Saturday, May 30, 2009

Introduction to Drug Addiction for Dummies

Welcome to my blog! I wanted to give people understanding and a knowledge of this silent war we are fighting. Drug addiction is a rising issue that many overlook. About 19.5 million people over the age of 12 use illegal drugs in the United States (Mayo Clinic). The highest use of drug addiction usually occurs within the 19-25 year range, and the most abused drug is marijuana.
What exactly is drug abuse you ask? Well drugs are pain killers and alleviate physical pain by supplying a temporary escape from everyday difficulties. Over time, someones ability to opt our of taking the drug can be rationalized, and the need to get high becomes a top priority. The person in this vicious cycle does not realize his/her behavior. They need a close acquaintance to help them realize the problem and get help.
Help is available in a variety of places. One helpful website is US NO DRUGS.

Celebrities with Drug Addictions

Information taken from Casa Palmera Treatment Center

Top 10 Celebrity Drug Users (living)

#10 Eddie Van Halen (Alcohol, Cocaine, Meth)
Along with Alcohol, Eddie Van Halen found himself addicted to Crystal Meth because the drug was often found in the Cocaine he was buying on the street. This led to the inability to handle longer tours and performances.

#9 Yasmine Bleeth (Cocaine, Meth)
In 2001 Yasmine Bleeth was formally charged with Cocaine possession along with possession of syringes after she swerved into a highway median. Yasmine had recently left drug rehab prior to this incident.

#8 Nicole Richie (Alcohol, Heroin, Marijuana, Vicodin)
In February of 2003, Nicole Richie was arrested and charged with possession of Heroin and driving with a suspended license. Then in December of 2006 she was arrested again for driving under the influence of Marijuana and Vicodin. Several motorists reported seeing entering the freeway going the wrong direction.

#7 Kate Moss (Cocaine)
In September of 2005, London’s Daily Mirror photographed Kate Moss snorting several lines of Cocaine. Shortly after the incident she lost most of her major modeling contracts with several international companies. Moss was never arrested because photographs of drug-taking are not admissible as evidence in British Courts. The charges ended up being dropped.

#6 Gary Busey (Alcohol, Cocaine, GHB)
In May of 1995, Gary Busey was arrested for Cocaine possession after being hospitalized from an overdose of Cocaine and GHB from which he almost died.

#5 Nick Nolte (Alcohol, GHB)
In September of 2002, Nick Nolte, 61, was arrested for driving under the influence of GHB and Alcohol. Nolte eventually ended up in rehab and received a three year parole sentence after his no-contest pleas to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of GHB.

#4 Courtney Love (Heroin, Oxycontin)Courtney Love’s drug problems started at an extremely young age. It is reported that her father gave her LSD when she was only four years old. Love had also reportedly used Heroin during the early stages of pregnancy with her daughter. In October of 2003 Love was arrested in Los Angeles while breaking into her boyfriend’s home. She was also charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance. Just four hours later she was rushed to the hospital to be treated for an accidental overdose of Oxycontin. Throughout 2006, Courtney Love has been arrested multiple times for drug possession and continues to go in and out of rehab.

#3 Drew Barrymore (Alcohol, Cocaine, Marijuana)Did you know that Drew Barrymore is Godmother to Courtney Love’s daughter? Drew Barrymore began drinking and smoking cigarettes by the age of 9. By the age of 10 she was smoking Marijuana, and by 12 she began snorting Cocaine. Fortunately, by the time Drew entered adulthood, she overcame her substance abuse problems.

#2 Whitney Houston (Cocaine, Marijuana)In April 2000, airport security discovered Marijuana in Whitney’s luggage. Whitney has been in and out of rehab, and also has admitted to abusing Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine and Pills. In 2006 the National Enquirer published photographs of what was reportedly Houston’s private bathroom. The counters were covered with empty beer bottles, rolling papers, pipes and powder-covered spoons and lighters. Whitney’s sister-in-law claimed that she is addicted to Crack and has nearly overdosed several times. She also claimed that Whitney often punches and bites herself until she is black and blue, thinking that the devil is attacking her.

#1 Robert Downey Jr. (Alcohol , Cocaine, Heroin, Valium)
Robert Downey Jr.’s addiction to drugs started with Marijuana when he was only 6 years old. He was surrounded by drugs, and that was the type of home he grew up in. By the age of 22 he had developed a serious drug problem. He went through his first rehab in 1987, and in 1996 was arrested three times on drug and weapons charges. For the next few years, Downey went in and out of prison and rehab. He continued to use Crack Cocaine and Heroin. Despite this he continued to act and even won an award on the TV series Ally McBeal all while living in a residential treatment facility. A few months later came another arrest for felony drug possession. Before this even came to trial he was arrested yet again. Despite being sober for over five years now, Robert Downey Jr. still gets stopped by police officers who think he might be under the influence.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance abuse problem, please get the help you deserve by contacting a drug rehab center today.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Should insurance pay for drug rehab?

Retrieved from CQ Researcher

Many scientists now agree that genetics and environment play about equal roles in addiction. And researchers recently identified brain differences in addicts that may eventually lead to treatments that eliminate drug cravings. But with U.S. addiction rates remaining steady at about 9 percent of the population, the secret to who stays hooked and who breaks free — either through treatment or by their own efforts — remains a mystery. As a result, debate still rages over whether health insurance should cover more addiction treatment. Advocates for addicts also argue that states should reduce tough penalties for drug offenders, such as depriving ex-felons of the right to vote. Recovered addicts are banding together to lobby for better insurance and an end to laws that stigmatize substance abusers. But opponents argue that treating addiction as a disease, not a choice, merely encourages some people to continue abusive behavior.

