Coca leaves, the source of pure cocaine, have been chewed and ingested for thousands of years for the euphoric effects of the drug. They were first used by members of the Inca civilization in the Andes mountains, who believed the coca plant was a gift from the gods.
TODAY, COCAINE USE IS MORE PERVASIVE THAN EVER
Cocaine use has been glamourized in movies, TV, books, poems and literally hundreds of songs. We’ve all seen Tony Montana stuff his nose in a mound of cocaine that triggers his demise in Scarface. Most of us have heard about Sigmund Freud’s rather heavy use of cocaine, and his belief that cocaine was a cure for many mental and physical problems. Even the famous American soft drank Coca-Cola, when it launched, contained cocaine.
COCAINE: THE MOST POWERFUL CENTRAL NERVOUS STIMULANT FOUND IN NATURE
Physical cocaine use effects include constricted blood vessels and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood flow. Users of the drug experience greater alertness, energy, self-confidence, and even power after administration. The intensity and duration of cocaine’s effect – increased energy, reduced fatigue, mental alertness – depend on the route of drug administration. The faster cocaine is absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the brain, the more intense the high. Injecting or smoking cocaine produces a quicker, stronger high than snorting. On the other hand, faster absorption usually means shorter duration of action: the high from snorting cocaine may last 15 to 30 minutes, but the high from smoking may last only 5 to 10 minutes. In order to sustain the high, a cocaine abuser has to administer the drug again. For this reason, cocaine is sometimes abused in binges—taken repeatedly within a relatively short period of time, at increasingly higher doses.
Today, for millions of Americans, cocaine is an incredibly addictive drug.
– Approximately 35.9 million Americans aged 12 and older have tried cocaine use at least once in their lifetime, according to a national survey, and about 2.1 million Americans are regular users.
– Drug enforcement personnel estimate that about 2,500 Americans every day try cocaine for the first time.
– Cocaine is the most frequently reported illicit substance associated with drug abuse fatalities and causes three times more deaths than any other illegal drug.
STROKE IS ONE OF THE MOST SERIOUS MEDICAL CONSEQUENCES OF COCAINE USE
Researchers from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University have developed a high-resolution, 3D optical Doppler imaging tomography technique that captures the effects of cocaine use restricting the blood supply in vessels — including small capillaries — of the brain. The study, reported in Molecular Psychiatry, and with images on the journal’s October 2012 cover, illustrates the first use of the novel neuroimaging technique and provides evidence of cocaine-induced cerebral microischemia, which can cause stroke.
Stroke is one of the most serious medical risks of cocaine use. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is disrupted due to the vasoactive effects of cocaine use, and research has shown that the process contributes to stroke in cocaine abusers. An effective treatment has yet to be discovered because of minimal knowledge on the underlying mechanisms that cause cerebrovascular changes resulting from cocaine abuse. Current neuroimaging methods that could reveal clues to underlying mechanisms that cause cocaine-induced restricted CBF, such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography angiography, are limited in scope. The Stony Brook team’s neuroimaging technique offers a promising method to investigate structural changes in the small neurovascular networks of the brain that may be implicated in stroke.
If you have any questions about cocaine or the treatment of cocaine addiction, please give ONE80 a call for a free, confidential intake conversation with one of our addiction specialists.
Like any other addictive substance, drugs, narcotics, alcohol, all affect our brains differently. Addicts, alcoholics, will attest to the fact that their favorite drugs and alcohol affect them in a way that feels right, that they have found the cocktail or mixture of substances that works for them, that affects their brain in just the right way. They may feel that crack, meth, cocaine, heroin, Percoset all deliver different neurological affects, and they are right. However, and this is a big however, all of this is assuming that these highly addictive substances assuming, of course, that these highly addictive drugs have a brain to affect in the first place.
New clinical research has been published that lets us in on a secret that medical professionals, educators and probably even casual drug users and the addicts themselves have long suspected – that chronic cocaine abuse actually causes the brain’s grey matter to melt away at an accelerated rate. What this means is that a cocaine abuse addict’s brain actually ages faster than a non-addict. This doesn’t mean that they become wiser and more worldly, it means that, in the most non-clinical terminology, the brains of cocaine addicts turn to mush at a more rapid pace than sober, normal, human beings.
