Treatment Solutions http://www.treatmentsolutions.com Leading the way, one life at a time. Get addiction treatment and relevant information. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:42:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Prescription drug can reduce episodes of heavy drinking http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/prescription-drug-reduce-episodes-heavy-drinking/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/prescription-drug-reduce-episodes-heavy-drinking/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 05:47:21 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10406 Binge-Drinking-Addiction-TreatmentCompleting alcohol rehab can dramatically improve the life of someone who had previously been addicted to drinking. In addition to treatment, constant communication with support groups and some help with prescription drugs, those who have struggled with substance abuse in the past can continue successfully on their path of recovery.

A new study by researchers as Penn Medicine found that the drug topiramate, which had already been proven to help people following an abstinence-based recovery plan stay committed to their sobriety, may reduce the heavy drinking episodes of problem or binge drinkers as well.

The double-blind study provided one half of 138 heavy drinkers with topiramate, while the other half received a placebo. After about 14 weeks of testing and observation, the group that received the drug reduced their heavy drinking days, while the placebo group’s chances of heavy drinking were five times higher. By the end of the study, the topiramate patients had twice as many days with no heavy drinking at all.

Henry R. Kranzler, M.D., director of Penn’s Center for Studies of Addiction and lead author of the study, told Penn that while this is the first instance of topiramate being used for problem drinkers,the results are promising.

“This study represents an important next step in understanding and treating problem drinking,” Kranzler said. “Our study is the first we are aware of in which topiramate was evaluated as a treatment option for patients who want to limit their drinking to safe levels, rather than stop drinking altogether.”

Kranzler’s study also found that certain genetic subsections of the population may be more receptive to topiramate’s dampening influence on the desire to binge drink. A specific genetic combination found in 40 percent of Caucasians was found to increase the effectiveness of the drug, potentially opening the door for personalized treatments to heavy drinking as more about the drug’s effects is learned in the future.

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Wisconsin mother loses daughter to heroin, turns advocate http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/wisconsin-mother-loses-daughter-heroin-turns-advocate/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/wisconsin-mother-loses-daughter-heroin-turns-advocate/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 03:12:36 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10401 Wisconsin-Mother-Loses-Daughter-To-HeroinWhen a person dies from a drug overdose, the cost is terrible - a life lost, potential squandered. For those family members, friends and loved ones who remain, the toll a death from drugs takes can be just as horrendous but almost impossible to quantify. Mothers and fathers might have many questions that can no longer be answered, and friends may live a lifetime of regret over what could have been. It can be an ironic continuation of the struggle that the departed addict lived in – constant doubt, an inability to move on and a sense of futility over the future.

Bucking the trend
That was not the case for Karen Hale, a 52-year-old mother who lost her daughter to a heroin overdose in 2013. The New York Times reported on Alysa Ivy’s 2013 death in a Super 8 motel in Hudson, Wis., the seventh heroin overdose to occur in eight months in a town of only 13,000 people. Around the time of her daughter’s death, Hale was unable to process her daughter’s inexplicable descent into drug addiction.

“She was in the grip of something beyond her control, but I would get angry and I would feel shame,” Hale said. “My friends would be bragging to me about their kids’ getting accepted to college, and what was I supposed to say? ‘She only put one needle in her arm today’?”

Hale tried to help, of course. At one point, she set up an impromptu detox center in her home to help her daughter get clean. Unfortunately, it was no substitute for inpatient substance abuse treatment.

After her daughter’s death, Hale has changed her attitude on the effect of drugs – in particular heroin – on the youth of Hudson. Instead of losing herself in her grief, Hale now mentors seven young people struggling with drugs. Her experience with her daughter has taught boundaries though – she never gives them money, does not let them in her home and buys them food if they say they’re hungry.

“It soothes some of the guilt, fills some of the void,” she told The New York Times. “Basically, I wish there had been [someone like me] out there helping my daughter.”

