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Substance abuse

This tag is associated with 18 posts

Top Story: 9 Reasons Helping Someone Else Can Help You

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When you are in recovery, you do a lot of work focusing on yourself and the ways you can improve your life and your world view to find more peace and happiness. It may seem that recovery is all about yourself, but helping others around you can actually serve to help you too. Here are ten reasons why.

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1. You Can Cultivate Gratitude

A large part of maintaining a solid sense of peace and happiness is remaining aware of the things you are grateful for. Helping those less fortunate than you can help you remain aware of the things in your life that you have, rather than focusing on what you wish you had or what you have lost.

2. You Can Remind Yourself Of Important Lessons

As you move through recovery, you may be aware of the thoughts and principles that helped you get sober in the first place, but perhaps they have moved from the forefront of your conscious. Helping someone who is new to recovery can be a “refresher course” in important values and ideas.

3. It Increases Your Self Esteem

The better you feel about yourself, the less likely you are to use. Doing something good for another person helps increase your self worth, which does wonders for your mindset.

4. It Gives You the Opportunity to Meet Other Positive People

Volunteering for an organization has the wonderful added benefit of allowing you to interact with other people who are interested in becoming a positive force. Successful recovery often means staying surrounded by the right people, so this can be a great way to stay healthy!

5. You May Discover a New Interest

Becoming engaged in the world in any way can be a great way to find interests you didn’t even know you had. For example, perhaps by taking a friend in need on a hike in their favorite area, you’ll ignite your own passion for the outdoors.

6. It Helps You Stay Focused On What Is Important in Life

It is easy for all of us to become side tracked by the myriad of distractions and temptations we face every day. Helping others is a wonderful reminder that human connection is the most valuable thing we could ever hope to attain.

7. You Will Be Too Busy To Fall Into Bad Habits

For many people, boredom can become a trigger to use. Boredom is simply what happens when we are not using ourselves to our full potential. Helping others is a great way to spend time in an invigorating and useful way.

8. You Will Be Inspired

Often times helping someone else means getting to witness progress that they make. Watching first hand as someone makes steps towards progress is a wonderful way to remind yourself of the accomplishments you have the ability to make.

9. You Will Become a More Compassionate Person

Becoming exposed to someone else’s struggles can help you be more aware of what others are going through, making you more generally compassionate and empathetic.

Cindy Nichols is an intervention specialist and treatment advisor, and frequently posts blogs about addiction recovery.

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How To Pretend You Are Drinking Alcohol

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We sometimes get into a situation where we are forced to drink; say for example you dropped by a party with your friends but you have no intention of drinking. But because it is a party and alcohol is a huge part of it, you can expect that some people will be urging you to drink. If you are not the designated and you think you can handle a few drinks, then go ahead. However, if you are the designated driver or you really do not want to drink, then it pays to have some tricks up your sleeve. Designated drivers should not drink and should stay sober because they carry the responsibility of driving their passengers to and from their destinations safely. Below are some tricks worth learning.

The Pretend Drink

Unfortunately, there will always be someone in the party who will push alcohol at you. No matter how much you tell him you do not want a drink or that you are the designated driver, he will not listen but still urge you to grab a can of beer or a glass of wine. The only way that you can shut him up is if you do drink. You can get around this dilemma though by pretending to drink.

What you can do is to grab a can of beer. You can pretend to take a little sip, but when no one is watching you, you can sneak into the washroom and dump the can’s contents into the sink. Simply fill t he empty can up with water and drink it instead. No one will be any wiser and call you out for pretending to drink.

The Sip a Little Dump a Lot

Your body is going to need about an hour to break down a single unit of alcohol. However, the rate your body breaks down alcohol is also affected by different factors such as weight, gender, age, medical conditions, and medications used. The rate is also affected by the amount of food you have eaten before drinking as well as by the type of alcohol and its strength.

If there is no way to get out of drinking, then grab the weakest type of alcohol you see. Sip a small amount from it, and when you have the chance, take the drink with you into the washroom and dump a whole lot of it down the drain. This way, it will seem like you really have been drinking.

A Lot of Ice, A Little Lesser Alcohol Concentration

Another way that you can avoid alcohol is to water down your drink. This is really very simple as all you have to do is to put a lot of ice in your alcohol and let it melt before taking small sips. The additional water will not decrease the alcohol content in the drink, but it will decrease the alcohol concentration though. Just hold the glass in your hand, pretend to be taking sips from it, and people will be leaving you alone.

