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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Young Adults and Prescription Drug Abuse: How You Can Help

If you’re visiting this website, it’s likely that you already know the dangers of prescription drug abuse and that children of addicts are at greater risk for addiction than other kids. And that half of young adults mistakenly think that prescription or over-the-counter drugs are safer than street drugs. 

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, caregiver, or teacher, you can have an enormous impact on a young adult's attitude toward prescription drugs — and in conveying the risk of abusing them. 

6 Steps for Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse

Talk it up.  Since prescription drugs are legal, many teens mistakenly think that parents won’t care as much if they get caught abusing these meds. Convey the dangers to your kids and let them know that you do care and that you are always there to help if they’re in trouble.

Track your meds. And don’t dismiss one or two missing pills; this could be a red flag.

Store meds properly. Keep your or your child's medications in a secure location; you may even consider putting them under lock and key if your child is showing any signs of abuse. 

Get rid of old or unused medicine properly. Many towns hold prescription-pill drop-offs to help community members safely dispose of old or unused pills. Check with your local police, sanitation department, and pharmacies.

Get family members and friends onboard. Talk to grandparents and parents of your child’s friends about properly safeguarding prescription drugs in their homes.

Learn the warning signs: These may include: 
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Wanting to spent a lot of time alone
  • Giving up interests and hobbies
  • Hostile, angry and aggressive behavior toward anyone who tries to control their actions
  • Unexplained crying or routine irritable
  • Lack of self-care and cleanliness
  • Loss of interest in schoolwork or failing grades
  • Poor sleep patterns — sleeping during the day and staying up all night or for days at a time
  • Disregard for family rules or curfew
Take Action Today
If your son or daughter has a prescription drug abuse problem, act now. Our staff at Hope Academy specializes in young adult addiction recovery, and will help your child pursue sobriety and open doors to a brighter academic and professional future. Call today: 866-930-4673.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Have You Ever Used Drugs?

"Have you ever used drugs?" As a parent, it’s a tough question to answer – but dodging it is not the answer. Instead, you should treat the question with respect, and use it as a teachable moment to open the dialogue with your child about the dangers of substance abuse.

This isn’t to say that it’s going to be easy. You may fear that no matter how carefully you spell out the lessons from your own experiences, you may be implicitly imparting a lesson about lack of consequences? In other words, you experimented with drugs and alcohol and seemingly turned out OK. Or, that your honesty will someday be thrown back in your face; for instance, if you or your child (or both) are dealing with drug and alcohol problems.

But experts argue that it’s important to put these fears aside and address the real issue at hand – why your child is asking this question in the first place. The Medicine Abuse Project, launched by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, offers the following tips/suggestions.
  • Don’t lie. If your child finds out the truth, this can put you at risk of losing your credibility.
  • Give an honest answer — but also know that you don’t have to divulge every detail. 
  • Ask a lot of questions in order to understand exactly why your child is asking about your drug history.  
  • Use this discussion as an opportunity to talk about what tempted you to use drugs, why drugs are dangerous, and why our child should avoid making the same mistakes you made. 
Three Possible Answers About Your Drug Use 
Here are three examples from the Medicine Abuse Project of the tone you can take and wording you can use:
  1. “I took drugs because some of my friends used them, and I thought I needed to do the same in order to fit in. In those days, people didn’t know as much as they do now about all the bad things that can happen when you take drugs.” You might even go one step farther and explain how we now have scientific evidence showing that experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence can lead to permanent changes in the way the brain works, including a greater risk of addiction in adulthood. 
  2. “Everyone makes mistakes and trying drugs was one of my biggest mistakes ever. I’ll do anything to help you avoid making the same stupid decision that I made when I was your age.” 
  3. “I started drinking when I was young and, as you can see, it’s been a battle ever since. Because of my drinking, I missed a big part of growing up, and every day I have to fight with myself so it doesn’t make me miss out on even more — my job, my relationships, and most importantly, my time with you. I love you too much to watch you make the same mistakes I’ve made.”
Getting Help for Your Child
Many young adults are in total denial of their substance abuse problem. Others may cry out for help, but are not clear-headed enough to make decisions about their wellbeing. At Hope Academy, we help parents advocate for their children, so they get the help they need before it is too late.  Call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, June 17, 2016

4 Damaging Addiction Myths

Having the courage to face your addiction and get help is hard enough, let alone while confronting the many damaging myths out there about addiction and treatment for substance abuse disorder.

