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Browse Topics > Addiction CATEGORIES 
Feel free to discuss your addiction, or the addiction of someone you care for. We hope that from this site you will gain the encouragement you need.
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10/08/13 Rob Lowe has been sober for 23 years. Thanks to http://on.fb.me/1bWOavU for sharing this good news!
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Breaking the Intergenerational Cycle of Substance Abuse
By Celia Vimont
Children raised in a household with one or more parents struggling with a substance use disorder often use compliance as a coping mechanism—a skill that often no longer serves them well in adulthood, according to an expert who spoke recently at the National Council Mental Health and Addictions Conference.
Teaching new skills to substitute for learned patterns can help break the intergenerational cycle of substance abuse, says Robert Neri, MA, LMHC, CAP, Senior Vice President/Chief Clinical Officer of the WestCare Foundation in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“We see a number of clients who have learned to be compliant because of how unpredictable the adults were in their life—they realized the best strategy was to blend into the woodwork, and not to make waves or test anyone,” he says. “Most kids test the adults around them, to stretch and make their world bigger, but in children living in families with substance abuse, compliance is a survival tool.”
Neri teaches his counseling staff that if a client does everything in treatment correctly, that can be a sign they are not internalizing, but rather simply adapting. “We see that with people who have been in treatment settings a lot—they learn not to make mistakes. But as the saying goes, ‘If you make an A in treatment, you make an F in recovery.’ We have to realize that mistakes are a wonderful opportunity to learn.” He encourages his staff to tell clients that making mistakes allows them to learn how to tolerate frustration.
Compliance is one key reason so many people with substance use disorders do well while in the criminal justice system, but relapse, often only days after they are released. “They do well in a structured environment, but when that structure goes away, the person hasn’t built any internal structure to rely on.”
Learning how to play is another coping skill Neri teaches clients. “Children who grow up in a family with substance abuse become pseudo-adults, learning how to take care of their parents,” Neri says. “They’ve missed their childhood. When we get them into treatment, they often avoid leisure-time activities. They are uncomfortable with these activities, because they never experienced them as children,” Neri observes.
Knowing who to trust is also a vital coping skill, according to Neri. “First, we have to acknowledge that not trusting people has, in many cases, probably kept them alive, but now they need to expand their interpersonal tools to learn how to trust,” he says. Clients learn how to evaluate who is trustworthy through exercises such as making a list of qualities they would want in a potential business partner, and interviewing members of their treatment group to see who matches the qualifications.
Clients who have spent years viewing themselves as victims can break the cycle of substance abuse by learning they are free to make choices, Neri states. “This gives them a model of empowerment, so they can take control and change the script.”
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U.S. Cocaine, Meth Use on the Decline, Kerlikowske Tells International Commission
By Join Together Staff | May 10, 2012 | 2 Comments | Filed in Drugs, Government & Treatment
Use of drugs, particularly cocaine and methamphetamine, is on the decline in the United States, according to U.S. National Drug Control Policy Director R. Gil Kerlikowske. He spoke this week at the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission.
Kerlikowske said American drug use has already dropped by one-third since its peak in the 1970s. Cocaine use has declined 40 percent, and methamphetamine use by 50 percent, in the past five years, he added.
He said the Obama Administration is focusing on placing criminals driven by an underlying substance use disorder into supervised treatment, in order to break the cycle of drug use and crime, UPI reports. He noted 120,000 people in the United States are diverted into treatment, instead of incarceration, each year.
Kerlikowske discussed other public health initiatives to reduce drug use, including Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, which helps health institutions recognize the signs and symptoms of drug addiction early.
“The Affordable Care Act is also revolutionary, because for the first time, it makes drug treatment a required benefit for all Americans who suffer from substance abuse disorders – nothing short of a revolution in how we deal with substance use in the U.S.,” he said in a statement.
The administration is also focusing on major drug trafficking groups operating within the United States, he said. In 2011, U.S. law enforcement agencies disrupted or dismantled 612 drug trafficking organizations on the Attorney General’s Consolidated Priority Organization Target list, which centers on the major drug trafficking and violent criminal groups in the United States.
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Study Review Concludes Hypnosis and Acupuncture Can Help Some Smokers Quit
Acupuncture and hypnosis can be effective in helping some smokers quit, according to a review of 14 studies. These approaches may be useful for smokers who can’t stop smoking using standard approaches such as nicotine replacement therapy, medications and behavioral counseling, Reuters reports.
The researchers say they still do not know exactly how effective acupuncture and hypnosis are as smoking cessation aids, and how they compare with conventional treatments.
Some studies included in the review found that smokers who used acupuncture were more than three times as likely to be smoke free after six months to one year. Smokers who underwent hypnosis were also more successful at quitting smoking compared with those who received minimal assistance, according to the article.
The success rate of the treatments was not consistent in all of the studies reviewed. Lead researcher Mehdi Tahiri of McGill University in Montreal noted it is still not known how many sessions of acupuncture or hypnosis are needed to help smokers quit, or which specific techniques are most effective.
The findings appear in the American Journal of Medicine.
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I found this interesting article on NIDA:

Prescription drug abuse is the intentional use of a medication without a prescription; in a way other than as prescribed; or for the experience or feeling it causes. It is not a new problem, but one that deserves renewed attention. For although prescription drugs can be powerful allies, they also pose serious health risks related to their abuse.

