Know More: Teenage Prescription Drug Abuse

There is a reason why people have to take prescription drugs under the supervision and direction of their doctors. If these drugs are not used properly or as intended, they could be dangerous. Many parents will be surprised to learn that teenage prescription drug abuse is quite prevalent and this type of abuse is as dangerous as abusing illicit drugs. Abusing prescription drugs can result in short- as well as long-term health problems.

Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 2,000 teens in the U.S. abuse prescription drugs. A survey conducted by Monitoring the Future found that prescription drugs along with over-the-counter drugs are commonly abused by students in the 12th grade. And, past experiences and surveys suggest that teenagers who abuse prescription drugs are more likely to use other illicit drugs.

How Do Teens Get Prescription Drugs?
Teens, who abuse prescription medications, often get them from their family members and friends. This often occurs without the knowledge of the person using the prescription drug. A survey conducted by Monitoring the Future in 2012 reports that nearly 50 percent of high school seniors surveyed claimed that they could get opoid drugs very easily. This should show you that if teenagers want, they will be able to lay their hands on prescription drugs fairly easily.

Reasons for Prescription Drug Abuse Amongst Teens
Some may want to use the drugs to get high, others to reduce physical pain. There are still others, who believe that prescription drugs will help them perform better at school. It has been found that teenage boys and girls abuse certain types of prescription drugs for varying reasons. For instance, most teenage boys abuse prescription drugs to get high, while teenager girls use them to lose weight or remain alert.

Why Pharmacy Shopping Is to Blame for Painkiller Overdoses

Pharmacy shopping has become increasingly popular with individuals who abuse painkillers. It is now considered to be one of the leading causes of painkiller overdoses. Much like doctor shopping, where people visit as many doctors as possible to get prescriptions for painkillers and other medications, people who pharmacy shop frequent several pharmacies to get them filled without being detected. Opiates rehab facilities are seeing more and more cases where pharmacy shopping has played a role in the person’s addiction.

  1. Too Many Prescriptions
    Painkiller overdoses often occur because the person is able to fill more prescriptions than they should. They get the additional prescriptions by visiting several doctors with the same complaints. The doctors write prescriptions for the medications they believe the person needs. Once the prescriptions are written, the person must then shop several pharmacies to get each one filled. Opiates rehab facilities often have patients who receive several prescriptions for the same medications on a regular basis.

  2. Forged Prescriptions
    If a person cannot get a doctor to write a prescription, they may attempt to steal a prescription pad and write them on their own. Opiates rehab facilities often report that addicts will take extreme measures to get the drugs they want, including stealing prescription pads and forging the doctor’s signature.

  3. Stopping Pharmacy Shoppers
    Stopping pharmacy shoppers can be difficult for several reasons. In most cases, pharmacies only share information between one another if they are part of the same franchise. Medicaid and Medicare share information but often there is a time delay when it comes to be recorded into the system. In order to effectively stop pharmacy shoppers, protocols need to be put into place that will help both pharmacies and doctors identify individuals who are commonly seen purchasing the same prescription pain medications.

New Drug Test for Cocaine Uses Fingerprint Technology

Drug testing for cocaine use in the future may replace hair, blood and urine sampling with fingerprint analysis. In the past similar tests have been used by law enforcement, but officials could only determine if a suspect handled cocaine, not if they ingested it. European scientists, however, have now developed a way to instantly tell if someone has consumed the drug. This test will be useful for officials who investigate pushers of the drug and rehab patients who are unable to kick this dangerous addiction.

Why Old Testing Methods Don’t Work
Testing a suspect’s urine is not always practical, as it does not always produce definitive results. Researchers of the drug and rehab officials have suggested that cocaine affects each individual differently without generating clear conclusions while taxpayers end up paying for this expense. May times it requires expert analysts at high costs to make accurate determinations. In terms of urine testing, biological hazards can occur when researchers handle bodily fluids.

As drug testing started to become widespread, particularly among employers in the 1990s, drug users found ways to beat these tests. They would first give themselves preliminary tests after using a detoxification product. While there were four main tests that became common (urine, hair, saliva, blood), urine tests were the most popular due to being the cheapest. Yet, urine tests were the easiest to beat. Users simply would abstain for 48 hours.

