Substance Abuse Uncategorized

Once an addict, Always an Addict?

Many people believe that once you become a drug addict, this condition follows you for the rest of your life, even if you’ve successfully completed a rehabilitation program and have been sober for years. But, is this really true? After you’ve discovered the reason for a drug addict, can you truly be an ex-addict?

Types Of Addiction

The Center for Addiction Recovery explores this notion by asserting that a physical drug addiction is easier to overcome than a mental one. A physical substance addiction occurs when the addict starts to use a drug at a level that makes it impossible to stop without professional help. Examples of this include smoking marijuana socially, a few times a month, then increasing the habit as the body craves more of the substance. Marijuana is also considered a gateway drug, meaning it can lead some individuals to start using more harmful drugs like cocaine or crystal meth. People begin increasing the amount of drugs they take during each session, as their bodies are becoming tolerant to the drug, and this leads to addiction.

Mental addiction, on the other hand, comes from a need to block out pain or hurtful circumstances. When a traumatizing experience happens in a person’s life, like parental abandonment, molestation, rape or abuse, he/she may turn to drugs as a way to numb the distress, sadness and anger that these situations evoke. The individual discovers that drugs are an “effective” and  immediate way to forget pain, and because they have not achieved complete healing any other way, the drugs serve as a way to escape harsh reality, and an addiction is formed.

Of course, there is also scientific evidence that some people are genetically predisposed to addiction. This doesn’t cause a person to start drinking or doing drugs. However, once a person with a hereditary tendency toward addiction tries a harmful substance, it is highly likely that they will have a hard time stopping. Individuals with a family history of drug abuse or alcoholism are encouraged to never use these substances, as the risk of addiction is very high, and it can be very difficult to quit.

So, in a way, even if a person has completed a treatment program and is in good recovery, the individual is still an addict. He/she knows the triggers that can lead to drug use, and must stay away from these factors forever in order to avoid becoming addicted again. However, some individuals who have been completely healed from the emotional pain associated with the tragic event that led to their drug use many never have the desire to use drugs again. The Center for Addiction Recovery does emphasize that no matter the reason for drug abuse, an ongoing treatment and counseling program can help a recovering addict to never use drugs or alcohol again.


Drug Testing Health and Wellness Substance Abuse

Did Coca Cola Really Used to Have Cocaine in it?

While some think this may just be an urban myth, it is true that Coca Cola contained cocaine until 1903. The soft drink had about 9 mg of the drug in it from 1885 to 1903, according to an article on Yahoo! Voices.

A article also asserted that in 1891, the Coca Cola company started to receive criticism from customers about the cocaine, which was originally included in the beverage to promote energy and concentration. Of course, further medical studies have revealed that cocaine is highly addictive, and can lead a host of other health problems, include loss of teeth, bipolar disorder, extreme weight loss and even schizophrenia. Cocaine can also lead to serious heart problems, including heart attack, and severe depression.

Even though Coca Cola no longer contains cocaine, the soda may still pose some health hazards for certain people. For instance, those who are detoxing from drugs may want to avoid the drink since it is has a significant amount of high fructose corn syrup, which can spike the blood sugar and make it hard to lose weight, which is a significant issue for many people who are trying to stop using cocaine, as the drug is an appetite suppressant. The Organic Consumers website also asserts that soft drinks like Coca Cola deplete the calcium and phosphorus in the bones, increasing the likelihood of osteoporosis.

If you suspect that a patient of yours is abusing cocaine, or see signs of cocaine abuse in a family member, contact Complete Drug Testing Solutions to purchase cocaine drug tests. These evaluations are simple to administer, and you can receive the results quickly. After you receive the answers you need, you can contact a local drug treatment center that will offer the right rehabilitation treatment for the individual struggling with cocaine use.


Drug Testing Substance Abuse

Sleeping Pill Addiction

Sleeping pills are sometimes prescribed to patients who are struggling with insomnia, but these medications can potentially become addictive. Some individuals abuse the medication for the relaxed and slightly euphoric sensation that the pills provide, and many patients who rely on sleeping pills too heavily have to receive rehabilitation treatment to restore their health. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders asserts that a person is addicted to sleeping pills when he/she begins to exhibit symptoms such as: withdrawal from social or recreational activities that were once enjoyed, use of sleeping pills to avoid unfavorable withdrawal symptoms, or using more of the sleeping pills than the prescribed dosage. Some medical professionals even warn that a dependence on sleeping pills can sometimes be as devastating as an addiction to meth or heroin.

