Signs Your Child is Using Drugs

79167651When adolescents are using drugs they usually go to great lengths to hide it from their families. But there are always signs that give it away.

The Health, Behavioral and Psychological Indicators of Drug Abuse

If your instincts tells you something is going on with your son or daughter it probably is. But it may not have anything to do with drugs or alcohol, which is why you have to be very careful before jumping to conclusions or making accusations.

This list isn’t intended to be complete and definitive. However, these are some of the surest indicators of drug abuse and they are signs that you as a mom or dad cannot afford to ignore.

       Health-Related Indicators

  • Nighttime insomnia combined with frequent daytime naps.
  • Bad breath or unexplained chemical-like odors on clothing.
  • Neglect of normal grooming practices.
  • Bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils.
  • Frequent injuries or bruises that he or she can’t or won’t explain.
  • A loss of motor skills plus shakes, tremors or incoherent speech.
  • Sudden weight gain or loss.

       Behavioral Indicators

  • Rapid decline in academic performance, revealed by poor grades or reports of missed classes or school days.
  • Old friends replaced by new ones that parents have never met (and introductions are not forthcoming).
  • Missing money, valuable items or prescription pills, all of which your child had access to.
  • Loss of interest in treasured hobbies, sports or other extracurricular activities at school.
  • Secretive behavior, locked doors and excessive demands for privacy.
  • Frequently getting into fights or arguments with friends, teachers or family members.
  • A sudden affection for incense, perfume, air freshener or other odor-masking agents.

       Psychological Indicators

  • Sudden mood swings occurring on a daily basis.
  • Memory loss or difficulty in concentrating.
  • Hyperactivity or agitation without apparent cause.
  • Loss of motivation and drive along with other signs of depression.
  • Unpleasant personality changes, such as short-temperedness, defensiveness or paranoia.

One or two of these symptoms may not be cause for worry. But if several apply to your child substance abuse could very well be the problem.

The Threat is Real, Take it Seriously

All parents have a healthy fear of drugs. We know the damage they can cause in our kids’ lives, but no matter how hard we try to protect our children we know drugs are everywhere and that young people will be tempted to experiment.

So it is better to keep your eyes open and stay alert at all times, and if you do see signs of drug abuse you need to sit down and talk to your son or daughter right away. These conversations can be difficult but they are essential and it is your responsibility as a parent not to turn a blind eye to the truth.

Follow our blog for more insights and advice about substance abuse and behavioral health.

 

 

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Understanding Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

458892257Small lapses of judgment can snowball into life-altering problems. Alcoholism and drug addiction are perfect examples of this stealth dynamic in action, and the subtle nature of the decline they precipitate makes it hard for people with substance abuse disorders to accurately perceive what is happening.

Choosing to drink or take drugs will not automatically lead to addiction. But addiction almost always leads to denial and rationalization, and that is as much a part of this disease as the physical dependency that defines it.

Your willingness to consider the possibility you might have a substance abuse disorder is a positive sign. But unless you understand how addiction distorts your perception you may never be able to face the truth about your plight.

The natural tendency of drug addicts and alcoholics who reflect on their substance abuse is to avoid a full and honest self-appraisal, leading them to underestimate how far down the rabbit hole of dependency they’ve actually fallen.

The best way to ensure your process of self-analysis stays on track is to educate yourself about the symptoms of alcoholism and drug addiction. Not just the physical symptoms but the emotional and psychological mind tricks substance abuse problems play, which can make it difficult to detect addiction from a first-person perspective.

Here are some common warning signs that might indicate your drug or alcohol habit has gotten out of control:

  • You need to drink more or take larger quantities of drugs to get the same effects.
  • You drink or take drugs every day, or always return to alcohol or drugs again after brief periods of sobriety.
  • You’ve started telling “little white lies” to the people you love, most of which revolve around your drinking or drugging.
  • Guilt and shame have become your constant companions, even though you’re not always sure what you’re feeling guilty or ashamed about.
  • In conversations about your behavior you frequently find yourself on the defensive (even in instances where your substance abuse isn’t brought up during the discussion).
  • You’ve gotten into the habit of using drugs or alcohol for mood alteration or enhancement (you can’t relax, have fun or feel comfortable in social situations without it, to give some examples).
  • You’re experiencing more of the troubling mood swings that helped push you toward drugs or alcohol in the first place.
  • Your physical health has started to decline.
  • Your family and friends are worried and they’ve been telling you about it.
  • The real-life consequences of your drinking and drug use have become impossible to ignore (financial troubles, relationship problems, declining performance on the job, etc.).
  • Your internal dialogues are loaded with rationalizations, as you’ve begun making just as many excuses to yourself as you’ve been making to others.

