pregnant woman

Help with Drug Addiction for Pregnant Mothers: Recovery from Substance Abuse Saves Babies and Lives

The process of recovery requires courage to face difficult issues and peer support in order to heal and change. Many women could be helped by programs that address the causes and conditions of chemical dependency in pregnancy.

The High Price of Perinatal Substance Abuse

Complications which may result from alcohol and drug exposure during pregnancy include spontaneous abortion, intrauterine growth retardation, placental insufficiency, brain damage and increased perinatal mortality.

Babies born to addicts and alcoholics have a higher incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and are at greater risk for HIV infection. They overwhelm the foster care and educational system with higher incidences of learning disabilities.

Some problems are directly caused by fetal exposure to drugs and alcohol. For example, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation in the United States today. Other problems are indirectly caused by addiction, such as malnutrition, poverty, domestic violence, and blood-borne diseases.

Characteristics of Drug Addicted Women

Their parents and/or grandparents are often alcoholic or drug-addicted, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and patterns of abuse get handed down from generation to generation. Childhood sexual abuse and rape issues are common. These hurt people continue to hurt people, not because they want to but because they don’t know how not to.

In long term recovery programs, women celebrate anniversaries of clean and sober time. Newcomers feel hope because they see with their own eyes what is possible. They also are reminded of what happens to people who “go out,” losing peers to the disease as frequently as they see friends recover. These are subjective and objective lessons they can apply to their own lives.

Why Don’t More Women Seek Help?

Women fear prosecution and having their babies taken from them. Threats create more fear, more hiding, and fewer opportunities to help these women and their babies. Even if the mother is aware of recovery programs, perhaps because she has prior failed attempts, there are few facilities that admit women with children.

A Window of Opportunity

Childbearing is a window of opportunity during which women may seek care for themselves and public health issues can be addressed. Punishment does little to help. If there were more places for women to get help without being separated from their children, more women would voluntarily seek treatment. If families are separated, support for the mother needs to extend beyond reunification.

Many alcoholic and drug addicted women “hit bottom” and seek help only after they are no longer able to care for themselves or their children.

For the pregnant mother who has recently lost custody of other children, grief and depression compound her problems, interrupting the pre- and post-natal bonding process and making women in early recovery more vulnerable to relapse. Experiencing raw feelings at a time when drinking or drug use only make her feel more hopeless and before she has had time to develop healthier coping mechanisms increases the likelihood that she will go back to the streets.

When Trying to Help

Working with chemically dependent mothers requires compassion, understanding, and a willingness to listen. For non-professionals, the following do’s and don’ts may be helpful:

  • Do identify yourself as a concerned person or a person in recovery. Don’t try to be an expert or an authority.
  • Do speak from your own experience, strength and hope. Don’t tell the mother what you think she should do.
  • Do tell her what has worked for you. Don’t preach at, lecture, or judge her.
  • Do observe the mother’s confidentiality. Don’t gossip about her or her problems later.
  • Do listen to the mother’s fears and concerns about her baby’s health. Don’t give opinions or advice on the baby’s condition.
  • Do allow the mother to feel her feelings. Don’t tell her how she should feel or minimize what is happening to her.
  • Do set healthy boundaries for yourself when working with the mother. Don’t make promises to do things for her that she can do for herself.
  • Do read “Working with Others” in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.. Don’t forget to work your own program!
salvia flower

Teen Curiosity Over Salvia Can Lead to Addiction

A Legal Herb Provides another Potential for Abuse

Salvia is a legal hallucinogenic herb available through health food vendors and online resources. Youth experimenting with the drug may find themselves unable to stop.

Tons of articles and even Dr. Phil have brought attention to the drug Saliva. Technically, salvia divinorium, is an herb used by some cultures to bring about a divine connection when seeking solutions and answers through ritual. However, the unbridled use of the drug is dangerous and its novelty appeals to teens. The novelty soon wears off, but use may continue as self-medicating agent or more advanced addictive state.

Novelty Attracts Teens Attention

“Teens are stupid,” said Dr. Phil on broadcast. While this statement isn’t particularly useful or true, it does hold a warning for parents. A better wording: teens do not have the necessary cognitive development to weigh risk-taking behavior threats. Teens see only the novelty of the substance.

A new clothing fad and a new recreational drug often have equal appeal to teenagers. As adults, parents can see the danger levels are quite different. However, this often escapes teenagers.

Because of the attention salvia is receiving in the the media currently, parents need to prepare to deal with the substance and help determine their teen’s level of use, reasons for use, and factors showing addiction potential.

Warning signs of the use of salvia share some common elements with the use of any drug. Fortunately, there are some unique signals to look for including:

  • Salvia is often a group use drug. Teens use together to laugh at the effects manifested by the drug.
  • Salvia gives off a unique, pungent odor when smoked. If made in tea, the taste is likened to burnt cinnamon.
  • Salvia is a drug distributed in plastic bags. Unless your teen has a good use for having small bags, finding them may be a sign of Salvia use, along with marijuana and other harder drugs.

