Children and Drug Abuse
According to a report by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in March 2011, teens may start to consume alcohol before age 12 and they may begin experimenting with marijuana around age 14. In high school, the use of alcohol and marijuana is considered normal. For parents whose children are abusing drugs, it’s very painful to send them to an in-patient drug rehab facility. If you suspect that your kid is using drugs, make plans to talk to him or her before things get out of hand.
Firstly, it’s important to establish an open communication about drugs. This is not so tough because drug use is discussed in schools, churches, the media, and so on. Why not talk about it in the family? Many teens start to use drugs because they feel too lonely. As they grow older, they have to deal with such issues like insecurity, school work, career choices, peer pressure, love, and other aspects of life. This is why it’s essential for parents to build strong a relationship with their children. When there’s a strong relationship, it will be much easier to talk to them about drugs.
Though it’s easy to get emotional as you talk to your kid about drugs, you have to be calm, and keep an open mind. Take time to learn about your teen’s activities and behavior. It helps to find out what they are doing everyday and who they hang out with. In setting up boundaries, you can ask for input from your kid but when it’s time to enforce the boundaries, you have to be firm. Explain that you love and care deeply about them. Always reinforce your teen’s faith and trust. Try to have small casual talks about drugs regularly rather than long lectures. The conversations are to be positive, and two-way. It makes a great difference when they realize that you are listening to them respectfully. Explain how drug use can have a negative impact on their appearance, health, and physical fitness.
In case you discover that your teen is addicted to drugs, you have to encourage him or her to enter drug rehab. Stress to your teen that they have to turn their lives around and there’s really no shame in signing up for addiction recovery.
People who drink may not be aware of the fact that extreme alcohol abuse can kill. Just as it’s important to realize that a person who drinks excessively should be going to an alcohol abuse recovery program, it’s equally important to know the dangers of alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning refers to the state when a person’s body functions like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate are severely impaired as a result of alcohol consumption. A person who is intoxicated by alcohol can lose consciousness or even die.
When a person consumes alcohol, the nerves that control the gag reflex and breathing are inhibited. The gag reflex is a body mechanism which prevents choking. At a certain level, extreme alcohol abuse can cause these functions to stop. A person who has consumed too much alcohol will usually vomit which is hardly surprising because alcohol irritates the stomach. What’s more worrying is the danger of death by asphyxiation which can be triggered when a person chokes on the vomit. Do not think that a person will recover after a few hours of sleep. From the time the person has consumed the last drink, alcohol in the intestine and stomach still go into the bloodstream, causing the BAC to rise even if the person is unconscious.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
• Slow breathing
• Mental confusion, state of unconsciousness
• Hypothermia, paleness or bluish skin color
• Irregular breathing
Do not wait for all the symptoms to manifest when you come upon a person who’s suffering from alcohol poisoning. You should know that there’s a chance that the person who has passed out will die. There’s a danger that the person will choke on his or her own vomit and the victim’s breathing or heartbeat may stop. Seizures can occur as a result of hypoglycemia or extreme dehydration from vomiting. In some cases, victims may even suffer permanent brain damage or death.
If you have a friend who is fighting with an alcohol addiction, make a real effort to explain the importance of addiction recovery to him or her. A leading South Florida addiction recovery center, we have helped thousands of people overcome their problems, and, we can certainly help you or your friend.
In 2010, more than 1 million people in the United States enrolled in an in-patient drug rehab facility. It’s always a good thing for people to come to terms with their drug addiction and seek treatment. Still, the question needs to be asked: Why do people get addicted to drugs?
Drug addiction is described as a brain disease for the simple reason that drugs cause changes in the brain. Studies have shown that the structure and functions of the brain can be altered by drug use. It explains why an addict seeks for drugs compulsively, even when he or she knows that the consequences can be harmful.
There are many reasons why people start to use drugs. Some people take drugs to feel good or feel better. Some people take drugs to reduce stress. Over time, their dependence on drugs become more intense as their “high” threshold is raised. In the beginning, a normal dose may be enough to achieve a “high” but very soon, they will require more doses, and possibly stronger doses. When they don’t get their regular fixes, they don’t feel quite so “normal” anymore.
