Drug Abuse Treatment Centers

Choosing a drug treatment center can be one of the most crucial decisions of your life. It is of vital importance that you consider a few factors before arriving at a decision.

Drug abuse is a disease that requires a doctor specializing in addiction medicine to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the most appropriate treatment. You must ensure that a drug abuse treatment center can offer a variety of treatment programs that meet your needs. These programs may comprise inpatient, residential, outpatient, and/or short-stay options. Then another important question arises: how much does a drug treatment center cost? The price tag for treatment is presented in many kinds of formats. You must have a clear idea of what is included, what will be added to your bill as a fee-for-service program, and what services will be covered by your health insurance.

Inquire if the center has provisions for on-site medical care. It is advantageous, since physicians and nurses provide 24-hour hospital services to monitor and ensure a safe withdrawal from drugs. Check the center’s medical credentials and accreditation.

Do not forget to ask which medical costs are included in the price of treatment at the center. As family involvement is a crucial component of recovery, ask if there is any time devoted to family programs, and if group therapy is included. Keep in mind that drug rehabilitation treatment programs should include a continuing care program that supports and monitors recovery.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides on-line resources for locating drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs. The Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator lists private and public facilities that are licensed, certified, or otherwise approved for inclusion by their state substance abuse agency

All information in the locator is completely updated each year, based on facility responses to SAMHSA’s National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services. New facilities are added monthly. Updates to facility names, addresses, and telephone numbers are made monthly, if facilities inform SAMHSA of changes.

Prescription Drug Abuse in Adolescents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 52 million Americans use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons at least once in their life. Every day, approximately 44 Americans die from prescription painkiller overdoses. Thus, it is an alarming scenario with prescription painkillers causing more than 16,000 deaths and 475,000 emergency room visits annually. No wonder, the prescription drug abuse helpline numbers never stop ringing.

It is more terrifying when it comes to adolescents. Being young with impressionable minds, they are more susceptible to fall prey to prescription drug abuse. Seeking prescription drug addiction treatment help remains the only solution in such a situation.

According to the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, one out of every five teens in the U.S. abuse prescription drugs to get high. Almost half of them who have abused prescription painkillers also report abusing two or more drugs, including marijuana. They are also likely to abuse alcohol. Children reportedly do not feel any guilt pangs, because the drugs aren’t illegal and are also not shamed because they are not abusing illicit drugs, just prescription medicines. Adolescents abusing prescription drugs without any sign of inhibition is a dangerous trend.

As per a study titled “Psychotropic Medication Use among Adolescents: United States, 2005-2010,” about 6.3 percent U.S. adolescents reported any type of psychotropic medication use in the past month, during the period 2005-2010. The study, conducted by Bruce S. Jonas, Sc.M., Ph.D., Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D. and Juan R. Albertorio-Diaz, M.A., has summed the findings as below:

  • The highest abuse seen is of antidepressants (3.2 percent) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) drugs (3.2 percent). They are followed by antipsychotics (1 percent); anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics (0.5 percent); and antimanics (0.2 percent).
  • Males (4.2 percent) are more likely to use ADHD drugs as compared to females (2.2 percent), and females (4.5%) are more likely than males (2 percent) to use antidepressants.
  • The use of psychotropic drug was higher among non-Hispanic white (8.2 percent) adolescents than non-Hispanic black (3.1 percent) and Mexican-American (2.9 percent) adolescents.
  • Approximately half of the U.S. adolescents using psychotropic drugs in the past month had seen a mental health professional in the past year (53.3 percent).

Adolescents and prescription drugs

According to a 2008 report of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 64 percent of the youth aged 12 to 17 who have abused pain relievers said they got the medicines from friends or relatives, often without the other person’s knowledge. Very few of them said that they procured prescription medicines from the internet.

However, they engaged in online chat and gathered information about drugs and others’ experiences. Another potential place to obtain prescription drugs is their respective schools. Rampant exchange of medicines and trade flourish in the corridors.