Factors that affected cocaine detection included frequency of use, metabolic rate, body mass, physical activity, age and health. Hair tests were the hardest to beat because traces of the drug could be identified in the hair over a 90 day time frame. Drug and rehab experts sometimes were misled with false positive cocaine tests if the subject had ingested certain substances such as coca leaves, coca oil, coca tea or tonic water.

Invasive Issues
Many people, even those who never use illegal narcotics, feel that traditional drug testing methods are invasive and violate a person’s right to privacy. Asking for hair, urine and saliva samples can be embarrassing for certain people, especially those wrongly accused of drug abuse. The concept of fingerprint testing is not as invasive as only a minimal area of the fingers are used for testing.

New Technology
A team of scientists from five institutions recently discovered more reliable methods to test for cocaine use. Those institutions include:

  • University of Surrey
  • Netherlands Forensic Institute
  • National Physical Laboratory in the UK
  • King’s College London
  • Sheffield Hallam University

According to study leader Dr. Melanie Bailey from the University of Surrey, scientists are only bound by the size of this technology. She expects researchers to miniaturize the technology to make it portable. She believes it will help protect the public while providing a safer test for subjects, eliminating the need for blood tests.

Mass Spectrometry
Law enforcement officers can now test individuals for cocaine use in a non-evasive way through a process called mass spectrometry. This new drug testing method involves an analysis of chemical compounds in the suspect’s fingertips. Officials look for two unique compounds found in fingertips when someone has consumed cocaine: benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine. The former is a compound that results from the body metabolizing cocaine while the latter is a cocoa plant byproduct.

Electrospray Ionization
The technique of determining whether benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine are present in a suspect’s fingertips is called electrospray ionization. It involves spraying a special solvent on a slide consisting of the person’s fingerprints. This technique has been used in the past for forensic investigations, but only recently has it become used by law enforcement for drug testing.

Why Fingerprint Method is Useful

  • safer than handling bodily fluids
  • cheaper than traditional drug testing
  • electrospray eliminates storage and disposal costs
  • the test cannot be faked
  • results immediately reveal if a suspect has used cocaine
  • at the same it verifies an individual’s identity

Future Availability
Fingerprint drug testing is not yet available for organizations to use to test individuals for drug abuse. Researchers believe, however, this new drug testing technology may be unleashed to the public within the next ten years. Some drug and rehab experts are already preparing for this new technology by researching how to develop cost effective portable kits.

Physical, Mental Illness Coexists in A Third of U.S. Teens

Substance abuse is seen as a major issue among teens in the United States. However, there is another issue that is just as alarming. A new study shows that 33 percent of teens between 13 and 18 years old suffer from both physical and mental illness. The study was conducted at the University of Basel. Some of these disorders were linked with specific medical conditions. For example, eating disorders were most likely associated with seizure and anxiety disorders, heart disease, and arthritis. Depression for example, occurs more often with digestive disorders. These are other factors to consider before you or someone you know thinks about attending substance abuse rehab.

The correct term for having both illnesses is called co-occurrence, which simply means having two conditions at the same time. The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests that half of people with severe mental disorders also have substance abuse issues. In regards to the total number of people diagnosed with a mental condition, almost 30% are using drugs or alcohol. These are issues to consider before heading to substance abuse rehab. The data suggests that mental disorders and physical diseases often co-occur in childhood.

These disorders are a tough challenge for global health care systems and as such, are gaining focus worldwide by government health authorities. Doctors recommend that the treatment of the physical and mental conditions should take into account the other. This would help treat the children better during their stay in substance abuse rehab. This would greatly impact the health care system as well.

How Addiction Treatment Has Ushered in a Third Wave

Harm Reduction Therapy uses many of the same concepts as other substance abuse treatment plans. HRT is part of a program known as the Third Wave. This substance abuse treatment program and the methods it uses work to effectively curtail substance abuse.