Symptoms of sleeping pill addiction are also similar to the side effects that can occur when a person is taking an illegal substance. Red eyes and dilated pupils, as well as paranoia and hallucinations, can occur in people who are abusing sleeping pills. Extreme emotional sensitivity, outbursts, and rapid speech are also symptoms of a sleeping pill addiction. If a loved one or patient is displaying these symptoms, it’s important to contact a doctor immediately for treatment. Some people will even begin to lose weight at a drastic weight due to loss of appetite.

In order to monitor treatment and ensure that the addict does not start using sleeping pills again, purchase a medication drug test from Complete Drug Testing Solutions. The results, which are very easy to read, will let you know immediately whether you need to contact a rehabilitation center to further the addict’s treatment. The tests are also ideal to have on-hand so that you can administer them at random to make sure that the addict isn’t using the sleeping pills inappropriately.



Drug Testing Substance Abuse

How Much Does Peer Pressure Influence Teens?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse confirms that peer pressure plays a major part in whether teens try drugs—or start abusing them. A number of teenagers use drugs to fit in with their peers, and to avoid being teased or ostracized. The Institute also asserts that genetic predisposition has a lot to do with whether a teen will struggle with addiction after trying drugs. The hereditary tendency to use drugs is connected to a person’s genetic relationship with dopamine, the “feel good” chemical in the brain. When a person doesn’t create enough of this chemical on his/her, the individual may turn to substance abuse to replace the dopamine—which can turn into a dangerous and possibly fatal habit.

It’s important for parents to be honest with their teens about drugs, and to divulge information concerning whether there are addicts in the family. This information will help young people to make wise decisions when they are pressured into using drugs by those in their age group. The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests role playing with teens to prepare them for a possible encounter with something who may ask them to do drugs.

Parents can also reduce the chances that their teen will want to try drugs by reducing the amount of stress in the home. It’s essential to recognize signs of stress or depression in a teen, e.g. sleeping all day, isolation, inappropriate outbursts, or crying often, and to get a mental health evaluation from a professional if needed. Being aware of what to do to treat a teen’s mental and emotional issues could prevent him/her from turning to drugs for comfort.

If you suspect that your teen may be experimenting with illegal substances, or abusing legal medications, Complete Drug Testing Solutions has the tools you need. The drug tests are very simple to administer and will give you the answers you need to get your teen the right help—right away.


Substance Abuse

Prescription Drugs for Migraines

If you have chronic migraines, you’ve probably been to the doctor several times to get a prescription for your headaches. However, you should be aware of the side effects of these medications, so that you can reduce the chance that your body will become dependent on the pills.

Medication For Migraines

Zomig is a serotonin-receptor drug. The pills enhance and release serotonin in the brain, which lessens the pain and pressure you feel. Serotonin is also responsible for helping you get a good night’s sleep and reducing stress—many people who suffer from migraines don’t get enough rest, and headaches are often brought on by stress. Zomig is available in standard pills, or pills that dissolve in the mouth. If you’ve had a heart attack in the past, you shouldn’t take Zomig. The medication is also not recommended for people who have hypertension, or have had a stroke. Side effects include nausea, weakness, burning or tingling skin and dry mouth. Addiction indicators may include your body’s inability to get rid of a migraine without Zomig; if you’re taking Zomig as part of your daily routine, even when you don’t have a migraine, it may be time to seek treatment.

Tenormin is another medication that is often prescribed for migraines—it is a beta blocker, and is prescribed to people who get chronic migraines to prevent the headaches from occurring. Beta blockers are also a class of medications used to treat heart disease and high blood pressure. Tenormin can cause swelling of the ankles and feet, along with nausea and shortness of breath. It is possible to become dependent on this drug, since high doses can cause a euphoric feeling that some migraine sufferers may crave.

Nimotop is used to treat migraines, because it is a calcium blocker. Many people who have migraines have too much calcium in their bloodstreams, and this can lead to painful pressure as the body attempts to release the excess mineral. Nimotop is available in soft capsules that are easy to swallow, and can relieve a headache in a matter of minutes. However, the medication can cause dizziness and fainting, as well as bruising and irregular heartbeat.

Complete Drug Testing Solutions has the products you need to ensure that you’re not addicted to these migraine medications. If you or a loved one are developing an unhealthy need for these and/or similar medications, seek a doctor’s help right away.


