Thursday, December 18, 2008

Surviving the Holiday Sober

Below find a list of resources and links in helping you stay sober, plan for urges, and escape the holiday spirit still sober! All links can be found from this source at about.com

Staying sober and healthy during the holiday season is not always easy. These articles offer tips on dealing with many aspects of the surviving the holidays safely.

Surviving the Holidays Sober
Staying sober during the holidays may not be easy, but it can be done. This six-day e-course provides tips for maintaining sobriety, dealing with depression, and staying healthy during the holiday season.

Holidays and Recovery
Recently sober people are often confronted with drinking and using situations for the first time since they began their recoveries. There are solutions.

Dealing With the Holidays
The holidays can be a time of great joy and celebration or a time of great pain, sorrow and depression for anyone. These can be particularly dangerous times for people who are in recovery, especially those in early recovery.

Staying Sober During the Holidays
Regular visitors to the About Alcoholism site have taken time to share thier personal tips on dealing with the pressures of the Holiday Season.

How To Resist Drinking at a Party
Not drinking when everyone else is can be very difficult, but it can be done with careful planning and determination.

It's Okay to Celebrate!
We spend so much time trying to "help" those who struggle with the holidays, that sometimes we forget that for most it's a joyful, happy time and a reason to celebrate.

Planning a Safe Party
Due to the dangers and liabilities involved, companies and individuals alike are coming to the realization that alcohol should not be the main attraction at holiday parties.

Healthy Holidays
Whether you are dealing with stress, depression, grief or you are just allergic to your Christmas tree, your About.com Guides can help you have a safer, happier holiday.

Dealing With Depression
Dealing with stress, depression, grief and seasonal blahs during the holidays.

Staying in Shape
Staying in shape during the holiday season.

Taking Care of Yourself
Looking after you is not always easy during the holiday season.

Safety Tips
Tips for having a safe holiday season for you and your family from your About Health Guides.


Copy source:http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/holiday/a/blholidays.htm

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month


The Breast Cancer 3-Day® is a 60-mile walk for women and men who want to make a personal difference in the fight against breast cancer. Participants walk 60 miles in three days and help raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research and patient support programs.

Each night of the event, walkers experience an incredible mobile city that's more than just sleeping tents and warm showers, where they can eat, relax and renew their spirit with their fellow walkers.

The Breast Cancer 3-Day benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.

For more information visit www.the3day.org, or call 800-996-3DAY to walk the Breast Cancer 3-Day in a city near you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brits get tough on alcohol

A proposed code of behaviour regarding the sale of alcohol in the United Kingdom could see offers of free drinks for women banned and restrictions introduced on pub "happy hours".

The draft industry code has been sent to bar and restaurant owners and suggests that offering free alcohol to women should be banned and that wine should be served in glasses with marked measures.

The new proposals being considered by the government will not be popular with the drinks industry and licensees have reacted angrily to the prospect of further regulation.

They say given the current economic situation, a more restrictive code is as necessary as a "hole in the head" and have accused the government of failing to support businesses.

The British Beer & Pub Association says as many as five pubs a day are closing and the current Licensing Act already has the power to act against any of the country's venues that were causing problems.

The draft code aims to reduce public drunkenness and its associated health and social problems, by encouraging people to drink sensibly - other initiatives under consideration include the compulsory display of health warnings wherever alcohol is sold, curbs on free wine, whisky and beer tastings and a ban on drinking games.

According to the Home Office and the Department of Health the draft proposals are part of a consultation on the government's alcohol strategy - Safe, Sensible, Social -which claims that the introduction of 24-hour drinking has failed to bring about the shift in behaviour that a more continental "cafe culture" had been expected.

Criticism has been levelled at many current attitudes to alcohol and warnings that drinks should not be promoted as a way of enhancing an individual's "social, sexual, physical, mental and financial or sporting performance".

The health warnings will include graphic information for drinkers on how many units their glass or bottle contains, a statement from the chief medical officer on safe drinking and the address of a website offering information on moderate alcohol consumption.

According to the Home Office the draft code is not a statement of government policy and will probably be revised in order to make it mandatory in retail premises that sell alcohol.

Experts say the drinks industry needs tougher regulation and the current voluntary code governing the industry should be made mandatory as there was no evidence it had "stopped bad practice" or discouraged young and heavy drinkers from consuming too much cheap alcohol.
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source: http://www.news-medical.net

Friday, September 19, 2008

Subtle Addictions

Subtle Addictions
by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

Many people are not aware of the more subtle addictions, the addictions that are often so covert and pervasive that they are as invisible to us as the air we breathe. Yet these addictions may be impacting us negatively as much as the more overt addictions. Many people are aware of the fact that addictions are used to avoid pain, and most of us are aware of the common addictions: food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, TV, spending, work, sex, rage and so on. Most people, however, are not aware of the more subtle addictions, the addictions that are often so covert and pervasive that they are as invisible to us as the air we breathe. Yet these addictions may be impacting us negatively as much as the more overt addictions. Read more about this..

Friday, September 5, 2008

How To Stop

If you’re looking for advice on how to stop drinking and taking drugs, hopefully I can help.

But before I do that, let me give you the bad news first ...

If you’re looking for a genuine solution to alcoholism or drug addiction and really want to stop drinking and using, ultimately the only person that can make it happen is YOU.

Sounds kind of obvious, I know. But you’ll be amazed how many addicts miss that one, single, potentially life-altering fact.

Because if you’re like most alcoholics and drug addicts, you’re so deep in DENIAL, playing the blame game, that you can’t see you’re the cause and ultimately it’s YOU that has to take responsibility for turning your life around.

..To read more please visit: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/How_To_Stop_Drinking_And_Taking_Drugs.html

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lessons on Anger Management

Working through Anger Management Lesson Plans

When an individual accepts they have anger issues, normally the next phase includes steps to anger management. There are many people and programs available to help people with difficulties controlling their temper. Besides visiting a psychiatrist, there are options such as support groups, anger management seminars, retreats and many techniques that are beneficial for anger management. An option which provides the individual with a step-by-step approach is an anger management lesson plan.

Anger management lesson plans are developed to offer a person a plan of action when a stressful or confrontational situation arises. When the individual experiences signs of negative emotions and angry thoughts, an anger management lesson plan is meant to provide tools to decrease or control their temper. Anger management lesson plans can be designed to be individual, once a person finds techniques or adopts skills which work for them. Working through these anger management lesson plans ought to greatly increase their chances of success regarding keeping their angry behavior at bay.

Anger management lesson plans are meant to give the individual a guideline to problem-solving. Helping the person to discover things about themselves through a series of questions and practices, anger management lesson plans can make positive changes. When an irritating encounter arises, they ought to tune into their feelings. Becoming self-aware of what makes the person angry is the first step. Writing down these feelings may help a person to determine how to act in a positive manner rather than lash out.

The second step required in working through this anger management lesson plan would be to practice self-control. When opposition arises it is essential to stop, take a minute and think the situation through. This gives the individual a chance to consider their normal reaction without actually acting on it. It offers the angered person a chance to manage their anger.

Thinking through the possible reactions is important when working through anger management lesson plans. After the person considers their possible reactions, it is then necessary to think about the possible results from each reaction. Thinking things through may allow the individual to consider sensible ways of dealing with the situation besides becoming hot-tempered.

The fourth step in this anger management lesson plan is the decision making step. Considering the options for reactions, now the individual must decide which one that is likely to work or be effective. Of course then it's time to act on this decision.

When the individual has followed through with these four steps, it is then necessary to evaluate their process. This step in the anger management lesson plan allows time to think over the entire situation to discern whether the result was a positive one.

Working through anger management lessons plans such as this one or any other may be easy to carry out when an individual is in a calm state of mind. The true test comes when these steps are put into action when the individual is angry and experiencing negative thoughts and emotions. The only way to ensure these anger management lesson plans work is to practice them over and over again.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse affected nearly 7 million Americans in 2007, and problems ranging from poorly trained prescribers to easy access to medications among young people are making it difficult to stem the tide, Reuters reported July 30.

Non-medical use of prescription drugs is up 80 percent since 2000, and overdose deaths from prescription medication are now the leading cause of accidental death among adults ages 45 to 54. But among physicians, parents and other segments of society, there often seems to be a laissez-faire attitude about the dangers associated with pain medications and other prescription drugs. Read more...

Monday, July 21, 2008

What to Expect when Getting Sober

Getting Sober: What To Expect, is written from first hand experience of a recovering alcoholic. I know all to well the fears you may face when thinking about getting sober. It’s not so bad, there’s 2 years of research in this book explaining what the majority of alcoholics go through when recovering in the early days of alcoholism.

In this book you will have all those questions answered and more! It is my hope that knowing what to expect when getting sober will make that decison all the easier. Getting Sober: What to Expect was written with your best interests in mind. I hope this book makes that decision easier for you once you know what to expect.

Good luck and I wish you the very best on your road to recovery!

