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SH flying after graduating the Narconon program

What if you knew you were addicted and needed help, but couldn’t see yourself ever getting clean?

While you waited you pictured all the times you tried to quit and failed. When you got tired of those memories you recalled all the other people you knew who had tried to get clean but never did. Then you made up stories in your head about how horrible it would be, that you’d probably die without it, that life would be no fun, that you’d lose all your friends and loved ones because you wouldn’t be “that person” anymore. You just sat there doing this every day for weeks and months. Weeks and months as your health got worse, your friends vanished and your family all but gave up.

But someone didn’t give up. They knew you were worth saving and they kept searching for a way to get you into a safe environment with people trained to help you get better and regain your life.

A recent graduate of the Narconon Suncoast program knows about waiting inside of an addiction and what happens in your addicted mind, your family and your life while you wait.

When asked what it took to finally get to drug rehab, she laughs and says “I was always a risk-taker, but when it came to going to rehab I did the most lethal thing….I waited and I convinced almost everyone I knew to let me wait. Luckily my Mom and Dad finally cut through all that and like my recent sky-diving adventure, they were the ones who got me to scoot out over the edge and jump! And away I went.

Going to rehab and starting the withdrawal was scarier to me than jumping out of a plane. Every addict fears withdrawal because they’ve experienced how bad it can be and most end up using again and again, just to avoid it. While in withdrawal at Narconon Suncoast I had 24/7 withdraw specialists and nursing care. I felt my anxiety about not having drugs or alcohol lessen each day and all of a sudden I was off. I started to feel good and realized I hadn’t had that kind of support or that kind of feeling of strength in a long time. The staff were not going to let my fears get the best of me. They educated me about my addiction and showed me how this drug-free model works and soon I found myself withdrawn and onto the next part of the program and the next and the next. Each step of the way all my questions were answered and I just kept feeling healthier.

Then one day I started to see the things that had made me start using to begin with. It was so clear to me once I spotted them and I could tackle them one by one, in such a way that I knew those things would never trip me up again. I learned some killer maneuvers (they call them Life Skills) that I knew I would use the rest of my life to maintain my sobriety. Suddenly the fear of relapse was gone too. I was really free to begin looking at what I wanted to tackle in life.

So when I finished my program and went home I decided to celebrate by jumping off the edge again. I got my son (a licensed skydiver) to sign me up for a jump. The instructor was amazing. I trained and I was prepared to do this and do it right. I was really ready to fly and knew I could.

My instructor and I took off and then there we sat on the ledge looking out into the endless blue sky. He instructed me on how we’d rock from left to right to left and then roll on out into the 13,700 foot-high sky together and fly down to earth.

And man was he right! We were flying and I was loving it. What a rush! Even with all that adrenaline, I was so in the present moment that I could catch my breath, focus on things and see the horizon and fly with him. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Before I knew it, I was pulling up my legs and we landed lightly on the ground in a near-perfect exhibition. So precise, just like he said it would go, just like we had practiced and so much fun!

Similarly if I had known that coming to Narconon and getting sober was going to be the same way, I would have scooted up to the edge of recovery sooner. I had no idea that recovery could really work and that there were exact steps to have me get better and that I was the one in charge of my recovery and my life. My previous fears and everything I made up about it stopped me from letting people help me. I am so thankful my parents got to me to Narconon and gave me this chance to get my life back.

I now know that I had the power to recover all along. I simply needed to find a program that taught me how and guided me along the way. I found my own confidence and strength again at Narconon. I found my fearless self, the one I love to be.

I know that I am stronger than ever and that I am willing to be even more fearless than before. I have a beautiful family and wonderful friends to help me soar as high as I want without ever thinking of using again!

If you are sitting on the edge of addiction thinking, and thinking, and thinking about rehab. Stop it! Get real help and get it now! Take a chance on yourself and your future and soar right out into your new life, free from drugs for good!

