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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?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

Super Bowl LI Commercials Tackle Teenage Drug Overdose

Super Bowl LI Commercials Tackle Teenage Drug Overdose

Author: Justin Mckibben

Every year as Super Bowl Sunday strikes the public is privy to a brand new batch of clever and powerful commercials. Some of us don’t even bother to watch the game, but we make sure to check in for those ads that are often unique and creative ways to grab their audience. This year the 2017 Super Bowl LI commercials ranged from political and controversial, to hysterical or inspirational. The depictions accompanying the game seem to have made varied impressions, but one topic stood out in a different way than others of its kind.

The Super Bowl LI commercials included PSAs that set out to target and tackle the details of drug overdose with teens. Two heart-breaking ads were presented by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA) in which the narrative concentrated on the likelihood of overdoses with teenagers; specifically prescription drugs.

NCADA is a St. Louis-based charity which aims to prevent substance abuse and overdose. They do so by offering drug education programs in schools and working to increase awareness of addiction.

Super Bowl LI Commercials: “Safe”

The first PSA was entitled “Safe.” It begins with a father talking about his belief in the second amendment right to bear arms. He tells us about his family’s history with guns and respect for gun safety. They show images of a family hunting together, and a happy daughter with a rifle her father bought her. He emphasizes the fact the family always locks their guns in the safe.

Then, in a tragic turn, he tells the viewer about the overdose death of his 17 year old daughter. He shows the empty pill bottle and says the fire department found it in his daughters hand, followed in an incredibly heart-wrenching way saying-

“I didn’t lock it up.”

The closing credits to the ad include the hard statistic:

Teenagers are more likely to die from overdose than gun fire.

Lock up your prescription medication. Dispose of unused medication properly.

This gripping story only took one minute of halftime Super Bowl LI commercials, but it was a meaningful minute.

Super Bowl LI Commercials: “Smart Phone”

The second PSA of the Super Bowl LI commercials was titled “Smart Phone” and depicted a mother who describes her strict demands for her daughter not to text or use her smart phone and drive. The mother begins with telling about how her daughter was so excited for the phone, and how excited the young woman was to get a license.

The mother insists she was clear about the phone being locked in the glove box while driving, but she trails of into a tear-jerking moment where she asks,

“How could I be so stupid? I put the one thing in her hand that she couldn’t control- painkillers.”

The distraught mother holds up the empty pill bottle to the camera. Throughout the narrative, we are given glimpses of a young girl with her friends. Then the woman portraying the mother delivers a line that makes this message devastating.

“There is nothing in the world that will take this pain away. Ever.”

The commercial closes with the statistic stating:

Teenagers are more likely to die from overdose than texting and driving.

Lock up your prescription medication. Dispose of unused medication properly.

Both of these quick stories are so painfully portrayed by the actors that you can’t help but feel a strong emotional response to the faces and voices in the videos. The fact these ads made their message unexpected at first only adds to the impact.

Getting the Message Across

With these Super Bowl LI commercials the tactic of the twist ending is powerful. Schupp Consulting directed the PSAs and Mark Schupp shared this idea saying,

“There’s a spin to these that I think is very effective,”…”And when we showed them to a (preview) group, they were stunned.”

You may remember that last year NCADA aired another dramatic and compelling Super Bowl commercial called “All America Girl” that told of a young cheerleader turned heroin addict.

The year prior the 2015 PSA featured a mother finding her son overdosed on heroin. Consistently the organization has worked to get a very real, very personal message across.

Yet, some reports show that Schupp thinks this year’s Super Bowl LI commercials are the most powerful. Some might say “powerful” is an understatement. These ads have so much feeling it is hard for many to imagine the reality of them; that these stories come true all over the nation.

The Super Bowl LI commercials reminded us of a lot of things this year. They spoke to us about more than products; they spoke to us about who we are as a nation and where we are in terms of dealing with the adversities we face. Prescription drug abuse and the stigma surrounding addiction is one of the hurdles we know we face, and one that we need to work together to overcome. Recovery is full of champions. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

    CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Explaining Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction

Explaining Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction

Author: Justin Mckibben

With drug abuse being a major issue facing the nation, education is extremely important. Any hope of winning the fight against rising overdose rates and the spread of drug-related illness and death starts with making sure we have as much information as possible to make a difference. On that note, explaining prescription drug abuse is critical because prescription drug abuse is a key contributor to the state of the country today.

If we want to help people avoid prescription drug abuse, or recognize the signs and know there is help, it is important to explain the reality and the risks.

