Posts Tagged ‘prescription drug overdose’
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
How do you know when your loved-one has surpassed the point of casual drug use and ventured into the dark territory of abuse and addiction?
Determining whether someone you care about has become addicted to drugs is difficult for many, not simply because the signs aren’t obvious, but because many times it’s difficult to admit someone so close can have gone so far.
Because of its difficulty, many times those standing by continue to not only allow the addiction and abuse to continue, but in their attempts to either help the situation themselves or pretend it doesn’t exist, they “enable” the user – inadvertently help them continue this lifestyle. Enabling endangers everyone affected, and drains the love and happiness from families.
Those addicted to or abusing drugs may exhibit different physical signs, as different drugs have different effects, but the symptoms of addiction remain generally the same, regardless of the substance.
When diagnosing issues of addiction, we look at whether someone is abusing substances or has moved into dependence. Some of the symptoms of abuse are:
- Regularly neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, being chronically late for work, neglecting your children) because of use.
- Taking risks while using, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
- The use is causing legal trouble, such as arrests for driving under the influence, drunk and disorderly conduct or stealing or dealing to support a drug habit.
- The use in general is causing problems in relationships, partner or employer.
Common signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol dependence include:
- Tolerance. This is the need to use or drink more to get any effect.
- Withdrawal symptoms. Experiences symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety from a lack of use. People with this problem often times can’t go 3-4 days without using something to feel better.
- Loss of Control. When someone can no longer make choices about how, when or how much they use, even though they told themselves they wouldn’t.
- The addict spends a lot of time using and thinking about drugs or alcohol, figuring out how and when they can get their substance, and recovering from it’s effects.
- When someone is abusing substances, we are concerned that they are neglecting their roles and responsibilities. In dependence, people are more likely to abandon activities they used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing.
- Continued use despite knowing it’s causing major problems in one’s life—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia—but they continue to use anyway.
The more drugs and alcohol begin to affect your decisions and judgment the more they control your life. While people may go through a stage where they are abusing and can walk away, once addiction takes control it can be hard to break away without some form of help. Unfortunately, when you’re in the middle of it, the denial that you or your loved one may be experiencing can cloud one’s ability to look at the problem subjectively. That is why many people are “forced” into treatment by family, employers or the legal system.
The earlier someone recognizes the symptoms of addiction, the more likely they are to avoid some of the major consequences that often go hand in hand with addiction.
Post written by Jim Stoltz, Clinical Director for Assistance in Recovery and Licensed Independent Clinical Social worker who has spent almost 20 years working with addicts and alcoholics to achieve long-term recovery.
Tags: addiction recovery, assistance in recovery, drug abuse, drug addiction, prescription drug abuse, prescription drug overdose, recovery assistance, Recovery Assistance Program
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
Flipping through the channels this weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to see E! going deeper than the celebrity deaths due to prescription drug abuse. Their new special looked into everyday people’s struggle with prescription painkiller and sedative addictions.
The show profiled different types of people—from the typical juvenile druggie, to the overachiever, to the unintentional addiction of someone simply prescribed poorly—and discussed how each became hooked, the steps they took to find sobriety and family reactions throughout. All of this was done with compassion and an absence of judgment, potentially leading viewers to gain the footing to seek help in response.
While I applaud them for delving out of their ordinary murder mysteries and celebrity documentaries by looking at the effects of the disease on normal people outside the Hollywood spotlight, the program ended without educating the audience as adequately as it could.
The show’s depictions neglect the concept of “continuing care” (the receipt of guidance after one leaves treatment), a crucial step in the recovery process to which the general population and media have yet to catch on, instead only going through the routine of intervention, treatment and either success or failure.
I don’t mean to rag on E!, but this special is another example of TV programs with the right idea yet lacking the correct and complete education to properly comment on the subject. Discussing recovery of any kind as a behavioral health problem by only highlighting intervention and treatment but missing continuing care is like missing the bread in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; the other parts have the opportunity to be really satisfying, but without the boundaries, they just fall apart.
Tags: assistance in recovery, celebrity addiction, celebrity drug addiction, prescription drug abuse, prescription drug overdose, prescription pill addiction, Recovery Assistance Program, recovery support
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Thursday, October 1st, 2009
According to an article posted yesterday night on USA Today, prescription drugs and other pills are now the leading cause of overdosing, ahead of things like heroin and cocaine. According to the Center For Disease Control, prescription pills now account for the majority of the over 26,000 fatal overdoses each year. In previous years, up through the 1990s, the majority of overdoses were brought on by illicit substances like heroin. However, with the upswing in prescriptions and the lack of knowledge surrounding the abuse of these pills, the dangers have continued to increase and, as a result, created a dangerous epidemic of abuse and addiction.
Leonard Paulozzi, a researcher at the Center for Disease Control, said that the numbers show that overdoses in rural areas have now come to equal those in cities, which is lead, according to Paulozzi, by the availability of prescription pain killers and opioids. With chronic pain become a new term, the prescriptions of opioid pain killers have started to increase, and therefore leading to additional overdose danger. And with a rise in stress and depression, the dangers of addictive behaviors are brought to the forefront.
“At the high doses used by drug abusers, the margin of safety is small,” Paulozzi said. “Combining such drugs on your own or using them with alcohol increase the risk.” The number of overdose deaths due to prescription drugs, like morphine or codeine, has more than tripled since 1999, according the new CDC figures. “The biggest and fastest-growing part of America’s drug problem is prescription drug abuse,” says Robert DuPont, former White House drug czar and former director of NIDA.
We’ve been speaking out on the dangers of prescription drugs for years, and will continue to do so until the appropriate levels of education and awareness of the dangers are reached. Here’s a clip of our CEO, Andrew Wainwright, on CNN’s American Morning talking about the dangers of prescription drugs.
For assistance with prescription drug problems, or if a loved one is struggling with addiction, please visit our main site or call us directly at 877-320-0247.
Tags: addiction, addiction intervention, AiR Assistance in recovery, andrew wainwright, chemical dependency, cnn, cnn american morning, intervention, overdose, prescription drug abuse, prescription drug overdose, recovery assistance, substance abuse, Treatment, vicodin addiction
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