A creeping threat
Far away from any traditional hotbed of drug addiction, the town of Hudson encapsulates the spike of heroin usage across the U.S. CNN reported that just from 2010 to 2012, heroin-related deaths increased by 84 percent in New York City. Heroin accounted for more than half of the city’s overdose deaths in 2012.

Like most users today, Hale’s daughter was turned onto heroin after being given a prescription for OxyContin after a dental surgery. That quickly developed into a physical addiction. When the pills ran out, she turned to the cheap and available alternative – heroin.

Hale has made it her mission to fight for more comprehensive legislation regarding drug treatment in Wisconsin. She is lobbying the government for a bill to grant immunity to those who call 911 to help overdose victims. She is also advocating that police and emergency medical technicians be allowed to carry the detox drug naloxone out on patrols.

Despite her progress, Hale has not completely moved past the absence her daughter’s overdose and the heroin epidemic have left in her life. She has not touched anything in her daughter’s room. She has cannot look at the motel she died in. Hale told The New York Times that she has been thinking of going in one day and laying on the bed where her body was found.

“I guess on some level I’m still waiting for her to come home,” she said.

 

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Stories of celebrity addiction encourages others to speak out http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/stories-celebrity-addiction-encourages-speak/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/stories-celebrity-addiction-encourages-speak/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 04:00:18 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10397 Speaking-Out-About-AddictionSince the death of Oscar-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, many individuals – both celebrities and others – have been speaking out about their own struggles with addiction and experiences with rehab centers. It is believed that Hoffman’s death may have been the result of heroin use, which highlights the fact that addiction can happen to anyone. Recently, famed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin wrote an article for Time magazine memorializing Hoffman and discussing his own addiction to drugs.

Sorkin wrote that when he and Hoffman worked on a film together, they would often talk during breaks about their past experiences with drugs, something he referred to as “mini [Alcoholics Anonymous] meetings.” He said that Hoffman understood the impact that celebrity overdoses can have on the world, stating that “If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won’t.” Sorkin explained that Hoffman meant that if one of them died as a result of drug use and it was reported on, it may scare other addicts into becoming clean.

“So it’s in that spirit that I’d like to say this: Phil Hoffman, this kind, decent, magnificent, thunderous actor, who was never outwardly “right” for any role but who completely dominated the real estate upon which every one of his characters walked, did not die from an overdose of heroin — he died from heroin. We should stop implying that if he’d just taken the proper amount then everything would have been fine. He didn’t die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed — he died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a y in it,” Sorkin wrote for the news source.

He added that Hoffman leaves behind a tremendous acting legacy, and his death may also have saved 10 lives. This is why it is important for there to be serious discussions about addiction following tragedies such as this one. Since Hoffman’s death, news sources have been publishing more stories to help people understand the root causes of addiction.

Addiction may be the result of pain
CNN recently published an article by artist Caledonia Curry, who was inspired by recent events to write about her mother’s struggle with addiction. She explained that throughout her mother’s whole life she was addicted to everything from alcohol to heroin. Furthermore, Curry stated mental illness, drug addiction and other psychological problems run in her family, and she grew up concerned that someday she would become an addict as well. However, one day she heard Gabor Mate, M.D., a Canadian physician who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction, who explained that most of the addicts he’s treated had experienced some amount of childhood trauma, which may had contribute to them developing their addiction.

Curry explained that after she heard what Mate had to say, she started researching how trauma in childhood affects people and could possibly lead to addiction.

“[C]hronically traumatized people no longer have any baseline state of calm or comfort. Owing to these chronically elevated stress levels, substances like alcohol and heroin, which offer an intoxicating buzz to the average person, give the chronically traumatized individuals their first taste of soothing and calm, which make them feel normal for the first time in their lives,” Curry wrote for CNN.

She added that once she learned this, she was able to better understand her mother and could forgive her for all of the harm she had caused as the result of her addiction. She said that once she understood the connection between trauma and addiction, she was able to have more compassion for her mother and they were able to open up to one another and begin to mend their relationship.