Actions to Take if Salvia is Use is Suspected

Parents should be very direct with their teenagers if they suspect Salvia use. Begin by asking the teenager what he knows about the drug Salvia. Tell the teenager what you know of the drug and why you suspect its use. Whether the teen has legitimate reasons or not for the items leading to your suspicions, lay down a firm rule against using the drug.

If parents have discovered their teen using salvia or if their teenagers have admitted to its use, parents need to take immediate actions. These actions include:

  • Collecting and destroying any remaining drug.
  • Suspend allowance privileges and imposing other discipline.
  • Ask about the length and amount of use.

Parents will often need to give themselves permission to back off from the situation for a few moments so actions can be taken without anger. Instead, focus on the drug use as a safety situation and make a goal of determining the pattern of use.

When Addiction is Suspected

If teens have been using salvia regularly or have used the substance more times than they can recall, the use may have moved from experimentation to abuse and dependency. Drug dependency or addiction is defined an inability to stop using the substance. However, parents will need professional assistance if these signs are present:

  • Continued use of salvia after parent intervention.
  • Stealing or lying to obtain salvia.
  • Ceasing interest in other activities in favor of using salvia.

Parents noticing the above behaviors should immediately turn to an area treatment center, therapist or pastor for intervention help. In addition, parents may call the national hotline for drug abuse at 1-800-662-HELP for information on what steps to take next.

Salvia is receiving national attention and this causes natural teen curiosity because of its novelty. Parents should educate teens about the drug, be aware of the signs of abuse, and take action to stop the drug’s use. If the teen’s use of salvia is out of control, parents should seek help from a qualified, trusted source.

smoking cessation

Addiction to Smoking Cessation Aids: How to Quit Nicotine Gum and Nicotine Lozenges

Anyone that has quit smoking or given up tobacco products knows that it is a difficult journey. Through the help of a variety of smoking cessation aids, more smokers are successfully kicking the tobacco habit and instead are replacing tobacco products with nicotine patches and nicotine gum. Here are suggestions for quitting and becoming free from nicotine replacement therapy.

Causes of Addiction to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Nicotine replacement products like gum and lozenges are effective because they release a small dose of nicotine into the blood stream to lessen the withdrawal when quitting smoking or tobacco. The withdrawal symptoms when using Nicorette or Commit while quitting are lessened making the battle a little less difficult, but since nicotine is the actual drug that causes addiction, it’s possible to become addicted to these smoking cessation products.

Important Tips When Using Nicotine Gum and Lozenges

  • Always follow the program as directed, if not, there is a higher chance of becoming addicted.
  • Cut back on the use of the nicotine gum and nicotine lozenges gradually.
  • Follow the guidelines for use. For instance, it is suggested to not exceed 20 Commit lozenges a day or one piece of Nicorette every 1 or 2 hours.
  • It is suggested that use of the Nicotine gum and Nicotine lozenges stop completely at 12 weeks. The longer the product is used, the more dependent a person is likely to become.

Tips for Quitting Nicotine Gum and Nicotine Lozenges

  • If there is a possibility of addiction, first try to cut back similarly to cutting back when smoking cigarettes. Keep track of how much gum or how many lozenges are used and see how many can be skipped each day.
  • Try to replace the nicotine gum or lozenges with candies that have the same texture or feel. Many people quit successfully by replacing nicotine gum with regular mint gum or by replacing nicotine lozenges with peppermints.
  • Try an alternative method to quit smoking like hypnotherapy or nicotine patches. There is a possibility of becoming addicted to the nicotine patch but it’s less likely because of the method in which it is used.

An addiction to smoking cessation aids is still healthier then inhaling the dangerous carcinogens in cigarettes and can be cheaper than smoking or using tobacco and should not deter anyone from using them as a method to quit smoking. With just a couple more steps, smokers can also quit nicotine replacement products and become completely free of nicotine.

How to Tackle the Menace of Rising Addiction of Prescription Drugs Among Youngsters

If you ever thought that marijuana represented a youngster’s first experience with drugs, you are in for a shock, because times have changed. The menace of drug addiction has moved much closer to home – within touching distance, in fact.
The new threat to the health and safety of young people comes from prescription drugs – readily available in your own home. Did you know that the incidences of abuse of prescription drugs are now much higher than all other drugs put together?

Marijuana no longer holds ‘pride of place’ as the drug that starts this descent into destruction. That dubious distinction now belongs to prescription drugs – available in your own home. Worse still is the fact that these drugs are deadly – marijuana will look like child’s play by comparison…

You should also know that abuse of and addiction to prescription drugs are far more prevalent than you probably realize and you need to be tuned in to what is going on before you or your teenagers are caught up in this vicious cycle of destruction.

