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Alcoholism and Addiction May be Home for the Holidays

by James Heller 24. December 2013 09:24
When bright young teens go off to college, every parent hopes it will be the start of a promising future.  The new students experience some anxiety along with a new sense of independence, which can lead to experimenting with alcohol or drugs.  Studies about the facts of college alcohol and drug abuse show that this is a recipe for an early onset of alcoholism and drug addiction, and parents may get a surprise when their babies come home for the holidays.
 
 
The signs are always there.  If alcohol and drug abuse is unacceptable in a family, returning teens will do everything possible to hide it.  When parents are okay with the use of alcohol or drugs, the homecoming may just require a reduction in daily use, so as to not reveal a problem.  So, chances are, if your child came home drinking when they hadn’t before college, what you see them drink may just be a mask to hide the ugliness of bigger problem.

When college students get into the habit of drinking or using drugs to “let off steam” or “take the edge off”, they are learning to self-medicate.  This can be dangerous if alcohol or drugs become a coping mechanism and not just an occasional respite.  When emotions or stressors arise, the option to deal with them will diminish as the option to escape with substances will become more common.  They don’t learn to work through problems and become dependent on the chemical solution at the same time.  

Read more about college alcohol use, its effects, and how to spot trouble at this link:
Parents need to watch for the signs and intervene when they appear.  Lead off with a loving statement that you just want to make sure there isn’t a problem.  Maybe they just need to talk to someone and understand that stress and emotions are natural things to deal with.  If there is indeed is a problem, you may be surprised with a big hug and a plea for help.  In either case, to not bring it up out of fear over a possible confrontation is a big price to pay for the health of your loved one.

Here at Tarzana Treatment Centers we talk to people every day who desperately need alcohol and drug treatment, and others who are just going through stressful times who need a little therapy.  We provide substance use and mental health treatment for all levels of care.  If you are a college student and you are worried about your alcohol or drug use, or have a loved one who is, please call us today.
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.
  

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Teen Alcohol and Drug Trends on Social Media

by James Heller 28. August 2012 15:03
Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to influence teens.  Recent studies indicate that these sites are being used by adolescents to promote alcohol and drug use.  Common sense suggests that these same sites can be used to discourage alcohol and drug use, and to promote recovery.
 
 
Alcohol and drug trends have not improved among high school aged children.  Efforts to keep kids off of drugs have not softened, but this ever-evolving world creates new challenges for those of us who work to that end.  Technology advancements, in terms of youth substance abuse, have created an entirely new world for teens to pressure each other into alcohol and drug use.

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Social media seem to be contributing to the overall trend, with 75 percent of teens saying that seeing photos of other teens partying on Facebook, MySpace or other social networking sites made them want to do the same.
Nearly half of teens who have seen such pictures perceived that the teens in the photos "are having a good time."
Kids who had seen such photos were three to four times more likely to have used marijuana, alcohol or tobacco compared to kids who had not viewed this type of picture.


The numbers may seem out of reach, but we must keep in mind that the battle to keep teens drug-free has never been easy.  Education is a tried and true method of turning adolescents away from alcohol and drugs.  Social media needs to be used to educate teens about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, or they will only see what they believe is “a good time”.

Tarzana Treatment Centers has been successful in promoting recovery on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  One message can be seen by thousands of individuals when only a few of our Friends and Followers click on a link.  Our services, like Vivitrol treatment, gain exposure, and some new clients have informed us that they contacted us after seeing a social media post.

It is likely that everyone reading this, with a social media account, has at least one teen Friend or a Friend with one.  This means that they can see what you post.  Imagine how much of a positive impact we can all make if we post anti-alcohol and anti-drug messages on our Walls and Tweets.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Lock It Up is a Good Start

by James Heller 6. July 2012 15:16
Prescription drug use among teens has increased over the past few years.  Benzodiazepines and opiate painkillers can produce a type of euphoria and carry the illusion of being safe, so adolescents are more inclined to try them over other drugs.  Studies show youths saying that these drugs are easier to obtain than alcohol.  So a program in Fresno, CA, named Lock It Up, aims to cut the supply from its largest source.

Lock It Up is an awareness campaign that will educate the public about prevention efforts that can be implemented in the home.  Here is a little more information:

The article states that “More than 70 percent of teens who abuse prescription painkillers say they get them from family, relatives and friends.”  What they don’t mention is that most of the people they get the drugs from have no idea that they are gone.  This is why the Lock It Up project is such a good idea.  Most parents will quickly take action if they know that they are unwittingly supplying the teen prescription drug trade.