Do you think that insurance should pay for drug rehab or treatment?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Drug Court

Many options for treatment are out there, but one that is very useful is drug court. In drug court you are meeting with counselors and you are checked on every so often depending on the offense. Drug court gives you a chance to really get back into society with all the support you need. You must make an appearance in court and the judge reviews how you have been doing. Then you either move up a level or stay put. With every level you get more freedom. Once the court believes you have overcome the addiction they will graduate you.

I attended a drug court graduation for a class, and 10 people graduated. Some had been clean for 480 days and some only 70 days. Graduation just depends on your progression and how long it takes the court to feel you are ready. Families were there supporting their loved one. One member of each family got to stand up and say how proud they were or something to that affect. A lot of tears were shed and emotion spreading throughout the room. An amazing experience.

This is just one option among many to fight the addiction. Drug court seems to be more effective because there are legal repercussions. Hope this information helps!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Q & A

Meth Lab! Crazy how it takes over peoples whole existance. :-(

retrieved from the National Institue on Drug Abuse

What is drug addiction?
Drug addiction is a complex brain disease. It is characterized by drug craving, seeking, and use that can persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences. Drug-seeking may become compulsive in large part as a result of the effects of prolonged drug use on brain functioning and, thus, on behavior. For many people, relapses are possible even after long periods of abstinence. For more information, visit /about/welcome/aboutdrugabuse.

How quickly can I become addicted to a drug?
There is no easy answer to this. If and how quickly you might become addicted to a drug depends on many factors including the biology of your body. All drugs are potentially harmful and may have life-threatening consequences associated with their abuse. There are also vast differences among individuals in sensitivity to various drugs. While one person may use a drug one or many times and suffer no ill effects, another person may be particularly vulnerable and overdose with first use. There is no way of knowing in advance how someone may react.

How do I know if someone is addicted to drugs?
If a person is compulsively seeking and using a drug despite negative consequences, such as loss of job, debt, physical problems brought on by drug abuse, or family problems, then he or she probably is addicted. Seek professional help to determine if this is the case and, if so, the appropriate treatment.

What are the physical signs of abuse or addiction?
The physical signs of abuse or addiction can vary depending on the person and the drug being abused. For example, someone who abuses marijuana may have a chronic cough or worsening of asthmatic symptoms. Each drug has short-term and long-term physical effects. Stimulants like cocaine increase heart rate and blood pressure, whereas opioids like heroin may slow the heart rate and reduce respiration.

If a pregnant woman abuses drugs, does it affect the fetus?
Many substances including alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs of abuse can have negative effects on the developing fetus because they are transferred to the fetus across the placenta. For example, nicotine has been connected with premature birth and low birth weight as has the use of cocain

Whether a baby's health problems, if caused by a drug, will continue as the child grows, is not always known. Research does show that children born to mothers who used marijuana regularly during pregnancy may have trouble concentrating, even when older. Our research continues to produce insights on the effects of drug abuse on the fetus.

Are there effective treatments for drug addiction?
Drug addiction can be effectively treated with behavioral-based therapies and, for addiction to some drugs such as heroin or nicotine, medications. Treatment will vary for each person depending on the type of drug(s) being used, and multiple courses of treatment may be needed to achieve success. Research has revealed 13 basic principles that underlie effective drug addiction treatment discussed in NIDA's Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.

Where can I find information about drug treatment programs?
For referrals to treatment programs, call 1-800-662-HELP, or visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration online at publishes an expanding series of treatment manuals, the "clinical toolbox," that gives drug treatment providers research-based information for creating effective treatment programs.

What is detoxification, or "detox"?
Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug while managing the symptoms of withdrawal. It is often the first step in a drug treatment program and should be followed by treatment with a behavioral-based therapy and/or a medication, if available. Detox alone with no follow-up is not treatment.

What is withdrawal? How long does it last?
Withdrawal is the variety of symptoms that occur after use of some addictive drugs is reduced or stopped. Length of withdrawal and symptoms vary with the type of drug. For example, physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal may include: restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes. These physical symptoms may last for several days, but the general depression, or dysphoria (opposite of euphoria) that often accompanies heroin withdrawal may last for weeks. In many cases withdrawal can be easily treated with medications to ease the symptoms, but treating withdrawal is not the same as treating addiction.

What are the costs of drug abuse to society?
It is estimated that in 2002 illegal drug use cost America close to $181 billion:
$129 billion in lost productivity
$16 billion in healthcare costs
$36 billion in other costs, such as efforts to stem the flow of drugs.

For more details on the economic cost of drug abuse, visit the raw numbers are other costs to society:
  • spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C either through sharing of drug paraphernalia or unprotected sex
  • deaths due to overdose or other complications from drug use
  • effects on unborn children of pregnant drug users
  • other effects such as crime and homelessness.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew

Do shows like Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew help the public become more educated? Drug addiction is one of the hardest diseases to overcome and putting it all on TV can be contraversial. The show seems to help the celebs but what do you think? Its hard to tell because its a reality show and who knows what is really true! Putting it out in the public can be kind of intimidating! So...for help with a drug addiction visit the Free Adiction Helpline website, and nothing will be public about it!