These little tricks can help you a lot to avoid alcohol. It is better to pretend to be drunk or pretend to be drinking than be in a road accident somewhere because you just could not say no and could not hold your drink.

Jennifer Dahlke is a blogger for college sites. She usually writes about safety tips for when you are in college.

Notable Sober Celebrity Stories

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Famous people rule our country.

We look to celebrities for what to wear, what cars to drive, and where to be seen, among other things, so let’s also look at people in the public eye who have worked hard to stop using drugs and alcohol and are recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism.

Notable sober celebrity stories can be motivating, inspiring, and interesting.

1. Drew Barrymore

It seemed that with her childhood years of substance abuse, with pressure from her father, this child star was destined for a life of drugs and early death, but Drew took a hold of her life, did the personal work to change, and has sustained years of abstinence.

2. Robert Downey, Jr.

Like Drew, Robert watched his father use drugs, and was encouraged to join in at a very young age. When substance use starts before puberty, the brain is altered and it is extremely difficult not to continue using.

As an admitted user of anything he could get his hands on, this actor has now returned to the top. His determination to get well has allowed him to reenter the Hollywood scene as Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes.

3. Matthew Perry

We all watched as Chandler Bing, on the show Friends, went from average body weight and a healthy look down to a clear undernourished and unhealthy shell of a person. Matthew was addicted to painkillers and alcohol, but has since turned his life around. Recently he donated his house in Malibu to be turned into a sober living home for men working to stay drug free and start a life in recovery.

4. Eminem

Growing up with nothing, and with what seems like a substance abusing mother, Marshall Mathers was determined to have a different life for both himself and his daughter. As is the case for many children of alcoholics and addicts, Eminem turned to substances like painkillers as well.

He is now open with how far his addiction took him, almost to an early death, and how hard he had to work to get clean. Now he is sharing his struggle and commitment to recovery on his new album, set for release in November 2013.

5. Nicole Richie

The adopted daughter of Lionel Richie was an avid opiate (heroin, prescription painkillers, etc.) addict who seemed to feel invincible until she was arrested and court-ordered to participate in a rehab program. Since then Nicole has relapsed and gotten herself to a place of sustainable recovery. She has two children and appears to be living the life she always wanted.

6. Lindsay Lohan

It’s a little early to add Lindsay to the list, but after the completion of her court-ordered 90 day rehab stay, she appears to be making the changes necessary for a life without alcohol and drugs. Lindsay spoke candidly with Oprah Winfrey just days after leaving rehab, and while she seemed genuine, she is a talented actress, so only time will tell if the changes are truly connected.

The list goes on of celebrities who have overcome addiction and have steered their lives in a positive direction. Who will be next?

Kate Green is a drug recovery specialist, learn more about her work in women’s addiction treatment at Balboa Horizons Treatment Services.

 

Myths And Facts About Bipolar Disorder

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In today’s world, learning about the who, what, when, where and why on any topic is as easy as turning on the TV or tapping one’s fingers across a keyboard. The question is however, how accurate is that information?

The news media, as we all know, is more about ratings than it is about telling the truth. Unfortunately, that is where most people are getting their facts. Take Mel Gibson for instance. Mr. Gibson suffers from bipolar disorder. Was this the cause of his past tirades or was it his alcoholism? Substance abuse seemed to win the prize for effective journalistic reporting. Yet, being given only half the story is how myths often begin.

Bipolar Disorder – True or False

Nursing School Hub created a very interesting and informative infographic illustrating facts about bipolar disorder from the beginning of time. Here you will find a short history of the illness, stats regarding its prevalence in the U.S., bipolar disorder warning signs and symptoms, celebs diagnosed with the disorder, common bipolar treatments and the myths and facts about the disorder. More importantly, listed at the bottom of the infographic are resources and phone numbers in which to obtain help. Recorded here are the myths and facts about bipolar disorder contained in the infographic.

