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Prescription Drug Abuse in the United States Continues to Rise

More Americans Die from Prescription Drug Abuse Than Cocaine and Heroin Put Together

Prescription drug abuse remains our nation’s leading drug problem. The Drug Enforcement Agency has just completed a nation-widepresecription drug abuse offensive intended to disrupt the illegal distribution of pharmaceuticals in an effort to stem the plague. Prescription drug abuse is claiming more lives than the use of Heroin and Cocaine combined.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has published data which shows the overdose rates by year for these three drugs (prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine). What you see when you look at those charts is that abuse of prescription medications and heroin has gone up each year since 2001. Cocaine use peaked in 2006 but has now dropped back to rates similar to those in 2001. But prescription drug overdose claims more American lives than the total of heroin and cocaine put together, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most affected by the increases is white males. In the year 2000, older black males were the leading demographic for heroin overdose. But in 2013 young to middle aged white males were most represented. Similarly, in 1999 1.6 white males per 100,000 overdosed on prescription drugs but by 2013 the figure had grown to 6.8 white males per 100,000 who overdosed.

The overdose figures for 2013 were as follows: over 50 percent of the 43,982 overdose fatalities were prescription drug induced, 8,257 were caused by heroin and 4,944 were linked to cocaine use. Each number represents a precious life cut short. If you are engaged in illicit drug use, don’t wait to get help.

Perhaps you’ve tried to break your prescription drug abuse habit but were unsuccessful. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it – only that for breaking the abuse cycle it is important that you seek professional help. Contact us at Family Guidance Center. We can help you begin your journey to recovery.

Substance Abuse in the Workplace

Substance Abuse Will Eventually Impact Your Employee’s Performance

substance abuseAs the boss or owner in your office or place of work, you have the right to set expectations for that environment. You can’t, however, control what employees do in their off time. But what happens when someone’s off-time behaviors start to impact their work-time performance? With substance abuse, it is a scenario that can happen.

This might sound like a rare problem, but statistics show it happens more than you might think. Data collected between 2008-2012 shows that nearly 10 percent of workers are misusing substances. The facts indicate that 8.7 percent of 18-65 year olds employed full-time had abused alcohol during the month prior. Another 8.6 percent took illicit drugs during the previous month and 9.5 percent had developed a substance dependency over the past 12 months. It’s a problem that is probably affecting someone in your workplace right now.

Here are some things you can do as you become aware of substance abuse within your company:
Understand the risks in your industry – some careers are more susceptible to substance misuse or abuse. Low risk industries include hard sciences and accounting. High-risk industries include professional medicine, food services, lawyers and law enforcement. Find out how at-risk your industry may be.

Know the signs of abuse. When you notice red eyes, drastic weight change, nosebleeds, increased absence or tardiness, poor personal hygiene or increased moodiness – take note. These could be warning signs.

Talk with an attorney before confronting an employee, but when you do, be prepared to suggest help. It’s also a good idea to document any discussions or interactions you have with the employee on the subject. Here in St Joseph, Family Guidance Center is a resource available to provide help. We can safeguard confidentiality while helping a once-valuable employee return to a healthy and productive work life.

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.

Planning an Addiction Intervention

Recovery 1There are many behaviors which can become the basis of addiction. The hard part for those close to someone caught up in an addiction can be watching a downward spiral at the same time that the loved one denies having a problem. Sometimes the only way to help is to join with others in the form of a planned intervention.

Successful intervention requires the combined efforts of loved ones, a mental health professional or a physician. Together these people who truly care about the person in the midst of an addiction will create a stage for confronting and directing the loved one. Typical steps for intervention include:

1. Meeting as a group to learn about the specific addiction (alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorder, gambling etc.) and available treatment options.

2. Planning in advance exactly what will be said being sure to include instances of unhealthy behaviors and how those behaviors affected the individual and those around them. Interventions are often highly emotional exchanges, so careful and thoughtful wording is imperative.

3. The loved one with an addiction is invited to a pre-arranged location without being told ahead of time what will take place. The intervention team should be at the location and prepared to lovingly confront.

4. Together the group explains what has been observed, its impact and offers a specific plan for treatment.

5. Each member of the group explains how they will respond should the loved one refuse to pursue treatment. Be sure that everyone is prepared to follow through with stated consequences.

At Family Guidance, we offer a range of treatment options for those ready to work through addiction. You don’t have to helplessly watch your loved one with an addiction. You can step in with a plan and offer hope. Call us and learn how we can help.

Prescription Drug Abuse Among Young Adults

Teens 1Despite concerted efforts to stem the tide of prescription drug abuse it is a problem which continues to plague our nation’s young people. The sheer numbers of prescription painkillers, stimulants and sedatives being used are staggering. Experts say about 100 Americans die each and every day as a result of prescription drug overdose.

Not a Matter of Overt Pressure
The efforts of drug makers, law enforcement and even the federal government are failing to change the high risk behavior. A new study finds that the behavior isn’t changing precisely because young people do not view it as high risk. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)- funded research says that interventions based on confronting overt peer pressure are misdirected. The Purdue University study says that direct peer pressure is not what drives prescription drug abuse among young people. It’s far more subtle than that.

Easy to Get
Researchers talked with 600 young adults and learned that few are won over with the “try this…all the cool kids use drugs” line. Instead, young people see a good number of their friends using the drugs and having a good time and, at the same time, never see any negative side effects. Multiple studies report that 70 percent of prescription drug users get their drugs from either a family member or a friend – meaning that the drugs are readily available.

Fun to Use
Easy availability and the subtle influence of observed peer behavior are hard issues to fight. Young people perceive significant social advantages and little negative social backlash to abusing prescription drugs. Until we figure out how to confront those subtleties, turning the tide of abuse will be difficult.

Family Guidance is a place where professionals understand how easy it is to fall into drug abuse but are ready and able to help show young people the way out. If prescription drugs are a problem in your life, contact us today.