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Friday, December 31, 2010

Drug Abuse Treatment Rates

As the year comes to a close and we reflect on the upsides and the downsides, from health care reform that helps millions of Americans get the help they need to oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico that dramatically changed the southern coast for years to come. Sadly, it seems like some problems that people deal with are getting better while others continue to get worse; there are solutions to people's problems with addiction, but, sadly it often takes a long time for people to realize that there is another way to live. Statistics give us a general idea about how problems people face evolve for better or worse with each year that passes. People admitted to treatment facilities for alcoholism seems to be dropping in certain areas around the country, but, that is not the case for illegal drugs and prescription narcotics as those rates continue to climb, especially, believe it or not, for marijuana abuse.

A report released by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), found:
  • The overall rate of substance abuse admissions in the United States remained stable from 1998 to 2008, at about 770 admissions per 100,000 people.
  • Admissions for alcohol use dropped by about 15 percent nationally, but stayed stable in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
  • Admission rates for marijuana use rose by 30 percent nationwide, and were highest in the eight states listed above and in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
  • An earlier SAMHSA report revealed that admission rates for abuse of opiates other than heroin -- including some prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin -- rose by 345 percent from 1998-2008. The new report says admission rates for painkiller abuse rose in every part of the country and were highest in the New England states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) and in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.
  • The admission rate for treatment of methamphetamine abuse was 53 percent higher in 2008 than in 1998, although it's down from its peak in 2005.
  • Admissions for cocaine abuse fell by 23 percent nationally.
This study provides insight into the regional nature of substance abuse by highlighting the shifting trends in the reasons for admission to substance abuse treatment," SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in an agency news release.

Source:
HealthDay

Celebrate A New Life's admissions staff wishes you a safe and healthy New Year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Spirituality Is the Key to Recovery

Alcoholics Anonymous is a simple program that has helped save millions of lives since the 1930's, there are number of aspects that make 12 step programs so successful, but, the key ingredient or, I should say, the glue that holds everything together is spirituality. Without spirituality, or the idea that something is greater than oneself, the program would probably not experience the success that it has. It makes no difference what one chooses to believe in as long as you believe in something other than yourself that is more powerful than oneself. There is new study out there which dealt with the effectiveness of spirituality with 12 step programs; it included more than 1,500 adult alcoholics who were followed through their recovery process for 15 months. The researchers found a strong association between people not drinking and spirituality as a result of more frequent attendance of AA meetings.

"I've heard it said that AA is too spiritual, and I've also heard it said that AA is not spiritual enough for some people," lead author John F. Kelly, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and associate director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a journal news release. "Although this is not the only way that AA helps individuals recover, I think these findings support the notion that AA works in part by enhancing spiritual practices," Kelly added.

It is not yet known why spirituality helps people recover and stay sober in comparison with other recovery models, there is a chance that it may be able to complement other programs.

"We have also found that AA participation leads to recovery by helping members change their social network and by enhancing individuals' recovery coping skills, motivation for continued abstinence, and by reducing depression and increasing psychological well-being," Kelly stated in the news release.

"Down the road it will be important to conduct more qualitative research as well as further quantitative replication of our findings in order to understand more about how exactly spiritual practices and beliefs influence coping and behavioral change in recovery from addiction," Kelly concluded.

How spirituality holds everything together is not what's important, it doesn't matter that if we know, what is important is that spirituality is a common bond between people who have had a successful recovery.

Celebrate A New Life's staff wishes you a blessed Christmas.

The findings are published online and in the March 2011 print issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Educate Teens About Prescription Drug Abuse


There is no reason why teenagers should believe that prescription narcotics are safe. Despite unintentional prescription drug poisoning has emerged as the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and according to the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (Partnership for a Drug-Free America), many teens believe that illegal drugs are more addictive and less safe than prescription drugs. The mindset of teenagers is a dangerous one to have considering that prescription narcotics are equally dangerous as and easier to acquire than any illegal drugs. Every day, approximately 2,500 young people between 12 and 17 years of age abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

We need to be proactive with teenagers about educating them about the dangers of prescription drugs. Underestimating the power of these drugs has cost many people their lives and the better informed teenagers are, then the less chance they will abuse such drugs. Colleges, like the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, have partnered up with the Cardinal Health Foundation to raise the amount of public awareness of prescription medication abuse and to encourage health care providers, community leaders, parents, teens and college students to work to stop as many people from trying prescription narcotics as they can.

"More than one-third of teens feel pressure to abuse prescription drugs, and nearly 40 percent incorrectly perceive prescription drugs as being much safer to abuse than 'street' drugs," said Nicole Cartwright Kwiek, clinical assistant professor and assistant director for Educational Outreach at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. "By engaging rather than lecturing, the program empowers teens to share accurate information about the realities of prescription drug abuse with their peers - enhancing prevention efforts and impeding the spread of dangerous myths."

Friday, December 10, 2010

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month

"Every day, 36 people in the United States die, and approximately 700 more are injured, in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver", according to the CDC. The holidays are time of mixed emotions for a lot of people, so it makes sense that some people may drink heavier than usual and make the mistake of getting behind the wheel. We all need to work hard to help those in need and make sure that our friends and family do not make poor decisions under the influence of alcohol and, or, drugs. It also makes sense that December would be the National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

Here are the facts from the CDC:
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives.
  • In 2006, 13,470 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (32%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
  • In one year, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This accounts for less than 1% of the 159 million self-reported episodes of alcohol–impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.
  • Alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost about $51 billion a year.
We all have the power to talk to our friends and family who might have a problem with alcohol and help them understand that driving is not an option. If you throw a party make sure that those attending have a designated driver, if they don't it is up to the host to find one. Take people's keys who you think might be planning to get behind the wheel. We all have the power to save lives, and one simple act like getting between a drunk and the wheel of a car is all it takes. We hope everyone acts responsibly and if there is a problem - call for help.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Prescription Drug Use in Florida


Drug deaths may be declining in Florida, but, prescription drug related deaths are on the rise across the state from the painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone. Despite a state report released Thursday that in the first half of 2010 showed a decline in drug related deaths; prescription drug abuse, and not illegal drugs like cocaine, seems to be the biggest problem in Clay County, said Sheriff Rick Beseler. Prescription drugs are no joke and are equally as dangerous if not more dangerous than illegal drugs because people naively believe that because a drug is legal it is somehow safer - that is false. More people are losing their lives from legal narcotics than any other drugs these days at an alarming rate.

Florida is trying to pass legislation that would track patients who go to multiple doctors and several different pharmacies to fill their prescriptions, but unfortunately that won't be the case this year. Local officials are racking their brains in order to implement new policies for controlling this pharmaceutical wildfire. “It is very concerning because people can accidentally overdose on these, especially when they add alcohol. They are very dangerous and readily available,” Beseler said. “We will have to go to the drawing board to see if there are any applicable county ordinances that lend themselves to regulation of this industry, and I don’t know if there is now.”

The problem is only getting worse as evident by the increase in prescription drug deaths from year to year. Between January and June for Northeast Florida’s two medical examiner districts show 49 oxycodone-related deaths in District 4 (Duval, Clay and Nassau counties) and 18 in District 23 (Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties); just last year in the same period of time there were 57 and 9, an increase can clearly be recognized.

Statewide trends from autopsies showed the most common occurring drugs found in those autopsies were:
  • alcohol (1,831)
  • benzodiazepine sedatives and tranquilizers (1,700)
  • oxycodone pain medicine (1,117)
  • cocaine (603)
The most deaths statewide were caused by:
  • Oxycodone (715)
  • benzodiazepines (597)
  • methadone (336)
  • alcohol (270)
  • cocaine (250)
Source:
The Florida Times Union

Friday, November 26, 2010

Josh Hamilton 2010 MVP and Recovering Addict


Josh Hamilton, who has been named the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2010, had a long journey to be where he is today. Hamilton and a lot of other people would have never of guessed that after ten years in baseball he would be the 2010 American League MVP on the way to the world series, but he says that he could not have done it on his own. "I would say a 99 percent chance that this would never happen -- honestly," Hamilton said Tuesday when asked about his unlikely route to the top. "I think a lot of people would agree with that. But it was 100 percent chance this would never have happened if I'd tried to do it on my own. I think that's the most important thing I want to get across, is that I couldn't do it on my own." Great things happen to those people who surrender and accept that they have a problem so that a solution can be found.