  • Myth: There is no cure for bipolar disorder and people suffering with it cannot lead normal lives
    • Fact: Many people diagnosed with bipolar disorder have successful careers, pleasant home lives, and fulfilling relationships
  • Myth: Bipolar disorder only affects people’s moods
    • Fact: Bipolar disorder also affects energy level, judgment, memory, concentration, appetite, sleep patterns, sex-drive, and self-esteem. Additionally, bipolar disorder has been linked to anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems such a heart disease, diabetes, migraines, and high blood pressure
  • Myth: People with bipolar disorder swing back and forth between mania and depression
    • Fact: Some people alternate between extreme episodes of mania and depression, but most are depressed more often than they are manic. People with bipolar disorder can also go for long stretches without symptoms
  • Myth: Aside from taking medication, there is nothing you can do to control bipolar disorder
    • Fact: While medication is the foundation of bipolar disorder treatment, therapy and self-help strategies also play important roles. Symptoms can be controlled by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating right, monitoring moods, keeping stress to a minimum, and being surrounded by supportive people

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

There is no doubt substance abuse played a large role in Mr. Gibson’s actions. However, co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis, a mental illness combined with substance abuse, should not be ignored and should be treated simultaneously.  As stated in the infographic, therapy plays an important role in treating the bipolar disorder; it also plays an important role in treating substance abuse.

Treating the substance abuse and not the mental illness concurrently does not put one on the path to a successful recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses the interaction between the two disorders; discovering the reason for the substance abuse while treating the mental disorder and reviewing the course of self-medication.

Get the facts, take action, and find freedom in recovery.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

Suzi Martel, founder of In Suzi’s Words, is a freelance lifestyle writer, from Southern California, who has a passion for writing informative, entertaining copy on a variety of topics such as, exercise, healthy living, and caring for others.

 

Dual Diagnosis Prevalent In The Gay Community

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Although our world is becoming more tolerant of differences among people, prejudice and discrimination are still far too common.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, community has endured years of unfair inequality that lends itself to a whole host of negative effects and life consequences. Health care professionals have continued to see more overall drug abuse in the last decade, but the popularity of the drug, crystal meth in particular, has grown exponentially among the LGBT population.

Increase In Diagnosis Rate

The diagnosis of mental illness has increased among people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Depression is the most common mental illness among those who suffered years of shame, embarrassment, ridicule, and self-loathing because of their sexual orientation. Anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, are also common mental illnesses within the LGBT community.

Self-Medication

When anybody has difficult and painful emotions that seem unmanageable, human behavior is too seek a way of coping to make it through each day. Substance abuse is a standard approach to that coping process because drugs and alcohol appear to take away painful memories, discomfort in the moment, and feelings of low self-worth or self-esteem. The escape is only temporary though, and the use of substances only leads to negative life consequences when left untreated.

Recent studies have shown that the use of crystal meth among the gay community has risen in recent years. The desire to self-medicate has lead many people, especially gay men, to the stimulant drug that does great damage to the brain and body.

Dual Diagnosis

In an effort to treat the symptoms of a mental illness, whether recognized as a diagnosable illness or not, members of the gay community are self-medicating with crystal meth. The progression from drug use to abuse, dependence, and addiction presents a diagnosable illness. When a substance abuse disorder is appropriate and a mental illness, or eating disorder, can also be diagnosed, the individual is said to be dual diagnosis. Two or more diagnoses require concurrent treatment of all symptoms for the person to have a high chance of recovery.

Where The Problem Comes From

The root of the problem, frequently the symptoms of depression, have never been addressed. The gay man, for example, who has endured repeated disrespect and hate for his sexual orientation, may have been experiencing the symptoms of depression since childhood. If he was never exposed to a mental health assessment or help, he possibly grew up thinking that his symptoms were common and that he had to deal with them on his own. When introduced to crystal meth, he may have felt better, believing he had found the cure to his symptoms.

Treating the Problem

Crystal meth, or any other drug including alcohol, is not a cure for depression, and it will actually only worsen the effects of any mental illness. The drug is highly addictive drug and takes work to mentally, emotionally, and psychologically separate from your life once dependence has developed. Formal treatment is necessary for those dually diagnosed with a mental illness and crystal meth addiction.

The increased dual diagnosis prevalence in the gay community needs to be addressed, and is being treated by dual diagnosis treatment centers, some LGBT specialized, throughout the country.

Top Story – Amanda Bynes Appears To Be Suffering From A Dual Diagnosis

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Actress Amanda Bynes seems to be all over the news lately. She is impossible to escape, even if someone hadn’t heard of her before she appeared to slowly descend into mental illness. Amanda Bynes had a moderately successful acting career as a child star, and then as a young adult.

Her last major role was as Penny Pingleton in the hit movie Hairspray. Then several years ago she announced that she was retiring from acting because she didn’t have fun doing it anymore. At the time it seemed like a completely normal and understandable decision. But that announcement actually seems to be the beginning of her public destruction.

