include meditation, reading a book, listening to music, or simply taking a walk. For business executives who are self-medicating and it has resulted in addiction, the experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services can help. Call them today.

what to do if your child is using crack

What to Do if You Find Out Your Child is Using Crack

It is never easy when a parent finds out their child is in trouble. If you have been noticing a change in your child, it is important not to ignore the signs and the red flags that are waving right in front of your face. You can teach your child the difference between right and wrong, but for some, learning from experience is the only way to understand the consequences of making mistakes. The moment you begin to suspect that your child is using crack, you might be in denial or make excuses. Get past how you feel deep down inside, and take the appropriate actions to ensure that your sensitive child can recover from their addiction and lead a successful and fulfilling life in adulthood.

Symptoms to Look for if Your Child is Using Crack

Statistics show that about 1% of teenagers who attend high school will use crack cocaine during their high school years. While the statistics may seem very minimal, of the 1% of students who try crack cocaine, a large percentage of these students become addicts because the drug is highly addictive once it hits the bloodstream and leads to a feeling of euphoria that the user wants to feel again. Over time, the addict will require larger amounts of crack cocaine to achieve their high. As the high wears off, an addict can get irritated and crave the intense euphoric feeling until the craving is satisfied. This is particularly because of the way that the drug affects the body’s central nervous system.

Here are some signs to look out for if you think your teen is using crack cocaine:

  • Intense and unusual emotional outbursts that include rage and anger
  • An increased tendency to resort to violence
  • Dramatic and unsubstantiated emotional highs and lows
  • The loss of inhibition
  • Questionable sexual behavior
  • Committing robberies or stealing from you and your family members
  • Mood swings combined with flu-like symptoms may be signs of withdrawal
  • Dilated pupils, insomnia, and lack of appetite may be signs of crack abuse

There are many other signs that could be pushed aside as “growing pains” or “just a phase.”  If you find yourself making these statements often, it might be time to start learning more about the crack use and begin paying more attention to your child’s behavior.  If they seem to be spending more time away from home, hanging out with a new set of friends or being secretive and agitated often, your child may already be in trouble with crack.

Steps Parents Should Take if Their Child is Using Crack

Crack use can lead to very risky behaviors. Not only may an addict venture to a dangerous neighborhood in effect to buy crack, but they might also steal or commit other crimes to get money to pay for their habit. Long-term crack use is also very damaging to the body, and this is why you need to take action as soon as you think your child is abusing. Here are a few steps you need to take as a parent who pays attention to the signs.

Teen-Proof Your Home

If you are making the commitment to be proactive, the first step is to teen-proof your home by locking up alcohol and prescriptions. There is such thing as being too trustworthy as a parent, and if you are too trustworthy, you can easily be taken advantage of.  Remember, if your child is using crack, it may be up to you to get them the help they need.

Check Their Bedroom

There is no such thing as privacy when you think your teen is abusing crack. Privacy is a privilege that a teen must earn by proving them. Search your teen’s room for drugs and other items, and if you find anything illegal, you will need to decide how to proceed.

Give Your Child a Drug Test and Start Your Intervention

Just because you do not believe anything does not mean that you cannot sit down and discuss your teen’s obvious problem. If you have given your child a drug test in the past, you might not need to do this to confirm substance abuse. Have a discussion about what you have witnessed and try not to be too critical so that your teen does not shut you out immediately.

You need to find the balance between rescuing your child and giving up when your child is trying to rebel. If you find illegal items in their room, let them know that you will call the police if they are not open to recovering from their addiction. Once your teen is ready to take accountability, get them the help they need by entering them into a rehabilitation program where they can detox and learn how to make better decisions in the future.

You must stress that there are consequences for their actions if your child is using crack. The consequences could be jail, their health, or even their life. Be proactive, be observant, and develop a relationship where your teen feels comfortable coming to you no matter what the problem may be.

colorful collection of ecstasy pills

MDMA: The Dangers of Ecstasy

Few people take the time to research the dangers of Ecstasy before experimenting with the drug.  The substance known as MDMA, better known to many as ecstasy, has become popular among some as a recreational drug. In many countries MDMA is a controlled substance and possession can be punished by fines and even imprisonment. Despite this, ecstasy has grown in popularity and people have ignored both the legal and physical consequences of taking this substance.

Effects  and Dangers of Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy was first developed to be used in the field of psychology due to its ability to get patients to let down their mental barriers. This practice came to an end when it was made widely illegal despite positive results. The effects of ecstasy are:

  • improved self-confidence
  • feelings of empathy
  • feelings of compassion
  • increased energy
  • diminished aggression
  • increased inner peace
  • euphoria

This drug has recently become very popular among the teen and young adult age groups for use at “raves” or other party scenes where recreational drugs are abundantly used and abuse.

