Archive | September, 2011

Recognizing Drug Addiction

15 Sep

Drug use, unfortunately, has become common in today’s culture. It is used in rave parties, meetings at bars and other social occasions, as well as being promoted in certain movies and through the public lifestyle of celebrities and artists. Because of this, many young people try drugs, start a habit and, before they know it, are already addicted to it. And though it is true that not everyone who has used an illicit drug becomes an addict, it is more often that drug users continue to use it without being fully aware of their condition.

 

How to recognize if a person is a drug addict

A person is classified as a drug addict if he or she cannot function without it, or if the person suffers severe side effects when withdrawn from the drug of his or her choice. But there are still other checkpoints that can be used to confirm or measure a person’s addiction. A person doesn’t have to look or act like a junkie for him or her to be an addict. Merely a constant craving for a drug is enough to tell that a person is addicted to drugs.

 

Having said that, drunk addiction may still be difficult to detect or verify sometimes, especially if the user is using drugs at infrequent intervals or are using “soft” drugs (such as cannabis) or pharmaceutical drugs (or drugs prescribed by a doctor). People who regularly use drugs – even if they don’t show severe symptoms of addiction – should seek counseling in order to find a solution to their problem as well as to avoid the risks of drug use.

 

How drug addicts can get help

Individuals who have serious or worsening drug addiction need to find treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources on the internet that direct visitors to different (kinds) of drug addiction treatment centers. As an alternative, a drug user seeking treatment can consult counseling agencies that recommend treatment centers depending on the client’s severity of addiction, financial capability, preferences and needs and other factors.

Drug addiction treatment centers are often very effective at arresting addiction and guiding their patients to recovery. These treatment centers provide private and group therapy meetings that not only help patients stop using drugs but help them resolve the issues that instigated the drug use as well. Drug addiction treatment centers also educate patients on how to abstain from using drugs again once they are out of treatment.

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Have You Become a Drug Addict?

15 Sep

 

The following are common signs of drug addiction:

  • Your drug use has affected your sleeping patterns or weight
  • You ever overdosed on drugs
  • You feel like you cannot live without using drugs
  • Your using causing problems at home
  • You use drugs alone
  • You begun to avoid your family and friends who do not use drugs
  • You put drugs ahead of your financial responsibilities
  • You stolen drugs
  • You missed work or school because of your drug use
  • Your tolerance increased, also increasing your consumption
  • Your drug use affecting your relationships with family and friends
  • You fear the moment when your drugs run out
  • You frequently use more than you intend to
  • You taken drugs which you know you do not like, but take them anyway
  • You stolen to finance drugs
  • You lie about your drug use, i.e. how much, how often
  • Your sex life or sexual relationship has been affected by drugs
  • You feel ashamed about your drug use
  • You ever been arrested or had other legal trouble because of your drug use
  • You use drugs after you wake up or before you go to bed
  • You use one type of drug to combat the effect of another
  • You take drugs when you feel emotional pain or distress
  • You tried to stop using drugs and found you could not
  • You avoid social engagements and activities where you cannot use drugs
  • You feel that one particular drug is a problem and that others are ok to use
  • You feel that you can’t have fun without drugs
  • You ever tried to stop your using
  • You think about drugs/getting high a lot

If you experience any of these signs, then you are most likely a drug addict. In a way, you can measure your addiction by how many of the signs above apply to you and how frequent it happens. If you’ve confirmed that you are an addict, please seek help immediate and enter a drug rehab program. Best of luck.

Benefits of Entering a Drug Rehab Program

15 Sep

The treatment of the drug addicts is an extremely tricky process which might not identify with several mindsets and conceptions of the people. Besides, it is not important that all centers have expertise in the prospective treatment procedure. It is simply because of the fact that the relevant patients are unable to understand the ways of treatment and therefore, they are not in a condition to cooperate with the treatment centers and attending doctors.

