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US to Remove Minimum Sentences for Some Drug Offences

US to Remove Minimum Sentences for Some Drug Offences

Janice 3 comments

Prison cell with bed inside Alcatraz main building san francisco californiaThe Obama administration has just announced plans to cut minimum sentences for some drug offenses.Attorney General Eric Holder said that minimum sentences would not be enforced for non-violent drug offenders with no gang or cartel ties. The Attorney General advocated sending users to drug rehab instead. This is the end of a policy started in the 1980s as the War on Drugs, which instead of stopping drugs, has resulted in one of the largest prison populations in the world and hits minorities the hardest.

More information at BBC News.


Club Drugs a Danger to Diabetics

Janice 5 comments

RAVE ISLAND EVENTWriting in the journal Diabetic Medicine (26:328-33) , diabetes specialists from St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney say GPs should accept that many if not most of their young diabetic patients will try recreational drugs and clinicians should have ‘a high index of suspicion’ for drug use as a possible cause of poor diabetes control or acute complications.

They say recent studies have shown that more than half of young people with diabetes who present with problems to hospitals have used drugs, the most common being cannabis and ecstasy.

They note that ecstasy can cause hyponatraemia and ketoacidosis, while drugs such as ketamine can precipitate severe diabetic ketoacidosis.

Cannabis use may cause insulin non-compliance and lead to hyperglycaemia if users get ‘the munchies’.

The risks of recreational drugs are amplified in settings such as raves and parties where poly-drug use is common, drink spiking may occur and consumption of high glucose drinks is encouraged. Therefore, doctors should routinely ask about drug use in diabetic patients, and take a non-judgmental approach because most young patients will be reluctant to admit to drug use, they suggest.

“We advocate increased awareness of the impact of drug use on Type 1 diabetes, as the consequences may be fatal…substance use should be considered even without suggestive history, particularly with atypical biochemical features,” they say.

Experts suggest contacting an drug addiction treatment center or drug rehab program for more information regarding poly-drug use and the dangers of club drugs or other kind of drug rehabilitation.


Binge drinking scope down in recent years

Janice one comments
SAD Pledge

SAD PledgeThough everyone of all ages are susceptible to binge drinking, as reports and studies are showing, this is becoming more of an issue among the young.  It is becoming an epidemic.  Though recent studies have shown this epidemic on the decline now for a couple of years.

In 2003, it was reported that there that binge drinking in high school students dropped from about forty percent to about thirty percent.  College students too showed progress.  According to Henry Wechsler, a doctor at Harvard, his study demonstrated a major reduction in binge drinking since his last study that was done four years earlier.  People who have started to abstain from alcohol in general and not just binging has increased a full twenty-two percent, his study showed.  Other groups that show dropping rates come from the military.  In some global surveys done for about fifteen years, it was showed that military personal have slowed the common problem binge drinking was becoming.  Part of this success stems from the advances made in the kind of alcoholism intervention as well residential drug treatment available out there now.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse gathered information from the University of Michigan and their Institute for Social Research that echoed these results.  Binge drinking is at its lowest in a while now, especially in college students among whom the problem of binge drinking is most prevalent.  Still binge drinking continues to be a big problem even with the success stories that alcoholism intervention has wrought.  College students are still a high risk group for binge drinking despite these comforting statistics.

It is still important to remember that that are still big myths surrounding the college lifestyle that continue to persist whether warranted or not.  One of them is that binge drinking in college students is as popular as it ever was.  When students going off to college for the first time think this, they are probably going to binge as a result.  The kind of accurate information and research that an addiction treatment center provides about binge drinking can help aid parents and high schools to keep the good statistics up about college binge drinking.

You can read more on college binge drinking in our research


Drug and alcohol abuse in college

Janice 3 comments

Education is part of the American dream. But so often getting through college can result in a person developing drug or alcohol dependency. The binge drinking at the frat house turns into drinking alone or needing a drink in the morning to get out of bed. With more freedom also comes having that more responsibility. Some kids go crazy because they are not under the constant supervision of their parents. And this can manifest itself in several ways, drugs, alcohol, sex or all of the above.

If people start to notice that you need a drink first thing in the morning or that you are missing class because you are hung over from the night before, you need to seriously think about getting help. College will always be there, but your life and health will not. It’s when it starts to conflict with your every day responsibilities that you need to think about going to an addiction treatment center.