Dangerous Side Effects of MDMA

While ecstasy has a variety of positive benefits during use, there are also some very dangerous side effects associated with the substance as well. When coming off of a trip, many people experience, fatigue, irritability, impaired concentration, depression, and paranoia. Additionally, prolonged use of the drug or overdose can lead to disastrous consequences such as hallucinations, panic attacks, damaged heart, damaged blood vessels, stroke, and organ failure.

As you can see one of the dangers of ecstasy is that it may have some positive effects initially, but once the high wears off, it can lead to some pretty nasty consequences. This can lead to an individual seeking more and more of the drug until they’ve developed an addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with an ecstasy addiction, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help people overcome their MDMA substance abuse problem before it’s too late.

syringes and drugs contributed to drug-related deaths

Drug-Related Deaths Become Commonplace

Every year, hundreds of thousands of individuals die from drug-related deaths, ranging from diseases which are transmitted through drug needles (e.g. HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis), and drug overdoses that cause permanent organ damage and mortalities. According to a 2011 study, nearly 9.3 million individuals over 12 received treatment for drug or alcohol addictions. Drug addictions not only place a dent on the addicted people and their families but also on society as a whole. The NIH reports that drug and alcohol abuse total 700 billion dollars in financial loss, which includes lack of productivity at work and health care costs.

Drug-Related Deaths Skyrocket in the US

Drug abuse continues to be one of the major leading causes of death in America. Nationwide, it is known that drugs such as marijuana and crack cocaine can lead to various diseases. However, millions die every year for such reasons. Why is this the case? There are some reasons. The first one is that drugs become hard to fight off once one begins using them. Many drugs such are marijuana are labeled as “gateway drugs,” meaning that they lead to trying other substances. Because of the addictive nature of these substances, the users have a dependency on them, so they keep coming back for more. Drugs cause dopamine (a neurological chemical in the brain that releases senses of pleasure and euphoria) to skyrocket, adding their addiction. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that drug abusers cannot distance themselves from drugs before death looms. Therefore, drug-related deaths become commonplace.  Sadly, many of these deaths were preventable.

Another reason why this is the case is that drugs are often portrayed as a panacea for all types of issues that an individual may face in their lives. Some of the common motivations that one may begin drugs and thus on the track for potential substance abuse are financial problems, relationship problems, family issues, or depression. Drugs release dopamine, which causes the individual consuming the substance to experience transitory happiness amidst a life of grief, stress, and anger. Once they build a dependency on the drug to feel happy, they use them more often, and an addiction begins to develop, possibly leading towards death. The fact that drugs are seen as an ideal method to feel happiness in times of hardship is related to the high number of deaths caused by such addictions.

A Major Issue Nationwide

Drug-related deaths remain a major problem in the United States, and around the world.  Being that it is the #1 cause of preventable death, learning about drug addiction should rank as high priority on everyone’s agenda to help as many people as possible avoid this deadly condition.

cocaine side effects

Cocaine Side Effects You Might Not Know About

There are some cocaine side effects you might not know about, so we will outline some of the information here.  Of all the drugs being trafficked all over the world, cocaine rates second. National statistics show that 11.6% of people 18-25 years old do cocaine; the figure for people 26 or older is 16.50%. In 2008, statistics showed that just under 15% of all Americans had tried cocaine at one time or another. At the time of the research, 1.9 million were using. Six percent of those people had tried it by their senior year of high school. The highest amount of users falls into the 18 to 25-year-old range.

What Are the Cocaine Side Effects?

The signs of the basic cocaine side effects that start out as minimal in the beginning are changes in sensory sensations like losing their sense of smell and taste, sneezing, having the sniffles or even a congested nose. This can also lead to congestion of the chest if they have been snorting cocaine. This will then lead to nasal pain (because of the snorting) nosebleeds, sore throats and the breakdown of their inner nose. As the drug use gets worse, they can then move on to more serious side effects like having convulsions and seizures if they do too much cocaine or have a cocaine addiction. They can also get confused and have hallucinations where they are unable to tell if things are real or not. This is caused by the effects on the brain.

