I recently read an article asking why we just don’t understand drug addiction. As if that lack of understanding was the source of the problem. I think drug addiction is quite well understood – the real problem is that we don’t know what to do about it. In fact, even finding a drug addiction rehabfacility that understands the real solutions is difficult.
But finding a solution to keeping your kids off drugs may be easier than you think.
This week, the news headlines that caught my eye had to do with a fairly popular drug in the UK called Mephedrone – a.k.a. on the street as “Meow Meow” and “Bubbles”. This drug is popular right now because it’s legal there. And, the reason there have been headlines all over the world is because two teenage boys recently died from this drug’s “legal high”.
It’s a club drug that people actually snort like cocaine. It looks a lot like cocaine and you can purchase it legally within the UK in gram increments. You can also purchase it online and it will be delivered to you the next day, as long as you somehow prove that you’re over the age of 18.
Alright, so with that said, I have one question; How could it possibly be legal (in the UK) to snort a drug that resembles cocaine and makes you high? I cannot wrap my head around that one. And, to make matters worse, an 18 year old and a 19 year old, both fit and healthy according to their families, collapsed after using the drug, and died.
I visited a website that sells Mephedrone as well as two other powder substances used to get high and read that they are being sold as “plant food” and not fit for human consumption, but you can consume it at your own risk. The website also went on to show people’s experiences with getting high as well as photos of people snorting the drug and partying.
It’s all fun and games until someone dies, right? I just have to say that I think it’s entirely irresponsible to allow people to consume and sell this drug! No one has any idea of its effects over time, how much it would take someone to get ill from it or possibly overdose, etc. And, we now know that it’s not something to fool around with.
And, besides everything that I’ve mentioned, it resembles other street drugs that we as a culture need to steer clear of altogether. We have enough problems as it is with the drug issues that exist without adding Mephedrone. Let’s not add another drug to the mix! Get your teen into a drug rehab program before they discover another way to high.
Great – now we’ve got drugs that cause addictive behavior. And I’m not talking about an inherently addictive drug like OxyContin or Xanax. The specific drug in question here is Mirapex, used to treat Parkinson’s Disease, and it can cause addictive behaviors like gambling and compulsive eating.
It’s true, a lot of drugs save lives. But there are so many successful methods, other than drugs, for dealing with many of our problems. Pain can be addressed with certain nutrients and natural analgesics (and if you have to get into drugs you can certainly find some a lot less dangerous than things like OxyContin – OxyContin abuse has probably put more people into a drug treatment center than heroin (of course, OxyContin IS heroin, so what can we expect?)
And you can also get physical therapy, chiropractic, or acupuncture – which I understand does wonders for pain. My father got over debilitating hip pain in just two acupuncture sessions. And it’s never come back!
There are also nutrients and natural remedies to address depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and any number of things. These three can often even be addressed by just doing some exercise. But, instead, we put up with drugs, their outrageous side effects, and the possibility of drug overdoses, interactions, reactions, and so on.
What a mess.
A large percentage of people going into a drug treatment center program these days have a problem with prescription drugs – and they often started out by being prescribed the drugs by their doctors.
In some European countries, where people are much healthier than Americans, there is far more emphasis on natural remedies and prevention. Hopefully, Obama’s new health care plan will address some of these issues.
In the meantime … if you’re having trouble coming off a drug like painkillers, anti-anxiety or depression meds and would like to see if you can resolve your problems without them, contact us to find out if there’s a drug treatment center that can help you.
In last night’s press conference, Obama talked quite a bit about health care. I wonder if he knew Oklahoma’s funding was cut for their prescription drug monitoring program? I also wonder if he knows about the nation-wide problem with prescription drug addiction or the number of people dying from prescription drug overdoses. I doubt he’s had the chance to dig that deeply into things yet – having only been in office for 63 days with some pretty serious problems to address.
Obama wants higher quality health care at a lower cost. Cutting prescription drug monitoring funding is a move in the wrong direction. Not only does the monitoring stop people from doctor shopping – which allows them to get the drugs they need to feed their own habit AND fuels the illegal trade in prescription drugs that is driving people into an addiction treatment center to address their addiction – it can also prevent people from getting the wrong medication and being prescribed drugs that are harmful when taken with other drugs they’ve also been prescribed.
