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Friday, April 27, 2018

Synthetic Cannabis Is More Dangerous Now

synthetic cannabis
Synthetic cannabis is in the headlines once again due to a spate of deaths in the Midwest and Maryland. It turns out that the already dangerous compounds sprayed on plant matter are now infused with rat poison in some cases, according to Scientific American. Believe it or not, there is a precedent for this kind of behavior, drug users consuming toxic substances, specifically brodifacoum, to lengthen their “high.” Brodifacoum is a chemical found in pest poisons sold across the country; when its ingested by humans, it can cause internal bleeding and brain damage.

Experts say they are unsure the intentions behind mixing brodifacoum into chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana, but they speculate it’s to increase the duration of user's euphoria. Toxin ties up liver enzymes that metabolize drugs, extending their effects. Douglas Feinstein, a neuroscientist and brodifacoum expert, says that the poison binds with liver enzymes that metabolize narcotics, resulting in elongating the drug's effects. He says there are case studies of people ingesting brodifacoum when using drugs like cocaine.

“We don’t know the exact doses these people are getting, but it’s a lot,” says Feinstein, who is hoping to analyze blood samples from those affected. “It could have been added intentionally to prolong the high.”

 

Synthetic Marijuana Shouldn’t Be Fooled With, Ever!


Most of our readers are probably familiar with the litany of horror stories involving synthetic drug use; the types of drugs have been in the news a lot and not in favorable light. The only thing Spice and K2 (familiar brands of synthetic cannabinoids) have in common with cannabis is that the chemical found in the former act on the same brain cell receptors as the latter.

The side effects of synthetic marijuana use are unpredictable, and in a number of cases have led to death. Even the psychological effects of use are concerning, i.e., extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations. The physical dangers include:
  • Violent Behavior
  • Suicidal Ideations
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid Heart Rate (tachycardia)
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
  • Reduced Blood Supply to the Heart
  • Kidney Damage
  • Seizures
With so many inherent risks, adding rat poison to the equation will hopefully make people think twice about experimentation. It is also worth noting that synthetic cannabis use can be habit-forming and lead to addiction. Today, it is not uncommon for individuals to seek treatment for synthetic drug addiction.

 

Synthetic Cannabinoids Treatment


If you are struggling with Synthetic Cannabinoids, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea. We can help you end the cycle of addiction and provide you with the tools and skills necessary for achieving lasting recovery.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Opioid Addiction Survey Results

prescription-opioids
Nearly 20.5 million Americans suffer from a substance use disorder (SUD), and 64,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2016. Anyone can see that addiction in the United States is a serious cause for concern. It is worth pointing out that the general public has come a long way regarding views about prescription opioids; this is important because most experts agree that overprescribing is one of the major causes of the American opioid addiction epidemic.

As a country, we still have a long way to go! Many people do not have a problem sharing their pain medications with friends and family members. However, the number of people viewing medication diversion as a problem is growing. More Americans than ever, consider alcohol and substance use disorder as a disease and a treatable mental health disorder. Even still, efforts to raise public awareness and take the pulse of society regarding drug use remains of the utmost importance. A survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research aims to do just that, giving us a clear picture of areas that need consideration.

"In the national effort to grapple with the enormous issue of opioid addiction, it is important to know the level of awareness and understanding of Americans who find themselves in the midst of an epidemic that is claiming growing numbers of lives," said Caitlin Oppenheimer, senior vice president of public health at NORC. "This survey provides important, and in some cases troubling, information."


Opioid Addiction in America


NORC at the University of Chicago reports that Americans view the scourge of opioid abuse as a much more significant problem than just two years ago, according to the Associated Press. In 2016, only 33 percent saw prescription opioid misuse as a major issue; in two years' time, that figure rose by ten-percent. The survey shows that 13 percent have lost a relative or close friend to an opioid overdose.

"The number of people who recognize how serious the opioid epidemic is in this nation is growing," said Trevor Tompson, vice president for public affairs research at NORC. "There is clearly a continuing challenge to ensure that what is learned about the crisis is grounded in fact." 

The survey found that:
  • Two-thirds of respondents say their community is not doing enough to make treatment programs accessible and affordable or to find improved methods of treating addiction.
  • Sixty-four percent would like to see more effort to crack down on drug dealers.
  • Fifty-seven percent of Americans have experience dealing with substance misuse ranging from taking a painkiller that wasn't prescribed to overdosing.
  • Twenty-four percent say they have an addicted relative, close friend, or that they (themselves) are addicted to opioids.
Unfortunately, some of the findings were less than encouraging. The research indicates that 32 percent say addiction is the result of a character flaw or poor parenting; fewer than 1 in 5 Americans are willing to associate closely with anyone addicted to prescription drugs. Such findings are a clear indication that the stigma of addiction remains alive and well in America. It is vital that we all continue to work toward educating the general public about mental illness


Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


If you are struggling with opioid use disorder, involving either prescription drugs or heroin, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea. We can help you break the destructive cycle of opioid addiction and provide you with the tools and skills necessary for achieving lasting recovery.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Young People's Perceptions About Alcohol Use

alcohol use
Many of our readers are aware of the fact that April is Alcohol Awareness Month; it is an opportunity to educate young people and adults about alcoholism, treatment, and recovery. Naturally, as with most events like AAM, the primary focus is to reach young people with the hope of helping prevent the consequences of alcohol use.