I did it, thousands do it every day and you can too!

S.H.

 

S.H. Narconon drug rehab graduate

Filed under Success Stories #

depressed person

In today’s modern world full of happy pills, the need for instant gratification and quick fixes, addiction is striking more families than ever. In earlier times addiction was much less prevalent and the existence of an addict within the family unit was a rare occurrence. Sure, there were families with an uncle or cousin that just “couldn’t get right” but they were easily swept under the carpet and kept out of view because having such a family member was a stigma and shameful. There has been a major shift as of recently from where it was few and far between to find an addict in the family tree to innumerable localized support groups all over the country with a hundred families in attendance all whom which have a son, daughter, mother or father who struggles with substance abuse. At one point having an addict in the family was a lonely feeling. When dealing with the sleeplessness nights, arguments, anxiety and heartache families would feel as though no one else out there could possibly understand their struggle and what they’re going through. Back in the day that would probably be an accurate assessment. Currently an estimated 65% of American families are dealing with alcohol and substance abuse.

When a person is addicted to alcohol or drugs it become all about them.

“No one understands me!”

“You just don’t know what I’m going through!”

“Why are you doing this to me?”

An addict, in the midst of their addiction, fails to see how their actions and behavior truly affect those around them. The addict is so consumed with themselves they fail to see their mom having frequent anxiety attacks and their dad starting to get chest pains. The family eventually becomes completely consumed with helping the addict, handling all the crisis situations, trying to fix them and holding out hope for their future recovery.

When family members finally find a rehabilitation program for their loved one a sense of hope returns.

“Maybe he’s going to be okay after all.”

“I hope she gets it this time because we have no money left.”

What a lot of addicts fail to see is how close to death they really were. The family saw it, probably denying the addiction’s severity at first but after the second overdose they finally realized their loved one could potentially die. A drug addict, to some degree, feels completely invincible and immune to death or they are just completely apathetic about whether or not they live. They may have survived through situations where they should have been murdered or killed. Getting robbed, dealers shoving a gun down their throat, driving their car head on into a telephone pole and walking away with only a scratch are just a few examples. Very rarely does an addict consider what would become of their family if they died. Would their parents be able to move on? Would the family ever be the same?

One thing a parent will never get over is the death of their child. Parents spend most of their lives making sure their children are safe and cared for. When addiction takes over the scariest thing to a parent is that something could kill your child and you have absolutely no control over it. All parents can do is to try and help their child, get them therapy, get them rehab, get them help of any kind. Until the unthinkable happens. An overdose takes the life of a once shining star.

I am going to repeat myself. Parents very rarely ever get over the death of their child. Once their child has succumbed to addiction the family unit is forever distorted and torn. When alive the addict never considered what would happen if they died. And it’s worse than they could have imagined.

The family’s grief and despair is immeasurable.

“What could we have done to save him?”

“Why wouldn’t she just listen to us?”

“Were we bad parents?”

Deep depression, mental and emotional torture and sadness is what is felt for years to come. Some families have left their child’s room the same for years after they passed away, unable to move forward and accept that they are gone. Parents torture themselves about what they could have done differently, what they could have not done or changed. The fact remains that a life lost to addiction is unnecessary. Help exists and help is out there. There is no right or wrong way necessarily to deal with addiction. Opinions on the matter vary widely. Help your loved one the best way that works for you and works for them. There is no cookie-cutter method of dealing with addiction. Attaining recovery is individual to the person. What works for one may not work for another. The main idea is to help the person. No family should ever have to endure what thousands of families have; losing a child to the grip of addiction.

Filed under News #

psychiatry

Nowadays, especially within the United States, you would be hard-pressed not to see, on a daily basis, at least two to five advertisements for a pharmaceutical drug on a daily basis. A study conducted on the frequency of pharmaceutical commercials found that the average American will watch 30 hours of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising each year.