Here we take a look at what the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says about a few of the most common misconceptions.

Myth #1: Addiction is voluntary behavior.

The decision to use alcohol or drugs is a voluntary one, however, as times passes, a person goes from being a voluntary drug user to a compulsive drug user. This is because continued use of addictive substances changes your brain in ways that result in compulsive and even uncontrollable drug use.

Myth #2: Addiction is a character flaw. 
Addiction is a disease that alters how the brain functions. This can range from changes in the molecules and cells that make up the brain, to mood changes, to changes in memory processes and in such motor skills as walking and talking. These changes have a huge influence on all aspects of a person's behavior.

Myth #3: You have to want substance abuse treatment for it to work.
Research points to two main reasons why people seek treatment: the court ordered them to do so, or loved ones urged them to get help. Studies have also found that individuals who enter drug treatment programs in which they face "high pressure" to confront and overcome their addiction do comparatively better — regardless of the reason they sought treatment in the first place.

Myth #4: There must be a "magic bullet" to treat all forms of substance abuse. 
Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet that will suddenly stop addiction. Different people have different drug abuse-related problems and respond very differently to similar forms of treatment — even if they're addicted to the same drug.

The Path to Recovery
When families, schools, and communities are vigilant about early intervention, mentoring, and disease education, teens can turn their lifestyle around before addiction becomes a way of life. For information about Hope Academy's drug recovery programs, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, June 10, 2016

6 Surprising Facts About Smoking Pot

As more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, more addiction experts and parents fear that the greater availability of cannabis will cause more teens to start smoking pot, or to abuse the drug. 

In an effort to curb this, and to educate teens on the dangers of marijuana, the National Institute on Drug Abuse put together a brochure for teens.

Here are some of the surprising findings:

  1. Pot can stay in your system for weeks. The THC in marijuana is rapidly absorbed by fatty tissues in various organs throughout the body. In general, standard urine tests can detect traces (metabolites) of THC several days after use. In heavy users, however, THC metabolites can sometimes be detected for weeks after use stops.
  2. Pot hurts your lungs. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same breathing and lung problems that tobacco smokers do, such as a daily cough, and a greater risk of lung infections like pneumonia.
  3. High doses of marijuana can cause psychosis. Some people experience an acute psychotic reaction (disturbed perceptions and thoughts, paranoia) or panic attacks while under the influence of marijuana.
  4. Pot does impact your driving. Marijuana is the most common illegal drug involved in auto fatalities. It is found in the blood of around 14 percent of drivers who die in accidents, often in combination with alcohol or other drugs.
  5. Marijuana is linked to school failure. Marijuana’s negative effects on attention, memory, and learning can last for days and sometimes weeks — especially if you use it often.
  6. Marijuana is addictive. Research shows that approximately 9 percent, or about 1 in 11, of those who use marijuana will become addicted. 
Addiction Treatment for Young Adults
No matter how severe your addiction, Hope Academy's substance abuse rehab in California can help. Interested young adults attend college courses while they are in rehab, and all participants receive life skills training and customized aftercare to optimize chances of sobriety success. For information, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, June 3, 2016

What’s Drunkorexia?

A growing trend among college kids – both females and males alike – “drunkorexia” is a term used to describe the “weight conscious” behavior of drinkers who save calories (by skipping meals or over-exercising) during the day to compensate for the calories consumed later from alcohol.

There have been several studies documenting how common “drunkorexia” is on college campuses – and, in fact, statistics show that a whopping 30 percent of women, ages 18 to 23, admit to having skipped a meal to drink more. Individuals with eating disorders are up to five times as likely as those without eating disorders to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

And it works the other way, too: Those who abuse alcohol or illicit drugs are up to 11 times as likely as those who don’t to have eating disorders.  

Risks of Disordered Eating and Binge Drinking

Although drunkorexia is not an official eating disorder, habitually drinking on an empty stomach can have serious health consequences – and that’s in addition to the dangers of binge drinking in the first place. These include:

• Malnutrition
• Short- and long-term cognitive problems, including difficulty concentrating, studying, and making decisions
• Serious eating disorders
• Violence
• Risky sexual behavior
• Alcohol poisoning
• Substance abuse
• Damage to vital organs
• Chronic diseases

Dual Diagnosis: Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse
As addiction worsens, so does the co-occurring condition—and vice versa. Because of this, both diseases must be treated simultaneously to achieve the best results. To learn more about Hope Academy’s treatment programs for dual diagnosis patients, call today: 866-930-4673.
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