new years resolutionIs your New Year’s resolution already slipping? If it was to kick your addiction once and for all, look for support to help you stick to it.

It’s been only a few weeks since the year started and just a month since Christmas, yet many people’s resolutions are becoming memories.

Make a difference in your life. Stop struggling with your addiction and take concrete steps toward recovery.

Clear and Attainable Goals for the Process, Not Just the Outcome

A New Year’s resolution is a one-off goal. Addiction recovery is a process that continues Continue Reading

AddictionWhen your loved one is a drug addict or is abusing drugs, the toughest decision can be whether to ask him/her to enter drug rehab.

It can also be the best decision – for you and for your loved one.

Nobody knows your friend or family member better than you. But be sure you are methodical in your thinking.

Look for combinations of signs that your loved one may need to enter drug rehabilitation.

Drug Rehab Can Be the Hardest Decision

Talking to a loved one about entering rehab is always incredibly difficult. But so is watching him/her continue Continue Reading

As was highlighted in a recent blog here, the growing problem of prescription drug addiction in the USA is just as serious – even more serious – as the abuse of illegal drugs.

Examining Prescription Drug Abuse Through Statistics

Heroin word cloud glowingStatistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)  indicate that prescription drug addiction is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. In a bid to help educate the public more widely, NIDA even had a competition for people to create info-graphics that outlined the statistics clearly. Here is just a taste of those stats.

  • 52 million Americans aged over 12 have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.
  • The USA has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 75% of the prescription drugs. Continue Reading

Do you know how to recognize the signs someone is using drugs? Here we look at some telling signs of using some specific drugs. Spotting these signs can help in veering someone away from the hard path of drug addiction.

Dilated Pupils

A sign of drug use common to almost all drugs is dilated pupils for an extended period of time. Of course, this alone is not proof. It should be considered in combination with other symptoms.

Signs of Cocaine Use

101145727The cocaine user will likely be hyperactive when high and talk excessively. Soon after it wears off, the signs of cocaine use can vary: rapid shifts in mood, confusion, short temper, depression, poor eating habits (likely not hungry), excessive sleeping or severe sleeplessness, anxiety, even paranoia and panic attacks.

After long-term cocaine use, the person may exhibit signs like an often runny nose and frequent nosebleeds, along with an impaired sense of reality through paranoia, suspiciousness, even hallucinations.

Signs of Marijuana Use

Aside from the smell in clothing and hair, the signs of marijuana use are not difficult to recognize. The user will often have bloodshot eyes and even squint a lot. Another tell-tale sign is excessive hunger and compulsive eating (the “munchies”), especially of foods heavy in processed carbohydrates. The user can often be incoherent or talk nonsense, as well as laugh uncontrollably about anything. Other signs include listlessness, lethargy, loss of motivation, and short-term memory problems.

A certain sign of marijuana drug use is finding the paraphernalia – bongs, pipes, grinders, rolling papers, etc.

Signs of Methamphetamine Use

Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a particularly toxic drug and the signs of its use are quite clear. The user will be “wired” – hyperactive, sleepless, overly talkative – for a long period of time. He/she won’t eat, will likely be extremely nervous, will have sudden mood changes, will suddenly feel overly powerful and invincible, then will likely become paranoid and bitter and depressed. Angry psychotic outbursts for no reason are common, as is shaking, unusual sweating, confusion, agitation and blurred vision.

The longer-term user will lose weight dramatically and even have an unusual body smell bordering on ammonia. He/she will also develop severe dental health problems (“meth mouth”) and undergo shocking changes in facial appearance.

Signs of Heroin Use

Young woman with drug addiction. Black and white photoHeroin use can often be detected by noticing needle marks on the user’s body, especially arms. For many, the first sign of use of a potent drug like heroin is being in a dream-like state, almost asleep, for minutes to hours. Many users are so listless, they are incapable of doing anything. The user will sleep at strange times and may sweat strangely as well as sniffle and cough. One distinctive sign of heroin use is how a user’s pupils may stay contracted even with bright light shining in them.

Signs of Ecstasy/MDMA Use

Ecstasy – or MDMA – has been called the “love drug”. A user will show signs of elevated sensuality, become overly amorous, have markedly increased sex drive, and have very different reactions to things they see, hear and touch. Body temperature rises, emotional responses are more pronounced, and then the body may show signs of teeth clenching, muscle cramp, chills, sweating and nausea. Severe temperature increase can sometimes cause death.

