Archive for the ‘Alcohol and Drug Recovery’ Category

Growing Up Alcoholic: The Effects of Alcohol Abuse on Children

July 21, 2008

Alcohol addiction is a very dangerous disease that not only affects the individual, but also has a direct affect on those family members who are around the addict. A great deal of parents who are dealing with stressors such as their careers, a love life, family issues, tend to turn to alcohol within the home, and more often than not the can become out of control. So how does alcoholism affect the children living in the same home?

According to Stephanie Brown, founder of the Alcohol Clinic at Stanford Medical Center, statistics show that 76 million Americans, which equals out to about 45% have been exposed to some form of alcoholism in the family home in one way or another. What’s worse than this is that about 26.8 million of those numbers are children. Growing up with alcoholism can be a very traumatic experience for a child because one of the main problems in an alcoholic home is one of neglect. The parents who have the problem become so absorbed in their habits that they tend to forget birthdays, and other important events in a child’s life leaving them with a feeling of having no faith in anything or anyone. Children are very influential and after living in an environment of denial they become resistant to discuss important and life-changing aspects of life themselves. And studies have shown that this behavior may cause children to suffer from bouts of depression, anxiety and compulsions later on in their lives.

Growing up in a home with a parent addicted to alcohol also has an effect on the social circles that children get involved in. Without a proper discipline regimen at home, children can get involved with drugs and alcohol themselves and there is also a higher risk for that child to marry someone with an alcohol problem down the road.

Alcoholism is not an individual disease. It affects everyone in the home, and can especially have a dangerous and life-changing effect on the children who are being exposed to it. If you have a family member who is suffering from this dangerous problem, help is available. It only takes one voice to be the difference and the help that a person needs.

For more information about drug and alcohol recovery, please visit The Right Step today!

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How Many Are Hurt By Addiction?

July 16, 2008

For someone struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, life can be a very difficult time. The consequences of addiction can lead to a number of life-changing events including job loss, divorce, not to mention an ongoing list of health problems. But what many addicts may not realize is that addiction is not an individual disease. In reality, the effects of addiction not only drastically change the life of the person abusing the actual substance, but this disease also directly affects those family members and friends who are connected to the addict.

It is said over and over, that admitting that there is a problem is actually the hardest step for an addict to take. So what happens when families have become affected by the problem and can no longer distinguish that there is in fact a life-threatening problem? Whether it is a father, mother, or child who is suffering from the substance abuse problem, addiction has a deteriorating effect on the overall family support system. Not only does addiction impact the stability of a family home, but it also has a negative effect on the mental, and physical health of the family dynamic. This can become difficult because these problems create a mask over the actual issue, making it harder for anyone to admit that there is a problem. And a lot of times, members of the family will just simply ignore the reality because it they cannot handle the repercussions that exist as a result.

Drug and alcohol addiction is never an easy problem to face, but it is even more difficult to face alone. Maintaining a solid support system through family members and friends may just be the intervention that an addict needs to survive the deadly grasp that the disease of addiction can take hold. If you know of a family member who is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, don’t be afraid to speak up and get them help. It won’t only save his or her life, but it will save yours as well.

For more information about drug and alcohol recovery, please visit The Right Step today!

A Crack Down On Underage Drinking

July 11, 2008

The abuse of alcohol by underage drinkers has been problematic for many years due to the easy accessibility of the substance. Students who go off to college often get involved in social circles that invoke the pressure to drink in order to fit in with peers, and sadly the consequences that come from this can be dire. Maybe this is why the government has decided to implement tougher laws for underage drinkers. According to a recent study, which was funded by the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program, the harsh enforcement of state laws that make it illegal to possess or purchase alcohol if under the age of 21 has caused an 11% decrease in the number of alcohol related traffic accident deaths among youths.

Many times, underage youths will use a fake ID to try and get into bars or parties with their friends. This is especially popular during the first few years of college. A select few states that have robust fake ID laws have been toughening the monitoring of these fake IDs in recent years and because of this, these states have experienced a 7% drop in alcohol-related car fatalities for youths under 21. Although it’s not really a problem per se, the drinking legislation and fake ID rules vary by state, meaning that the percentage of accidents relating to youths and alcohol may be much higher in one state than in another. But it is up to the state to decide how many legislative options to enforce against underage drinking.

As required by the federal law passed in 1984 that rose the legal drinking age to 21, all states have enforced at least two core laws that make alcohol possession and consumption illegal for those under 21. Some states however have gone even further to help prevent the consequences that can come from underage drinking and have implemented additional measures to discourage this behavior including lowering the BAC, or blood alcohol content driving thresholds.

Underage drinking is an extremely difficult situation to keep a handle on because youths can access alcohol from a number of different sources including friends, family and even some businesses thus creating a platform that could possibly lead to addiction, health issues, or even death. It is uncertain whether or not all underage drinking can be prevented with time, but author James Fell, senior program director of traffic safety and enforcement programs with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation believes that this report on underage drinking came at the right time.

“I think the timing of this report is very good, because there are several states that are currently considering legislation to actually lower the drinking age back down to 18, either for the military or for all citizens. And this research shows that while the laws we now have cannot totally prevent underage drinking and driving, they are effective and do reduce it.”

For more information about drug and alcohol recovery, please visit The Right Step today!