What the study administrators did was to test the brains of 60 cocaine addicts versus 60 people with no history of addiction. The differences they found were a bit shocking. They found that cocaine use caused the brains of the user to lose more than 3 milliliters of grey matter every year that they user continued to imbibe. This means that areas of the brain responsible for attention, decision-making, and memory would deteriorate at an exponentially faster rate than if the person was clean and sober.
Can this all be reversed? Of course it can. The brain, like all human organs, is a marvel and is capable of getting itself back up on it’s proverbial feet. For addicts, and alcoholics, who have succumbed to their addictions and put their brains, and their bodies, through years and years of abuse, this means that the sooner they get help, the sooner they start to deal with the addition itself, the sooner they will start to see improvements in brain function.
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have revealed that deteriorating brain functionality and cognitive erosion due to chronic cocaine abuse and addiction can be readily treated, and that the capacity for greater brain capacity can be restored.
The consequences of long-term drug addiction are as varied as the drugs themselves – financial, familial, health, career and even death. While new technology and medical research helps to continue to expand out knowledge of cocaine and the drugs affects on the brain, we all know that the best way to reverse the affects of any drug’s affect on the body is to stop. Easier said than done in most cases, but the rewards are infinite and almost immediately felt. In the simplest terms – the sooner abuse of alcohol, cocaine abuse, heroin or whatever addictive substance the alcoholic/addict is involved with, the better the chance they have at restoring their lives.
All of us here at ONE80CENTER continue to work with our own medical and recovery professionals to best understand the impact of all drugs on the clients we treat. ONE80CENTER offers the most innovative and effective alcohol and drug rehabilitation in the nation, specializing in unparalleled individualized treatment in a luxurious and private setting. We work with world renowned addiction specialists to integrate the latest advancements in neuroscience and mental health into an individualized program of nutrition, exercise and wellness services.
A Recent Study Shows How Exercise Can Prime the Brain For Addiction By Applying New Learning Abilities To Drug Seeking And Drug Cravings
From a statistical perspective, people who exercise are much less likely than inactive people to abuse drugs or alcohol. But can exercise help curb addictions or does exercise prime the brain for addiction by increasing an individual’s ability to learn? If we are put in a situation where addiction is an option we choose to take, will the greater awareness generated by exercise lead to a greater tendency to remain addicted? Although some research shows that exercise may stimulate reward centers in the brain, helping to ease cravings for drugs or other substances. But according to a shocking new study of cocaine-addicted mice that proved surprising even to the ONE80CENTER Clinical Staff, exercise could in some cases make it even harder to break the cycle of addiction.
University of Illinois Addiction Study
Conducted by researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, the study began by dividing male mice into those that had or did not have running wheels in their cages. All of the mice were injected with a chemical that marks newly created brain cells. The mice then sat in their cages or ran at will for 30 days. Afterward, the mice were placed in small chambers in the lab and introduced to liquid cocaine. Naturally, like any other animal, they liked it and became quickly addicted.
Researchers frequently use a model known as “conditioned place preference” to study addiction in animals. If a mouse returns to and stubbornly plants itself in a particular place where it has received a drug or other pleasurable experience, then the researchers conclude that the animal has become habituated. It badly wants to repeat the experience that it associates with that place. In the study, all of the mice displayed a decided place preference for the spot within their chamber where they received cocaine. They learned to associate that location with the cocaine and the preference repeatedly coming back to the “conditioned place” signaled addiction.
At this point, once the addiction was in place, some of the sedentary animals were given running wheels and allowed to start exercising. Meanwhile, those mice that had always had wheels continued to use them. Then the researchers cut off the cocaine supply and watched how long it took the mice to stop hanging out in their preferred place where they expected the reward of the cocaine to be. This process, known as “extinction of the conditioned place preference,” is thought to indicate that an animal has overcome its addiction.
