Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What Is Drug Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behavior. When you’re addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause.

Drug addiction isn’t about just heroincocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine, opioid painkillers, and other legal substances.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Monday, June 24, 2019

Understanding Drug Use and Addiction

Revised June 2018
Many people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.

What You Need To Know About Urine Drug Testing Procedures


Just like its name suggests, urine drug testing procedures checks the urine for any traces of substance abuse.
The procedure is quick and painless, as it simply requires you to provide your urine as a sample for it. Using this sample, your urine can be tested for alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, opioids (narcotics), PCP, and benzodiazepines. If you are required to take a drug screen by a potential employer or for any other reason, it's important that you know what to expect from the procedure.
Types of Urine Drug Tests
Today, there are two different types of urine drug tests. Immunoassay is the first test type. It is a cost effective drug test that yields results quickly. There are, however, drawbacks to using this type of urine test. This is because the test sometimes gives out a false positive result, wherein the test brings a positive result for drugs even though the person is not taking any drugs. Once the drug test comes out positive but you deny using any drugs, you'll be required to take the second urine drug test type known as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The second test makes use of the same urine specimen as the first test type. However, these tests are usually more expensive and could take a longer time to produce results. The plus side though is that they rarely give out any false positives.
How to take a urine test for marijuana
No matter what drug you're testing for, the process in a urine drug test kit is usually the same. Since these test kits may be used at home, you can take the test anywhere you're comfortable or most convenient in, such as a doctor's clinic, hospital, workplace, or even your own home. The following tests are to be followed:
  • You will receive a specimen cup from the person administering the test
  • You will have to leave behind your belongings in another room as you take the test. There are some instances wherein you may be required to change into a hospital gown so you can easily take the test.
  • To make sure that you don't try to skew the test results, a nurse or a technician may accompany you into the bathroom.
  • Before starting, make sure to clean your genital area with the provided moist cloth.
  • Start urinating into the toilet, as you would normally do.
  • While you are urinating, make sure to catch sample into the cup midstream. Don't let the cup touch your genital area.
  • When done, put a lid on the cup. Bring it to the technician so it can be processed.
Test results
Once you have supplied your specimen sample, the technician or nurse will inform you of when your test results will be available. With the use of an Immunoassay test, you should be able to get your results right away. In the event that your test results to positive for illegal drugs you haven't taken, make sure you request for a GC/MS test right away.

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Oxycodone Addiction - A Review

By    Expert Author Shalini Madhav

What is Oxycodone?
It is a semisynthetic drug made from thebaine, an opioid which is a constituent of persian poppy and a minor one of opium poppy. Opioid are basically the substances which act on opioid receptors and give you morphine like effects. It is widely used for relief over a range of pain.
Oxycodone Addiction
As we know that the effect of various drugs that we consume is different on the dopamine levels, that too by different mechanisms. Oxycodone ends up inhibiting the brain cells that inhibit the dopamine secreting cells. This enhances the dopamine levels in our body. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter compound released by the nerve cells, in brain otherwise it acts as a Chemical messenger. Oxycodone ingestion in unprescribed amounts can cause disturbances in the neural pathways.
It initiates the cycle of pleasure seeking thereby leading to addiction cultivation.
How is the addiction taking place?
Oxycodone when consumed binds to the opioid receptors and alters the way the brain reacts to the pain for which the drug was taken by the person. It does cause pain relief, but since it generates intense feelings of pleasure or euphoric feeling thereby risking psychological or physiological addiction to the drug.
Side effects of Oxycodone
Oxycodone addiction and abuse leads to many physical, mental and behavioral side effects within the body.
Some of the side effects which belong to these categories are:
– Lightheadedness
– Decrease in anxiety levels
– Headache
– Seizures
– Dry mouth,
– Nausea/ Vomiting
– Sweating
– Mood Swings
– Extreme Relaxation
– Itching etc.
Above these it causes reduction in sensitivity to pain and respiratory depressions. Overdoses of Oxycodone may lead to spinal cord infarction and ischemic brain damage due to prolonged hypoxia from suppression in breathing. Use of oxycodone recreationally has been found out to be extremely harmful. Improper ingestion of the drug leads to acceleration of its absorption thereby risking overdose. Oxycodone abuse has been found to lead to kidney or liver failure, especially when consumed with alcohol (say).
Oxycodone Withdrawal
The risk of withdrawal symptoms further increases if a person's physical dependence is high on the drug or discontinue Oxycodone abruptly.
Withdrawal basically means the consequences of abrupt stopping in consumption or bringing down the consumption drastically of a drug after its dependence is well established, on the body. It may be physical or mental side effects of the above.
There are various signs which can be observed in a person in the withdrawal phase.
For example:
- Restlessness
- Panic Attacks
- Anxiety
- Muscle Pains
- Insomnia
- Depression
- Fevers or flu like symptoms etc.
Withdrawal phase is highly intense and intolerable to the addict. Its effects start within hours of abrupt change in consumption and lasts for weeks. Hence it is always advised to seek out a professional or detoxicating service before you make the decision of quitting the drug consumption.
Seeking out a safe and a judgement free place to begin the healing process is a must for getting rid of Oxycodone or rather any drug addiction. Also, it is not necessary that whatever method to get rid of the addiction works for one person will work for others too, hence seeking professional help is extremely important.
Hence stay safe and avoid addiction.
Oxycodone addiction can be severe with intense symptoms. You can have harmful oxycodone side effects if it is consumed incorrectly. Oxycodone withdrawal phase is also not an easy path. Hence always consult a doctor before consumption.