A Dual Diagnosis

The twenty-seven year old actress appears to be suffering from dual diagnosis, which is when a person is suffering from dual/multiple disorders. While a certified professional would have to evaluate Amanda Bynes in person to make a truly accurate assessment, it seems pretty obvious that Bynes is suffering from multiple mental and emotional issues.

Mental Illness And Substance Abuse

In Bynes’ case she seems to be suffering from mental illness and substance abuse issues. She also has publicly admitted to having had an eating disorder. And she also exhibits signs of having body dysmorphic disorder, claiming that she wants to be one hundred pounds at five-feet-eight inches of height.

This is an extremely dangerous combination, and should be taken seriously as life threatening. While Amanda Bynes has become something of a comedic figure in the media, all signs point to her mental and substance abuse issues being very real. In fact, she seems to have replaced Lindsey Lohan as the face of mentally unstable young Hollywood.

Dual Diagnosis

People who suffer from dual diagnosis are harder to treat than others who suffer mainly from one issue. They have higher rates of homelessness and relapse. What is even more alarming is how Amanda Bynes’ behavior has seemed to escalate with the media attention, instead of those close to her staging an intervention. She has been described as “unreachable” by actress Jenny Garth.

Latest Incident 

Amanda Bynes’ latest fiasco has involved being arrested for throwing a bong out of her apartment window. She then claimed that she was only arrested because she was sexually harassed by a police officer. So making false accusations can also be added to her list of questionable behavior. She has repeatedly tweeted this accusation and been egged on by media and fans.

Needs A Break

If Amanda Bynes is ever to emerge from her psychological and substance abuse issues she needs to delete her twitter account. She needs to escape completely from the media glare and enter a rehabilitation facility. There, in a supportive environment, she can address her issues in a holistic fashion. Unfortunately, Bynes seems to be in completely denial about her problems and how she is perceived by the public.

She seems more concerned about being “ugly” and blathering on about her plastic surgery than seeking treatment. She also claims that she has no contact with her parents anymore. It appears that an intervention is the only thing that can save the ex-actress from complete self-destruction.

Ken Seeley is an addiciton expert from his time spent on A&E’s Intervention, learn more about interventions at intervention911.com. Keep up with Ken Seeley by following him on Twitter @KenSeeley.

 

Sir Charles Gets Real with Dangerous Lee: The 3 P’s of Success

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Why are you known as Sir Charles?

When I was recording music more frequently a music producer wanted to create a stage name for me…It stuck…and I never bothered to change it!

Tell us about the 3 P’s of success and how they came about?

After being clean from drugs, and losing my family…I found the transition challenging, then more change came with my first bout of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma…the light came on and I knew I needed to make good use of my remaining days…and that was before the second diagnosis.

I realize that in being clean, I spoke to people all of the time and I enjoyed it.  The good thing was that I was able to remember the conversations being sober.  I became a certified counselor because of my passion, and I knew that dealing with people was part of my purpose.  Hence the 3 P’s were born (Find Your Pleasure, Find Your Passion, & Find Your Purpose).

How did you overcome drug abuse and what drugs did you abuse?

You mean what drugs didn’t I use (LOL)! I went through the ranks from beer, to wine, to a taste of alcohol , to mary jane, to cocaine which was my main thang…why do I feel like I’m about to start singing Rick James…(LOL), but eventually crack which was my greatest loss.  I overcame them easily and strangely.  God convicted me through the eyes of my children.  I could not look at my children anymore…at least not without being riddled with guilt.  That was the first step to me making the change in my life.

What was it like to be married to someone you thought you’d be with forever only to get a divorce?

It was wild because I initiated the marriage.  I thought with a new lease on life I wanted to clear up all matters in my life that had shade.  Once it was clear that I was not going to be with the mother of my children I wanted to move forward.  So, I was told not to make any major decisions during my first year of sobriety…of course I did it anyway. Failing at marriage was horrible for me because with a sober heart and mind I failed before God, and I failed at love…once again.  It takes time to get over this emotional period in life.

You’re a two time Cancer survivor and your story has been added to medical journals. Did you think you were gonna die? How did you survive?

Well technically, we’re all dying, but I know what you mean…I was not afraid and I did not play with the thoughts or words surrounding death.  I felt that this was all purposeful, and when I came through it I just knew it was time to make good use of my days!  I juice, I am even more faithful, I pray and talk to God often…nothing magical…just keeping it real!