While sitting back and relaxing after a long day, I decided to throw on the television and veg out with mindless programming. Within two minutes of turning on the TV, a pharmaceutical advertisement came on. The commercial began with “Do you sometimes laugh at inappropriate times? Do you uncontrollably cry or sometimes express the wrong emotion for a given situation…?” This actually has a name. It’s called “Pseudobulbar Affect.” Jeez…

“Do you have ups and downs in life? Do you have energy and then become extraordinarily tired? Do you find yourself depressed for no reason and then experience a surge in energy? Does your antidepressant alone not work? Abilify may be for you…”

That’s when it hit me…pharmaceutical companies are now creating and marketing drugs to take away those emotions which make us human. This isn’t even the worst part. The worst part is that we, as consumers, want this stuff. We no longer live in a society where if you are depressed, you seek real help for the source of your depression.  For example if you’re overweight you would see a nutritionist or physical trainer or if you are a drug addict, you would go into treatment for substance abuse.  Why would you, when you can just pop some magic pill that fixes everything? Here’s an interesting article written by Linda Caroll of NBC News: http://www.today.com/health/pill-nation-are-we-too-reliant-prescription-meds-1C9291856

I personally come from three generations of physicians. I remember when I was growing up, we had a large cabinet above the oven in our kitchen that housed close to 130 different bottles and samples of medications. To me, having a makeshift pharmacy in your house was normal. We probably had a medication for any and every possible ailment plus a host of narcotic medications. When I would have a really bad “tummy ache” as young children often experience, my parents would give me a dose of Phenobarbital and Belladonna. I love my family, but that was ridiculous.

At the age of 12, I had a common pre-teenage anxiety about being accepted and liked by my peers, fitting in and being “cool.” However my doctor apparently didn’t agree with how normal this was, so I was prescribed 2mg of Alprazolam (Xanax ), 1mg before school and 1mg after. The next year at school my teachers expressed concern that I seemed to have a short attention span and day dreamed a lot. Wow, shocking since at that point I was taking hard core narcotic anxiety meds before school. Bring on the ADD diagnosis. Now add Ritalin to the Xanax and anti-depressants. I was also diagnosed as being obsessive – compulsive by the way. So at that point, at 14 years old, I was legally speed balling on a daily basis.

Fast forward to my college days. I’m now taking anti-depressants, atypical antipsychotics, adderall and benzodiazepines. All prescribed by my physician. I was pretty doped up, commonly describing it as feeling “zombified.” After being introduced to illegal drugs as most university students are, I was off and running with an uncontained cocaine addiction that led me down a path of destruction I’d rather not discuss.

Presently, I do not take any medications. I’m not addicted to drugs either. The question in my mind was, did the constant drugging on psychiatric medications create the perfect storm? My guess is that being medicated from a young age helped but there’s a bit more to it. When you’re young and impressionable and a medical professional sits directly across from you and informs you that there is something wrong with you, it cuts very deeply.

A lot of our youth today are over – medicated, over – diagnosed and are told they aren’t “normal.” The search of a drug addict is trying to achieve “normal” so they feel “normal.” Ask any drug addict when they last felt “normal” and they’d find it difficult to recount any point in the past where they felt like “other people do.” Drug addicts use drugs to solve a problem. Low self-esteem, low self-confidence, anxiety, sleep problems, learning difficulties, not fitting in with their peers, etc. become insurmountable problems that need a resolution. What’s the easiest way to get drugs? Well, your family doctor has a prescription pad and a pen ready to go to help you feel better.

The behavior of popping an antidepressant to feel “better” is the same action of a heroin addict doing a shot of heroin to stave off the withdrawals.

Just because your doctor prescribed it and its “legal” doesn’t make it any less of an issue than if you were to snort an 8ball of cocaine every day. You’re taking a drug to solve a problem. Plain and simple.

We as a society need to determine our priorities once again. We need to make informed decisions before not only taking these medications ourselves but before giving them to our children. Hippocrates once said “Let thy food be thy medicine.” Doctors also take the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm.” I think we’ve all lost sight of this.