Please visit www.sobertime.net to get your copy of Getting Sober: What to Expect.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Beginning of AA

Below is an excerpt from the original article about the beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous.

You can find an excellent and concise description of the whole process in my title "God and Alcoholism: Our Growing Opportunity in the 21st Century (http://www.dickb.com/Godandalcoholism.shtml), pp. 2 -12.
A short description of the original program as Frank Amos described it, would be:

1. Abstinence-the alcoholic shall realize he must never again drink.
2. Absolute surrender of himself to God.
3. He must remove from his life the sins which frequently accompany alcoholism.
4. He must have devotions every morning-a Quiet Time of prayer and Bible reading.
5. He must be willing to help other alcoholics get straightened out.
6. Important, but not vital, he must frequently meet with other "reformed" alcoholics and form both a social and religious comradeship.
7. Important, but not vital, he must attend some religious service at least once weekly.


To read the complete article visit the original source at:
http://www.mental-health-matters.com....php?artID=591

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Calling a Treatment Center for Alcoholism Intervention

Maybe you're asking yourself if an intervention will make matters worse. NOT acting will make matters worse. Once you have made the decision to make the call, you probably want to know what to expect. Each alcohol treatment center has its own procedures, so understand that there is likely to be some differences between them.

The people at the alcohol treatment center will ask you questions about the situation with your loved one and will do a clinical assessment of what needs to be done. Is an intervention necessary or not. If intervention is needed, you will be referred to an interventionist, who will determine exactly what needs to be done and discuss that plan with you. Arrangements will be made for in-house treatment and all of the insurance details, etc. will be worked out before the intervention occurs. If travel is involved, those arrangements will be made as well.

What happens during an alcoholism intervention?

The intervention needs to be organized. The interventionist will work with you to plan the intervention. You will likely meet with this person several times, either in person or over the phone. You will have to assemble a group of family, friends, co-workers and perhaps clergy to coordinate your participation in the intervention.

Once the participants are selected, the interventionist is likely to call a pre-intervention meeting with everybody. During this meeting you will learn about the disease and you'll be encouraged to document the impact it has had on each member of the group. The interventionist will discuss the plan with the group and tell each participant what is needed from them.

Each person will prepare a written statement for the intervention and each statement will be rehearsed at this meeting. It's important to be a team, that each member of the group understands the necessity to hold firm their commitment to helping the loved one.

The group will assemble at a pre-determined location for the intervention. The interventionist will direct the meeting, which can take an hour or so to get through the agenda. Each member of the group will share their statement. These statements are non-judgmental, loving and need to communicate the person's care for the addict.

During and between statements, understand that the addict may react poorly toward your compassionate outreach. Remember, there is nothing wrong with them and it's your problem. They may argue. They may deny anything you say. Expect the worst.

The addict's circumstances may be dire, but there is nothing wrong with them, so be patient and hold your ground. If there is going to be fireworks, the interventionist is the one who can handle the conflict. You are there to show your love and concern. You are there to share how the addiction is hurting you.

If the loved one is willing to go into treatment, and all of the arrangements having been made, they can immediately be taken to the center. If the center is local they can be driven, or if a plane flight is necessary, they can be taken to the airport and put on a flight. They will be met at the destination airport and taken to the treatment center.

The interventionist will report to the treatment team all of the findings from the intervention, from the assessment to the group meeting. The professionals at the center will have an excellent head-start to help your loved one get on the road to recovery.

The addict is not the only one who will receive help, as most centers will offer you assistance as well. You were the one to "blow the whistle" so to speak and do not be hesitant to allow their support and counsel. The addict needs treatment, but so do those who live with the addict and the family members who have shared in the suffering.

Support groups like Al-Anon are excellent for husbands, wives and family members. The emotional toll the addiction takes can be enormous and people need the help and support of others who have walked through the tunnel of living with the addict. Many churches have addiction support groups, which bring an added spiritual/religious component to the spouses and family.

Ned Wicker is the Addictions Recovery Chaplain at Waukesha Memorial Hospital Lawrence Center He author's a website for alcoholism support. For more information about this author please visit: Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ned_Wicker

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a kind of drug extracted from the cocoa plant. It is severely addictive and quickly affects the brain immediately after using it. Cocaine is one of oldest drug and it was misused for more than 100 years and later it was labeled as an illegal drug in the mid of 1980’s. The natural cocaine was first extracted from erythroxylon cocoa leaf. It is mixed with some of the medicines to cure the illness. It is the second type of drug which is misused all over the world but it is legally used by the doctors for eye, ear and throat surgery. It stimulates the entire nervous system as soon as it is used. Cocaine is also used as an anesthesia for children and it can be purchased only with the prescription of a doctor.

It is a plant which is cultivated illegally all over the world. Even though it is used for medication yet the government have not sanctioned for growing it legally. There are two chemicals formed from the cocaine plant-freebase and hydrochloride salt. The hydrochloride salt can be used by mixing up with water and if it is misused it can be extracted through the vein. The use of cocaine remains wide spread in much social and cultural work. Usually cocaine is sold in the American streets with the name of white-powder, snow and blow. It is a white powder which increases the feeling of relaxation when it is ingested. It can be injected or snorted because the chemical extracted from cocaine is a type of salt so it can be only injected by diluting.

History of Cocaine

Cocaine is one of the oldest drugs and it was cultivated by the South Americans before thousand years and the people of Peru and Bolivia grows this plant illegally in the 19th century. The cocaine hydrochloride was the first drug extracted from the cocaine plant and this develops the interest of growing cocaine plant and this yields more money for the people. The cocaine cultivation was first introduced in the year 1900 and it was banned in the year of 1914 by the Harrison act. The formula of cocaine also involves in the manufacture of cocoa-cola. In 1960 again the growth of cocaine was started and later in the year 1980 it was became a national problem.

Effects of Cocaine in Health

Mostly cocaine affects the nervous system of the body. It stays in the body from 20 minutes to several hours depending on the dosage of cocaine used. The initial symptom of cocaine addiction is increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and restlessness. If the use of drugs becomes excessive then it will lead to itching, paranoid delusion and hallucination. This can also cause coronary artery spasm for some of the users.

Recovery Works!
The Sober Village

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Critical Factor In The Success Of Drug And Alcohol Recovery

When families are looking for a drug rehab or alcohol rehab program for their loved one, they are often focused on the program itself, not the support programs and systems that follow the residential care. However, a recovery program that offers regular, scheduled events for alumni can be just as important in helping recovering addicts live a life of permanent sobriety as the program itself.

Why Alumni Programs are So Important

An addict is never "cured" from addiction. Life in recovery is not always easy and there are certain to be dark and weak moments along the way when the recovering addict struggles not to take that drink or call an old contact for a fix. These are the moments when a strong support group becomes invaluable in the recovery process.

Though family members and friends who have not dealt with addiction may be more than happy to provide support, it is the people that have shared similar experiences with addiction and recovery that the addict often needs most for support.

It is not only during times of crisis that the recovering addict needs a support system, it's important to have regular contact with others in recovery to stay focused and to get recharged.

Residents of drug and alcohol recovery programs often form very close friendships and connections with other residents and staff during their stay. Having planned activities for this group to continuously meet up in a safe environment can be one of the keys to a healthy, happy, life of recovery.

Types of Alumni Program Activities

Each drug and alcohol recovery center offers its own alumni program activities. No one type of alumni program is better than another is; what is important is that there is some sort of regular, on-going group meeting or activity that past residents are welcome to attend.

For example, the Mark Houston Recovery Center holds a one hour aftercare group each Thursday and a barbeque each Saturday with a different motivational house speaker each week. Other centers offer a recharge weekend where residents can regain focus when they feel like a slip may be near. Still others may offer a program where graduates can sponsor a new resident and learn about recovery through the eyes of the teacher.

Choosing a Drug Rehab Center

It can seem overwhelming to choose a drug and alcohol rehab center for your loved one. Quite understandably, you may feel as if you've got one chance to save this person from his or her own life and want to make the right choice. Seeking out recovery programs that offer alumni groups and activities after completion is one piece of the puzzle.

Other factors to consider are the length of time of the program. A 30 day program may be fine to start with but you may find that your loved one requires a longer continuum of care after the 30 day period. Look for programs that offer longer programs or that will allow the resident to extend their stay if needed.

Recovery from Drugs and Alcohol is Possible

Many addicts are resistant to go to treatment but so thankful once they emerge on the other end. The best thing that family members and loved ones can do for the addict is to stop enabling their addiction, find a program that offers a well balanced recovery plan and organized alumni activities, and get that person to speak with an intake counselor.

Though it may not seem possible during the height of a person's addiction, drug and alcohol recovery can be a reality. There are tens of thousands of success stories of people who have reclaimed their lives and gone on to live lives with more happiness and purpose than before the addiction.
Author: Mark Houston

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Obama and McCain: Where They Stand on Addiction

By Bob Curley

Based on their records, neither John McCain or Barack Obama can really be considered a leader in the drug-policy arena. Still, both appear to have a broader and more nuanced understanding of addiction issues than their White House predecessor, and William Cope Moyers, vice president of external affairs at Hazelden, says that he has "never been more hopeful that addiction treatment will begin to get the attention it deserves, because we at least have two candidates who are aware of the issue."