Where can we find more about you online?

— ALL OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS (FB, TWITTER, LINKEDIN, WORDPRESS, INSTAGRAM)

Thanks for the opportunity to share with your readers and viewers!  Keep it Dangerous!

http://www.trueality.net/Trueality_Enterprises/Welcome_1.html

Or

http://about.me/sircharlescary

5 Ways To Spot A Drug Addict

A lust for life

Dealing with a drug addiction in any case can be devastating and overwhelming for family, friends and loves ones of anyone who has ever faced a severe dependency on drugs, alcohol or any substance. If you believe that a loved one of yours is struggling with drug addiction, there are a few ways to spot symptoms and to determine whether or not he or she may need assistance with overcoming the abuse. Understanding the various ways of spotting a drug addict can mean the difference between finding your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier and ultimately, happier life.

Withdrawal and Avoidance
When someone is addicted to any type of drug, they may find ways to avoid family and friends to keep from being questioned, criticized or even confronted about their usage. If you notice a loved one has recently stopped seeing his or her family by avoiding them or making excuses to not attend functions and events, this can be a sign of drug addiction along with depression. Many drug addicts create excuses to allow themselves to continue the dangerous patterns and behaviors, often leaving family and friends in the dark about their situation.

Lying
Drug addicts may lie to get out of seeing loved ones or to friends when they are feeling in need of the drugs or substances they frequently use. Lying is a common sign of drug addicts, especially those who also exhibit physical symptoms of drug abuse.

Physical Symptoms
Some physical symptoms that are most common with those who are addicted to drugs include shaking, itching and scratching and even marks between the fingers and toes, especially when using needle-based substances. Some drug addicts may shake and physically scratch themselves when they are no longer in possession of the drug they are addicted to, making it obvious to those around them that they are addicted to a substance. When a drug addict is experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, he or she may also exhibit nausea, excessive sweating and even vomiting while also feeling physical pain depending on the substance that is being used.

Odd Behavior
Additionally, drug addicts may exhibit odd and shady behavior to friends and family members when they are trying to cover up their addiction to drugs, alcohol or any type of pill or substance that they may be abusing. Odd behavior can also include lying, leaving events early or even avoiding loved ones altogether simply to fulfill the drug addict’s feeling of need when it comes to using the drugs or alcohol.

Finding Drugs
If you have found drugs around your home or in spots that are hidden from plain sight, this may be a sign that one of your family members or loved ones is addicted to a drug. Drug addicts often have secret hiding spots to keep their drugs, alcohol or pills out of common view from others to keep from raising suspicion. Drug addicts may hide their drugs between mattresses, above ceiling tiles, in pillows and even under floorboards depending on the severity of their dependence and the type of drug they are abusing. Knowing the hiding spots of the drug addict you are trying to help is one of the first steps to confronting them of the problem to assist them with getting clean for good.

 

Laura Nelson is a substance abuse counselor and contributor at BestRehabCounselingDegrees.com, a site with a wealth of information about online counseling degree programs.

 

Are You A Social Pot User Or A Marijuana Addict?

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“Am I a social pot user or a marijuana addict?” Sound familiar? You are definitely not alone. Weed seems to be the least defined drug, if it is even categorized that way.

One aspect of a substance being dangerous to even experiment with and use recreational is that it can be habit forming. The definition of addiction helps, but we will get to that.

With marijuana, the debate continues: is pot physically addictive the way drugs like heroin and methamphetamine are additive? Is marijuana psychologically addictive? Does it change the user’s brain chemistry? Are you negatively affected by your pot use?

What you need to ask yourself is, how is my marijuana use affecting my life?

The Science of Marijuana author and University of Cambridge in England professor of pharmacology, Leslie L. Iverson, sites that between 10% and 30% of regular marijuana users will develop a dependency on the drug, and only around 9% will develop an addiction to the naturally-growing substance.

So, what constitutes a dependency, and an addiction to marijuana?

For many substances, the presence of withdrawal symptoms when the user stops the drug’s use indicates a physical dependence, and therefore, a possible addiction to the substance. Even top researchers in the field, like Professor Iverson, report that weed does not have withdrawal symptoms that cause much disruption in the user’s life.