Cocaine users also have times when they are happy, they have a lot of energy and have an unreal sense of being invincible and overconfident. They begin to think nothing can happen to them, nothing can touch them. Other times they become agitated, irritated, are very nervous, antsy and being so restless that nothing makes them happy. They may have trouble being able to urinate or have incontinence. Usually, they are not eating very well, if at all, so there may be some dizziness, weight loss, stomach irritation, nausea or vomiting. They may feel light-headed, their heart racing, they break out in a sweat and have mood swings. One minute they are fine, the next they are angry or mad. They may experience numbing in their hands and feet, trouble breathing, and weakness in their muscles. As they build up a tolerance to the drug and need more, the symptoms and problems will become worse and will increase the amount of everything they do such as their speech increases; they are unable to sleep sometimes for days at a time and they seem to have spasms. They can be very argumentative and become very aggressive and paranoid.

What Are the Permanent Side Effects of Cocaine?

There is a lot of damage to the brain over time with cocaine abuse. The users may have some psychosis and they may even cover up some forms of mental illness. They do not know for sure if this is because of the cocaine or if they had them before and used the cocaine to cover it up. There may be some permanent psychological damage that causes long-term or permanent problems. The part of the brain that controls pleasure is definitely damaged and will affect their capability to feel pleasure in sex or any of the things they used to enjoy doing. This can bring on depression and periods of over-the-top sexual behavior and other extreme choices of activity that used to give them pleasure. It may come out in other extreme actions and other addictive behavior as well.

Physical Effects of Cocaine

The physical side effects of cocaine use can be bad; it can damage your heart, cause you to have a heart attack, and give you high blood pressure. If you snort the drug, you can cause damage to your nose, larynx, throat, and can cause permanent damage to your nose and throat to the point where you may have to have surgery to repair the damage. You can have problems with constant pneumonia, bleeding, scar tissue in your nose, bronchitis; you can develop asthma and breathing problems. If you are smoking the drug, it can cause damage to your lungs, and cause cancer in your lungs, throat, and your respiratory area.

Lack of concentration and being able to focus can come from permanent brain damage, and the possibility of a stroke can be brought on as a result of the high blood pressure. There can be permanent damage to the teeth from grinding their teeth and clenching up their jaws, as well as breaking off of their teeth or teeth falling out. There can be permanent scars and sores on their face and other parts of their body from picking and scratching their skin during hallucinations where they think that they have things crawling on them. Even after cocaine use has ended they can still have the symptoms of cocaine use and can continue to have cocaine side effects physically and mentally.

Dangerous Trends in Drug Abuse

Dangerous New Trends in Drug Abuse

Trends in drug abuse is an increasingly common problem all over the world. New trends and new drugs seem to be emerging every second. It’s almost impossible to find somebody who hasn’t been affected by substance abuse. One of the most important things when it comes to drugs is always to stay informed. Knowing the trends and drugs that are out there and their effects could be the reason someone says no to drug use.

Trends in Drug Abuse Include an Increase in Fentanyl Use

Fentanyl is an opioid 30-50 times more potent than heroin, as well as 50-100 times more powerful than morphine. Baltimore has launched a public health campaign due to the surge of deaths caused by this drug. Nationwide, the DEA has also released an alert about this drug. The city is even distributing naloxone, a drug that can reverse an overdose, to drug users in case of an overdose.

Increase in Cannabinoid Overdose

Cannabinoids are chemically similar to THC, hence the name, and are even legal in some places. Examples include Spice and K2. These drugs have been shown to be incredibly dangerous. 160 patients were hospitalized in for two weeks in April of this year. It’s gotten so bad that Maryland has released a public health notice, giving the several other names one way call this drug.

Increase of Flakka Use

This is a new drug circulating in Florida. It’s similar to bath salts and can be ingested anyway. It’s extremely dangerous because of the fact that it causes hallucinations, paranoid, and hyperstimulation. Users become violent. Suicide has been linked to this drug, as well as heart attacks.

HIV Outbreak Linked to Opana

There was an HIV outbreak in February in Indiana due to the use of the drug Opana. This drug is a prescription medication; it’s an opioid prescribed to treat pain. The outbreak was linked to sharing needles with other drug users.

Caffeine Powder

This new trend has to be among the most strange as well as the most dangerous. Caffeine powder is legal and available online. It’s attractive to anyone looking to perk up, including high school students. However, one teaspoon is equivalent to 25 cups of coffee, a lethal amount. A high school student died after overdosing on this powder.

You can keep up with all the latest drug trends on this US government website: Emerging Trends. It’s frequently updated and provides a good list of things to not only educate yourself about but be aware of and look for if you’re a parent or a teacher.

