Alcohol and Drugs Misuse

Fatherless Children, A Consequence of Drug Addiction, Fathers and Prison

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse, Family & Friends, Parenting | 1 comment

Fatherless ChildAccording to the principles behind the New Jersey Mandatory Drug Court Program, signed into active law on July 19, 2012 by N.J. governor Chris Christie, no life is disposable. Legislation S-881 establishes guidelines for helping individuals overcome drug addiction. The Program stands on the groundwork of fiscal and moral commonsense: Helping drug addicts reclaim their lives exceeds the performance of a warehouse prison system.

A fatherless child remains one of the worst consequences of drug addiction. The addicted adult ends up in prison. The child of the prisoner – rose to adulthood by a faulty system – ends up following suit. Addiction begets addiction. In the end, society reaps even greater fiscal and moral consequences.

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

A study initiated by the BJS reports on the issue of minors with incarcerated parents. The background study group includes parents in prison for sexual abuse, alcohol addiction, mental health, drug abuse and other complications. Primary points of notice include:

  • Over 744,000 fathers in prison
  • Over 65,000 mothers in prison
  • Over 1.5 million minor children left without a father, mother or both
  • Better than one quarter of the minor children are under four years old
  • 59% of the offenders with children are incarcerated on drug charges
  • Over 34% of the prisoners with children report a home background that includes drug and/or alcohol abuse by their parents or legal guardians.

Prison life is filled with frustration – even for those with strong minds, courageous hearts and the ability to focus on a promising future. If you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex or any other form of mental illness, don’t wait until help becomes part of a mandatory jail term. You need not live in torment. You need not let your children live without a father or without a mother.

It’s not easy to step into a drug rehabilitation and treatment program. But for happiness, self-control and the sake of your children, it is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

Seek help now.

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Detox

Posted by on Jun 5, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse, Problems | 0 comments

Drug detoxification, commonly known as detox, is any procedure that removes drugs from a patient’s body. The patient is typically under the influence of these drugs at the time of the detox treatment. Detox programs typically take place on an inpatient basis where health professional can monitor the patient’s vital signs continuously.

Overview

The purpose of detox is to eliminate the patient’s physical dependence on drugs. It is the first phase in a drug treatment program and must be followed by rehabilitation, which addresses the patient’s behavioral, psychological and social reasons for taking drugs.

Detox generally begins with evaluation, where medical professionals test the patient to determine the specific drugs that are present in the patient’s body. They may also evaluate the patient for existing conditions, especially psychological disorders. The stabilization stage includes informing the patient about what to expect during detox in addition to the actual detox process. The end of drug detox prepares the patient for rehabilitation and enrolls the patient in an appropriate program.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms occur when a patient who is physically dependent upon a drug suddenly stops taking it. The onset of withdrawal symptoms depends primarily on the type of drug. For example, withdrawal symptoms from heroin typically begin 12 hours after the last use. Methadone withdrawal symptoms take about 30 hours to appear.

The early symptoms of withdrawal can vary according to the specific drug, but typically include the following:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Watery eyes
  • Yawning

The late symptoms of withdrawal are more severe and include the following:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Types

Detox programs may be classified into two basic types. The most common type involves gradually reducing the dosage of the drugs, which minimizes the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. A rapid detox program withholds all drugs from the patient, which requires less time but also has more severe withdrawal symptoms. This type of detox program may include sedating the patient while the withdrawal symptoms are at their most severe.

The length of time required for a detox program depends on the specific program and degree of addiction. A traditional detox program has an average length of two weeks, although this can range from a few days to a few weeks. The majority of the withdrawal symptoms will be gone when the patient awakes from a rapid detox program.

Benefits

Drug use typically causes users to distance themselves from friends and family members as they spend more of their time trying to acquire drugs. A detox program generally allows patients to begin rehabilitation, so they can resume their normal lives. It also removes the physical, mental and legal risks caused by chronic drug use.

