Tag: drugs

What to Do if a Friend or Family Member Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem

In 2014, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration concluded that approximately 22 million people suffered from a substance abuse disorder. In 2016, that number dropped by only 1 million. The same study found that 8.2 million of those people also suffer from a mental health disorder for both years. While living with addiction is hard, knowing someone with that addiction can be even harder. You want to help them, but feel that your voice will fall on deaf ears; especially, if they are your peers or family members. The right strategy will not only give you the confidence you need to speak up but will also save their life.

Be Well Informed

Before taking the plunge into a deep conversation, you should thoroughly know your topic. Many websites will give you in-depth information on the causes and effects of addiction. For example, the SAMHSA.gov website offers yearly data reports on substance abuse. The site also provides material on how to get help for someone who suffers from substance abuse and mental health disorders. In most cases, the addiction is used to hide depression, self-esteem disorders, and other mental health issues that are being suppressed by your friend or family member. You can also call a rehab facility and discuss your concerns with a professional without having to commit to anything. After you have studied on the subject, approach your loved one when they are not under the influence of their addiction. Explain to them how you feel and reassure them that they are not alone in the journey.

Be a Positive Support System

While the urge to take your friend or family member straight to a rehab center or AA/NA meeting is strong, sometimes the best therapy is knowing that you are there for them in their darkest hour. The most frustrating part of addiction for both you and your loved one is understanding the addiction recovery process. Recovering from addiction is different for each person. There will be times of anger, resentment, and withdrawal from your loved one. There will be times where they will mess up. Be patient with them and remember each day is a new day. Of course, if you do have to take them to a rehab center, be sure and maintain that same positivity. Their quality of life in the rehab center is just as important to their treatment as the therapy. Remember, addiction is just a disease, and you are just visiting a sick friend or family member.

When someone has an addiction, that person is not the only person who is affected by the habit. You have suffered the emotional rollercoaster of their addiction. While they are in a rehab center or meeting, take that time to go to Al-Anon meetings. These meetings are structured to help you understand their sufferings and help you learn how to deal with the recovery. Furthermore, plan events to distract your friend or family member during these hard times you know they are weak. The road to recovery might be a long journey, but in the end, their life is worth the trip.

Resources:

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/

https://www.samhsa.gov/

http://www.midwestinstituteforaddiction.org/

5 Reasons To Get Sober and Stay Sober (at least for now)

There are many reasons why someone might begin using drugs or alcohol. It could be peer pressure, curiosity, or a severe case of depression. However, there are just as many good reasons to take charge of your life and learn to embrace sobriety. Here are 5 reasons to get sober and stay that way.

Better Health

Alcohol is well-known for the terrible effects it can have on a person’s liver. Liver damage can also result from abusing inhalants, prescription drugs, ecstasy and heroin. Cocaine and other stimulants can increase a person’s blood pressure and heart rate to dangerous levels. While these effects aren’t always reversible, the sooner a person gets into rehab, the easier it is to minimize damage that might have already occurred.

Fewer Legal Troubles

Sobriety eliminates the possibility of getting caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It can help keep you from losing your driver’s license or ending up behind bars for intoxicated manslaughter. When you give up drugs, you no longer have to worry about getting arrested for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia. You won’t have to rebuild your life again after serving time for a felony.

Improved School or Work Performance

Prolonged drug and alcohol abuse often makes people lazy and disinterested in school or work. Students who frequently get high are less likely to graduate on time or get higher grades. Users are less ambitious than their peers who don’t abuse drugs and unlikely to pursue more demanding careers. Employees who use on the job are more likely to have accidents than those whose minds are focused on what they are doing.

Improved Relationships

Individuals with chemical dependence problems are more likely to have rocky relationships with friends and family. This often stems from the fact that their loved ones lose trust in them. Children of drug abusers are also more likely to suffer from some form of abuse. This can cause problems that are not easily forgotten by those most affected. This widespread emotional pain is one of the biggest reasons people commit themselves to a rehab program.

Better Self-Esteem

A person with a drug or alcohol problem isn’t likely to have a high self-esteem. Intoxication may offer a way to deal with self-esteem issues a person already has. In other cases, the user may begin feeling worthless because they’re unable to control the bad habits that are now ruining their lives. They may conclude that their lives aren’t even worth saving. It’s tempting to want to dull this inner pain by remaining drunk or high.

If you’re even considering sobriety, chances are that at least one of the reasons listed above has resonated with you. You might have some others, as well. Write your reasons down and make a commitment to get yourself into rehab as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the sooner you can begin to create the kind of life everyone deserves.

References

http://casanuevovida.com/

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine

http://fortune.com/2011/02/03/drug-use-at-work-higher-than-we-thought/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/heartache-hope/201306/low-self-esteema-disposition-can-lead-addiction

How to Talk to Modern Teens About Drug Safety

Drug use is an important topic, and all teenagers need to know about dangerous substances and how to avoid them. Drugs have just been named the number one killer of people under 50 in the US. It is a horrible situation, and not helped by images of rappers constantly blowing marijuana smoke or Coachella-bound hippie girls popping Molly on Instagram.

Any teenager can give in to peer pressure and even well-behaved teens may encounter drugs when they are around their peers. Parents know that drugs have several harmful side effects. But before starting the conversation, parents need to know how to talk to their teens about drugs. Here are some modern things you may need to know before monologuing about drugs alone.