"I feel guardedly hopeful that both candidates recognize that alcohol and other drugs should be an integral part of their platforms," said Moyers.

Up to this point, we've heard far more about the candidates' personal histories involving alcohol, tobacco and other drugs than how either John McCain or Barack Obama would approach treatment and prevention from a policy perspective.

Much has been made, for example, about Obama's admission that he used cocaine and marijuana in his youth: Billy Shaheen, co-chair of Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign, was forced to step down in December 2007 after saying that Obama's admissions would be a liability in the general election. "The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight ... and one of the things they're certainly going to jump on is his drug use," said Shaheen in an interview with the Washington Post.

McCain has admitted to heavy drinking (but no illicit-drug use) as a youth, and both he and Obama are former smokers. McCain has long been a thorn in the side of the tobacco industry. However, he also has routinely recused himself from votes on matters pertaining to the alcohol industry because his wife, Cindy, heads a large Anheuser-Busch distributor in Arizona -- a luxury he won't have if elected president.

Like many Americans, McCain has a family history of addiction: his father was an alcoholic, and Cindy struggled with an addiction to prescription drugs in the 1990s, including illegally obtaining painkillers from a charity where she worked and filling prescriptions in the names of staff members. That led to a DEA investigation but no criminal charges, with Mrs. McCain diverted into a treatment program instead.

Tom Coderre, national field director for Faces and Voices of Recovery, praised both Obama and McCain for their support of addiction parity legislation and noted that Obama also supported the Second Chance Act of 2007, which provided greater support for offenders reentering society.

"Some advocates have been cautious about McCain's connections with the alcohol industry," said Coderre, "but we also know that Cindy McCain is in recovery from addiction, so it's an interesting dynamic there."

As a one-term senator, Obama has compiled relatively little legislative history on addiction issues but has made a number of public statements on aspects of drug policy, and his cornerstone campaign document, the Blueprint for Change, includes a number of positions and statements related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. McCain's campaign documents go into less detail on his positions related to addiction issues, but his voting record is longer.

Moyers predicted that regardless of who becomes president this fall, healthcare reform will be coming in 2009 and that it is "imperative that the president and Congress include addiction and treatment in whatever reform ultimately evolves."

"There will be a lot of issues on the table; let's just hope that not just addiction but treatment and recovery will be on the agenda," he added.

Obama: Blueprint for America

Obama's Blueprint for America spells out the Democratic nominee's approach to a broad range of issues, including a pledge to sign a universal healthcare plan by the end of his first term as president. "The benefit package will be similar to that offered through Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the plan members of Congress have," the Blueprint states. "The plan will cover all essential medical services, including preventive, maternity and mental-health care." (The FEHBP requires parity coverage of addictive diseases, although this is not explicitly mentioned in Obama's document.)

Obama cites the need to spend more money on disease prevention. However, the candidate also plans to reinstate pay-as-you-go (PayGo) rules in Congress, meaning any new spending would have to be offset but program cuts or funded with new tax revenues.

Obama's plan for supporting rural communities includes a pledge to combat methamphetamine. "Obama has a long record of fighting the meth epidemic," according to the Blueprint. "As President he will continue the fight to rid our communities of meth and offer support to help addicts heal. "

Expansion of drug courts, meanwhile, shows up as a priority in Obama's civil-rights agenda. "Obama will give first-time, nonviolent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior," the Blueprint states.

In his platform on civil rights, Obama cites the need to address sentencing and other disparities that disproportionately impact African-Americans and Hispanics. "Disparities in drug sentencing laws, like the differential treatment of crack as opposed to powder cocaine, are unfair," the candidate states.

Among Obama's military priorities is a pledge to improve mental-health treatment for troops and veterans suffering from combat-related psychological injuries. "Veterans are coming home with record levels of combat stress, but we are not adequately providing for them," according to the Obama Blueprint.

The Blueprint also includes a pledge to reduce recidivism by providing more support for ex-offenders to fight crime and poverty. "Obama will work to ensure that ex-offenders have access to job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and employment opportunities," the document says. "Obama will also create a prison-to-work incentive program and reduce barriers to employment."

I'll Engage Parents, Obama Tells PDFA

In December 2007, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA), asked candidates, "If you become President, how will you bolster efforts to reduce alcohol and drug abuse in communities throughout America?" and, "A recent national survey found a significant decline in the number of parents talking to children about the risks of drugs and alcohol. If you become President, how will you encourage parents to engage with their kids on this health issue?"

McCain did not respond to the PDFA questions, but Obama did, citing the need for international cooperation on drug enforcement, expansion of drug courts, strengthening enforcement efforts aimed at methamphetamine, and supporting afterschool programs.

"I will promote healthy communities and work to strengthen our public-health and prevention systems," said Obama. "I will promote healthy environments, which would include restricted advertising for tobacco and alcohol to children and wellness and educational campaigns. I will increase funding to expand community based preventive interventions to help Americans make better choices to improve their health."

Obama called parents "our first line of defense against alcohol and drug abuse," but said parents need more resources and information. "My health care plan includes strengthening our public health and prevention infrastructures so that parents get the information they need about substance abuse, and guidance on how to talk about it," he said. "And my poverty plan calls for the creation of 'Promise Neighborhoods' in our cities that will support similar public-health initiatives."

"Some parents are just not taking the time to engage with their kids on [the drug] issue," said Obama. "We need to tell parents to turn off the television, put away the video games, and spend some time providing the guidance our children so badly need and desire. Parents need to strike up a conversation with their kids and warn them against the perils of drug use ... I've been quite open about my struggles as a young man growing up without a father in the home. I had to learn very early on to figure out what was important and what wasn't, and exercise my own judgment and in some ways to raise myself. Along the way, I made mistakes. And so I recognize the importance of parents talking to their children and actively engaging them on this issue, and will promote these values as president."

In other public statements, Obama said he would consider harm-reduction strategies like needle-exchange programs to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and would support medical use of marijuana under certain conditions.

"I think it is important that we are targeting HIV/AIDS resources into the communities where we're seeing the highest growth rates," Obama told Politico in a Feb. 11, 2008 interview. "That means education and prevention, particularly with young people. It means that we have to look at drastic measures, potentially like needle exchange in order to insure that drug users are not transmitting the disease to each other. And we've got to expand on treatment programs."

When it comes to medical marijuana, Obama told a reporter in March, "I have more of a practical view than anything else. My attitude is that if it's an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma or as a cancer treatment, I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else. I think there are legitimate concerns in not wanting to allow people to grow their own or start setting up mom and pop shops because at that point it becomes fairly difficult to regulate."

On the other hand, Obama stated in a September 2007 Democratic primary debate that he was opposed to lowering the legal drinking age from 21 to 18.

McCain's Interest in Addiction Mostly Indirect

John McCain's finest moments on addiction policy during the past decade were related to his early -- and impassioned -- campaign to regulate the tobacco industry, tax tobacco products more heavily, and limit tobacco advertising. McCain also signed on to the current legislation to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco products, but lost points with advocates when he opposed a child-health bill that would have been funded by an increase in the federal tobacco tax.

His current campaign documents, however, mention only a pledge to make smoking-cessation products more available. "Most smokers would love to quit but find it hard to do so," according to the healthcare position statement on McCain's campaign website. "Working with business and insurance companies to promote availability, we can improve lives and reduce chronic disease through smoking cessation programs."

McCain's healthcare priorities include paying more attention to chronic diseases, although addiction is not explicitly included. "Chronic conditions account for three-quarters of the nation's annual health care bill," the statement notes. "By emphasizing prevention, early intervention, healthy habits, new treatment models, new public health infrastructure and the use of information technology, we can reduce health care costs. We should dedicate more federal research to caring and curing chronic disease."

Addiction issues only get direct attention in McCain's military priorities, where he tackles the special health needs of veterans and the transition to civilian life. "He supported efforts to provide veterans with treatment for tobacco-related illnesses and substance-abuse problems, and he sponsored legislation to cover mental-health care in military retiree health plans," the McCain website says. "He has supported numerous bills to help homeless veterans by providing them with counseling, independent living training, and residential treatment programs so that they can address and overcome those ailments that plague many homeless veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse."

McCain has also pledged to impose a one-year freeze on discretionary spending growth and to submit a balanced budget to Congress. He also says he will eliminate government programs that don't perform; under the Bush administration, a number of key addiction-related programs were identified as nonperforming.

Ontheissues.org, which compiles information on candidates positions on various issues, cited a Project Vote Smart profile from 1998 that said McCain supported stricter penalties for drug crimes, including mandatory sentences for selling drugs and capital punishment for international drug traffickers. He also supported expansion of federal drug education and treatment programs, and said that alcohol should be included in such programs along with illicit drugs.