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Substance Abuse is Rampant Among Juveniles


Substance abuse is not uncommon among teens since they are the most susceptible to developing an addiction. Similarly, juveniles who are imprisoned are found to be either suffering from a mental illness or addicted to some or the other illicit substance. They not only run the risk of being imprisoned for substance-related crimes but also stand the chance of developing substance abuse problems. This can be corroborated by the fact that the arrest rates for drug-related crimes are the highest among juveniles.
Moreover, juveniles who get into trouble with the law and are booked under the juvenile justice system often suffer from a mental illness, substance use disorder (SUD) or both. Therefore, juveniles are more vulnerable than ever to the effects of substance abuse.
Other external factors such as academic failure, emotional distress, illnesses, domestic violence, and a history of physical or sexual abuse, further exacerbate the problem. Therefore, there is a need for early intervention and treatment to avoid worsening of symptoms.
According to the data released by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) of the U.S. Department of Justice, the rates of arrests of juveniles in the age group 10 to 17 years, per 100,000 persons, were 459.4 for boys and 129.2 for girls in 2015. These statistics highlight the magnitude of the problem and how bad it can be for young minds that are still evolving and developing.
Even after being released from prison those with substance abuse problems continue to face a lot of challenges that prevent their smooth transition into a normal life within the community. The lack of access to health care due to the increased stigmatization of those children who have been incarcerated before significantly impedes their recovery and increases the likelihood of a relapse and re-arrest.
Inaccessibility to health care and other basic amenities jeopardize recovery
After being released from prisons or correctional facilities, juveniles with substance abuse problems have to wait for a long time to access the benefits and services easily accessible to others, besides the denial of basic amenities.
In the past, when a juvenile or an adult fell under the radar of the criminal justice system, it led to the termination of the benefits such as Medicaid or Social Security. However, some progress has been made in the correctional systems in several states, as these benefits are now suspended and not terminated until the release of the incarcerated juvenile.
Unfortunately, long waiting periods, termination and suspension of benefits can have a devastating effect on the lives of the juveniles who need substance abuse treatment to increase the possibility of recovery and prevent reincarceration. These barriers are particularly of concern to the minority groups, who are comparatively more uninsured and underrepresented in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Aid within the system and role of family support
To effectively address the above-mentioned problems, juveniles require more access to comprehensive assessment, treatment, case management and support services that are optimum for their age and developmental stages.
The first step of the assessment is crucial because not every juvenile indulging in drugs require treatment. But for those who do, there are various points in the juvenile justice continuum where such decisions could be taken such as juvenile drug courts, community-based supervision, juvenile detention and community reentry.
The presence of the family plays a crucial role in the recovery of juveniles who abuse substances, however, this influence can be either productive or counterproductive in nature depending on the background the juvenile and his or her family are coming from.
Take the rational step to stop abuse
There are various family-based treatment models that target family functioning and interpersonal dynamics. Furthermore, there are various adolescent treatment approaches, such as multisystemic therapy, multidimensional family therapy and functional family therapy. These interventions have displayed positive results in reducing substance abuse among juveniles.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), as many as two-thirds of teens in the criminal justice system are said to be living with substance abuse problems. Therefore, early intervention is the need of the hour to prevent the aggravation of this problem.
If you or your loved one is battling substance abuse it is important to seek help. The Arizona Substance Abuse Helpline assists in accessing the finest substance abuse rehab centers that specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline 866-857-5777 to know more about the substance abuse treatment options near you.