Filed under News #

health shopping -- vitamins

Often people in early recovery develop a new-found sense of health, wellness and a strong drive to finally treat their bodies well after ravaging it through years and years of substance abuse. Weight lifting, exercise, weight loss, physical healing and mental wellness commonly become priorities where a single thought had not been paid to such things in the person’s recent past. I have seen individuals in early recovery be the pinnacle of health and wellness, spending a lot of free time in the gym, being concerned about losing or gaining weight, researching the latest supplements and herbs and seeking out new methodologies to establish mental wellness. While physical and mental health are surely important, I believe this can unknowingly reawaken old demons.

Let’s take up weight training and exercise. The amount of supplements, thermogenic metabolism boosters, fat burners and concoctions of short-chain amino acids that promises to get me off the couch and inspire me to go to the gym is mind boggling. We live in a day and age where people will take the word of the 6 foot 3, 230 lb. guy behind the nutrition store counter rather than read the 7 warning labels and laundry list of un-pronounceable substances on a bottle of work out supplements as long as it promises to get them “fit” and “healthy.” This is the danger zone in my eyes. Why? Because for an addict in early recovery heeding the advice of those warning labels and understanding what exactly it is that they are about to consume is vital. Way more important than losing 10 pounds in 3 days or getting an energy boost. A common misnomer is:

“Well I bought it in a vitamin store so it can’t be bad for me.”

What the vitamin store employee doesn’t tell you is that this particular substance is banned in the entire European continent, has a high incidence of heart arrhythmia and stroke associated with its use and contains multiple ingredients that can be intoxicating and prove addictive.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2013/10/13/craze-workout-booster-contains-banned-stimulant-harvard-study-finds/RdqaCrN6H2X5N6lk7192uJ/story.html

Unknowingly or purposely pulling the wool over his eyes, the addict purchases the supplement, takes it home and can hardly wait to get to the gym so he can use his new “Super Supplement!” So the next day, he gets ready to go to the gym and takes the supplement. Within 10 minutes, his pulse races, his muscles swell with blood and he feels completely pumped and energized to rearrange the entire gym. He gets a great workout, lifted 10 more pounds than usual and within a week he’s lost 10 pounds.

“Hey, this stuff is pretty good!” he says and assigns a lot of value to this supplement.

“Where has this stuff been my entire life?” he asks himself (not remembering that he asked that same question to himself the first time he did OxyContin).

Soon, he finds himself taking the supplement outside of gym workouts. He takes it to get up in the morning. During the workday, he doses himself up just to get through the rest of the day. Now he’s buying 2 containers a week and 1 is supposed to be an entire month’s supply. Boom, his addictive behavior is taking hold again.

After a really hard workout, he wakes up and his muscles are very sore. So he goes back to the vitamin shop and says:

“That workout supplement you recommended was awesome. What do have for muscle soreness?”

The vitamin store employee reaches behind the counter and produces a bottle of a new herb called Kratom, which is used “specially used for pain and muscle soreness.”

“Don’t worry. It’s all natural herbs, so it can’t hurt you” he says.

Here is an article about Kratom:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/03/19/10760892-asian-leaf-kratom-making-presence-felt-in-us-emergency-rooms?lite

Excited about his new find, he gets home, opens the bottle and swallows a few capsules. Within minutes he feels the slow, warm, intoxicating wave that is all too familiar to him. Unaware, he has just consumed an all-natural, legal herb that acts in the brain identically to heroin.

Once the Kratom supplements lose their efficacy, he’s back to Oxy. Completely relapsed, destroying his life and finds himself shooting up with a dirty water puddle yet again.

What happened here?

The person’s endless search for a “magic bullet” or a “cure-for-what-ails you” can led a them down the same rabbit hole that once found them sucking up water from a dirty puddle to shoot their next fix of heroin.