 

 

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New test distinguishes heroin use from poppy seeds http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/test-distinguishes-heroin-poppy-seeds/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/test-distinguishes-heroin-poppy-seeds/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 04:49:05 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10391 Detox centers are not the only places that offer drug testing services to help people stay clean. In fact, many workplaces require that people are tested for drugs before hiring them, to determine whether they are hiring someone who may be in need of addiction treatment. Over the years, it has been difficult for workplaces to tell whether a person has tested positive for heroin use or not, since tests have been unable to distinguish heroin users from those who have innocently eaten a poppy seed bagel, since these seeds contain a natural opiate.

New-Test-Distinguishes-Heroin-from-poppy-seedsHowever, a recent study published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis shows that researchers have come up with a new test that can solve this problem and prevent people from being able to use the “poppy seed defense” when they actually have a problem with heroin. The researchers worked to identify an acetylated derivative that is found in heroin but not in poppy seeds or medications that contain opiates that people may be taking for legitimate medical reasons.

The scientists found a unique glucuronide metabolite that, if found on a drug test, could be a sign that people are using heroin.

“This research report addresses a longstanding analytical problem in forensic toxicology and workplace drug testing, by identifying a urinary marker that differentiates street heroin users from those whom have ingested morphine present in poppy seeds,” explained researcher Andrew Kicman, Ph.D., from the Department of Forensic and Analytical Science at King’s College, London.

The limits of drug testing

It can be difficult for workplaces to know for sure whether they are hiring a drug addict, since some illicit substances cannot be detected in the body after a mere few days. For example, according to the National Institutes of Health, heroin can only be detected in the body one to two days after use. A test can tell if someone has been drinking alcohol within three to 10 hours of it being consumed, and cocaine use can be detected within two to four days of it being taken, or up to 10 to 22 days if the person is a particularly frequent user of the drug.

Some may view mandatory workplace drug testing as something that furthers the stigma against people who are addicted to illicit substances, but President Obama’s administration does not view things that way. The Huffington Post published an article explaining that the 2012 National Drug Control Report laid out that way that the government feels about testing in the workplace.

“While we believe that employers can use testing as one of a variety of tools to help guide employees suffering from substance abuse disorders into treatment – which as we announced yesterday is not a moral failing but a treatable disease – it is certainly not our policy that every employer in America ought to test and punish employees,” Rafael Lemaitre, spokesman for the administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, told the news source.

Bill Piper, a lobbyist for the Drug Policy Alliance, a group that advocates for drug law reform, told the news source that he believes drug testing has little to do with what goes on in the workplace, but more about what people do on their time off. He noted that marijuana – which is legal or decriminalized in some states – stays in people’s systems for longer than most drugs.

People who are concerned about their abilities to preform their jobs due to their dependence on drugs or alcohol should consider going to an addiction treatment center where they can get the help they need.

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Research suggests age 21 drinking laws save lives http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/research-suggests-age-21-drinking-laws-save-lives/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/research-suggests-age-21-drinking-laws-save-lives/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:27:03 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10384 Research suggests age-21 drinking laws save livesEvery year, thousands of young Americans seek alcohol rehab to regain their control not only over their drinking, but their lives as well. Binge drinking among college and high school students in America remains a serious issue, yet no one is able to identify the source of the problem. In recent years, critics, activists and even a coalition of university presidents have called for the national drinking age to be lowered to anywhere from 19 to even 16 in some states.

The proponents of this plan claim that with a lower drinking age, alcohol will be stripped of its “forbidden fruit” mystique that they propose causes so many young adults to abuse the substance once they reach legal age. However, according to a recent study from the Boston University School of Public Health, rather than being the reason that young adults consume alcohol in excess, the current national drinking age has actually saved close to a thousand lives each year.

Moderation, in all things
Al Jazeera America reported on the BU study which stated that contrary to the popular opinion that a higher drinking age causes more illegal and reckless drinking, age-21 drinking laws havedecreased the number of deaths among drivers 18 to 20 in drunk driving accidents since 1988, when the new minimum drinking age was established.

