Archive for the ‘Substance Abuse Treatment’ Category

Substance Abuse Booming In U.S.

July 23, 2008

According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, the U.S. leads the world in substance abuse problems. Despite having a higher drinking age than a majority of other countries, and a strict enforcement of drug laws, substance abuse especially with drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol, among youths continues to climb, but why?

The adolescent years are some of the most crucial and important years of a person’s life because it is during this time that people start to learn about self-preservation and who they are. Because of this, peer pressure can weigh very heavily on the decisions that an adolescent makes. A lot of the times adolescents will engage in using drugs or alcohol while at a party because it makes them feel more acceptable among their peers. Another large reason for substance abuse among adolescents is because of pressure that comes from parents and loved ones. Often times parents have high expectations for their children that are just impossible to be reached and in order to deal with this pressure adolescents often turn to drugs and alcohol to escape a feeling of disappointment that has been caused.

The influence of the media also has a large influence on the substance abuse of adolescents and adults alike in America. The images of Hollywood starlets, and A-list actors that everyday Americans witness on their televisions introduce an unrealistic view of self-esteem and image that most people have come to learn as “acceptable,” and these views are completely false. Many of these stars are pictured using drugs and alcohol while they are supposedly having fun and adolescents begin to develop the thought process that these types of behaviors are acceptable, when in reality they can become extremely life threatening and dangerous. Adolescents are very impressionable and in trying to achieve the “ideal” image that has been created by our media they often turn to abusing substances such as drugs and alcohol because that is what has been shown as the cool thing to do.

So does it really come as a surprise that the U.S. leads the world in substance abuse? I’ll let you be the judge. If you know of an adolescent that is struggling with substance abuse of any kind, help is available to bring about the change that might save his or her life.

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!

Are the Punishments For DUI Harsh Enough?

July 2, 2008

Texas is one of the leading states in the U.S. for alcohol-related traffic accidents. According to the Department of Public Safety, 98,349 arrests were made in Texas alone for drunk driving and a number this large makes you question whether or not the punishment for DUI offenses are hard enough on violators. My own personal opinion is that far too much leniency is given towards alcohol-based offenses. And it doesn’t help that when doing a search on Google, hundreds of DUI lawyers pop up ready and willing to help clear violators of the offense.

Please tell me how in the world this helps to stop the number of drunk drivers in the nation? To me it would appear that these lawyers are just making it easier to go out and continue to commit the offense again. It’s like taking a piece of candy away from a child, and then minutes later feeling badly about it and giving it right back. There are no lessons to be learned when offenders get a slap on their wrists.

Using Texas as a basis, there are three levels of punishment when it comes to DUI. The first offense for someone driving under the influence is a civil punishment of up to $2,000 fine, 72 hours to 180 days in jail, and a driver’s license suspension from 180 days to 2 years. The only difference for the second offense is that it has a fine of up to $4,000 and 30 days to 1 year in jail. The amount for the fine and time in jail rise again for the third offense. My question is: why do we need to have three offenses?

With so many alcohol related accidents occurring in Texas and all over the U.S., it’s obvious that the current system for punishment is not harsh enough. It seems as though even within the current consequences there are a number of unknowns. For example, what variables are used to determine how many hours or days the offender will spend in jail? It seems as though by providing a range, the government is saying that some DUI offenses are worse than others, but what factors are used to make that decision? Maybe it’s the number of deaths caused by the accident. Or maybe it has something to do with the blood alcohol concentration of the driver at the time of the infliction. There are so many questions, with little to no answers.

One thing is certain though. The future of drunk driving rests in your hands. If someone you know has an alcohol substance abuse problem, it’s crucial to seek out help. Just as the famous quote says:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

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

Drunk Driving: A Deadly Choice

June 30, 2008

“In Texas, someone is hurt or killed in an alcohol-related crash every 19 minutes, and drunk driving claims five lives every day.”

Drunk driving is a violent and deadly crime that happens far too often in our nation today. In the United States, crimes involving drunk driving actually happen more than any other type of crime. Texas sits at the top of the list, second only to California, for traffic deaths that involve the abuse of alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2004 in Texas, 1,642 motorists were killed in alcohol related accidents. What may be more disturbing than this however, is the age of the drivers being caught drinking and driving.

According to a report in 2004 by the Department of Public Safety, of the 98,349 arrests made for drunk driving in Texas, 303 of these arrests were young children between the ages of nine and sixteen years old. Oh, but it doesn’t end there. Additionally, 9,285 minors between the ages of 17 and 20 were arrested for driving under the influence. The legal age to buy and drink alcohol in Texas is 21, and this data shows that under-aged minors committed 11% of the total amount of drunk driving offenses.

This data may not be so surprising to some especially with the large number of colleges in Texas. Underage drinking is huge among college campuses all over the country and with very limited supervision by parents, dorm resident advisors, and other friends it is becoming increasingly easier to obtain and abuse alcohol.

Although it is practically impossible to completely demolish drunk driving from our nation, it is possible to stop yourself or someone you love from driving under the influence and abusing alcohol. Drug rehab and alcohol treatment centers such as The Right Step, located in Houston, Texas are specially trained to help those with substance abuse problems. Experts believe that in Texas, 70 residents will be injured or killed from an alcohol-related crash. Don’t become another number to add to this statistic. If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, get help. It could save their lives.

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