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Beyond Needle Marks - How Substance Abuse Affects Skin

By   Expert Author Matt Nilsen

he damage caused by substance abuse becomes increasingly challenging to camouflage. You may see the signs in yourself; you may see the signs in someone you care for. The mirror rarely lies. Your reflection will eventually reveal the burden you work so hard to conceal.
Substance Abuse Damages the Skin
For those who are relatively healthy, skin changes are often the first recognizable indicator of substance use and abuse. This may explain why dermatologists are often the first of the medical professionals to recognize the early signs of substance abuse disorder.
For better or worse, your skin is a reflection of what's happening inside your body. The chemicals fueling your addiction will impair your skin's ability to repair and heal. The effects are cumulative. While chemical abuse will cause your skin to take on a dull, unhealthy tone, certain types of substances are known to cause specific skin concerns. Some of the common skin concerns include:
• Infections
• Ulcers
• Vascular damage
• Mouth sores
• Skin flushing
• Hyperpigmentation
• Breakouts
Accelerating the Aging process with Stimulants
If you are indulging in any type of stimulant, you potentially expedite the aging process. Your heart beats faster, and your body needs to work harder to keep up with the increased demands. Under the strain of stimulants, your body produces the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin.
Collagen is the support structure within your skin. Elastin keeps your skin supple. When a body is under the stress of chemical dependency, the loss of collagen and elastin will result in saggy jowls, drooping eyelids, loose skin, wrinkles and deepened folds around your nose and mouth. In fact, stimulant abuse can cause you to look decades older. When you combine the effects of collagen loss with the potential weight loss and malnutrition associated with stimulant abuse, the acceleration of skin aging is even more pronounced
The Scars and Scabs of Methamphetamine Use
The chemical imbalances and dehydration caused by drug use, particularly methamphetamines, can result in uncomfortable and troubling sensations on your skin. You may feel like you have bugs crawling on your skin and below the surface. The sensations can be maddening. You may respond by scratching or picking at your skin. Irritation leads to more scratching and picking. Repeated skin irritation and skin injury will result in sores that heal slowly, or not at all. This cycle will scar your skin.
Sores that are slow to heal, blisters, scabs, and scars are some of the more recognizable skin problems associated with methamphetamine use. Commonly called meth sores or meth mites, these sores most commonly occur on your face and arms.
Since methamphetamines also interfere with blood flow, meth sores can appear anywhere on your body. Methamphetamines destroy blood vessels, interfere with your body's ability to repair cellular damage and can also cause leathery looking skin.
The Enlarged, Protruding or Damaged Veins of Intravenous Drug Use
Many IV drugs are vasodilators that can also induce vasospasms. That means that IV drugs will cause your blood vessels to expand, but then quickly contract. Vasospasms disrupt your circulation, which results in pain, swelling, skin ulcerations, skin infections and blood clots.
Approximately 88 percent of intravenous drug users will also develop chronic venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency means the valves inside your veins that keep your blood flow moving towards your heart don't close properly. Leaky valves allow the blood to flow backward into the veins. This results in enlarged veins that can bulge and twist, varicose veins.
Severe venous insufficiency can also result in skin ulcers that are difficult to heal because of the decrease in circulation. This skin on your lower legs can discolor and take on a rough, scaly appearance. This is more than a cosmetic issue. Vein damage increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) and raises your risk of developing a life-threatening pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that travels to the lungs).
Cellulitis as a Consequence of Skin Popping
While most microorganisms living on your skin are harmless, they can cause devastating consequences when entering your body through an injection site. When veins become damaged by drug use, some IV drug users resort to skin popping, injecting drugs under the surface of the skin. Skin popping is linked to an increased risk of cellulitis, a rash-like skin infection caused by staph or strep bacteria. While this form of bacterial infection is not contagious, it forms a tender, hot, red swollen rash that spreads rapidly.