Heroin Addicts Clean Up With the Help of A New Drug

July 9, 2008

Heroin addiction is a deadly disease that affects drug users of all ages. Recent research has revealed that a drug known as buprenorphine may help heroin addicts stay clean according to a U.S. study. Over a 24-week period, 126 detoxified heroin-dependent patients were placed into a study that compared three different types of drug groups. The first group was given naltrexone, which is a standard treatment for drug abuse, the second group was given buprenorphine and the third group was given a placebo and was used as a control for the study. Throughout the duration of the study, researchers compared heroin abstinence, prevention of relapse, and reduction of HIV risk behavior among the three different groups.

The results determined that the patients that had been given buprenorphine were far more effective in all three categories. The group taking the buprenorphine lasted almost twice as long in both heroin relapse and time until first heroin use compared to those in the group who had been given the naltrexone. They also had more than twice as many continuous days of abstinence compared to the placebo group. As far as the HIV risk, the results determined that there was no significant difference between the groups as the behaviors in all three groups had diminished.

“Our findings lend support to the widespread dissemination of treatment with buprenorphine as an effective public health approach to reduce problems associated with heroin dependence,”

Concluded Dr. Richard Schottenfeld, of Yale University School of Medicine. These findings have led many medical experts to believe that naltrexone should no longer be the only treatment for opioid dependence. The introduction of burprenorphine comes as an incredible breakthrough for the treatment of heroin addicts and could possibly become an effective public health measure leading towards more success stories in the world of drug recovery.

For more information about drug and alcohol recovery, please visit The Right Step today!

Prescription Drug Use A National Problem

July 7, 2008

A Riverside, California psychiatrist wrote prescriptions in the lobby of his fitness club and outside ofrestaurants for $100 each. An Orange County man who sold plastic bags of narcotic painkillers had more than $1 million stashed in his house. Outside an LA pharmacy, people peddled drugs, while their counterparts sneaked inside to buy more.

These examples are just a few highlighting the rising problem of prescription drug abuse. According to an article posted in the Chicago Tribune Online, 25 million doses of commonly abused drugs were reported stolen last year nationwide. Health care professionals and dishonest patients are diverting their prescription drugs to willing buyers, which are helping to fuel a shift towards abusing pharmaceuticals as the drugs of choice. Robberies and Internet pharmacies, which don’t require a great deal of information, are also lending a hand to the problem.

A recent survey from the federal government showed that the use of prescription drugs for non-medical uses was around 7 million Americans in 2006. According to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse the abuse of prescription drugs has been an increasing problem for years.

“Unlike illicit drug use, which shows a continuing downward trend, prescription drug abuse … has seen a continual rise through the 1990s and has remained stubbornly steady … during recent years.”

Another reason for the increase in prescription drug abuse is due to forgery and fraud and the length of time it takes to check out a patient’s background. In order to detect for fraud and pill abuse, pharmacists and doctors can request a patient’s prescription history from a computer database. The problem however, is that they may not receive the information for weeks. Robert Pack, whose children were struck by a car and killed by a woman who was hyped up on vicodin and muscle relaxants, has dedicated his time, life, and money to creating a computer based system that will almost instantaneously check the prescription records of patients.

Obviously something needs to be done to stop the diversion of prescription drugs because the number of people who abuse these drugs is rising at an alarmingly fast rate. For every problem there is a solution, and if you or someone you know has a drug problem in Houston, TX, don’t be afraid to seek out drug and alcohol treatment centers to get help.

For more information about drug and alcohol recovery, please visit The Right Step today!

Alcohol At Every Turn

June 27, 2008

All over the world alcohol abuse is incredibly popular amongst all different age groups. Because of this, alcohol seems to be everywhere you turn. Take for instance the genre of popular culture, i.e., the TV. It’s almost inevitable that while sitting down on a Friday night you will see a commercial that glorifies the use of alcohol. A perfect example would be the contest that Captain Morgan Rum has created. Now I may not be the best case study because I watch way more TV than I should, but I would have to say that I see that commercial at least once everyday, if not twice while I’m watching my shows. As a matter of fact, I’d have to say that the majority of commercials that grace my tube are those that relate to alcohol in some way. So what’s wrong with this picture?

The problem is that popular culture now a days has helped to desensitize the way that people view alcohol. These commercials do their best to inform the viewers that alcohol can be harmful and that it’s important to be responsible while drinking. However, the scenarios that are shown on the TV are portrayed to be fun situations. So in essence, the makers of the alcoholic product are contradicting themselves in order to make a profit. Underage drinking is still a large problem in our society, and by making these commercials readily available on mainstream television we only add more fuel to the fire. I mean, let’s be realistic. Are teenagers going to playback in their heads the warning about being responsible, or the amount of fun the actors are having as a result of the alcohol?

So what are parents doing to stop the excessive drinking of younger teens? Here in this question lies yet another problem. When my cousin started college, she wanted to have a party, which most college students want to do. My aunt and uncle knew very well that if she went to a college party with her friends that the amount of alcohol would be overflowing, and the situation could get very dangerous. In an attempt to remedy this, they offered she have the party at their house and they would provide the alcohol. I think by doing this they were hoping to control the amount of alcohol served, and also monitor the overall situation. And the truth is, many parents have this same mentality. They think that if their children drink at home, and not out in bars it will keep them away from harm, which couldn’t be more wrong. Again, this scenario shows the effects of alcohol have desensitized even parents.

Substance abuse is a growing epidemic in our country and alcohol is right up there at the top of the list of misused drugs. I have to wonder who’s to blame. Yes, it’s true we all have our own free will, but when ads, commercials, films, and music all portray alcohol to be a fun activity, can we really just say no? If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol, there is help. All you have to do is take it.

For more information about drug and alcohol recovery, please visit The Right Step today!