02 Apr / 2015
Should marijuana be legalized for recreational use? This is a question on the minds of many people these days. Voters have gone to the polls and, in a few states, are telling their governments that they want legal pot. Attitudes toward this mind-altering substance are changing and many people don’t believe it is harmful enough to be illegal. This attitude is dangerous, though. Marijuana is a drug that changes brain chemistry, alters mood, causes side effects and leads to addiction in at least a tenth of users. There are too many reasons for keeping this drug illegal.
Main Reasons Why Recreational Marijuana Should Stay Illegal
Marijuana Is Bad For Health
There is a lot of evidence that some of the compounds in the cannabis plant, which is where marijuana comes from, can help people with certain illnesses. But for healthy people, using marijuana causes a number of bad side effects and negative health consequences.
Short term marijuana effects include:
Sleepiness and depression, an increased heart rate (which can cause a heart attack, anxiety and panic), and delayed reaction times.
Long term marijuana effects include:
Over the long-term the drug suppresses the immune system, causes growth disorders, lack of motivation and lung damage, changes mood and personality and lowers libido.
Marijuana Is Addictive
One of the greatest misconceptions about this drug, and an important argument against legalization of marijuana is addiction. While not nearly as addictive as drugs like heroin or crack, marijuana is habit-forming and causes addiction in one out of nine users. Many people seeking professional treatment for addiction are hooked on marijuana. The problem is particularly real for young people. Addiction to marijuana is most likely to develop in users who started smoking as teenagers.
Marijuana Causes Accidents
Most people who use marijuana like the relaxing sensation that it imparts. The drug makes you feel drowsy, happy, relaxed and comfortable. The downside to these effects is the risk of having accidents. Marijuana messes with your coordination, reaction times and inhibitions. While high on pot, people make bad choices and have accidents that could have been prevented. If marijuana is legal, innocent people will become the victims of these accidents. Drinking and driving accidents already kill many people every day. Driving while high on pot will only add to the problem.
Marijuana Harms Young People
Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of marijuana. They are more likely to become addicted to it. They are also at a greater risk of lasting mental damage from marijuana. Brains of teenagers are still developing, and using mind-altering substances can hamper that development. Teens using marijuana regularly experience lasting cognitive defects and memory deficits.
The pros and cons of recreational cannabis will continue to be debated in the public and voters will keep going to the polls to decide pot’s legal status. As the discussion carries on, we all need to remember the harm that marijuana causes and the lasting damage many users experience.
30 Mar / 2015
You may have heard the term addictive personality when used to describe anything from heroin addiction to an obsession with powdered donuts. It may be overused, but there is truth in the phrase. We know that people with a family history of addiction are more likely than others to develop an addiction of their own. We also know that although there is no single gene causing addiction, there are several genetic factors that contribute to the disease.
Signs You Have An Addictive Personality
Do you have risk factors for addiction? Do you have an addictive personality? Here are some signs that you might.
You’re A Thrill Seeker
Adrenaline junkies, those who look for excitement and new experiences to get a kick, are more likely to become addicted to substances. In many ways this kind of behavior is healthy. Maybe you are a world traveler because learning about different cultures is exciting for you, or you channel your need for a thrill into activities like sky diving or competitive sports. Thrill-seeking can be a great way to try and experience new things, but sometimes this means trying drugs.
The good news is that adrenaline junkies are more likely than others to experiment with drugs, but without other risk factors they tend to remain only recreational users. They don’t become addicted in most cases, unless they also exhibit one or both of the personality traits below.
You Are Impulsive
Impulsivity means acting without thinking about the consequences. Some people would describe this trait as poor self-control. Maybe you are trying to lose a few pounds, but you get dessert at a restaurant anyway. Or you have that extra drink at a party even though you know you have to get up early the next morning. You might say something without thinking and end up putting your foot in your mouth. These are all signs of being impulsive.
Impulsivity combined with the need to seek out thrills and exciting experiences correlates strongly with drug or alcohol addiction. If you are an adrenaline junkie but have good self-control and are not impulsive, you might try drugs but not become addicted. Similarly if you tend to be impulsive, but you like to stay safe and not look for exciting thrills, you are unlikely to try drugs in the first place. If you seek out thrills and also tend to act without thinking, you are at a high risk for trying drugs and getting hooked as a result.
You Are Compulsive
Being compulsive means engaging in a behavior repeatedly in spite of negative consequences. This is a classic hallmark of addiction, but it can apply in many other situations. For example, you are compulsive if you bite your nails and cuticles until they bleed and get infected. You know it’s bad for you, but you keep doing it. Another way to think of compulsivity is having bad habits. Addicts use over and over again in spite of all the harm it causes.