William DeJong, professor of public health at BU and lead author of the study, also claimed that despite the conception of lower drinking ages in Europe resulting in more responsible drinking among young adults, the opposite may be true. Citing several studies, DeJong indicated that 47 percent of high school sophomore in Europe had been drunk in their lifetimes as opposed to only 36 percent in America, and that “heavy alcohol use” was a more serious problem across the Atlantic than it might be in the U.S.

DeJong compiled statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration that showed up to 900 lives of 18 to 20 years old had been spared a year thanks to the higher drinking age.

Up for debate
Despite rumblings to lower the drinking age in recent years, DeJong believes that doing so would have grave consequences for the fatality rate of incidents related to alcohol consumption in the U.S.

“Lowering the legal drinking age would lead to a substantial increase in injuries, deaths and other negative health-related consequences,” DeJong told the Boston Herald. “I really wanted the public to know the evidence in support of the law is overwhelming. This debate really should be declared over.”

DeJong explained that while a serious problem of alcohol abuse among teens and young adults is certainly present in the U.S., tougher enforcement of current laws would be more effective than lowering the national drinking age when it comes to fostering a culture of responsible drinking habits.

“Just because a law is commonly disobeyed doesn’t mean we should eliminate it,” DeJong states in a press release.

DeJong would rather more educational programs than more access to alcohol for teens and young adults who binge drink regularly.

 

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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s relapse and death are difficult to explain http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/philip-seymour-hoffman-relapse-death-heroin/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/philip-seymour-hoffman-relapse-death-heroin/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 00:59:22 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10375 Philip-Seymour-Hoffman-relapse-death-heroin-addictionThe recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman from an overdose of heroin poses particular problems to those who have achieved the impressive feat of a sustained recovery. Addiction treatment centers and other forms of support are pivotal in breaking the hold substance abuse can wield over a person’s life, and often times, only the care and listening ear of a fellow recovering addict who has experienced the same troubles with drugs can help a person maintain a lifestyle free from the former pressures of addiction.

The power of guilt
Much has been made of Hoffman’s extended sobriety and the resultant tragedy from relapsing in such a dramatic and final way. Some have wondered if a single sip or pill could have launched the actor back into his destructive habits.

Carol Falkowski, founder of Drug Abuse Dialogues, explained that the processes that lead to the betrayal of decades of sobriety are more complicated than that. In fact, they can sometimes be impossible to identify.

“Relapse can be triggered by stress or a traumatic event or some life-changing incident – except when it’s not,” Falkowski told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “In other words, it can be something or it can be nothing in particular; it varies by individual.”

Don’t go it alone
Since even experts cannot pin down just one single factor on why relapses happen, it can be dangerous to assume that individuals can complete the journey to sustained sobriety on their own. According to some, it is often much safer to seek out support rather than remain in isolation.

Recovery.org explained that while men and women seem to suffer setbacks to their sobriety at similar rates, women actually fare better in staying clean due to their increased willingness to seek outside help compared to their counterparts. Addicts can feel severely isolated from others, which is why it is so important for them to feel okay about reaching out to others who understand what they are going through. A fellow sufferer or former addict in recovery can prove to be an invaluable resource because they know the exact toll addiction takes on a person.

While drug addiction can seem like an isolating experience, with rehab centers and willing counselors across the country, there is always somebody to talk to who knows how difficult the recovery process can be. Rather than trying to go it alone, reach out to friends, family or addiction professionals and improve your life today.

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Colorado Marijuana Legislation May Mean More Addicted Teens http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/colorado-marijuana-legislation-means-addicted-teens/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/colorado-marijuana-legislation-means-addicted-teens/#comments Thu, 09 Jan 2014 15:42:01 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10333 x_0_0_0_7050253_300While many people in Colorado were very excited to legally purchase recreational marijuana early in 2014, individuals who run rehab centers were preparing to see an influx of addicts coming through their doors. ABC News reported that drug rehab staff in the state were most concerned about teenagers become dependent on the drug now that it is legal to purchase from dispensaries in the state. While only individuals over the age of 21 are able to purchase the drug, it may still be easier than ever for teens to gain access to it.