If you are going into college, it’s going to be a place full of new experiences and you will have to navigate them on your own. You need to realize that you are in college to learn and earn your degree. If you set small goals for yourself, like for example, I want to have my degree in four years; you will be more likely to stick to those goals.

Also allow yourself some, in any form. Fun does not always mean getting drunk or high. College is full of clubs and places you can go searching for likeminded people.  If you do need help, however there are lots of ways to enter into a dual diagnosis place to treat your addiction.

If you find yourself living the party lifestyle too much, just decide if that is what you really want. And if you don’t seek help.


Scientists Advance Medical Resources for Alcohol Treatment

Janice one comments

As alcoholism becomes more of a problem in society, doctors and scientists alike have had to expand on the treatment options they use to help alcoholics.  Once an addict undergoes an alcohol abuse intervention, they can finally get the help they desperately need.  Now more than ever, scientists are making that help more diverse to fit the expanding research done on discovering the causes of alcohol addiction.  This is most evident in the research about the genetic reasons for dependence upon alcohol.

Perhaps the hardest part about alcohol rehabilitation is staying sober.  To that end, scientists have worked hard on developing two new drugs to support old and new rehabilitated people.
The first, acamprosate, is thought to standardize any faults on the systems of neurotransmitters, namely the GABA and glutamate.  These two drugs have actually been in use for about fourteen years over in Europe, which is part of the reason the Food and Drug Administration has been reviewing before giving it its final stamp of approval.  Primarily, even though doctors aren’t sure why the drug works, it helps to curve the distress of alcohol independence.  As a result, any relapses are impaired significantly.
The other dug is called naltrexone, and unlike acamprosate, it has been in use ever since the FDA authorized it in 1994.  Also unlike acamprosate, scientists have a better understanding of how this drug works.  The opioid receptors that are partly responsible for the good feelings alcohol induces are blocked.  With such feelings blocked, alcoholics have a lesser rate of return the alcohol, even after going back to alcohol.  However, it should be noted that this only includes a little relapse.  It is also being used in addiction treatment.

With scientists creating drugs from a better understanding of how alcohol dependency begins and forms in people, they have also created better pharmaceutical resources for recovering alcoholics to fight their disease.  Such advances have made it easier for any addiction treatment center to better aid the people who need them.


Addiction Treatment for Women Infected with HIV

Janice 7 comments
HIV Ribbon

HIV RibbonHow has alcohol and the abuse of other drugs affected HIV’s infection and spread?  Immensely, especially in regard to women.  Most women who are known drug or alcohol users or are known recovering addicts have contracted HIV.  Part of the problem stems from women who use intravenous drugs like heroin for their highs:  a number of 46% has been attributed to women who are intravenous drug users.  Another shocking figure comes in the form of women who are heterosexual but have had sexual contact with male intravenous drug uses.  18% of women become infected this way.

Treatment of HIV has come a long way since its first experimental inceptions.  Though many drugs are still very experimental, those infected with the disease have a far greater chance of living a longer and more normal life than at the beginning of HIV’s history of treatment procedures and medications.  Unfortunately, because of their abusive past and continuing use with alcohol or drugs, women and men in general refuse to be compliant with the treatments available for HIV.  This is why addiction treatment is such a necessary first step in the treatment of HIV infected women.  It allows them to get the other kinds of help they need in order to be a fully functional member of society, and more importantly a healthy and happy person.

Other problems arise for women who have contracted HIV and are abusers, problems which an residential drug treatment cannot only treat.  Many women suffering from drug addiction  do not only suffer from a single a couple of diagnoses.  They suffer from multiple diagnoses.  As a result, they are in a frailer state physically than other abusers.  Problems could arise because such patients often have trouble enduring the great encumbrance of the varying medical methods used for HIV treatment and threaded with treatment for drug addiction.  Other disorders of a psychological variety might be affecting the patient as well, and makes treatment that much harder for them.

But there is hope for such women.  Studies have shown that it is possible with great effort and hard work to help women recognize their problem with addiction and treating that addiction successfully.


Long Term Drug Rehab Needed for Teen Drug Abuse

Janice 10 comments
Keep Off Grass

Keep Off GrassTeen drug abuse is starting to increase after several years of it slowly decreasing. The reason behind this, I think, is because so many teens are abusing over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Once this abuse begins, addiction quickly follows. The only way to help the addict is to get him or her into an addiction recovery program. A long term drug rehab program will help teach the person coping skills so that he or she is able to re-enter society and stay sober.