When non-addict adults are prescribed painkillers or anti-anxiety medications, like Xanax, they will often not use the entire amount of pills prescribed to them.  The need for them runs its course or they just don’t like them, and they leave remaining pills to be forgotten.  This leaves 5, 10, 20, or more powerful tablets unattended in the medicine cabinet.  Even if the empty bottle is found after the pills are long gone, a child may have already overdosed on them.

Fresno citizens will learn to lock away or dispose of medications properly.  This can put a very large dent in the prescription drug street market.  Both parents and teens need to know that prescription drugs are not safe for recreational use, and they can easily cause fatalities from an overdose.  Opiates and benzodiazepines are highly addictive, and can ruin a teen’s growing years and cause struggles in adulthood.  Let’s all follow Fresno’s lead.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Alcohol Dependence and Drug Addiction -Tolerance

by James Heller 18. May 2010 13:48
Tolerance, as it relates to alcohol dependence and drug addiction, is often misunderstood by many in the general public.  In the manner that drug and alcohol tolerance functions, it can be a safety mechanism to the body and, at the same time, deadly.  This makes awareness of the subject critical for anyone who engages in alcohol abuse or drug abuse, as well as those in recovery.

It can easily be assumed that tolerance means that an individual can drink more alcohol without getting drunk, or handle drug use in a seemingly controlled manner.  With this assumption comes the belief that these “abilities” are an example of the natural differences that exist from one individual to another.  While this is partially true, the nature of alcohol and drug tolerance is much more complicated.

Alcohol tolerance is the example with which most people can relate.  Consider the amount of alcohol you need to drink before you feel the effects, or “buzzed”.  Let’s say this is 2 beers.  If you drink 2 beers every day, over time you will feel less of an effect.  If you want to feel the same effect, you must drink more alcohol.  The amount of alcohol needed for the same feeling will continue to increase as you add more alcohol.  

The same concept works with drugs.  Alcohol abuse or drug abuse can result from tolerance since individuals will chase that feeling by drinking or using more on each occasion.  If the cycle continues with regular daily alcohol or drug intake, the body can become physically dependent and alcoholism or drug addiction is the result.  

On this road to addiction that we just followed, the brain has protected the body from overdose, with tolerance, by adjusting to the higher levels of substance use.  This benefit of drug tolerance can become a dangerous consequence, though, for recovering individuals who relapse.  The addicted brain still needs a large amount of drugs for an effect, but the body returns to a lower tolerance of what is essentially a poison.

At the time of first use on a relapse, the brain will dictate the most recent amount of drugs used to get a desired effect.  If the formerly recovering addict is not careful, this amount can easily cause a drug overdose or even be fatal.  Many drug addicts are not aware of this fact, and will even ignore warnings from fellow drug users because they don’t realize the consequences they face.

While alcoholics are less likely to overdose on alcohol during first use on a relapse, they may experience what is known as a lack of tolerance.  At this point, a drunken feeling may result from only 1 drink.  Lack of tolerance can actually occur with anyone who drinks alcohol, but it is typically coupled with alcohol dependence.  Of course, that 1 drink will still not be enough to satisfy alcoholics and they can become a danger to themselves through inebriation and alcohol’s effect on the body.

This information is good to share with teens, friends in recovery, or anyone you may know who engages in alcohol abuse or drug abuse.  Too many see tolerance as a benefit both early in substance use and in addiction.  Tolerance is explained in effective alcohol and drug treatment as part of addiction education groups to prevent accidental overdoses among those who may relapse.  Bringing this awareness to the general public may save even more lives.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment and addiction education.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

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Adolescent Drug Addiction – Don’t Discriminate

by James Heller 5. May 2010 12:37
Teen drug addiction does not only occur with drugs like heroin and methamphetamines.  Prescription opiate and benzodiazepine abuse can quickly lead to addiction, and we should not forget about marijuana and alcohol which are still drugs.  Parents need to be aware of these facts so they can easily spot the signs of impending drug addiction with their youth.

Don’t be fooled by the idea that if you don’t catch your adolescent using strong drugs, then it is not a big deal.  Granted, finding evidence of heroin or methamphetamine use can scare any parent into contacting the closest drug treatment center.  Too many parents, though, do not take the same drastic action with other drugs, and may simply resort to grounding or other minor punishments.

Alcohol and marijuana are the best examples.  Many parents still believe it is okay to allow teen alcohol use in the home, in hopes that they will not drink outside the home.  In most cases they will and put themselves at risk of injury and death.  Adolescents, in most cases, simply don’t drink responsibly like adults.  Getting a buzz is the purpose as opposed to having a social moment with friends.

The 21st Century has seen an equalizing with alcohol of the social acceptance of marijuana.  The drug has become normalized with such a high percentage of the population having smoked pot in younger days.  If marijuana use caused them no major problems, parents may allow their teens to use it or just wave it off as typical youth behavior.   What they don’t know is that marijuana is now much more potent and addictive, and can also lead to injury or death if they drive under the influence of pot.

