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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Addiction to Prescription Drugs in America

The Numbers Remain High for Individuals With an Addiction to Prescription Drugs

addiction Rates of misuse and abuse of prescription drugs still remains high in America today. A staggering 52 million Americans aged 12 and over have taken prescription drugs for non-medical reasons at some point. This often leads to abuse and addiction for many of the individuals.

Once the stories of abuse and addiction leave the front page, it’s easy to forget that such a problem exists. Most Americans have little idea of the magnitude of the remaining problem. The tens of millions who have ever misused a prescription drug represent just one part of this epidemic. Experts also see that more than 6 million Americans have abused prescribed medications in just the past 30 days.

The most frequently abused drugs are on the list of those most often prescribed in our country: painkillers (5.1 million), sedatives (2.2 million) and stimulants (1.1 million). Opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety medications and sleep aids and drugs used to treat ADHD are at the top of the list of misused prescriptions even today. These drugs are highly addictive. So when you have high numbers of abuse, this can lead to higher numbers of addiction as individuals continue to abuse the drugs on a consistent basis.

Other news stories may have taken over the headlines, but the problem of prescription drug addiction remains. Fortunately, addiction to prescription drugs is a treatable concern. With intervention and treatment, young people, adults and older people can start on a journey to recovery from prescription drug abuse. If this describes you or someone you love, contact Family Guidance Center and let us help you. Hope is real and healing is possible.

The Physical and Emotional Effects of Long-Term Drug Abuse

Where Long-Term Drug Abuse Does the Most Damage

When someone you love is involved with drugs it can be difficult to know what to do. Yet the reasons to intervene early are myriad. Among them is the fact that long-term drug abuse can damage a person’s physical and emotional health. Here are just a few ways that untreatedlong term drug abuse drug abuse can affect the person that you care about.

Emotional Health

The more a person uses drugs, the more they feel dependent on them in order to cope with everyday situations. Because of this, long-term drug abuse can spark a problem with anxiety. It is common for users to spend more and more time thinking about using, planning how and when to use again. Eventually, this fixation becomes an unmanageable anxiety in between times of using.

Over time your loved one may need more drugs to find the same “good” feeling. At the same time, the lows in between the highs get lower. Depression is another common side effect.

Physical Health

Tobacco is not the only substance which can harm the lungs; meth, crack cocaine and marijuana all can damage the lungs.

Kidneys are filters for the human body. Whatever goes into the body passes through the kidneys for safety treatment. Long-term drug abuse repeatedly pushes toxins through the kidneys and can ultimately lead to kidney failure.

Heart problems can happen the first time a person uses some drugs. It can also be weakened by repeated drug use.

These are not comprehensive lists. But you can see how long-term drug abuse can affect both your physical and your emotional health. At Family Guidance Center we can help you to plan an intervention. Call us today, our addiction treatment services program is the only local program offering outpatient and inpatient treatment along with a social detoxification treatment program.

Physical Symptoms Which Could Point to Depression

Depression Affects More Than Just Feelings

depressionWhile depression is categorized as a mood disorder, it affects more than your emotions. According to experts, over half of people with diagnosable depression start off seeing their physician because of chronic body aches. One of the first signs may not be overwhelming sadness or a lack of social interest but unexplainable pain. While it is true that a standard depression screening will ask about mood, sleep and concentration, it’s also been shown that physical ailments can also be a symptom.

One place you may see a manifestation of depression is in your digestive system. Digestive issues are not uncommon side effects. Your digestive tract produces 80-90 percent of your serotonin – a neurotransmitter largely responsible for balancing mood. In other words, it could be a food allergy or an irritation in your gut that is causing your depression.

Another possible sign of depression is chronic migraines. Problem headaches show up alongside disorders like anxiety or depression for more than 10 percent of patients. Unexplained back pain, too, can be connected to a mood disorder. Try warm baths and soothing massages, but if you can’t shake the pain it could be that it stems from somewhere deeper inside.

Chest and joint pain have also been associated with depression. These aches may be signs of depression or can actually lead to depression. In either case, treating the depression can help to alleviate the pain.

At Family Guidance Center we know that when the aches and pains are chronic and without obvious reason, these physical ailments can be symptoms of depression. Don’t ignore your body. If your doctor can’t explain your pain, it could be because it’s actually a sign of mental distress.

The Truth Versus Misconception When it Comes to Mental Illness

Too Many Stigmas Are Placed on a Mental Illness Diagnosis

Mental illness has factored into several high profile news stories over the past couple of years. This has provided an opportunity to have amental illness national discussion on the topic of mental illness, yet misconceptions continue.

Does Not Affect Only a Few


A 2014 Congressional Research Service report on mental illness in America found that one quarter of adults and over 40 percent of adolescents experience mental illness during any given year. They numbers represent the individual cases apart from any association with substance abuse. In simpler terms, over 40 million Americans experience a non-substance use related form of mental illness each year. Mental illness does not only touch a few, it affects those across all races, demographics and ages.

It is Treatable


For the majority of people, mental illness will be a highly treatable condition which, with proper attention, can lead to a happy healthy life. With certain forms of mental illness the rate of treatment success is 80 percent. That is a recovery rate many physical illnesses can not match.

Not Career Ending


Many people with mental illness are able to fulfill responsible roles and perform key jobs in society. The publicized stories of failure should often be told more accurately as stories of non-treatment. There are many more true stories of highly successful individuals who have reached tremendous heights of achievement and recognition despite dealing with their mental illness.

Stigma is one of the biggest hurdles to someone seeking treatment. Stigma, perceived or real, is too often based on misconceptions. The truth is that mental illness affects many people all around you and with treatment they are able to enjoy full and satisfying lives. Don’t refuse to be one of their number. If you are struggling, call us at Family Guidance Center, we can help.

New Study Shows Link Between PTSD and Risk of Heart Failure

Combat Soldiers With Conditions Such as PTSD Face the Greatest Risk

PTSDNew research conducted through the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs finds that combat soldiers experiencing PTSD also face a 47 percent higher risk of developing heart disease compared to combat soldiers without PTSD. Heart disease and heart failure occur when the heart muscle is not pumping strongly enough to push a sufficient blood supply throughout the body. Around 5 million Americans in total experience heart failure.

For this study researchers looked at 8,248 outpatients seen through the Hawaii and other Pacific island VA health clinics. The patients were tracked for a period of seven years. Right around 21 percent of studied patients had PTSD. From the over 8,000 patients, 371 experienced heart failure within the seven year follow-up; a majority 287 had PTSD and 84 had heart failure but no PTSD. Researchers also compared soldiers with combat to those who’d never faced combat and found that battle experience translated into a five times higher risk of heart disease.

The study was careful to emphasize that their findings established a link but fell short of defining PTSD as the only link. Other contributing factors to heart disease include things such as age, high blood pressure, weight and diabetes. Still, the VA study adds to a growing pile of investigation which links the anxiety and stress disorder to increased risk for heart problems. This study, however, focused only on veteran subjects.

At Family Guidance Center we understand how your emotional wellness can affect your physical wellness. It’s because there is such a strong link between the two that we urge you to not ignore symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression or other mental health concerns. Call us today and take a positive step toward protecting your heart, your health and your future.