30 Dec 2012
The use of drugs and alcohol is common among individuals who have a mental health issue. For some, the misuse of substances like prescription painkillers or alcohol is an attempt to self-medicate against the emotional and physical frustrations that come with a mental disorder.
As a few states begin to revel in their freedom to use marijuana legally, experts caution people to consider some of the negative health effects that may occur when using marijuana regularly and heavily. Researchers and public health officials have studied how the body reacts to heavy use of marijuana, compared the effects of smoking marijuana and tobacco, and discovered connections between using marijuana and other health conditions of which users should be aware.
As recently as 2009, a new set of drugs began appearing on the scene. These drugs bore the humdrum names of ordinary household products, but were anything but ordinary in their actual effects. Kids were able to easily get these drugs because they were labeled as household items and sold at the neighborhood quick-market. The ploy of everyday names and the warning that they were not intended to be consumed by humans kept them off the drug enforcement radar for only a short time, but they continue to be difficult to identify, though hopefully harder to come by. Here are some of the most popular:
There are many factors that can increase the risk of developing a substance abuse problem. Family history, social networks and socioeconomic factors are all important influences in whether individuals will choose to initiate and continue drug use. However, none of these factors carry any guarantee that a person will use drugs.
Marijuana proponents tout the safety of using the drug. Yet, while some may be able to use it without experiencing a severe reaction, others who smoke marijuana may find themselves plunged into a serious mental health condition. The fact is that some who use marijuana develop psychosis. Now a recent study helps to explain why one person is at risk while another is not.
Around three people each hour lose their lives due to overdosing on prescription medications. In fact, more people die from prescription medication abuse or accidental overdose than many other causes, launching the problem to epidemic status. Add to that the rising numbers of senior adults who take incorrect dosages of prescription medications and teens or 20-somethings who find the drugs at home and experiment without knowing the dangers.
Not everyone who battles alcoholism appears to be an alcoholic. High functioning alcoholics may give the illusion that they have it all together – they can usually hold down a job and are able to go about their everyday lives while continuing to consume alcohol on the side. But because they are able to be a productive member of society, many in this category struggle to admit they have a problem.
Lindsay Lohan has been touted as a functioning alcoholic, but the troubled actress has certainly had her share of problems. Headlines detailing delinquent behavior and substance abuse seem to follow her wherever she goes. The latest drama places her at a nightclub drinking till the wee hours of the morning – an episode that ended in assault charges for allegedly throwing a punch at another woman, psychic, Tiffany Ava Mitchell. She also faces several charges for a car accident that occurred last June.
Characteristics Of A Functioning Alcoholic
In her book, “Understanding the High Functioning Alcoholic,” Sarah Allen Benton, a licensed health counselor, describes some of the characteristics of a functioning alcoholic:
- Drinking even in the face of negative consequences
- Devoting considerable time to drinking
- Denial about one’s condition
- Consuming alcohol in a dangerous manner such as while driving
One look at Lohan’s record and it becomes apparent that she checks all the boxes. The actress has faced a number of altercations with the law associated with substance abuse including involvement in a high speed car chase, driving under the influence, driving without a valid license, and possession of cocaine. And despite the threat of jail time, the actress refuses to give up her partying ways. Sources claim that she downs two large bottles of vodka each day.
But Lohan is not alone; according to an article found at AllVoices.com, of the 12 million people living in this country classified as alcoholics, up to a third are considered high functioning. Over time, heavy drinking can lead to heart problems, cancer, nerve damage, and liver disease.
18 Dec 2012
Individuals are showing up in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms complaining of recurring vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain. Doctors try to diagnose the common symptoms and find a cause and then a treatment for the individual. Most doctors would not automatically conclude that these symptoms could be due to smoking marijuana, yet researchers have uncovered a relatively new disorder called cannabinoid hyperemesis in which marijuana may cause these sickening symptoms.