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Meth Addiction is Trouble for Women

by James Heller 20. February 2014 11:30
Crystal meth has different effects on the lives of women versus men.  Aside from the physical damage it deals to the female body, there is a higher risk of mental trauma due to the behaviors that go along with meth use.  This makes it all the more important to educate youths before they get hooked, and to provide mental health treatment along with addiction treatment if they do.
 
 
We’ve all seen the disturbing before and after photos on the internet.  You would think those, on their own, would prevent young women from even associating with meth users.  But youth carries with it a feeling of invincibility and a “that won’t happen to me” attitude, which sadly turns the images into a joke among friends.  The outcome isn’t funny for the women in the pictures.

A more immediate consequence of meth use for women is what can happen to them in the midst of other users.  Instances of rape, serious injury, and death are higher than normal when a group of individuals use meth together.  The drug relieves users of inhibitions, making them feel like rules of good conduct don’t apply to them.  Couple that with feeling stronger and more agile, with a threshold for pain that is through the roof, and you have a game of tragedy roulette.
Maybe the knowledge that their security can go to zero at any second on meth, may just keep them from using even once.

If she survives time as an addict and hasn’t permanently damaged reproductive organs, brain tissue, her heart, liver, or lungs, a woman will have likely been traumatized at least once.  Many of them won’t even see forced sex as a past trauma, at first, seeing it only as a part of the lifestyle.  But as the addicted brain begins to recover and emotions rise to the surface, those and similar events can drastically inhibit recovery and may lead to a relapse.

At Tarzana Treatment Centers, we recognize these critical differences in how women respond to drug treatment.  Our women only programs utilize trauma-informed and gender-specific counseling techniques to improve treatment outcomes.  Eligible women can enter residential treatment with small children, allowing those important bonds to be strengthened.
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.

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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More on Methamphetamine Treatment

by James Heller 7. October 2009 14:19
By Ken Bachrach, Ph.D., Clinical Director

Treatment for methamphetamine is effective and available to those needing assistance stopping methamphetamine use and recovering from the effects of this highly addictive drug.  Methamphetamine currently is the primary drug of choice for one-third of individuals seeing residential and outpatient drug treatment at Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles.  

The first step is to stop using methamphetamine.  Methamphetamine withdrawal is an uncomfortable state.  While meth users usually don’t need medication to help them withdraw, they are often experiencing symptoms of depression, fatigue, agitation, confusion, lack of energy, paranoia, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.  So it is still prudent for meth addicts to enter a medical detoxification program in treatment.

These acute withdrawal symptoms can last from two days to two weeks.  During this period of time it is important to provide structure, and to not to make too many demands on the individual.  Symptoms of concern should be monitored and re-assessed on a regular basis, and psychological symptoms that persist may need more attention, including psychotropic medication.

During the first few days after stopping using methamphetamine, sleep, support, and eating nutritious foods is beneficial.  The meth addict’s brain is going through major changes and each day can be a challenge.  Medical and dental needs should be assessed, and it is a good idea to see a physician and a dentist if there are any concerns.

Problems with learning and memory may actually get worse following the cessation of methamphetamine use.  Research has shown that some individual’s have more impaired verbal memory for up to six months after they stopped using meth compared to when they just stopped.  This is unique among drugs of abuse.  

Since most counseling and treatment involves primarily counseling through talking, it is possible that meth addicts in early recovery will have difficult times remembering information.  Fortunately, visual memory is not impacted the same way that verbal memory is, so efforts should be made to use visual means in counseling and treatment.  

In addition, writing things down, using chalk boards and white boards, as well as active learning though role play and exercises may help overcome and compensate for these deficits in verbal memory.

Relapse triggers need to be identified for each individual, since these people, places and things place an individual at risk for resuming their meth use.  Sexual triggers are very common for both men and women who use meth, since surveys have shown that sex is associated with meth use more than any other drug.  In one survey, 67% of meth users agreed that they were obsessed with sex, compared to 40% of cocaine users and 16% of alcohol users.  

The road to recovery may not be a simple nor easy one.  As with many drugs of abuse, relapse is common, but getting back into treatment quickly can greatly increase one’s changes of long-term recovery.  In addition to addressing the specific issues surrounding methamphetamine use, medical, psychological, family, social, legal, vocational, and education issues often need to be addressed as well.  

Methamphetamine addiction treatment is as effective as for other drugs.  It is a myth that treatment for methamphetamine is not effective.  An evaluation by UCLA researchers of over 35,000 individuals referred to treatment showed no difference in any of the outcome measures when compared to users of other drugs of abuse.  This included treatment completion rates, urinalysis data, and retention in treatment rates.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides medical detoxification for methamphetamine addiction as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with methamphetamine addiction, 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.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Effects on Oral Health

by James Heller 24. August 2009 14:01

We know that drug and alcohol abuse has many negative health effects, but something that is not frequently discussed are the harmful effects that drugs and alcohol can have on the health of our teeth, gums, and mouth in general.  Good oral health is not just about having pearly white and straight teeth.  

Having strong teeth and healthy gums/mouth helps you eat and digest food, and helps you speak and pronounce words clearly. Left untreated, decay on the teeth leads to the formation of cavities which can become infected and spread throughout your whole body making you sick

While all drugs can have negative effects on your teeth, gums, and mouth, methamphetamine (meth) and tobacco (both in cigarettes and smokeless) are the worst offenders.