This is an all-too familiar situation where a person in early recovery falls victim to “natural” and “safe” herbs and supplements that are just as dangerous and intoxicating as illicit drugs. If you are going to take herbs and supplements please do your research. Know what you are taking and what peril may await you should you choose to consume it. Read labels, educate yourself and never compromise your new found life with quick-fixes and pick-me-ups.  Get advice from a medical practitioner who knows your substance abuse history.  Above all, find out so that you are smart through your recovery.

Filed under News #

I feel like I used to before doing any drugs.

When most people in recovery say they went through a detox, they are usually talking about the process of coming off the drugs they have been taking. Some detoxes involve close medical supervision as a person goes through withdrawal because of danger to the individual’s health and some are just places where a person goes through a few days being tapered off opiates before they go to rehab.
But truthfully, going through those kinds of detox leaves a person with a burden of drug residues lodged in their bodies. When a body breaks down drugs or alcohol to eliminate them, the process is incomplete. Some residues of this breakdown remain lodged in fatty tissues where they can continue to have an effect on a person’s mood, thinking, cravings and life.

That’s why the first step of rehab at Narconon Suncoast is the New Life Detoxification Program. Each day on this program, an individual exercises moderately, takes a strictly-controlled supply of nutritional supplements, oils and liquids and spends time in a dry-heat sauna. This combination activates the body’s ability to reach into its storage and flush away these residues.

After about three weeks, it’s obvious to the recovering person that something has changed. His (or her) outlook changes, his mood brightens and his thinking is clearer. Many people also say that their cravings are reduced to manageable levels. Some people even say they are now gone.

M.C. is a Narconon student who just completed this step. His story brings home how important this deep detoxification step is to a person who wants to spend the rest of his life sober.

Sauna detoxification success story

“After the first day on the New Life Detoxification Program I was feeling great. However, now that I have completed this step, I feel like I used to before doing any drugs. I feel like there are no more cravings and the drugs are completely gone from my body. I had a lot of time to think about how I don’t want to return to using drugs. I want to live and enjoy life more. Drugs controlled me and I want to control myself. I know now I can do anything without the use of drugs.” M.C.

To learn more about the New Life Detoxification Program and Narconon, call Narconon Suncoast today at 1-888-248-1361.

Filed under Success Stories #

Delphi high school student get drug prevention

This past Friday, Delphi Senior High School students toured Narconon Suncoast Rehabilitation Center receiving a first-hand account of how addiction starts and how the Narconon program ends it. While many schools may have given up on keeping their students drug-free, Delphi Florida decided to take their drug prevention efforts a step further and let students witness first-hand what happens when prevention messages fail and addiction takes hold of someone’s life. Students participated in an inter-active presentation of the Narconon Drug-free treatment and prevention model and listened to two former addicts share their powerful stories of addiction. No questions were left unanswered as the students got legitimate answers on tough questions about how even casual, experimental use can lead to horrendous addictions as well as what recovery really takes.

“I really wanted to do this talk and let these kids know how quickly your life can change.” said one of the former addicts. “I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I made so that they can live a life without drugs. None of my actions were worth the resulting pain. No high, no “good time” made any of the destruction worth it in the end. I want kids to know that!” The same former addict spoke of the positive high school goals she had before drugs as she had a good chance at being accepted into Julliard where she planned to study to become a production artist. Those dreams and opportunities were eroded by every hit that she took and every beer she drank. The slide into a reckless life with the singular goal of her next high, riveted the young listeners.