Heroin, and other opiate drugs, mainly prescription pills like Vicodin and Percocet, create an intensely painful withdrawal after just a day or two of cessation from the drug. When someone stops marijuana use, irritability and anxiety can occur, but not to the extent that an individual needs to be medically-monitored, as in the case of opiates, and alcohol.

Without withdrawal symptoms, what else can determine the addictive potential of marijuana?

Let’s now explore the definition of addiction, or the factors that indicate an addiction.

First of all, addiction is a progressive disease, so one way to tell if you are a social pot user versus a marijuana addict is: do you smoke a lot more weed now than you did when you first started using? Progressive means that you gradually needed more and more of the substance to experience the same high, or other effects of the drug.

Next, addiction is characterized by:

  1. a loss of control over use
  2. obsession with use
  3. continued use despite adverse consequences
  4. denial that there are problems
  5. a powerful tendency to relapse.

If we take those one by one, you should be able to determine whether your level of marijuana use is social, or that of an addict.

1. A loss of control over use means that you intend on lessening the amount of weed you are going to smoke each day, but it just never seems to happen. You find yourself smoking, even when you don’t really want to, and maybe when you would rather be doing other activities.

2. An obsession with use is happening when you cannot think of anything else other than getting high. Maybe you are in school, or at work, and you cannot concentrate; your mind has become obsessed with the idea of smoking marijuana and nothing else matters in that moment.

3. Have your grades dropped? Have you lost a job, or a friend or family member? Do you have a criminal record because of weed possession? A despite one or more of these negative consequences, do you continue to smoke marijuana?

4. Denial a major problem with addiction. Even when someone who cares about an addict points out that there is clearly a problem with substance abuse, an addict will deny that the drug is having any adverse impact on his or her life.

5. With addiction, and any length of sobriety, there is always a high likelihood for relapse. Have you stopped smoking pot for a period of time, but you find yourself going back to its use each time?

Treatment for social pot use or full-blown marijuana addiction, on any level, is available so that you are not living your life around a drug.

Marissa Maldonado is director of outreach at Sovereign Health dual diagnosis treatment, a center helping people with behavioral health and substance abuse issues.

Drug Abuse Negativity Affects Sexual Performance

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For men and women everywhere, the news that drug abuse negatively affects sexual performance long-term, even after an extended amount of abstinence from the drug or drugs, is attention-catching.

Although previously thought to recover after a length of not using drugs and alcohol, it is now being proven that sexual performance can be impacted for a long time after substance abuse. A study of 905 men included 549 who had been diagnosed as addicted to either alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or several substances at the same time, but who had now been abstinent from all substances for an average of one year. The remaining 356 men were used as the control group.

The results found that the areas of sexual desire, sexual satisfaction, arousal, and orgasm were negatively impacted by the man’s previous substance abuse when compared with the 356 men who had not previously been addicted to drugs or alcohol.

What The Study Revealed:
That study’s implication: substance abuse and addiction at any time in a man’s life will continue having an adverse effect on his sexual performance. The study also explored the impact of each substance on sexual performance. The Journal of Sexual Medicine ran the results of the study, conducted at the University of Granada and Santo Tomas University in Colombia. The use of cocaine or the speed-ball technique, the combination of heroin and cocaine mixed together and injected as a single shot, was shown to greatly affect sexual pleasure possibilities while only slightly affecting sexual desire. During high use times, cocaine abusers and addicts actually have heightened sexual desire.

Sexual arousal is shown to be most affected by the use of, abuse of, and addiction to alcohol, and the ability to orgasm is most impaired by cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and speed-ball abuse. Mainly drugs that have an effect on serotonin production, release, and re uptake influence the four areas of sexual performance. Prescription drugs, and more specifically antidepressants, that work by increasing the level of serotonin in the body and brain, mimic the part of you that would naturally realize that it needs to release more serotonin. For whatever the reason at the time, the body or brain feels that an event in your life is in need of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, so the supply of the chemical is increased and you feel better. Your mood improves.

Drugs & Serotonin:
The same thing happens when you take a drug that does what the body and brain can normally do on its own. When there is a false, unnatural chemical tells your system to up the amount of serotonin available to you, the natural system does not know when it is needed. A break in this system causes the user to feel that only the drug that has been triggering the serotonin release can make them happy, and make them feel good. Without, it the individual’s mood feels extra low.