Methamphetamine: The use of meth has been linked to rapid formation of cavities. Dentists think this could be due to teeth grinding and clenching, dry mouth, or poor oral hygiene all of which are linked to meth use. When left untreated, the only treatment is to pull out all the teeth and wear dentures.

For more information about meth and oral health go here: http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/topics/methmouth.asp#additional

Tobacco: Both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco have harmful effects on the health of the mouth. Cigarettes can lead to dry mouth and gum disease. Dry mouth negatively affects oral health because without saliva to rinse off the teeth, bacteria grows on teeth and near the gums which can quickly become decay which then leads to cavities. Smokeless tobacco seriously damages gums and increases the risk of oral cancer.

For more information about tobacco and oral health go here:
http://www.hooah4health.com/prevention/disease/dentaldisease/oralfitresources/TobaccoAndOralHealth.pdf

If you are concerned about the health of your teeth/gums there are a few easy steps to take:

  1. Make an appointment with your dentist; current guidelines recommend seeing your dentist every six months.
  2. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride keeps teeth strong and may stop or slow down the formation of decay.
  3. Floss your teeth daily. You must floss in order to remove food from in between teeth and near the gum line – your toothbrush does not reach everywhere in your mouth.
  4. Drink water – Sugary drinks (including alcohol) coat your teeth in sugar, which is the basis for tooth decay. By drinking water you are removing food and sugar from your teeth.


Visit this site for basic information about keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy:
http://www.adha.org/oralhealth/index.html


Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides alcohol and drug treatment that includes nutritional education as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.  For more information, 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.

Native American Drug Addiction is Rising

by James Heller 8. May 2009 11:38
While it is true that most cases of substance abuse among Native Americans involve alcohol, drug addiction treatment admissions are gaining in percentage.  And although Native American alcohol dependence is a major problem and needs continued attention, the shift to drug addiction must gain focus as well.

Both the Native American community and the general public need to be educated on the facts about methamphetamine addiction.  For drug treatment admissions it is the fastest growing stated drug of choice by percentage.  

Marijuana and cocaine use has risen gradually among Native Americans while methamphetamine addiction has skyrocketed.  The low cost and high availability of the drug is responsible for its popularity, especially among adolescents.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers specializes in alcohol and drug treatment for Native Americans.  Our program allows cultural and traditional activities to continue throughout treatment.  If necessary, medical detoxification is available for alcohol and other drugs, including methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription drugsMedication Assisted Treatment is also available to reduce alcohol cravings.

The Public Broadcasting Service website provides the information below.  The website is a also fine source for education on culture and tradition in the Native American community.

-- Begin external content --

Alcohol and drugs are hard facts of life for too many urban and reservation Indians. Native Americans are five times more likely to die of alcohol-related causes than whites, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis — diseases associated with alcoholism — are the sixth leading cause of death among Native Americans. They are not even among the top 10 in whites.

Illegal drugs — marijuana, opiates, cocaine and stimulants — are increasing among Indians, but the drug of choice is still alcohol. One study found that among Indians entering substance abuse treatment programs in the U.S. in 2002, 63 percent were struggling with alcohol compared with only 42 percent for all other admissions.

-- Source: http://www.pbs.org/indiancountry/challenges/abuse.html --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

The Cost of Methamphetamine Use

by James Heller 12. March 2009 14:35
Studies continually show the societal impact of methamphetamine addiction.  In the article below, we see that using methamphetamines negatively affects many more people than just the user.  

It is interesting to note that methamphetamine treatment at $546 million is less than 2.5% of the total costs of $23.4 billion.  It stands to reason that if methamphetamine detox and treatment costs were to trend upwards, we would see an end to much of the crime, child neglect, and productivity loss, and those costs would sharply trend downwards.

Methamphetamine Use Incurs High Costs for Law Enforcement, Lost Productivity

By Will Dunham
Reuters

WASHINGTON
Methamphetamine use costs the United States about $23.4 billion a year considering lost lives and productivity, drug treatment, law enforcement expenses and other factors, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Methamphetamine, also called meth, is a highly addictive stimulant that users inject, snort, smoke or swallow. A form called crystal meth looks like fragments of glass and is smoked using a glass pipe like those used to smoke crack cocaine.

The report by the nonprofit RAND Corporation found that costs relating to the 900 people who died from using meth in 2005 and the addiction of many thousands of others accounted for two-thirds of the total economic burden.

"Our study represents the most comprehensive assessment so far of the economic costs of meth use in the United States. It shows the impact of methamphetamine is substantial," RAND economist Nancy Nicosia said in a telephone interview.

Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating methamphetamine users plus the economic cost of various crimes they commit amounted to $4.2 billion in 2005, according to the report.
Some other costs included $546 million in drug treatment, $687 million in lost productivity and $905 million toward removing children from the homes of users.

A U.S. government survey showed that in 2007 about 13 million Americans ages 12 and up reported using methamphetamine at least once in their lifetimes, or 5 percent of that population. About 1.3 million people, or 0.5 percent, reported using it some time in the previous year, the survey showed.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the drug is particularly popular in Western and Midwestern states.

Nicosia said methamphetamine accounts for 5.5 to 7.5 percent of the total cost of drug abuse in the United States.

(Editing by Maggie Fox and Cynthia Osterman)

Copyright 2009 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures

 

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The article above was found at http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=6800146 among others of equal informational and educational quality.