In 1999, McCain introduced legislation that would prohibit the use of federal funds for methadone maintenance programs unless they worked toward eliminating addiction and featured mandatory drug testing. He also sponsored legislation to establish drug-testing standards for professional sports leagues in 2005.

McCain has opposed marijuana legalization, including for medical purposes. "Every medical expert I know of, including the AMA [American Medical Association], says that there are much more effective and much better treatments for pain than medical marijuana," McCain said in a September 2007 town-hall meeting in New Hampshire. "I still would not support medical marijuana because I don't think that the preponderance of medical opinion in America agrees with [the] assertion that it's the most effective way of treating pain."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A new National Directory of addiction and alcoholism treatment centers, therapists and specialists.


Most addicted people need help to find a way to live clean, sober lives. Treatment Centers, therapists and specialists are often the last stop in the vicious cycle that is substance addiction.

Maryland 6/03/2008 07:29 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

TreatmentCenters.com is a national directory for treatment centers, therapists and specialists. We offer a free, simple and comprehensive index that provides assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders, cancer and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul. We also offer a wide variety of addiction and illness treatment centers, as well as individual counselors that can address your specific needs. We include peer support and detoxification programs. In addition, we can provide you with many resources for outpatient and residential programs.

Making the choice to seek treatment for an illness or addiction can be challenging. Our goal at TreatmentCenters.com is to make that job easier for you. We provide a bridge between people seeking treatment and the centers, physicians and counselors who provide that treatment. Keeping in mind that any disorder can affect the entire family, we provide resources and information for friends and family members as well. If you are a person seeking treatment, you will find a vast number of resources on our site.

If you are a professional offering services, we provide a first class showcase for what you have to offer. Our site consists of an easy to use search center that will match your needs to the services provided by professionals in your area. We also offer discussion forums where you can dialogue with others about various relevant topics. We provide cutting edge news on a variety of treatment related topics and offer a blog section in which you can journal about your personal experience.

Many individuals will not seek treatment for various reasons. It has been our experience that 'active' addicts and alcoholics, as well as people afflicted with different addictions or physical conditions can sometimes lose the ability to reason. A therapist or specialist for a specific illness or addiction issue, or a full-fledged residential treatment center can and will help. You, and/or your loved one, can find it at TreatmentCenters.com.

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TreatmentCenters.com is a national directory for treatment centers, therapists and specialists. We offer a free, simple and comprehensive index that provides assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders, cancer and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.


For further information, please contact us at 713.992.2828.
Sales: palmer@treatmentcenters.com
Webmaster: dan@treatmentcenters.com
http://treatmentcenters.com
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source: TransWorld News

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Timely Alcohol Detox Saves The Lives Of Drunk Drivers And Their Accident Victims

If you think drinking alcohol is a normal and acceptable social activity, you have a lot of company. The vast majority of Americans never think about the potential disaster they might cause by driving home after hoisting a few, let alone the risk of alcohol addiction. That's something that happens to movie stars and rock musicians who wind up in fashionable country-club alcohol detox centers.

So let me pose a few questions: Why is it okay to get drunk at every party since high school? Get smashed every weekend at college, and keep getting drunk at party after party as life goes on? And even worse, why is it okay to drive home drunk? Why do people laugh about it instead of getting into alcohol detox where they should be?

And here's another one: Why is drinking at a party any different from going to a friend's BBQ where everybody shoots up heroin? Or lies around on yoga mats smoking raw opium? Because the only real differences between alcohol and street drugs are not about addiction or danger, they're about social custom and the fact that alcohol is legal and cheap.

For some 25 million Americans, alcohol has proven every bit as addictive -- and far more physically debilitating -- than most other addictive drugs. Not only that, although heroin and opium can be difficult and extremely uncomfortable to withdraw from without drug detox, withdrawal rarely kills anyone. Alcohol withdrawal, on the other hand, can actually kill someone unless experienced alcohol detox professionals are on the case.

Every day we read about some person getting busted for DUI, about alcohol-related injuries, crimes and tragic deaths -- things we seldom consider when reaching for another drink at a party. If they're famous, the reporter may add that the person is "entering alcohol detox" or something of the sort, which is commendable and no joke, by the way.

But when was the last time you heard on the news that someone driving under the influence of opium or heroin crashed through a divider and killed somebody? I can't remember such a story, and maybe it could happen. But millions more people drive while impaired by alcohol than narcotics, and it affects drivers much more severely.

And while most people would have a negative reaction to any suggestion they try heroin or opium at a neighborhood BBQ or anywhere else, many go right on drinking until they're staggering, and then pick up the car keys and head for the door. They should be taking a taxi, probably to the nearest alcohol detox center.

I'm not sure of any scientific surveys, but I think the people with real alcohol problems are the ones who habitually drink and drive, not occasional drinkers. Such people should have their keys taken away from them and get into alcohol detox and rehab to deal with their problems.

Here's a case in point. A 32-year-old West Virginia man was convicted recently of felony driving under the influence of alcohol, causing death. Police said Brian Stone of Gans, PA, killed five people from two different families while driving drunk on Interstate 68 in West Virginia last year. Prosecutors said Stone's car was loaded with beer and his blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit.

Police say Stone killed Courtney Evans, 31, and 12-year-old Sawyer Evans, and injured Sheena Evans, 29, and their youngest son, 3-year-old John. Stone also killed Donnell Perry, 52, and daughters Jacquesha Perry, 13, and Jentil Perry, 15, and injured family members Marcia Perry, 18-year-old Justine Perry,10-year-old Cory Perry, 8-year-old Aynna Perry, and 18-month-old Mia Barnes.

Now here's the kicker: This was the seventh time Stone had been arrested for DUI, five times in the past five years alone. This is a person who needed alcohol detox and rehab a very long time ago. An alcohol detox could have paved the way for a full alcohol rehab program that actually saved the lives of five adults and children, and rescued the life of young man who is now looking at possibly decades in prison.

The overall cost to society of alcohol abuse dwarfs the costs of all other drugs. If someone you know and care for has a problem with alcohol, talk to an alcohol detox counselor as soon as possible. It's never too soon to get someone onto an alcohol detox that can open the door to full rehabilitation and a sober life.

Rod MacTaggart is a freelance writer who contributes articles on health.

info@drugrehabreferral.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rod_MacTaggart

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sobriety T.V



Please visit our friends at Sobriety T.V

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Helping women heal emotional issues, addiction

The young woman had lied, cheated, manipulated and stolen when her addiction to alcohol and crack cocaine became so "crippling" she couldn't keep a job and her family took the advice of her sponsor and kicked her out.

Christina had hit rock bottom. She couldn't stop using on her own. The drug always won.

"My choices were Mater Dei or a life on the streets," Christina, 32, said Sunday at the charity's event, In Celebration of Women... a Journey from Darkness to Light.

"The realization that this is what it had come to... that I would have to eventually sell my body for drugs and be dead in no time was the moment that my life was saved. It was then that I saw just how out of control things had gotten, and I had to admit defeat. I surrendered."

Mater Dei (Latin for 'Mother of God'), recently renamed Carmelina's Home, is a central Etobicoke-based residential therapeutic program that supports women in the treatment and recovery of addictions or emotional issues. It is named after a late nun who counselled for 24 years from her Riverdale Hospital bed.

While Carmelina's Home is run by the (Catholic) Passionate Sisters of St. Paul of the Cross, it is not a religious program. Women of all denominations are welcome. Clients are 16 to 60.

Its symbol is a butterfly, representing transformation and new life.

Christina arrived 18 months ago at the front door of Carmelina's Home's mortgaged brick backsplit nestled on a quiet, leafy residential street. Unlike provincial government-funded programs that run 21 or 31 days, Carmelina's Home offers a two-year program, divided into four, six-month phases.

The unique, lengthy, abstinence-based program offers seven clients at once much-needed time for self-reflection and the excavation and healing of unresolved emotional issues necessary to control and conquer her addiction, said Martin Riley, president of Carmelina's Home's board of directors.

There, women learn effective life coping skills, and strengthen social and interpersonal skills.

For many, it's a last resort, said Riley. Other programs haven't worked. Some clients have taken 21-day programs five or six times. Their families have rejected them. The addiction returns because they don't change their environment upon release.

"Everybody has lived it differently, but at its core addiction is rooted in emotional issues that are hidden and never really exposed," Riley said. "Addiction is used to cover up that emotional hurt. The challenge of working through that is why the program is so long. It's a lifetime of issues you can't expect to get through in 30 to 60 days."

Participation is voluntary. The program is strict and disciplined. The women rise at 6:30 a.m. There's a schedule, including assigned chores. Daily therapy sessions and group therapy participation. Bed at 9:30 p.m.

Women sleep three to a bedroom. They eat together. They quilt, sew, use exercise equipment, garden.

The women confront one another on their behaviours, and gain insight into their own healing as a result.

"All that we do in the program is for us to gain insight into the truth of who we are," Christina said Sunday. "It has been the most crucial part of my growth and healing. We call it 'the mirror effect'. It is what we see in each other that shows us who we really are. What is truly in our hearts... We confront each other on our negative, harmful behaviours."

