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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

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Would Lowering the Drinking Age Increase High School Dropout Rates?

Would Lowering Drinking Age Increase High School Dropout Rates?

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva

Could lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 lead to increasing the high school dropout rate? A new study believes so. The study first published in the latest issue of The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, examined dropout rates before the minimum drinking age was raised to 21 in 1984. Researchers discovered that 17-year-olds were affected by their 18-year-old peers because allowing 18 year old students in high school to have access to alcohol increased the chances that younger students would drink.

The lead author, Andrew Plunk observed that there was a 3% jump in dropout rates when the drinking age was 18. He also noted that “At-risk” groups like African Americans and Latinos had a 4% increase in dropout rates. Even more staggering, the dropout rate jumped by 40% for students whose parents had a drinking problem.

With 3.3 million teenagers expected to graduate from high school this year, a 3% jump in dropouts would amount to an additional 99,000 dropouts across the country. In a news release, Plunk stated:

“The minimum legal drinking age changes how easy it is for a young person to get alcohol. In places where it was lowered to 18, it’s likely that more high school students were able to get alcohol from their friends … if we lower the drinking age, it suggests to me that we’d see this same dropout phenomenon again.”

Despite the research, many colleges and even certain states have spoken in favor of lowering the drinking age to 18. Back in 2008, over 120 college chancellors and presidents signed a petition in favor of the idea.

Some states have come up with more creative solutions. Alaska introduce a bill in 2011 to allow active military member to drink at age 18 on the basis that if you’re old enough to serve in the military and die for your country, you’re old enough to drink.

Of course, there are a number of external environmental factors that might affect the connection between dropout rates and lowering drinking age. Despite that, Plunk still believes that a reduced drinking age could have an impact on minors. He states that laws need to remain in place to protect people are 15, 16, and 17 years old most vulnerable.

Next, we have to consider other countries that have a lower drinking age. Like me, you might be arguing that countries in Europe tend to have lower drinking ages and do just fine with them. Apparently, that’s a myth.  Plunk says that previous, separate research has revealed that European you do in fact have their share of alcohol problems.

So what about Europe? The US is always compared to Europe and we’re told that men and women have their first drink at an early age and develop a healthier relationship with alcohol. Well, according to Plunk, that’s a myth that won’t die. Plunk responded to the question posed by Medical Daily in an email. He said that previous, separate research has shown European youth do have their share of alcohol-related problems.

“For example, in 1990, France and Italy had higher per capita alcohol consumption and higher rates of cirrhosis deaths than in the U.S. Per capita consumption in France and Italy was 12.7 and 8.7 liters of alcohol, respectively, compared with 7.5 in the U.S.,” Plunk cited. “Cirrhosis death rates in France and Italy were 26.8 and 17 per 100,000, respectively, whereas the U.S. rate was 11.6. European countries are now looking to the U.S. for research and experience regarding the [drinking] age policy.”

Truthfully, more research is needed to be done to understand the true problems underage drinking could have on a country. When it comes to protecting youths from the harmful dangers of alcohol misuse, the CDC says that it will require community-based efforts to monitor the activities of you and decrease youth access to alcohol.

Alcohol abuse is unhealthy no matter what age you are though. Don’t let your alcoholism turn your life around. Get help for your addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Thailand’s “Vomit Temple” Offers Free Treatment for Drug Addicts

Thailand’s “Vomit Temple” Offers Free Treatment for Drug Addicts

Author: Shernide Delva

There’s a temple called Wat Thamkrabok in Thailand that operates as a no-cost drug rehabilitation center. The temple, run by Buddhist monks, has garnered the name “Vomit Temple” and it’s not for the faint of heat.

Every day, patients at the center are told to consume a “secret” cocktail made of 120 herbal ingredients which makes them vomit. They must continue the treatment for at least five days. The process is believed to cure addiction by purging out their demons. You only get one chance to get clean.

So what happens if you don’t? Well, you’ll be cursed for eternity, of course. Patients must vow to stay off a list of drugs and are threatened with a curse if they break those vows.

The Sacred Vow: Sajja

As soon as you arrive you must take a vow known as the “Sajja.” In Thai, the Sajja means you are making a commitment to yourself. The vows are told to you by a monk and you must say them out loud in front of the founders, the monk and the temple. It’s the ultimate commitment to get clean.

The belief in Thailand is that breaking the Sajja is really dangerous.  Breaking the promise means you’ll be back to your old path that this time will lead to your demise. It’s free to come here but you only get one shot. There are no second chances. If you decide to come here, you are making a commitment to give up drugs for the rest of your life.

Of course all treatment centers want you to commit to a lifestyle of sobriety however one has to wonder if the intense nature of the vows produces a stronger commitment and prevent relapses.  It definitely seems like an “ends-all- be-all” way of approaching treatment that could be successful.

History of the Temple Thamkrabok

The temple Thamkrabok started functioning as a rehab center back in 1959 and now attracts foreigners from across the world.  Recently the temple has gained media attention as a subject for a new documentary about Australians who are turning to Thamkrabok to treat their meth addiction.