The researchers noted two distinct patterns among the addicted exercisers. The formerly sedentary mice that had begun running only after they became addicted lost their conditioned place preference quickly and with apparent ease. For them, it appeared relatively easy to break the habit. In contrast, the mice that had been runners when they first tried cocaine lost their preference slowly, if at all. Many, in fact, never stopped hanging out in the drug-associated locale, a rather poignant reminder of the power of addiction. “There is good news and maybe not-so-good news about our findings,” says Justin S. Rhodes, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois and an author, with Martina L. Mustroph and others, of the study, published in The European Journal of Neuroscience.
Exercise Primes All Learning, Including Addiction
Does the study imply that exercise primes the brain for addiction? Such a conclusion would be going too far and making too much of a speculative leap. “Really, what the study shows,” explained Dr. Rhodes, “is how profoundly exercise affects learning.” When the brains of the mice were examined, the runners had about twice as many new brain cells as the animals that had remained sedentary. These cells were centered in each animal’s hippocampus, a portion of the brain critical for associative learning, or the ability to associate a new thought with its context.
As a result, it seems the mice that had been running before they were introduced to cocaine had a bunch of new brain cells primed to learn. And what they first learned was to crave cocaine. As a result, they had much more difficulty forgetting what they’d learned and moving on from their addiction. That same mechanism appeared to benefit animals that only started running after becoming addicted. Their new brain cells helped them to rapidly learn to stop associating drug and place. Once the cocaine was taken away, they quickly adjusted to sobriety. “Fundamentally, the results are encouraging,” Dr. Rhodes says. They show that by doubling the production of robust, young neurons, “exercise improves associative learning.”
As part of our individualized program, ONE80CENTER encourages our clients to exercise once they get through the initial detox phase of their treatment. From the study, it is clear that such exercise can only be helpful when it comes to recovery. By priming the brain, exercise allows a client in early recovery to learn the intricacies of living sober through the generation of brain cells.
But the findings also underscore that these new cells are indiscriminate in nature so the context of what is being learned is essential. They will amplify any process from working the 12 Steps or learning how to cut and mix and cook cocaine into crack base. Without question, the study findings, Dr. Rhodes explains, should not discourage people from exercising or from using exercise to combat addictions. “We looked at one narrow aspect” of exercise and addiction, he says, related to learned behaviors and drug seeking.
He points to a number of studies by other researchers that have shown that exercise seems able to stimulate reward centers in the brain that might substitute for drug cravings. Animals given voluntary access to both running wheels and narcotics, for example, almost always choose to take less of the drug than animals that couldn’t run. “They seem to get enough of a buzz” from the exercise, Dr. Rhodes, so they end up needing less of the drugs.
No Brainer: Exercise Good – Addiction Bad
“It’s a no-brainer, really,” Dr. Rhodes concludes. “Exercise is good for you in almost every way.” But it is wise to bear in mind, he adds, that, by exercising, “you do create a greater capacity to learn, and it’s up to each individual to use that capacity wisely.” If the capacity to learn is focused on drug addiction, the results will be darker than most. Butt ONE80CENTER believes that a focus on exercise and bodily health in early recovery leads to the long-term road of sustainable sobriety.
New Research Study Reveals 60% of Adult Americans Misuse Prescription Medications And Possibly Suffer From Prescription Drug Abuse
ONE80CENTER was not surprised by the results of a new Quest Diagnostics study that revealed that 60% of Americans misuse prescription medications, leading to prescription drug abuse. Examining men and women of all ages, income levels and health plans, the study conclusively showed that the subjects used pain medication and other prescription drugs contrary to clinician orders. Prescription drug abuse leads directly to alarming health risks and the rise of addiction.
Prescription Drug Abuse Study
Comprised of nearly 76,000 laboratory tests for monitoring prescription drug use and the possible abuse of prescription drugs, the extensive study indicate that the majority of Americans tested misused medications, including potentially addictive pain killers. From missing doses to combining medications with other drugs, the forms of medication misuse and prescription drug abuse were recorded in a wide range. Prescription pain medication abuse, however, was the worst.
The study found high rates of inconsistency with clinical orders and pharmaceutical instructions particularly when it came to opioid pain medications, such as oxycodone in the form of OxyContin (44%). In addition, misuse and abuse of central nervous system depressants like Xanax (50%), and stimulant amphetamines like Adderall (48%) were extremely high as well.