Research has shown that abuse of prescription drugs has overtaken drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, etc. Did you know that teenagers are quite at home with the use and abuse of prescription drugs, to the extent that one out of every five teenagers has sampled tranquilizers, stimulants and painkillers? With every passing day, about 2,500 more have jumped on the bandwagon.

Now you will have to familiarize yourself with names like Aderall and Ritalin, Klonopin and Xanax. There are also painkillers such as Percacet, Percodan and Fentanyl patches, as well as Lortab, OxyContin, oxycodone, Vicodin. If you recognize these names, that’s bad news for you because these are opioids, essentially just as deadly as heroin.

Well there is no time to be lost if you find that your child has been abusing any of these drugs – Time for you as a parent to evaluate your situation and tackle the problem before the situation spirals out of control.

You also need to consider what could possibly have started your child off on this perilous journey. Could it perhaps be the assumption that because the drugs in your cabinet came from a doctor, they would automatically be safe?

The other factor that you need to be alert to is that if your child is on drugs, you may be oblivious to it for several months – perhaps much longer than it will take for tragedy to strike as your child may pay for his curiosity with his life.

Do consider that youngsters often land themselves in trouble because of the demands of peer pressure. They may even go so far as to take an overdose simply because they do not know enough. So play safe and keep your prescription drugs out of your child’s reach

So it’s time for you to be alert to the dangers of prescription drug abuse – alert the parents of your child’s friends as well. In fact, you should go further and try to ensure that those parents take up the issue with their children as well.

Never make the mistake of thinking this is something you or your child will never come up against. So did all those others – and look where it got them. Should you have the faintest inkling that your child may be on drugs, you need to get to an addiction treatment center as soon as possible. Delays could have disastrous consequences, so do take care to give this problem all the attention it deserves. The outcome of your prompt action will speak for itself.

Detox Centers In Florida

What Are The Dangers of Going Through Drug Detox by Yourself?

The prospect of going through a drug or alcohol detox can be scary. Checking yourself into a drug detox program can be expensive and means time away from your family and loved ones. Each type of drug carries with it its own risks from detoxing and should be considered carefully. Attempting to detox at home may seem like a viable alternative, but there are very real dangers to detoxing on your own.

Addiction to drugs and alcohol creates both physical and psychological dependence. Your body has been flooded with drugs for so long that it depends on them to function properly. Stopping the intake of these drugs abruptly causes symptoms of withdrawal which are debilitating.

Heroin and Opioids

A heroin addict’s nervous system has been exposed to the drug for so long that withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating and sometimes life threatening. Withdrawal begins to occur after 12 hours of going with the drug and can last from 2 to 4 days. The symptoms of heroin withdrawal are excruciating. Some of these symptoms include:
  • Stomach pain
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Muscle weakness

 

Methamphetamine, Cocaine, and Other Stimulants

Withdrawal from stimulants causes less physical symptoms than heroin, but the psychological effects of drug withdrawal can be dangerous. Cocaine and methamphetamine are stimulants and the brain depends on them to keep it “happy”. During withdrawal, the psychological lows can be devastating. Some of the symptoms of stimulant withdrawal include:

Intense cravings
Paranoia
Severe depression
Severe anxiety
Fatigue
Suicidal thoughts

Alcohol

Alcohol is the most dangerous substance to withdraw from. Attempting to detox from alcohol on your own can and does have deadly consequences. Because of the fatal risks of withdrawal from alcohol, it should never be attempted without medical supervision. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal begin to occur within 2 days and can include:

Convulsions
Delirium tremens
Heart failure
Hallucinations
Nausea
Anxiety
Shakiness

Many addicts abuse more than one substance at a time. This can lead to fatal interactions and withdrawal symptoms that need to be monitored by a medical professional. A spokesperson for Detox of South Florida a well respected drug treatment center in West Palm Beach had this to say, “Many addicts use some form of an upper and then a downer. This is quite common in addiction. One type of narcotic to get you feeling energized, then another one to calm you down later.”

Trained medical professionals can prescribe medications which stave off withdrawal symptoms. The patient must be closely monitored during the process to ensure safely removing the drugs from the body.

Withdrawal ranges from being uncomfortable to being excruciating. Many people end up relapsing during, or just after, cessation because of the painful symptoms. The body is no longer used to the effects of the addictive substance. The same dose a patient used the day before can now lead to a fatal overdose. This is why drug rehab centers monitor their patients during and after detoxing.

The ultimate goal of any attempt to stop using is to live a life without addiction. Professional drug rehab centers specialize in helping people achieve a life of sobriety.

There are very real dangers that are present when withdrawing from drugs and alcohol. Getting professional help to stop safely eliminates those dangers. Although it is tempting to try detoxing on your own in your comfortable home environment, doing so can have devastating consequences.

