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Author: Shernide Delva
Today, August 31, marks International Overdose Awareness Day. On this day, the goal is to raise global awareness of overdoses and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. This day is intended to acknowledge the grief felt by friends and family who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a drug overdose.
The Shocking Reality
The tragedy of a drug overdose is preventable. Today is a day to spread awareness to others about the disease of addiction. Drug addiction is a global phenomenon; however, the United States, in particular, is facing a major drug epidemic. More deaths were reported from drug overdoses in 2014 than any other year on record. Deaths from overdoses are up among all genders, races, and nearly all ages. This is a disease that does not discriminate.
Out of these shocking numbers, three out of five drug overdose deaths involve opioids. Overdoses from opioids such as prescription opioids and heroin have nearly quadrupled since 1999. Overdoses from opioids killed over 28,000 people in 2014. Half of these deaths were related to prescription opioids.
Between 2013 and 2014, the number of drug overdoses increased a total of 6.5 percent. The year 2014 had a total of 47,055 drug overdoses in the United States. These numbers continue to climb as the prescription painkiller epidemic continues to be a major issue.
To spread the message of awareness, International Overdose Day focuses on commemorating those who have been affected by drug addiction. While today is intended to encourage the message of prevention, it also aims to encourage a message of hope.
Principles of Harm Reduction
The Harm Reduction Coalition affirms that “we will not end the overdose crisis until we place people who use drugs, along with their families and friends, at the center of our policies and strategies. “
The coalition aims to accomplish this task by ensuring that those who use drugs and their loved ones have access to information intended to treat and support them without the fear of stigma or arrest.
Furthermore, naloxone remains one of the most powerful tools in preventing opioid overdose deaths. Naloxone is a medication that works to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose. Recently, there has been a push to increase the access the public has to naloxone. In many places, naloxone can now be purchased via pharmacies like CVS, and even in school nurses offices.
Still, according to the Harm Reduction Coalition, the United States is in a state of emergency.
“ We can no longer accept incremental progress; we must demand urgent action to save lives.”
Five Areas Needing Improvement
The Harm Reduction Coalition calls for immediate action in these five areas to increase access to naloxone:
- Funding: Congress should fully fund the President’s request for $12 million in Fiscal Year 2016 to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide grants to states to support broader naloxone access.
- Cost: The rising cost of naloxone by manufacturers in recent years is a deep concern. This increase threatens to limit the distribution of naloxone, especially by community-based programs that reach those most vulnerable to opioid overdoses. When prices increase, it directly increases the likelihood of more overdose deaths. Therefore, the coalition calls upon naloxone manufacturers and developers to price their products responsibly to ensure the best possible distribution.
- Access:Despite improvements in the access to naloxone, access remains limited and inadequate. Prescribers and health care professions play a vital role in ending the overdose crisis. Therefore, there should be an effort by all parties to develop guidance, education and training, resources, and support tools aimed at increasing awareness and access to the drug.
- Availability:Many states are working to make naloxone available through pharmacies through arrangements and agreements. These efforts should increase and broaden to ensure the widest availability of naloxone. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration should develop, facilitate and expedite the regulatory pathways needed to ensure naloxone can be sold over the counter. Over-the-counter naloxone should be available to the market by 2018.
- Awareness: Despite the rising number of overdose deaths in the past decade, there still is not a national awareness campaign to educate the public and those most at risk about the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose. Countless anecdotal reports suggest that the lack of awareness is a critical factor in many preventable overdose deaths. Therefore the HHS and CDC must develop broad national awareness campaigns; that spreads information on how and where to obtain naloxone.
Ways to Raise Awareness
In addition to the guidelines suggested by the HHC, the International Overdose Awareness Day website aims to raise awareness through innovative technologies like there overdose aware app. The app raises awareness amongst those who are experiencing drug use and their families. The app shares information on what an overdose is, and the main overdose symptoms.
The website also has an area where those who have been directly affected by drug addiction overdoses can write a tribute to their story and grieve anyone they have lost. These tributes are where many share the impact drug use and overdoses have had on their family and friends.
How are you spreading awareness of International Overdose Awareness Day? If you are struggling with drug addiction, do not wait for it to progress into an overdose. We can help you get back on track. Please call toll free.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
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Author: Shernide Delva
Shopping can be an exhilarating experience. The euphoria of having something new to wear in your closet or a brand new tool to use in the garage can be a natural mood booster. However, if abused, shopping can develop into an addiction.
