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In The News: Drug Law For Pregnant Women Gets First Arrest

In The News: Drug Law For Pregnant Women Gets First Arrest

New Drug Law For Pregnant Women in Tennessee

New Tennessee pregnancy law has apparently claimed its first violator. This month the state of Tennessee has issued a new law allowing for a pregnant woman to be prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant if her infant is harmed or addicted to the narcotic upon delivery. A drug addiction mother can also be charged with homicide if the baby dies at any point.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed the new piece of legislation back in April, and the governor said himself that the intent of the new law is to give local law enforcement and the district attorney’s office another powerful tool to address the growing concern of illicit drug use among pregnant women through giving them the necessary access to drug treatment programs. The new law is supposed to be designed to allow any woman charged to enter into a substance abuse treatment program before giving birth as a defense, and hopefully she will be able to successfully complete the program afterward.

Republican state Representative Terri Lynn Weaver sponsored the new law. When the bill was first being brought to fruition he was quoted as saying,

“It would just seem to me that any society that puts value on life would agree that these defenseless children deserve some protection and these babies need a voice.”

But perhaps what Weaver is unaware of in the vast amounts of fear and stigma surrounding mothers who struggle with substance abuse while pregnant, and how hard it can be to seek treatment.

The First Arrest

Just recently local deputies in Tennessee said they received a call from the Department of Child Services after a baby girl was born at UT Medical Center and after being tested she came up positive for meth. The 26-year-old mother was arrested, and informed of her charges as she was actually being discharged from the hospital.

The young mother is Mallory Loyola. Loyola has had a history of meth-related arrests in the past, and now she is the first woman to be charged with assault under the new Tennessee law that is directed at mothers who take drugs while pregnant. Mallory Loyola was released later on a $2,000 bail, and has been charged with a misdemeanor.

The Sheriff of Monroe County Bill Bivens stated recently that Mallory Loyola had later admitted to smoking meth just days before she had gave birth to her daughter. Sheriff Monroe insists that he hopes the arrest will set a tone for the future in the area. Officials and law enforcement expect it will deter other women from committing the crime and endangering the lives of their children who have not yet been born. The sheriff was quoted as saying,

“Hopefully it will send a signal to other women who are pregnant and have a drug problem to seek help. That’s what we want them to do.”

Opposing Opinions on the Effects

As good as the intentions may be, not everyone in Tennessee believes that this is the best course of action for the war on drugs to take. The law recently came under fire with local and national critics claiming it would have the opposite effect of what lawmakers are hoping to accomplish. Those opposing the new bill say it will greatly deter and intimidate drug-addicted pregnant women from getting the help they need.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has stepped up to lead the efforts in combating the legislation. Tennessee ACLU challenges the law, which they said raises “serious constitutional concerns regarding equal treatment under the law.”

Thomas Castelli is the legal director of the ACLU of Tennessee, and in a statement to the presss he had expressed a strong opinion on the opposition of this new policy,

“This dangerous law unconstitutionally singles out new mothers struggling with addiction for criminal assault charges. By focusing on punishing women rather than promoting healthy pregnancies, the state is only deterring women struggling with alcohol or drug dependency from seeking the pre-natal care they need.”

So at this point, the law has already taken effect, and surely there are more arrests on the way, which brings the question as to how will this affect the mothers who currently struggle with substance abuse? Will they feel more prompted to seek help and medical treatment, or will they become more terrified of the implications of seeking treatment? Will this new law truly be making a positive change in the way substance abuse and addiction is being addressed in Tennessee, or will there only be greater complications as a result of these scare tactics?

Mothers and fathers battling substance abuse and addiction experience the suffering in different and intense ways, and so do the children of addicts or alcoholics. But that suffering can be avoided and recovery is possible with the right treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

In the News: Drinking During Pregnancy Could Become a Crime

In the News: Drinking During Pregnancy Could Become a Crime

A landmark test case due to be heard by the Court of Appeal could criminalize heavy drinking during pregnancy. Sky News has reported that it will be disputed that a six-year-old girl is the victim of a crime because she suffered brain damage when she was exposed to alcohol in the womb – a danger that her mother was conscious of.

The case comes amongst a 50 per cent rise in FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) in the last three years, with 313 impaired from exposure to alcohol in the womb in 2012-2013. Figures from the Department of Health show in total around 1 in 100 babies are now born with alcohol-related conditions. Expert psychiatrist Dr. Raja Mukherjee cautioned that pregnant women do not have to binge-drink to be at jeopardy.

“If you avoid it that’s the safest route,” he told Sky News. “That doesn’t mean that people who’ve drunk a little bit have harmed their child, most people won’t have done, but if you want to guarantee safety and you want to guarantee no risk then no alcohol is the best way forward,” he added.