Generally speaking, the more of these symptoms you manifest the worse your substance abuse problem is likely to be.

With Eyes Wide Open, There is Hope

Alcoholism and drug abuse affect the mind, body and spirit. They sneak up on you and catch you by surprise, changing your entire life day-by-day until their ravages are undeniable. You have to notice what drugs or alcohol are doing to your life before you can do anything about them, and that means learning to recognize the warning signs of addiction while there is still time to make a change.

Follow our blog at A Calming Tide for more valuable information about substance abuse and strategies to overcome it.

Social Anxiety and Drug Use

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Many people resort to drugs to break out of their shell or prove some kind of point to society. Over the years, researchers and therapists have established a link between social anxiety and drug use. In theory, initial drug use may be completely unrelated to social anxiety. This proposition could lead into better methods of treatment.

Need to Fit in

One of the basic emotional needs is acceptance; people need to feel loved and accepted by others. If this desire is unfulfilled, it could lead to anxiety and drug use. A study conducted on about 200 adolescent who had sought addiction treatment identified issues with fitting in. The teens seemed to respond well to activities which alleviated social anxiety.

About half of them experienced some sort of social anxiety, with about 15% showing a disorder. The latter were noted to have started exhibiting symptoms of the disorder about two years before they began to use drugs. The study stated that the participants used alcohol and drugs because they provided an outlet to release anxiety. Using these substances helped them take their minds of worries about not fitting in.

After sobering up, the anxiety returned, thus causing the teens to return to using alcohol and drugs. This trend continued and matured into addition. Treating anxiety could thus be an effective solution.

Further Analysis

The next part of the study involved teens who attended AA meetings. It was observed that this particular group made a better recovery after they were treated. The likelihood of relapsing after completing treatment among them was about 50% less.

Social activities were found to be beneficial for young people experiencing social anxiety. In addition to reducing worries about fitting in, it encouraged them to be more friendly, welcoming and outgoing. This goes to restoring a sense of belonging and self-confidence.

Implications

The study revealed that those who didn’t show up for meetings stood a higher chance of relapsing. It would thus be helpful for drug and substance abusers to not only show up for meetings, but also be actively involved. The risk of relapse is usually higher within the first 6 months of completing treatment.

Teens should be observed to see if they’re socially anxious. Involving youths prone to addition in activities that deal with the symptoms reduces the likelihood of them resorting to drugs. Those already suffering from addiction due to social anxiety are advised to seek immediate treatment.

Follow us for more articles on drugs, alcohol, behavioral topics and more.

Teens’ Access To Drugs And Alcohol Increasing

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According a recent study, teenagers can now access prescription drugs, alcohol and marijuana much faster and easily than they did last year. Fortunately, easy access does not directly translate to increased drug abuse cases. For instance, marijuana use has been declining over the last few years. This paradox has raised serious questions about what drives teenagers to abuse controlled substances.

The findings of the study were recently released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance abuse, commonly referred to as CASA. The report raised nationwide concern as it was released at a time when more teenagers in the country are abusing prescription drugs than most controlled substances, except inhalants and marijuana.

A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource is meant to shed some light on some of these substance abuse trends. We understand that substance abuse is a bigger problem now than ever before since kids do not need to find a drug dealer to get their daily dose. All they have to do is open their parent’s medicine cabinet and take as many pills as possible.

According to the study, 23% of teens aged between 12 and 17 years said they could get their hands on marijuana in less than one hour. 42% of them claimed they could get marijuana within 24 hours. These figures are considerably larger than figures obtained from studies in 2007.

While these figures may be scary, there is some good news – marijuana use by teens is falling steadily. Some studies we have looked at indicate teens are using 25% less marijuana than they did less than a decade ago. Unfortunately, usage of prescription drugs has not changed much. Since 2005, the number of teens using prescription drugs has remained at 1 in 5, still a troubling figure. Our experience with teenage drug abuse is that most parents are passive pushers. This is because many homes do not have locks on the medicine cabinet.