God was the key ingredient for his success, that which helped him out of the depths of despair and on the road to MVP. "Hamilton credits his relationship with God for bringing him to unprecedented heights, for allowing him to keep his priorities in order on a daily -- or even minute-to-minute -- basis. Between that and the work Hamilton has put in at the gym and in the batting cage to sharpen his considerable skills after all the time he spent away from the game as he battled drug and alcohol problems, he has become the player most expected him to be way back when", reported the SF Chronicle. Successful recoveries rely heavily on an addict finding a higher power, whatever it is, but, in most cases that higher power is called God.

"I do reflect," Hamilton said. "I think I lose sight of things and if I didn't reflect, a little ego might start sneaking in there, and that's one thing I don't want to happen. So I do reflect and I think about where I was at my lowest times and how God has brought me through that and sustained me since I've depended on Him. It's been absolutely awesome. It's not good all the time as far as your days and stuff like that -- everybody has bad days. ... But there's someone there to help you through it and help you grow, and that's what I've been doing these last few years. I've been growing in my relationship with Christ and it's just awesome to think about where I am at this moment, and where I was."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Prescription Drug Use Fueled by Doctors

In the last decade we have seen, first hand, prescription drug use sky rocket out of control across America. There have always been prescription narcotics in one form or another, morphine has been around since the early 1800's and was first commercially sold by Merck in 1827. So why then are there so many people in the United States addicted to pharmaceuticals as of late? Basically, doctors are quick to prescribe narcotics for pain because legally they have to take their patient's word on how severe their pain is; this is the result of the Joint Commission's demand that health care providers better diagnose and treat chronic pain, in turn more drugs were developed and more drugs were prescribed. People who may have suffered from physical pain before, in a short amount of time, were now suffering from the pains of addiction.

It doesn't take long for dependency to strong narcotics like Oxycontin to develop, once addiction grabs hold of the mind it will tell you that you need the drug for your pain, even if the pain has gone away. Tolerance is the key to the equation, as one's tolerance goes up more drugs are consumed to achieve the feeling one once had from the drug. "To get the same effect you need more medication. So, they go back to the doctor still with pain," Family Medicine Chair Gregory Blake said. "They give them more medication to knock the pain out. They stay on that medication for a period of time, get tolerance to that, and keep moving up."

At a certain point, as dependency increases, patients begin to look for other doctors to supplement their supply to the narcotics; staying with just one doctor, asking repeatedly for increased doses will raise a red flag with the doctor and could cause problems, so patients begin to "doctor shop". "They'll frequently get pain pills from me. I think I'm doing it just right," Blake explained. "They go to another doctor who doesn't know about my giving them pain medicines. They give them pain medicines and it's just a vicious cycle." Prescription narcotics have become an epidemic, there are too many drugs out and being created every day to even keep up with them all; doctors move too quickly to treat pain without doing a history on their patient, so it is fair to say that doctors definitely have a hand in dependencies developing. Parents and doctors need to be hyper-vigilante to keep their teenagers and young adults from going down the path of addiction.



Source:
USA Today

Friday, November 12, 2010

Family Shares Pain of Prescription Drug Death

Prescription drugs continue to plague families in America, fast becoming an epidemic on a scale never seen before with any types of drugs. Denver, much like San Diego, is going through its own struggle with high prescription drug abuse among young adults. People overdosing from prescription narcotics in Denver has gone through the roof and the number of deaths almost doubled between 2000 and 2009, increasing from 228 to 445 people last year according to Fox. "More people died in Colorado in 2009 as a result of prescription drug abuse than alcohol-related traffic accidents by a margin of almost 3 to 1". One family in the Denver area decided to share their experience with prescription drugs with the hopes that it may help people who are in the grips of addiction.

In 2002, at just 16 years of age, Jessica Liddell was severely injured in a car accident on C-470. Lindell's back injury caused her terrible pain which she used pain killers to combat; she quickly became addicted and had steadily increased her intake. "We just saw the quantity she was taking. It wasn't one or two—it was three, four, five. It was however many she felt she needed to get rid of the pain," said Taryn Quick, Lindell's sister-in-law. Sadly, last year Jessica overdosed at the age of 23 while taking Oxycodone and Xanax. “Doctors had to put her into a medically-induced coma as soon as she got into the hospital. She just had no brain activity", Quick said.

The family told Fox that the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department started an investigation to determine where the drugs originated, but, the two suspects they had in mind overdosed before anything could be resolved. Xanax is a strong sedative and when mixed with drugs like oxycodone is often lethal. "I just really want other people to know how heartbreaking it was for our family to lose Jessica and we don't want any other families to have to go through this. You don't have to die from it because it's usually always an accident,” said Quick.

 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Prescription Drugs Are The Chief Cause Of Non-Natural Death In San Diego


Prescription drug use has become a major problem in Southern California, especially in the San Diego area with a number of overdoses. When someone overdoses or when drugs and alcohol are involved in a person's death the San Diego County Medical Examiner gets brought in, and apparently the have become more busy in the last few years with prescription drug unintentional overdoses. In the past ten years the number drug related deaths have increased by 85 percent according to Dr. Jonathan Lucas the County's deputy medical examiner. Unbelievably, "alcohol and medication-related deaths have actually surpassed motor vehicle fatalities, and have become the number one cause of non-natural deaths in the county," Lucas said.

Second only to heart disease prescription drug overdoses took over 400 people's lives just in the last year clearly making this problem an epidemic of sorts. "The numbers, given a population of 3.2 million people, may not seem like a real big number, but you're still talking about 400 people dying," Lucas stated. "That's four times the number of homicides we see every year in this county." These deaths are only the surface of a major problem, E.R. visits for prescription drug use doubled between 2004-2008 according to the Center for Disease Control. A government study that was conducted recently claims that between 1998 and 2008, the number of people treated for prescription drug addiction jumped by 400 percent. Oxycontin, Vicodin, fentanyl, morphine are the drugs that are mostly related with overdoses.

Prescription drug use is a major problem and doctors are prescribing addictive and potentially lethal narcotics far too often and many times to people who do not require them. In the early 1990's the Joint Commission, the agency that regulates hospitals, mandated health care providers to better diagnose and treat chronic pain; in response pharmaceutical companies began making more and more types of pain killers and doctors wrote more prescriptions. "And in our well-meaning intentions, of relieving pain in patients, which we're very capable of doing, we have caused more addiction potential, and more quantities of the drug to be in society now, that can get into the wrong hands and be abused," said E.R. Dr. Richard Clark from the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.

Source:
KPBS

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Jennifer Act

Jennifer Reynolds was a heroin addict who died at the age of 29. In 2002 her mother, Sharon Blair, after learning of her daughter's addiction began writing the Jennifer Act, a controversial bill which has procedures for the involuntary commitment of a person due to alcohol or drug abuse. Blair finished the bill shortly after her daughter's death Jan. 15, 2009. "Parents feel helpless when their kids are addicted to drugs," Blair said. "They are paralyzed by fear, and don't know what to do." Parents are often unable to convince or push their child to seek treatment and this new bill will give parents a tool to aid them in the process. "The Jennifer Act is a tool that can help parents provide their child with the help he or she needs," she said. "As things are now, there's nothing a parent can do unless the child breaks the law."

If the new bill gets approved and passed parents will have the ability to go to the courthouse and file a petition for the immediate commitment of their child into a drug treatment facility. These treatment facilities will be locked down so that those court-ordered addicts cannot just leave when they please, if they do, then local authorities will pick them up and bring them back to treatment. "If you have an elderly family member with dementia, you can obtain power of attorney over them because they can no longer make rational decisions," she said. "The Jennifer Act is similar, in the sense that it gives parents the power to make decisions about what is best for a child because the child is not in his or her right mind due to drug addiction."

The Jennifer Act would force the Department of Correction and county jails to provide treatment options to everyone with addictions; both faith-based treatment and secular treatment will be offered. The offenders would have their choice between faith-based treatment and secular treatment. "If offenders don't receive treatment for the root cause of their problem, we end up arresting and re-arresting them," Blair said. "Most of them never get a chance to get treatment outside the prison system, because they are too poor to pay for it. If we can successfully rehab them while they're in jail, we are not only saving their lives, but saving taxpayers a lot of money."