What is prescription drug abuse?

Simply put- prescription drug abuse is one of two things.

  1. When someone takes a medication that is not their prescription
  2. If someone takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor or for a different reason

When you take prescription drugs properly they are usually safe. It requires a trained health care clinician, such as a doctor or nurse, to determine if the benefits of taking the medication outweigh any risks for side effects. But when abused and taken in different amounts or for different purposes than as prescribed, they affect the brain and body in ways very similar to illicit drugs.

Opioids

These drugs have a close relation to morphine, or the street drug heroin. Opioids are typically for pain management. Opioid addiction has become one of the biggest problems facing the country today. Drugs such as:

  • Oxycontin
  • Vicodin
  • Percocet
  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine

Depressants

These drugs are also known as “downers”. You can divide the category can be up into:

  1. Tranquilizers/Antipsychotics

Drugs such as Zyprexa, Seroquel and Haldol are meant to reduce symptoms of mental illness.

  1. Benzodiazepines (Benzos)

Prescription drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Librium.

  1. Barbiturates

Amytal, Numbutal and Seconal are included in a class of depressants intended as sedatives or sleeping pills.

Stimulants

These kinds of prescription drugs are also called “uppers” or “smart drugs” because of the increase alertness, attention and energy. They also increase heart rate and respiration. Many of these medications are used to combat conditions such as ADHD, including:

Prescription drug abuse has become a big health issue because of the various health hazards. This risk is particularly true of abusing prescription pain medications.

Who abuses prescription drugs?

When asking who are most likely to abuse prescription drugs, the answer may vary depending on the substance. Some people end up participating in prescription drug abuse due to an injury or legitimate health reason, but the “high” they can experience may lead to more frequent use and ultimately a physical dependence.

Recent studies have indicated that prescription drug abuse impacts young adults most; specifically age 18 to 25. In regards to teens, after marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most common substances of abuse by Americans age 14 and older.

Prescription drug abuse is present across all demographics, relevant to every social and economic class. Many believe this rise has largely contributed to the heroin addiction epidemic and the overdose outbreak in the past few years.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

The Palm Partners Treatment Program has a design for prescription drug abuse intended to address people of all walks of life who are suffering. Personalized recovery programs are meant to work with each individual’s circumstances and symptoms to create a blueprint for the future.

Some of the signs of addiction range in severity and can affect each people differently, especially depending on the specific prescription drug. Increased tolerance is a clear cut sign of progressive physical dependence. Some indicators of prescription drug addiction may be:

Opiates-

  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Swelling in the arms and legs
  • Chronic constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Sinusitis
  • Respiratory distress

Depressants-

  • Confusions
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor concentration

Stimulants-

  • Agitation
  • High body temperature
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure

Treatment for prescription drug addiction includes a detox period to help combat the uncomfortable symptoms of prescription drug addiction, as well as withdrawal.

For all those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse, or even abusing other drugs or medications, there is a massive community of recovery all over the country to help you get the care you need. Treatment for prescription drug abuse can be the first and most important step, so be sure to step up.

    CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Ethan “Affluenza Defense” Couch Sentenced to 2 Years

Ethan “Affluenza Defense” Couch Sentenced to 2 Years

Author: Justin Mckibben

On a few separate occasions we have touch on the ridiculous story of Ethan Couch, the 19-year-old teen who drove drunk back in June of 2013 and caused an accident that killed 4 people, and his infamous Affluenza Defense presented by his attorneys. Couch’s drunk-driving case sparked national outrage after his affluenza defense was actually successful in his initial court case, and the spectacle made some serious headlines.

Wednesday the country was in a new uproar as Ethan “Affluenza Defense” Couch was ordered by a judge to spend the next two years in a county jail for violating the terms of his probation.

4 Terms of Imprisonment

Early news reports explained that State District Judge Wayne Salvant imposed four consecutive 180-day jail terms on Couch for his probation violations; one term for each of the four people who lost their lives when Couch recklessly drove drunk years ago and “almost” got away with it.

Although, even though he was a minor (16 years old at the time of the accident) a lot of people felt like he had pretty much got away with killing four people after he was originally only sentenced to 10 years’ probation. He was also sent to an isolated home near Newport Beach, CA for intensive therapy, which people felt even more upset about because his punishment seemed more like a vacation.