As the prescription drug, illegal drug, or alcohol elevates the user’s mood, its effects also seem to be triggering, or stimulating, other neurotransmitter receptors that cause a decrease in the libido, or sex drive, of that same user. So, not only is sexual performance at the time of intoxication impaired, but we now know that many areas of healthy sexual functioning are forever negatively influenced by drug and alcohol abuse.

Increased Desire:

It seems common knowledge that at the time of alcohol intoxication, or during a high from drug use, sexual desire is heightened. Drugs like ecstasy and cocaine are notorious for having an aphrodisiac impact, but now the very appeal of the drug is what will negatively affect sexual performance in the long-run.

What does this mean for the millions of men and women who have used and abused drugs and alcohol at some point in their lives? What can be done?

The 4 Funniest Anti-Marijuana Propaganda Campaigns

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There have been many propaganda campaigns launched against marijuana in recent years. Many of these, including some that have been financed by the federal government, have been hopelessly naïve. Conservatives who have long griped about marijuana as a gateway drug have been reduced to twisting the facts in their favor. In fact, men and women who engage in soft recreational drug use to relax or to help with chronic health conditions will quickly find that there are many myths in circulation. Below, for your reading pleasure, are the four funniest anti-marijuana propaganda campaigns ever brought forth into the public eye.

Marijuana Will Make People Pregnant

Probably one of the most perverse ideas is the belief that smoking too much marijuana will inevitably lead the women and girls of the nation to become pregnant. This is a conservative viewpoint that also speaks to an unease with the human body in general. If, conservatives feel, can just point out that using marijuana will lead to unprotected sex and unwanted babies, then it might be possible for their campaign to actually change public opinion. Marijuana, however, has a quite different effect on the brain. Men and women who use it can still make good decisions. The individuals who organize such campaigns are perhaps getting the leafy plant confused with alcohol.

Marijuana is Incredibly Addictive

This myth is funny simply for the outlandishness of the claim itself. Many people have given life to the belief that the substance is more addictive that nicotine, caffeine, or any other drug. The opposite, as has been shown by many different medical researchers, is true. In effect, men and women will have a much harder time getting themselves off cigarettes than they will getting themselves off marijuana. Most of the harder drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, are also far tougher to kick. Individuals who engage in such propaganda are almost always adhering to a moral agenda.

Marijuana Does Not Have Any Beneficial Medicinal Properties

This widely held belief is also something that is completely wrong. The propagandists typically want people to believe that the plant is entirely toxic to one’s health. Marijuana can actually help people who are suffering from a number of health issues. The pain that is associated with glaucoma, cancer, and heart disease can all be alleviated by a little bit of weed. Conservative individuals, who wish to ban any substance that induces the slightest bit of ecstasy, have committed themselves to this myth. They appear on radio shows, talk shows, and other media outlets to push their agenda. The idea that marijuana is completely and totally bad for the body can even be found on billboards.

Marijuana Can Cause Insanity

This is likely to go down in history as the craziest of all anti-drug campaigns. It has been put forth in some circles that marijuana, when smoked for a long period of time, can cause people to go insane. There is no evidence of this in the medical literature, but the claim is repeated often by individuals who would like to condemn everyone else in the country to a cold and pious existence. Though marijuana can certainly send waves of pleasure through the brain, the plant will not induce schizophrenia, psychopathy, or any other kind of break with reality.

In the end, the above campaigns show that some people will go to great lengths to prevent others from having a decent time. Each of the propaganda campaigns discussed here is based not on facts but on agendas. Most people will quickly recognize the falsehoods that are being propagated.

 

Author Byline: Jane Bowen has been a substance abuse counselor for over 8 years and has never treated a client for solely marijuana. She has also contributed to How To Become A Substance Abuse Counselor for people who are interested in helping others with addiction problems.

Infographic: The Science of Getting Drunk

When a person has a few drinks, there is actually a lot of science that goes into that wobbly or funny feeling. The body is processing the alcohol and a lot of different body parts take part in the science of getting drunk. There are a variety of things happening in the brain that help to do things such as limit one’s inhibitions, cause slurred speech and cause feelings of pleasure.

The alcohol finds its way into the bloodstream and then needs to be processed out of the body. The kidneys have a good deal of work to do since alcohol does not easy pass through the body. Alcohol will dehydrate a person. This is what causes a person to get a headache and not feel good the next day.

A person does not have to know the science behind getting drunk or tipsy. Just know that there are a lot of valid and scientific reasons behind the tipsy feeling, the loss of inhibitions and the sick feelings the next day.