Now prescription drugs like Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin), and benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium) have become popular with adolescents.  Adolescent prescription drug abuse is largely driven by a low perception of risk.  Teens believe there is no danger that comes with the high, as long as they take the drugs in controlled situations.  But drug addiction can take hold quickly with these drugs, which can lead them to try heroin addiction since it is cheaper and more potent.

Drug addiction treatment usually begins with drug detox or alcohol detoxDrug withdrawal symptoms include flu-like aches and intestinal problems among others, and alcohol withdrawal can be fatal in serious cases.  It is best to avoid the need for medical detoxification before teen drug treatment.  The way to do this is to treat all teen drug abuse equally, and seek treatment at the earliest signs of use.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment, as well as prevention education.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Teen Substance Use - Prevention and Treatment

by James Heller 22. April 2010 13:50
It’s no secret that a certain percentage of teens will recreationally use alcohol or drugs before they finish high school.  We would all like to wave a magic wand and put a stop to it, but that is just a dream.  We can only do our best to teach adolescents the damage that alcohol abuse and drug abuse will cause in their lives.

Sometimes it seems like a futile effort.  Some of our youth will engage in substance use no matter what they are taught, or even if they face legal and academic consequences.  Many of them begin using out of curiosity or peer pressure, and others do so in order to escape negative feelings.  Some are even undiagnosed with mental health disorders, and find comfort in self-medicating.

The consequences of teen alcohol and drug abuse are evident to anyone whose primary work is in service to adolescents.  At schools, we see promising students suddenly miss homework assignments or watch grades drop on tests.  Youth organizations and similar groups notice that some kids just stop attending meetings and functions.

Sadly, there is no magic wand that will put an end to adolescent substance abuse.  Prevention is an effort that must continue, though, because teens will otherwise not hear our message of consequences.  They will be left only with reasons to try alcohol and drugs, and none make them think first about future problems.  Although it may seem like a lost cause, at times, lives are saved every day.

In times of doubt, remember that when teens engage in alcohol abuse or drug abuse they increase the likelihood of future problems with alcohol dependence or drug addiction.  Each and every adolescent that hears this message gets the opportunity to live into adulthood alcohol and drug free.  At the very least, we can attempt to delay the start of substance use until after adolescence.

It is also important that we know when to refer teens to youth alcohol and drug treatment.  There is often a delay because of the mistaken parallel between adolescent substance abuse and adult substance abuse.  In actuality, teens need to at least speak with an addiction counselor at the first sign of abuse so the true nature of the problem can be understood in each case.

Adolescent alcohol and drug treatment helps teens to discover why they use alcohol or drugs.  This allows them to grow by dealing with life problems instead of escaping with substance use.  When mental health disorders are discovered, the treatment center should include in-house care for co-occurring mental health disorders.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment, as well as prevention education.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Adolescent Drug Abuse and Addiction

by James Heller 9. September 2009 11:53
There are many detrimental effects that drug abuse and drug addiction can have on an adolescent.  Even prescription drugs cause negative side effects to adults when they are used properly.  So abuse and addiction of any kind of drug have serious negative effects.

It is important for the adolescent body to develop unimpeded in order to become a healthy adult body.  Drug abuse and addiction interferes with this process.  Depending on the substance being used, and the age of the user, substance use can cause the following:

  • Alter normal brain development and/or cause lasting brain damage that will affect the young person’s moods, tolerance to stress and frustration, and intellectual capacity.
  • Negatively impact the development of healthy self-esteem and healthy social relationships.
  • Hinder the development of healthy and adaptive coping strategies.  Because drugs and alcohol inhibit one’s sense of time, using drugs and alcohol can provide temporary relief or a “quick fix” to pain, and lead the individual to avoid developing lasting solutions and problem solving strategies.
  • Substance use can lower inhibitions and negatively impact a person’s judgment, which may lead to unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, aggression, and violence.  In other words, individuals may find themselves engaging in dangerous behaviors that put them at risk for engaging in activities that can negatively affect how they see themselves.
  • Continued use of alcohol and other drugs can lead to addiction and dependence.  While not shown to be a linear logical progression of use in every user, many substance users do move on to harder, more dangerous drugs the more they become immersed in the drug culture.  Alcoholism is considered, however, to be a progressive illness that results in more detrimental physical and social deterioration over the course of time.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides adolescent alcohol and drug treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcareAlcohol and drug detox is also available in cases of alcohol dependence and drug addiction.  If you or a loved one needs help with adolescent alcohol abuse or drug abuse, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.