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Tag Archives: substance abuse

What Every Parent Should Know About Molly

12718905_sMolly – the name sounds innocent enough, almost as if it were a childhood friend. But the drug MDMA, also referred to as Ecstasy, is anything but. Targeted at young adults, Molly’s pushers take advantage of the vulnerability of young people and their desire to have fun and be free.

The problem is, nobody talks about the dark side of Molly. In fact, listening to music on the radio could easily sway someone to believe that Molly is just good, harmless fun. The likes of former childhood star, Miley Cyrus, along with Rihanna, Wiz Khalifa, and Lil’ Wayne all have songs playing in your children’s headphones about partying with Molly.

One Northwest Missouri State University student, Jay Graham, says that talk of MDMA is gaining popularity across Maryville and St. Joseph. Graham advises that clubs with their lively music and young crowds are the perfect spots to encounter Molly.

Jonathan Phillips, a former user of drugs who now works as an abuse counselor for teens says he wishes he would have known more about the drug when he was younger. According to Phillips, parents need to educate their children regarding the dangers of Molly, adding that “One out of every 100 tabs actually kills the user.”

The way Molly works is that it overloads a person’s brain with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, creating a euphoric high and sudden rush of energy. According to information from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Molly interferes with the hypothalamus’s ability to correctly regulate body temperature, leading to excessive sweating or chills. One concern is dehydration, but another is flooding the brain with too much serotonin, which can be deadly.

If you or someone you know is living with substance abuse, Family Guidance Center can be a good source of support. With both inpatient and outpatient programs, its staff provides expert group and individual counseling to more than 1,600 individuals every year. Learn positive methods to managing substance abuse triggers, contact Family Guidance Center.

 

New Study Shows First Three Months are Critical in Drug Recovery

14429202_sFor the person living with addiction, there are many factors that can complicate the success of recovery. Addiction can lead to risky decision making and impulsivity that might not occur otherwise. A person living with addiction may engage in precarious sexual encounters, overspending or compulsive gambling, compulsive overeating or other behaviors that can create feelings of hopelessness or lead to depression.

Abstinence from an addictive substance is often challenged by underlying mental, emotional, and social elements. Guibin Wang of China’s National Institute on Drug Dependence located at Peking University sought to get a better understanding of the process that occurs during abstinence in the hopes of developing more effective drug treatment plans and minimizing the occurrence of relapse.

Wang studied 183 individuals receiving treatment at a particular recovery facility. He evaluated drug cravings and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and impulsivity. Participants had been sober anywhere from about a week to more than a year.

The findings indicated that the longer participants were drug-free, the lower their level of impulsivity and the better their decision making skills became. Wang also found that longer periods of abstinence were associated with fewer instances of depression and anxiety.

And though general cravings diminished over time, Wang found that the first three months were critical to the recovery process as individuals actually experienced increased cue-based cravings during this period. The implication for clinicians is to be particularly vigilant during the initial phase of recovery and take additional steps to help minimize stress and regulate emotions during those first critical months of sobriety.

For over 100 years, Family Guidance Center has been aiding individuals and their families in breaking the cycle of addiction. Family Guidance Center also has programs for adults who are working through depression and other common types of chronic mental illness. Treatment is offered on both an inpatient and outpatient basis and focuses on learning positive ways to manage substance abuse triggers. Recovery can, and does, happen. Contact Family Guidance Center for more information.

 

The Enduring Nature of Dependency

17642228_sWhen the news broke of Cory Monteith’s recent death, it took many people by surprise.  The Glee actor seemed to have the world in his hands – good looks, a budding career, love, and a fresh start after a stint in rehab this past April. But shortly thereafter, Monteith, just 31 was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room after consuming a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.

Monteith’s death is a wakeup call regarding the serious nature of addiction. Addiction isn’t something that a person simply outgrows – it persists for life.

While there are ways to manage that addiction through individual and group support and treatment, without assistance the symptoms may only worsen over time. There are warning signs indicative of dependency. Red flags include 1) Flipping a switch – when a person suddenly just “isn’t themselves”, 2) struggling to hold down a job, or 3) being untruthful.

A common misconception when it comes to addiction is that affected individuals engage in substance abuse on a daily basis. This isn’t necessarily true; they may “binge” on the substance or seem to be separated from it for a brief period of time, only to return to it again.