One of the main factors affecting drug use by teens is attitudes and perceptions. Before 2001, ecstasy was viewed by teens as a safe drug to get high on, which made it incredibly popular with teens. However, usage declined drastically once ecstasy was linked to several deaths.

Follow us for more articles on drug, alcohol, addiction and recovery.

See Just How Beneficial Luxury Rehabs Are For Successfully Treating Addiction

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We at A Calming Tide have long touted the benefits of drug and alcohol rehab programs for addicts — no matter whether it be a local outpatient program, a clinical inpatient rehab, or even a luxury rehab. Getting help in some way is the most important thing, and where you get help from has long been secondary. That being said, a recent article we read in Vanity Fair Magazine really made us go back and visit the subject of luxury rehabs, and why they are so often successful at treating those with addictions, and providing a long-term recovery solution.

This recent article focused on one rehab in particular — The Dunes in East Hampton. Sure, the facility is in a luxurious residential home in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the country; but the opulence of the grounds aside, it was there approach that really stands out.

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From the very beginning of the article, and the interview with owner Joe McKinsey, it is evident that the success this recover facility and program has endured is more attributed to the caring nature of the staff, and dedication to recovery and sobriety, rather than the rich appointments on the grounds.

The Dunes is much more than just a business that is looking to provide run-of-the-mill care for a large sum of money or insurance payment. The staff is truly looking to provide those in recovery with an environment where they can learn how to integrate sobriety into every aspect of their personal lives. The 7,400-square-foot home on four acres of beautiful property is the perfect setting for recovering addicts to relax, reassess their day-to-day lives, and to formulate a plan for long-term sobriety.

To quote owner Joe McKinsey:

“Their [addicts] lives have become really small as addicts, whether they live on a park bench or on Park Avenue. We try to expand that.”

Read The Full Article In Vanity Fair Magazine Below:

The Dunes East Hampton: What Life in a $75,000-per-Month Hamptons Rehab Looks Like

Genetically Modified Yeast Could Be Used To Home-Brew Opiates

Home-brew opiates could soon be a thing, thanks to genetically modified strains of yeast. Engineered by scientists in Canada and California, the yeast feasts on sugar to produce opiates, the critical ingredient in pain medication such as morphine. This development is a coup for drug companies and scientists who currently rely on extracting drugs such as codeine and morphine directly prom poppy and other plants, a process that is both expensive and harmful to health.

The discovery could mean more affordable medications because biochemists will not have to wait for months for poppy fields to grow. Rather, they will have the ability to brew large quantities of pure opiates overnight. However, in the wrong hands, it could have dangerous consequences. Dodgy individuals, most without any biology knowledge, may start making dangerous drugs at home the same way people brew beer at home.

Producing the same opiates poppy plants do is a fascinating prospect from a pharmaceutical perspective. Cultivating yeast is a lot simpler than growing fields of poppy plants. In addition, home–brew opiates have more potential to be engineered for specific medical purposes. It is difficult to subtract or add genes into a plant. By changing certain genes in yeast and adding different DNA, the yeast can double every two hours, which is why scientists are so excited about this new development.

To imagine how researchers moved the process of making opiates from poppies to yeast, picture a 15–step staircase. Glucose sits at the bottom, while codeine, morphine, and other benzylisoquinoline alkaloids fill the top level. At each step, a different enzyme turns the glucose into a new, more complex structure. Scientists used yeast for the final steps to fabricate the compounds created at the previous steps into opiates. This new discovery will allow scientists to build strains of yeast that could take glucose and produce reticuline, the chemical predecessor for all benzylisoquinoline alkaloids.

Because of the potential dangers of home-brew opiates, there should be an independent discussion on how to prevent or regulate illicit use.

A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource offers important information about substance abuse and addiction, as well as ways of dealing with addiction. We take pride in helping people overcome addiction in order to live meaningful and productive lives. Follow Us For More on Addiction, Treatment, and Behavioral Health.