For how dangerous it is, new trends in drug abuse is extremely common. Permanent disabilities, as well as death, can come from abusing certain drugs. Drug abusers are always looking for more, so new trends come out all the time. Keeping yourself informed could help you stay away. If you’re already abusing drugs, seek help immediately from someone you trust. Although it’s saddening knowing how much substance abuse affects us, good treatment programs all around the world are a definite upside.

man and woman discussing facts about rehabilitation programs

Myths vs. Facts About Rehabilitation Programs

If you or someone you love is dealing with addiction, you want to find effective rehabilitation programs quickly. Dealing with this issue can feel isolating, but it’s important to remember you are not alone. In fact, over 23.5 million Americans need help each year due to drug or alcohol problems according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Understanding the Facts About Rehabilitation Programs

There is a lot of information floating around about rehabilitation programs that simply isn’t correct, so read on to discover the facts behind these myths.

Myth 1: My situation isn’t bad enough to need a rehabilitation program.

On TV and in the movies, drug and alcohol addiction are often shown in extreme cases. This can make people think they don’t need rehab because they aren’t homeless, filthy, facing jail time and unemployed.
However, you don’t have to hit rock bottom before you seek help. In fact, you can save yourself from continuing a downward spiral by beginning your rehabilitation program as soon as possible instead of waiting for things to get worse.

Myth 2: I won’t be able to handle the process of rehabilitation.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed at the thought of making such a major life change. When you find yourself thinking that you can’t handle rehab, it’s important to remember that the substances you are using take away from your ability to think clearly and rationally.
There are sure to be plenty of highs and lows during the rehab process, but you can put yourself at a huge advantage by choosing inpatient treatment. Don’t try to detox alone. Instead, surround yourself with competent professionals who can use the latest therapies to increase your chance of getting clean and staying clean.

Myth 3:  If I choose inpatient treatment, I’ll be isolated from everyone I love.

Although policies vary among different facilities, your loved ones will be an important part of your recovery process. Addiction does not just affect the person who is using drugs or alcohol. Instead, it’s a family problem that has an impact on everyone.
An inpatient facility allows you to get away from the stresses and triggers of your everyday life, but that doesn’t mean that you will be completely isolated. During your recovery, you’ll need the support of your friends and family members more than ever. An excellent rehabilitation program will not only work with you but also focus on teaching your loved ones how they can best support you in reaching your rehab goals.

Myth 4:  It’s impossible for me to enter a program because I have a full-time job.

Maintaining employment is important, but you won’t necessarily have to sacrifice your job to get the help that you need. In fact, your right to treatment is protected in many cases by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
You should not let the fear of losing your job keep you from overcoming your addiction. Without help, the behavior and decisions that are a part of your addiction will put your employment at jeopardy, so starting a treatment program can ultimately help save your career.

Myth 5:  Once I complete a rehabilitation program, I’ll be completely cured!

This myth sounds good, but unfortunately, the power of addiction cannot be eradicated by some magic program. An excellent treatment facility will give you the tools you need to detox and make choices that get your life back on the right path.
However, addiction is a disease. Once you’ve completed your program, you’ll need to keep making good decisions and surround yourself with those who support you and want the best for you. Inpatient treatment is not an automatic cure, but it’s the first step to a life that can be lived free from the bonds of drugs and/or alcohol.

Myth 6:  All rehabilitation programs are the same, so it doesn’t matter which one I select.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no “one size fits all” program for addiction issues. Many facilities use some of the same programs, but that doesn’t mean that they are all the same.  Before you choose a facility for treatment, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions, including:

  • Is this program accredited?
  • What therapies are available?
  • Is support available for my loved ones?
  • How long does the program last?
  • Will I receive support once the inpatient portion of treatment is complete?

There are many excellent facilities available, but it’s important to choose a program that is a good fit for your specific needs and budget.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

If any of these myths are keeping you from seeking treatment, research the facts about the benefits of getting treatment at an inpatient facility. Knowledge is power, and participating in high-quality rehabilitation programs are one of the best decisions you can make.

young girl with prescription drug abuse symptoms

Common Prescription Drug Abuse Symptoms

When looking at prescription drug abuse symptoms, there are certain signs that pertain to all prescription drugs, while others are a bit more specific to each drug type, which can be narrowed down to opiate, sedative, and stimulant prescription drugs.