If the bill is passed it will certainly allow more addicts to see what treatment is about, but, an addict has to want sobriety for himself. Forcing adult children into treatment may cause addicts to stay as far away from their family as possible. Relapse rates will probably be higher than normal because if a person is not 100 percent committed to surrendering and following a path of recovery they will just jump through the hoops of treatment and use as soon as they are released after convincing the doctors that they are ready for society again. It will be interesting to see the results of the Jennifer Act, if it is put into action.

Source:
Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind

Friday, October 22, 2010

Major Marijuana Operation Spanning 3 States and Involving 44 People

A major drug bust took place in three different states involving 44 people who were operating a major marijuana smuggling ring. People were arrested on Friday in drug raids throughout California, Florida, and New York. The co-founder of Jay Z's Roc-A-Fella Records, Kareem "Biggs" Burke, was one of the 44 people who were arrested last week. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, "With today's arrests, we have successfully shut down a major pipeline for marijuana distribution in New York City. This successful operation was the result of a dedicated and ongoing partnership among federal, state and local law enforcement and reaffirms our zero-tolerance policy for those who flout our drug laws".

Federal agents discovered a marijuana smuggling operation that conducted business for two decades during a two-year operation. Apparently the entire marijuana market in New York was cornered by this particular operation. The marijuana was grown in California and Florida and then shipped to New York where it was then sold on the streets according to CNN. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York Police Department worked together with the city's Department of Investigation and Special Narcotics Prosecutor's office. Officials were able to obtain nearly $2 million and more than 360 pounds of marijuana.

The Associated Press reported that, a federal prosecutor announced that Burke was caught via wiretap discussing "grow houses" with the ring's leader. On top of Burke's arrest, who is potentially facing life imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, an employee of High Times magazine was also charged. There is no telling what this bust means for the citizens of the State of New York, more than likely the price of marijuana will rise and the quality will diminish, but, let's face it, shutting down this operation only opened up the market for some other criminal enterprise to step in.

Source:
CNN
MTV

Friday, October 15, 2010

Illinois Receives $13M to Expand Drug Treatment

The number of addicts and alcoholics in the United States is daunting; addiction plagues every family in one way or another despite the fact that more people than ever before have access to drug and alcohol treatment - yet, that is still not enough. Addicts who desperately need treatment, in a lot of cases, simply can't afford the costs of treatment or their health insurance has denied covering substance abuse. The Federal government is stepping up and is trying to assist certain states with the funding required to send thousands of individuals to treatment.

A $13.1 million grant to allow expanded options for more than 7,000 people seeking treatment for addiction will be given to the State of Illinois. Thanks to Access to Recovery, which is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a number of people will get the help that they desperately require. The Illinois Department of Human Services will use the grant money to recruit additional service providers for four more years; the money will be used to cover vouchers for patients seeking individual treatment. The type of treatment facility the addicts can go to are not exclusive to standard drug and alcohol treatment, faith and community-based agencies will be covered as well.

Since the beginning the grant has helped 15,000 people in Illinois, now, with the new funding, another 7,600 more people will have access to recovery programs. Access To Recovery will be working side by side with the Illinois National Guard to help service members coming stateside with all the recovery programs available. There are a number of service men and women who come back from overseas with a drug or alcohol problem often times coupled with post-traumatic stress disorder or severe depression. Soldiers will now have better access to treatment facilities and mental health care which will ultimately save lives.

Source:
AP

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Laws Expand Mental Health, Addiction Treatment

Anyone who has suffered from addiction or is currently in the grips of their addiction that has sought treatment for their problem may have found that health insurance typically will refuse to pay for most of their treatment and/or therapy. Health insurance has long been known to place less emphasis on mental ailments than for physical maladies, this gap in coverage has severely hindered those individuals who wanted to be free from addiction. Most treatment facilities are costly and the reality of paying out of pocket for treatment is simply impossible for most addicts. Fortunately, times are changing and the dream of being able to afford adequate treatment for addiction may soon be a possibility as new policies require health insurance companies to treat mental disorders and addiction the same as any other health problem.

"Two federal laws that provide better insurance coverage for more people with mental health and substance abuse conditions are just beginning to take effect, and advocates describe the changes as a huge win for consumers that will greatly improve treatment", according to KHN. Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Ted Kennedy, along with others, worked for years to end the disparity between different types of care that would be covered by one's insurance company. This year the new Mental Health Parity and Addiction Treatment Act, went into effect, requiring health insurance companies to treat mental health and substance abuse the same way they would any other health problem, coverage has to be equally generous under the new act. There will no longer be separate co-payment, deductibles, and visit limitations for mental health care. The law does away with different co-payments, deductibles and visit restrictions.

"These financial equalizers will be very helpful to families that have not been able to access care before," says Katherine Nordal, executive director for professional practice at the American Psychological Association. The Parity Act is still a baby and it is still possible that insurance companies will be able to find a way around the new laws, but, it is clear health care might be heading in the right direction. There are still many aspects about the new act that need to be hashed out as implementation goes into effect. MSNBC reported that, "advocates say they are pleased on the whole with the new laws. But they are watching closely to see whether plans try to erect roadblocks to treatment by claiming it's not medically necessary, for example, or requiring that someone get preapproved before receiving services, says Andrew Sperling, director of legislative advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness".

Receiving coverage for treatment for any medical ailment should be a right that everyone is entitled to and under the new act insurance companies will have a much harder time sweeping mental health patients under the rug. However, we need to keep in mind that this is just one step, although a big one, along the road to fair treatment, but, in the next five to ten years it seems like health insurance will have to make some major changes to meet the new requirements they have been tasked with.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Teens Use Drugs and Alcohol for Popularity

Teenagers struggle with many things on the road to becoming an adult; the teenage years in many cases are about rebellion, social acceptance, and trying new things - even if they are bad or unhealthy. A number of teenagers try drugs for the first time so that they will be accepted amongst their peers, being "cool" is often about following the pack - saying 'no' can be trying  for teenagers. A new study done by the University of Montreal found that teens do drugs to be cool more than they do for emotional issues or for rebellion. "Our study highlights a correlation between popularity and consumption," says Jean-Sébastien Fallu, lead researcher and professor at the Université de Montréal's School of Psychoeducation. "The teenagers we studied were well-accepted, very sensitive to social codes, and understood the compromises that it takes to be popular".

The new study tracked the consumption of alcohol, marijuana and hard drugs of 500 French-speaking teenagers at three different stages of their lives. At ages 10 to 11, 12 to 13 and 14 to 15, researchers took into consideration the test subject's level of popularity and their friends. As the teenagers got older their consumption increased regardless of how "cool" they were, but, those teens who were considered more popular used drugs and alcohol more. Researchers saw an increase between ages 10 and 15 for the most popular kids whose friends were also popular, although, they did not see the same results with popular teens whose friends were not as popular as them.

"Teenagers don't consume to belong to the group or to increase their popularity level, they do it to remain well-liked", says Fallu. "It's more about keeping their status than increasing it." Even if a teen is not popular they are still at risk with drugs and alcohol.

What do you think of this study? We would like to hear from you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

San Francisco Alcohol Fee Vetoed

Every year cities around the country pay quite a lot for indigent alcoholics who need medical services, such as ambulance trips, hospital care, prevention programs, and a sobering center. The city of San Francisco had proposed a tax on alcohol distribution companies, while they are making millions of dollars on the suffering of others taxpayers' money is going to helping alcoholics when they need medical help. It makes sense that alcohol wholesalers and distributor companies should pay for the people who they helped on the road to sickness. Alcohol is a destructive substance that people get rich from while others are dying and it should not fall on taxpayers to take care of. However, San Francisco's Mayor, Gavin Newsom, vetoed the proposed fee on alcohol distribution, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sept. 22.

The city’s Board of Supervisors had approved the proposal, but unfortunately, there just were not enough votes to overturn the Mayor's veto. The proposed fee could have brought the city estimated $16 million annually for: emergency services, treatment programs, and arrests related to alcohol consumption. The fee made sense, alcohol distribution companies would have hardly been affected - alcohol is a billion dollar industry.