The news source spoke to Christian Thurstone, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado and the head of the teen rehab center Adolescent STEP: Substance Abuse Treatment Education & Prevention Program, who explained that the vast majority – 95 percent – of teens who are admitted to the STEP program are referred because of marijuana use. Thurstone explained that when medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2009, he spoke to teens who said that the substances they were using to get high were much more potent than they previously were such as synthetic marijuana called “waxes.”

“Our kids are presenting more severe addictions; it takes them longer to get a clean urine drug screen,” Thurstone told ABC News. “Anecdotally, yes, we’re seeing kids in treatment here who have paranoia and seeing things and hearing things that aren’t there. Adolescent exposure to marijuana [raises] risk of permanent psychosis in adulthood.”

Furthermore, the news source also spoke to Ben Court, an addictions expert at the University of Colorado Hospital Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation, who said that he has also noticed an influx in people addicted to marijuana since 2009. He told one story about being in the emergency room with a teen who was high on marijuana and was having a psychotic episode where he stood on a desk and started screaming. He was so out of control that he was almost shot by police officers.

Responsibility is key
Court explained that many people will likely smoke weed and not experience a problem with it. However, younger individuals who smoke weed may be more likely to develop a dependence than others.
“Ben Court, an addictions expert at the University of Colorado Hospital Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation,” Court told the news source. “If you start under 18, it’s 1 in 6.”

The National Institute on Drug Abuse explained that long-term marijuana use may lead to addiction. NIDA stated that research has shown that an estimated 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become addicted to it eventually. Furthermore, the organization pointed out an interesting study which examined identical and fraternal twins to learn more about marijuana use. They discovered that if one twin used marijuana before the age of 17 and one did not, the one who did had an increased risk of doing more drugs later in life than the other.

Also, in 2009 an estimated 18 percent of people age 12 and older entering rehab centers said that they mostly used marijuana. Most concerning was the fact that 61 percent of people under the age of 15 said that marijuana was the drug they used more than any other. People who are trying to give up marijuana report the same type of symptoms as individuals who quit smoking such as irritability, sleeping difficulties and having extreme cravings.

Parents who believe that their children may be using marijuana should not ignore their guts and should talk to their kids about the danger and potentially addictive nature of marijuana.

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6 Common Alcohol Myths http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/6-common-alcohol-myths/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/6-common-alcohol-myths/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 14:51:37 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10314 x_0_0_0_14081549_300Some individuals who enter alcohol rehab may have ended up developing an addiction to alcohol because, among other things, they believed some of the common and dangerous myths associated with this substance. For example, because alcohol is legal, people may assume that it is safe to consume in large quantities. However, alcohol can not only impair a person’s judgment and his or her ability to drive, but it can also have serious negative effects on the body.

Recently, The Daily Meal and Health magazine pointed out some of the other common myths about alcohol, and how they could be dangerous for the people who believe them.

1. Coffee can sober up inebriated people
One of the most common myths that people tend to believe about alcohol is that if a person is drunk, he or she can drink coffee to sober up. In reality, regardless of whether people drink coffee, alcohol will still remain in their systems and they will still be inebriated. All coffee will do is potentially heighten a person’s senses due to the high caffeine content, making them feel more sober than they actually are.

2. Men and women of the same height can drink the same amount
The Daily Meal explained that studies have shown that men and women of the same height will not get drunk at an equal pace. According to the news source, the studies found that men tend to have more muscle than women on their bodies, and since muscle is mostly water, it dilutes alcohol in the body. This is why when men and women of the same height drink the same amount, women will still get drunk faster.

3. People with a ‘high tolerance’ can drink more
Health magazine explained that many people believe that they have a higher tolerance for alcohol than others, and can therefore drink more. However, the news source spoke to a medical expert who explained that these individuals usually just do not feel inebriated as quickly as others, which can be dangerous because it could lead to them drinking more than they should, since the body is not giving them clues that they have had enough.