Meth, known overseas as “ice,” has become a huge problem in Australia where over 70,000 people are estimated to be dependent on the drug.

The temple has been functioning as a rehab center since 1959, attracting numerous foreigners from across the world. It has gained media attention as the subject of a new documentary about Australians who are turning to Thamkrabok to treat their meth addiction. Meth, known overseas as “ice,” is a rising problem in Australia, where over 70,000 people are estimated to be dependent on the drug.

In the documentary, it discusses how Australia has failed to address the ice epidemic driving increasing numbers of addicts to a place like Thamkrabok for an alternative form of treatment.

The documentary claims that the country has failed to address the problem, driving increasing numbers of addicts to places like Thamkrabok seeking an alternative form of treatment. Once patients arrive, they are in for a grueling daily routine.

“The routine at the temple involves going out to the yard to help with daily tasks, meals and then, of course, there’s the vomiting,” says Steve, a patient from Perth featured in the documentary. “Vomiting is at 3pm every day. Foreigners must vomit for the first five days. The vomiting is intense.”

Last year, an estimated 1,300 foreigners traveled to Thailand to go to rehab for treatment from all sorts of addictions like drug and alcohol addiction to eating disorders and even depression. There are other rehab options available like the renowned Hope Rehab which is a high-end luxury rehab that attracts famous clientele from all around the world. At the center, patients pay $10,000 for beach views and activities like horseback riding. And unlike Thamkrabok, they are not forced to drink a vomit-inducing potion every day.

Still, for those desperate to seek treatment for their addiction who can’t quite afford other options, Thamkrabok is a more than ideal option. Since rehabs in the United States can run close to 30,000, the fact that the temple is free is a huge reason why the temple is so popular with westerners.

Since often insurances cover the expense of rehab, it would be best to check into that before taking a more extreme option like traveling across the globe. Insurance could be able to cover your expenses for months rather than just a few short days. Still, it’s encouraging that options like this exist for those who desperately need it.

If you are falling into the path of addiction, get help immediately. Time is of the essence. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Deadly Drug Combos: Alcohol and Antidepressants

Deadly Drug Combos antidepressants and alcohol

First of all, you may be at risk of alcohol abuse if you already suffer from depression. Research shows that people with depression are at a greater risk of abusing substances and developing addiction. If you find that you have trouble controlling your alcohol intake, you may want to consider treatment for alcohol dependence before your depression worsens.

The Danger of Alcohol and Antidepressants Together

When two drugs are combined, this creates what is known as the synergistic effect or additive effect. This means that a person who can usually drink three glasses of wine before really feel the effects of alcohol is likely to feel drunk after just one of glass. Many people who use alcohol and antidepressants also say that they become dizzy, nauseous, and disoriented when they drink. The bottom line: people on antidepressants need less alcohol than usual in order to get drunk.

Anyone with a mental illness like depression or bipolar disorder not drink alcohol, anyway, whether they are on antidepressants or not. If you want to successfully manage your symptoms of depression, then do not drink alcohol if you are taking an antidepressant.

You may feel more depressed. Alcohol can worsen depression symptoms. Drinking alcohol can render your antidepressant medication ineffective, making your symptoms more difficult to treat. Alcohol may seem to improve your mood in the short term but overall alcohol’s effect increases your depression symptoms.

Your thinking and alertness may be impaired. The combination of alcohol and antidepressants will affect your coordination, judgment, and reaction time more than just alcohol alone. Some combinations may make you sleepy. This can impair your ability drive or do other things that require concentration and attention.

You will more than likely feel sleepy and drowsy. Some antidepressants cause sedation and drowsiness, and these are also side effects of alcohol. Again, when taken together, the additive effect causes things to be intensified.

If you take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a class of antidepressants, you may be at risk of a dangerous reaction. If you combine alcohol and antidepressants such as MAOIs, this can cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure. Soon after you start drinking, your blood pressure suddenly spikes. There is risk of suffering a stroke and even death.

Danger of Self-Medication: Alcohol and Antidepressants

Because alcohol gives the illusion that you are content and all is right with the world, it can be very tempting to self-medicate your depression symptoms with alcohol. Once the alcohol buzz wears off, however, you find out that you often feel worse mentally than before drinking. You may be one of those sloppy or overly-sentimental, emotional drunks in which case, the embarrassment you feel the next day will only make you feel worse about yourself.

Self-medicating with alcohol can dangerously alter your perception of reality. Depression alone can alter your reality and makes dealing with daily life difficult enough as it is. You don’t need to make things more difficult for yourself.

My Personal Experience with Alcohol and Antidepressants

I honestly wasn’t aware at how risky it is to mix alcohol and antidepressants. I recall, somewhat hazily, one night in particular where I had had only a couple of drinks but started to feel really intoxicated. I was uncomfortably drunk and found it difficult to walk, I remember thinking I just wanted that feeling to end and couldn’t wait to get home.

 If you or your loved one is in need of alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/

http://voices.yahoo.com/

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