A group of researchers at the University of Bergen have developed a new method to measure shopping addiction. The method is based on the core addiction elements that we often recognize associated with other addictions. It’s the first method of its kind to identify key elements that point to shopping addiction behavior.
When Shopping Gets Out of Control
Shopping can quickly escalate into a problem when a person feels a compulsive need to shop even when they do not need to. Cecile Schou Andreassen. Doctor of Psychology and Clinical Psychologist Specialist describes why shopping addiction is so out of control for many today.
“Modern technology has made shopping extremely accessible and convenient, with the potential of sending problematic shopping into overdrive — especially along with sociocultural factors such as social media, credit cards, and advanced marketing,”
The increase in modern technology affects shopping addiction because there is no turning off the temptation to fall into the addictive cycle again.
More predominant in women
Not to anyone’s surprise, the study shows that women are more prone to shopping addiction than males. It also is initiated in late adolescent and emerging adulthood. Typically shopping addiction tapers off with age.
Doctor Andreassen´s research also shows that shopping addiction is related to key personality traits.
“Our research indicates that people who score high on extroversion and neuroticism are more at risk of developing shopping addiction. Extroverts, typically being social and sensation seeking may be using shopping to express their individuality or enhance their social status and personal attractiveness. Neurotic people, who typically are anxious, depressive, and self-conscious, may use shopping as a means of reducing their negative feelings,”
The Seven Warning Signs
Symptoms of shopping addiction are closely related to the symptoms of drug addiction, alcoholism, and other substance addictions.
The Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale uses seven basic criteria to identify shopping addiction, where all items are scored on the following scale: (0) Completely disagree, (1) Disagree, (2) Neither disagree nor agree, (3) Agree, and (4) Completely agree:
- You think about shopping/buying things all the time.
Do you find your mind wandering to what new item you will buy next? Do you spend a good portion of your day daydreaming about your next new outfit or the latest brand? If you do, you may be suffering from shopping addiction
- You shop/buy things in order to change your mood.
If you find yourself shopping when you are angry, sad or happy, you might be shopping in order to cope with your emotions. This could be a sign of an addiction since your using something as a way to alter your emotional state.
- You shop/buy so much that it negatively affects your daily obligations (e.g., school and work).
Shopping addiction can affect your ability to go to work or meet up with friends due to always spending a majority of your time thinking about shopping or compulsively shopping. Think about the last time you canceled plans to shop. That’s a sign of an underlying problem.
- You feel you have to shop/buy more and more to obtain the same satisfaction as before.
If you find that you buy more and more items to increase your satisfaction, you may be developing a tolerance. When you develop a tolerance, more is needed for you to have the mood boosting response that kept you going back in the first place.
- You have decided to shop/buy less, but have not been able to do so.
If you know you have a problem and cannot stop, this is a serious sign that you are far into your addiction. Like any addiction, your shopping addiction has completely consumed you and stopping is impossible even if you want to.
- You feel bad if you for some reason are prevented from shopping/buying things.
If financially you are not able to go shopping, you find yourself depressed and angry. You feel bad that you are not able to get what you want when you want it
- You shop/buy so much that it has impaired your well-being.
If shopping has impaired the quality of your life, affected friendships and relationships then it is definitely time to seek treatment
The study explains that if you “agree” or “completely” agree on at least four out of seven of the items listed, you may be a shopping addict.
We all love nice things but shopping compulsively is an addictive behavior that needs to be addressed. Seek treatment if you are unable to control your shopping habits. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has recently issued a warning about taking powerful painkillers to treat pain conditions not associated with cancer conditions.
According to the AAN, which issued their new position statement in the September issue of the academy’s medical journal, Neurology, the risks of taking prescription painkillers far outweigh any potential benefits.
The AAN cited risks associated with the taking of powerful narcotic painkillers, which include overdose, death, and a high potential for abuse, dependence and addiction, outweigh the benefits of treating pain such as that from headaches, fibromyalgia, and chronic low back pain – essentially non-cancer conditions.
Painkillers and Non-Cancer Pain Treatment
Initially, narcotic painkillers such as oxycodone, Oxycontin, and hydrocodone were developed for the purpose of pain management in cancer patients. Due to more lax prescribing regulations for long-term use, painkillers have become more and more the go-to for treating pain that pales in comparison to that associated with cancer.
