Are You Losing a Loved One to Addiction?

by Paul on June 21, 2017

Are You Losing a Loved One to Addiction?

It is certainly not an easy thing to watch a loved one become enslaved to drug addiction. Dealing with a person dependent on drug is not a simple thing. This has forced many to leave the affected individuals to themselves to avoid seemingly unproductive stress.

Are you currently losing a loved one to addiction? We present information that can help you better understand how to deal with this problem.

Progression to Addiction

Addiction doesn’t just develop overnight; it develops little by little. Understanding the stages through which this condition develops enables you to know how you can come in to prevent the loss of a loved one. Drug use typically begins with experimentation either as a result of peer pressure among younger individuals or as a way of dealing with pain, loneliness or some other issues. From experimentation, the use of substance may become a regular occurrence. Regular use is not the only thing that leads to addiction, but the amount of dosages as well.

When drugs are used for a long time or doses are increased, the possibility of dependence is amplified. Usage reaches a risky stage where signs of drug use become more obvious, even though users may deny having a problem when their attention is drawn to these signs. At the dependence stage, a drug abuser can be observed to shirk responsibilities and frequently absent himself from work. Everything in their life revolves around whatever substance they are using when drug use reaches the addiction stage, from which point it becomes very hard, almost impossible, to stop drug abuse without professional assistance.

Helping a Loved One Battling Addiction

It is common for arguments to break out between people suffering from addiction and their family and friends on the dangers they are exposing themselves to. However, tact is required in getting a loved one with addiction issue to deal with it. Some suggestions as to how to help include:

Show you care You should try as much as you can to make the person feel you care about them. It is unhelpful getting confrontational. Do not blame them for the addiction, even though they are at fault for it. Voice your concerns and let them know you wish to help them. They should be made to realize that drug use is tantamount to a disease that worsens gradually.

Bring others in – If you are the only one that has been trying to get a loved one with addiction to stop drug use without results, you should consider bringing in others you feel they could yield to. These may be a brother, sister, family friend, pastor or colleagues at work.

Suggest professional assistance – Addiction is not something that can easily be dealt with without the help of an expert. You should consider suggesting to your loved ones about seeking assistance from a relevant professional, agency or treatment center. It helps to have contact information of such ready.

Bargain – You can use something that an addict place high premiums on to get them to seek help if they are foot-dragging. For example, a wife may ask a drug-abusing husband to choose between his family and the drug. Make sure it is something they like so much and do not make the entire thing sound like a threat.

It is best to take action early to help a loved one slipping into addiction.
More significant work, including professional assistance,
would be needed when the stage of addiction is reached.

Get Help Now

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Drugs and Depression

by Paul on February 19, 2017

Understanding How Drugs Can Aggravate Depression

Depression is the concern of not only the sufferer, but also all those who care about them. Its awful effects are not limited to just the mental aspect of your health; it extends to the physical. A link between this condition and drug abuse has been identified. In what way or manner can the use of drugs cause or worsen your depression?

Effects of Depression

Also commonly known as major depressive disorder, depression is a condition that affects many people in the United States with potentially grave consequences. Around 15 million people are affected by the disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It is typically characterized by a variety of unpleasant feelings, such as:

drugs and depression• Hopelessness
• Constant low mood
• Overwhelming sadness
• Isolation
• Guilt
• Physical exhaustion
• Suicidal thoughts

Clinical depression may cause you to sleep little or too much. It can also give rise to digestive disorders among other symptoms. For a person to be suspected of suffering from depression, such must have had a minimum of five of its possible symptoms for at least two weeks.

Depression and Drugs

The relationship between depression and the use of illicit drugs may be compared to that of a vicious cycle – one aggravates the other, and vice versa. These are two different problems, but they can be present at the same time. How? A depressed individual may turn to drug abuse in order to get relief from the unpleasant symptoms, with this exposing them to a graver situation, even though they might get temporary relief by doing this. On the other hand, drugs of abuse, such as cannabis, heroin and ecstasy, are known to alter mood (or brain chemistry) and this could lead to depression, especially when you stop taking them. Another angle to the whole problem is that heavy drug use can predispose you to relationship problems and financial difficulty, with these capable of causing depression.

There is a very serious problem you will need to get emergency help for if the dual diagnosis of depression and addiction is present. This is because there is a higher risk of you committing suicide when that happens. More than 39,000 deaths recorded in the U.S. every year has been attributed to suicides, according to SAMHSA. Mental disorders, such as depression, are the leading cause of suicides, followed closely by drug abuse. You can now understand the grave risk involved when the two are present at the same time.

