Blog

In jail, Paul suffered through opiate withdrawal; he vomited, couldn’t eat, and lost weight. He was taken to a treatment center on a stretcher. After three weeks of detoxification, Paul returned to face the medical board, which ordered him to turn in his medical license.
Source: Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home

In addition to the effects various drugs of abuse may have on specific organs of the body, many drugs produce global body changes such as dramatic changes in appetite and increases in body temperature, which may impact a variety of health conditions. Withdrawal from drug use also may lead to numerous adverse health effects, including restlessness, mood swings, fatigue, changes in appetite, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, cold flashes, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Share |

Categories: Drug Abuse #

The benefits do not outweigh the known harmful consequences. With kids, I’m very honest about my past use and explain that I know where they’re coming from on this one. I remind them that as teenagers, they are not done growing, and that continued use of steroids will prevent them from reaching their full height potential.
Source: Drugstory.org

Steroid use during childhood or adolescence, resulting in artificially high sex hormone levels, can signal the bones to stop growing earlier than they normally would have, leading to short stature. Other drugs may also cause severe muscle cramping and overall muscle weakness.

Drugs that can affect the musculoskeletal system:
Inhalants
MDMA
PCP
Steroids

If you or someone you love is battling with addiction, get in touch with Addiction Help Line Treatment Referral Service today!

Share |

Categories: Drug Abuse #

Many people view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem. Parents, teens, older adults, and other members of the community tend to characterize people who take drugs as morally weak or as having criminal tendencies. They believe that drug abusers and addicts should be able to stop taking drugs if they are willing to change their behavior.

These myths have not only stereotyped those with drug-related problems, but also their families, their communities, and the health care professionals who work with them. Drug abuse and addiction comprise a public health problem that affects many people and has wide-ranging social consequences. It is Addiction Help Line‘s goal to help the public replace its myths and long-held mistaken beliefs about drug abuse and addiction with scientific evidence that addiction is treatable and is NOT a disease and that there IS addiction help out there.

Addiction does begin with drug abuse when an individual makes a conscious choice to use drugs, but addiction is not just “a lot of drug use.” Recent scientific research provides overwhelming evidence that not only do drugs interfere with normal brain functioning, but they also have long-term effects on brain metabolism and activity. At some point, changes occur in the brain that can turn drug abuse into addiction, a chronic, relapsing illness. Those addicted to drugs suffer from a compulsive drug craving and usage and cannot quit by themselves. Treatment is necessary to end this compulsive behavior.

A variety of approaches are used in treatment programs to help patients deal with these cravings and possibly avoid drug relapse. NIDA research shows that addiction is clearly treatable. Through treatment that is tailored to individual needs, patients can learn to control their condition and live relatively normal lives.

Treatment can have a profound effect not only on drug abusers, but on society as a whole by significantly improving social and psychological functioning, decreasing related criminality and violence, and reducing the spread of AIDS. It can also dramatically reduce the costs to society of drug abuse.

Understanding drug abuse also helps in understanding how to prevent use in the first place. Results from NIDA-funded prevention research have shown that comprehensive prevention programs that involve the family, schools, communities, and the media are effective in reducing drug abuse. It is necessary to keep sending the message that it is better to not start at all than to enter rehabilitation if addiction occurs.

A tremendous opportunity exists to effectively change the ways in which the public understands drug abuse and addiction because of the wealth of scientific data NIDA has amassed. Overcoming misconceptions and replacing ideology with scientific knowledge is the best hope for bridging the “great disconnect” – the gap between the public perception of drug abuse and addiction and the scientific facts.

Share |

Categories: Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction #

Many people view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem. Parents, teens, older adults, and other members of the community tend to characterize people who take drugs as morally weak or as having criminal tendencies. They believe that drug abusers and addicts should be able to stop taking drugs if they are willing to change their behavior.

These myths have not only stereotyped those with drug-related problems, but also their families, their communities, and the health care professionals who work with them. Drug abuse and addiction comprise a public health problem that affects many people and has wide-ranging social consequences. It is NIDA’s goal to help the public replace its myths and long-held mistaken beliefs about drug abuse and addiction with scientific evidence that addiction is a chronic, relapsing, and treatable disease.

Addiction does begin with drug abuse when an individual makes a conscious choice to use drugs, but addiction is not just “a lot of drug use.” Recent scientific research provides overwhelming evidence that not only do drugs interfere with normal brain functioning creating powerful feelings of pleasure, but they also have long-term effects on brain metabolism and activity. At some point, changes occur in the brain that can turn drug abuse into addiction, a chronic, relapsing illness. Those addicted to drugs suffer from a compulsive drug craving and usage and cannot quit by themselves. Treatment is necessary to end this compulsive behavior.

A variety of approaches are used in treatment programs to help patients deal with these cravings and possibly avoid drug relapse. NIDA research shows that addiction is clearly treatable. Through treatment that is tailored to individual needs, patients can learn to control their condition and live relatively normal lives.

Treatment can have a profound effect not only on drug abusers, but on society as a whole by significantly improving social and psychological functioning, decreasing related criminality and violence, and reducing the spread of AIDS. It can also dramatically reduce the costs to society of drug abuse.

Understanding drug abuse also helps in understanding how to prevent use in the first place. Results from NIDA-funded prevention research have shown that comprehensive prevention programs that involve the family, schools, communities, and the media are effective in reducing drug abuse. It is necessary to keep sending the message that it is better to not start at all than to enter rehabilitation if addiction occurs.

A tremendous opportunity exists to effectively change the ways in which the public understands drug abuse and addiction because of the wealth of scientific data NIDA has amassed. Overcoming misconceptions and replacing ideology with scientific knowledge is the best hope for bridging the “great disconnect” – the gap between the public perception of drug abuse and addiction and the scientific facts.

