24 Nov 2012
On the 6th of November, Colorado, Washington and Oregon decide whether to pass measures to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The fairly common use of the drug for medical purposes has undoubtedly spurred on this move, and Colorado is thought to be the most likely state to approve their bill. A Denver Post poll put support for the measure at 51 percent, with 40 percent opposing it. The issue is a very complex one, but some analysts claim that legalization measures will be common in states within five to seven years, so learning the pros and cons is extremely useful for when it comes to the polls.
Since 2005, nine people have died at the Narconon Arrowhead center in Oklahoma, and three of them have been in the last year. The rehab center helps clients through withdrawal according to the “Purification Rundown” procedure developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. This is a scientifically-challenged, non-medical approach to detoxification, and the entire rehabilitation process has been widely criticized for indoctrinating individuals into Scientology. The three recent deaths at the premier Narconon center have spawned an investigation and a spate of lawsuits, and the results may spell doom for the unproven and ineffective school of rehabilitation.
20 Nov 2012
Those who seek to legalize marijuana often cite its ability to relieve pain as a reason to make the drug available. For those who have a chronic, painful condition such as cancer or HIV, say advocates, the drug can improve quality of life.
With more and more Americans taking powerful medications, it is important for them to be aware of the danger of drug dependency. At the same time, it is also important to recognize that drug dependency is not the same thing as drug addiction. Dependency describes a physiological response to drug use while addiction describes a potential psychological response.
17 Nov 2012
The director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, recently made a call to action to prevent deaths from drug overdose. One of his main tools for doing so would be wider access to naloxone, a drug that is considered to be an antidote to overdose by opioid drugs. Right now, the drug is only available as a prescription, although some members of law enforcement carry it with them as well. Kerlikowske would like to see addicts, patients with chronic pain who take opioid painkillers, and family members of the former have better access to the life-saving medication.
16 Nov 2012
Many people may be familiar with the organization Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). They may, however, be less familiar with the strategy which makes AA so successful in helping people live sober for a lifetime.
Known as the 12 Step program, the method was originally designed to address alcoholism. Since the beginning of AA, the 12 Step model has been adapted to help people looking to overcome a variety of addictions. New research shows that the highly successful strategy works equally well for teens and young adults seeking recovery.
Teens Benefiting Greatly From 12 Step Programs
Teens that complete treatment for drug or alcohol use benefit just as much as adults from post-rehab support programs that are based on 12 Step methodology according to a pair of recent studies. Up until now not much research had be done tracking teen and young adult involvement in these programs, but a couple of new investigations show that the programs provide younger participants with a support resource that is often otherwise lacking for them.
Teens and young adults who are working on sobriety often do not have a healthy network of sober friends. The 12 Step program provides a ready-made group of supporters to them.
A recent study lasted one year and followed 300 plus teens and young adults to record their involvement in 12 Step programs and compared that to their use outcomes. On the high end, the youth attended meetings three times per week at the beginning of the year. Attendance dropped to just over one time per week by the end of the year.
Link Between 12 Step Attendance/Sponsor Contact And Sobriety
Researchers found a direct link between attendance and sobriety. The more often the teen/young adult attended support group meetings, the longer they remained sober.
As encouraging as those results were, there was even better news for young people who verbally participated in the group meetings and who kept in contact with their sponsor. For those folks, there was an even stronger tendency to remain drug and alcohol free.
Attending meetings regularly helped to make positive lifestyle changes, but fully investing in the 12 Step program by participating at meetings and staying accountable to the 12 Step group sponsor made that change more secure.
A second study followed 127 teenagers for one year to see how attending a 12 Step meeting influenced their ability to maintain abstinence. In that study only about one-third of teens stayed faithful to the group sessions. However, for those who did, even attending just one meeting per week made a difference in their ability to avoid relapses.
One Harvard medical expert commenting on this study suggested that teens join a group even before they complete their regular rehab treatment. Joining early, he said, improves the likelihood that the teen will stay active with the group once he/she leaves formal rehab.
The bottom line is this: attending a 12 Step group is the best step toward living sober and the more actively involved a person is in that group, the more certain their recovery becomes.
15 Nov 2012
When children are growing up, their grade schools and high schools attempt to deter drug use. The anti-drug committees collaborate, in many schools, to create a presentation outlining the effects of long-term drug use by showing a few intimidating videos of someone overdosing in an attempt scare the urge to try drugs right out of us. Our parents warned against drugs, compelling us to focus on school and disregard invitations for drugs use, as it would inevitably lead us to destroy our plotted futures. On some children, this works. On some children, the urge to experiment with substances has been frightened out of them and they continue their lives on a straight and narrow path. Unfortunately, with skyrocketing statistics reporting drug use in the United States, warnings just aren’t enough for hundreds of thousands of people. The truth is, for those of us who received our thrills by disobeying authority, these talks only intrigued us to explore drugs.
The dangers of the home medicine cabinet were a topic of discussion at San Francisco’s recent 140th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, the oldest organization of public health professionals worldwide. Health officials are noticing a growing trend of adolescents getting their drugs legally, free, and easily right from inside their own home.