What is the Implication for Someone with Depression and Addiction Issues?

Many medical professionals, even the experienced ones, find it hard to identify the difference between major depressive disorder and effects of drug use. It is important to get to the base of the role played by drugs in a person suffering from depression and addiction for proper treatment to be possible. This is useful in that it helps to determine whether the symptoms of depression resulting from drug use are temporary. It will also assist in determining whether the use of antidepressants would be advisable.

If you are battling with depression and drug abuse at the same time, you should waste no time in seeking professional assistance. Your doctor is in a better position to help or he may arrange for you to see a specialist, if the problem is beyond what he could comprehensively handle. Rehabilitation centers can also help, at least with the drug use aspect.

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Legal Drugs Overdose

by Paul on February 12, 2017

Overdose Caused by Legal Drugs

 

legal-drugs-overdoseThe safety of legal or prescription drugs are commonly taken as a given. You are making a mistake if you are one of those that still see them that way!

For some time now, legal drugs that were thought to be very safe have been observed to produce sometimes grave medical consequences. Gone are those days when you think illicit or recreational drugs are the ones that are taken in excessive amounts. There is rising incidence of overdose caused by legal drugs.

Legal Drugs Overdose

You will be amazed at the numbers of medications that would be found in the drug cabinets of many homes in America, where there now appears to be an entrenched medical drug culture. This somewhat makes occurrence of an overdose more likely. The legal drugs that are often taken in excessive amounts are painkillers. Many of these painkillers are prescription opioids, such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (OxyContin), which are known to be highly addictive. The temptation of overdose on these legal drugs arises after using them for a while. Due to tolerance, you start to feel you need to use more to be able to get desired benefits.

In addition, some people in the population have now started considering legal, prescription drugs as an alternative to illicit drugs for getting “high.” So they often use legal drugs in high amounts to get that euphoric feeling. You expose yourself to grave consequences when you overdose with these seemingly safe medications.

Dangers of Legal Drug Overdose

Widely varied symptoms may be observed when there is an overdose of legal drugs. The common ones include:
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Dizziness
• Abdominal cramps
• Confusion
• Hallucinations
• Seizures
• Breathing difficulties
• Coma

The most frightening possibility is that an overdose caused by legal drug could lead to death. You may be quite shocked to learn that drugs now kill more people in the United States than car crashes. Also, a higher number of these drug-related deaths are often caused by prescription drugs. It was observed in an analysis by The Times of 2009 death figures that of the 37,485 drug-related deaths recorded abused prescription drugs caused the greater number. Again, around 52 percent of the 44,000 that died from drug overdoses in 2013 were found to have used prescription drugs.

Men have been observed to be more likely to die from drug overdose. But seniors are even more likely to die from an overdose of a legal drug, particularly those who are commonly alone.

How to Avoid Overdosing on Legal Drugs

The best approach to avoid falling victim of overdose caused by legal drugs is to stay away from them by all means. You should instead focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy foods such as fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, raw diary and nuts. Processed foods and refined sugars should be avoided. You should exercise more and make efforts to keep stress under control. By doing this, you will significantly cut down on the need to use drugs at all.

As you can now see, illicit drugs are no longer the runaway leaders when it comes to cases of overdose. Legal drugs are increasingly being used in excessive amounts with awful medical outcomes. The abundance and ease of accessibility of these drugs have somewhat turned out a curse than blessing. Caution is advised.

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Drug Overdose

Numerous deaths have been attributed to drug overdose and even more people are still reported dying from the problem. It affects both young and old and can be the result of different factors. Overdose can happen at any time. What happens when there is a drug overdose and what can you do to deal with it?

Understanding Drug Overdose

Put simply, drug overdose refers to excessive amount of a drug. It occurs when an individual takes an amount of a medication or substance that is higher than the recommended level. It could be an accidental or an intentional act. However, people react differently to drugs. The amount that might be considered safe for a person can produce unpleasant reactions in another due to differences in sensitivity. Factors that determine the likelihood of an overdose (and differences in sensitivity) include:

• Age
• Weight
• Height
• Health status
• Level of hydration in the body

There are usually unpleasant side effects when there is an overdose and the particular ones that are observed will depend on the particular drugs taken. The symptoms of an overdose include:

• Hallucinations
• Confusion
• Dizziness
• Diarrhea
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Breathing difficulties
• Seizures
• Coma

Depressants such as heroin may cause you not to wake, even when kicked, due to their ability to slow heartbeat and breathing rates. Cocaine and other stimulants produce dire consequences, including deaths. While the focus is commonly on recreational drugs when talking about overdose, even prescription medications that are thought to be safe also give rise to cases of overdose, with some of these leading to deaths.