Share |

Categories: Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction #

Over the past few years NIDA has made a major research commitment to identifying and understanding differences in the ways that women and men-or girls and boys-are first exposed to drugs, in their risks of abuse and addiction, and in the effectiveness of drug treatment. Understanding these differences, and incorporating that understanding into drug abuse prevention and treatment, can reduce the dangers and improve outcomes. NIDA-supported research has shown that gender differences play a role from the very earliest opportunity to use drugs, that women and men tend to abuse different drugs, that the effects of drugs are different for women and men, and that some approaches to treatment are more successful for women than for men.

Are Women Less Likely Than Men to Abuse Drugs?

Men are more likely than women to have opportunities to use drugs, but men and women given an opportunity to use drugs for the first time are equally likely to do so and to progress from initial use to addiction. However, women and men appear to differ in their vulnerability to some drugs. Both are equally likely to become addicted to or dependent on cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, tobacco, and inhalants. Women are more likely than men to become addicted to or dependent on sedatives and drugs designed to treat anxiety or sleeplessness, and less likely than men to abuse alcohol and marijuana. There are also differences between men and women who seek treatment for drug abuse. Women in treatment programs are less likely than men to have graduated from high school and to be employed and are more likely than men to have other health problems, to have sought previous drug treatment, to have attempted suicide, and to have suffered sexual abuse or other physical abuse.

Are There Gender Differences In the Biological Effects of Drugs?

Animal research and human studies have revealed that males and females may differ in their biological responses to drugs. In studies of animals given the opportunity to self-administer intravenous doses of cocaine or heroin, females began self-administration sooner than males and administered larger amounts of the drugs. Women may be more sensitive than men to the cardiovascular effects of cocaine. In human studies, women and men given equal doses of cocaine experienced the same cardiovascular response despite the fact that blood concentrations of cocaine did not rise as high in women as in men. In studies involving long-term cocaine users, women and men showed similar impairment in tests of concentration, memory, and academic achievement following sustained abstinence, even though women in the study had substantially greater exposure to cocaine. Women cocaine users also were less likely than men to exhibit abnormalities of blood flow in the brain’s frontal lobes. These findings suggest a sex-related mechanism that may protect women from some of the damage cocaine inflicts on the brain.

Does Gender Play a Role in Nicotine Addiction?

Women and men are equally likely to become addicted to nicotine, yet women typically smoke cigarettes with lower nicotine content than those smoked by men, smoke fewer cigarettes per day, and inhale less deeply than men. Overall, however, women are less successful than men in quitting smoking and have higher relapse rates after they do quit. Treatment involving nicotine replacement therapy-nicotine gum or patch-works better for men than for women.

What Are Women’s Risks for HIV/AIDS?

Research suggests that there are sex-related differences in some fundamental aspects of the HIV/AIDS disease process. For example, an HIV-infected woman with half the amount of virus circulating in the bloodstream as an infected man will progress to a diagnosis of AIDS in about the same time. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among cases that progress to a diagnosis of AIDS, drug abuse accounts for a greater percentage of cases among women than among men. Nearly half (47 percent) of all women diagnosed with AIDS are injecting drug users (IDUs), whereas among men, IDUs account for 32 percent of AIDS cases. An additional 19 percent of women, compared with 2 percent of men, with AIDS report having sex with users who inject drugs. In all, drug abuse is nearly twice as likely to be directly or indirectly associated with AIDS in women (66 percent) as in men (34 percent).
Share |

Categories: Drug Abuse #

Drug abuse can occur at any stage in a woman’s life. Of women who use illicit drugs, however, about half are in the childbearing age group of 15 to 44. In 1992/1993, NIDA conducted a nationwide hospital survey to determine the extent of drug abuse among pregnant women in the United States. This National Pregnancy and Health Survey still provides the most recent national data available.

The survey found that of the 4 million women who gave birth during the period, 757,000 women drank alcohol products and 820,000 women smoked cigarettes during their pregnancies. There was a strong link among cigarette, alcohol, and illegal drug use. Thirty-two percent of those who reported use of one drug also smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol.

Survey results showed that 221,000 women used illegal drugs during their pregnancies that year, with marijuana and cocaine being the most prevalent: 119,000 women reported use of marijuana and 45,000 reported use of cocaine. The survey estimated that the number of babies born to these women was 222,000, a close parallel to the number of mothers. Generally, rates of any illegal drug use were higher in women who were not married, had less than 16 years of formal education, were not working, and relied on some public source of funding to pay for their hospital stay.

Despite a generally decreasing trend in the use of drugs from 3 months before pregnancy and through the pregnancy, women did not discontinue drug use. However, findings from other NIDA research on women in treatment, for example, indicate that once women are successfully detoxified and enrolled in a treatment program, their motivator to stay drug free is their children. Addiction Help Line is a referral source to help addicts find the right treatment program for their needs.

The survey also pointed to issues of prevalence differences among ethnic groups. While the rates of illegal substance abuse were higher for African Americans, the estimated number of white women using drugs during pregnancy was larger at 113,000 than the number of African-American women at 75,000, or Hispanic women at 28,000.

As for the legal drugs, estimates of alcohol use were also highest among white women at about 588,000, compared to 105,000 among African-American women, and 54,000 among Hispanic women. Whites had the highest rates of cigarette use as well: 632,000 compared with 132,000 for African Americans and 36,000 for Hispanics.

Rates of marijuana use were highest among those under 25 and rates of cocaine use were higher among those 25 and older.

Share |

Categories: Pregnancy and Drug Abuse #