The mayor opposed the alcohol fee because he thought that it would stifle jobs, interfere with the state’s authority to regulate alcohol, and cost the city money in lawsuits he said he didn’t think it would win. "You don't help the city's general fund by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a lawsuit we're going to lose", Newsom claimed. Fortunately, this may go to the voters to decide according to Supervisor John Avalos, who wrote the legislation, "There's a lot of people who think this a good idea". More money to help people free themselves from addiction is always a good thing and in the long run it would help cities clean up the streets raising the quality of life for citizens.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Research Center to Help Parents with Kids' Substance Use

Overcoming drug and alcohol addiction is the hardest challenge an addict will have to face in their entire life, but with recovery comes a new freedom and happiness. There are many aspects to recovery and there are challenges that arise from one addict to another; age and brain chemistry can affect one's ability to get sober, making treatment and other programs of recovery challenging to address by professionals in the field of recovery. There are many things that we still don't understand about addiction and the more research that is done on the subject the better addiction can be treated, thus allowing addicts the best shot possible at success. Child and Teen addiction is especially hard to address considering their brains are not fully developed which is why there has been a call for more research to be done so that the best treatment can be provided.

On September 14, The Treatment Research Institute (TRI) in Philadelphia announced that they will be opening a new facility in order to better aid parents in addressing substance abuse with their kids. The new center will be called the Parents Translational Research Center and they will be working with the Partnership at DrugFree.org (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America) backed by a five year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The PTRC will conduct studies to help counselors and parents work with kids towards recovery.

"Two million youth ages 12 to 17 meet diagnostic criteria for substance dependence or abuse and yet only 10% of them receive treatment," said TRI, citing recent research. "The new Center reflects belief that a stronger continuum of care for adolescents is needed and that parents or other caretakers often can provide what's missing if properly equipped with science-based tools and services."


Three areas of that the PTRC will focus on are:
  • preventing children from using drugs and alcohol
  • finding appropriate treatment when it's needed
  • working with children who refuse to go to treatment

The director of the Parents Translational Research Center, Kimberly C. Kirby, Ph.D., stated that they will, "direct parents needing immediate help to already available tools and resources informed by the existing state of science."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Smoking to Self Medicate


People who smoke cigarettes do it for different reasons, some smoke to relieve stress in their life, others smoke for social purposes, and others are just simply addicted. The teenage years are usually when the habit of smoking is picked up, generally while in social gatherings with one's friends. Some teens end up becoming addicted and smoking makes them feel better so they continue smoking. Teenagers who smoke tobacco to “feel better” may actually be at increased risk for depressive symptoms, Science Daily reported.

662 high-school students were asked to fill out questionnaires over a five-year period about their smoking in order to improve mood ("self-medication"). They were also asked about depressive symptoms that showed up: excessive worry, feelings of hopelessness, and sleep problems. Canadian researchers found that those who smoked more cigarettes also had more depressive symptoms; those who smoke less had less depressive symptoms. That shows us that people who smoke to feel better are actually making life harder for themselves, which is usually the case with addiction and self-medicating.

"Although cigarettes may appear to have self-medicating effects or to improve mood, in the long term we found teens who started to smoke reported higher depressive symptoms," said Michael Chaiton, researcher at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit of the University of Toronto and lead author of the study. The depressive symptoms that develop may actually lead teenagers to experimenting with other drugs to try and feel better, thus the cycle of addiction begins. Parents should really encourage their children to stay away from cigarettes, explain to them that science has proven that cigarettes are not only addictive; they also have the power to kill.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Smoking and Drinking are Hard to Quit


It is quite common for people who drink alcohol to smoke cigarettes in conjunction with drinking, they seem linked it many ways; when some people drink alcohol they crave a cigarette even if they are non-smokers. It wasn't that long ago that people could smoke cigarettes in just about any bar in America. People who try to quit smoking often relapse when they drink alcohol, which makes one think that there is a connection worth looking into. Alcoholics who are in recovery generally have a difficult time quitting cigarettes once the alcohol is out of the picture.

Researchers conducted "A post-mortem analysis of gene expression in the brains of smokers, alcoholics and those who had done both during their lives", according to the New Scientist. They found that a group of genes in the nucleus accumbens - the pleasure center of the brain - were expressed most strongly in their group of alcoholic smokers (Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01207.x). The study was conducted by Traute Flatscher-Bader at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. They believe that drinking and smoking is not purely a social activity, rather, when people drink and smoke they are rewarding the nucleus accumbens more. "These genes play a role in rewiring the neurons in the nucleus accumbens. That means people who both smoke and drink might get a greater reward, making it harder for them to quit", says Flatscher-Bader.

Understanding the link between cigarettes and alcohol may help professionals provide more effective treatment plans. At the end of the day, any substance that tricks the nucleus accumbens into releasing pleasurable feelings is harmful to the brain. Introducing substances like drugs and alcohol into the blood stream will affect the brain and often times addictions form. There are some experts who believe that cigarettes are responsible for addicts in recovery relapsing, even though most treatment facilities allow clients to smoke.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mary Kennedy Driving While On Drugs


The Taconic Parkway and the Kennedys are back in the papers again because of alcohol. Just one month after Mary Kennedy's license was suspended after she pled guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol the wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was pulled over for speeding on the Taconic Parkway and police suspected that she was under the influence of drugs. The Taconic Parkway was the scene of the tragic Diane Schuler Taconic Parkway accident that claimed the lives of eight people; now, a year later Mary Kennedy is speeding at 82 mph and high on drugs. It seems like the Taconic Parkway is cursed by drugs and alcohol as of late.

WNBC reported that officers suspected that Kennedy was under the influence of prescription medication. What she may or may not have been high on is not clear yet, but, charges have been brought up. Mary Kennedy, like many Kennedy's before her seems to be struggling with addiction considering what has happened since May - first alcohol and now drugs. Mary Kennedy probably needs help and should seek guidance. Kennedy's lawyer, Kerry Lawrence, told The Journal News, "We look forward to defending the charges against Miss Richardson Kennedy." She was able to plea down her drunk driving charge, and now she is scheduled to appear in Pleasant Valley Town Court on Thursday.

Hopefully, the judge will be able to help convince Mary that she needs help. There is a good chance that the Kennedy influence will be able to lessen her charges but the fact still remains that a problem exists. Robert Kennedy, Jr filed for divorce just days before her first DUI, her life is spiraling out of control and now she is using drugs and driving. We will be following this story as it develops; our hope is that she will be able to go to treatment for her problems.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ChildLine Calls Prompted by Parents' Drink and Drugs

Children are calling ChildLine, a hot-line for kids who have a problem, regarding their parent's drug and alcohol use. ChildLine receives phone calls from more than 100 children a week who are concerned about their parent's behaviours, the NSPCC reports. Two-thirds of the children who call about their parent's drinking habits, also report abuse; violence is often a terrible byproduct of parents who drink, creating an unhealthy environment for anyone in the household. Between January and March, 5,700 children had called, unfortunately the founder of the NSPCC, Esther Rantzen, reportedly told the BBC that many kids are afraid to call and report a problem at home. Ms Rantzen said: "These are the children that know our number and ring us, but what about the many, many thousands of children who aren't, alas, familiar with ChildLine's work and who might be fearful of ringing us?"

"I am, in a sense, imploring those people who work with children to be alert to the possibility that the silent, friendless child... may have trouble at home created by alcohol and drug problems". Growing up and around addiction has its effects on children in a number a ways, it seems that the most common problem that children of addicts develop are emotional problems - trouble in school or difficulty making friends for fear that people will find out that dad or mom have a problem. What's more, those children become susceptible to the urge to try the substances that their parents use, inevitably starting down their own road of addiction.

The chief executive of a charity called Drinkaware, said: "Lots of parents might be horrified to learn of the number of young people seeking help as a result of parental alcoholism, but the news should serve as a timely reminder that you don't have to be an alcoholic to have a direct impact on your children. Regularly drinking to excess in front of children will only normalise alcohol misuse but it's important this pattern within the family unit is broken to ensure young people grow up to have a healthy relationship with alcohol".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tough Economy Poses Challenge for Addicts


The economy and one's financial standing affects people in a number of ways and people deal with their problems differently. Those who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction often times relapse because of downturns in the economy, pay cuts and downsizing can be devastating to any one, so it makes sense that it would be a step on the road to relapse if one's program of recovery was not in check. Loss of job and the inability to find work can make it harder to stay sober for recovering addicts.

"Martin Miller believes he was fired in December because he’s an alcoholic."