How To Battle An Addictive Personality
Impulsivity, thrill-seeking and compulsivity have been found to be three common traits among addicts. If you recognize all of them in yourself, you may describe your personality as addictive, but it doesn’t mean you have to become an addict.
Fight your addictive instincts by being aware of your feelings, behaviors and choices. Check your impulsive decisions and analyze your bad habits. Figure out what your motivations are and work to change bad habits that you already have. Learn to cope with your negative emotions in healthier ways. If you are conscious about what you do and why, you don’t have to let your personality traits dictate the outcome of your life.
26 Mar / 2015
Getting into recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is not an easy feat. You have to go through many phases and then you have to maintain your sobriety. Even once you have gotten sober, you have to live with the fact that you are always in recovery and never cured from addiction. These are big hurdles to clear. One of the earliest barriers to getting sober is going through detox. This is the process of eliminating a drug or alcohol from your body. It can take several days and can be very uncomfortable. Many people fail at this stage and start using again. Medical detox is one solution, but it isn’t always the answer.
What Is Medical Detox?
Before you decide if medical detox is right for you, you should learn more about what it means. When you detox, you stop using and your body goes through withdrawal as the substance leaves your body. Withdrawal can be a terrible experience, especially if you have been using for a long period of time. Certain drugs, like heroin, cause the most intense withdrawal symptoms.
To get through detox more comfortably, you can opt for a medical detox. This means that a doctor or nurse will supervise your detox to keep you safe and also to administer medications and other treatments that will relieve your withdrawal symptoms, at least to some extent. This could mean giving you an intravenous drip to keep you hydrated, but it can also mean more extreme measures like being completely anesthetized for the duration of the detox period.
What Happens During A Medical Detox?
What will happen in your particular detox depends on how you plan it with your caregivers. You may stay at home and have a nurse stay with you to care for you or you could choose to stay in a medical facility that specializes in assisted detox. You should make a plan ahead of time so that your caregiver knows which treatments you are comfortable receiving. If you are going to undergo a rapid detox, you will be knocked out and you will sleep through the whole thing and wake up sober. If you want to be more conservative, you will experience your withdrawal, but to a lesser degree.
Is Medical Detox Safe?
Most instances of medical detox are safe because of the supervision of a medical professional. If anything goes wrong, this person can intervene and help you. On the other hand, some types of rapid or anesthesia detox can be a bit risky. Using general anesthesia is never totally risk-free. Some people react badly to it. You should discuss it carefully with your caregiver before deciding if this is what you want to do.
What happens in detox can be scary. There is fear of the unknown, but also genuine concern for how bad the withdrawal will be and how dangerous. Detoxing can make you very sick. The important thing is that you do it. It is the only way to get sober and to start down the road to true recovery. Whether or not you choose medical detox, you have to stop using.
Read More About Ultra Rapid Detox: Is Ultra Rapid Detox Right For Me?
23 Mar / 2015
You just started seeing this great guy. You went on a few dates, and they were some of the best dates you’ve ever experienced. You’re thinking this could be serious. This could be the real deal. And then he drops the bombshell: he’s a recovering addict. Do you run away or do you take a chance on this guy who seems so wonderful?
Things You Need To Know To Date A Recovering Addict
Before you make a choice to continue or break it off, there are some important things you need to know.
Recovering Addicts Can Be Great Partners
If your mind is flooding with negative thoughts and all the possible things that could go wrong in dating a recovering addict, you haven’t considered one thing: recovering addicts have been through intensive therapy. They have learned important skills for having healthy relationships, like how to communicate effectively and how to cope with stress in positive ways. Addicts in recovery have committed to sobriety and to being honest. These aren’t terrible traits to have in a partner.
Addicts In Recovery Relapse
No matter how strong the commitment to sobriety, addicts in recovery are likely to relapse at least once. It’s important that you understand addiction is a chronic disease, which means that relapse is possible. Be realistic about this fact and decide if you are prepared and willing to help your partner through a difficult time. Will you be ready to support him after a relapse? Will you be able to cope with seeing him under the influence?
A Recovering Addict’s Past Is Shady
So your new guy dropped the bomb that he is an addict in recovery. That is likely to be the first of a few bombshells. He gave you the big one, and he probably won’t give you all the other details of his past right away. You will need time to process and get ready for the next. Many addicts have shameful things in their pasts. He was dependent on drugs, and he may have done other things he now regrets. Be prepared to hear that he hurt people, that he has a criminal record or that he did other bad things. Then remember that the past is in the past. He can’t change the past, but he can make amends.