Of course, it doesn’t make any sense to maintain the hope that educating young people will prevent alcohol use altogether, but even reaching some of the demographic is valuable. Teenagers and young adults harbor many misconceptions of drinking that experts work tirelessly to dispel. A significant number of American youth fail to understand the slippery slope that is heavy alcohol consumption evinced by the rates of binge drinking. When unsafe drinking behaviors prevail, the likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder down the road increases dramatically.

With the aid of the current research available, hopefully, we can all have a hand in disabusing teens and young adults over the myths of alcohol use. Knowledge is a powerful tool that, if wielded correctly, can change people’s perceptions about drinking.

 

Youth Perceptions About Alcohol


A new study presents interesting findings on the subject of alcohol use in college. Researchers conducting a secondary analysis of a longitudinal study reveals the value of having a greater insight into young people’s attitudes about alcohol, Science Trends reports. The findings were published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Study lead author, Angelo M. DiBello, of Brown University, and his colleagues found that a person’s positive attitude of “heavy alcohol use” was notably associated with consuming more alcohol, binge drinking more often, and are more likely to experience alcohol-related problems, according to the article. Whereas, those with approving attitudes about of “moderate alcohol use” are less likely to consume alcohol, binge drink, or experience problems related to imbibing.

The researchers define heavy drinking as 4 or more drinks for women and 5 or more drinks for men on a single occasion. Moderate alcohol use they define as less than 4/5 drinks for woman/men at one time.

Alcohol is a substance that can cause significant harm. The findings of this analysis could help experts better target their prevention efforts. The research helps to paint a clearer picture of the reasons why young people drink in unhealthy ways, the article reports. As a result, the study could assist in the creation of new prevention and intervention methods.

 

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment


Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea can help any young adult break the destructive cycle of alcohol use disorder. We provide clients with the tools and skills necessary for leading a productive life in addiction recovery.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Eating Healthy In Recovery

recovery
You are what you eat! So, the age old saying goes, are valuable words to heed and can help you as you walk the road to happy destiny in recovery. It should go without saying that a good many people in recovery are not the best at taking care of themselves. People in the grips of active addiction rarely excel at putting their physical wellbeing at the top of their priority list; it’s challenging to concern yourself with eating healthy when a person is just trying to make it through the day without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Let’s face it; food is hardly a primary concern among people using drugs and alcohol in destructive ways.

Given that recovery is the opposite of addiction, one must endeavor to do everything differently, which includes diet and exercise. Those of you who have sought the help of addiction treatment centers might have undergone a crash course on nutrition. Many rehab centers actually employ nutritionists to design client dietary plans. If that was your experience, it is likely you came away from it with a better understanding of how to take care of yourself and your recovery, in turn.

Having made a commitment to recovery, hopefully, you make a point every day to nourish your body and mind with foods conducive to wellbeing. Of course, it not always easy to eat healthy all the time. Grabbing a healthy snack isn’t always possible, but whenever you can, please, seize the opportunity. Addiction is a mental illness; what we put in our body, feeds our minds; thus, healthy eating is conducive to promoting a healthy mind.

 

Mental Health is Everything


It is worth mentioning that one of the byproducts of years of active addiction is poor physical health. Alcohol and drugs take a detrimental toll on vital organs; since all the organs (including the brain) work together to keep the mechanisms of life operating—eating as healthy as possible is the goal. A significant number of people who welcome recovery into their life struggle with health conditions that require monitoring; for instance, many alcoholics also have diabetes. Failing to watch what they eat can be deadly for such people. There are other examples, but you probably get the message.

At Boston Medical Center, people in recovery now have access to a culinary class called, "Cooking for Recovery,” ABC News reports. Successful outcomes are more likely to come about when the whole patient/client receives treatment; abstaining from drugs and alcohol, while important, it just one facet of recovery.

"Good health care is about more than just direct clinical services," said Michael Botticelli, executive director of the medical center's Grayken Center for Addiction and former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "Recovery is not just about stopping the use of alcohol and drugs, it's about how do we return people to a sense of wellness and a sense of well-being." 

Dietitian and chef Tracy Burg, who leads the classes, says addiction strips people of vital nutrients, according to the article. She adds, that when people no longer have drugs and alcohol in their life, they often crave sugar. Addicts and alcoholics may not realize that sweets target some of the same neurotransmitters as mind-altering substances. People in recovery who are eating unhealthy gain weight and experience blood sugar fluctuations; they are also at risk of depression and possible relapse.

 

Addiction Recovery


At Celebrate Hope, we stress the importance of nutrition to our clients; we understand that all the pieces matter in recovery. Please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea, to learn more about how we can help you begin a remarkable journey of addiction recovery.
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