Gary Franklin, a research professor in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences in the University Of Washington School Of Public Health in Seattle and a fellow with the AAN said, “More than 100,000 people have died from prescription opioid use since policies changed in the late 1990s to allow much more liberal long-term use.”
Painkillers, the U.S., and Overdose Rates
Every year, U.S. doctors prescribe more than 259 million prescriptions for painkillers. As a result, Americans consume 80% of the world’s painkillers. Doctors, institutions, states, and patients need to work together to stop this “epidemic,” Franklin said.
Rates of drug overdose deaths in the United States have tripled in the past 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “There have been more deaths from prescription opioids in the most vulnerable young to middle-aged groups than from firearms and car accidents,” added Franklin.
Studies cited by the AAN have shown that half of patients who were taking opioid painkillers for at least three months are still taking the drugs five years later. After reviewing the available research, it’s evident that, while these medications can provide significant pain relief in the short-term, there is no considerable evidence “for maintaining this effect or improving function over long periods without serious risk of overdose, dependence, or addiction.”
The AAN suggests that doctors can prescribe opioids more safely and effectively by screening their patients for current or past drug use, depression, as well as assessing their pain and function by measuring for tolerance and effectiveness. “More research and information regarding opioid effectiveness and management is needed along with changes in state and federal laws and policy to ensure patients are safer when prescribed these drugs,” Franklin said.
In addition, the AAN recommends that doctors consult a pain management specialist if their patient’s painkiller dosage exceeds 80 to 120 milligrams per day and especially if their pain and function have not improved substantially.
Are you taking prescription painkillers for a chronic pain condition? Have you been on the medication for way too long and want to get off of it but can’t? A lot of people who become addicted to narcotics were initially prescribed them by their doctors for legitimate reasons. These drugs are so powerful, though, that they tend to do more harm than good in the long run. If you want to find out other options for treating your pain, call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist. We have helped many other people in your position to stop taking painkillers in a safe and comfortable way.
Adderall is a medication created by a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is typically used to treat the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is also a dangerous drug that is classified as a central nervous system stimulant. This medication is frequently prescribed by a physician who will normally start a patient on a low dose, gradually increasing it if necessary.
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Teen Adderall Addiction
Teen Adderall abuse is common because of stress and time management issues throughout school, especially young people in college who seek to abuse Adderall as a means to maintain study patterns. Education on the dangers of Adderall abuse and better ways to manage time, activities, homework and other school-related items, is so important because it will promote healthy methods of studying and avoid the devastating damage done to the mind and body by using the drug to ward off sleep.
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Abuse across the Board
Adderall is a highly addictive drug, especially when taken for a long time. Individuals become physically and psychologically addicted to it, and Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC is designed to address both areas of risk from Adderall abuse. Due to its stimulant qualities, those who abuse Adderall experience feelings of being on top of the world. The stimulant drives them and they feel it helps them accomplish more than they can without it. While these may seem like positive effects, the long-term effects of Adderall abuse are nowhere near desirable.
Adderall abuse occurs when people take Adderall for reasons other than out of a medical necessity. Some people may take Adderall to help them stay up longer, for instance, or be more active and energized. With Adderall abuse, there is addiction and dependence. Adderall abuse also leads to a great deal of health issues.
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Symptoms of Adderall Abuse
One major problem with long term Adderall addiction is that the brain becomes overexcited over an extended period of time and some people experience psychosis and hallucinations after many years of taking the drug. Memory loss is also a common occurrence among people who have been dependent on Adderall for a long term. Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC does what is necessary to identify these issues and do everything to promote healthy rehabilitation.
- Shortness of breath
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in sex drive
- Stomach pain
- Heart Problems
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Symptoms of Withdrawal
Since you’re getting a higher potency of the drug when you snort it, you are more likely to experience stronger withdrawal effects. These effects can make it difficult to stop taking the drug, which is why many addicts find it difficult to enter into recovery. The following are some of the withdrawal affects someone who is snorting Adderall experiences.