Sue Brett, the adoptive mother of 15-year-old Glenn who was born with FAS after his mother drank heavily, said women need to be better informed to the risks. She told the news channel: “It should be to abstain from alcohol throughout pregnancy. You can’t make it a criminal offence if you are still legally saying this is a safe amount to drink or you can drink. It needs to be clear from the start that you can’t drink.”

After Glenn was unprotected to alcohol in his mother’s womb, he has physical incapacities affecting his visualization and movement, and the intellectual age of a four-year-old. Susan Fleisher, the creator of the charity NOFAS-UK which supports awareness about the effect of alcohol during pregnancy, come to an agreement that more needs to be done to cut the number of children being affected, but does not think prosecution is the solution.

She stated to sky news that “women can’t be prosecuted for something they don’t know about, and, to be fair, women who are alcoholics, who have an issue with drinking, should be given support and should be given information so they know there’s a chance they could harm another life.”

In my opinion, this issue is very important but can be tricky to deal with. I do believe that if a mother is aware she is pregnant and excessively drinking, that it should be a problem. But if a woman isn’t aware of her pregnancy, how can we punish her for that? You can’t enforce a law and not apply it to everyone and this would be a law that would end up being very circumstantial. I know a few women who drank in the beginning of their pregnancy because they weren’t aware of the fact that they were pregnant. The question is – how would they actually enforce this law? If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

Source:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/drinking-alcohol-while-pregnant-could-become-a-crime-after-landmark-test-case-9147417.html

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

We’ve plenty of how to lists lately so I figured let’s make a how NOT to get along with your halfway house roommates, as told by Mean Girls. There is an endless amount of ways to piss off your halfway house roommate but I’ve thought of just some of them.

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls):

Go after the guys that you know they have a crush on (you really shouldn’t be dating yet anyways)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Make up random catch phrases and start saying them constantly (this will really annoy your roommate)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Ruin their clothes when they’re not around (and then just wait for them to notice)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Become an obsessive friend (freak out when they decide they want to do something without you)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Say inappropriate things to them in public (things they really wouldn’t want you saying)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Tell them they can’t sit with you at meetings (you don’t want to be seen with them)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Make a book with mean things about everyone in it and leave it laying around (with mean things about them in it, too)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

When they start talking about their problems, tell them to shut up (no one cares)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Tell everyone all of their secrets (whether they told you or you overheard)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Stay up on the phone all night long while they are trying to sleep (this will make anyone crazy)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Make a big deal about ‘who you are’ and they should know how important you are (don’t you know who I am?)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Always be trying to get them to buy things for you (lets go get food, but I’m broke will you buy?)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Say you love them to their face when you really don’t (mwah, love ya!)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Tell people they are socially retarded and weird (but you’re a good person for being their friend, though)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Try to get them to wear the same things you wear, or vice versa (on Wednesdays we wear pink!)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

Drive your halfway house owner crazy and make them very upset towards you both (this will for sure make your roommate dislike you)

How NOT to Get Along with Your Halfway House Roommates (As Told By Mean Girls)

Photo Credit: www.wifflegif.com

In all reality, these are things you really shouldn’t be doing to your halfway house roommates. These are the people you have to share a living space with and get along with for however long your commitment is to the halfway house. It is so much better when you don’t have drama and disagreements with your roommates. I know for me, I got along with the girls in my halfway house and it made the experience so much more enjoyable.

The people you live with can end up becoming some of your biggest supports; but also remember not all of them are going to stay sober so stick with the people who are doing the right thing. Hang around the people who are going to meetings, working their steps and trying to work a solid program of recovery. You also want to make friends with people who have long-term sobriety. As long as you are willing to do anything and want to be sober, you can! If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

 

5 Things No One Ever Tells You about Eating Disorders

5 Things No One Ever Tells You about Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is defined as any of a variety of psychological disorders characterized by irregular or troubled eating habits.  A lot of us know the basic facts about eating disorders, but what are the things you don’t know about eating disorders? Here are 5 things no one ever tells you about eating disorders.

5 Things No One Ever Tells You about Eating Disorders: You don’t have to be a certain weight or look a certain way to have an eating disorder.

Whether you’re not eating or vomiting, you don’t have to be skinny and if you’re overeating you don’t have to be overweight. While anorexia can cause severe weight loss, other eating disorders may not affect body weight. People with binge-eating disorder can even be overweight. Binge-eating disorder is labelled as repeated episodes of eating big amounts of food in small periods of time. This behavior is defined as out-of-control eating and individuals regularly feel miserable and embarrassed.

5 Things No One Ever Tells You about Eating Disorders: Just like any other disease, an eating disorder is an illness NOT a choice.