If you think someone you know is showing signs of using drugs, contact a professional advice line or rehab facility. Do not confront the person, but listen to experts in the field about what you can do to help.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Rehab Center Hotline and a clickable link back to this page.

canstockphoto5874319The stories about drug abuse that always grab the headlines are those about illicit drugs like heroin, crystal meth, cocaine and crack. But it is prescription drug addiction that is the USA’s fastest growing drug problem.Prescription drugs obviously are used for physical and mental problems, but they are perceived as “soft” drugs that won’t do as much harm as the hard, illicit drugs. Nonetheless, they are highly addictive and it does not take much for a user to develop a dependency and addiction.

The Growing Problem With Prescription Drug Addiction

The Drug Enforcement Administration has declared that Americans are abusing prescription drugs more widely than all illicit drugs, except marijuana. Continue Reading

heroin addiction“Michael” was a typical North American student. He worked hard to achieve good grades and away from school he enjoyed spending time with his fellow students and friends. Like most students, he struggled with money and decided to find a roommate to help him pay for the monthly rent of his apartment, a short walk from campus. His story of heroin addiction began the day his new roommate moved in.

From Trying Heroin to Jail Continue Reading

LSDThe letters LSD bring to mind the Free Love era of the 1960s, when America was being transformed through a cultural revolution driven by an anti-war mentality. But the psychedelic LSD or “acid” (known in scientific circles by its less “hip” name – Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) is still widely used across America today.

An annual review by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 9.7% of the American population over the age of 12 has tried LSD at least once in their lifetime. Even though LSD use is well down among the general population from the peak time of the ’60s and ’70s, it is a powerful hallucinogenic drug that is still having deadly consequences across the globe today.

LSD: a Popular Choice for Clubs and Raves Continue Reading

meth addictionWhen we analyze the long-term effects of using drugs like cocaine and marijuana, the harm experienced by the addict is not always immediately noticeable. These drugs affect internal areas such as brain function, heart health and lung capacity. However, the pain and anguish experienced by meth addicts is often etched on their faces, with the effects becoming more visible over time.

A meth user’s appearance will often change rapidly. It is imperative to recognize the signs and provide help to those in desperate need. Continue Reading

ecstasyEcstasy, or MDMA, has a reputation for being a party drug, but the short and long term risks and side effects can be anything but a good time. Prolonged use of Ecstasy is also associated with the risk of longer-term problems with memory and learning.

A commonly used drug today and regarded as a party-starter, MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is a synthetic, mind-altering drug that acts as both a stimulant and hallucinogenic. Sometimes other chemicals, such as caffeine, amphetamines, PCP, or even cocaine, are added to or substituted for MDMA, so purity is never guaranteed. You may hear this drug referred to by various names, including: Molly, XTC, Adam, Eve, clarity, hug, beans, love drug, lovers’ speed and uppers.

Aftereffects of Ecstasy Use:

Once the initial effects of Ecstasy wear off, aftereffects reported by some users are both psychological and Continue Reading

Marijuana is a substance derived from the dried flowers, stems, and leaves of the plant Cannabis sativa (often called “hemp”). It is one of the most commonly used and abused substances in the world today. Normally ingested through smoking, marijuana usually gives off a distinct sweet-and-sour odor. Most marijuana users smoke it in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints, while others use pipes or water pipes called “bongs.” The substance can also be used to brew tea or mixed into foods. It also goes by a variety of common names, including pot, grass, weed, MJ and reefer.

Some of the signs or symptoms that can be noticed in individuals using marijuana may include:

  • marijuanaMucus filled coughs that occur frequently
  • Increased appetite, sometimes called “munchies”
  • Dry mouth
  • Rapidly beating heart
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Poor memory, forgetful in conversation
  • Poor concentration and coordination
  • Loud, rapid speech and laughter outbursts in early stages of intoxication
  • Aroma resembling burnt rope on breath or clothing
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia, such as roach clips, rolling papers, pipes or bongs

Physical Effects of Marijuana Substance Use and Abuse

Contrary to what many people think, marijuana has a powerful chemical makeup which renders it a high risk drug to Continue Reading

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