4. Only one drink per hour means you can drive
While it is true that for most men, it takes one hour for their bodies to metabolize a drink, the same may not be true of women. This is why Health recommended that after having a strong drink, men wait an hour before driving, and women wait an hour and a half.

5. ‘Beer before liquor, never been sicker’
The Daily Meal explained that the “Mythbusters” cast set out to determine if drinking beer before hard alcohol can make people feel more ill than switching the order of the booze. “If you knock back the same alcohol content by chugging brewskies as you would switching between beer and liquor, you’ll be at risk for the same aftereffects: dehydration, memory loss, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound – in other words, a hangover,” said the “Mythbusters” crew, quoted by the news source.

6. People get less drunk off of vodka
Some individuals believe that drinking vodka will make them less inebriated than darker liquor. However, Health explained that vodka can make people just as drunk just as fast as other alcohols. The only difference is that darker alcohol may cause people to feel sicker in the morning, because they contain impurities called congeners, which may worsen hangovers.

It is important for people to understand that while alcohol is legal, it is dangerous. This is why everyone should consider only drinking in moderation. If you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol, please contact us today.

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Employees Prefer Prescriptions Over Pot http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/american-workforce-prescription-abuse/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/american-workforce-prescription-abuse/#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 06:00:41 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10267 shutterstock_89939380Good and bad news for the American workforce: Fortunately, today’s employees are using less cocaine and marijuana—but prescription drug abuse among this population is growing strong.

According to the Wall Street Journal, medical-testing company Quest Diagnostics Inc. reviewed more than 125 million urine drug tests, mostly from pre-employment screenings, administered from 1988 to 2012. In 2012, 3.5 percent of samples came back positive, compared with 13.6 percent in 1988. (Most positive pre-employment screenings result in denying candidates the job.)

However, positive results for Adderall and other prescription stimulant amphetamines more than doubled between 2002 and last year. Positive results for Vicodin, OxyContin and other prescription painkillers rose 172 percent and 71 percent, respectively, from 2005 to last year.

Companies typically investigate positive prescription test results to ensure the employee has a valid prescription from a physician. This is why 65-80 percent of positive amphetamine and opiate tests are ultimately disregarded! At the same time, many employees are discovering ways to trick and tamper with urine tests, thanks to endless online resources and word-of-mouth advice. Also, many of today’s drug tests fail to detect some of the most widely abused prescriptions, like hydrocodone and benzos.

Regardless of employment status, prescription abuse is a nationwide problem.

The fact that less drug tests are coming back positive for cocaine and marijuana and more tests are coming back positive for prescription drugs falls in line with the nationwide trend in drug use across-the-board. Employers must be aware that prescriptions are being abused by so many, and among so many different industries. Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused category of drugs, behind alcohol and marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. [1]

More statistics:

  • 1-in-3 American adults take prescription medications. [2]
  • 6.5 percent of American adults take four or more prescription medicines. [2]
  • In 2008, more than 36,000 people died from drug overdoses. Most of these deaths were caused by prescription drugs. [3]

Considering these statistics, as OHS Online says, “Most safety professionals would need truly wishful thinking to believe that prescription drug issues don’t exist in their workplaces.” Male, female, young, old, and from laborer to lawyer—addiction does not discriminate, and prescription drugs are certainly no exception.

Are you an employee in need of help?

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, be it abuse of alcohol, painkillers or any other type of drug, there are several workplace resources that may be at your disposal.

Understand your health benefits. Review your health insurance policy. Many policies today provide comprehensive coverage for substance use treatment, including aftercare and counseling.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) provide help and support to employees with substance use, relationships, stress, financial problems or any other issue affecting one’s job. Many companies have EAP professionals on-hand to assist employees with helpful resources, treatment intake and relapse prevention, and at no cost to employees or their families.