Understanding The Effetcs/Dangers Of Xanax Overdoses

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Xanax basically works through suppressing the human central nervous system. It causes a sleepy and relaxed state among the user. Based on this, Xanax has been used to deal with a number of anxiety issues. The biggest challenge with using Xanax is basically related to its addictive nature. Generally, a prescription of Xanax should not last for more than eight weeks. Longer prescriptions can lead to addiction which at some point may cause Xanax overdose.

The dangers of Xanax Overdose

Overdosing on Xanax can have a number of dire health effects. It is important to note that overdosing on the drug can lead to a full collapse of the nervous system leading to a diversity of conditions. The following are some of the known effects of Xanax overdose:

  • Heart attack
  • Regular seizures
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Brain damage

How Can Xanax Overdose Be Avoided?

Avoiding an overdose of Xanax can only be achieved if there is an intervention right before the drug is prescribed. Doctors have a bigger role to play in reducing any cases of Xanax addiction and overdose. The following are some precautions that must be taken in order to prevent overdosing on Xanax:

  • The Patient Medical History Must Be Clearly Established: Before Xanax is administered, doctors should first of all check the patient’s medical history in a bid to establish if there are any previous health and psychological conditions that might interfere or amplify the effects of the drug.
  • Any Prescription Drugs Must Be Established: The history of previous prescription drugs is also a necessity. Some drugs may have stayed within the patient body and these left overs may interfere with Xanax. Sometimes the interference of Xanax by other medications within the patient’s body can cause symptoms that are similar to those of an overdose.

Xanax has a number of positive uses but extra care must be taken to avoid addiction and also overdose. The best thing to do is to make sure that you get your prescriptions from a doctor. Additionally, if you are not sure about anything, make sure you ask a professional to help you out.

Are You Dealing With A Crystal Meth Problem?

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Crystal meth is one of the most difficult drugs to get off of. This is because if you’re not able to kick the habit, it could ruin your life basically. Here are the reasons you need to get away from it as soon as possible.

It’s all about who you’re around at the time when you wish to quit because if you’re in your state and feel cravings, you may just use if someone is using around you. People that do drugs don’t like to feel alone, and when you have a user around they’re going to try to talk you into using with them a lot of the time. It kind of helps them justify what they’re doing and you don’t need that right now. It may be best to move or at least get into a treatment center where none of the addicts you know can get to you.

There are a lot of varying problems that can harm you that come from meth usage. If you’re shooting it, for instance, you could get a bad product or one with chemicals in it that could actually kill you. That, or if you’re using a lot for a long period of time you can actually suffer from brain damage, seizures, a stroke, heart attacks, and basically every system in your body can be shut down. Be very careful when using and try to get away from the drug if possible quickly so you don’t suffer too much damage.

When you start working on your crystal meth addiction you can be sure to get back on your feet if you take it seriously. Sometimes you may feel like giving up, but you have what it takes to quit. You’ll have to make a lot of changes, but know they’re for the better!

Sleeping Pill Overuse

153431884Many people have prescriptions for sleeping pills.  And many of these people do not intend on abusing their prescription.  Unfortunately, it is possible to develop an addiction to their prescribed medications.  The body can possibly develop a dependency for the sleeping pills.  This means that a person may find it difficult, or almost impossible, to fall asleep without the sleeping pills.

Another problem with sleeping pill usage is that eventually the body will become used to the drug that it has been taking.  The result of this is that the dosage now needs to be increased to maintain the same desired effects.  If the dose is not increased, it is possible to experience feelings of anxiety, and possibly depression.

But how easy is it to come off of these medications?  It is very important to try to taper off of any medication that you no longer wish to take.  The tapering will hopefully help to decrease any withdrawal symptoms that may be experienced.  Many prescriptions have the capability to remain in your system even after the medication is stopped.

The decision to stop any medication should be made in conjunction with a doctor.  It is important to be completely honest with your doctor about any drugs you are taking, both prescription, over the counter and illegal.  The doctor can only help if he has the full picture.  It is also important to remember that stopping medication suddenly can lead to extreme withdrawal.

The stopping, or weaning off, of sleeping pills will not be an overnight process.  In fact, it may take quite a long time.  It is very important to have the support of your friends and family during this process.  A person trying to end their dependency may go through a period where they need a lot of help and support.

Are You Addicted to, or abusing Sleep medications?
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