Alcohol abuse impairs a person’s ability to perform daily tasks and increases the risk of violent behavior. Cirrhosis of the liver is a common physical risk of alcohol. The legal risks of alcohol abuse also include being arrested for drinking while under the influence. Insurance companies often will not pay a claim for an accident that occurs while the policyholder is intoxicated.

Opiates are a class of drugs found in the opium poppy and include other drugs derived from natural opiates. They generally slow the functioning of the central nervous system and produce effects similar to those of alcohol. Opiates carry a higher risk of strokes than alcohol.

Stimulants such as meth amphetamines increase blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart failure. Their use often causes cramps, headaches, insomnia, irritability and vomiting. Some stimulants also result in a high body temperature, which can lead to seizures.

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Drug Rehab

Posted by on Jun 5, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse, Problems | 4 comments

The moment a person realizes that they or a loved one needs help with a drug or alcohol problem can be one that’s wrought with pain. But the admittance of a problem brings hope for a solution. Committing to a solution can be a scary step for the person suffering through addiction, as well as for those surrounding him or her. Today’s drug rehab programs provide an effective avenue toward hope and healing, while also removing the scariness and discomfort that was associated with substance abuse treatment in the past. The information below can help those considering treatment feel more informed about and comfortable with the process.

What is Drug Rehab?

Drug rehabilitation is a medically-supervised treatment program that’s staffed with a variety of medical personnel, people trained in addictions and those who have successfully recovered from addiction themselves. Drug rehab helps individuals suffering from addiction to move through the various phases of treatment so they can recover successfully. During the initial detoxification phase, the person works toward becoming free from the presence of drugs or alcohol in their body. Afterward, they participate in therapy, life skills classes and other rehab components to help them transition into sober living.

Why Would Someone Need Drug Rehab?

An addiction to illegal street drugs, prescription drugs or alcohol happens when the user’s body or mind becomes dependent upon the substance. Once chemical dependency develops, it’s nearly impossible for the user to stop abusing drugs or alcohol on his or her own. Willpower doesn’t work and neither does the begging or threatening of a loved one because withdrawal symptoms are too powerful and painful to work through without professional help.

Signs & Symptoms of Addiction

The initial signs of addiction may be subtle, but they will become more obvious as the addiction becomes more intense. Personality changes can indicate substance abuse, as can a reduced interest in people and things that were previously important. Work and school often suffer, and continued abuse leads to serious family consequences for partners and children. Eventually, health consequences occur, including weight loss or gain, inability to sleep, restlessness, agitation and feeling disoriented. Despite the severe ramifications of continued substance abuse, the user will continue succumbing to the addiction because he or she needs the substance to be able to function normally.

The Benefits of Drug Rehab

A drug rehab program provides the person with a safe, comfortable environment and the compassionate care and support necessary to detox and recover. Close supervision and individualized attention ensure the person’s mental and physical needs are being met, while helping him or her safely transition from addiction to sobriety.

Types of Drug Rehab

Different types of drug rehab are available, but an in-patient program is a smart option for most individuals struggling with addiction. Out-patient treatment programs are also available, providing the person with the ability to go home each day. The length of time spent in an in-patient or out-patient programs varies depending upon the individual and his or her addiction. Once treatment is completed, an aftercare program that includes regular recovery meetings is a vital part of living in sobriety.

The decision to seek drug rehabilitation and treatment is one that demonstrates that someone is ready to put control of their life back into their own hands. Although the first step isn’t an easy one, it’s well-worth it when the individual begins to regain their health, feel hopeful again and experience moments of happiness. Drug rehab can be the experience that changes a person’s life and allows them to enjoy the kind of life they deserve to live…one of happiness and hope in sobriety.