Ways to check abuse

The study feels that prescription drug abuse in adolescents should be taken seriously like any other abuse. Parents and caregivers have a significant role to play in curbing this menace. Since a school is a fertile spot for procuring prescription drugs, authorities have a pivotal role in addressing it. Regular seminars and inviting guest speakers to talk on the dangers of this can help in reducing this threat.

Government agencies should also exert their influence and work towards eradicating abuse of prescription drugs. Introducing stringent laws, implementing reforms and educating the people at large will go a long way.

Even physicians should play their part. Keeping detailed records of patients, educating parents about any drugs prescribed to their children and enquiring about their patients’ past abuses will also help in preventing this malady.

Drug Abuse – When it Reaches the Point of no Return

Drug abuse, naturally enough, conjures up a locale which is rather the regular haunt of the addicts. A person may take to drug abuse for a number of reasons like peer group pressure, psychological pressures, or simply for the kick that the habit gives to the user. And, when the person keeps on repeatedly consuming the item(s), drug abuse assumes serious proportions.
However, a person is not deemed an addict unless the person demonstrates certain symptoms which are very typical of the ailment which is progressive by nature. Hence, if a person consumes too much of alcohol or for that matter drugs or even if the general state (physiological and financial) of the person is sliding, in proper medical terminology that person is not at all an addict. This is because these symptoms are mere predictable signs of the ailment but none of them in itself pertains to the disease of addiction.

Drug abuse has assumed alarming proportions across the globe what with the drug barons forcing the grassroots peddlers or their main conduits to entice the youth to fall into their pit of no return. There are also copious instances of nondescript shops selling drugs to school kids and all in the disguised forms of sweet toffees or candies. With time, these children find it absolutely difficult to come out of that vicious cycle. Hence the utmost attempts of the concerned authorities to nip in the bud all such moves to rope in the new generation into the drug abuse closed circuit.

Many western tourists frequent the Asian countries to get their hands on such natural drugs like bhang which is exotic to those places. In fact, the Golden Triangle encompassing the South East Asian countries of Myanmar, Thailand and the subcontinent has long been one of the main sources of the global narcotics substances.

Drug abuse alters the brain’s main sites known as the receptors. Regular drug abuse can definitely change the brain’s sensitive cells and even prevent the brain to utilize the necessary nutrients. These receptors are the primary units for transmission of vital information. Drug abuse further stops the brain from also recognizing the information highways made up by chemicals. The information is transmitted by surges of electricity. Drug abuse strikes this very pillar of mankind’s information technology. Therefore, repeated drug abuse changes the brain’s chemical layout, and even clogs the vital channels of information. The most dangerous aspect of drug abuse is the irrevocable damage caused to brain’s cell.

Prescription Drug Abuse

When a prescription drug is used in quantities more than the recommended dosage or when not required, it is termed drug abuse. Painkillers, tranquilizers and anti-anxiety drugs are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs.

Generally, patients take medicines as prescribed by their doctors. When taken this way, there is very little chance of the patient getting addicted. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), millions of people today use medications for non-medical purposes.

People try to justify drug abuse by convincing themselves that an overdose of prescription drugs is not as bad as street drugs such as heroin or ecstasy. The truth is that any kind of abuse is unwarranted. The problem with prescription drug abuse is that it starts with the consumption of a few extra pills for quick relief. The patient does not realize that abuse or addiction is likely.

If the doctor discontinues the prescription, an addict will seek out another doctor for a prescription of the same drug under false pretexts. Abusers use various methods to get a high. They even mix prescription drugs with alcohol, marijuana or any other similar drug. Drugs such as Ritalin and OxyContin are among the most abused drugs. Prescribing these drugs is carefully monitored and given only when urgently required.

To battle prescription drug abuse, medication directions must always be followed carefully. The physician must always be consulted regarding any change in dosage. It is not advisable to crush the tablets or take them with alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. Also, patients must never use someone else?s prescription, even if the symptoms are similar. The doctors should also exercise caution while prescribing drugs with any possibility of abuse. They must ask patients if they have any history of drug abuse.

Prescription drug abuse can be tackled with regular counseling. There is a lot of information on the Internet, and local physicians are always available for consultations.