Often what happens is that a person with a drug or alcohol problem will only seek short term or outpatient care. The time that is allowed for in the short term care facilities do not help the addict learn how to live without substances. They usually just have enough time to get the substance out of the addict’s system.

Addiction recovery takes time. It takes several months and then years of practice to learn how to read. Learning how to live without drugs and alcohol cannot be taught overnight. The skills must be practiced and thought about for an extended period of time.

But in the meantime, parents should monitor the over-the-counter and prescription drugs in the house and keep an eye on their teenagers and young adults.


What is Meth Mouth?

Janice 3 comments
Meth Mouth

Meth MouthMeth mouth is when meth addicts lose their teeth more frequently and rapidly due to the abuse of the substance. This effect is not caused by the drug itself which is what is commonly thought. The drug does not have any corrosive effects. The American Dental Association thinks the condition is caused by a combination of dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, a high calorie diet, and teeth grinding and clenching. Similar, though far less severe symptoms have been reported in clinical use of other amphetamines, where effects are not exacerbated by a lack of oral hygiene for extended periods.

Meth stimulates the sympathetic nervous system,it causes a dop in the acid-fighting saliva and thirst.  This increases the risks for tooth decay,as thirst is often quenced by sugary drinks. The lack of saliva also increaes the dryness in the mouth and creates greater risk for tooth decay.

Please contact a drug treatment center or drug rehab for more information regarding the dangers of methamphetamine and how to find out about available drug rehab treatments.

See here for more symptoms of meth use.


Drug and Alcohol Use Spikes in Summer

Janice one comments
Summer Drinking

Summer DrinkingMembers of the Kalamazoo County Substance Abuse Task Force in Portage, MI have created an extensive advertising campaign to try and keep teens from abusing drugs and alcohol in the upcoming summer months. Teen drug and alcohol use tends to rise during the summer months and they are hoping that this campaign will have a positive effect on the people in Kalamazoo County.

During a 12-week period this summer, messages will be put on billboards, the Kalamazoo County Substance Abuse Task Force Web site and on posters asking a different question mostly of parents. The questions will range from “Do you know where your kids are?” to “Is the driver sober? Are you sure?”

The task force, made up more than 100 parents, teachers, law enforcement officers, elected officials and church representatives, has been active since last September, when about 275 people attended a “Call to Action” community meeting in Portage. The event was sparked by the heroin-overdose deaths of six former and current students of Portage Public Schools since 2004.

Task force members at a Tuesday press conference at Portage City Hall said they intend to continue throughout the summer most of the other initiatives that they feel have helped deal with substance-abuse issues in the community.

Many community leaders hope that this extensive approach along with the proper drug rehab or alcohol treatment centers will help people accept and deal with drug abuse in a more successful manner. There are also specialized centers for teen drug rehab.


Addiction to Oxycontin

Janice one comments
Battling Against a Pill Addiction

Battling Against a Pill AddictionOxycontin is a prescription drug that is used for extreme pain. This is pain that is very serious; Oxycontin is normally seen as a last resort pain medication. It is used in patients who have cancer to curb pain and is usually used by prescription only and a doctor will closely monitor the patient. However, without a prescription Oxycontin is highly addictive and its use usually cannot be stopped without the help of addiction treatment.

It can be very difficult to get off of the drugs on your own. People find that they cannot deal with the withdrawal symptoms that come along with the stopping use of the substance. The drug has very extreme cravings and can also result in insomnia and anxiety. The effects of

Oxycontin are likened to that of heroin or use of crystal meth. The drug creates a euphoric rush that is similar to the effects of heroin and crystal meth.

When a person enters a dual diagnosis treatment they will first enter drug detox to get the Oxycontin out of their system. This usually entails slowly weaning a patient off of the substance and it can be quite a long process.

The drug is a narcotic and extremely dangerous if it is misused and that is why treating addiction for it is so difficult. Oxycontin is just one of the many pain relievers that people can become addicted to. There are others such as Percocet and Valium that users may require addiction treatment to get off of.

Prescription pain killer addiction has come into the limelight because of the death of Michael Jackson. He was said to be using several doctors and false names to get his pain killer fix. It is so easy to become addicted to these substances after using them for a short time. People really don’t know how dangerous they can be.


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