They pay $450 a month room and board. Some qualify for social assistance.

Carmelina's Home receives no government funding. It operates strictly on community funding and donations.

"People think about charities for children or donating to tsunami relief," Riley said of the challenge in finding donors. "People want to help with addiction. But people don't understand how real it is. It could be your mother or your sister."

The Rotary Club of Etobicoke recently donated funds to replace the home's roof.

Presently, officials are seeking a small corporation to become its sponsor. New board members and volunteers are also welcome.

An annual spring walk-a-thon will be held this Sunday in Centennial Park. It typically raises as much as $20,000. An annual gala in November raises as much as $50,000 per year.

While fund-raising is a challenge, the home's accepting, empathetic and loving environment is key to its success, say officials and clients.

"When I came here, I felt safe. I called it my 'cocoon,'" said Amelia, a mother of two daughters in their 30s, who became a client in November 2005 and stayed for 10 months.

Married at just 16, she'd had two children in short order. Her husband was often away on business. With little support, cycles of depression waxed and waned in her for years.

Amelia arrived at Carmelina's Home after reaching her breaking point with her physically and emotionally abusive husband.

Her husband enrolled in the men's program, the Caritas Project, run by Father Gianni Carparelli.

Today, the healed couple has reunited.

"I now have confidence and self-assurance. I'm totally healed. I'm no longer afraid," said Amelia, who now sits on Carmelina's Home's board of directors.

Riley joined, then led, the board of directors after first consulting on a funding proposal five years ago.

He heard one client's testimonial at that year's gala and felt moved to help.

"It's just so amazing to see someone get their life back, the life they were destined to have," Riley said. "For some, it has been hell. They acknowledge it all. It's so amazing to see that recovery and healing take place."
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source: http://www.insidetoronto.ca/News/Etobicoke/article/48748

Monday, May 26, 2008

First USA Use Of New Liver Cancer Technology At Saint Raphael

Scott Helton, M.D., chief of surgery at the Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven, Connecticut, an internationally recognized liver surgeon, became the first in the USA to use the new Acculis microwave cancer-fighting technology to destroy liver tumours.

Saint Raphael's is one of six world leading cancer hospitals in the U.S.A. to introduce the new MTA microwave system, manufactured by the U.K. based company Acculis Limited. The six initial sites were chosen because they are also home to several of the nation's top liver surgeons.

During the May 15th procedure, Helton performed microwave tissue ablation (MTA) using the Acculis MTA high-powered microwave system to treat a non-resectable liver tumour. During the complex procedure, Helton performed multiple liver resections on the right side of the liver and then used microwave energy to destroy a remaining non-resectable tumour on the left side of the liver.

"The treatment today was groundbreaking. We were able to remove or destroy three liver tumours situated on both sides of the patient's liver during a single procedure," said Helton. "Previously this patient would not have been eligible for a single operation because we could not have removed or destroyed all the tumours in one setting. This system allows us to destroy tumours quickly and decisively using high power microwave energy through a carefully placed small probe. We expect that this new technology will allow us to treat previously inoperable tumours and open up new treatment options for patients with primary or metastatic liver tumours."

"While liver ablation is commonly done using radiofrequency, treatments that were impractical with previous technologies are now possible because of the speed, power and precision of microwave energy," Helton said. "The Acculis System is the first to successfully deliver high power microwave energy in this area of medicine."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as the European Union's CE marking body SGS, have given approval for the Acculis MTA System to go into commercial distribution.

A cohort of 14 world leading cancer centres in the UK, USA and Australia are collaborating with AUGIS, the UK Liver Surgeons body, in the initial use of this new technology. "We are working with the very best surgeons around the world in introducing this revolutionary new system," said Stuart McIntyre, CEO of Acculis Limited. "This leading cohort of top cancer centres will evaluate the new treatment options the Acculis MTA System creates. Through centres such as Saint Raphael's, this technology will offer patients new hope."

Acculis is a specialist medical device company developing microwave energy ablation systems for oncology applications. Acculis is part of the Microsulis group of companies. Microsulis and Acculis are based in Hampshire, England. For more information about the Acculis MTA System, visit http://www.acculis.com, http://www.microsulis.com, or contact Caroline Hall at +44 2392 240011.

The Hospital of Saint Raphael is a 511-bed community teaching hospital affiliated with Yale University School of Medicine. A leader in cardiac, cancer, orthopaedic, neuroscience and geriatric services, Saint Raphael's is the largest member of the Saint Raphael Healthcare System, which is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth.
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source: medicalnewstoday.com

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cannabis addiction almost destroyed me


For James Langton, drugs are about all or nothing. "You cross a line when you have your first joint in the morning," he explains. Growing up in a comfortable, supportive, middle-class, suburban home did not stop him developing a cannabis habit which lasted for 30 years. Neither depressed, lonely nor a thrill seeker, the young teenager smoked because he wanted to try something different. But his adolescent habit became an addiction.

Now, at 51, he wants to add his voice and experience to help others from falling into the same trap that left him unable to function in "normal" life.

At present there is no hard evidence to demonstrate that cannabis use causes severe mental health problems. According to Martin Barnes, chief executive of drug information and policy charity DrugScope, while the amount of people smoking cannabis has risen over the last 30 years, available evidence shows the number of incidences of schizophrenia have not increased.

But a spokesman for mental health charity Rethink says: "We think for those with a predisposition to mental illness, statistics show you're more likely to develop psychotic illness. We use the peanut allergy — some eat them every day and are fine, others have an allergic reaction.

"We don't think it's addictive, but we do think people can become dependent."

Whatever the argument, in a recent report for the Government, the drugs advisory panel concluded that cannabis did pose a "real threat to health " and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced her intention to reclassify cannabis from a Class C to a Class B drug.

James Langton is in no doubt that cannabis poses huge risks to young minds. The author of self-help book No Need For Weed explains how addiction to this so-called "soft drug" took over his life. "I did it in the park after school, in my room, wherever I thought I could get away with it," he admits.

After leaving school at 17, James says that his life began to revolve around cannabis. "When you start smoking as soon as you wake up, it takes on a different perspective in your life. I'd have around 12 joints a day on my own. I'd go for walks in the park or nip home at lunchtime. A lot of people do that."

James eventually kicked the habit aged 45, and set up Clearhead.org , an organisation dedicated to helping those who want to leave the drug behind. After struggling to quit for five years, he doesn't agree that it's not addictive.

"Being stoned felt normal. If I couldn't get hold of cannabis, I'd feel a deep emptiness. When I realised I had a problem, I was too embarrassed to talk about it with friends, so I went to the doctor and was told that cannabis wasn't addictive, that I didn't have a drug problem."

Lacking support, James struggled to find a way to live his life without cannabis.

"It was just me and the drug. There wasn't a lot of balance in my life. All my friends smoked or were dealers. I ran a picture shop in London because I was quite entrepreneurial, but it was always a terrible struggle.

"If you're smoking that much then everything takes longer. Your decision making is not good and you settle for second best. I had difficulty managing the accounts, paying bills, being on time for appointments and finding ways to hide my addiction. I tried quitting, just smoking on weekends, leaving my cannabis with someone else so I wouldn't be tempted, and not buying any. But for five years the longest I went without was a few days. I couldn't do it alone."

From the outside, it can be difficult to understand how a drug which prompted James to feel acutely lonely and confused could come to control his life.

He explains: "At the start it felt really pleasurable. During the first five years, even before the addiction really took hold, it's unlikely that any amount of nagging would have stopped me.

"Cannabis has a subtle way of raising your senses, offering you a slightly altered perspective on life and the everyday nine to five routine. Music sounds better and colours are more vivid. You can see beauty in an ugly city; things which other people are immune to.

"That perspective becomes a big part of your identity. It's hard to give that up, and re-learn to live normally."

But James explains that the drug can also magnify other feelings. "Weed can reflect the personality or mood of the user. I was a shy child and became isolated and withdrawn. Those with a tendency toward anxiety might become paranoid and if you're fairly relaxed and easy going, it could make you less motivated."

Like other mood-altering substances such as alcohol or nicotine, regular use of cannabis can lead to emotional dependency.

"One of the big myths is that this is a hippy peace drug," James says. "All it does is dampen down feelings. If you start smoking at a young age you end up putting a lid on normal, human feelings like anger, fear and sadness That means you never work through them. People who stop smoking weed have to risk those feelings bubbling up which can be very uncomfortable."

Finally James reached breaking point.

Driving to Berlin, to deliver a van full of furniture, he made a potentially catastrophic error: "I was really in debt and needed to fulfil this contract. Having smuggled my weed with me I set off to drive the last leg from Hamburg to Berlin. But when I stopped at a petrol station, I accidentally filled up with unleaded instead of diesel petrol. That was the last straw for me.

"It was a stupid, stoned mistake which might have cost me my business. In the end, I was lucky and they sent someone out with a replacement vehicle. But I made a promise to myself then and there, that nothing like that would ever happen again."