Overdose Can Strike at Any Time

Perhaps, the scariest thing about overdoses is that they can happen at any time, regardless of the type of drug that is involved. As previously mentioned, people react differently to drugs. An overdose can occur to a person after using illicit drug for a long time. It can even happen to someone who is just experimenting with a substance for the first time. So you need to watch it whenever you are considering the use of a drug. The consequences can be overwhelming.

Dealing with an Overdose

It is important to maintain your calm if there is an overdose. Do not panic! An overdose doesn’t lead to death in all cases. The drug naloxone can be easily used to deal with the problem in some cases, such as when opiate substances are involved. But if the side effects of your overdose are severe or you are worried, you should not waste time to seek medical attention.

drug overdose antidoteYou are very likely to need professional help with certain drugs because the receptors involved have not yet been identified, so there is no specific antidote for them. Ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol are some of the drugs of abuse that would require more targeted treatment to be dealt with when there is an overdose. The affected person should be placed on his or her side while the arrival of a medical emergency team is expected.

As can be observed from the foregoing, treatment for an overdose will depend on the drug involved. The dose of the drug, how it was taken, and what it was taken with will also be considered in determining appropriate medical care. To this end, full medical assessment may need to be done before deciding on the best course of action. The most effective way to guard against overdose from illicit drugs remains to avoid using them at all.

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Addiction Causes Personality Changes

by Paul on February 1, 2017

addiction personalityOne of the questions that loved ones of people suffering from addiction often find themselves asking is what has happened to that awesome person they used to know. Granted that nothing might have changed physically, drugs can so transform you that your family and friends will find it hard to relate with you as they once did. The truth is: addiction causes personality changes. But what are these and how do they happen?

Neurotransmitters and Addiction

Researchers have observed that changes in levels of neurotransmitters in the brain can cause personality changes due to drug abuse. Ethanol has been observed capable of displacing endorphins and enkephalins in the brain and pituitary at binding sites thereby causing a reduction in levels.

There is evidence that a decline in the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine results in people affected turning to drugs, including alcohol. This they do to enjoy the feeling of euphoria that results from a rise in the levels of certain neurotransmitter.

Continued use of these drugs eventually leads to addiction, at which point almost everything in your life revolves around getting a “fix.”

Personality Changes that Can Result from Addiction

It is possible for some people to easily detect when a person has become dependent on drugs. However, not everybody can easily tell the changes. The following are some of the traits you may observe in a person suffering from drug addiction.

Risk-taking

Drugs can make a person feel unconquerable. An unassuming person can suddenly become wild and fierce after using them. You will find yourself taking greater and unreasonable risks after using drugs. The substances promote high-risk behavior, such as unprotected sex, and violence.

Conversational hints

Drug users can become talkative from time to time since drugs drive highly energetic behavior. You should suspect drug abuse when you see someone that is usually shy become very social and exceedingly talkative all of a sudden and then return to their shell a short while later. Addicts commonly talk gibberish and are unable to complete a thought, jumping from one topic to another.

Loss of interest in relationships

addiction personality changesWhen there is addiction, the abused substance becomes the focal point of the user’s life. Addicts lose interest in all the relationships they used to maintain, including personal and professional. They pull away from social relationships to be alone or with fellow recreational drug users. It should be noted, though, that withdrawal from a social circle can be caused by other issues as well.

Frequent disappearance

Related to the above, people suffering from drug addiction could be observed disappearing from time to time. They might tell others that they need to use the bathroom or attend to some other urgent tasks. Drug use should especially be suspected when they come back from such disappearances bizarrely happy.

Loss of pleasure

You may find that you no longer find your favorite activities and pastimes exciting after using drug for a while. This is more likely to be the case when the drug of abuse is cocaine in that it interferes with the functioning of parts of the brain responsible for pleasure.

Addiction not only impacts negatively on your life, but also those of your loved ones. It causes you to isolate yourself from others so as to indulge in your risky habit. Thankfully, there are treatment options that can help to roll back these unwelcome changes.