Harm Reduction
The Harm Reduction program focuses on healing outside of the criminal justice system. It works by using whatever health-based methods necessary to reduce the harm caused by the drug addiction.

Anyone who seeks treatment under this program can receive it, no matter what stage of addiction they may be involved in. Treatment can range according to the exact needs of the patient.

Psychotherapeutic and psychological approaches are used to reduce the amount of harm an individual can cause to themselves and others.

Third Wave Concepts
Following the Moral and Disease Models, the Third Wave offers a new approach to the treatment of drug abuse. Both models prior to the Third Wave had shortcomings that eventually undermined their success.

The new model picks up where others have left off, and focuses more on the health of the individual rather than treating a disease that is already present. Instead, the ‘Third Wave’ works to prevent the disease-mentality from taking over.

Successful Lifestyle Changes
Being proactive and making positive lifestyle changes that promote good health aim to help the person overcome feelings and physical problems associated with addiction.

The Third Wave concepts provide useful tools to regaining both physical and mental health, as well as helping the person stay on the path to good health.

National Drug Facts Week: Engaging People to Empower Life

Just right around the corner is National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, which helps promote better education on drug abuse and addiction among teens and how a community as a whole can prevent future drug abuse or addiction

When It Starts
Starting on January 26 and running until February 2, National Drug Facts Week holds various events throughout the United States with scientific experts reaching out to teenagers on the effects of drug abuse. This is a great opportunity for teens, and even adults, to learn more about the myths surrounding drugs and how they directly damage the brain and motor functions.

The Effect of Addiction
Drug addiction, whether it happens to be marijuana or alcohol abuse, directly alters the brain and how it is able to function. This can lead to nerve damage, memory loss, loss of certain motor functions, or even fatal reactions to the brain if treatment isn’t sought out.

What National Drug Facts Week Can Do
This is especially troublesome among teens, who are at higher risk of drug addiction and have a higher chance of brain damage because of drug use compared to adults. With National Drug Facts Week fast approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to seek out help right now with any troubled loved ones who are suffering from addiction and need to get better.

The first step to recovery is recognizing the addiction and then taking the necessary plan of action to be admitted into rehab in order to get better. Being surrounded by loved ones and the right kind of education can help during this recovery process and ensure that relapse doesn’t happen afterward and only the right information is known.

Newborn’s Cry Can Unmask Prenatal Drug Abuse: Study Finds

Researchers from University of North Carolina School of Medicine have made an amazing discovery about a newborn’s cry. According to the lead researcher, Dr. Philip Sanford Zeskind, he and his team of researchers have found a method to find out whether a newborn baby suffers from complications of the nervous system due to prenatal drug. If this new method can be used in mainstream medicine, it definitely will revolutionize pediatric and neonatal medicine.

Understanding Hyphenation
Newborn babies have a very distinctive way of crying. Babies that have been exposed to prenatal drug abuse, namely cocaine, have a high pitched tone in their cry. This cry is known as hyphenation and the researchers believe it indicates the damage suffered by the nervous system due to the abuse.

Researchers found that the pitch in the cry among babies exposed to drugs during their mothers’ pregnancy was similar to rat babies that also had been exposed to prenatal drugs.

Why Is It Revolutionary?
Previously, doctors were unable to find out the damage newborn babies’ nervous systems sustained due to drug exposure during pregnancy. The damage was only discovered later in the babies’ lives. However, this new method of finding the damage is worth delving on.

Since in laboratory settings, rat babies have the same high pitch tone in their cries, research can use translational analyses to find out the effect on drug abuse has on limbic mechanism of the brain. Humans and mammals, including rats, have similar mechanisms and this will make it easy for researchers to find the changes or effects on the limbic-mechanism. Based on the changes, treatment methods can be devised to treat or possibly reverse the damage.

Babies do cry and cry a lot. Who would have thought the pitch in their cries could help researchers decipher the depth of prenatal drug abuse by their moms?