Recovering Addicts Require More Support
In any relationship you need to support your partner. Your recovering addict will need more support than most partners would. He may need you to refrain from drinking around him. He may not be able to go to parties without you by his side. You may need to make allowances for him to go to meetings or therapy when you would rather do something else. Doing these things means supporting him in his sobriety. He needs this extra support to have a strong sobriety and to avoid relapse. Be prepared to give and to be more sensitive.
Love Isn’t Always Enough
Perhaps the most difficult lesson about addiction and dating is that love really doesn’t conquer all. You may fall hard for this guy and be prepared to take on his past and his recovery, but your relationship might still fail. Maybe he will relapse and become a different person, stealing from you or getting violent. Maybe you will find that the level of support he needs is more than you can give. If you are prepared for all of these possibilities, then you may be ready to start dating an addict in recovery. Remember to take care of yourself and not to lose who you are in the process of being with a recovering addict.
Are You Enabling Your Partner’s Addiction? – Learn The Signs Of Enabling & How To Stop!
Prescription drug abuse is responsible for over half of all drug overdose deaths in the U.S., and more people die from drug overdoses than gunshot wounds or motor vehicle accidents. The extent of the issue can’t be overstated, and this is why legislators, researchers and treatment providers are going to such lengths to tackle the growing problem.
In May 2014, the FDA approved a medication that can be used by anybody—even without medical training—to counteract opioid overdose, and other recently approved medications also offer promise for reducing the number of lives lost to prescription drug abuse. However, as with similar approaches, the psychological elements of addiction still need to be addressed in order to truly tackle the problems gripping the nation.
The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic
Prescription drug abuse is largely driven by the erroneous idea that prescription drugs are somehow “safe” because they’re prescribed by doctors. The problem is that many prescription drugs are addictive and only safe when used as suggested by physicians. As addiction develops, users are increasingly less likely to heed the suggested dosage advice, instead taking more and more of the substance to satisfy their growing cravings.
The majority of prescription drug abuse involves opioid medicines (substances with the same overall effects as heroin), but due to how widespread their abuse is, approximately five times as many people die from overdose on prescription opioids every year than from heroin overdose. Even combining heroin and cocaine overdose deaths doesn’t approach the number of deaths caused by prescription opioid overdose. Stopping these deaths is a huge priority for public health.
New Medications Offering Hope For Stopping Prescription Drug Overdoses
Evzio – The Opioid Overdose Reversal Shot
Evzio is an approved opioid overdose treatment, offering a single dose of naloxone hydrochloride and coming in a hand-held, auto-injection format. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning that it counteracts the effects of opioid drugs and can be used to quickly reverse the effects of overdose.
The drug has been used in emergency treatment of overdose for some time, but the benefit of the new formulation of the medication is that it doesn’t require a trained physician or medical professional to administer, meaning that a single shot could be kept in homes for use in emergencies.
The approach isn’t perfect—after all, the true problem is what caused the individual to take a dangerously high dose in the first place—but there is no doubt that quicker access to corrective medications could reduce the numbers of deaths.
Naltrexone Implants – Reducing Cravings And Stopping Addiction?
Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist, which means that it effectively “blocks” the parts of the brain opioid drugs use to create their effects and thereby reduces cravings. The medicine has been used for some time for both heroin and alcohol addiction, but by giving the drug in implant form, it could potentially be more effective for curbing addiction.
BioCorRx uses the medicine alongside counseling in its Start Fresh Program, and the implant (inserted into the lower abdomen) gradually releases doses for a period of six months. According to the treatment provider, the approach is so effective that 85 percent of patients who go through all 15 sessions within six months quit abusing dugs, and some report that cravings disappear within just a few hours of having the implant inserted.
However, it’s worth noting that clinical trials haven’t been conducted on the program, so the very high success rate is likely an overestimation.
The Importance Of Psychological Treatment For Addiction
The new approaches to reducing the deaths from prescription opioid abuse are definitely promising, but Evzio in particular misses an important element of treatment for addiction. Having the overdose-counteracting shot in the homes of those at risk is obviously beneficial and will reduce the amount of needless deaths, but the underlying problem is effectively unaddressed.
Without psychological treatment to get to the bottom of what causes the individual to abuse prescription medications in the first place, the same (internal or external) pressures will undoubtedly crop up again after a near-overdose event, and without the psychological tools to deal with these pressures in a healthy way, more drug abuse is likely to result. It’s good to reduce the amount of fatalities from prescription drug abuse, but if we’re to make a substantial dent in the numbers, it is the addiction that needs to be addressed, not just the physical risk.