Drug Testing Substance Abuse

Is Your Spouse Abusing Drugs?

One of the hardest things to admit is that your spouse has a drug problem. But if you’re not honest about the drug abuse, you and your family could continue to suffer emotionally and financially—and your significant other will be putting his/her health in serious jeopardy. If you have an inclination that your spouse is abusing harmful substances but need a little more proof to know for sure, these warning signs will help you to get your husband or wife the necessary help right away.

Signs Of Drug Abuse

If your spouse is exhibiting severe mood swings often, this could be an indication of drug abuse. Drugs like meth and cocaine can cause a person to be extremely loving and affection one minute, and violent and argumentative the next—without a real cause. If your spouse responds inappropriately to a questions you’ve asked, or yells at your children for something extremely minor, and you see this behavior daily or almost daily, this is a sign that your mate is abusing drugs. Prescription medications like opiates can cause these reactions as well. So, if your husband or wife has been prescribed medicines like Vicodin or Oxycontin by a doctor recently, monitor his/her behavior and talk to your family doctor about medication alternatives.

Financial issues can also be a sign of your spouse’s drug abuse. If large amounts of money are missing from your savings, or your mate becomes annoyed or defensive when you ask about it, take this as a warning sign. Your spouse will also try to hide excessive use of the family’s money for the purchase of drugs, and may not have the money to complete normal family tasks, like going to the grocery store after work or putting gas in one of the family vehicles.

Your mate’s sleeping patterns will change drastically when he/she is on drugs as well. Crack and heroin will cause a person to nod off several times in the middle of the day, and opiates can cause drowsiness and fatigue that is hard to shake. Drugs like cocaine, which can also be a stimulant, will decrease the need for sleep, so if your spouse is staying up until the wee hours of the morning, or is missing work often due to oversleeping, it may be time to seek help.

A drug test from Complete Drug Testing Solutions will confirm whether your spouse is struggling with substance abuse. The results will also help you choose the right treatment for your mate, so that you can start rebuilding your family and helping your spouse to restore his/her health.


Health and Wellness Substance Abuse

Does Exercise Help Drug Addiction Treatment?

An article on the Huffington Post website suggests that working out can enhance drug recovery treatment. One reason for this is that exercise boosts the endorphins, which submit messages to the brain through neurotransmitters that keep the mood stable. When a person is trying to stop using drugs, the endorphins are missing the stimulus that was needed to produce the “high” feeling that comes from abusing substances. Working out can boost the mood safely, which takes away the need to engage in drug use. Endorphins also help to boost confidence, and when a person feels more secure, he/she is more likely to continue on the recovery journey, even on difficult days.

Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse also asserts that exercise can reduce stress and alleviate depression, which are two of the main reasons why people turn to drug use. Working out also occupies a significant portion of time. Recovering addicts need to be as busy as possible with positive and constructive activity. Too much idle time can cause the addict to start thinking discouraging thoughts about becoming completely sober, and are likely to start using again.

Dr. Volkow also suggests that addicts exercise in a social setting. This encourages more interaction with people who will not influence them to use drugs, and is a great way to make new friends. Joining a gym and participating in a water aerobics or spin class serves as great motivation for a recovering addict to continue exercising regularly.

Noticing a change in one’s body is another reason that exercise is helpful for drug addicts. When a person starts to see that he/she is losing weight, has clearer skin, and toned muscles, this helps to establish a positive self image. Taking pride in one’s appearance and health is a great way to ensure that drug use isn’t a problem again.


Substance Abuse

How to Stop using Heroin

The 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 3.7 million people in the U.S. have used heroin in their lives. These numbers have fluctuated over the years, as more teens are becoming properly educated on the dangers of drug use, but many are still curious enough to try heroin.

As with many drugs, it’s impossible to know whether a person will become severely addicted to heroin after just one use, or if the person will be able to stop using it after a few injections. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world, and should be avoided to eliminate the risk of dependence. Getting off the drug does take willpower, but there are other factors that will result in a successful recovery as well.

A detox program is necessary as soon as the addict makes the definitive decision to stop using heroin. These programs usually last for about 30 days, and will aggressively remove any remaining heroin from the body. Immediately after detoxing, the addict should head to a facility for long-term treatment. This should happen directly after the detox program is over—the first day of long-term treatment should be on the last day of detox.

