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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Prescription Drugs and Drug Diversion

If you have ever taken someone else’s prescription medication or given your drugs to them, you have participated in an illegal activity called drug diversion. Drug diversion happens when people distribute or sell prescriptions in a way the prescriber did not intend. Minor instances can occur with individual users, but people with easy access to medications – like doctors, pharmacists and manufacturers – can also commit this crime on a large scale.

Types of Drug Diversion

Typical examples of drug diversion include:
  • Selling or dispensing prescription drugs without legal permission to do so
  • Doctor shopping, or visiting multiple prescribers in hopes of obtaining several prescriptions
  • Black-market internet pharmacies
  • Prescription pad theft and forgery

The Connection Between Drug Diversion and Addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warn that prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Valium, Adderall, Xanax and Ativan have a high potential for drug diversion. Not surprisingly, these medications are also highly addictive. People who are physically and psychologically dependent on opioids, benzodiazepines and stimulants might be willing to turn to illicit paths to get more drugs when they can no longer obtain them legally.

Many people mistakenly believe prescription medications are safer than illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine, but the reality is that they can be just as addictive, even when used according to a doctor’s orders. These drugs can lead to a chemical dependency because of the sensations they create in the brain. For example, prescription stimulants give people energy and focus, while opioids cause euphoria and benzodiazepines have a calming, relaxing effect.

According to statistics from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, over 1 million people end up in the emergency room every year after taking prescription drugs incorrectly. Prescription painkiller abuse is responsible for the deaths of more than 40 people daily, which is more than the combined number of people dying from heroin and cocaine misuse.

How Can You Prevent Drug Diversion?

If you or anyone in your household routinely takes potentially addictive prescription drugs, you have a vital role in preventing them from falling into the wrong hands and avoiding medical emergencies such as an accidental overdose.
  • Keep your medicine cabinet locked to ensure only the person who needs the medication has access to it.
  • Safely dispose of any unused prescription drugs by flushing them down the toilet or finding a drug take-back program near you where someone will responsibly destroy the remaining supply.
  • Know the warning signs of an accidental overdose and be ready to call 911 for emergency help if a loved one falls unconscious and is unresponsive after using prescription medications incorrectly.

A Supportive Christian Rehab

No matter where you are in life, God is always willing to forgive you. At Celebrate Hope, we provide compassionate, faith-based addiction treatment. Throughout the years, our team of addiction clinicians and Christian counselors has provided comprehensive care that has helped many clients begin working on their long-term sobriety while strengthening their relationship with God.

We have built a safe, supportive space where you can get the care you need to recover using Biblical principles to find your way out of addiction and toward a bright, fulfilling future. Take the first step and contact us today to learn more.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

California Good Samaritan Law

The Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan tells the tale of an unfortunate Jewish man who was attacked and beaten by robbers. Though the Jewish and Samaritan people were historically enemies, a kind Samaritan was the only person to stop and help the victim, bandaging his wounds and taking him to an inn where he could heal. This story exemplifies the importance of treating everyone you see as your neighbor, even if they come from a different walk of life.

Inspired by this parable, California legislators have passed a Good Samaritan law aiming to encourage bystanders to intervene if they see someone who looks like they need help. It also ensures rescuers act responsibly in providing emergency care.

What Is the Good Samaritan Law?

If someone acting in good faith provides medical or non-medical care to a person at risk of harm, with no expectation of payment or reward, the Good Samaritan law protects them from a lawsuit if there was no gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Since EMTs and other first responders cannot always get to the scene of an accident immediately, timely assistance from bystanders can save lives and prevent further injuries.

Examples of Good Samaritan acts include:
  • Helping an injured driver get out of their car after a minor accident
  • Pulling a drowning swimmer out of a pool and performing CPR
  • Providing first aid to someone who tripped and fell on the sidewalk in front of you

Good Samaritan Laws and Accidental Drug Overdoses

Responding to an accidental overdose by moving an unconscious person into the recovery position and calling 911 is another excellent example of being a Good Samaritan. Drug overdoses take the lives of approximately 130 Americans each day, but most of these deaths are preventable if the people around the victim know what to do and act quickly.

In the case of an accidental overdose, Good Samaritan laws provide limited protection from arrest, charge or prosecution for low-level drug violations. That means you can provide lifesaving intervention on a friend or loved one’s behalf without worrying that you will face legal consequences for doing so.

How to Respond to a Drug Overdose

Respiratory failure is the leading cause of drug overdoses. When someone combines intoxicants or takes more drugs than their body can handle, their organs and systems will begin shutting down, starting with the central nervous system and continuing with the brain, heart and lungs.

Warning signs of a drug overdose include:
  • Extreme confusion and disorientation
  • Vomiting, seizures and hallucinations
  • Slow or irregular breathing and heart rate
  • Bluish lips and fingernails
  • Dilated or constricted pupils
  • Clammy or feverish skin
  • Unresponsiveness
While a drug overdose can be terrifying, it could provide the catalyst you need to convince someone you care about that it’s time to seek help for their addiction. In a Christian rehab program, your loved one can learn to apply Biblical principles to their struggles with substance abuse.

Why Choose Christian Treatment?

People who come to Celebrate Hope’s faith-based rehab can expect to find fellowship, self-forgiveness and a strengthened relationship with God on their journey to improved health and wellness. To learn more about our programming and how we can help you and your family, contact us today.
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