The BioCorRx program is promising because it does provide psychological treatment in addition to medication to help control cravings, although there are undoubtedly exaggerations with regards to the program’s success rate. However, by providing 15 counseling sessions, the program is able to offer goal-focused support to addicts, and help them take decisive steps toward lasting sobriety.
Understanding The Roots Of Addiction To Successfully Overcome It
New medications for tackling prescription opioid abuse have their uses, and anything with the power to reduce the deaths from opiate abuse should be wholeheartedly supported, but it’s essential to remember that addiction isn’t solely a physical issue.
In addition to raising awareness of prescription drug abuse itself, people need to recognize that the true roots of addiction are psychological, and it can’t be fixed with a simple pill, injection or implant. Overcoming addiction takes dedication. There are no short cuts.
There Is Hope However, Out Of That Dark Place To A Place With Light!
16 Mar / 2015
If you use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you know that they help you connect with friends old and new, family living far away and new people you’ve never met. What if these sites could be more than just a way to pass the time when you’re waiting in line or a distraction when you should be working?
Social Support And Recovery
Experts and ordinary people alike have long known that socializing with other humans is beneficial. Social support, whether in the form of having family to rely on, a close group of friends or just peers who share similar experiences, improves your health in a number of ways.
Socializing reduces stress. It also provides a group of people who can offer help when you need it. You repay the favor by helping your friends and family when they need it. Support groups for addiction recovery have been in use for decades for these reasons. Relying on other people helps to strengthen recovery and prevent relapse.
Social Media As Social Support
If you are in recovery, you may already belong to a support group in the real world. Maybe you have a sponsor and go to meetings once a week. There is more you can do to reach out to and engage others, especially with access to technology. Social media support groups are more common now than ever and include groups ranging from traditional alcoholic and drug use support to compulsive gambling and even sex addiction support. Whatever your issue, you can find a support group for it.
Here is how that online group can help you and your recovery:
- Keep you connected – Do you remember what it was like to leave rehab? To go from that place of full support and constant connection to a new life as a sober person? It was pretty scary, but if you could stay connected with the people you came to know and care for in your program, your transition will be easier.
- Provide stability – Support groups in the real world are great and shouldn’t be replaced, but they aren’t always stable. People come and go from these groups and sometimes the groups fall apart altogether. Online social groups are easier to maintain and people can connect quickly to check in without needing to go to a meeting. This can mean a more stable social group over time.
- Share achievements – After a really bad day, you resisted going to the store for a bottle of wine. Instead of going to bed feeling exhausted and alone, get online and share your experience with your social media support group. Get the encouragement you need to face the next day.
- Get and give encouragement – There is nothing like the instant connection you get on social media. If you need some words of support but your next support group meeting isn’t until tomorrow and your sponsor isn’t answering the phone, your social media group can be a lifeline. Even better, you can be there for someone else who needs you in the moment.
- Stay engaged – It’s much easier to turn to an online group than to pack up and head out to a face-to-face meeting. While you should still push yourself to go to meetings, a social media support group can be a great way to keep you engaged in your recovery.
Social media sites have their downsides. They can be distracting and offer up some pretty meaningless content. But if used in a smart way, these sites can provide you with recovery support that may make the difference between continued sobriety and a relapse.
Read Our Other Posts On Relapse Prevention Tips!
12 Mar / 2015
Every recovering alcoholic or addict knows that each day of sobriety is a reprieve from active addiction. Active addiction is a chronic illness that may ultimately kill you. If you are an addict, you know that to drink or drug is to die.
Living life sober can be full of many challenges that can sometimes threaten sobriety. When faced with a diagnosis of terminal illness, the battle to stay clean and sober, no matter what, intensifies.
Personal Story Of John Eggers’ Terminal Illness Positively Redefining His Life
John Eggers, a 48-year-old attorney from Irvine, CA was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. There is no cure for his cancer, and the prognosis is poor. Without treatment, he would have approximately three months to live. With treatment, doctors predict his remaining life expectancy is 12 to 15 months. Experts say that less than 10 percent of glioblastoma patients survive five years after diagnosis.
His symptoms came on suddenly one day after a trip to the gym. He lost feeling in his limbs and couldn’t speak. He suffered a seizure. A brain tumor was discovered, and he learned that he had a terminal form of cancer.
Eggers has been video blogging his final months of life for KTLA while he shares his experiences and checks things off his bucket list. Some of the items he has already been able to do include meeting Vice President Joe Biden, traveling to Europe and skydiving. He has also appeared on a TV show and met his favorite band, Depeche Mode. Living with terminal illness, Eggers is redefining his life.