Prescription drug abuse remains a significant problem in the United States.

In 2010, approximately 7.0 million persons were current users of psychotherapeutic drugs taken nonmedically (2.7 percent of the U.S. population), an estimate similar to that in 2009. This class of drugs is broadly described as those targeting the central nervous system, including drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders (NSDUH, 2010). The medications most commonly abused are:
Pain relievers - 5.1 million
Tranquilizers - 2.2 million
Stimulants - 1.1 million
Sedatives - 0.4 million
Among adolescents, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the commonly abused illicit drugs by high school seniors (see chart).
Nearly 1 in 12 high school seniors reported nonmedical use of Vicodin; 1 in 20 reported abuse of OxyContin.
When asked how prescription narcotics were obtained for nonmedical use, 70% of 12th graders said they were given to them by a friend or relative (MTF 2011). The number obtaining them over the internet was negligible.
Among those who abuse prescription drugs, high rates of other risky behaviors, including abuse of other drugs and alcohol, have also been reported.
What is driving this high prevalence?

Multiple factors are likely at work:

Misperceptions about their safety. Because these medications are prescribed by doctors, many assume that they are safe to take under any circumstances. This is not the case. Prescription drugs act directly or indirectly on the same brain systems affected by illicit drugs. Using a medication other than as prescribed can potentially lead to a variety of adverse health effects, including overdose and addiction.
Increasing environmental availability. Between 1991 and 2010, prescriptions for stimulants increased from 5 million to nearly 45 million and for opioid analgesics from about 75.5 million to 209.5 million.
Varied motivations for their abuse. Underlying reasons include: to get high; to counter anxiety, pain, or sleep problems; or to enhance cognition. Whatever the motivation, prescription drug abuse comes with serious risks.

Risks of commonly abused prescription drugs

Opioids (used to treat pain):
Addiction. Prescription opioids act on the same receptors as heroin and can be highly addictive. People who abuse them sometimes alter the route of administration (e.g., snorting or injecting) to intensify the effect; some even report moving from prescription opioids to heroin. NSDUH estimates about 1.9 million people in the U.S. meet abuse or dependence criteria for prescription opioids.
Overdose. Abuse of opioids, alone or with alcohol or other drugs, can depress respiration and lead to death. Unintentional overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999 and now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined.
Heightened HIV risk. Injecting opioids increases the risk of HIV and other infectious diseases through use of unsterile or shared equipment. Noninjection drug use can also increase these risks through drug-altered judgment and decisionmaking.
CNS Depressants (used to treat anxiety and sleep problems):
Addiction and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. These drugs are addictive and, in chronic users or abusers, discontinuing them absent a physician’s guidance can bring about severe withdrawal symptoms, including seizures that can be life-threatening.
Overdose. High doses can cause severe respiratory depression. This risk increases when CNS depressants are combined with other medications or alcohol.
Stimulants (used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy):
Addiction and other health consequences. These include psychosis, seizures, and cardiovascular complications.
Treatments for Prescription Drug Abuse

Available options for effectively treating addiction to prescription drugs depend on the medication being abused. Approaches to treating pain reliever addiction are drawn from research on treating heroin addiction, and include medications combined with behavioral counseling. A recent large-scale clinical trial supported by NIDA showed that Suboxone (buprenorphine + naloxone), prescribed in primary care settings, helped about half of participants reduce their pain reliever abuse during extended Suboxone treatment. Another promising approach includes longacting formulations of medications, such as Vivitrol, a depot formulation of the opioid receptor blocker naltrexone, recently approved by the FDA to treat opioid addiction. With effects that last for weeks instead of hours or days, long-acting formulations stand to aid in treatment retention and abstinence.

Although no medications yet exist to treat addiction to CNS depressants or to prescription stimulants, behavioral therapies proven effective in treating other drug addictions may be used. NIDA is also supporting multiple studies to identify promising medications for stimulant addiction.

NIDA Supported Research on Prescription Drug Abuse

NIDA’s multipronged strategy to reverse prescription drug abuse trends complements and expands our already robust portfolio of basic, preclinical, and clinical research and educational and outreach initiatives. NIDA-supported researchers are conducting large-scale epidemiological studies investigating the patterns and sources of nonmedical use of prescription medications in high school and college students. Results suggest that prevention efforts should include a focus on the motivations behind the abuse, which often have an age and gender bias.

NIDA is also leading efforts to develop pain medications with diminished abuse potential, such as those that bypass the reward system of the brain. This is particularly important in light of returning veteran and growing elderly populations. To that end, NIDA is supporting research to better understand how to effectively treat people with chronic pain, which may predispose someone to become addicted to prescription pain relievers, and what can be done to prevent it among those at risk.
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I thought this was important and wanted to share it.
You can also copy and paste the below link to read more.