According to the Stop website, it’s very important for the addict to adopt a new mindset about life. The addict must choose not to spend time with anyone else who uses drugs, and retain a determination not to go back to any of the place where drugs were sold to them. Finding new, positive and productive things to occupy time is a must when overcoming a heroin addiction. It’s also important for the addict to be prepared for their former “friends” and drug dealers to tempt them. The individual recovering from drugs has to develop a game plan to be able to say “no” each time they are presented with drugs in order to stay sober for good.


Drug Testing Substance Abuse

Popular Drugs and Their Level of Addiction

While you’ve likely warned your teens against the dangers of using any kind of illegal drugs, it’s also important for you to know the level of addiction these substances pose. Some drugs are far more dangerous than others, and you should be looking for the warning signs that come with abusing these substances so that you can get help for your teen right away.

Non Addictive Drugs

Marijuana, also called “pot” or “weed” is probably the least addictive of all street drugs. It’s considered a recreational substance, but for some teens, marijuana is a gateway drug, and makes it easier for them to experiment with “harder” substances. However, some people can smoke weed for several months, and then stop cold turkey with no side effects. Although, some individuals do have trouble sleeping after they stop smoking. It’s important to note that everyone reacts differently to being “high” as well. For instance, your child may appear very sedated and will laugh at everything when high. Or, your teen could have a panic attack, along with a hard time sitting or standing still after smoking. There is also a pretty good chance that your teen will gain weight if he/she is smoking marijuana, as the substance increases the appetite. Medical reports also suggest that there’s really no feasible way to overdose on marijuana, which is another reason why it’s so widely used.

Psychedelics like mushrooms and LSD are also not addictive, and individuals can’t overdose on the substances. However, psychedelics can cause intense “trips” that can alter one’s personality and outlook on life permanently. If your teen has a mental illness like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, these drugs will make the condition a lot worse. LSD and mushrooms can cause panic attacks and extreme anxiety. In the 1930s and 1940s, and doctors used LSD for patients with manic depressive disorders, but the drug has since been tested and poses too many risks to be used as an effective medical treatment.

Addictive Drugs

MDMA or ecstasy is more addictive than the drugs mentioned above. Most ecstasy pills have more than just this main substance, and it’s virtually impossible to know the chemicals that are contained in these pills, especially if your teen is buying them off the street. Some of these pills even have meth in them, which is extremely addictive, and can be deadly. It is also possible to die from an ecstasy overdose. While the substance is not physically addictive, the mind will crave more of the drug. People may also experience complications or near-death conditions from taking ecstasy when they spend hours dancing at a “rave” without eating or drinking.

People often take painkillers and cocaine together, and both of these drugs by themselves are highly addictive. Some people become dependent on medications like Vicodin and Oxycontin after a major operation or accident, and this can sometimes lead to other drug addictions like cocaine. Cocaine, like ecstasy, is much more mentally than physically addictive, and the mind craves more after each dose.

Continuing talking with your kids about how bad drugs are for the body, and share details with them about the effect dangerous substances can have on their mind and body. Contact Complete Drug Testing Solutions today for a drug test if you suspect your child is experimenting with drugs.


Drug Testing News Substance Abuse

Kids Using Bath Salts to Get High

An NBC news report from Collier County, Florida, states that kids and teens are increasingly search for legal substances that will produce the same “high” effect as drugs. County officials assert that teens are smoking, snorting or injecting bath salts. These salts are commonly found in grocery and beauty specialty stores, and are appropriately used in bathwater to soothe the skin and give the body a light fragrance.

Emily Castillo with the David Lawrence Center in Florida expressed concern that these products are so easy for children to buy. “I think the scary part of it is that they’re labeling it as something as simple as bath salts,” she states. Other drug advocates also confirm that bath salt abuse has increased from 2010 to January of 2011, when the NBC report was conducted. Although bath salt addiction is a fairly new problem in Southwest Florida, where Collier County is located, there have already been deaths reported from the abuse of bath salts in the states of Louisiana and Kansas. Young people overseas have also lost their lives from snorting or injecting bath salts.

Maribel Dearmas with Drug Free Collier states that one reason bath salts are so dangerous is that the substance provides an extreme high, followed by a drastic low. Dearmas asserts that bath salt addiction can also cause insomnia, seizures and paranoia.

Because of the danger of bath salts, some states are seriously considering banning bath salts from their stores. However, as of now, parents are encouraged to be on the lookout. Castillo asserts that parents should have an open conversation with their children about bath salts, and warn them to stay away from the substances unless they are using them as instructed. The salts can lead to the use of other drugs, which can be even more dangerous.