Though prescription drugs may not seem nearly as addictive as recreational drugs, they are regulated specifically because of the fact that they can be just as easy to abuse as cocaine and heroin. The following is an in-depth guide to the prescription drug abuse symptoms:

Guide to Prescription Drug Abuse Symptoms

Opiates

Opiates are essentially a form of painkillers that are one of the most common prescription drugs available on the market. Unfortunately, as they are used as a means to lessen and eliminate pain, they are some of the easiest prescription drugs to become dependent on. Some of the most common symptoms that will present themselves in someone that is abusing these prescription drugs include the following:

  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • constipation
  • depression

The more severe symptoms include an overall decrease in breathing rate and lowered blood pressure. However, the easiest way to identify whether or not someone is abusing opiates is through withdrawal symptoms, as the primary ones with opiate withdrawal after abuse include vomiting, diarrhea, cold flashes, insomnia, heart attack or even seizures. Opiate abuse will bring about a general feeling of euphoria. As such, the times in when they are not high will often result in the person acting irritable and angry.

Sedatives

Sedative prescription medications are used as a means of treating such conditions as sleep disorders and even intense anxiety. For anyone abusing sedatives, the symptoms are markedly different than those of opiates. While some of the similar symptoms include confusion, dizziness, and depression, some of the different ones involve gestures and movements that happen involuntarily, such as random eye movements, as well as drowsiness, bad decision making, dilated pupils and memory difficulties.
The most notable of symptoms include walking that is unsteady and uncoordinated, as well as slurred speech. These will allow you to identify whether or not you or someone you know is abusing sedatives. Typically, the users themselves may not be aware that they are abusing this drug, which is why it’s essential to keep a look out for any of these symptoms.

Stimulants

Stimulants, the final type of prescription drugs, are used commonly as a means to treat a common condition known as ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This form of a prescription drug has some of the most dangerous symptoms of the three types of prescription drugs when abused. For instance, constant irritability and agitation are common, while restlessness, reckless behavior, weight loss and high blood pressure are symptoms that anyone can face when abusing a stimulant. The more severe symptoms include insomnia that can last multiple days, paranoia, an irregular heartbeat and even seizures.
Some of the other symptoms that are found in all three of these prescription drug types include mood swings, bad decision making and different sleep patterns, while prescription drug abusers will often up the recommended dosage, steal prescriptions, go to different doctors for extra prescriptions or act as though they have lost their current prescription in order to have another one filled out.

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse in Teenagers

Prescription drug abuse is also rampant among teenagers. In fact, in 2012, it was reported that 24 percent of teenagers that had taken a survey admitted to using prescription drugs that they were not prescribed with by a doctor. Symptoms in teenagers that are abusing prescription drugs often manifest themselves differently than they do adults, which may make it easier to notice. For one, they may become angrier than usual at all authority figures and may start spending most of their time away from those that love them and are close to them. Their sleep patterns may change and their school work will begin to suffer dramatically.

 

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

Thankfully, there is a way to treat prescription drug abuse symptoms that will give you everything you need to begin a life free from drugs. If you seek the path towards recovery, inpatient drug treatment contains a myriad of benefits. For instance, you won’t have much free time, which will keep you from considering relapsing. You won’t have access to prescription drugs and the supervisors within this treatment center will be able to guide you through personal and group therapy, which will even help you to gain friendship and a sense of balance to your life. It’s important to seek this treatment today in order to receive the help that you deserve.

why do people take drugs today more than ever before

Many People Take Drugs Today More Than Ever Before

To understand why the problem of drug abuse is so entrenched in American society, it helps to know why so many people take drugs. What motivates a person to ingest what often amounts to poison? Substance abuse is a widespread problem that the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates costs Americans $193 billion per year. That is including $11 billion in healthcare related to drug misuse, but not including the cost of alcohol and tobacco use.

Many People Take Drugs for Self-Medication

Often, people use drugs as a way to deal with an underlying problem. A person is too embarrassed, underinsured, or ill-informed to seek medical assistance. Instead, he or she finds an illicit substance that may feel like it treats the problem. In reality, it either masks or exacerbates the problem. Some conditions that people often self-medicate include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Pain
  • Emotional Trauma

Many People take Drugs Simply Because They are Available

The sad fact is that some people just take drugs because they are there. They do not understand the consequences, feel like they have nothing to lose, or simply want to rebel. These people do not necessarily want anything from the drugs initially. They are just there and why not try it? However, as anyone who lives with drug addiction can attest, this attitude can quickly lead to a problem if one does not keep it in check.  

Many People Take Drugs to Get High

Taking drugs to get high may seem like stating the obvious or like a stupid reason to do drugs, but it is a common cause. What do most drugs do? They make the user feel different. Some drugs give the user energy while others offer confidence. Some make a person see the world in a different way and there are those that relieve pain. Of course, there is the downside, but people do not think about the low after the high if they are trying to get high. The experience feels different than a person feels normally, and users may abuse drugs simply to seek that feeling.  