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Mood Swings Caused by Cocaine

by Paul on January 21, 2017

Cocaine is a very popular substance among recreational drug users the world over, who crave for that “amazing” feeling of intense happiness. It has been estimated that around 25 million people in the United States will have used the drug a minimum of one time in their lifetime. But a lot more lie behind the much-craved “high” feeling users usually want at all costs. There are numerous dire consequences from the use cocaine, among which are mood swings.

What is a Mood Swing?

cocaine-mood-swingsA mood swing is described as a sudden or extreme change in mood. It can happen at any time and anywhere. Mood swings can be on a low scale or wild in nature.
Many people experience mood swings without any issues whatsoever.
They are considered necessary for the ability to solve problems. Most cases fall in the mild-to-moderate range of fluctuations in emotions. Mood swings only become problematic when they are so intense that they interfere with quality of life or regular activities and relationships.
Nasty swings are characterized by unexpected alternations between feelings of euphoria and depression. A bipolar disorder is suspected when severe mood swings lasts for at least four straight days.

Cocaine Causes Mood Swings

There are several factors that could cause mood swings to occur. They are mostly associated with bipolar disorder and clinical depression. Conditions that disrupt the functions of the nervous system, such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are also among possible causative factors. In addition, the abuse of drugs such as cocaine has been identified among the many things that can trigger mood swings.
How does cocaine cause mood swings? It is no secret that this popular recreational drug alters brain chemistry. Imbalances in one or several neurotransmitters in your brain can cause significant oscillations in your mood. When the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain are knocked out of balance, even slightly, you could find yourself battling with mood swings.
Cocaine can make you a hard person to relate with due to dramatic mood swings. One moment you find yourself in a state of intense happiness and the next you descend into a state of paranoia or depression. With cocaine use, you are hardly your normal self as the drug will virtually be pushing you between two extremes of feelings, depending on whether you have had your fix or not.

You Expose Yourself to Significant Risks with Cocaine Use

The coca extract is a very dangerous substance to use. The danger goes well beyond just uncontrollable mood swings. It predisposes you to some serious health conditions such as psychosis, stroke and heart attack. The danger increases when it is combined with other drugs. A combination of cocaine and alcohol can be highly lethal. The recreational drug is mostly injected and this creates room for possible hepatitis and HIV infections when needles are shared – that happens often when a group of abusers are together.
Cocaine can turn you to a stranger before your loved ones as a result of mood swings that makes it hard for them to see the “normal” you. It is highly addictive thereby making it hard for you to wean yourself off it without assistance. This explains why you see many users continue using it even when they become aware of inherent dangers.

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Four Signs of Alcoholism

by Jo on February 10, 2014

Alcoholism is synonymous with dependence on alcohol to feel good. It is usually characterized by excessive consumption of drinks and those involved are helpless to do anything about it, even when this may be affecting their loved ones.

What Really is Alcoholism?

 

As previously noted, alcoholism connotes dependence on alcohol, which is why it is sometimes referred to as alcohol dependence syndrome. Individuals suffering from this condition usually find it quite difficult to refrain from taking alcoholic drinks at every available opportunity.  Read More

Tips on How to Eliminate Substance Abuse

by Jo on December 28, 2013

Tips on How to Eliminate Substance Abuse

 

drinkingProblems

Substance abuse is a phenomenon that is not restricted to a particular age group; it permeates different groups in our modern society. Just as we have adults dealing with substance abuse issues, so do we have teenagers having same also. It is not a really nice thing to be dependent on any addictive substances such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin and others with regards to the frightening consequences that often accompany them.

What do you know about Substance Abuse?

It is possible you already know that substance abuse refers to the misuse or improper use of addictive substances. But are you aware that so many people have been sent to their early graves because of engaging in such habits? For example, more than half a million deaths have been attributed to drug abuse in the United States. It even gets more worrisome when you realize that the number of casualties of substance abuse appears to be on the rise every year. Read More

Tips for Effective Alcohol Rehabilitation

by Jo on December 15, 2013

Tips for Effective Alcohol Rehabilitation

 

alcohol22Alcohol addiction is mostly an offshoot of socializing or wanting to belong. Most people, especially men, find it rather hard, perhaps embarrassing, to abstain from alcohol when they see their friends taking it. This is often the genesis of dependency on alcohol that comes into play along the line. If you happen to find your life in a situation like this, do not lose hope as recovery from addiction is a possible thing. You will find here some ideas or tips for effective alcohol rehabilitation.