Florida is a perfect example of what lack of a prescription drug monitoring program can do. It’s overdose deaths have surpassed other high cause-of-death categories combined – and we’re talking about overdosing on prescription drugs, not street drugs.
You can make sure Obama’s aware of this problem. Millions of families across the country have been damaged by prescription drug addiction, and prescription drug errors. Many have lost their loved ones because of this problem. Go to whitehouse.gov and write to him – let him know there’s a problem. He’ll be interested in solving it – it directly aligns with solving our health care problems.
look at Florida – the nation’s pill state – no monitoring plan – anyone can get anything and the overdose deaths are skyrocketing, prescription drugs are killing more people than other high cause of death categories combined), and helps prevent people from getting the wrong medication or being prescribed drugs that will hurt them if they take them with the other drugs they’ve also been prescribed.
A waste of money, and lives.
A 41-year-old British athlete, a football legend in England, known as Gazza (real name Paul John Gascoigne) has been getting his body back in shape while in rehab and is looking at taking on the Triathalon event – a swim of 2.4 miles, followed by a bike ride of 112 miles and then running a marathon. One right after the other. He’s thinking it will be the perfect follow up to the addiction treatment center help he’s been getting, and may be just the challenge he needs to keep him on the straight and narrow.
What’s happened to Gazza is interesting. Being a ‘former’ legend can’t be too comfortable. When you’re playing that hard, and winning, you have to find something to replace it when you quit.
Just as when people retire at 65 – whether they’re ready and willing to or not – quitting something you’ve been doing as a major part of your life for years isn’t easy. You have to replace it with something so you have a sense of purpose.
One of the major things done in a successful addiction treatment center would be to help someone find a purpose, something they’re passionate about. People sometimes turn to drugs when they don’t have that in their life. It’s what makes life worth living.
A good treatment center will also help the person get in shape physically. Once your body starts to feel better, you want to take better care of it and do more with it. It becomes an asset instead of a liability.
It seems that this exact thing has rehabilitated Gazza’s purpose.
If you have a family member on drugs or alcohol, make sure that the help you get for them includes something that includes something like this in their program. It’s not enough to simply stop taking drugs; there has to be more to life for full recovery to be successful.
With growing prevalence of armed robbers looking for OxyContinin pharmacies, it’s likely that many pharmacies will follow the lead of pharmacist Larry Bailey who no longer keeps the drug in his store. Patients who want to get their prescriptions filled have to wait until the next day. Bailey says having OxyContin on the premises is a liability.
Bailey sees the evidence of prescription drug addiction every day. At least once a day people come to him to fill their OxyContin or Vicodin prescriptions early, and more than once a month people try to alter their prescriptions.
How does prescription drug addiction start? For some it starts with a relatively minor problem like headaches, as in the case of wife and mother Julie Steiner who, one year after her doctor wrote the prescription, was popping 20 pills a day. That’s about $100 a day habit. If she were taking OxyContin, the cost would more likely be in the $600/day range.
How do people support such habits? Certaintly not too many can afford it without changing something about their lives. Steiner went doctor-shopping, and sent her friends out to do the same. Others also turn to a life of crime – like armed robbery of pharmacies and worse.
It took a lot to get Steiner to stop taking Vicodin. She had a seizure when she dropped her kid off at a bowling alley, then spent two days in the hospital and two weeks in rehab – not enough time to handle all the issues behind the addiction.
So, she relapsed. But not for long. Her desparate husband finally threatened to get the police involved and she quit once and for all. Imagine having to call the police on your wife.
But she still has the headaches and takes over the counter drugs for them.
As an aside, headaches happen for a reason. How much did her doctor do to find out that reason before he prescribed a highly addictive drug that turned life for her and her family into a years-long nightmare?
Make sure you look for all other options before you decide to take prescription painkillers. And if you have a doctor who refuses to send you to chiropractors, acupuncturists and other types of alternative medicine practitioners, get rid of him.
Don’t think prescription drug addiction can’t happen to you. It happens to people from all walks of life. And if it already has happened to you or someone you love – get into an addiction treatment center for help.
If you would like your college-aged kids to drink less, make alcohol tougher to get. It’s working with adults – both social drinkers and problem drinkers drink less when taxes on alcohol are higher.