The dangers of synthetic drugs have been making headlines nationwide including an interesting read from the New York Daily News, “New York politicians won’t wait for feds, aim to ban legal synthetic marijuana,” found here http://ow.ly/9Oyv6 . Learn more about these substances and what they do in our Synthetic Drug Guide for Parents here http://ow.ly/977Je , and the accompanying presentation and one-page guides below. Please share this vital information on your Wall!
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Welcome To Recovery Month. Don’t wait until Sept to start! We want to hear your recovery stories. Maybe you can help others.

September is Recovery Month. Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.
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We found this article in ’The Times Herald’ and thought we needed to share it. Please feel free to comment.

CHICAGO (AP) — Morphine and similar powerful painkillers are sometimes prescribed to recent war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress along with physical pain, and the consequences can be tragic, a government study suggests.

These vets are at high risk for drug and alcohol abuse, but they’re two times more likely to get prescriptions for addictive painkillers than vets with only physical pain, according to the study, billed as the first national examination of the problem. Iraq and Afghanistan vets with PTSD who already had substance abuse problems were four times more likely to get these drugs than vets without mental health problems, according to the study. Subsequent suicides, other self-inflicted injuries, and drug and alcohol overdoses were all more common in vets with PTSD who got these drugs. These consequences were rare but still troubling, the study authors said. The results underscore the challenge of treating veterans with devastating physical injuries and haunting memories of the horrors of war. But the findings also suggest that physicians treating these veterans should offer less risky treatment, including therapies other than drugs, the study authors and other experts say. Opium-based drugs like morphine and hydrocodone can dull excruciating physical pain. Relatively few veterans are prescribed such drugs. But some doctors likely prescribe them for vets who also have mental pain “with the hope that the emotional distress that accompanies chronic pain will also be reduced. Unfortunately, this hope is often not fulfilled, and opioids can sometimes make emotional problems worse,” said Michael Von Korff, a chronic illness researcher with Group Health Research Institute, a Seattle-based health care system. He was not involved in the study. The research involved all veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars who were diagnosed with non-cancer physical pain from October 2005 through December 2010 — or 141,029 men and women. Half of them also were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health problems. The results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The Department of Veterans Affairs paid for the study, which is based on VA health care data. Lead author Dr. Karen Seal, who treats patients at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, said she sometimes prescribes opiates for war vets, but only if other painkillers don’t work, and only in collaboration with non-drug treatment from mental health experts, occupational therapists and other specialists. That type of approach is part of a VA pain management policy adopted in 2009, toward the end of the study period. Dr. Robert Kerns, the VA’s national program director for pain management, said the study “draws attention to growing concerns” about the use of opiate painkillers in veterans. These drugs may have a role in treating chronic pain in vets but only as part of a comprehensive pain management plan, he said. In a written statement about the study, the VA said its pain management approach has been cited as a model of care, but that “we recognize that more work needs to be done.” Retired Lt. Col. Steve Countouriotis, a 30-year Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, says that after returning home a few years ago, he received a morphine prescription for war-related back and shoulder pain. He refused to take it and used aspirin instead. “I don’t feel comfortable taking those kinds of medicines,” said Countouriotis, 60, of Petaluma, Calif. “I don’t like mood-altering drugs.” He said he doesn’t have PTSD, but that some colleagues who do have also been given the drugs. Doctors are too quick to prescribe them, Countouriotis said, adding, “It’s too many, too soon.” Army data provided to The Associated Press last year showed that referrals for opiate abuse among soldiers rose during the decade that ended in 2009, and totaled more than 670 between October 2009 and June 2010. Some vets in the new study got the drugs from overburdened primary care physicians outside the VA health system. “Imagine primary care doctors getting about 20 minutes to see a patient expressing high levels of distress,” because of war-related physical and mental trauma, said Seal, the study author. The balance between providing pain relief while being cautious with drugs that can be habit-forming “is always in play,” she said. In the study, 15,676 vets received opiate prescriptions for physical pain. These prescriptions went to almost 18 percent of vets with PTSD and 12 percent of those with other mental health problems, compared with about 7 percent of vets without those problems. Among those with PTSD, subsequent self-inflicted injuries, including suicides, occurred in 3 percent of vets who got the drugs, versus 2 percent who didn’t receive those prescriptions. The study doesn’t provide a breakdown of suicides vs. nonfatal self-injuries. The study “brings much needed attention to the complexity of this problem,” said Dr. William Becker, a Yale University instructor and primary care physician who treats substance abuse and has worked with veterans. “Patients are typically younger individuals who are in many cases kind of struggling to find their feet again” after returning home from war, he said. The ideal treatment includes behavioral counseling, therapy for war wounds and management of chronic pain. “The word is spreading and I think this paper is going to send another strong message that this has really got to become the standard of care,” Becker said. ———
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We found this quote on the Intervention website and thought we had to share this.

‎’In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.’ - Albert Einstein
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If you are looking for the latest stats on drug abuse prevalence and trends click on the following link:

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