According to research, the likelihood of drug addiction is influenced by a person’s biological makeup. Some of the factors include ethnicity, gender, social environment, and developmental stage. In comparison to the general population, adolescents and people with mental disorders are found to be more vulnerable to drug addiction.
In homes and families where the older members are dependent on alcohol or drugs, it’s more likely that the children will go on to be dependent on drugs too. Acquaintances and friends can also draw young people into the world of drugs. The risk for drug abuse is higher for adolescents who are academically or socially poor. Since the brain is still developing at this stage, early use of drugs is another factor of addiction.
For people who are looking for a fresh start, Transitions Recovery Program is a highly effective and accomplished Miami drug rehab facility. Give us a call and we will be pleased to explain our various drug rehab possibilities to you.
At Transitions drug rehab center, we are here to help, but we stress that prevention is preferable. Talk to your children about the dangers of abusing any substance–be it food, alcohol, prescription medication or illegal drugs. Parents sometimes underestimate their influence on their adolescent children. The fact that you are able to discuss something like drug abuse openly will show your children that you have some comfort with tough topics. This can make them feel cared for and less likely to turn to drugs.
According to experts in the state of New Jersey, prescription pills that were designed to help some people become healed of certain conditions are now being considered a “gateway drug” that can lead teens to become addicted to other substances, such as heroin.
“Teenagers, more so in suburban areas, are getting pills from their parents’ medicine cabinets, experts say. When pills become too expensive and provide an insufficient high, they turn to heroin.
Pills don’t carry the same stigma as heroin, so it’s not as big of a deal, experts say.”
It is interesting that experts say that for some teens, prescription drug abuse is less frowned upon than heroin use. According to one person asked to testify, these feeling change over time.
“One confidential informant, via videotape, said his addiction began at 12-years-old. He started swallowing pills, which progressed to snorting, then injecting pills such as OxyContin and Xanax. When his body adjusted its tolerance level, and pills became too expensive, he turned to heroin.
“When you start pills, you never touch heroin. That’s disgusting, you know,” the informant said. “It never crosses your mind until you get to that point.”
So anyone who thinks that kids will just try stuff or that it is better for them to experiment with prescription medications because they are not the same as “street” drugs, be aware that substance abuse of any kind is dangerous. Before a teen reaches the point where prescription drug abuse is not getting them high anymore, there has already been damage to that person’s body and mind.
Bath salts are something that are supposed to help people relax…so why are they all of the sudden in the headlines and being called the next big drug menace?
Sadly, some bath salts contain stimulants and when bath salts are abused can alter a person’s state of mind. They are great when used correctly and harmful when misused. The Washington Post reported that “Some say their effects can be as powerful as those of methamphetamine.” The stimulants in bath salts are not regulated because they were not intended for human consumption. Regulatory agencies could not have imagined that people would turn to bath salts as a way to get high, so they probably saw no need to restrict them.
However, as an expert told the Post:
“The stimulants affect neurotransmitters in the brain…The drugs cause “intense cravings,”…”They’ll binge on it three or four days before they show up in an ER. Even though it’s a horrible trip, they want to do it again and again.”
Abusing bath salts can make a person paranoid, cause someone to have hallucinations, increase heart rate and even lead someone to harm themselves or contemplate suicide.
Once again lawmakers in various states are faced with a dilemma: how can they regulate a harmful substance while not infringing on personal freedoms? Some people will just use bath salts as they are intended. People who sell them don’t want to lose some of their earnings because the product they sell legally is being abused.
You do not have to wrestle with how to regulate bath salts, but if you have children, you can talk to them about not ingesting chemicals. While bath salts are in the news now, there are been other household products that have been used as stimulants.
At Transitions drug and alcohol rehab facility we work with patients to help them find coping mechanisms that do not involve substance abuse. We are here for people who need help with addiction, but we know that it is best to avoid substance abuse. You can help your children and loved ones deal with life challenges so they do not turn to things like bath salts.