The study’s insights into the Prescription drug epidemic was based on an analysis of 75,997 de-identified urine lab test results of patients of both genders in 45 states and the District of Columbia performed by the company’s clinical laboratories in 2011. Patients were tested for the presence of up to 26 commonly abused prescription medications and illicit drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana.
Prescription Drug Abuse Gender Equality
What is fascinating in the findings were that men and women were equally likely to suffer prescription drug abuse. In contrast, the illegal drug abuse of men was higher with two in ten (21%) testing positive for cocaine, marijuana or PCP compared to 15% of women. All positive drug screens in the study were confirmed by mass spectrometry, the most advanced drug testing method. The analysis did not include results of drug rehabilitation clinics, which may be more likely to exhibit unusually high rates of drug inconsistency.
Why is the clinical team at ONE80CENTER not surprised by the findings of this study of prescription drug abuse? The answer is simple: We have seen the exact same trends in our own work and with our clients, both in and out of our facilities. These findings are not isolated events or a mass exception to the rule. Prescription drug abuse is the new American plague. If you or a loved one or a co-worker is suffering from the disease of prescription drug abuse or addiction, please contact ONE80CENTER today by calling 888.593.2301. The right time to take action is today.
University Of Kentucky Research Study Suggests Rates Of Alcohol Consumption Directly Increase Prescription Stimulant Abuse Risk
Demonstrating a logical connection between drinking and methamphetamine abuse, a new University of Kentucky research study suggests alcohol consumption may increase the likelihood of prescription stimulant abuse. Amphetamines are part of the larger group of drugs known as stimulants that includes cocaine and Adderall. Although cocaine was once the dominant illegal stimulant abused, today prescription stimulants like Adderall are more widely abused by young adults. The clinical staff at ONE80CENTER are not surprised that the Kentucky study strongly indicates an association between alcohol consumption and prescription stimulant abuse.
Prescription Stimulant Abuse Linked To Alcohol Consumption
As the senior author of the study and professor of Behavioral Science, Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Kentucky, Craig R. Rush said that the study shows a direct epidemiological link between drinking alcohol and prescription stimulant abuse, implying a link as well to the abuse of crystal meth. Building on his previous research that showed moderate drinkers were more sensitive to some of the effects of amphetamines when compared to light drinkers, Rush published the new study in the March 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
Rush explains in detail: “The idea behind the present study was to follow that study up with one in which we determined whether moderate drinkers were also more likely to work to receive amphetamine in the laboratory, in addition to being more sensitive to its subjective effects.” The researchers looked at 33 study participants and divided them into either moderate (more than seven drinks per week) or light drinkers (less than seven drinks per week).
The focus on study was not on actual drinking, but how drinkers ranging from light to moderate react to a rewards program related to prescription stimulant abuse. During a series of four studies on prescription stimulant abuse and rates of alcohol consumption, the participants were given a placebo as well as low (8-10mg) and high (16-20mg) doses of d-amphetamine. The subjects then had the chance to earn up to a total of eight capsules containing 12.5 percent of the previous dose by working on a computer task.
Drug Seeking, Drinking And Prescription Stimulant Abuse
What is fascinating is that the high dose of amphetamines increased drug seeking behaviors in both light and moderate drinkers, but only the low dose did so with the moderate drinkers. Such a finding definitely suggests that consuming moderate levels of alcohol can increase an individual’s vulnerability to prescription stimulants and illegal stimulant abuse.
Mark T. Fillmore, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky and part of the research team, summarized what needs to be done in light of the study: “We need to determine if drinking heavily might actually produce physiological changes in individuals that causes them to become more sensitive to the pleasurable effects of psychostimulant drugs, such as amphetamines.” Such efforts unquestionably will help to wide and deepen the prescription stimulant abuse debate that needs to be conducted in light of the prevalence of co-occurring disorders.
Expanding on his colleagues point, Rush explained, “Other future directions could be to look at the influence of alcohol use history on the effects of other drugs of abuse or to determine how acute alcohol administration, as opposed to self-reported drinking history, impacts response to stimulants.” Without question, the link between prescription stimulant abuse and alcohol consumption is directly related, particularly in terms of a certain personality and even genetic type that is prone to alcoholism and addiction.
