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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.