One student remarked, “ I had no idea that addiction can take over your life that quickly and how bad it can get. You hear people talk about casual use and weekend parties, but the movies and media don’t usually focus on the unglamorous reality of drugs.” Another student said “Hearing these former addicts tell their stories made me realize how much bigger the drug problem is, because it hits the entire family, not just the addict.”

drug-rehab-doing-prevention“The cost of their addiction was pretty intense. Losing everything in a short amount of time and then having to make it back was impressive!” commented another student. “They’ve handled a lot of things. I’m glad they were willing to share their stories with us”
Colin Taufer headmaster of Delphi Florida said, “Thank you for these incredibly personal and powerful stories. I wanted our students to not only see the side of addiction from people who have been there, but also see that there are effective solutions for people who become addicted. Narconon has done a great job restoring these peoples’ lives.”

Narconon has been rehabilitating addicts for 50 years. Addictions can be ended and it is possible to create a sober future for good. Drug prevention has always been one of Narconon’s foremost goals. By sharing the real truth about drugs, Narconon prevention programs have helped thousands of young people stay away from drugs and end the possibility of addiction before it ever starts.

Filed under News #

JC 2016 drug rehab graduate

J.C. is a 2016 graduate of the Narconon Suncoast drug rehab program. The way he details his accomplishments illustrates how the Narconon program can help anyone.

At the beginning of each section, you’ll find a link to more information about that part of the program. If you would like to learn more about the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, please call us at 1-888-248-1361.
Here’s his story.

I’ve been to several Twelve Step treatment facilities and they never seemed to work for me. Now that I’ve completed the Narconon program, I know why they didn’t work for me. It was like I was just there filling a bed. They didn’t actually work with me one-on-one like here at Narconon and resolve some of the issues I had.

Withdrawal

When I was in withdrawal at Narconon, I never had restless leg syndrome once. Taking their calcium-magnesium drink and getting assists* really helped out, too. My kick was probably the easiest I’ve ever had. My body really didn’t hurt at all.

The New Life Detoxification Program

Once I got to the sauna detox, I was able to sleep at night and all night which was awesome. I was able to sweat out all the drugs that were in my body.

Objectives

When I got to Objectives, I gained lots of patience. I was able to complete the course whereas before, I would have just given up and quit. I did have a moment where I lost my temper, but with the patience I had gotten, I was able to go back in and finish with the help of the staff talking me through it.

Life Skills

When I got to Ups and Downs in Life, I was able to recognize the difference between anti-social and social personalities.

When I got to Changing Conditions in Life, that’s when I really started to change. My attitude towards people changed and the way I view things has changed. When I came to Narconon, I was an egomaniac with an inferiority complex and no one was going to tell me anything I didn’t already know. I thought I knew everything. Boy, was I wrong! During this course, I was able to find out the reason why I started doing drugs in the first place and it was long before I picked up a drink or a drug.

This program has saved my life and I’m very thankful I was able to find it and make it here.

*assists: gentle procedures that calm the body and mind; many people say they help them relax as they go through withdrawal.

Filed under Success Stories #

Prescription drug abuse rate increasing

In 2010, Florida became the acknowledged epicenter of a criminal enterprise that distributed addictive painkiller prescriptions by the hundreds of thousands. According to the Florida Attorney General, pain management clinics numbered 900 that year, many of them existing only to rake in millions of dollars as they gave out as many pills as possible every day. Judging by the license plates on cars in the parking lots of these centers, “patients” were coming from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states to acquire drugs they could take home and sell on the street.

Finally, the state changed the laws and Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of one of the most popular drugs of all OxyContin, reformulated the pill to make it much harder to abuse. Quickly, pain management clinics nicknamed “pill mills” began to disappear.

As painkillers became less available, those addicted began to discover heroin would keep them from suffering withdrawal sickness. And so, the migration from painkillers to heroin began.

Based on statistics from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, people who become addicted to painkillers are forty times more likely to abuse heroin. Thus as the overprescribing pill mills shut down, many people who had become addicted to pills found new drug dealers offering cartel-produced heroin, mostly from Mexico. The number of heroin users skyrocketed, with cartels responding by increasing the quantity of the heroin brought into the country and dropping the price.