Source: becomecareer.com

Infographic: Biology of a Hangover

This infographic explains what your body experiences while being hungover after a long night of drinking. Everyone knows how awful it can be to be extremely hungover after a long night of drinking.  This graphic will help you understand what begins to happen in your body while you are drinking.  It explains how you become dehydrated because the alcohol causes your body to expel water rather than absorb it.  You will also learn about the common symptoms that are associated with being hungover such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, trembling, nausea, fatigue, increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and weakess.  There is also a breakdown of alcohol consumers and the percentages associated with how many times they experience a hangover. Then to wrap it all up, a few prevention methods are outlined as well as remedies to cure your hangover after you’ve already made some poor decisions. 

Infographic Provided By: Medical Insurance.org

 

Solo Parenting: Knight in Tarnished Armor

The old “knight in shining armor” concept is, thankfully, not alive and well. Few women today have quite the same fantasy as in previous times. Yet certainly women hope their husbands will be loyal, faithful, kind, caring, responsible, reliable, and a slew of other positive adjectives.

Too often, unfortunately, the reality is something else again. The husband turns out to be a “knight in tarnished armor,” and the result is a divorce.

It may be that the wife asks for the divorce because the husband has turned out to be such a disappointment. It may be that the husband’s main area of disappointment for the wife is that he is the one who asked for a divorce. (Often this is because there is another woman in the picture. Husbands are less likely to “walk” because of sheer disappointment, absent another love interest, than are wives.)

While the majority of divorces are not of the knuckles-fangs-and-claws variety, neither are the majority of the super-amicable sort, either. Most fall somewhere in between, with a fair degree of, if not enmity, at least animosity. Hard feelings. Anger. Resentment.

The problem starts when—as is so often the case—there are children involved. As a divorced mom, you know what I’m talking about.

Yes, your ex disappointed you…either by not being what you hoped and wanted him to be, or by leaving you. But that doesn’t give you license to tell your kids he’s a son-of-a-bitch. He’s still their dad. He may be a “knight in tarnished armor,” but you can’t go telling your kids that you and Daddy got divorced because Daddy is a baddie.

What if he really is a “bad guy”?

Suppose, however, that (and this won’t apply to most of you, but it will apply to some) he has a serious problem? A run-in with the law. A drug problem. What do you tell your kids then?

If he did something illegal for which the law caught up with him, tell the kids that Daddy did something wrong, for which he is being punished by the government, just as they, the kids, get punished when they misbehave. Unless they’re teenagers, if they ask what he did, you can say it was “grownup stuff” and doesn’t have anything to do with what kind of father he is. If they’re teenagers, and his transgression is common knowledge around the community, they’re going to hear about it anyhow, especially if you live in a small town, so some degree of candor may be called for.

If he has a substance abuse issue, you can tell them that he has an illness that makes him do bad things, and that for their own safety, as well as yours, you thought it was best if he didn’t live with you anymore. If he is in treatment for his problem, by all means tell them that he is getting help for his problem, that you don’t feel comfortable being married to him anymore, but that that’s no reason for them to love him any the less, as he surely still loves them.

If he’s merely a disappointment

Suppose, though, that like the majority of divorced dads, he’s neither a criminal nor a substance abuser. His only “crime” was not being the husband you wanted him to be…or leaving you for another woman, or for some other reason. In that case, don’t speak ill of him to the kids. He’s still their father. He may not have been the husband you wanted. He may not even have been the dad you’d hoped he’d be…but your kids will figure that out on their own when they get older, if they’re not teens already. You can tell them it’s a grown-up problem. You can tell them it’s between you and him. But reassure them that it has nothing to do with what kind of a father he is to them. Make them understand that he’s still their dad, that his failings as a husband have no bearing on his abilities or qualities as a father, that it’s fine and good and right that they still love him, even though you no longer do. That it’s not a question of, “Whom do you love: him or me?”

This isn’t a popularity contest. This isn’t a tug-o’-war. The kids can love both of you. And they should. So ease off. No, he didn’t turn out to be your knight in shining armor—or any semblance of the husband you wanted him to be. But he’s still their dad. And unless he really is an unmitigated son-of-a-bitch—and few exes are—he deserves to retain the love and respect of his kids…no matter how he hurt you or let you down.

Otherwise you’re not only hurting him; you’re hurting your kids, too. And you don’t want to do that, do you?

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