 

How long does codeine stay in your system?

Codeine is an opiate, from the same family as that of morphine or heroine, and through times, it has been classified as an antidepressant, a sedative, as well as an anti-diarrhea medication. Codeine is the most popular opiate, you have probably heard of codeine being mentioned as a painkiller, it is used in hospitals around the world. Codeine can be extracted very easily, and is generally used for pharmaceutical necessities. There is some sort of synthetic process that is underway to extract this product in its purest form. It is also known as Codate, codeine with Tylenol, and Codeine with Empirin.

How long does codeine stay in your system?

As with the metabolism of human body, codeine can get pretty easily absorbed in the bloodstream. So, if there is a drug screening in your new job, then you would have to remain codeine free for at least 48 hours. That is the normal time-frame within which codeine remains detectable. However, if hair samples are taken as a form of drug screening, then it can remain there for a longer period of time. It stays for at least 90 days in your hair follicles. Moreover, it also depends upon the amount of codeine that you have ingested and whether you are addicted to this drug or not.

Example: Codeine Cough Syrup

Chronic use of codeine

If you have been pretty regular in using codeine, then you end up having codeine in your urine for a longer period of time. Normally, it only remains in the urine for about 1 to 2 days but if the quantity of codeine in your body surpasses the normal levels, then there are going to be traces that can be found in your body even after 48 hours. Since it is an addictive drug, it can also lead to enormous abuse within your body. Withdrawal symptoms are normal for people that do not have access to any kind of medication. Craving for the use of codeine is only normal if it has not been ingested over a long period of time. Overdose is pretty common for people making use of opiates, as the tolerance level of using codeine and opium keeps on increasing upon every successful administration of the drug.

The recreational use of codeine has become a problem among many teenagers, and people fall prey to the easy accessibility of this opiate from pharmaceutical centers. Since codeine gives a natural euphoric effect to the user, people start craving for it more and more, which leads to enormous dependency on the drug, which is a huge problem that should be addressed right away. If you feel that you have a problem with codeine, then you need to find yourself the nearest detox and rehab center and seek a referral with a specialist. Get blood tests done and ensure that you can take care of all your medication as well as psychological treatments at the earliest. Do not delay this, what may seem like a small problem can ruin your life, so please get the necessary help if you feel that you are having problems with codeine.

Mescaline detox and rehab

Mescaline, derived from a psychotropic plant which is normally found in Mexico has been used by natives for generations due to its medicinal purposes. However, it is also a naturally found hallucinogen and like any other drug, it can also be addictive. Primarily, Mescaline is ingested by directly chewing, or boiling it in water and consuming it via tea. The tea method is one of the most common practices, as it normally leaves a pretty bad taste due to the bitterness when ingested raw. However, with the use of Mescaline, you can either set yourself up for a pretty good trip or a pretty bad one.

If you go for a good Mescaline trip, then you can come across mystical experiences, as well as new processes of thought, euphoria, laughter, and visualizations along with dreamy experiences. However, with a bad trip, you end up with a disturbing experience of the world and experience a lot of anxiety attacks and terror that is unreal and unfounded. Users can remain in a state of terror, and in their mind, they will start feeling that they are going mad and that their life has been destroyed. There are others that have complained about physical problems like rash, vomiting, irritation in the skin and dizziness. As you can see, this is a serious drug with some serious effects, so if you or a family member are going through this, you must get help as soon as possible.

Mescaline Structural Formula

Mescaline detox

Mescaline has been classified as a schedule I drug, which means that it has a high potential for people to become addicted to it pretty easily. It is mainly due to the high risk associated with the use of Mescaline that it has been classed along with heroin, marijuana as well as methamphetamine.

There are various types of detox facilities that will help the user to get rid of this addiction and get back to a healthy life style. Keep in mind that if Mescaline is used in small quantities, then there is no need for detox, as they effects normally subside after 12 hours. However, it is still important to get the right information from a registered detox facility so that you don’t build up any kind of tolerance and dependence upon this drug. Self-detoxification is very much possible in case there is only a mild amount of use of Mescaline. However, if not done properly, this can lead to very bad withdrawal symptoms that can be pretty difficult for anybody looking to get rid of this addiction.

Mescaline rehab and detox centers normally focus upon supportive care as well as provide a pretty quiet environment to take care of the addiction. Since Mescaline use can result in tremendous psychological alterations of the mind, the visual stimulus is provided during the treatment process. This is primarily done in order to increase the external as well as the internal stimuli on the person.

Another thing normally professed in Mescaline rehab and detox centers is to not provide any abrupt discontinuation of the drug. It needs to be reduced in a gradual level. This way, the person dealing with Mescaline addiction can get rid of their dependency over a period of time and therefore the treatment is pretty effective over a longer time frame.