Why P. S. Hoffman’s Death Knocked the Mass So Hard

Philip Seymour Hoffman began struggling with addiction at a young age. He achieved sobriety at 22 and didn’t drink or use drugs for the next 23 years of his life. During those two decades, he won an Academy Award and was nominated for three more Academy Awards. He also fathered three children. In 2012, he began abusing prescription pain medication. Just two years later, he was found dead on his bathroom floor.

The police unearthed almost 50 envelopes labeled “Ace of Spades” in Hoffman’s apartment. They believe that they contained heroin. The police also found prescription drugs, used syringes, and empty bags. Hoffman was expected to pick up his children that day but didn’t show up. Several hours later, two friends found him dead in his New York apartment.

When Hoffman was discovered, he had a syringe in his left arm. His death is due to a severe mixed drug intoxication that included amphetamine, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and heroin. Many addicts make it a habit to mix drugs. When the behavior is common, a person may not feel the full effect of the narcotics, even though they’re still suppressing the respiratory system.

The practice of mixing drugs is known as stacking. Addicts run into trouble when they stack a mix of drugs, one or top of the other, or stack doses of the same drug too close together. While the drugs don’t affect the addict, they still compromise breathing, which becomes dangerous very quickly.

It’s impossible to know what drove Hoffman to start using drugs and alcohol even after treatment for so many years. However, it is now clear that once he started using, he wasn’t going to be able to get himself out from under the addiction a second time.

Instagram: The Latest Virtual Market for Drugs

The drug dealing of today is drastically different compared to the past, and can be near impossible to trace if you aren’t sure where to look or know about the latest trends. Fortunately, the “secrets” of new drug dealing have been cracked, so you can help any of your loved ones with addiction to quicker recovery. So, which is the place where drug dealers are flocking to? The answer is definitely going to surprise you, because it’s a social networking app used by millions of people everyday: Instagram.

Drugs & Social Networks

The photo sharing app, which was bought out recently by social networking giant Facebook, allows users to share all sorts of pictures to the public if the user so chooses (they can also opt for a private account). Instagram also has a growing e-commerce community, which has also included the selling of hard drugs unfortunately. The company has been rather quiet on their policies about this as, and hasn’t tried to actively shut down drug selling accounts or have the dealers behind the accounts arrested.

Without any intervention, this can be a problem. Most of the demographic for Instagram are teenagers. They can easily search for accounts that sell hard drugs/prescription pills, and buy these items without parents or family knowing. But the path of recovery is always full of learning and discovery. Finding the means in which addicts find their drugs and taking them out of the picture is part of the recovery process. It means empowering those suffering from addiction.

OxyContin Addiction: Key Signs and Treatment Options

OxyContin is an opiate based painkiller that physicians prescribe to patients who are suffering from severe pain as a result of illness, injury, or surgery recovery. OxyContin addiction is one of the most rapidly growing drug problems in the United States. Due to its addictive, intense nature, OxyContin causes many people to lose everything in their lives from close relationships to jobs.

Addictive nature
The inherent opiate quality of OxyContin makes it addictive, even when taken in regular doses. However, when people abuse it, such as snorting it, crushing it, or mixing it with a liquid and injecting it, the drugs become extremely dangerous. Taking an entire dosage in a single sitting can lead to a host of serious issues, and under the wrong circumstances, even death.

Signs and symptoms
For many people, OxyContin creates an overwhelming sense of euphoria. Over time, the body adapts to the effects of the drug and develops a tolerance. This means that when someone quits taking it suddenly, there are likely to be severe withdrawal symptoms. OxyContin has a wide range of physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms from behaving secretively to experiencing frequent mood changes to having a lack of concentration with routine tasks at work or at home.

Treatment options
The best tactic for OxyContin rehab is a combination of behavioral, psycho-therapeutic, and pharmaceutical approaches. Most families choose to intervene with an addict in a non-formal, pre-planned intervention meeting. This meeting makes the addict aware of the negative consequences of long term OxyContin abuse and broaches the possibility of OxyContin rehab.

New Horizon Recovery is here to help take you out of OxyContin addiction. We begin the process of OxyContin rehab with physical detoxification, which is safest when done under the presence of an experienced doctor. Reach out to us today at 760.805.4015.