Choosing the Right Facility

Some factors need to be well considered before choosing any facility for the rehabilitation of an alcohol or drug abuser. One of them is the method used by the treatment facility under consideration. Some alcohol rehabilitation centers use generic technique in the treatment of patients. Ideally, however, the method to be used needs to be matched to the need of each patient based on the extent of their addiction and age among other relevant factors; a facility that guarantees this should be chosen. Failure to do this could bring about occurrence of a relapse later on after obtaining treatment. Read More

Heroin Addiction Treatment

by Jo on February 26, 2013

steph-injecting-heroin-ottawa-november-2010Heroin Addiction Treatment

 

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs available in the United States today, with little medical usefulness. Also called diamorphine, it was originally synthesized by C.R. Alder in 1874 from a naturally occurring substance called morphine; which is obtained from the opium poppy. Heroin, as an opiate analgesic, is used in the treatment of severe pain such as that related to heart attack. While it can be said that this drug was originally meant to serve as a potent pain reliever, it has become popular among addicts for all the wrong reasons.

 

Not quite long after it was discovered, opiate addicts quickly realize the euphoric sensation that heroin use can give, and this led to a surge in the use of the highly addictive drug. Read More

Going Nowhere Fast

December 30, 2012

“Going nowhere fast” is a description of the millions that are on stimulants, particularly methamphetamine. The Meth Task Force has done an excellent job of shining a bright light on the horrors of methamphetamine abuse. Those ugly pictures of some pitiful users are sure to stop a lot of people from ever trying the stuff. […]

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FDA Suicide Warnings For Antidepressants

December 30, 2012

On Sept 14, 2004, an FDA panel voted 18 to 5 to require manufacturers of all antidepressants to add black box warnings to their product labeling. A month later, the FDA adopted the panel’s recommendations. The warning reads in part;  Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. A “black box” warning is the […]

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Addiction and Addiction Treatment

December 30, 2012

Addiction and Addiction Treatment   When talking about addiction, it is a possibility that the particular thing to which an individual is addicted to may not be immediately known. However, it is common that what may come to an individual’s mind at the mention of addiction is that with regards to drugs or substances like […]

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Useful Tips for Successful Heroin Rehab

December 30, 2012

Useful Tips for Successful Heroin Rehab   A lot of unhealthy habits that are ravaging the human population these days, perhaps, may be attributed to the fast-paced nature of our modern society. The demands of today’s world sometimes take their toll on people such that they find themselves engaged in one noxious habit or the […]

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Why Addiction Treatment Centers are Indispensable for Abusers

December 29, 2012

Why Addiction Treatment Centers are Indispensable for Abusers   It is a known fact addiction problem is one of the major ones that many people, especially in individualistic societies, have found themselves entrapped in. The real issues with these addictions are ruinous consequences they can have on abusers. The nature of these side effects has […]

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Effective Drug Treatment – Usefulness and Options

December 27, 2012

Effective Drug Treatment – Usefulness and Options   The frequency of addiction problems in our society today is quite troubling and has necessitated having effective drug treatment to help abusers break away from unnecessary and dangerous drug addiction. The rate at which addiction issues keep surfacing in today’s world is a serious source of concern; […]

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Useful Tips for Eliminating Alcohol Abuse

December 26, 2012

Useful Tips for Eliminating Alcohol Abuse   Alcohol is a highly intoxicating substance with damaging effects on its consumers. Most people who take it often do so just as a way of relaxing, calming their nerves. But in some cases, these individuals later on develop dependence on alcoholic drinks, and it is at this stage […]

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Drug Rehab and Choosing the Right One

December 23, 2012

Drug Rehab and Choosing the Right One   The challenges of current times have caused some people to resort to substance use as a way of getting by, thereby exposing themselves to the problem of addiction. And substance abuse comes with many grave consequences, which makes it important to find a way out of it. […]

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Army Psychiatrist Kills 12, Wounds 38

December 20, 2012

Army Psychiatrist Kills 12, Wounds 38 An Army psychiatrist about to be shipped overseas opened fire at the Fort Hood, Texas, Army post Thursday, November 5, 2009 on a rampage that killed 12 people and left 38 wounded in the worst mass shooting ever. The name of this psychiatrist is Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. The […]

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Victims of Oxycontin Addiction

December 20, 2012

Victims of Oxycontin Addiction   The manufacturer of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, recently agreed to pay $634.5 million in penalties and fines. In addition to the fines, several former executives of Purdue Pharma agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges. The penalty is one of the largest ever paid by a drug company. However, this does […]

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