Breanna Mitchell, Brian Jennings, and Holly and Shelby Boyles were all run down by the teen that was discovered to have Valium and a high level of alcohol in his blood. The prosecutors trying to charge the teen with the deaths wanted the boy to be sentenced to 20 years in prison, but he received 10 years of probation with the affluenza defense.

What is the “Affluenza Defense?”

The term “affluenza” was made popular in the late 1990s by Jessie O’Neill who wrote the book “The Golden Ghetto: The Psychology of Affluence.”

Since giving life to the word, it has been used to describe a condition in which children (typically from richer families) grow up with a sense of privilege that makes them experience other hindrances such as:

  • Being irresponsible
  • Making justifications for poor behavior
  • Experiment in drugs and alcohol

Just reading this makes me outraged! It is absolutely astonishing and downright offensive that the affluenza defense even exists!

Basically, to my understanding, this is saying that Ethan Couch should be let off the hook because he has been so predisposed to getting his way and being over-privileged that he just didn’t know any better and has a tough time understanding why the rules apply to him…

Awwwwe, the poor little guy!

I want to see a case where a kid from a place like where I grew up is acquitted of murdering four people with a vehicle because of the “Section 8 Defense”- because he is so poor and ill-equipped to live. We make excuses and let the rich kid get away with multiple homicides because he was too rich NOT to try drugs, but the kids who grow up in drug-dealing neighborhoods should be held to higher standards?

Don’t get me wrong- he was only 13 and should not spend the rest of his life in prison for something he can’t comprehend, but if we are going to start argue in his defense it should not be on the grounds that he’s just too spoiled and we have to let it slide.

Couch squandered his opportunity to avoid jail time and his probation was violated after a video of him playing an underage game of beer-pong surfaced online last December. Judge Salvant gave Couch’s diabolical defense team two weeks to gather evidence for a possible reconsideration of his sentence, and he told Couch outright,

“You’re not getting out of jail today.”

This recent appearance marked the first time Ethan Couch was in an adult court since his case was transferred out of the juvenile system after he turned 19 earlier this week.

While the affluenza defense may be a pretty good indication Ethan Couch could use some treatment and therapy, most people still feel like some real-life repercussions for his completely unconscionable and ultimately lethal actions should be imposed. Some are just content to see him serving any time for what he has done. Two years may not do justice to the deaths of four innocent people, but it’s a start and maybe it will teach Couch something.

Sometimes it takes something terrible to happen before people will make the choice that changes everything, but it doesn’t have to be like that. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

Researchers Are Using Instagram to Monitor Underage Drinking?

Researchers Are Using Instagram to Monitor Underage Drinking?

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

Author: Shernide Delva

In the past few years, Instagram has soared in popularity. Now researchers are finding ways to utilize the popular app to monitor the drinking habits of teenagers.  Using photos and text from Instagram, researchers are able to expose patterns of underage drinking more cheaply and faster than conventional surveys. They also are able to gain information on new patterns of drinking such as what alcohol brands are favored among different demographic groups.

Researchers believe exposing these patterns can help promote effective underage drinking intervention. As we know, Instagram is extremely popular among teens. Large amount of information is readily available about this target population on Instagram. As Jiebo Luo, professor of computer science at the University of Rochester, and his colleagues describe in a new paper, underage drinkers “are willing to share their alcohol consumption experience” in social media.

Compared to standard surveys, researchers believe Instagram will be a more accurate method to monitor alcohol consumption. Often, teenagers are not honest when they respond to an administered survey about alcohol use. One example is the “Monitoring the Future” survey by the federal government. The accuracy of results is skewed because of the small size of the representative sample. Also, the answers may not be answered honestly by teens who are worried about divulging the truth.

How Instagram is Being Used

Although Instagram does not offer a way of searching users by age, the research team was able to target users that fit their profile by applying computer vision techniques.  Luo and his team have been pioneering techniques that teach computers how to extract information from the internet. They are able to use computers to analyze the profile faces of Instagram users and get sufficiently accurate guesses for their age, gender and race.

After the computer gathered a group of underage users to study, the researchers monitored drinking related activities via their Instagram photos by analyzing social media tags and monitoring the alcohol brands the users follow.

The study revealed that underage alcohol consumption, like with adults, happens on weekends and holidays and at the end of the day. The drinking is not limited to one specific gender. Both female and male teenagers were engaging in drinking at similar ratios.

However, when it came to alcohol brands, the results varied. Different genders followed different brands. Also, teenagers tend to drink certain brands of alcohol more commonly than adults. Researchers found that certain brands attracted younger audiences in social media. This information could be useful for people working to prevent underage drinking.