“I’m not still convinced everyone knows that eating disorders are illnesses, and they’re not lifestyle choices,” says Lynn Grefe, president chief executive officer of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). “It’s a generational thing, to some extent. Younger people get that now…that people don’t choose to have an eating disorder. But I heard a man say recently—he was over 50—’These young kids they are just trying to be skinny.’ “In reality, anorexia nervosa, possibly the most commonly known of the eating disorders, has been categorized as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association ever since 1980. Bulimia is also an acknowledged eating disorder, as is binge eating disorder.

5 Things No One Ever Tells You about Eating Disorders: It’s not just a disease that females have, it occurs in men, too.

This disease is definitely more commonly known among females, but it can occur in males, also. Males of any age can develop an eating disorder but they are most likely to begin between 14 and 25 – it is not uncommon to have an eating disorder in middle age. This amplified probability could have something to do with transitions. Even though relatively little study has been done on eating disorders in men, it does seem obvious that many of the generally known safety factors are applicable. In specific, the part of eating disorders being a surviving tool or an expression of, core emotional strain – this is relevant to males as much as it is females.

5 Things No One Ever Tells You about Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia are not the only types of eating disorders; there is EDNOS and disordered eating, too.

Disordered eating is a classification in the DSM-IV to define a widespread variety of irregular eating manners that do not permit a diagnosis of a precise eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Disordered eating can contain behaviors which imitate many but not all of the symptoms of eating disorders such as Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).

5 Things No One Ever Tells You about Eating Disorders: Treatment and recovery for eating disorders is a lot like that which is used for drug and alcohol addiction.

The most effective and long-lasting treatment for an eating disorder is some method of psychotherapy or psychological counseling, combined with watchful care to medical and dietary requirements.  If possible, this treatment should be personalized to the individual and will differ according to both the difficulties of the disorder and the patient’s specific issues, necessities, and assets. If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

Source:

http://www.takepart.com/photos/eating-disorders/5-facts-about-eating-disorders-you-probably-dont-know

Alcoholism and Women’s Health

Alcoholism and Women's Health

Alcoholism and Women’s Health

Alcoholism in women often develops along a different path than alcoholism in men. Alcoholism in women often begins for different reasons, progresses more quickly, and goes untreated for a longer period of time. Alcoholism in women is also twice as likely to result in overdose or death.

While alcohol abuse and alcoholism is more common in men, it seems that alcohol affects women more strongly. Alcoholism and women’s health is a major public concern. More women, especially professional women, are turning to alcohol to cope with stress, and the health consequences can be devastating.

Alcoholism and Women’s Health: Brain Damage

Several studies have shown that alcohol abuse can take a greater toll on women’s health, particularly when it comes to brain damage. When the serotonin system in the brain becomes damaged, it can affect impulse control and mood as well as memory and learning abilities. Both men and women can experience adverse serotonin effects from drinking too much, but in women, it happens much faster. It takes about 12 years for alcoholic males to lose 50 percent of their serotonin system function. Women lose 50 percent in only four years. The serotonin system controls the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep.

Alcoholism and Women’s Health: Hangovers

Women not only get drunk on alcohol more quickly than men, but they often suffer worse hangovers. This is another reason that alcoholism and women’s health can be a very bad combination. Women tend to weigh less and have less body water than men, so they become intoxicated much more easily than men. This also means that their hangovers tend to be more severe and last longer.

Alcoholism and Women’s Health: Heart Risk

The chronic use of alcohol can impact the heart, resulting in hypertension, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, and stroke. Women tend to be more susceptible to the toxic effects of alcohol on the heart. Research shows that women experience more severe cardiovascular effects as a result of alcohol and these effects are noted at an earlier stage of drinking and at a lower consumption level than those noted in men.

Alcoholism and Women’s Health: Risky Sexual Behavior

Alcohol is linked to risky sexual behavior in everyone, but that behavior is particularly dangerous for women. Women are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, including anal sex, sex with multiple partners, and sex without the use of contraceptives than male drinkers. Women are also much more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease as a result of risky sexual behavior while drinking. In fact, men are eight to ten times more likely to transmit HIV to a female partner through sexual intercourse than women are to transmit it to men.

Alcoholism and women’s health is an issue that only recently has been explored. For many years, alcoholism was observed mostly in men, and research efforts were directed mostly towards male drinkers. However, in recent years, women are closing the gap, and more women are seeking treatment for alcoholism than ever before.

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

Sources:

http://alcoholism.about.com/b/2011/12/07/alcohol-damages-female-brains-more-quickly.htm

http://alcoholism.about.com/b/2006/02/14/women-get-worse-hangovers-than-men.htm

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/whealth/a/blacer030914.htm

 

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