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Treatment Options
Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC offers several levels of care for people seeking help with their substance abuse. These levels of care include:
- Medical Detox
- Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
- Aftercare Options
Each level of care gives the individual an opportunity to receive a variety of therapy options to help them transition between phases of treatment. Medical detox provides a safe and effective way to separate from the substance with the help of maintenance medications, inpatient gives hands on approach to therapy and continued medical treatment. Outpatient grants more freedom while still keeping with the regular therapy and recovery related courses, and aftercare gives people the chance to attended continued therapy and relapse prevention work after treatment. Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC is set up to keep the process of getting off Adderall and any other narcotic medications easier, to help promote healthy and consistent growth in sobriety.
Adderall addiction and abuse of prescription medication is a dangerous and deadly illness, but addiction is also treatable. Despite the long term affects of Adderall addiction, Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC as well as other celebrated treatment facilities is geared toward lasting recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Cocaine Detox and Addiction Treatment South Florida: What you need to know
Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that, although there are limited medical uses attributed to it, it is also considered to be an illicit drug with a high potential for abuse.
Cocaine can cause psychological dependence, which leads to cocaine abuse and addiction, which carry with it an increased risk to health. Cocaine abuse can lead to death from either heart failure or breathing failure. That’s why cocaine detox and addiction treatment South Florida is available and should be seriously considered for helping you to stop the cycle of your cocaine habit.
Cocaine Detox and Addiction Treatment South Florida: How Cocaine Works
Cocaine speeds up the processes of your whole body. You feel like you’re full of energy, and at first, you experience feeling happy and excited. This is the euphoric effect of cocaine. However, long term cocaine use will cause your mood to change: you become nervous, angry, anxious, and even paranoid. Once the euphoric ‘high’ wears off, you’ll “crash,” feeling tired, sad, and depressed for days at a time. You will then experience intense cravings to do more cocaine in order to feel better. Thus the cycle of abuse begins.
Cocaine Detox and Addiction Treatment South Florida: Cocaine Overdose
Cocaine overdose can happen suddenly without warning and can be devastating. Signs and symptoms of a cocaine overdose include seizure and general shakiness, referred to as tremor. Seizures and tremors can come on suddenly without warning, though they usually occur shortly after use. Risk of stroke is also attributed to cocaine use. For people using coke for the first time, they will likely experience feeling awake for a long time. For those who have used cocaine before, there is less of a wide-awake effect from the drug.
Someone who experiences a cocaine overdose and survives it can be left with permanent brain injuries, caused by either the stroke or seizures, or both, that they sustained during overdose. These occur because the drug increases blood pressure and heart rate.
Cocaine is a highly dangerous drug – no matter how it is taken. The most common serious cocaine-related problems include heart attack and stroke. Cocaine overdose can occur in someone who has been a long-term user but can even happen the first time someone uses cocaine.
Cocaine Detox and Addiction Treatment South Florida: Two Phases of Treatment
Cocaine Addiction Treatment: Phase One
The first step in the process of cocaine detox and addiction treatment in South Florida is the medical detox. During this stage, you will be assessed in order to find out how much cocaine is currently in your system as well as the length of time you have been using cocaine. You will take a drug test and meet with an intake counselor to give your drug history – the results and information you share are kept confidential. This is done in order to make a treatment plan that will best serve you. During detox, you will be kept comfortable, have your meals and other needs provided and may be given medication to assist you in your detox from cocaine in both a safe and comfortable way.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment South Florida: Phase Two
The rehab stage of cocaine detox and addiction treatment South Florida lasts 30 days and offers safe haven while you recover from the effects of your cocaine use. During your cocaine addiction treatment South Florida, you will have all your needs taken care of. At rehab, you will attend both individual and group therapy sessions where you will learn tools and healthy coping methods in order to continue to live a healthy sober lifestyle after completing your cocaine detox and addiction treatment South Florida program.
Cocaine Detox and Addiction Treatment South Florida: Benefits
At a cocaine detox and addiction treatment South Florida, you can alleviate your withdrawal symptoms from long term cocaine use in a comfortable and serene setting. A well-trained, knowledgeable staff will help you transition smoothly into the rehab phase of your treatment program in order to for begin your recovery from addiction. The program is based on the premise of holistic treatment – treating mind, body, and spirit – with both cutting-edge treatments as well as industry-recognized techniques for each client who walks through our doors. A good cocaine detox and addiction treatment South Florida provides dual diagnosis treatment for its clients who struggle with co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available around the clock to help. You are not alone.