Throwing away his cannabis, James looked for help. With the support of Marijuana Anonymous ( www.marijuana-anonymous.org ) who organise meetings in London, he got his life back on track. But he was shocked to discover there wasn't more help available.

"We would get referrals from the drugs helpline Frank, from people all over the country, and it was frustrating because there was only a limited amount we could suggest."

Two years ago James started writing his self-help book, No Need for Weed. His book and website (www.clearhead.org) offer ways to deal with cannabis addiction. These include considering how each joint affects you and if you still get real pleasure from cannabis, visualising how you think your life could be better after not smoking for 12 months and distracting yourself with a new habit.

He advocates choosing a quitting day and sticking to it and finding the support of at least one person you trust to speak honestly about what you are doing and why. Then take it one day at a time, and acknowledge yourself for taking this positive step.
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source: Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Government launches cocaine crackdown


The government is launching a new crackdown on cocaine, Drugs Minister Vernon Coaker announced today.

A £1 million FRANK campaign targeted at 15-18 year olds, a commitment to the Colombian government’s Shared Responsibility campaign and a new leaflet illustrating the dangers of the drug are being announced to enhance the drive to tackle cocaine use.

The FRANK campaign will make young people aware of the health and social harms of using cocaine and aims to deglamourise the drug’s celebrity image by revealing its ugly consequences. The campaign will use a range of media including online advertising to reach young people with the real facts about the drug.

Coaker will also lead a summit with the representatives of Colombian government, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the National Treatment Agency and the London Drug Policy Forum to explore how the efforts to cut cocaine use can be enhanced. He will also attend a special exhibition in Trafalgar square with the Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos and former Blur bassist Alex James that will demonstrate the environmental and social destruction caused by cocaine use.

Coaker said “We have taken tough action against cocaine use in recent years. More than 1,100 crack houses have been closed thanks to powers we introduced four years ago."

“Cocaine use has been stable in recent years but it is a very dangerous drug for users and has a devastating impact on the people that live in producing countries. Cocaine users need to realise that their drug use destroys more than their health; it destroys the lives of innocent people caught up in kidnapping, exploitation and armed violence” he continued.

“We will continue to tackle cocaine and other illegal drugs through tough enforcement, innovate prevention campaigns, effective education and, where necessary, tailored treatment.”

The FRANK drug awareness campaign, which plays a crucial role in empowering young people with knowledge of the effects of drug use, celebrate its fifth anniversary on 23 May.
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source: http://drugs.homeoffice.gov.uk

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Heavy Marijuana Users Experience Withdrawal, Researcher Says

A study of heavy marijuana users found that about one-third reported resuming use of the drug to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms, according to researcher David Gorelick, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"Heavy pot users should be aware that they may experience a withdrawal syndrome that will make them uncomfortable when they try to quit," he said.

WebMD reported May 7 that Gorelick said at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association that the study involving about 500 heavy, long-term marijuana users -- about a quarter of whom reported smoking marijuana more than 10,000 times during their lifetime -- found that 42.4 percent of those studied reported at least one symptom of withdrawal, such as cravings, irritability, boredom, anxiety, or sleep disturbances when they abstained from use.

Not all of these users, however, resumed marijuana use as a result.

Gorelick said he expects marijuana-withdrawal syndrome to be included as a psychiatric disorder in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due in 2012.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

10 tips to stop drinking Alcohol

1. Stay away from places and situations where you might be tempted to drink. Don't go to bars and stop hanging around "drinking buddies" who won't support your efforts to quit drinking.

2. Get rid of all the alcohol in the house. If you have a spouse or roommate who drinks, kindly ask them not to drink around you. If you're serious about quitting alcohol, this is a step you must take.

3. Take it one day at a time.

4. Tell friends and family that you want to stop drinking alcohol. Hang around people who will stand by your decision and support you and your goal.

5. Give yourself incentive not to drink. For every day (or even every hour!) that passes that you don't drink, give yourself a pat on the back! Give yourself the credit you deserve for having the strength to stop drinking and share those big victories with family and friends.

6. Picture yourself how you would look in the future when you're completely alcohol-free. Visualization is very powerful in helping you make the right decisions.

7. Set realistic goals for yourself. Maybe you can't quit cold turkey, so perhaps you could gradually cut down you alcohol intake day by day.

8. Deal with the psychological and emotional issues related to your drinking problem. Many people begin drinking alcohol to get away from problems or maybe alcoholism is something that runs in the family. Find someone you feel comfortable talking to about these problems.

9. Find positive and meaningful activities to engage in.

10. Never give up!

Maria Palma is a freelance writer dedicated to helping people with their San Diego DUI. Make sure to hire a professional and experienced DUI lawyer in San Diego.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sex Addiction a serious problem

Reckless sexual behaviour - commonly known as sexual addiction - is a growing and serious problem, a researcher has found.

In the latest issue of the Sexual and Relationship Therapy journal, Robyn Salisbury, the director of Sex Therapy New Zealand, says treatment of the condition has been neglected for too long.

In an article she suggests practical measures to address sexual addiction such as developing strong non-sexual relationships and directly addressing such individual behaviours as chronic masturbation.

Salisbury said sexual addiction was at the root of many social ills.

"Look in your own backyard - rapes, murders, incest," she said.

"There are so many big social problems caused by sexuality issues and they're not addressed well and I think it's important."

Salisbury said sexual addiction was a similar problem to alcoholism or drug addiction. "Some of those people who act on the outside like they are highly appropriate, conservative people are actually seething with this kind of problem inside them and just need to get the appropriate help to deal with it."

There was a mountain of theoretical research into the problem but few practical solutions, she said.

Conservative attitudes to sex were partly to blame for this.

Salisbury said a recent case involving a teacher spotted looking at child pornography was an example of sexual addiction.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gambling, Drug Addiction and Alcoholism - Path to Hell

What Is Gambling?

Any betting or wagering for self or others whether for money or not and where the outcome is uncertain or depends on chance or probability constitutes gambling. Gambling comes in many forms. Most of them are for money.

Compulsive Gambling and Addiction

There is something called as compulsive gambling. It starts at the age of 20’s for most men and at the late 30’s for women as an entertaining, stress relieving and fun activity which eventually progresses to become a habitual gambling. However most people progressively become addict gamblers usually after a big win. After this the desire to win back all the money intensifies more rapidly. It is a disorder which causes inconvenience to both the gambler and his/her family. There is no cure for habitual gambling. Despite disruptions in family and professional life, the gambling goes on.

Compulsive gambling has three phases which include ecstasy when winning, severe tension and depression when loosing and extreme anxiety in between these two phases. Being a gambling addict not only causes trouble to the individual but also to the people around the individual. As the time passes, lying becomes a characteristic feature of the gambler and the family persons learns not to trust the individual. Then the relationship between the family and children becomes hatred and they eventually break up. The psychological agony and social turbulence can result in marital breakdown, financial ruin and irreparable personal life profile. Gambling is always associated with physical symptoms like anxiety, headaches, and depression leading to smoking and alcohol consumption.

As it progresses, the individual losses the job and the savings might be lost which may induce the individual to venture in criminal activities like stealing money from colleagues to obtain more funds for gambling. They also borrow large amount of money which is usually never be paid. They tend to ignore rents and other family expenses also.
Heavy gambling is done because of the easy access and availability of casinos. Individuals from the middle class family are more prone to gambling because of the unemployment.

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is probably known as the imbalance state of a person resulting in improper functioning of both his physique and mind. Drug addiction is not similar in drug dependence and its tolerance.

Do you know the drugs which are used for addiction?

Here some of the fundamental addict causing drugs is mentioned.

Stimulant Which Includes

Amphetamine and Methamphetamine
caffeine
cocaine
nicotine etc.,

Sedatives and Hypnotics Which Includes

Alcohol
Barbiturates
Benzodiazepines
alprazolam
clonazepam, temazepam
Methaqualone and the related quinazolinone

Opiate and Opioid Analgesics Which Consists of

Morphine and Codeine
Semi-synthetic opiates such as Heroin
(Diacetylmorphine), Oxycodone, and Hydromorphone


Marijuana

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a type of drug. It is a mixture of various parts (leaves, stems, seeds and flowers) of a plant called the hemp plant. The scientific name of hemp plant is Cannabis sativa. Marijuana has about 400 different types of chemical in it and some of them can cause cancer, but the main and active ingredient is called as tetrahydrocannabinol which is better known as THC. Ganja, chronic, pot, grass, boom and reefer are some of the common names but there are about 200 different names which refer to marijuana.

How and for what marijuana is used?

Marijuana is used in different ways. Some of users mix it with food, some brew it as tea but most of them smoke. Marijuana has tetrahydrocannabinol or THC which affects the brain and triggers it to release dopamine which gives high pleasure to the user for a short time.

Do you know the meaning of drug injection?

In olden days people prefer to take tobacco, alcohol, heroine etc., as a drug to nourish them. But nowadays it is casual to nourish them by using certain drug injections which is an instant process and also more effective. Though there are lots of alternatives it seems to be the time saving approach.