In the event a loved one is suspected of having an issue with substance abuse, mental health experts advise confronting the individual directly and providing specific examples of concerns. Setting boundaries for what’s acceptable and what’s not are also important.

Family support and involvement are an integral part of the treatment process. When family members know their loved one’s triggers they can better help them on their road to recovery. While recovery is possible, it takes a lot of commitment, desire, and a willingness to get help. Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is coming to terms with the idea that the addiction is out of the person’s realm of control.

Family Guidance Center offers support for those living with addiction and their families through a professional and experienced Addiction Treatment Services program. While it may be easier to turn a blind eye, the best way to deal with addiction is to confront it head-on. Like other chronic illness, issues of mental health such as substance abuse or addiction can be treated and managed with ongoing professional treatment. Call today to learn more.

How Does Dependency Impact the Family?

11954857_sWith all the negative side effects, one might wonder why someone abusing drugs would have such trouble walking away from his or her habit. But many people don’t understand the nature of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), dependency is a compulsive habit that drives affected individuals regardless of undesirable consequences. This is why someone using drugs may continue to do so even when faced with the loss of employment, divorce, or declining physical health.

According to a recent article presented by Live Strong, drug use not only impacts the user, it also can disrupt family relationships and can result in a cycle of abuse and neglect towards loved ones.

Family Relationships

Family members who have a relative living with addiction often slip into a role that is dysfunctional to compensate for their loved one’s shortcomings. Over time, substance abuse can alter a person’s behavior and lead to severe family problems. It’s not uncommon for family members to deprive themselves of things so that they can provide resources to the dependent individual. This can lead to resentment and family members lashing out at the person with the addiction. And instead of trying to focus time and energy on getting the said person help, many in the family will rally to keep themselves from falling apart.

Pattern of Abuse and Neglect

Those living with addiction are not in a normal state of mind and may have trouble making rational decisions. It’s not uncommon for drug using parents to make their children a second priority. Drug abuse also heightens the risk of family violence, say the authors of a study made public in the Clinical Psychology Review. Additionally, many pregnant women continue to use drugs even though it increases the chances that their babies will be born with birth defects or lasting brain impairment.

User Impact

Dependency can lead to feelings of depression, agitation, anger, and anxiety. These impact the user and everyone else around him or her. Drug use also heightens the risk of communicable disease and can worsen existing mental health conditions.

Breaking the cycle of dependency often requires time and the help of a professional. The Family Guidance Center can walk families through this journey. Our therapy programs target the entire family, including spouses and children so that patterns of addiction can be broken and loved ones can rebuild a healthy way of life.

Would you be Able to Spot the Risk Factors for Alcohol Dependence?

16141310_sMost people who end up dependent upon alcohol don’t do so intentionally, and it’s often a culmination of many factors both innate and environmental that lead to abuse. However, there are several risk factors that may make a person more prone to problematic drinking. While some people can drink responsibly their entire lives, for others, it’s not so easy.

An article found online at WebMD outlines a few of the elements that make a person more susceptible to alcohol misuse. Certainly not everyone who exhibits a risk factor for alcoholism is considered an alcoholic. But the following serves as a guide to help spot variables that could increase a person’s risk.

Family history of alcoholism
Research has shown there is a genetic link associated with alcohol dependence. This means that those who have family members living with alcoholism could themselves be more prone to misuse.

Early onset of alcohol use
Data indicates that the risk for adult alcohol abuse is impacted by the age at which a person starts drinking. Meaning, the younger a person is when he or she consumes alcohol, the higher the risk of problems down the road.

Gender
Males in particular are more apt to have issues with alcohol than women. In fact, they are at three times the risk for alcohol dependency as their female counterparts.

Alcohol-Friendly Surroundings
People living in places renowned for heavy drinking or locations where alcohol is easily accessible are more apt to drink themselves.

Feeling Unfulfilled
Alcohol can sometimes be used as a coping mechanism to navigate difficult life circumstances such as the end of a relationship or loss of a job, which may lead to a cycle of abuse.

Issues of Mental Health
Mental illness including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and PTSD all elevate the risk of alcohol dependence.

Alcoholism is a family disease that likely impacts the affected person as well as his or her family and friends. Loved ones serve an important role in helping dependent individuals seek treatment and remain sober. For assistance with addiction or to learn more about alcoholism, contact the Family Guidance Center.