The responsibility of the patients and their family members is simply unavoidable. There is a great need to understand the purpose of the drug rehabilitation programs that are specially targeted at making them free from the harmful effects of the drugs and alcoholic drinks. In the initial phase of the treatment, the doctors and medical staff can understand the prospective of ignorance in patient’s behavior but in the later stages, he or she essentially needs to understand the benefits of the different drug rehab programs.

The main purpose of the alcohol rehab centers is to make them free from the effects of the harmful drugs. To get the addiction treatment, it is very important for the patients to understand the procedures and to participate in them whole-heartedly; otherwise the process of treatment can never get completed. The successful treatment procedure at a certain drug and alcohol rehab center can bring a complete change in the life process of the persons who are living under the complete influence of the harmful drugs that include opium, brown sugar, heroin, and alcoholic drinks. The specially prepared alcohol rehab program is capable of making the some overcome their weaknesses with the different drugs mentioned above.

The benefits of the drug rehab programs are long lasting if they are taken care of by the people suffering from disease itself. The various ways of treatments that are used by the doctors at the Drug Rehabilitation centers must be followed by the relevant people suffering from disease after getting released from the centers. These treatment procedures include various medicines, therapies and other specialized procedures that are determined and prescribed by the doctors at the alcohol rehab centers.

The treatment procedure under the drug rehab program is very scientific and the patients are prescribed with various medicines that are manufactured by the specialized pharmaceutical manufacturers. These medicines and other therapies are administered by skilled medical people. The treatment to the patients is given in two different ways. The serious people are admitted in the rehab centers whereas the others are given advice and medicines but are not admitted at the rehab centers.

The rehab centers are run and managed by both the government and non-government organizations. However, the procedure of treatment is more or less same and the people get same type of services at these rehab centers. It is very important for them to understand the main features and advantages of these programs and participate in them to get the ultimate benefits that certainly go in favor of them.

Protecting Your Teens from Crystal Meth

14 Sep

The use of crystal meth is on the rise. What makes this worse is that many users of crystal meth (or methamphetamines) are teenagers and young adults. Crystal meth is particularly dangerous because it is highly addictive – even compared to other drugs heroin and amphetamines – and can lead to a variety of physical and psychological side effect when used for an extended period.

If you are a parent of a teenager, it is important that you warn him or her about the harms of drugs, especially crystal meth. Among the health risks that can result from overuse of crystal meth are paranoia, short-term memory loss, wild rages, mood swings, and damage to the nervous system. Overdosing can result in severe convulsions, circulatory and respiratory problems, coma, and death.

However, even our most sincere warnings cannot guarantee that our children will abstain from drugs. If you notice sudden, drastic changes in your teen’s behavior, you should check out for symptoms of drug use. Regarding the use of crystal meth, common symptoms among abusers are dry mouth (causing them to suck on candies) and a propensity to bite down (sometimes requiring them to use items such as pacifiers).

When you are convinced or have clear evidence that your teen is using crystal meth, you should immediately try to find a drug treatment center for him or her. Unlike in cases of alcohol abuse, there are no intermediary actions to help a person stop using drugs. In teenagers, confrontations are very likely to be only ignored or lead to a rebellion, which will only harm the teen further. Crystal meth is an addictive, dangerous drugs and its treating an addiction to it is best done with professionals.

Once treatment is successful and all traces of crystal meth and other drugs are out of your teen’s body, you will then have a better chance of reaching out and coming to an understanding with your teen. Drug addiction treatment centers hold meetings with the former users and their family to educate them on how to cope with their situation and how to avoid relapse. During this phase, they whole family will also be helped to resolve the issues that has caused the teenage member to start using drugs.

More U.S. doctors facing charges over drug abuse

14 Sep

Michael Jackson’s doctor, accused of killing the pop star with a powerful anesthetic, has joined a small but growing number of U.S. physicians facing criminal charges over their handling of prescription drugs.

Medical negligence cases in the United States are typically handled in civil court, with the victim or victim’s family seeking money damages from the doctor.

In the case of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, prosecutors allege his negligence was so extreme that he should be charged with involuntary manslaughter and punished with prison time.

Fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers more than tripled to 13,800 in the United States in 1999 through 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Consequently, more doctors are finding themselves in the sights of prosecutors as states like Florida and Georgia confront the growth in abuse of prescription drugs. The prosecution of doctors is seen as more effective than bringing cases against their patients.

There were just over two dozen reported criminal cases against doctors for malpractice in the two decades from 1981 to 2001, according to Westlaw research by James Filkins, a doctor and lawyer who has written about the criminal prosecution of physicians.

Replicating Filkins’ research, Reuters tallied around 37 reported criminal cases in the decade from 2001 to 2011, with most recent cases against doctors for over-prescribing painkillers and other controlled substances.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration information suggests a similar trend. For 2003, the agency reported 15 physician arrests that resulted in convictions. By 2008, the most recent year with comprehensive data, the number had grown to 43.

 

Criminalizing Malpractice

While the number of criminal malpractice cases is not large, the American Medical Association has cautioned that the trend has interfered with the practice of medicine. Civil prosecutions for monetary damages were sufficient to hold doctors accountable, the organization said.

In 1995, the group adopted a resolution opposing the “attempted criminalization of health care decision-making especially as represented by the current trend toward the criminalization of malpractice.”

The trend is, in part, due to an expansion in white-collar criminal law and drug control laws to include unintentional violations by doctors, said Diane Hoffmann, a law professor at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Many recent cases have been brought under the Controlled Substances Act, enacted in 1970, and similar state laws. To establish guilt under the act, the prosecution must prove the physician knowingly and intentionally prescribed the medication outside “the usual course of professional practice” or not for a “legitimate medical purpose.”

Prosecutors faced this question in the much-publicized case against Anna Nicole Smith’s physician, Sandeep Kapoor, on charges of violating the controlled substances law.

The case hinged on whether Kapoor believed in good faith there was a medical purpose for providing the celebrity with an array of prescription drugs that led to her overdose and death in 2007, according to his lawyer Ellyn Garofalo.

The jury acquitted Kapoor last year.

In the Michael Jackson case, California prosecutors are not charging Murray with violating a controlled substances law. Propofol, the anesthetic Murray is accused of giving to Jackson, is not a controlled substance.

The drug, administered intravenously, is used to induce anesthesia and has rarely been abused as a narcotic.

Prosecutors instead allege Murray breached the standard of care when he administered the anesthetic to Jackson at home and that his gross negligence caused the singer’s death at age 50. Murray faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Murray also faces a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jackson’s father.

The legal standards in civil and criminal negligence cases are similar. Jackson’s family and prosecutors must prove Murray deviated from accepted medical practices, although the standard for a criminal conviction is “much greater” than for civil cases, said attorney Ed Chernoff, who represents Murray.

Chernoff declined to discuss the Murray case specifically.

Observers said one tactic he might take is to argue Jackson was addicted to sedatives and painkillers and could have given himself the fatal dose of propofol when Murray was out of the room. Prosecutors will have to prove Murray’s conduct actually caused Jackson’s death.

 

The Epicenter

Florida, which has a reputation as the “epicenter” of prescription drug abuse according to state Attorney General Pam Bondi, has indicted dozens of doctors and clinic operators for unnecessarily prescribing pills.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says 28 of its 226 successful convictions of doctors — around 12 percent — were in Florida.

Bondi and the state’s governor have launched a strike force to address the problem and, under a new law, Florida doctors generally can no longer dispense pills at clinics.

“Our marching orders are that we will not turn down a pill case coming into this office,” said state prosecutor Nick Cox.

It is more efficient to pursue the source of the pills — the prescribing doctors — than patients abusing the drugs, he said.

Critics say the scorched earth assault glosses over tough questions doctors face, especially physicians who treat patients with chronic pain. Because pain is subjective, doctors must rely on the accounts of patients who are sometimes addicted and seeking drugs.

“Doctors are not supposed to be law enforcement agents. They’re supposed to believe their patients,” said Hoffmann, the law professor.

Murray’s lawyer Chernoff said it is a mistake to prosecute doctors who are not running pill mills but legitimately trying to help their patients. He blames the trend for having a “chilling effect” on the medical profession as doctors change treatment plans out of fear of facing time in prison.