Many People Take Drugs to Fit In

If a young person or even an adult has loved ones or friends who are into drugs, it is easy to start feeling as if it is the norm. To feel like a part of the group, people who did not use drugs may start taking them. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the main reasons for taking drugs are to feel better (self-medicate) or to feel good (get high). Even when someone is using drugs to fit in, he or she may buy into the common assertion that drugs will solve problems. Of course, a drug user will say that.

Many Reasons to Quit Drugs

It’s true that many people take drugs for many different reasons. When it comes down to it, the most important thing to an individual who has already started abusing drugs is what reason he or she has to quit. That part is simple. Health, family, emotional well-being, fiscal responsibility, and safety are just a few great reasons to go to a drug rehabilitation facility and get sober with the help of professionals. These centers are filled with a built-in and fully trained support group that has one goal in mind, to get everyone who walks through the doors clean and on a stable road to recovery.

woman in bed facing dangers of prescription sleep aids

Dangers of Prescription Sleep Aids

You’ve seen the headlines: a celebrity overdoses on sleeping meds and dies an early death. A congressman blames prescription sleep aids for causing a near-fatal traffic accident. Not every story makes headlines, but people wind up on coroners’ tables and emergency room beds regularly as a direct result of taking prescription sleep aids. Statistics show the problem persists. Our sleep-deprived nation is hard-pressed to keep going without pharmaceuticals when other methods of relief are elusive at best. If you’re taking prescription sleep aids and are concerned about the dangers you could face, this may be information to help you.

Sleeplessness by the Numbers

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the National Department of Transportation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 million US citizens suffer from chronic sleep disorders. This phenomenon filters down to the workplace where $18 billion in productivity losses are reported annually by employers. The problem could be worse; these figures were last published in 2012. Adults need eight hours of sleep daily. Giving short sleep shift regularly causes drivers to fall asleep at the wheel—around 38-percent of them, according to the aforementioned study. It’s easy to see why people desperate for sleep would ignore the dangers of prescription sleep aids out of desperation for any relief.

How Sleeplessness Manifests Itself

The aforementioned agencies used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to report on sleep-related difficulties. Conclusions were revealing: 49.2 million sleep-deprived adults lose concentration during the day and nearly 39-percent forget ordinary things requiring little mental recall due to insufficient sleep. Seventy percent of people taking the BRFSS suffer from insomnia, 18 million were diagnosed with sleep apnea and nearly a quarter million were diagnosed as narcoleptics. Race and ethnicity spreads are revealing: Over 52-percent of all black, non-Hispanic participants claimed to nod off at least once a month while only 33.4-percent of white non-Hispanic study participants do. Speculation, that white people are more likely to ask for sleep medication to combat daytime fatigue, might be inferred, but there’s no question that the pharmaceutical industry’s response is to pour more time and money into new products.

A Drug-Fueled Culture

Name a disorder, illness or syndrome diagnosed by physicians in the 21st century and there’s likely a prescription for it. It’s the way contemporary culture operates as the days of warm milk, a tepid bath, soothing music and other such before-bed rituals used in the past have vanished in the wake of sleep aid prescriptions and the willingness of doctors to prescribe for patients begging for relief. This fast fix does not come without its warnings about the dangers of prescription sleep aids: literature describing contraindications, inter-drug reaction and alcohol and drugs comes packed with sleeping medications and these signs usually follow doctors’ due diligence when advising patients of the side effects of meds they prescribe. But warnings can be forgotten as patients find relief at last. Taking a sleep aid is regularly habituated and psychological dependence can occur in addition to the physiological effects of the medicine.

Popular Prescription Sleep Aids

Drug companies work hard to find newer formulations for sleep deprived individuals and there’s fierce competition between them to produce one that kick starts sleep, keeps people asleep and allows one to awaken refreshed without side effects. Among the most popular brands currently on the market are Ambien, Halcion, Lunesta, Rozerem, Valium, Sonata, Restoril, Pamelor and Desyrel. Each works differently on receptors in the brain and it’s not uncommon for a new user to switch brands before finding one that works. Just about the only generalization that can be made about sleeping aids is that most are classified as “sedative hypnotics,” falling into sub-categories like benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety meds, are regularly prescribed for sleep by physicians and tend to be very addictive. Barbiturates, on the other hand, depress the nervous system. Newer formulations on the market—like Belsomra—are orexin receptor antagonists.