"Miller, who didn't want to use his real name because he is currently job hunting, said his alcohol problem surfaced when he was downsized as a manager for a mortgage company in 2006 and ended up in a substance abuse treatment program at age 31."
"In the years that followed, he found himself in an increasingly tough job market, losing yet another mortgage job due to downsizing, working temporary positions to make ends meet, and struggling to stay away from booze."

"Last October, he landed a good position as a client services representative for a software company in southern New Jersey and thought his life was finally turning around. Alas, he gave in to temptation at the company Christmas party that one his managers pressured him to attend, and he ended up in the hospital."

"He informed his employer that he was going into a treatment center for his addiction, and the next day he got a termination letter delivered to his home via UPS".


The quoted text above is from MSNBC, I chose to put the article in its entirety because it is a great example of how places of work treat addicts differently. In the 21st century there is no reason why anyone should be fired for the disease of addiction. Miller's situation is not uncommon; this type of thing happens all the time and employers do not need to tell you the reason for your termination, which protects employers from being sued for wrongful termination.

Recovering addicts are productive members of society and deserve the same treatment as someone who does not have this disease.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tackling Drug Driving

The road is a dangerous place, in the blink of an eye peoples' lives are changed forever because individuals decide that they can get behind the wheel intoxicated. Alcohol and drugs permeate the streets of America, and it is next to impossible for any law enforcement agency to police everyone. Drunk drivers make the news more than drugged drivers because there has never been a quick and easy way to determine whether or not a driver is high on something. Drugs use is much harder to detect mostly because drugs generally do not have a strong odor like alcohol; the typical ways an officer determines whether or not someone is drunk do not transfer over to drugs. Everyday people get pulled over intoxicated and are let go because there is no fast and accurate field sobriety drug test.

Testing for drugs is much more complicated than testing for alcohol and it is very difficult distinguishing between the different side effects exhibited. "In recent years, police have seen more drivers under the influence of cocaine, which causes them to feel overconfident and to drive aggressively. Ecstasy, meanwhile, can cause blurred vision and poor judgment, while depressant drugs, like diazepam, can lead to slow reactions and an inability to maintain concentration. Legal, prescription medications can also have a negative impact on driving, and combining several drugs or mixing them with alcohol complicates their effects". Drivers suspected of being on drugs first go to a police station, tested for drugs, and then a doctor has to examine the test to confirm its accuracy. While all that is taking place the drugs in the suspects system are leaving, making it very hard to determine the levels of a particular drug in the blood stream.

Now, countries are working on finding ways to remove the doctor from the equation. In the UK law enforcement officials are developing saliva and sweat tests that police officers could use either on the roadside or in the station. There would no longer be a need for a doctor which will make keeping the streets safe easier. The Institute of Advanced Motorists has been working for ten years to create a machine that is compact and could test for the entire battery of drugs out there. Until they develop something viable, police forces should use tests that are already in existence and do not need a doctor; those tests may be expensive but they will ultimately save lives.

Kevin Delaney, from (IAM), says: "Unlike alcohol, which is just one drug, the number and range of drugs that can impair somebody's driving is almost incalculable, and actually designing a piece of machinery that will deal with all of them is going to prove extremely difficult".

Source: BBC

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

OxyContin Prescription Drug Abuse

On the surface, Oxycontin appears to be relatively harmless when you put it up against heroin. Small color coded pills with numbers indicating the dosage in milligrams look a lot cleaner and safer. Oxycontin's appearance is deceiving, beneath the pastel colored seal surface of the pills, there exists a killer. There is a growing concern as more young people are experimenting with pharmaceutical narcotics like Oxycontin and Xanax. Teenagers and young adults are playing with a fire that will inevitably burn them. Pharmaceutical pain medications like Oxycontin and Fentanyl have the same effect on the human body as heroin does, heroin is cut with other undesirables, but, essentially all strong opiates have the potential for overdose.

Joey Rovero's life was cut short because of drugs like Oxycontin and Xanax. Just a week before his death, Joey, drove to Southern California and paid a doctor $75 dollars. Rovero took home 90 OxyContin tablets, 30 Xanax and 90 muscle relaxants, his father said. How is that possible? What kind of medical problems would necessitate a college student being prescribed three drugs that can easily cause an overdose when mixed? It happens all the time and doctors know it, yet, they continue to prescribe these drugs to ostensibly healthy young adults.

Prescription narcotics have become an epidemic in America and doctors continue to throw fuel on the fire. Every bottle of Xanax and Oxycontin that gets prescribed to a college student is going to find its way into countless hands. Rovero sold half of his drugs to his addicted roommates before he overdosed and died. Who knows how far Rovero's drugs traveled before they were all used up, how many people used his drugs in conjunction with other drugs potentially overdosing themselves.

Prescription medication in America needs to be addressed, we need to educate more young adults about the dangers that exist. Opiates and sedatives in any form have the power to kill and will continue to do so as long as people think that they are clean and safe.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Social Media Teaching Kids About Drugs


Social Media has become the provider of information and news for the world, between Twitter and Facebook one can discern a lot. Just about every teenager in the United States actively uses social networks to communicate with the world; this makes social media a perfect platform for teaching kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has teamed up with WeeWorld, to help educate teens about substance abuse prevention and the realities of drug and alcohol use or abuse. According to the PR Newswire, "this effort delivered more than 47 million viral impressions, dramatically increased traffic and tripled brand awareness for the Partnership's teen-targeted site CheckYourself.com".

With 36 million registered WeeMee's visiting and expressing themselves through WeeWorld it seems like the perfect environment to educate teens. "WeeWorld.com has proven to be an incredibly effective platform for us to share messages with teens about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse", said Partnership Digital Media and Marketing Director Hilary Baris. "These unprecedented results clearly demonstrate that teens are thirsting for this kind of information. We've been blown away by the quality and overall level of engagement WeeWorld has so clearly quantified and we're thrilled to be able to embrace this technology to connect with teens". The drive behind the campaign was a young adult recovering addict named JT. Using his WeeMee, JT visually interacted with a growing base of over 20,000 teen friends, posted messages and shared weekly scenarios drawn from CheckYourself.com.

"What an incredible inspiration this collaborative effort has been for me", said JT. "Not only have we meaningfully interacted with tens of thousands of teens and helped educate them about the dangers of substance abuse, but we are helping these young people make smart choices about drug and alcohol use. So many people have been instrumental in personally helping me to recover from my addiction and that's why I am so excited to have encouraged so many 'WeeWorlders' to achieve a positive attitude about not using drugs and alcohol".

Through the Internet and the powers of social media, millions of people can gain knowledge about things they would have never have known without it. The Internet has proven its effectiveness in reaching kids probably more than any other one thing. Harnessing the power of social media to help guide people towards abstinence or recovery will save countless lives.

"We're thrilled that, together, we helped build a unique 'celebrity role model' in JT and provided compelling content that teens eagerly integrated and shared with friends," said Pauline Malcolm-John, VP of National Sales for WeeWorld. "And just like we do with any client, whether they are major brands, product launches or causes, we were able to quantify the massive viral effect we achieved and are proud to see the huge success of this educational social media campaign."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Energy Drinks With Alcohol Under Fire

AP

There has been a lot of talk lately about how caffeinated alcoholic beverages are made as well as how they are being marketed. Your standard energy drinks these days are geared specifically towards younger consumers, especially those who are underage. Now with a mixture of alcohol and caffeine in one can people don't have to mix alcohol with drinks like Redbull or Rockstar; the problem is that the cans that have alcohol look not too dissimilar from those that do not. "Democratic New York Senator Charles Schumer is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate how flavored, caffeinated alcoholic beverages are marketed, specifically those that appear to be geared to underage consumers", said The Associated Press (AP).

In a letter to the FTC chairman, Jon Leibowitz, Schumer wrote that energy drinks containers are meant to confuse parents and police with labeling that looks like labeling on similar nonalcoholic drinks, wrote the AP. Not only that, but these energy drinks typically have more alcohol content than your average beer. Now we have an alcoholic beverage that has more alcohol in it than a beer and it looks like the person drinking it is drinking a Rockstar. The Senator highlighted drinks such as Joose and Four Loko which contain 12 percent alcohol, nearly twice than what is found in a beer.