While “pain clinics” that use questionable methods to dispense pain medication are popping up in some areas, other jurisdictions are finding that people do not have to go far from home to get their hands on prescription drugs.
Washington DC and nearby parts of Maryland and Virginia have seen an increase in prescription drug abuse among young people. Of all of the things that factor into this rise, ease of availability is probably at the top of the list. If parents do not have any prescription drugs like oxycodone, morphine or Xanax, kids can find these drugs in the homes of aging relatives or other people they know. Kids themselves or their siblings may have prescriptions for painkillers because of sports injuries or a drug like Ritalin because of ADHD.
Prescription pills are much easier to hide than alcohol or marijuana since these are things that a parent can smell after their child had been using. Changes in health, behavior or someone realizing that they are missing some of their pills are indications that someone is abusing another person’s prescription.
Law enforcement officials are doing what they can to talk to parents and school officials about prescription drug abuse. They emphasize that parents really have to be watchful. This can be a hard message for some parents to hear, since they feel very certain that their children would never engage in substance abuse. The issue is that beyond using drugs to escape unhappiness or because one is rebellious, there are also people who simply want to try things out because they are curious.
Talking to your child and also taking precautions to see to it that they do not have access to prescription drugs can make a difference. This may mean not leaving your own prescriptions out and asking close friends or relatives if they safeguard their prescriptions. The campaign that told parents that they are the anti-drug makes a very good point. Research has shown that family bonding activities begun at early ages and continued through the teen years enhanced parents’ positive protective influence as their children matured. And proper disposal of prescription medication can prevent your child or anyone else from gaining access to medicine that was not intended for them.
While we certainly consider cigarettes to be addictive, they are legal. There is a stigma attached to smoking cigarettes, but the habit is not illegal. In recent years, smoking in cigarettes been prohibited in public spaces throughout the world. Still, no matter how much societies may frown on cigarette use, it is not illegal for adults to buy or smoke cigarettes. And in movies and television, cigarettes are still used as a prop to convey that some fictional characters have a certain sophistication.
In contrast, it is illegal to possess, use or sell cocaine,a substance that was once legal and thought to be harmless. In popular culture, cocaine use is not portrayed as casually as cigarette use is since cocaine is an illegal drug. The detrimental effects of it care seen on the screen. Even when powerful fictional characters use cocaine are not shown to suffer, they may be portrayed as violent or unstable.
However, scientists have found that cigarettes and cocaine may have more in common than it would seem. They are on opposing sides of the law but researchers know that it is easy for people to form a habit after trying both cigarettes and cocaine.
“New research from the University of Chicago Medical Center has given new insight into just what makes cocaine and nicotine so addictive. According to the research, the effects of nicotine on the regions of the brain associated with addiction are similar to those of cocaine—both create lasting changes in a person’s brain by affecting similar mechanisms of memory on first contact.”
The researchers are looking for ways to help people who want to end addictions to both of these substances, so they are in no way saying that they equate one with the other. Rather, they are looking for ways to understand how people can become hooked on them and find new ways to break the cycle of addiction.
“We know without question that there are big differences in the way these drugs affect people. But the idea that nicotine is working on the same circuitry as cocaine does point to why so many people have a hard time quitting tobacco, and why so many who experiment with the drug end up becoming addicted.”
When a young athlete who had no history of depression and a lot to look forward to took his own life, he was “one of at least nine U.S. deaths in the last year that authorities suspect were caused by synthetic products designed to mimic marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs.”
That young man did not develop a growing dependence on the synthetic marijuana he tried that would cause him to seek help with addiction recovery, instead he went looking for a gun shortly after he tried “K2” and ended his life. People who take synthetic drugs such as “K2″ have reported paranoia and suicidal thoughts.
According to the Associated Press:
“The Drug Enforcement Administration recently used emergency powers to outlaw five chemicals found in synthetic pot, placing them in the same category as heroin and cocaine.
