Agatha Christie, world famous English writer of novels, short stories and plays once wisely wrote in her book, The Hound of Death and Other Stories the following: A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” This article is a story of such a Mother’s love for her addict son, a son whom she never gave-up on in the face of adversity and overwhelming odds. Continue reading
Small-town America, traditionally a safe place to live and raise a family, where you know your neighbors, the pace of life is slower and more relaxed, and there is a sense of belonging, a sense of home. It seems more common to think of the big inner cities as the only places in our country suffering from the scourge of drugs and its related crime. But times have changed, and the scourge has invaded our small towns, an epidemic like the Black Plague that seems to spare no one. Continue reading
As parents we strive to do the best for our children. Cooking healthy dinners, showing up for that parent teacher conference and being the shoulder to cry on are daily tasks that we cherish based on our love and admiration for our children. Another part of successful parenting is keeping our children free from danger. Making sure they don’t pull that heavy vase down on top of them, burn or cut themselves or trip over the curb as babies. As children get older, new dangers seem to make their way into their and our lives. One of those dangers is drug addiction and the risk it poses to adolescents and teens.
In fact, according to Drug Facts: Nationwide Trends April 2011 edition, marijuana and ecstasy use among middle and high school students has increased. What’s even more horrifying is that children as young as 12 years old have admitted to using drugs such as marijuana. The use of prescription drugs has also become a major epidemic all over the world and has majorly contributed to the problem. If there is going to be a change in these statistics, more attention needs to be put on the way children and teens are educated about the use of drugs and alcohol. Continue reading
There is much to know about the plethora of drugs now available, and about drug abuse and addiction and its many signs. Many people do not have an adequate working knowledge of what drugs are, how they harm the person, the body and mind, and the potential long-term and lasting residual damage from substance abuse, including death by overdose.
Three Basic Facts About Addiction
The first think one needs to have is a basic understanding of addiction. This information is excerpted from the excellent booklet entitled, Ten Things Your Friends May Not Know About Drugs at http://www.narconon.org/media/drug-education-booklet.pdf. (It is definitely wise to read the booklet in its entirety.) Continue reading
It seems that there is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet regarding drug rehabilitation facilities, treatment programs, differing philosophies and theories on the cause nature of addiction, conflicting ideas on the level of success one can expect from an addiction treatment program, rehabs jockeying for the position of “the best one”, and all of it far too confusing for the desperate person searching for real help for a loved one. In this flood of information, is there a way to determine which treatment program would be best for your son or daughter? The answer is, yes, there is. Continue reading
The life of a drug addict isn’t what life is meant to be, especially for a young person who should be full of life, with hopes and dreams for a rewarding future that stretches out before them. But what is life like when a person’s potentially bright and promising future is tarnished and ruined by substance abuse? Continue reading
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the non-medical use of prescription pain killers is now the second most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the United States. As a result of the escalating abuse of these drugs, there is a concurrent escalation in the number of drug addicts seeking prescription drug rehab. Continue reading
A Drug Drop Box is one of the newer weapons in the war chest of weapons used by the good guys in the ongoing war against drugs and drug abuse. Day-in and day-out, these people of goodwill wage a war against the drugs that threaten to steal the lives of our children and our youth. It is America’s young people, the group of those aged 12-years old to 17-years old, and who are now the number one substance abusers of the deadly and highly addictive prescription drugs. Continue reading
In the United States, marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug. According to recent studies, as many as 30% of the current generation of teenagers are smoking pot.
There is a current trend in society to legalize and make broadly accepted the use of Marijuana for medical purposes. To date, 14 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use only, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Regardless of that trend, marijuana has not been legalized for recreational use anywhere in the United States.
More About Marijuana
The active ingredient in marijuana, (also known as weed, pot, Mary Jane, dope) is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The THC and other substances in marijuana smoke cause short-term physiological effects, including a rapid heart rate, increased rate of respiration, red eyes and a dry mouth, the “munchies”, and a slowed reaction time. Although these effects diminish over several hours, the THC remains in the system for up to a month after the pot was smoked. Its lingering effects remain long after the high is gone.
In addition to the physiological effects, marijuana causes a range of short-term mental effects from euphoria and calmness, to anxiety and paranoia. Additional mental/psychological effects include short-term memory loss, a distorted sense of time, and depression. Although diminishing over a few hours after use, the residual effects potentially last for days.
See video on the effects of marijuana:
Negative Impact of Marijuana
Despite the fact that most pot users will claim that marijuana is not addictive, it is, both psychologically and physically. One in twelve users, even if he or she only uses occasionally, can experience withdrawal symptoms if they can’t get high when they want to. The rate of dependence increases amongst those who are heavy pot smokers. Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal can include a depressed mood and decreased appetite, and anxiety and aggression.