Alcoholism

What do you mean by the term alcoholism?

Alcoholism is the term reveals the meaning of simultaneous consumption of certain alcohol beverages. People are saying many reasons for the intake of this slow poison, despite of the health problems and negative social sequences made by it. Some people say that the sudden stop of certain alcoholic beverages will lead to a great problem in health. They argue that it will induce them to make a suicide attempt so it is always advisable to stop it.

What are the modern diagnoses taken against drug addiction?

Nowadays there are many modern diagnoses taken against the drug addiction through using modern technologies. It is possible to diagnose a person by knowing the intake of that particular drug. The recovery of the person depends on him. He should refuse to accept the intake of those drugs by himself.

In European countries they are struggling to bring down the people who were affected by drug addiction, but it is quite difficult there. On other hand in USA they have achieved.

What are the effects of marijuana and other drugs?

When the drug enters the brain, the THC present in it locates the neurons with specific receptors called cannabinoid receptors and binds to them. Then it influences the normal communication between the brain cells and causes lack of coordination. It is usually caused by smoking. High usage of the drug can cause anxiety and often panic attacks.
High concentrations of cannabinoid receptors are found in cerebellum, cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Centers of these parts of the brain are responsible for memory and certain types of learning. So when the THC binds to these parts it causes studying and memory problems like recalling the recent events becoming difficult. Cerebellum is associated with coordination. And another part of the brain called basal ganglia is also affected by THC. The basal ganglia control the movement of our body and hence our reflection becomes slow. So it is unwise to drive vehicles when marijuana is used or it may lead to accident.

Smoking Marijuana increases the chance of heart attacks. It may also lead to lung cancer even quickly than normal cigarette smoking because the Marijuana smoker tends to inhale more deeply and hold his breath longer than a cigarette smoker does.

What are the alternative therapies given for drug addiction?

Some of the medical experts say that acupuncture is one of the good alternative therapies for such addiction. Though there is some information about some alternative therapy, you can inquire to know which one is suitable to you.

What do you know about self medication?

Self medication termed as the treatment which is made for us and made by us without any medical supervision. If a buyer diagnoses himself using specific drug then it is fair to mention it as self medication.

It is not advisable to undertake self medication because you may use the drug on wrong ratio which leads to any other problems. So we should make sure about the nature and use of that drug.

Though many articles say about these drug addictions and its rehabilitation, it is not advisable to take certain drugs which leads to fatal results. It is better to conclude this essay by saying “prevention is better than cure”.

What is the cure?

Once addicted, it will be very difficult to come out. The user must have pure determination to get rid of these drugs.

Does Marijuana have medical values?

Marijuana has medical values. THC, the main and active ingredient can produce effects which can be potentially used for treating variety of medical conditions. It is also used in pills for stimulating appetite in AIDS patients. Scientific research is still going on about the medical values and the effects of the other chemicals present in marijuana.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Needing to Beat Addiction

Addiction is a horrible thing. It doesn't matter what exactly you're addicted to - drugs, alcohol, etc. When you're addicted you no longer have control of your life. You are living for the addiction. And that's no way to live. Needing to beat an addiction is obvious, but how to actually beat it too often seems impossible.

The worst part about any addiction is that the addict usually doesn't realize just how much they need help. They think they are in control. They think they can stop at anytime. In reality, they are in denial.

Other addicts know they need help but they just don't think they will get it. They may have failed at rehab. They may feel like they aren't strong enough to break the addiction. So they've stopped even trying to break free from the chains of the addiction.

Those who are in denial are the last people to get help. If a person doesn't believe they have a problem then they aren't likely to go for help. Usually people on the outside think the person is lying, that the person has to know they have a problem. But this isn't true. The addiction convinces the addict that he/she doesn't have a problem and that's what that person really believes.

There are two main reasons why people get to the point where they are needing to beat an addiction. They need to break the addiction so they don't hurt themselves anymore and/or so they don't hurt others anymore. People can permanently hurt themselves and permanently damage relationships because of their addiction.

Needing to beat an addiction is a tough position to be in. However, people need to admit they have a problem and then they need to believe they can get help. Those are the first two steps toward recovery. If a person can just go that far then there is a lot of hope that he/she can break free from the terrible chains of addiction.

For the secret how to beat an addiction... when nothing else has worked... visit: http://www.quit-drugs-alcohol.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Charles_Rose

Friday, May 2, 2008

Treatment Options

Twelve Questions to Consider When Selecting Treatment Programs

If you or someone you care for is dependent on alcohol or drugs and needs treatment, it is important to know that no single treatment approach is appropriate for all individuals. Finding the right treatment program involves careful consideration of such things as the setting, length of care, philosophical approach and your or your loved one's needs.

Here are 12 questions to consider when selecting a treatment program:

* Does the program accept your insurance? If not, will they work with you on a payment plan or find other means of support for you?
* Is the program run by state-accredited, licensed and/or trained professionals?
* Is the facility clean, organized and well-run?
* Does the program encompass the full range of needs of the individual (medical: including infectious diseases; psychological: including co-occurring mental illness; social; vocational; legal; etc.)?
* Does the treatment program also address sexual orientation and physical disabilities as well as provide age, gender and culturally appropriate treatment services?
* Is long-term aftercare support and/or guidance encouraged, provided and maintained?
* Is there ongoing assessment of an individual's treatment plan to ensure it meets changing needs?
* Does the program employ strategies to engage and keep individuals in longer-term treatment, increasing the likelihood of success?
* Does the program offer counseling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies to enhance the individual's ability to function in the family/community?
* Does the program offer medication as part of the treatment regimen, if appropriate?
* Is there ongoing monitoring of possible relapse to help guide patients back to abstinence?
* Are services or referrals offered to family members to ensure they understand addiction and the recovery process to help them support the recovering individual?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Retirees pushing pills to get by

enice, Florida —- The battle against drug addiction is one that Norman Shewman has waged for 41 years.

Since Vietnam, the 57-year-old's addictions have centered on heroin and alcohol, but for the past seven years he's been clean. Now he's helping save the lives of others as the CEO of Home Detox, the only home detox center in the state. Unfortunately, with the boom in pharmacies in recent years, business is too good. Shewman saw 125 patients in 2007. He also began to see a trend.

“I've had patients tell me that they go to older people for the drugs,” says Shewman.

By older, he means seniors. More and more are pushing what they have access to in order to just get by.

“If you're only making $600-$700 a month and that is your social security, well, they find out they can sell their pills for $50 a piece. All of a sudden $50 times 30, what is that? $1500,” says Shewman.

Some Bay area residents that we spoke with have heard of seniors cashing in. For them, the concept is almost too difficult to fathom even in these economic times.

“It's sad that for such a great nation we have to get to the point where elderly have to be selling their drugs to provide for themselves,” says Tonya Van Fossen of Bradenton.

Another bitter pill of reality that makes it difficult for many to swallow is the fact that the Bay area has seen a rash of robberies at pharmacies in recent weeks.

“I'd be a little nervous about being a pharmacist because these kids are coming in fully armed and holding up the pharmacist,” says Mike Dyer, a retiree from New York.

If the economy continues to turn south, the potential for more drug-related crimes is expected to intensify.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Environment Key Early: Genes' Role Expands In Alcohol Dependence

ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2008) — The influence of genetics increases as young women transition from taking their first drink to becoming alcoholics. A team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that although environment is most influential in determining when girls begin to drink, genes play a larger role if they advance to problem drinking and alcohol dependence.

The researchers studied 3,546 female twins ages 18 to 29 to ferret out the influences of genes and environment in the development of alcohol dependence.

The road to alcohol dependence involves transitions through many stages of drinking behaviors: from the first drink to the first alcohol-related problems (such as drinking and driving, difficulty at school or work related to alcohol use) to alcohol dependence.

Environmental factors the twins shared, such as exposure to conflict between parents or alcohol use among peers in school, exerted the largest influence on initiation of alcohol use. The study found that females who had their first drink at an earlier age were more likely to develop serious alcohol problems. The researchers found that all transitions were attributable in part to genetic factors, increasing from 30 percent for the timing of first drink to 47 percent for the speed at which women progressed from problem drinking to alcohol dependence. But genetics did not explain everything.

"Even when genetic factors are most influential, they account for less than half of the influence on drinking behavior," says lead author Carolyn E. Sartor, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Medicine. "That's good news in terms of modifying these behaviors and reducing the risk of developing alcohol dependence. Genetics are not destiny, and our findings suggest that there are opportunities to intervene at all stages of alcohol use."

Friday, April 25, 2008

New Generation Gap as Older Addicts Seek Help

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — All is peaceful and orderly on the older adult unit at Hanley Center, where substance abusers over the age of 55 are spared the noisy swagger of addicts half their age across the campus.

In their separate oasis, alcoholics and prescription drug abusers of a certain age do not curse at one another, raise their voices in anger or blast music at midnight. They don’t brag about their macho pasts or stage drama-queen breakups on the communal pay phone. They show up on time for therapy groups.