When my teenage (and then young adult) son was drinking too much, but still living at home or dependent on me, I made money very scarce for him. I monitored his spending. He wasn’t working, his money came from me, so I did my best to make sure he didn’t have any. At least, not for alcohol. When he needed money he told me what it was for, I gave it to him, and he verified that’s what he bought with it.
Sounds cruel perhaps, and maybe even stupid, but it worked. He drank much less.
But it doesn’t work once they have money. It also doesn’t work if their friends do the buying. If there’s an alcohol addiction going on – they can’t, don’t, or won’t stop themselves from drinking, even if they don’t drink all day every day – then they need help through an addiction treatment center.
I know plenty of families whose kids need alcohol rehab and most of them don’t even realize it. Drinking it so acceptable, parents expect their young adult kids to drink. It’s ‘what kids do.’
But, you know, it’s not ‘what kids do’. Unless they’re influenced to do it. If their friends drink, their parents drink, their role models drink then, yes, they’re going to think it’s okay and maybe even ‘cool’.
A good alcohol rehab program will set them straight on that.
The 8th, 10th and 11th-graders in Fond du Lac (Wisconsin) county took a survey – 16% admitted to having taken prescription drugs without a prescription in the year prior. That’s almost one out of every five kids. To address the problem, the county has formed a task force to educate 6th graders about the dangers of prescription drugs, including the very real potential of prescription drug addicton, overdose, etc.
They’re hoping to nip the problem in the bud so as the kids get older they’ll refuse the drugs when offered to them, or won’t hear about them and check out their parent’s medicine cabinet so see what they can find.
The high school drama class is participating – they’re putting on skits that demonstrate the problem.
Of course, that doesn’t do anything for the older kids currently taking them, or for the young adults who tend to take even more prescription drugs in college if they started earlier.
Prescription drugs can be very difficult to quit taking – the withdrawal effects are sometimes even worse than street drugs, and it can be dangerous. Which is why doctors and drug labels warn that you should not try to stop taking some of them without help.
Many of those young adults will need help through an addiction treatment center. Any parent who knows their kids are taking them should look for help right away. People tend to think that prescription drugs are safe because they came from a doctor or because their parents take them. Just one pill can be bad enough – you never really know how someone will react to a particular drug – but because they know nothing about the drugs and think they’re safe, they can easily take higher dosages or combine them with other pills – both of which can be deadly.
Hopefully, the task force will also get that point across and prevent a lot of disasters. Those whose kids are already taking them should get some addiction help.
Methamphetamine addiction is one of the worst drug problems around. Meth can change a healthy, nice-looking person into a wreck in a couple of months. Longer than that, and they can literally become unrecognizable. Check online for before and after methamphetamine shots. It’s clear that some of those people will never look the same again.
A lot of communities have started campaigns to get rid of meth. They educate the general public, teachers, parents and officials on the signs of meth use and what can be done about it.
There are various tools to help you do the same in your community. The movie Crystal Darkness is a good one. It consists of about 75 interviews with meth addicts and others and has graphic images showing what can happen to someone on meth. They’re pretty startling, but they’re real. And people need to know that anyone who messes around with meth is going to look like that- and live like that.
If you want help get rid of meth in your community, get a copy of the Crystal Darkness DVD and take it upon yourself to get it shown at schools, etc. Also get in touch with your local government to see what other community showings can be arranged. Once government officials see it, they’ll want to help.
Anyone who knows someone who’s using meth should get them into an addiction treatment center as fast as possible. Meth takes it toll quickly and the worse it gets, the lower the chances of that person ever looking the same again.
Washington state is having trouble with prescription drug addiction and abuse, but has not yet implemented the approved prescription drug monitoring plan that would allow doctors, pharmacists, law enforcement and other officials to see if people are ‘doctor shopping’ – going from one doctor to another faking symptoms to get drugs, which are then often sold to others. The reason? They don’t have the $680,000 it will cost to get it rolling.
My suggestion? Do an assessment of how many prisoners are incarcerated for non-violent drug-related crime, get them out of jail and into an addiction treatment center where they can get help, and use the money they saved to put the database in place.
It’s far less expensive to get someone through rehab than keep them in jail – not to mention the fact that they’ll be helped to get off drugs, which is often the reason they committed the crime in the first place, turn them back into contributing members of society, cut down on the overall drug use in the state, and lower the crime rate in general.
Why aren’t more states doing this?