A Wake Forest University study showed that students who mix alcohol with caffeine "tend to be more likely to experience alcohol-related injuries versus students who drink alcoholic beverages without caffeine", reported the AP. It works like this, too much alcohol makes you tired, caffeine keeps you awake despite the alcohol; this allows people to think that they are able to drive despite the amount of alcohol they have consumed. Last year, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs said, "The increasing popularity of consumption of caffeinated alcoholic beverages by college students and reports of potential health and safety issues necessitates that we look seriously at the scientific evidence as soon as possible".

Energy drinks with alcohol need to be addressed! They are packaged in colorful cans, come in juice flavors, and typically cost about $2.50-$4.00 per can and are stronger than beer. Drinks like these are easy to conceal from authorities and parents which makes them popular among teens. The conversation has started and now action is needed...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Amy Locane Fatal DUI Crash

Courtesy of WKRG

It is always sad when alcoholism rears its head inside a motor vehicle. There are many alcoholics in the grips of their disease that do not hesitate to get behind the wheel. Risk assessment goes out the window whenever there is addiction; sadly, the poor choices that some alcoholics make end up taking the life of an innocent bystander. We all witnessed the horror that occurred on the Taconic Parkway with Diane Schuler; the accident sent a shock through every household in America. Theories of what went wrong on that day were talked about in most households, asking who and why and when and how this could have happened. The answer to that question is Alcoholism.

Just recently a woman lost her life while riding as a passenger in her friend's car when a vehicle driven by a drunk driver slammed into their car. The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office says that Amy Locane drove into the passenger side of another car in Montgomery, New Jersey, killing a woman who was sitting in the front seat and seriously injured the driver. You may remember Locane from the 1990's TV show "Melrose Place" as well as the movies "Airhead" and "Crybaby". Locane confessed to police that she had drank several glasses of wine before getting behind the wheel. Before the fatal accident occurred, the actress rear-ended another car down the road; when the other driver tried to call the police Locane fled the scene "swerving and knocking down several mailboxes" along the way, witnesses told police. A few miles down the road Locane's life changed forever.

According to police Locane has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and third-degree assault by auto. Locane smelled of alcohol and her eyes were bloodshot and glassy and she was slurring her words, according to officers. Bail has not been set yet and it looks like she will face up to 10 years in Prison. Locane will have a long time to think about her life and her actions in prison, hopefully she will address some of the issues that helped get her there. Whenever "alcohol" finds itself behind the wheel, accidents are inevitable - sooner or later.

Please share your thoughts and insights in the comments…

(We’d also be honored if you’d consider subscribing to our Blog.)


Source: TMZ

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Are People in Your Church Hurting?

Life's Healing Choices offers freedom from our hurts, hang-ups, and habits through eight healing choices that promise true happiness and life transformation. Using the Beatitudes of Jesus as a foundation, Senior Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and John Baker, who is also a pastor at Saddleback, developed the eight choices shared in this book.

Meeting Unique Needs of Christians Needing Drug Rehab

Many Christians in need of Drug Rehab also suffer from mental illness.

Sometimes individuals who suffer from mental illness develop dependence on chemical substances as well as suffering from mental illness, treatment must address the underlying medical issue as well as the addiction. Mental illnesses can cause mood swings, hormonal imbalances, and other issues from which a person seeks relief. When people find temporary emotional relief through narcotics or alcohol, addiction can set in. In our program, patients requiring medical or psychiatric attention can also find what they need with dual diagnosis and other therapeutic programs.

We have a serious commitment to helping find the root causes behind drug addiction and alcoholism. We provide treatment for people suffering from issues such as manic depression, depression, anxiety, and other neuroses.

Residential treatment is a safe environment in which addicts and alcoholics can identify issues that lead them back from self-destructive behaviors and learn how to define and deal with these issues. We encourage family members and loved ones to take part in the recovery process and support the individual who is struggling to overcome addiction or alcoholism. Every individual has unique needs and challenges—we have taken this into account, which makes our drug treatment program an option for people of all backgrounds.

Welcome to Celebrate A New Life at Hope by the Sea. We are located in the beautiful coastal communities of Southern California, in Orange County. Celebrate A New Life is a Christian residential drug rehab and alcohol treatment center, specializing in treating dual-diagnosed, (co-existing disorders) such as depressions, bi-polar, anxiety and mood disorders. Our staff, the psychiatrist, medical personal, therapist, and counselors are the very best in the industry. Our faith-focused mission is to minister the love of Jesus Christ to the least, the last and the lost. The pain, turmoil, and devastation caused by addiction needs to come to an end.

Help is needed. Help is available. Today can be that day to put an end to the vicious cycle of despair and confusion. God offers hope and healing. For Immediate Help-Call Now (800) 708-3173

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Drug Treatment in a Faith Based Rehab

Some of us entered treatment because of an intervention from loved ones. We were confronted and persuaded to break free from our addictions. This is only a beginning, a very important one. When entering a Faith Based Rehab and Drug Treatment Program like Celebrate A New Life, profound changes take place on a spiritual plane.

Celebrate A New Life is a Christian residential drug rehab and alcohol treatment center, specializing in treating dual-diagnosed, (co-existing disorders) such as depressions, bi-polar, anxiety and mood disorders. Our staff, the psychiatrist, medical personal, therapist, and counselors are the very best in the industry. Our faith-focused mission is to minister the love of Jesus Christ to the least, the last and the lost. The pain, turmoil, and devastation caused by addiction needs to come to an end. Help is needed. Help is available. Today can be that day to put an end to the vicious cycle of despair and confusion. God offers hope and healing. Consider yourself Blessed indeed. The pain, sadness, and hurt your experiencing now, is another example of how God will express His never ending love, forgiveness, and everlasting grace. God will never waste a hurt. He wants to get your attention and will use whatever means necessary. Today is an opportunity for restoration and a healing of the mind, body and spirit. The best of life is yet to come. God says, "I know what I am planning for you ... I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future." Jer. 29:11 You may feel you are facing an impossible situation, but the bible says, "God... is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires thoughts, or hopes." Eph. 3:20

Celebrate A New Life is a culmination of two highly-effective Christ centered Drug and Alcohol Treatment.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hope By The Sea Christian Track

Hope by the Sea is pleased to offer a Christian Track. Celebrate a New Life, our Christian Track, is designed for clients who are looking for a ‘Christ centered approach to healing, restoration, and reconciliation to God, family, and to one's own dignity and self-worth; in a comfortable safe ocean environment.’

Our clients who elect the Christian Track participate in Hope By the Sea’s daily schedule; however, the Christian Track focuses on Christian activities and functions. These may include:

· Attending Celebrate Recovery® meetings at Saddleback Church
· Daily Christian devotionals
· Celebrate a New Life workshops
· Individual and group counseling
· Weekly worship services at Saddleback Church

Celebrate A New Life is a Christian Residential Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Center, located in the coastal communities of Orange County Southern California. Our faith-focused mission is to minister the love of Jesus Christ to the least, the last and the lost. The pain, turmoil, and devastation caused by addiction needs to come to an end. Help is needed. Help is available. Call us Today! Toll –Free (800) 708-3173 Visit our web-site @ http://www.celebratedrugrehab.com



· Celebrate Recovery Meetings at Saddleback Church
· Life Recovery Step Study & Devotions
· Boundaries Workshops
· Life’s Healing Choices Workshops
· Worship & Fellowship at Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dual Diagnosis & Dual Disorders

The Celebrate A New Life Christian Dual Diagnostic Track - Dual diagnosis often accompanies chemical dependency, drug and alcohol issues. At Celebrate A New Life, we recognize dual diagnosis as a co-occurring condition.

These Conditions include:
Bipolar Disorder
Clinical Depression
Anxiety Disorder
Eating Disorder
Attention Deficit Disorder
Clinical Mood Disorders



Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a major affective disorder between states of deep depression and extreme elation. Symptoms are: sleeping more than usual, then needing very little sleep yet never feeling tired, becoming uninterested in things you once enjoyed, becoming unable to make simple decisions, wanting to die, experiencing hallucinations or delusions, indulging in risky sexual behavior, feeling hopeless or worthless for a sustained period of time, paying no attention to daily responsibilities, and having bouts of uncontrollable crying.




Clinical Depression
Not everyone experiences clinical depression in the same way. Symptoms are: A persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood. Sleeping too little or sleeping too much, Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain, restlessness or irritability, fatigue or loss of energy, feeling guilty, hopeless or worthwhile, or thoughts of death or suicide.


Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder fills people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. They are chronic, relentless and can grow progressively worse if not treated. Symptoms include: trembling, profuse sweating, nausea, difficult talking, fatigue, muscle tension, twitching, irritability, easily startled, rapid heart beat, unable to relax, and hot flashes.


Eating Disorder
The term eating disorders have come to mean anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. Anorexia nervosa is defined as the relentless pursuit of thinness. The symptoms are: Person is terrified of becoming fat, he/she reports being fat when very thin, weighs 85% or less than what is expected for age or height, he/she has compulsive rituals, strange eating habits, division of food, low tolerance for change and new situations, and may fear growing up. Bulimia is defined as the diet-binge-purge disorder. The symptoms are: Person binge eats, feels out of control while eating, vomits, misuses laxatives, excessively exercises, or fasts to get rid of calories. Bulimics are often depressed, lonely, ashamed, and empty inside. Binge eating disorder is when a person binge eats frequently and repeatedly. Symptoms are: depression and obesity, eats rapidly and secretly, may snack and nibble all day long. Binge disorder is not a process of vomiting like bulimia, it is a process of eating for emotional reasons to comfort themselves, avoid threatening situations and numb emotional pain.


Attention Deficit Disorder (Adult ADD)
Attention deficit disorder is described as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Symptoms include: lack of focus, disorganization, restlessness, difficulty finishing projects, and losing things. These symptoms interfere with success at work and get in the way at home or with friends.


Clinical Mood Disorders
Mood disorders range from depression, bipolar disorder and mania. Symptoms include: low self-esteem, less control over emotions, lowered capacity to feel pleasure, less tolerable to feel pain, not motivated and low energy levels.


Treatment centers across the country began treating a new classification of chemical abuse. Clients with a behavioral disorder coupled to compulsive/obsessive symptoms are classified as dual diagnostics. Many of these disorders in the past were seen only by mental health personnel; and the symptoms were more often than not treated erroneously because chemical addiction was not considered! In other words, a patient describing low energy, low self esteem, sadness and despair, was expressing all the feelings of depression. And he was labeled as such. He was a victim of depression. But if drinking and using were not discussed, if the therapist failed to discover the extent of the chemical habit, the direction of treatment took the wrong path.

Too, for years, health professionals thought to treat addiction, they had to find the underlying reason for the addiction. They would treat the "underlying reason" and figured the addiction would go away. Sadly, that is not at all the case. A person suffering from an obsessive/compulsive disorder, such as drinking and using, will surely return to that behavior after only brief success. Thus, relapse.

Probably the best way to understand the futility of psychotherapy is to use an example that is very fitting: Say, a person goes into treatment for fire setting. The therapist would have little success treating the underlying disorder if the patient were allowed to continue to set fires. Common sense can go a long ways-first, the fires have to go! Stop setting fires and now we have a chance to treat whatever else is wrong.

So is the case with many addicts. Learn to stay sober and clean, and if any severe underlying disorders still exist we have the benefit of time and experience to solve those problems also.

Chemical Imbalance
Some disorders will simply not go away with counseling, group therapy, 12 step programs alone. This is yet another type of dual diagnosis. It is more bothersome to the client, and in severe forms can distract from chemical dependency treatment. However, these types of disorders can be treated very successfully. These people suffer many times from certain chemical imbalances, and need additional help to overcome their challenge. A responsible treatment program should professionally diagnose all of its clients upon intake. At Celebrate A New Life we treat this kind of disorder in three phases:

Psychosocial evaluation
Proper medication to restore chemical balance
One-on-one counseling (evaluating and treatment planning)
Introduce client into the primary phase of chemical abuse treatment
When chemical balance is achieved, clients respond well to the general concept of standardized treatment:

> Group process
> Relating to others and gaining social skills
> Incorporating a treatment plan into their lifestyle that they can live a satisfying life
> Identifying and acceptance of their own personal challenges
For immediate intake information, Call Robert Nicholl
Toll Free
24 Hours a Day (800) 708-3173

Saturday, May 15, 2010

10 Steps to a Christian Drug or Alcohol Intervention

10 Steps of a Christian Drug Intervention
Step 1 - Call our hotline - 800.708.3173
Call our private and confidential hotline. One of our consultants will assess your crisis and will determine the appropriateness of an intervention.
Step 2 - Placement with an interventionist
Upon clinical assessment of your individual needs, you will be matched with an appropriate interventionist.
Step 3 - Outline treatment options
The interventionist will outline specific treatment options according to your unique needs (location, clinical matters, medical coverage, etc). Once we have determined the appropriate outlet, our team will take care of admissions details and necessary travel arrangements.
Step 4 - Outline a plan of action
Through a series of one-on-one meetings and/or telephone conversations, your interventionist will guide you and others involved through the process of organizing a professionally facilitated, effective intervention.
Step 5 - Pre-intervention meeting
Your interventionist will fly or drive to your location for the pre-intervention meeting. This meeting is typically scheduled during the late afternoon or evening and lasts an average of three to four hours. During this meeting, we talk about the disease of addiction and its impact on family, friends, co-workers and others. We discuss what the treatment course and recovery process will involve and, finally, under the guidance of your interventionist, we will prepare and rehearse written statements to share with your loved one during the intervention.
Step 6 - Intervention
Interventions are typically scheduled for the morning immediately following the pre-intervention meeting. The intervention usually takes about one to one-and-a-half hours. An intervention is a structured, solution-focused process that consist of a group of close friends, family members, co-workers, colleagues, spiritual advisors, etc., who come together in a caring and non-judgmental manner to present their observations and concerns regarding an addict’s behavior.
Step 7 - Treatment admissions
If the individual accepts help, he or she is immediately escorted to the appropriate treatment outlet. Your interventionist will work with the treatment staff in regards to the critical information gained during the intervention process so that treatment staff can get a jump-start on the assessment and treatment planning process.
Step 8 - Post-intervention consultation
After the intervention, our counselors and interventionists will be available for help for his or her problem. We also assist in helping you start your own path of recovery and healing.
Step 9 - Post-treatment services
Support immediately following treatment significantly increases the probability of abstinence and aids in the major transition from treatment to independent, sober living. The goal of our re-entry program is to provide intense, individualized care during this critical transitional period so that your loved one can begin to develop a healthy, satisfying and productive life in sobriety. These highly individualized services are offered at additional cost.
Step 10 - Congratulations on taking the first step toward recovery
Intervention Questions and Answers
Q: What is an intervention?
A: An intervention is a proactive educational process aimed at disrupting the downward spiral of chaos and crisis within families or organizations caused by addiction. The intervention team comes together, usually led by a professional, in an effort to move all persons involved out of crisis, with the more specific goal of providing immediate help and relief to the identified individual.
Q: What is the goal of an intervention? And how successful are they?
A: The traditional goal of an intervention has been to provide solutions to individuals in crisis from addiction. The modern goal of intervention often termed the “systemic” model, takes a broader view of crisis caused by addiction and attempts to provide solutions not only for the identified individual but for the family or system surrounding the individual as well. At Celebrate A New Life we believe that addiction is a family disease and that our first responsibility is to help those that are willing to get help – typically the family. While making help available to the identified individual is our objective, it is not our only objective and it is not the way we define success. We define success not only by the number of individuals that enter treatment but, more importantly, by how many families we are able to move out of crisis.
Q: I have someone in my life that is in crisis. How do I know if an intervention is appropriate?
A: A Christian intervention is appropriate if you as the friend/family/co-worker can no longer in good conscience sit by and watch the situation deteriorate. When you have decided that you have to do something to help arrest or alter the situation then an intervention is
appropriate.
Q: I’m not sure if this person is drinking, using drugs or just going crazy. I don’t know any details I just know that things are not even close to normal anymore and are moving towards frightening and unsafe. Do I need all the facts before I confront someone?
A: No. You only need legitimate concern for the individual’s welfare or for that of the people he or she comes in contact with who may be suffering or in danger due to the their crisis.
Q: If I have an intervention I’m scared that it might make the situation worse. What if they never speak to me again?
A: A Christian Alcohol or Drug intervention is a gentle, loving, factual, conversational process. It is not a showdown or a test of wills. The process is designed specifically to improve the lives, perceptions, and choices of all involved. Never speaking to someone again because they show up in your life to let you know that they love you, they see you struggling and that help is available is not a reasonable response.
Q: Not everyone surrounding the identified individual is on board with the idea of an intervention. What should we do?
A: Encourage them to talk to Bobby Nicholl at Celebrate A New Life. A great deal of fear is still around the idea of what people think happens at an intervention different then what actually takes place. If they still feel that being part of the team is not for them we will honor that choice and move ahead.
Q: I feel as if I am betraying the person I am trying to help by participating in an intervention. Wouldn’t it be better if I didn’t join the team so that they will feel as if they still have someone they can trust?
A: No. This comes up as the most common fear among intervention participants. The fear is that they are playing the “Judas card” and betraying the trust of their family member or friend. The reality is that we are coming together as a team to make help available to someone we know who is struggling. If we take ourselves away from the team and set up separate “trust” situations we debilitate the efforts of the group to bring all of the secrets to light, to disrupt the “conspiracy of silence.” By bringing secrets out in the open we disabuse them of their power. By talking about what’s going on we break the “conspiracy of silence” – the greatest form of enabling.
Q: How long is the entire intervention process? How long is the actual intervention?
A: The process, from initial inquiry to intervention meeting can be as long as several weeks to as short as the next day. In certain crisis situations it is imperative to take immediate action to prevent the identified individual from harming himself or others. When possible more planning is always appropriate. The most important thing to remember is that analysis equals paralysis, which is why the best thing to do in crisis is to get out of the problem and into the solution. Our clients typically feel relief and hope from the moment they book our services and get into action. The quicker they get this stage behind them the sooner they begin the healing process themselves. The actual intervention usually lasts no longer than an hour. All the hard work of preparation by the team, the staff at Celebrate A Nee Life, and the interventionist is done in advance.
Q: Who should be part of an intervention team?
A: Family, friends, spiritual advisors, co-workers, or supervisors are all appropriate. The interventionist will work with you to build a well-rounded and effectual team.
Q: Everyone seems to think that maybe if we just talk to him he’ll go. Can we hope to have any success if we pull their family and friends together and have a more informal intervention?
A: Our experience is that informal family or co-worker interventions often do more to alienate the identified individual and complicate the situation when a real intervention is called for later on. A professionally facilitated process guided by an experienced interventionist can save years of concern, expense, and frustration.
Q: I think an intervention might be appropriate and I would like to talk to someone about my situation. What do I do next?
A: Call Celebrate A New Life at 800-708-3173 and speak confidentially with one of our crisis consultants.