“There are several ways we can go about doing that,” said Luo. “We can keep government agencies or schools better informed and help them design interventions. We could also use social media to incorporate targeted intervention and to measure the effect of any intervention. And perhaps other things we haven’t thought about.”

The researchers hope that information like this is used in a positive way to address the problem of underage drinking. They are worried though that the information could be used by brands to target these underage drinkers. The next important step is to collaborate with people who are working to reduce underage drinking and collaborate with professions who are working on addressing other youth problems such as tobacco use, drugs, teen pregnancy, stress or depression.

Elizabeth Handley, clinical psychologist and research associate at the University’s Mount Hope Family Center had this to say about the study,

“This new method could be a useful complement to more traditional methods of measuring youth drinking. It could provide important new insights into the contexts of youth drinking and be a valuable tool for evaluating the effectiveness of school or community-based preventive interventions.”

Utilizing social media to prevent and tackle underage drinking could be an effective intervention tactic. How do you feel about it being used?

Underage drinking has been known to cause a variety of health implications in the long run. Let someone know if you are having a problem with abusing substances. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-561-221-1125

Why More Than a Third of Teenagers are Drinking Alone

Why More Than a Third of Teenagers are Drinking Alone

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

Author: Shernide Delva

A survey revealed that over a third of teenagers admit to drinking alone. As a response, researchers delved into the reasons why solitary drinking is increasing in popularity among teenagers. The researchers discovered that teenage alcohol consumption may be due to the inability to control impulses and negative emotions.

Researchers from two U.S. universities, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh, wanted to know why teenagers were falling into the pattern of solitary drinking. They investigated and from their results, they concluded that drinking alone results in an increase in the presence of negative emotions.

Teen Solitary Alcohol Consumption

Typically drinking is motivated by social factors such as a desire to fit in with peers, be more social and increase confidence. Nevertheless, many people opt to drink alone. Solitary drinking is not always bad though. Millions of Americans drink one or two glasses a day on their own without suffering any consequences. However, overtime drinking alone may lead to an increase in alcohol consumption, and could contribute to alcohol abuse.

The team at Carnegie Mellon University found that drinking alone is not that uncommon among U.S. teenagers. In a study published in 2013 in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, researchers found that over a third (38.8 percent) of all teenagers drink by themselves at least some of the time.

Drinking alone is shown to increase the chances that an adolescent will develop alcohol use disorder as adults.  Teenagers who drink alone often deal with negative emotionality which is defined as the inability to balance your negative emotions with positive ones. Negative emotions are feelings that tend to destabilize a sense of mental and psychological well-being.

Common examples of negative emotions are:

  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Jealousy and envy

Negative emotions can counterbalance with positive emotional states such as:

  • Joy
  • Love
  • Empathy
  • Gratitude

However, some people have such a large number of negative emotions that they find it challenging to balance out with their small number of positive emotions.  Psychologists often refer to a long pattern of negative moods and feels as negative emotionality. People affected by negative emotionality may experience damaging effects to their well-being such as symptoms of depression, anxiety and a poor ability to adapt to stressful situations.

Impact on Teenagers

Solitary drinking has an even more damaging effect on teenagers as they are still growing into their own. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh used data gathered from 161 teen alcohol consumers to help determined how negative emotionality affects alcohol consumption in a solitary setting.

All the participants took a screening test called Lifetime Drinking History designed to identify their typical pattern of alcohol use. Each participant also took several screens to identify their personality straits and level of negative emotionality. These surveys included the Constructive Teaching Questionnaire and the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire.

In the end, the researchers concluded that the chances a teenager will drink alcohol alone depends on their level of negative emotionality. They also found that the ability to resist consuming alcohol while in a negative emotional state directly correlates as a determining factor in teens’ solitary drinking.

Essentially, teenagers able to control their impulses had a lower chance of participating in solitary drinking while in a negative state of mind. Teenagers who are able to control their impulsive behaviors experience a 79 percent reductive in their chances of becoming alcohol consumers while in a negative emotional state.

So there you have it: teenagers who are more negative and more impulsive are the ones who tend to engage in solitary drinking.  And like most habits, this type of negative behavior and interaction with oneself usually progresses into adulthood.

If you find that you have trouble managing your negative emotions, it might be time to seek counseling to understand how to manage your emotions in a healthy state. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you develop unhealthy ways of coping with your emotions like falling into a negative cycle of addictive behavior.  If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-561-221-1125  

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