Cellulitis requires prompt medical attention. Left untreated this infection can enter your bloodstream and lymphatic system. Cellulitis can cause chronic swelling of the infected limb, or worse. Although it's rare, cellulitis can destroy soft tissues, requiring surgery to remove the damage.
Staph and Fungal Infections Due to Immune System Impairment
Substance abuse disorders disrupt your immune system. They make it difficult for your body to fight infections, this can result in an increase in infections that your once healthy immune system could have eliminated before it could cause any problems. You may find yourself prone to staph infections and fungal infections, particularly on your feet, where fungus thrives in the moist environment. If you are prone to psoriasis or eczema, you may find your flares more frequent and increasingly difficult to manage.
Surface Indications of Alcohol Abuse
Skin flushing can be an indication of alcohol abuse. Alcohol is a blood vessel dilator. Alcohol breaks down to acetaldehyde, which can cause a histamine release, which is the same thing that can happen during an allergic event.
With long-term alcohol abuse, you may also notice an increase in spider veins, small, broken capillaries close to the surface of your skin. Spider veins are often the most noticeable on your face, neck, chest, arms, hands, and abdomen. Particularly in those with liver damage.
The damage to your liver caused by alcohol dependency can also cause jaundice, the yellowing of your skin and eyes. This discoloration is an indication that you have an excessive amount of bilirubin in your system. Your liver normally breaks down bilirubin, but the function has been impaired by alcohol. When treated in its early stages, jaundice caused by the alcohol-related liver disease can be improved.
Increased Severity of Breakouts and Acne
Because of the increased amount of cortisol produced under stress; you may also find that your skin reflects the internal struggle by breaking out. Cortisol increases inflammation; acne is your skin's response to the inflammation cortisol causes. Acne can also be aggravated by the skin picking habits associated with meth use and the simple fact that addiction may cause you to overlook your basic skin care needs.
Drug and alcohol abuse can cause inflammation, malnutrition, and dehydration. It weakens your immune system and damages blood vessels. Addiction adversely affects your body's ability to heal. Your skin reflects the damage, while your brain, bones and internal organs continue to pay the price.
Restoring your appearance may be enough motivation to get you, or keep you, on the right path to a drug-free lifestyle. It may not. But as you conquer your addiction, you will see the signs of your progress. You can be assured that the improved health of your skin is a visible indication of the healing within.
Drug Detox Centers is physiological rehabilitation after drug addiction. An accredited and licensed facility that prevent unpleasant outcomes from suddenly quitting a drug. The focus of detox program is on monitoring and supporting the patient as the body cleanses itself of the drug's toxins and goes through withdrawal symptoms.
We have a team of drug detox specialists who are trained in assessing an individual's requirements and can help you find a program that is best-suited for your needs. Call (877) 262-6566 now to speak to one of our drug detox specialists and start on the road to recovery! []

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Psychology of Drug Addiction & Substance Abuse Disorder, Causes & Solutions

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Get Motivated to Get Motivated

By    Expert Author William T Batten

If motivation is like a fire that burns within you, then it's the weirdest fire around.
It randomly fluctuates between smouldering ash and unstoppable inferno. The hotter is burns, the more fuel it creates for itself. It blazes a trail that destroys all obstacles and -
Wait, what am I saying? I'm describing a normal fire, not a weird one.
The weirdness with motivation lies somewhere else.

The Trivial Way to Hack and Reprogram Your Unconscious

By    Expert Author William T Batten

Your unconscious is outside your awareness, but it's not outside your control. It's a strange quirk of psychology that most of our minds are invisible to us. Even stranger is how easy it is to influence our inner black boxes.
But it's not as simple as thinking thoughts and hoping they'll stick. We've all had moments when we've consciously decided to do something - hit the gym, eat a vegetable, be more present - only for it to not happen.
In other words, not all conscious thoughts influence your unconscious.