Christian Intervention Success Rates
75% of addicts enter treatment the day of the intervention. 92% enter treatment within a week after the intervention.
Alcoholics and addicts whose careers were in shambles due to their addictions can and do resurrect their jobs and families. They go on to become model employees and company leaders. Organizational productivity gains after successful addiction intervention and treatment include:
• 91% decrease in absenteeism
• 88% decrease in problems with supervisors
• 93% decrease in mistakes in work
• 97% decrease in on-the-job injuries
• 71% drop in injuries
Early intervention, treatment, and continuing care are the best combination for successful recovery from addiction. Intervention is the first step toward healing the damage done by alcoholism and addiction

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Faith Based Drug Alcohol Recovery That's Proven To Work

The purpose of Celebrate Recovery is to allow us to become free from life's hurts, hang-ups, and habits By working through the eight principles or recovery based on the Beatitudes, with Jesus Christ as our Higher Power, we can and will change.

Celebrate A New Life is a Faith Based Alcohol and Drug Recovery program located in the coastal communities of Southern California. Our clients participate in regular Celebrate Recovery meetings at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California. Pastor Rick Warren and Pastor John Baker started Celebrate Recovery here 18 years ago.

For more information about our Faith Based Drug Alcohol Recovery program call us Toll Free at (800) 708-7173

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Christian Alcohol Rehab Centers

·High Quality Christian Alcohol Rehab Center located in coastal Southern California. Celebrate A New Life
Quality Christian Residential Treatment
· Detoxification Services
· Coastal Southern California
· Individual Christian Counseling
· Celebrate Recovery Meetings
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A.A. 12-Step Christian Parallels

Celebrate A New Life is a Christian Residential Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment center located in Southern California. We incorporate Biblical recovery methodology into one of the nations finest treatment programs at Hope By The Sea. Call us anytime Toll Free (800) 708-3173

Steps One through Step Six

We have many times documented the frequent statements by A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson that his friend, Rev. Sam Shoemaker, was the major source of the Big Book ideas and Twelve Steps.
  1.  In 1955, Newsweek named him one of the ten greatest preachers in the United States.
  2.  Shoemaker was known as a great communicator, and was described by his associate, Rev. W. Irving Harris, as a Bible Christian.
There are many persuasive instances where one can find almost exact parallels between the language Bill Wilson used in the Big Book and the language Shoemaker used in his many Christian books, articles, and pamphlets.

Here, Step by Step, are a few of those parallels. Key words and phrases appear here in bold face. Moreover, in a number of my books, I have carefully stated and reviewed every parallel quote I have found in Shoemaker’s many writings. In each case, the parallels are present, and the examples are numerous. Those books which contain the totality of my work on Big Book-Shoemaker parallels are included at the close of this series of articles.

This study of Steps One trough Six begins with the parallels between Shoemaker’s introduction to the idea of “finding God” and Bill Wilson’s original insistence that one who takes the Twelve Steps must find God. In Realizing Religion, Shoemaker wrote: “You need to find God. You need a vital religious experience. You need Jesus Christ”4

Here Are the Parallels in the First Six Steps

Step One: Shoemaker wrote: “It makes a gap between myself and the Ideal which I am powerless to bridge. It distances me from the All-holy God.” 5 He also frequently referred to the prayer, “O Lord, manage me, for I cannot manage myself.”6

Step Two: Shoemaker wrote: “I told him that I knew if he would make that act in faith, he would find himself not the possessor of, but possessed by, a Force outside himself, greater than himself.”7 Shoemaker also wrote: “They seemed to be propelled by a vast Power outside themselves.”8

Step Three: Shoemaker wrote the following: (1) “He went into his room, knelt by his bed, and gave his life in surrender to God.”9 (2) “She surrendered to God her groundless fears, and with them turned over her life for His direction.”10 (3) “[H]e had made the greatest decision of life, to surrender himself unconditionally and for always to the will of God.”11 (4) “That night I decided to launch out into the deep and with the decision to cast my will and my life on God”12 (5) “They prayed together, opening their minds to as much of God as he understood.”13

Step Four: Shoemaker wrote: “It would be a very good thing if you took a piece of foolscap paper and wrote down the sins you feel guilty of. . . . One of the simplest and best rules for self-examination that I know is to use the Four Standards, which Dr. Robert E. Speer said represented the summary of the Sermon on the Mount—Absolute Honesty, Absolute Purity, Absolute Unselfishness, and Absolute Love. Review your life in their light. Put down everything that doesn’t measure up. Be ruthlessly, realistically honest.”14

Step Five: Shoemaker wrote: “When people’s lives are wrong, they are usually wrong on one or more of these standards. Many quite respectable people have hidden things in their past and their present that need to come out in confidence with some one. . . . If a person is honest with himself and with God, he will be honest also with us and be ready to take the next step, which is a decision to surrender these sins, with himself wholly to God.”15

Step Six: Shoemaker wrote: “You see, most of us justify our wrong-doings and excuse them. Even when we admit them, we do not quite want to give them up. . . . Sin hides behind immaturity, we keep up a fence of protection, then when we are found out we whimper like babies. But when we take down the fence of protection, and let another know us well, we are through with shams and self-deception and the attempt to deceive others, even God. It will take some prayer to get to this place, where we want God to take the sin out of us, all of it, and for good.”16

As stated, the foregoing are not the only parallels to each Step. We have listed all the references to them that we have found in our various titles. (For more on this, please see the forthcoming third article in this series.) Meanwhile, the reader may enjoy the extensive word and phrase parallels between Shoemaker language and either Big Book or Step language as we have listed them in these two titles: (1) Dick B., New Light on Alcoholism (148 parallels), pages 153-70; and (2) Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous (202 parallels from both Shoemaker’s and other Oxford Group writings—Shoemaker being the principal American Oxford Group leader in the 1930’s), pages 276-77, 341-64. As stated, there are many other parallels, and each of those listed in this series on Steps One through Six contains a citation to the page where you can find the Shoemaker-Oxford Group language quoted in my books.


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