Side Effects of Sleep Aids

To measure the potential dangers associated with taking sleep aids requires an overview of reported side effects, but individuals can experience other problems that have not been reported after clinical trials that render them safe for FDA approval. The most often reported are hallucinations, impaired judgment, appetite irregularities, amnesia and even rebound insomnia, all results of incompatibility between the ingredients in the sleep aid and brain chemistry. Side effects can be exacerbated in patients who also drink alcohol and take prescribed and/or illegal drugs. These serious side effects aren’t the entire story. Patients can also experience less severe side effects like dry mouth, appetite changes, constipation, diarrhea, balance impairment, dizzy spells, burning/tingling extremities, heartburn, nightmares, headaches, gas and even tremors. Patients suffering liver or kidney disease are advised to avoid all sleep aids.

You and Your Doctor

According to Mayo Clinic sleep disorder specialists, avoiding dangerous consequences of sleep aid use begins with effective communication between doctor and patient. Patients should expect a thorough physical and psychological examination to determine a diagnosis. Doctors regularly ask patients to make lifestyle changes, try homeopathic or undertake sleep lab testing before mentioning prescriptive sleep aids to rule out psychological and physical causes of sleeplessness. Physicians assess the over-the-counter, prescription medicines and vitamins and minerals a sleep-deprived individual is taking to see if these are contributing to the problem. At that point, doctors may prescribe a low-dose sleep aid for several weeks. If relief isn’t found, she may try other formulations until one works. The close alliance between patient and doctor can be the key to making sure prescription sleep aids offer a solution to patient sleep issues, rather than a danger to them.

signs of prescription drug abuse

What You Should Know About Adult Prescription Drug Abuse

Adult prescription drug abuse is at epidemic proportions in our country, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classify it as such. While prescription medication abuse increases, other valuable resources are feeling the strain. Emergency rooms are seeing a correlating increase in the number of accidental overdoses. Admissions to addiction treatment programs for drug addiction are continually growing.

 What is Adult Prescription Drug Abuse?

Adults misuse prescription drugs in a variety of ways. It is important that patients follow directions exactly as written to avoid side effects or complications. Following are examples of adult prescription drug abuse:

  • Intentional use of medication without a prescription
  • Using medication in a way other than it is prescribed
  • Using medication only for the feeling it causes
  • Taking a higher dose than is prescribed
  • Taking medication in a different way than intended – e.g., crushing tablets and snorting them

 How Big is the Problem?

Some quick statistics:

  • In 2010, 7.0 million people were using psychotherapeutic drugs non-medically (2.7% of the U.S. population).
  • 20% of the U.S. population have used prescription drugs at some point for non-medical reasons.
  • Between 1991 and 2010 prescriptions for stimulants increased from 5 million to 45 million.
  • Between 1991 and 2010 prescriptions for opioid analgesics increased from 75.5 million to 209.5 million.
  • Nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription medication for non-medical reasons.
  • Fewer than half of prescription drug addicts purchased their drugs on the internet.
  • Only 5% of addicts reported purchasing the drugs from a drug dealer.
  • Prescription drugs have become second only to marijuana in the category of most abused drugs.

The increase in the number of prescriptions clearly shows that these medications are more readily available. People often mistakenly believe that because a doctor prescribes a drug that it is safer than a street drug. Prescription medications can have the same risks and side effects of illegal drugs, yet prescriptions are often easy to obtain from friends and family.

Which Prescription Drugs are Most Often Misused?

Pain relievers, depressants, and stimulants are the most often abused prescriptions medications. Each of these drug categories carries its individual risks. Opioids (Pain Relievers): The opiates category includes drugs such as codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. Risks of opioid misuse: High risk of addiction. Unintentional overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999 and outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined. When combining opioid use with the use of other nervous system depressing substances such as alcohol, Xanax or Valium, the likelihood of respiratory arrest and death significantly increases. Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants (Anxiety and Sleep Disorder Medications) CNS depressants include benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax); non-benzodiazepines such as Lunesta and barbiturates. Risks of CNS depressant misuse: High risk of addiction.

Unsupervised withdrawal could result in life-threatening seizures. The risk of overdose increases when combined with other medications or alcohol. Stimulants (ADHD and Narcolepsy Medications) Prescription stimulants include Ritalin and Adderall. Risks of stimulant misuse: Addiction and severe risk of psychosis, seizures and cardiovascular complications.