There is still some debate as to whether or not marijuana is a “gateway drug”, meaning a habit-forming drug which may lead to the use of other addictive, or “hard drugs”. Marijuana is often referred to as a “soft drug”, generally meaning a drug of abuse that is considered relatively mild and not likely to cause addiction. “Hard drugs” are commonly described as being physically addictive, easier to overdose on, and which pose serious health risks, including death. Hard drugs are drugs such as heroin, morphine, cocaine, amphetamines, and alcohol. So while the debate continues, the reality is that marijuana users are more likely to try-out and to use other drugs after trying pot.
One ex-marijuana user who went through the Narconon Arrowhead Drug Rehabilitation Program, describes the negative impact of this drug:
“Pot always turned me into a zombie. My thing for years has always been, hit a joint one time, eat “Captain Crunch” and watch a movie. When the high was over, I always got really paranoid over the smallest thing. I often had to watch that same movie 2 or 3 times because I wouldn’t remember parts of the movie. I would often walk in circles around my living room, looking for the T.V. remote that was in my hand the whole time. Weed also took a lot out of me the next day…never enough sleep so I often went to Meth for energy for the start of my work week. Weed has no place in my life. There were never any positive things it did for me. Five minutes giggling, 10 minutes eating, ½ hour movie, then sleep for 10 hours.”
The word living means “having life; to be active and functioning; full of life and vigor.” In knowing and understanding the negative impact of marijuana upon its users makes one fact very clear—smoking pot is not a substitute for really living.
For more information about the Narconon Arrowhead Drug Rehabilitation Program, please call 800-468-6933.
Over the years, substance abuse has taken a desperate toll on our artists, musicians, actors and actresses. The most recent substance abuse casualty was Corey Monteith, the star of Glee, an American musical comedy-drama television series that airs in United States. Corey Montieth had struggled with drug abuse since his early teens, going through the rehab-relapse cycle more than once. In the end, he lost his fight. He died at the young age of 31-years-old due to the mixed drug toxicity of heroin and alcohol.
The Nature of Substance Abuse
In brief, there is a cycle of addiction which begins with a problem, an unwanted attitude or sensation or pain, whether physical or emotional or both. It is not something the person experiencing it has the ability to deal with or resolve. It is a real problem to the person, one that persists and which he or she can see no solution to. It’s happened to all of us, life dealing a hand of cards that we don’t know how to play.
But there is a difference between which one of us may become a substance abuser and which one of us will not. If, at the time of traumatic experience, the person is subjected to significant peer pressure which is pro-drug or pro-alcohol, the painkilling effects of those drugs or alcohol become a solution to obtaining relief from the unwanted feelings/pains connected to the problem. Although the relief is temporary, the person adopts it as the solution to the problem, and will use the drugs and/or alcohol again, and again. It is then just a matter of time before the person loses the ability to control their substance use, and becomes addicted.
The Nature of Relapse
There are three main reasons an individual relapses once he or she has been through rehab/treatment:
- Mental and physical cravings
- Guilt associated with the moral degradation and dishonesty of an addict’s lifestyle.
These three things can plague a person for years after getting sober, and unfortunately if left unhandled with workable treatment, will trigger a relapse. Unresolved, whether the source is physical or mental, these create an underlying and ongoing level of stress which cannot go completely ignored by the person experiencing them. It only takes one time of saying “yes” to drugs or alcohol, and the cycle of addiction starts anew.
With this fundamental knowledge of the nature of substance abuse and relapse, the conduct of Corey Monteith and the far too many celebrities who preceded him, is understandable. And with this knowledge, we can then look at 3 ways parents can protect their kids against drug abuse.
Educate Your Children About Drugs and Drug Use
To be successful, drug education must convey to your children in a way they can understand and is real to them that the risks of using drugs far outweighs what they might see as the benefits. Children and teens, just like adults, are able to make better choices and wiser decisions when armed with the facts. The booklet, 10 Things Your Friends May Not Know About Drugs is an excellent source of easily assimilated facts regarding drugs.
Help Your Children to Succeed
Academic success, participation in the sports of their choosing, setting realistic and achievable goals, a good work ethic, teaching your children right from wrong, participation in the religious activities of your chosen faith, all character-building and stabilizing influences which will serve your child well in meeting life’s challenges, now and far into the future. Do your part as a parent to accurately observe your children, recognize if they are doing well or are in need of some extra help and attention from you to keep them going in a pro-survival direction. The booklet, The Way to Happiness, A Common Sense Guide to Better Living, is an excellent tool you can use to help your children succeed.
Set a Good Example
A parent is in a unique position to help another human being, not yet an adult, successfully attain his or her goal of growing-up and living a good and worthwhile life. It is both a great responsibility and a great challenge, with potentially untold rewards. As that parent, it falls upon you to set a good example which your children can follow, one of good conduct, honesty, respect, compassion–and sobriety.