ONE80CENTER has seen the prevalence of co-occurring disorders in our client base. Such commonality in both alcoholics and addicts makes the connection between prescription stimulant abuse and alcohol consumption appear almost like an afterthought. The question is not whether co-occurring disorders fuel each other, but how to prevent them from causing such damage and havoc in the lives of so many young people.
Co-Occurring Disorders In The New York Times: After Drugs and The Dark Times, Antonio Lambert Helps Others to Stand Back Up
Below is a powerful excerpted article about co-occurring disorders that appeared at the end of December in the New York Times and is written by Benedict Carey. Focusing on how the co-occurring disorders of substance abuse and mental problems can ravage the life of a human being, leaving almost nothing but prison and a trail of damage behind. What’s incredible in the tale of Antonio Lambert is how he manages through faith, medication and companionship to come back and create a positive and constructive life, learning the same “peer specialist” skills he teaches. Antonio Lambert’s story is an inspiration for us all in this holiday season.
At ONE80CENTER, our experienced staff and clinical team believe that co-occurring disorders do not have to be a life sentence of disaster, destruction and death. Instead, we believe wholeheartedly during this holiday season that the road of recovery is open to everyone who is willing and ready to make that change. Remember: You don’t have to do it alone! We can help lead you not only through detoxification and onto the path of initial sobriety, but down the long-term road that leads to true recovery and the freedom, happiness and serenity you deserve.
The Dark Legacy Of Co-Occurring Disorders
SMYRNA, Del. — The taste of cocaine and the slow-motion sensation of breaking the law were all too familiar, but the thrill was long gone. Antonio Lambert was not a young hoodlum anymore but a family man with a career, and here he was last fall, high as any street user, sneaking into his workplace at 9 o’clock at night, looking for — what, exactly? He didn’t really know.
He left the building with a few cellphones (which he threw away) and a feeling that he was slipping, falling back down into a hole. He walked in the darkness, walked with no place to go, and then he began to do what he has taught others in similar circumstances to do: turn, face the problem, and stand back up. “I started talking to myself, out loud; that’s one of my coping strategies, and one reason I relapsed is I had forgotten to use those,” said Mr. Lambert, 41, a mental health educator who has a combined diagnosis — mood disorder with drug addiction — that is among the scariest in psychiatry. Mr. Lambert, a self-taught ex-convict who is becoming a prominent peer trainer, gives classes in Delaware and across the country. He is one of a small number of people who have chosen to describe publicly how difficult it is to manage such a severe dual diagnosis, including the sudden setbacks that often come with it.
Handling Co-Occurring Disorders Through Passion And Commitment
“He is an extreme example of how much difference passion and commitment can make, given where he’s come from,” said Steve Harrington, the chief executive of the National Association of Peer Specialists, a group devoted to promoting peer support in mental health care. Mr. Lambert, who has climbed out of a deep hole with the help of religious faith, medication and his own forms of self-expression, puts it this way: “There are a lot of people dealing with mental illness, drugs, abandonment, abuse, and they don’t think there’s a way out. I didn’t. I didn’t.”
Bean Bean in Spider City
His grandmother was the first person to call him Bean Bean, and the boy was so skinny that he couldn’t shake it. He couldn’t avoid the older toughs in the Brighton section of Portsmouth, Va., either, and he spent some of his school-age years taking beatings. That was Brighton back in the day, and at least those fights taught survival skills. Not everything did: He remembers being sexually abused at age 6, by an older boy in the neighborhood — brutally.
Later, he began to stand his ground on the street, earning a name as an up-and-coming gangster by age 12, a regular presence at Palmer’s Corner, home base for the heavies, the alpha males of Brighton — Spider City, as they called it. He was soon into drugs, first as a courier and then as local muscle, armed and very dangerous. He began using more and more cocaine, crack usually. The skinny boy grew big, strong and crazy enough that he would ride around on his bike with a sawed-off shotgun on the handlebars, pull up to a group of dealers and throw an empty bag on the ground in front of them, with these instructions: Fill it up. Now.
