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., 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) 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 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

We appreciate input to further refine and maintain the efficiency of this website.
Please contact us with your thoughts. Thank You.

"Turn over a new leaf with"

Our motto "Hope, Help, Heal, and Happiness" shows the path.
You provide the hope. We provide the help 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.
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.

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