Work/Life programs, also known as stress management programs, are programs designed to help bring balance between one’s professional and personal life. These programs vary from company-to-company and can include various offerings, such as flexible work schedules, child care services and counseling.

Understand your rights. If an employee decides to enter treatment and needs time off, he or she should generally be permitted to do so. However, it can be difficult for employers to sift through those legalities. Therefore, those employees seeking treatment should know their rights as an employee.

The FMLA program, or The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees eligible employees the right to take job-protected unpaid leave, or to substitute appropriate paid leave, for up to 12 work weeks (26 weeks for care for a covered member with a serious illness or injury, or substance addiction) in a 12-month period without loss of employment or status for FMLA-qualifying family and medical reasons. Ask your employer if you’re eligible.

Request privacy. It is every employee’s right to ask his or her employer to recognize the need for privacy and confidentiality. This will ensure an easier and less stressful experience, regardless of the involvement of treatment and rehabilitation — though professional treatment should be sought for a drug or alcohol problem.

[1] NCADD

[2] NCPIE

[3] CDC

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Women Recount Their Struggles With Meth http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/women-recount-struggles-meth/ http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/women-recount-struggles-meth/#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 14:49:32 +0000 http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/?p=10284 x_0_0_0_14015536_300Rehab centers across the U.S. can help people overcome drug or alcohol addiction, but it is important for individuals to have a solid plan for how they will stay sober once they leave the safe environment of these facilities. Recently, the Twin Falls Times-News published an article with the stories of local Idaho women who are recovering from serious drug addiction in a halfway house in the area. These women’s stories highlight the struggles of staying sober, and the powerful negative impact drug abuse can take on a person’s life.

The news source spoke to Chantal Kessell, who began smoking marijuana at the age of 12 and moved on to using methamphetamine when she was 18. Nearly 20 years later, Kessell is still struggling with drug addiction. Due to her drug addiction, Kessell nearly lost custody of her children. However, once she made the decision to go to a halfway house, work a 12-step program and stay committed to avoiding drugs and alcohol, her husband rescinded his claim for sole custody. Kessell explained why it is so hard to stop using meth.

“We know [meth] doesn’t work, but it is an instant solution to what I’m feeling and what I’m dealing with,” Kessell told the Twin Falls Times-News . “Since it is an already-traveled road, that rut is there, it never goes away, and it is really easy to step off that higher ground.”

She discovered that in order to truly stay sober, she had to address the past trauma that caused her to turn to drugs in the first place.

A common story
The news source explained that Kessell’s story is similar to that of many women who are living in halfway houses in Magic Valley, Idaho, where meth is a major problem. According to the Idaho Meth Project, 52 percent of Idaho’s inmates claim that meth was a contributing factor to them ending up in jail. Furthermore, this drug is seriously costing the state, which spends $60 million to $102 million each year to put meth-addicted offenders in prison and then treat them.

The Twin Falls Times-News also spoke to Kim Robbins, who has gone to prison twice as a result of meth use. She explained that she had a happy life until an injury led to her taking prescription painkillers and eventually moving on to meth.

“It is still shocking and overwhelming to me to look back on my life and realize that happened to me and I ended up picking up felony charges and being incarcerated,” she said. “But it is the best thing that happened to me.”

Dangers of meth
According to a report conducted by Frontline, over time meth destroys dopamine receptors in the brain, which makes it difficult for people to feel any sort of pleasure. While these receptors can heal eventually, the longer people use the drug the more difficult it becomes. The news source spoke to Richard Rawson, Ph.D., associate director of University of California Los Angeles’ Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, who explained that there are a number of different reasons why people may try meth, but only one reason why they keep doing it – they like the way that it makes them feel.

This is a highly addictive drug that people should avoid at all costs. Individuals who have already become hooked on meth should seek help for their addiction as soon as possible. Over time, meth use can lead to paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, psychotic behavior, extreme aggression, delusions or even death. However, people should know that no matter how long they have been using drugs it is never too late to get help.

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