“We have different health issues, different emotional issues, different grief issues,” said Patrick Gallagher, 66, who was treated here for a dual addiction to pain medication and alcohol. “We need more peace and quiet and a different pace.”

Across the country, substance abuse centers are reaching out to older addicts whose numbers are growing and who have historically been ignored. There are now residential and outpatient clinics dedicated to those over 50, special counselors just for them at clinics that serve all ages, and screenings at centers for older Americans and physicians’ offices to identify older people unaware of their risk.

Addiction specialists and organizations for the elderly anticipate a tidal wave of baby boomers needing help for addictions, often for different substances and with different attitudes toward treatment than the generation that came before them. Federal data shows the shifting demographics: In 2005, 184,400 Americans who were admitted to drug treatment programs — roughly 10 percent of the total — were over 50, up from 143,000, or 8 percent of the total, in 2001.

The same report, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, foresees 4.4 million older substance abusers by 2020, compared with 1.7 million in 2001 — numbers that are “likely to swamp the current system,” said Deborah Trunzo, who coordinates research for the agency.

At Hanley Center, Carol Colleran, a 71-year-old counselor, pioneered age-segregated residential treatment, challenging one-size-fits-all programs that mix people of all ages. Odyssey House in East Harlem, with its low-income clientele, has followed Hanley’s lead. Older adults are harder to lure into treatment, officials say, because of a generational aversion to airing one’s laundry in public. But once there, they are often highly motivated and more likely to complete a program.

“We are reticent and don’t readily share our feelings in a group,” Mr. Gallagher said. “That’s not something we’ve grown up with.”

But living with people of a similar background, he said, had given him a “comfort level and a sense of belonging” conducive to success.

Treatment providers are seeing signs that the 50-and-over group is not, in fact, monolithic. Rather, it is divided between the “old old” and the “young old,” the Silent Generation and the Me Generation. Neither feels much kinship with the Lindsay Lohan set. But neither do they necessarily feel much kinship with each other, and counselors are bracing for a collision of cultures.

According to the federal report, 83 percent of older addicts were 50 to 59, and the trailing edge of the baby boom, age 50 to 54, is the fastest-growing older group: They were 6 percent of all admissions in 2005, from 3 percent a decade earlier.

“It’s already changing,” said Tom Early, a counselor on Hanley’s older-adult unit, where the patients, all alcoholics or prescription drug abusers, are 55 to 78. “We can see it. We can feel it.”

Alcohol remains the dominant problem for both groups, although that is changing quickly. Among patients over 65, 76 percent abuse alcohol; many have allowed social drinking to get out of hand after the isolation of retirement or loss of a spouse. In the 50-to-54 age group, by contrast, 55 percent cite alcohol, followed by opiates, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines. Prescription drug abuse is climbing in both groups, led by anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and pain-killers like Oxycontin.

Ms. Colleran said prescription drug abuse among the “old old” was usually accidental. They have faith that anything a doctor prescribes must be safe, she said. In the younger group, these medications are knowingly abused, experts said, by buying them online or borrowing from friends.

As the age group skews younger, Ms. Colleran said: “They say, ‘I’m not like anyone else.’ They challenge everything.”

These characteristics, she added, make treatment tricky and require new techniques, like cognitive behavior therapy and lectures on anger management by the noted male-consciousness-raiser Iron John (a k a Robert Bly). Anger and stubbornness are more prevalent among those in their 50s. At Senior Hope, an outpatient clinic for older adults in Albany, 55-year-old Ken Einbinder described fantasies of violence that seemed to dismay or embarrass group members in their 70s.

Only John Quinn, 54, nodded knowingly. He was struggling after a recent relapse and had been prescribed an antidepressant. Mr. Quinn tossed out the pills without telling anyone because, he told the group, they caused erectile dysfunction. Dr. William Rockwood, founder of Senior Hope, said older clients, even if they complained of the same side effect, would have complied with medical advice.

On Hanley’s older-adult unit, there is disdain for street drugs, which “very few of us have used,” Mr. Gallagher said. On the patio where residents take cigarette breaks , a half dozen said the harmony of the group would be compromised by the addition of crack, heroin or even marijuana abusers.

One 61-year-old alcoholic said that “if the numbers flipped so there were more of them than me, I’d be out of here.” He added that he had stopped attending Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, and relapsed, because of an influx of young drug addicts.

The antipathy toward street drugs is a function of socio-economic class, said Frederic Blow, who studies elderly substance abuse at the Addiction Research Center at the University of Michigan. For Hanley’s clients, who pay $24,500 for a 28-day rehab, “it’s not part of their culture.”

Indeed, no such distinction is made at the unit for older adults at Odyssey House, where clients are mostly poor, addicted to heroin or crack, and remanded by the courts for 12 to 18 months of subsidized care.

But across social class, many older substance abusers said, they no longer consider themselves invincible.

A 66-year-old chief of staff at a veterans’ hospital, recently treated at Hanley, said he had no patience with men in their 20s and 30s who “aren’t finished drinking and drugging and think their war stories are a badge of honor.”

The doctor, since retired, pointed to “all we have to lose — the social binding” that accumulates with age. In his case, that included a 40-year marriage and children and grandchildren who refused to see him until he was sober.

“I just wanted to stop drinking and get on with my life,” he said.

At Odyssey House, Charles White, 57, said of the younger clients: “They think they have another run in them. And as far as the ladies go, they have no respect.”

Mr. White was dignified in a dark suit and tie and chivalrous as he held a chair for Doris Ellison, 55, another longtime heroin addict, also dressed in her Sunday best.

“It was a different era,” Ms. Ellison said. “We had a lot of guidance growing up. They don’t have that at home. Their parents — and that includes some of us — are out there drugging. But now, for however many years we have left, we can try and do the right thing.”

For Ms. Ellison, that includes setting an example for 26-year-old Milagros Bonilla, who lives on a separate floor and attends separate therapy groups but got to know the older woman on long bus rides to high school equivalency classes.

Ms. Bonilla said people her age were “kind of loud and obnoxious” and often less disciplined than their elders. She credits Ms. Ellison with inspiring her to get clean, stick to her studies and remain hopeful that she will regain custody of three daughters in foster care.

“She’s more motivating to me than anyone my age, because she makes me feel anything is possible,” Ms. Bonilla, whose own mother is dead, said of Ms. Ellison.

Officials at these age-segregated programs promote the success of their clients. But, Dr. Blow said, completion rates are poor statistical measures of long-term sobriety. Nevertheless, he is persuaded, based on years of observation, that age-specific treatment “makes total sense.”

At Senior Hope in Albany, Dan Fitzsimmons, 79, an executive for a major utility, and Tom Hyde, 76, who owned a sheet music business, became good friends.

Both let their drinking get out of hand in retirement, when they had too much time on their hands and a shrinking circle of companions. Both relapsed once and helped each other get back on the wagon. Now, they are determined to leave a proper legacy for their grandchildren.

Mr. Fitzsimmons needs only to think back to his own adolescence, when he was assigned the task of finding his grandfather in neighborhood bars. All these years later, Mr. Fitzsimmons said, he carries the indelible memory of “an old gray-haired guy out on another toot.”

“I’m not going to let that happen to me,” he said. “It’s not the way I want to be remembered.”

http://www.nytimes.com

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vatican Makes Drug Use a Deadly Sin

New York, NY (1888PressRelease) April 23, 2008 - With Pope Benedict XVI currently visiting the United States, many American Catholics are wondering: Could their “innocent” drug use be putting their mortal souls at risk?

Yes, it could, according the Vatican, which recently added seven new offenses to its list of deadly sins—among them, genetic modification, polluting the environment and taking drugs.

“I don’t think this is going to help anyone,” says Stephen Della Valle, author of the new addiction and recovery memoir Rising Above the Influence. “Addicts already feel hopeless and worthless. With the Pope now telling them that they’re eternally damned, and that there’s nothing they can do about it, how likely will they be to seek help?”

The Catholic Church has not updated its list of deadly sins in 1,500 years. This current modification, which also lists “contributing to the widening divide between the rich and poor” and “‘morally dubious’ experiments such as stem cell research,” seeks to address today’s more secular world and what the Pope has referred to as our “decreasing sense of sin.”

Today, there’s no doubt that drug use is an international epidemic. Surveys have shown disturbing addiction trends in nations around the world, including:
• Mexico: marijuana, cocaine and inhalants reported as the most-used drugs
• East and South Asia: heroin is the number-one choice; cannabis comes in second
• Australia: while marijuana and amphetamines remain most popular, heroin is becoming more widely available
• Various European countries: heroin and other opiates continue to top the list
• Canada: marijuana is most widely used, but heroin is a growing problem, and cocaine is considered a major health issue

“I understand where the Vatican is coming from on this,” says Mr. Della Valle. “Drug abuse is a serious problem in many countries. But I’d be more impressed if they created a Church-based recovery program to help the drug and alcohol abusers of the world, instead of condemning them.”