Recovering from Prescription Drug Addiction

Addiction is a chronic brain disease. Addicts can relapse without constant attention to avoid temptation and stay on track. Abuse of drugs – prescription or street drugs – changes the chemistry and function of the users’ brain which only complicates the existing brain disease. All of these changes affect self-control, decision-making abilities, and capacity to recognize and avoid impulsive behavior. Inpatient therapy is the best treatment for any prescription drug user. Inpatient treatment allows patient monitoring while going through withdrawal. The change of location and lack of distractions may be beneficial to the person in recovery. Close medical attention and the 24 hour-per-day availability of care typically aids the patient through withdrawal because they know they are not alone.

Inpatient Treatment for Recovery from Addiction

Inpatient Treatment for Recovery from Addiction

There are different reasons why people turn to substance abuse and eventually need inpatient treatment for recovery from addiction. Addiction has long been a problem among nations across the globe, especially in the US. Despite all efforts of the US government to address this, the problem continues to amplify as the age of individuals who are affected seem to be getting younger each year. Not only this, recent studies reveal that many people from ages 12 to 49 are turning to the non-medical use of prescription drugs. Prescription drug abuse is leading to an increase in the number of treatment admissions, emergency visits, and critical overdoses. Now prescription drug abuse is leading to an increase in heroin use. Our country needs inpatient treatment for recovery more than ever.

About Substance Abuse

In general, substance abuse refers to the use of illegal drugs. However, it can also mean the improper use of other kinds of substances such as alcohol, prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, solvents, inhalants, coffee, and cigarettes. Many factors can lead to drug addiction. People who are more prone to this are those who have a family history of substance abuse. Substance abuse is also common among people with low self-esteem, those who cannot cope with stress, and those who are going through peer pressure.

Alarming Rate of Increase

According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of SAMHSA, a regular day in the US finds 881,684 teens from ages 12-17 smoking cigarettes, 646,707 smoking marijuana, and 457,672 drinking alcohol. These statistics just show how substance use profoundly affects the lives of these adolescents and their families. While some studies indicate that there is some progress when it comes to lowering the use of some substances, there are still too many young individuals who are at risk. On a regular day, the following number of adolescents do this for the first time
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  • 3,701 smoke cigarettes
  • 7,639 drink alcohol
  • 4,594 take an illegal drug
  • 4,000 smoke marijuana
  • 2,151 misuse prescription pain relievers

Rise in Heroin Use

Reports suggest that some individuals that have been abusing Oxycontin have switched to heroin after its reformulation in 2010. The new Oxycontin is now harder to crush, and it pales in comparison to the old formula, which is a lot more powerful and comparable to heroin in terms of the high it gives. The price of the new Oxycontin in the market is 20% to 30% lower than the original formula, and this just indicates that the latest formula has a lower demand. This new formulation is the reason former Oxycontin users are switching to heroin. This development is because heroin may be easier to access and may be a lot cheaper.

Emergency Department Visits Increase by 300%

A recent SAMHSA report reveals that emergency department visits that were linked with drug use increased by 300%. These visits involved individuals from age 18 to 34. These were related to the non-medical use of stimulants, and 30% of the visits also involved the use of alcohol. These stimulants can result in long-term addiction and heart issues.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment for Recovery

• Support – Addicts that seek inpatient treatment for recovery have access to professional support any time of the day. Since most relapses occur early during recovery, this 24/7 support can make a difference.

• Structure – Inpatient programs keep patients busy, preventing them from thinking about drugs. This way, they are less likely to relapse or look for the substance of their choice.

• Supervision – Majority of patients will go through withdrawal symptoms, which can go on for months. When they stay in an inpatient facility, they can receive all the medical supervision and counseling that they need.

• No access to their choice substance – Since patients remain at the facility all the time, they do not have access to drugs or alcohol which makes it safe for them during early recovery.

• No bad influences – Inpatient centers limit and strictly monitor phone calls and visitors which prevents the patient from communicating with people who have a bad influence on them.

• Self-focus – Patients can concentrate on their recovery since they are away from all sorts of distractions.

• New friendships – An inpatient facility is a place where patients can develop new friendships. They are all there for the same reason, which is to overcome their drug addiction; they understand what each one is going through.

Statistics on Treatment

The number of adolescents who have undergone treatment is as follows:

  •  More than 1,258 received inpatient treatment
  •  Over 9,302 received non-hospital treatment
  •  More than 71,000 received outpatient treatment

Overview

Based on the statistics above, substance abuse continues to be a problem, in particular among the youth. For this reason, all parties concerned such as family, friends, and organizations should create awareness on this health risk and do their part in preventing it. Those who are affected should receive treatment to fight and overcome their addiction. In this respect, inpatient treatment for recovery is best.