Helping Grandparents Care for the Children of Incarcerated Parents

Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in Parenting | 0 comments

Grandparent Child CareOnly a few stages in life can match the difficulties associated with raising children. As a parent, you must keep watch over the child’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. You must also learn to take notice of antisocial behavior and self-destructive life choices. When you are a grandparent and the parenting issues involve the adolescent offspring of imprisoned parents, the complications accumulate like a Los Angeles brush fire.

According to a report from the Oregon Social Learning Center, youth with an antisocial parent or parents are three to six times more likely to engage in dangerous antisocial activities. Furthermore, these behavior patterns typically lead to criminal behavior at young ages with a high risk of additional problems such as:

  • Academic complications
  • Early-life sexual encounters
  • Substance abuse
  • Abrasive peer behavior
  • Complicated work habits
  • Marriage issues
  • Parenting complications
  • More.

Current predictions suggest that the adolescent children of incarcerated parents will be involved in a critical criminal situation by age 15 to 25. In many cases, incarceration of the child will follow.

Coping as a Grandparent

In many events, grandparents bear the burden of rearing the young children of incarcerated mothers. This presents many complications, including:

  • Financial expenses
  • Matters of control and respect
  • Issues concerning parent-child relationships
  • Parental visitations
  • Child welfare
  • Emotional and social issues
  • Governmental interventions
  • More.

When a child goes through the family transition of parent to grandparent, certain resentments tend to follow. Without proper guidance, the grandparent can be overwhelmed by the renewed responsibilities of full-time parenting. Whether the child reacts violently, sullenly or seemingly without concern, the shift in family relationships stands out like a casket the parlor. Even if never discussed in the open, everyone knows that things are now different.

Current studies have confirmed the links between father/mother criminality and the antisocial behavior of the adolescent offspring. Even now, lawmakers are working to improve the justice system. But the effects are yet in the future. Right now, every grandparent burdened to rear the child of an incarcerated child faces great challenges, many heartaches and perhaps a long battle with their own sense of well-being and sanity.

Planet therapy provides parenting support and workshops for grandparents as well as parents. Your task is difficult and the future of your grandchild may hang in the balance. Seek help today.


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

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse, Family & Friends, Parenting | 0 comments

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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Mental Illness – A Commentary on the Situation of the Mentally Ill Within the National Institute of Corrections

Posted by on Jul 23, 2012 in Living with illness | 0 comments

What Happens When the Mental Illness Collides With Mental Illness

Being locked behind bars is never easy. Being locked behind bars while lacking the mental capacity to comprehend all that has happened evokes a state of depression beyond measure.

In June of 2001, a 49 year old adult male spent three months in the Hillsborough, NC country jail. Eleven other prisoners shared with him the crowded confinements of a cell designed to house eight men. It was there that he made acquaintances with a mentally troubled, illegal Mexican immigrant. For two years, the Mexican man had remained locked within that tiny block of Hillsborough real estate. He was incapable of contacting relatives, unable to understand what requirements the U.S. government expected him to meet and uninformed as to when or how his period behind bars would come to an end.

The depth of this man’s pain is clearly expressed in the words of the prisoner who shared the story, “I have never, in my entire life, witnessed such a haunted expression on the face of a fellow human being.”

If you have a loved one or a friend caught up within the current legal system, expect strange behavior. When incarcerated, even people without prior mental disorders will go through stages of depression, paranoia, anger and irrational displays of blame and confusion.

Loved Ones, Mental Illness and Jail

In a joint report issued by the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), mentally ill people are three times more likely to end up incarcerated rather than hospitalized. Additional TAC figures suggest that:

  • Local jails book approximately two million individuals with complex mental illnesses every year.just in the images folder
  • Thirty percent of incarcerated females suffer some measure of mental turmoil, including complications such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
  • In most cases, the mentally ill offender is booked and incarcerated for minor, non-violent wrongdoings.
  • Among previously arrested mentally ill prisoners, the average rate of re-arrest runs nearly fifty percent. Rather than new offenses, the primary cause of return to prison is related to the offenders inability to comply with the written and verbal conditions of release as stated in parole or probation specifics.

Get on the Forefront of the Battle Against Wrongful Incarceration of the Mentally Ill

According to the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), some estimates suggest that mental illness may affect as many as two million incarcerated individuals. The problem often involves co-occurring substance abuse disorders.

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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.


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


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.


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 | 0 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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Antidepressants And Weight loss

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Depression | 0 comments

antidepressants and weight lossStudies have shown that there is a close relationship between antidepressants and weight loss, depending on the type of antidepressant used. There are many medications that have been researched and shown to have a link between antidepressants and weight loss. How the relationship between antidepressants and weight loss is dependant on several factors, such as a major increase in a patient’s metabolism, the ability to burn off more calories which overlap with faster metabolism, and can reduce appetites in patients, causing the patients to ignore or eliminate food cravings and avoid sudden binging on food. Better mental states such as higher happiness and optimism are also shown to be a link between antidepressants and weight loss.

One of the leading factors in the research between antidepressants and weight loss include reports of a faster metabolism in patients. This a chemical process deep within our bodies; the right types of antidepressants alter our thyroid glands, which produces hormones that aid our metabolisms and aid in weight loss. Antidepressants and weight loss research also show that antidepressants can decrease the release of a hormone called prolactin, which allows more thyroid hormones to be produced. When all of this occurs, there are ultimately more thyroid hormones in our system, which really jump starts our metabolism and causes rapid weight loss.

The studies between antidepressants and weight loss have also shown reports that patients are granted more energy from the medications, which then allows them to run out and burn calories more easily and more quickly. Some of the top antidepressants that are capable of this effect include Wellbutrin, Adderall, and Dexedrine. While prescribed for other problems such as ADD and ADHD in this day and age, they can still be used for antidepressant purposes, as well as being shown to be a link between antidepressants and weight loss and boosting the efficiency of other medications.

One of the mental side effects that have been shown through antidepressants and weight loss research is the increase of happiness and optimism in patients. When this occurs in a patient, it leads to more confidence and energy to move around a lot more and partake in physical, productive activities. Needless to say, changes such as these aids greatly in helping to lose weight, and this is one of the greatest benefits that have come about through antidepressants and weight loss research.

Even with all of this information, be careful not to rely on these medications too much for weight problems, as there is still nothing better than proper dieting and exercise. However, if you need medication for depression and could stand to lose a few pounds, the studies between antidepressants and weight loss should aid you immensely. As the research between antidepressants and weight loss is carried out daily, more benefits are discovered, and techniques to refine medication to take advantage of this research are uncovered, look forward to better and stronger medication that will work more effectively than any other medication before it.

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