“I would shoot the gun off in the air to show I was serious, then just take the drugs and move on to the next pack of dealers, and lay them all down,” he said. He was a junior in high school. It couldn’t last, and it didn’t. He survived several gunfights, taking a bullet behind the ear in one (it is still lodged there), and in another being ambushed from behind and hit in the legs, arms and pelvis; those bullets were all removed without lasting damage, except for prominent scars. But the police were onto him now, and by 1991, at the age of 21, he was in prison, sentenced to 22 years for malicious wounding with a firearm and other charges, according to Portsmouth court records.
He was not a model prisoner at first. He incited a protest at one institution, after which guards confined him to a “segregation” cell, away from other prisoners, for nearly two years. He began to read in there, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, then Robert Ludlum, James Clavell, Sun Tzu, anything he could find. That curiosity nourished a deepening ambition that one day in 2002 turned to conviction. “This young thug I knew from the neighborhood comes in, first day of a life sentence, and he puts his hands up and says, ‘Hey, man, I’m here!’ — like he’s coming into a house party,” Mr. Lambert said. “That did it. I knew I had to get out and find a life, something. I didn’t know what, or how.”
Later, Antonio Lambert got a lifeline, is how, and it came just in time and from an unexpected source. Feeling lost, moody and desperate for his medication of choice, he was in trouble. The gunmetal taste of cocaine was irresistible, and at least it broke the fall. But his mood would return darker, and he would have to get high again. That is how it almost always goes with a dual diagnosis of addiction and a mood disorder, doctors say: Each problem inflames the other, in a cycle that is extremely difficult to break.
He found himself drifting toward the George Washington Highway, feeling in some ways more hopeless than he had behind bars — when his cellphone buzzed. It was his mother now living in California, and she had just seen something on late-night television: an advertisement for Teen Challenge USA, a Christian-based recovery program.
She gave him a phone number. He wrote it down, sat on the stoop of a boarded-up house and thought about it for a long time, and then dialed. The man on the other end listened and offered to waive the fee if the young man pledged himself to God. He completed the program, in Greensboro, N.C., and soon found a job. He was living clean, the family was intact and according to his medical records, a local therapist put him on lithium, a standard treatment for severe mood swings.
In 2007, he attended a training talk by Mr. Harrington, the chief executive and founder of the national peer association. “He was asking all these questions that reflected a lot of thought,” Dr. Harrington, now a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University, said in an interview. “When I heard more of his story, I told him, ‘Look, you can do what I do.’ ” They stayed in touch, and soon Mr. Harrington called to say he had scheduled Mr. Lambert to give a keynote speech at an event in Michigan. He boarded a plane in Greensboro, unsure of what he was getting into. “I didn’t even know what ‘keynote’ meant,” he said. “I thought I might have to sing.”
The story told itself, and people in the audience who feared for a loved one with similar problems wanted to hear more. Parents from all walks of life, doctors, clergy members and co-workers have pulled him aside to see if he could talk to a wayward son, or a daughter into drugs. He joined Dr. Harrington to form a company, Recover Resources, which sells peer support manuals, DVDs and other educational materials. A training session in June, hosted by the Delaware Psychiatric Center and run by Mr. Lambert, was life-changing for at least one attendee.
The Navy veteran had also struggled with substance abuse and a psychiatric diagnosis. “I knew from the first smoke break that this was someone important for me,” said the veteran, Justin Thompson, 28, who has since completed his peer certification under Mr. Lambert and now works as a peer specialist. The two have become close friends. “I just related to him right away, his passion, his story, the positive energy he brings — all of it.”
“You got to understand, for me, right now, what I been through, it’s sometimes hard to believe it’s all real,” Mr. Lambert said. “But I know my own mental illness and my addiction are real; I feel like they’re out there right now, doing push-ups, getting ready to take me down again. That’s why I got to have my own system for staying strong.”
When Mr. Lambert feels his mind capsizing fast, he feels he needs a peer himself, someone with a history who knows what it looks like — from the inside — to be struggling mentally, deep in trouble, and feeling dead out of options. Someone who can be an advocate, a companion, who can share his or her own story: who can simply be there, if that’s what it takes.