But manufacturers are quick to adapt, often cranking out new formulas that are only a single molecule apart from the illegal ones.” (Synthetic drugs send thousands to ER)
The manufacturers of synthetic drugs know exactly what they are doing. These drugs are technically legal and often as soon as one chemical compound is outlawed, a new one that is just slightly different is created. Another issue with synthetic drugs is the fact that they do not register on drug tests, so one can take them with the thought that it will go undetected.
However, the father of the young man who took his life last year does not feel as if his son chose the drug he took because he thought he could get over: he feels as if his son and his son’s friends were not aware of the possible consequences. They wanted to experiment and since synthetic drugs are cheap and not hard to get a hold of, they probably figured they’d just have a little fun, get a little buzzed.
This is why it is so important for parents to be aware of what is out there and talk to their children about the dangers of drugs and the dangers of things that seem like drugs. Help your children figure out what they truly enjoy to steer them away from attempting to get high off of substance abuse.
A study conducted by The Partnership at Drugfree.org and the MetLife Foundation concluded that teen drug use is trending in the wrong direction. The 22nd annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) found that marijuana and ecstasy use were up since 2008 and that parents were not sure how to confront these challenges.
“According to the three-year trend confirmed in this year’s 2010 PATS data, there was a significant 67 percent increase in the number of teens who reported using Ecstasy in the past year (from 6 percent in 2008 to 10 percent in 2010). Similarly, past-year marijuana use among teens increased by a disturbing 22 percent (from 32 percent in 2008 to 39 percent in 2010).”
Many parents may already be familiar with marijuana, since it is America’s most abused drug. Since marijuana is a well-known drug that is used in humorous situations in movies and on television shows, teens may see it as a harmless diversion. What they may not realize is that marijuana can impair the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases and cancer. It can also affect lung tissue and blood pressure in some people.
Ecstasy is an extremely addictive stimulant. It has some of the properties of speed and it can also cause hallucinations. And as is the case with many illegal drugs, a person buying ecstasy cannot really be sure of what they are getting since ecstasy may be laces with methadone, LSD, heroin or other drugs.
Some of the lure of ecstasy is that it is thought of as a “party d rug.” Teens may want to try ecstasy because they think it will help them loose control, have fun and feel like a sophisticated party-goer who isn’t afraid to try exciting things. What they may not realize is that ecstasy can really damage memory and a person’s ability to reason and pay attention.
When it comes to talking about drugs and drug abuse, some parents may feel as confused and scared as their teenage children. However, it is important to find a way to address the temptations of substance abuse. Places like Transitions drug and alcohol rehab center are here to help if needed, but prevention is best.
Like Florida, the state of Ohio is also starting to crack down on “pill mills,” which are doctor’s offices and pain clinics where large amounts of prescription pain medication are dispensed for cash. This can be a very lucrative business, since, as a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health notes that “Prescription pain pills are sold on the street for as much as 10 times their retail value.”
The spokeswoman also noted that, “Unintentional drug overdoses are growing in Ohio at a rate much faster than the national average, killing about four people in the state each day on average.” So there are number of people who were looking for a thrill or to alleviate pain who did not realize just how dangerous the substance they were taking could be.
It is also a sad fact that “Statistics show 7 percent of babies born at Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth last year were addicted to drugs, and 9.8 million painkiller pills were prescribed in Scioto County last year.” So not only are people who turn to prescription painkillers for relief harming themselves, they are also harming their unborn children.
As anyone who has gone through the rigors of addiction recovery can tell you, breaking patterns of addiction is very difficult. Imagine what it is like to not even know life without addiction. Babies born with an addiction have to fight for survival in a way that other babies do not.
If you or someone you know is battling addiction, we want you to know that there is not need to fight alone. You can get help from the professionally trained staff at a drug and alcohol rehab center. The article above mentioned that many of the pain mills authorities found were in areas where people had little access to medical care. It is quite possible that some people could have avoided addiction if they had a way to get better medical care. So if you have the opportunity to get professional help with addiction recovery, why not take it? At Transitions, we understand that every addict deserves a fresh start. We work on building strong human will, balancing life style, and putting our patients back on track.