 

Source: Terry Baynes | Reuters

The Truth About Methamphetamines

13 Sep

Methamphetamine, colloquially called “meth” or “ice”, is a type of psychoactive drug that can cause pleasant stimulations, including a sensation of euphoria, increased alertness and improved ability to concentrate. However, it may also trigger various physiological and psychological complications, especially when used frequently or at a prolonged time. In rare cases, it can even cause death.

Methamphetamines actually have medical or pharmacological benefits, but it is illicitly produced to be sold and consumed recreationally. Users of the drug consume it through smoking, injection, snorting, or with the use of a patch. Despite the risks of methamphetamines, many people, including teenagers, continue to use the drug.

An added danger to the drug is that most of its users are not aware of its possible harmful effects. Additionally, they may be discouraged to seek treatment due to the many rumors that has surrounded the drug, such as that it can’t be treated or that individuals who are already addicted to the drug cannot live without it.

These are, of course, false. Methamphetamine users can find treatment and stop their addiction just as users of other drugs can do the same. However, because meth changes the chemical composition of the body, treating meth addiction is more difficult than treating addiction to other substances. In particular, detoxing from meth can cause painful side effects and will require intensive medical supervision. Also, because meth abusers face specific problems, treatment for the addiction will also vary from treatment of addiction to other substances.

Another myth about methamphetamine use is that addicts can treat themselves. This is possibly a worse rumor as meth addicts may actually attempt to stop using, which may cause various health problems as the body tries to acclimate itself with the absence of the drug. In some cases, addicts who stop using meth without medical support (or went “cold turkey”) suffered severe trauma and even died.

Methamphetamine is a very dangerous drug and anyone who finds it difficult to stop using it should seek help and treatment immediately. Continuing to abuse the drug is very risky. The pleasure it contains cannot outweigh the consequences it could bring.

Entering a Drug Rehab Treatment Center

13 Sep

It is important to know that by only going to a drug or alcohol rehab treatment facility can an addict find full and lasting recovery. But the decision to admit oneself into rehab is not easy to make. Drug and alcohol addicts typically are reluctant to seek treatment because afraid to face their true, underlying problems (the cause for their addiction) and the consequences it may bring.

Drug and alcohol treatment centers try to reach out to drug and alcohol dependents through spreading information about the true conditions of the process of going to rehab, what the life inside is like, the effects and benefits of going to rehab and the consequences when substance abusers continue with their dangerous, harmful habits. However, one difficulty of treating substance dependents is that many of them are not even aware that they are already addicted. To know whether a person is addicted, he or she should exhibit any of the following:

  1. He or she experience physiological or psychological side effects when withdrawn from drugs or alcohol. Some of the most common symptoms are shaking hands, heart palpitations, cold sweats and nausea. Once returned to the abused substance, the addicted individual feels intense relief.
  2. He or she finds less and less time to do his or her responsibilities, either at work or at home, as the addiction causes him or her to spend more time being wasted. Another sign is that an addicted individual strains or breaks off his personal, social and professional relationship with other people.
  3. There is an increasing variety of the substances used. Drug and alcohol dependents may start being simply addicted to a particular substance, but the addiction has progressed that he or she now needs stronger substances to reach the same effect.
  4. The amount of drugs or alcohol required to get high or drunk has increased dramatically since the person began using or drinking. The effects of the substance used also have a shorter duration and the addict has become used to “crashing” and hang-overs.
  5. Other drugs are used to treat the side effects of the primary abused substances. Addicts may use amphetamines to treat hangovers, or take valiums to counteract the effects of speed. Furthermore, an addicted person will simply just not stop using drugs or drinking alcohol.

If a person exhibits any of the above symptoms, then he or she is categorically highly addicted and the addiction can only be treated safely through entering a drug or alcohol rehab treatment center. Inside, patients are helped and guided on how to overcome their addiction and resolve their problems. Individuals who want to regain control of their lives should contact and enter a treatment center today.