On a recent Saturday morning, Mr. Lambert was home alone, watching college football, when he felt a pulse of that same darkness and exhaustion that led to his last relapse. “I call it the monster,” he said. “I was lying there on the couch, and after a while, the college football was watching me.” He called Mr. Thompson, who hurried over with a pair of fishing poles. The two of them fished that afternoon. They fished and had a smoke and talked about nothing much, and neither could say exactly when it happened but it did. The monster was gone.
And the monster can be gone for you as well. ONE80CENTER understands that the road to long-term recovery is difficult and filled with potential pitfalls and problems. As a result, we have created a long-term community and support system for our clients that continues after treatment and never truly ends. We know how tough it is to deal with co-occurring disorders, and we are there to help you find recovery.
SAMHSA Report Shows Huge Surge In Number of Americans Treated for Addiction to Prescription Painkillers From 1999 to 2009
According to a SAMHSA report (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), rehab and treatment center admissions related to prescription painkillers, mostly due to use of prescription opioids, which include painkillers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and Percocet have increased dramatically in the United States between 1999 and 2009, according to a new national report by SAMHSA. The staggering increases for prescription drugs over the 10-year study period shocked the researchers. When the clinical experts at ONE80CENTER learned of the study results, they were not surprised in the least. Admissions at ONE80CENTER for prescription painkillers have been consistent and increasing every quarter. The prescription drug problem is simply out of control.
Rising Abuse of Prescription Painkillers
The findings of the study showed that 96 percent of the nearly 2 million admissions to treatment facilities that occurred in 2009 were related to alcohol (42 percent), opiates (21 percent), marijuana (18 percent), cocaine (9 percent) and methamphetamine/amphetamines (6 percent). The report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) identified trends in the reasons why people are admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities. The SAMHSA report revealed that prescription drugs were to blame for 33 percent of opiate rehab admissions in 2009 — up from just 8 percent a decade earlier. And the key prescription painkiller and opiate narcotic that led to this increase is Oxycontin and its rising abuse among teenagers and young people. Oxycontin abuse and addiction is at the heart of the abuse of prescription painkillers.
Does that statistic take your breath away as you come to realize how serious prescription painkiller abuse and addiction have become in our society? A four-fold increase in ten years is staggering, but it very could be a drop in the hat compared to the next ten years. In the past couple of years, Oxycontin abuse and addiction has been increasing both in the so-called legal pill mills, doctors abusing their prescription pads, and street dealers making prescription painkillers the main money staple of their illegal drug inventories.
SAMHSA Report Shows Huge Increase In Opiate Addiction
Compounding the problem, 44 percent of those who abused alcohol admitted to using other drugs as well. Co-dependency and co-addiction is becoming more and more common. “This new report shows the challenge our nation’s health system must address as the treatment needs of people with drug and alcohol problems continue to evolve,” SAMHSA administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, said in an agency news release. “People often arrive in treatment programs with multiple problems — including dependency or addiction to multiple substances of abuse.” Since prescription painkillers like Oxycontin and Percocet are legal and prescribed, people seem to be more casual in their abuse and less likely to realize the dangers of addiction and overdose. SAMHSA is focusing on a strategy of education, awareness and prevention.
In the report, however, Hyde made it clear that the rise in patients and addicts seeking treatment for prescription painkiller abuse was the most surprising statistic. The rise in Oxycontin addicts and prescription opiate abusers across the board is a plague that must be addressed today. The clinical team at ONE80CENTER is continuing to do provide not only the best in alcoholism and addiction treatment services, but also raise awareness and foster prevention of the prescription painkiller problem at hand. If you or a loved one is abusing prescription painkillers like Oxycontin or any prescription drug, contact ONE80CENTER today by calling toll free 888.588.4180.
According To The National Drug Intelligence Center, Drug Abuse And Drug Addiction Costs Rival Those Of Diabetes And Smoking
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, illicit drug abuse and drug addiction cost the U.S. economy an estimated $193 billion in 2007. What’s incredible is that this figure is bigger than the annual costs related to diabetes and smoking. Examining the most recent year in which data was available, the report examined expenses associated with crime, health, medical treatment, and lost productivity related to the use of illegal drugs, drug addiction and the abuse of pharmaceuticals. The inclusion of prescription drug abuse reveals the rising expense of this modern plague of prescription pills.