Eggers admits that before his illness, he led a life driven by self-centeredness and not much regard for others. Faced with his own death, that has all changed. John has raised funds for families of others with cancer, and he has worked pro bono to help families of sick children stand up to insurance companies.
Trying To Escape Reality Through Opiate Addiction
Recently he was given opiates for pain but began abusing them to cope with depression and anxiety. Not many people would blame a dying man for wanting to escape from reality. But if you’re in recovery, you know that abusing drugs doesn’t make problems go away. It only postpones them or creates new ones.
In a recent video blog, he stated, “My name is John Eggers and I am a drug addict.” John decided to check into a treatment facility to beat his addiction, because he knew the drugs could kill him before the cancer did. As he pursues a life free of drugs, John hopes to be a powerful example to other addicts who are battling cancer.
And he wants to die drug-free.
Choosing Sobriety No Matter What
Eggers describes his addiction as “a very dark place,” a place beyond the comprehension of most people. He says the fact that his lifespan is short is acceptable to him, but that what isn’t acceptable is wasting any more of the time he has left on opiates or other drugs.
Newly out of treatment, Eggers continues to document his journey and his struggles. One side of his face is paralyzed since brain surgery, and at times he has difficulty choosing words as he speaks. But his desire to be clean and sober is unwavering.
The natural reaction for a drug addict or alcoholic when faced with extreme stress is to turn to chemicals, and there isn’t much greater stress than being faced with your own death. If you’re an addict, turning to mind-altering substances is not bad behavior. It’s doing what comes naturally. But it’s possible to recover from addiction to drugs, and John is making that choice today. Choosing recovery is making a conscious choice to go against the natural urge to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. No matter what.
In the case of John Eggers, he is choosing sobriety in spite of a death sentence, and he is using his final days to carry the message of a drug-free life. He hopes to inspire others through his video blog. If he can stay sober while he is facing a great deal of pain and his own mortality while he journeys through the dying process, others can stay sober too—no matter what they are facing.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
09 Mar / 2015
Yes, it’s true. You can be addicted to love. This isn’t the same as a sex addiction, although it can manifest certain sexual behaviors. Love addiction means that you are obsessed with being in love, whether with one particular person or with fantasies about love and romance. Love addiction is what we call a process or behavioral addiction. You aren’t hooked on an illegal drug or alcohol. You are addicted to a behavior, a pattern of thoughts and a fantasy of love that isn’t real. Learn to recognize it in yourself and how to get help.
Recognizing Love Addiction
A behavioral addiction like this may not seem as serious as a chemical addiction. You’re not shooting up heroin or drinking vodka in the morning, how bad could this be? Behavioral addictions are destructive in their own ways. It is just as important to recognize harmful patterns of a behavioral addiction and to get help as it is for a drug addict to get sober.
Signs Of Love Addiction
There are a few different ways in which a love addiction can manifest. If you are worried about your current relationship, consider these signs:
- You constantly break up and get back together with your current partner.
- Your friends and family tell you they are worried about your relationship or that your partner isn’t good for you.
- You start to fee lost or empty when not with your partner.
- You feel desperate when you break up. You feel like you can’t go on without him.
- When you get back together you feel a sense of euphoria or a high. You break up and make up to chase that feeling.
A love addiction may also be present even when you don’t have one particular partner. You may constantly seek out the euphoric feeling when you first start seeing someone by starting and ending relationships quickly. In other words, you are hooked on the early infatuation of a relationship, but get bored as it becomes routine and normal.
You might also be addicted to love and romance fantasies. Maybe you read romance novels compulsively, one after the other, and dream of having a fantasy love life. You find yourself constantly disappointed with your real-life relationships because they can’t compare with the fantasies you have imagined.
Getting Help For Love Addiction
If you are worried that you might have a love addiction or are headed down that road, recognizing it is the first step. Now you can take steps toward getting better and learning to have healthy and realistic relationships that satisfy your natural need for love and intimacy. If you are in a relationship that seems unhealthy, take a step back. Slow it down and think about ending it if necessary. Talk to your partner about your concerns. If he is not supportive of making changes, it’s probably time to break up.
You should also consider seeing a therapist. A professional experienced in working with love addicts can help you clarify your situation and figure out how to change your attitudes and behaviors toward love and relationships. Also consider joining a support group. There are groups for love addicts, and making social connections with people who understand your situation can be a powerful and healing experience. Here you will be able to share your story without fear of judgment, learn from the stories of others and have new friends to hold you accountable. Love addiction is not drug addiction, but it can be harmful and it hinders your ability to have satisfying relationships. Evaluate yourself now and get help if you feel you need it.
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