Discuss the Negative Side Effects

Teenagers see drugs at parties, but they may not be aware of the negative consequences that come with taking them. Teens need to know that even legal  drugs are dangerous. Some of the health side effects may be irreversible, let alone the mental effects. At school, your teen might only hear good things about drugs from their peers. Show your teenager pictures of people who have been addicted for some time and talk about the ways in which lives can be uprooted by addiction. Your teenager also needs to know that drugs will impair their ability to make good decisions.

Do Not Underestimate Peer Pressure

Parents should not underestimate peer pressure. Strong-willed teenagers can be easily influenced by their friends. Most teenagers have a desire to fit in with their peers. Instead of giving into peer pressure, your teen should make new friends. Point out your teen’s accomplishments. Let him know that they have a bright future. Don’t drive them away from friends, but instead point out alternative options that could be a better use of their time.

If possible, monitor your child’s phone messages to discover negative influences.

Give Your Child Solutions

Despite your best efforts, your child might give into peer pressure. They need to know how to get home safely if under the influence of drugs. Let your kids know that they can call you in an emergency. They should not drive when they are mentally impaired and your teen should understand that their safety is paramount in a bad situation. Be open about having them call, no matter what bad decisions might have been made.

Have More Than One Conversation

The initial conversation about drugs should not be the only one you have on the topic. According to Recovery In Tune, a Florida Treatment Program, addicts usually aren’t well-educated, and if they were, weren’t aware of all the potential dangers before becoming addicted. You should encourage your kids to talk to you about their day. You can ask questions about your child’s friends and activities while you are eating dinner. Your kids are likely to open up to you when they know you are available to them.

In addition to talking with your teens about drugs, you can spend more quality time with them. Family outings are a great way to keep your teen safe. If your teen wants to have a wild party, you should consider hosting the party. When you are the host, you can make sure your teenager is safe while he is having a good time with their friends.

Can I Go To Jail for Smoking Weed?

Every year, more states are voting to legalize Marijuana for either medical or recreational use. Canada legalized medical marijuana in 2001, and Trudeau has recently championed a bill to legalize recreational use. Seemingly everywhere in the Western world, it is becoming easier and easier to find places where one can purchase and consume cannabis legally.

That said, it is important to understand that existing laws are very strict, even in states where possession and use have been decriminalized. Laws vary from state to state (as well as in Canada), and there are some non-legal risks to consider as well. Do your homework before making a decision about whether to try marijuana. Here are a few things to consider.

Local Laws

It is important to know the law in any jurisdiction where you intend to smoke weed. In states where possession is still a criminal offense, a complaint by an individual that leads police to you can, and often will, result in criminal charges and possible jail time.

If it is your first offense or you are in possession of only a small amount of cannabis, a judge may only sentence you to time served. Some states, however, have mandatory minimum sentences for even nonviolent drug offenses that can put you away for months or even years. The best policy is to not light up at all anyplace where it is still considered a crime.

Possession

In many cases, evidence of smoking weed (being high or testing positive for THC) is not enough to land you in jail. If you happen to be high and run into a cop who detains you because he smells it, there is little that can be done to make charges stick if you aren’t carrying. That means, in most cases, you really don’t have to worry about just walking home from a friend’s house after a smoke session. If it’s out of sight and not on your person, jail is highly unlikely.

Being High In Public

If you are out and about creating a public nuisance as a result of being high, you can be arrested for public intoxication and spend at least a night in jail, just like you would if you were drunk in public. Since that’s not standard behavior for most stoners, it’s likely not something you would really need to worry about either.

Other Considerations

While it’s true that the health risks of cannabis use have been tremendously overstated in the past, it’s not true that the risks are negligible. It’s still a psychoactive drug, and heavy consumption can seriously affect users’ neurochemistry – particularly if those users are teenagers whose brains are still developing. The National Institutes of Health reports that marijuana abuse is associated with some level of physical and psychological dependency, contrary to popular belief. This is why legal consumption age has usually been set at 21, as the risk of developing dependencies goes down significantly after brain structures crystalize. Long-term effects can also include memory dysfunction and a decline in visuomotor skills. And similar to other intoxicants, chronic use can contribute to risk of mental illness later in life.

On the other hand, there is some evidence to suggest that mild cannabis use can help fight Glaucoma, reduce the incident of epileptic seizures, and has well-established benefits as a pain reliever. For most patients, cannabinoid pain relievers have a lower incidence of dependency than the opioids that currently saturate the market. And while smoking weed can irritate the lungs and exacerbate conditions like bronchitis and asthma, those effects are mild compared to those of – say – cigarettes.

In short, smoking weed does come with a degree of risk, particularly if you are underage or in a location where it is considered a criminal offense. And just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you should stock up and light up. MARIJUANA ABUSE CAN BE EXTREMELY HARMFUL! If, however, you know the laws in the jurisdiction where you live (or smoke), and play by all applicable rules when it comes to possession and use, possible incarceration for smoking weed is not likely to be a huge concern for you. But, there is so much more you can be doing with your time…so why get stoned in the first place?

References

Canada.ca

Governing.com

Harvard Health Publications

Mo Weed

National Institute of Health

NORML