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One Solution to Excessive Alcohol Use

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse | 0 comments

Sometimes alcohol misuse becomes so much a part of one’s life that people can experience it as a “lifestyle.” In the following “certificate of celebration,” a 40-year-old woman, the single (sole) parent of two children, celebrates her desire to leave behind a lifestyle of alcohol misuse. Together with her therapist, she created this reminder of her intention to perform a new lifestyle of courage:

To Remember, Honor, and Celebrate Successful Methods
I Can Use to Stand Against a Substance Misusing Lifestyle

  • First, I can remember what an alcoholic lifestyle robs from me, because during and after I get captured I feel:
    • I’ve been licked
    • Emptiness, Yukiness, Disappointment
    • Energy-less
    • I can’t (don’t) experience life
    • My life is full of emptiness
    • I can’t (don’t) joke with co-workers
    • I miss out on too much of life
    • Misuse doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do anymore
    • I do and say things against my better judgment

 

  • Then I can remember, honor, and celebrate the courageous steps I took to kick substance misuse out of my life in the past:
    • My stories of Independence and Persistence
    • I went to lots of meetings
    • I gave up old friends who supported misuse
    • I moved away from old places
    • I surrounded myself with new people who supported me
    • I took steps and lived each day
    • I stayed busy and had fun
    • I asked for help and got support

I HAVE A WISH TO BECOME A LIFETIME MEMBER OF THE “AALL”
[Anti-Alcoholic Lifestyle League]

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Solutions (Do’s and Don’ts)

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse | 0 comments

Do’s

  • Talk honestly and openly with your child regarding your concerns.
  • Be active and engage in recreational pursuits with your child.
  • Ask your child to explain the meaning of her/his substance use/misuse.
  • If there is substance abuse, ask others to assist you in talking with your child (e.g., a favorite teacher, coach, priest, pastor, counselor, relative, friend).
  • Encourage your child to talk about the ways in which s/he is being affected by “fears,” “doubts,” “frustrations,” “suffering,” and “pain.”
  • Encourage your child to think about the many invitations and temptations to misuse substances.
  • Question the cultural norms that children are supposed to become “separate” and independent from parents and that strong parent/child connections are “dysfunctional.”
  • As a parent, reflect critically upon your own expectations, desires, and dreams for your child, realizing these can all be negotiated, and re-negotiated, with input from your child.
  • Continue to hope love will prevail.

Don’ts

  • Don’t be reactive: not all substance use is misuse or abuse.
  • Don’t be seduced by the myth that all substance misuse is a disease, and that lifelong abstinence is the only cure.
  • Don’t allow “guilt” to convince you that you are a “bad parent” or that your child’s substance misuse is all your responsibility.
  • Don’t have your child locked in a secure program without careful consideration regarding the program’s philosophy of treatment.
  • Don’t allow “shame” to isolate you and to keep you from talking with concerned others about the effects your child’s substance misuse has upon you.
  • Don’t give up love and hopefulness.
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Questions to Ask about Drug and Alcohol Misuse

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse | 0 comments

Beginning Questions Parents Can Ask Their Children

The following are examples of questions parents (and concerned others) can ask young persons regarding substance misuse:

  • Can we talk about some of the negative effects that substance misuse has started having in your life?
  • Do you think that a substance-misusing lifestyle is working for you or against you, at this point in your life?
  • Have you seen negative effects from substance use at school, work, and/or home?
  • Has substance misuse started to interfere with any of the dreams you have had for your life?
  • What intentions for your future do drugs have in mind for you?
  • What intentions for your own future do you have, at this time?
  • How much have drugs taken away of what you like about your self?
  • How much could they take?

Parent’s Questions That Support Children

  • What actions have you taken recently to reclaim your health/relationships/mind from the influence of substances?
  • Who else has started to notice this difference, and is now standing with you in this struggle?
  • What gave you the idea that you could begin to protest the domination of your life by substances?
  • With the courage and commitment you are now showing to practice moderation, or to be drug-free, who in your life is the most surprised? Who is the least surprised?
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