National Drug Intelligence Center Report
Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, explained that the $193 billion price tag “reveals that this nation’s drug problem is on par with other health problems.” The report is titled The Economic Impact of Illicit Drug Use on American Society, and it cited a 2008 report on the cost of diabetes that put the annual tally for that disease at an estimated $174 billion. The report also made a comparison to a smoking study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covering 1995 to 1999, which said smoking led to at least $157 billion a year in health costs.
Types of Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction
To be comprehensive in its examination of drug abuse and drug addiction, the drug study looked at expenses involving the use of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and improper use of several categories of prescription drugs, including tranquilizers and pain relievers. The report did not cover the use of alcohol or inhalants. This is essential because the overall cost would have ballooned, perhaps even doubled, if alcohol had been included. By just including drugs, it revealed how prevalent the problem of drug addiction and drug abuse has become in our society. If you or a loved one is having a problem with drug abuse, please contact the experts at ONE80CENTER today for help by calling toll free (888) 588 – 4180.
I died once.
It was a long time ago, but there you have it. I didn’t wait until I hit a bottom, I just went ahead and got it out of the way at age 18.
Why am I telling you this? First of all, because the truth sets me free, and being able to reveal my darkest moments without flinching has truly set me free. But not gratuitously; this is where its important to make a distinction between telling stories and sharing experience strength and hope- the goal is that it helps someone, that someone, somewhere, is able to relate, that a rapport is formed or an understanding or revelation takes place. That is the hope.
So, I died, as I said. I was raised, much of the time, by a great aunt and uncle who were pharmacists. Yep. I also come from moonshiners tobacconists and coffin makers, but I digress. I learned early that valiums were the blue pill with the V in the middle and were for when you are upset. My first heartache, I self medicated with five of them. It pretty much worked, I felt no pain, and in fact I felt hardly anything at all. Perfect! I then went through the entire medicine cabinet in my great aunt’s pink bathroom= valium, fiorenal, elavil, halcion- I tried it all. I tried different cocktail combinations, I tried it with alcohol, with pot. I felt I was born to be high.
At some point I had to curtail my pharmacy raids, but only for a few months, and when I finally was able to score a handful of pills again, I took too many. I think I took them all. I don’t remember- I had just returned from being on the road with the Grateful Dead, and I was having culture shock. I was uncomfortable. And I am not a fan of discomfort. Next thing I know I woke up in 4 point restraints, disoriented, hooked up to machines in ICU at the hospital. Apparently I was blue and cold on my father’s living room floor. They used the paddles to bring me back, and there I was. Tied down to a bed. Nice.
Here is where its all wrong- it didn’t occur to me that I had a problem. In fact, I thought it was EPIC. I thought it was pure fiction. They put me in a lockdown psych ward after that, and I had friends coming to visit me who wanted to break me out. It was terrible and exciting at the same time- I had never known anyone who had been in the loony bin. A dubious achievement for most, but not if your hero is Hunter S Thompson. For me, its stunning that no one batted an eye, including myself. I finally talked myself out of the loony bin and went right back out onto Grateful Dead Tour, where I switched from pills to hallucinogenics. It has been a long strange trip from there to here, punctuated by LSD, heroin, speed, marijuana, cocaine, vicodin, xanax, soma- and always fueled by alcohol.
When we hear it said that untreated alcoholism leads us to jails, institutions, and death, I have to laugh. It took me to institutions and death right off the bat. Jails were only a few years off. And I still had 20 more years before I was desperate enough to attempt sobriety.
Now, with 4 years sober, I can tell you that life is amazing. When I feel discomfort, I no longer seek a pill or a drink but another alcoholic, a newcomer. I say that at speaking engagements a lot- “I don’t need a drink, I need a newcomer!” If I feel panicked, I look for someone to be of service to, in recovery or out. Its magical, and it works, every time. I wish I had found this life sooner, but it takes what it takes. I would not be here if I had not been there, and for this reason, I can not harbor any regrets about what it took to be here. Each person is different, but each person has the same opportunity for a graceful, serene life in recovery. If I could do it, anyone can.