Heroin and prescription painkillers are nearly the same chemicals. Heroin and morphine are opiates, products refined from resin that oozes from seed pods of opium poppies. Opioids are fully or partially-synthetic drugs chemically very close to heroin. Prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Percocet, Demerol and Darvon are the most commonly prescribed opioid drugs.

The CDC reported that between 2007 and 2013, the number of people using heroin in the US increased 150%. The overdose deaths increased more than 400% over that same time period.

NIDA's graph on the national overdose deaths

Noting these staggering figures, officials at every level of government began trying to understand how prescription drug abuse starts and how best to prevent it. They started by surveying people to find out how they got started abusing painkillers. The majority of users surveyed under 18 said they were given a painkiller by someone they knew. The next highest initial exposure was from prescriptions given for valid dental or medical conditions. Teens who started their drug abuse early were found to have stolen their first pills from medicine cabinets. Many teenaged athletes have also become addicted to pain medication given to them after sports injuries.

These findings led to major prevention policy initiatives by federal, state and local agencies regarding prescription drug abuse education programs. Since the prescription abuse epidemic and its companion heroin epidemic showing no signs of slowing down, prevention and education has come to the forefront at all levels. Federal officials at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) are again pointing to prevention and education on opiates and opioid addiction as the number one way to slow or reverse these staggering trends.

The ONDCP recently stated “the simplest and most cost-effective way to lower the human and societal costs of drug abuse is to prevent it in the first place.” Similarly, the Director for the National Institute for Drug Abuse recently reported to Congress that if one can increase perception of risk in youth through education, drug use will drop.

In 2009, the Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with local law enforcement officials, began local “take-back” programs in communities across the country. The basic premise was simple: collect unneeded prescription drugs and dispose of them properly so there are fewer in circulation to abuse. The DEA now sponsors two national Prescription Drug Take-back days each year to help empty medicine cabinets across the country.

Additionally, Narconon published the popular “Ten Things Your Friends May Not Know About Prescription Drugs” and started a successful national distribution. This hard-hitting, factual booklet gives parents, educators and kids simple facts on prescription drug abuse and prevention. Copies are available for download at www.drug-education.org/materials-curriculum/.

Sources:
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
National Institute for Drug Abuse http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/trends-in-prescription-drug-abuse/adolescents-young-adults
National Center for Health Statistics, CDC


 

Related article:

What is the Cost of Heroin Addiction?

Filed under News #

Heroin despair -- cost of addiction

How does one calculate the cost of an addiction to heroin? Certainly there is a cost in dollars. But the actual price paid extends much further than that. Its felt throughout ones life, relationships, standing in the community and physical and mental health. Lets look at the whole phenomenon of heroin addiction and evaluate the price thats paid.

Heroin users typically report feeling a rushof pleasurable sensations after taking the drug. The degree of this rush varies by how much of the drug is taken and how quickly the drug enters the brain. Injecting will cause the rush to occur suddenly and most intensely. Snorting heroin will cause the rush to be somewhat less intense and a little slower.

After the initial rush, the side effects of heroin include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting and a heaviness in the arms and legs. The user experiences a slowed heart rate and slowed breathing, sometimes dangerous enough to be life-threatening. If a person lacks oxygen to his (or her) brain long enough, he can suffer a coma and permanent brain damage. These short-term effects can happen during the very first use.

The long-term effects created by heroin include damage to the physical structure of the brain. Studies of the brains of heroin users have documented this deterioration of brain tissue. This damage can affect the users decision-making abilities, his ability to regulate his own behavior or his response to stressful situations.

The more a person uses heroin, the more his body becomes accustomed to the drug. He will need to use more of the drug more often just to achieve the any of the euphoria he initially experienced. This phenomenon is referred to as a toleranceto the drug. Eventually, a heroin user is just consuming the drug to keep from going into withdrawal and no longer experiences any euphoria or pleasure from it.

The increased use that accompanies an increased tolerance boosts the risk of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C, bacterial infections, collapsed veins and infection of the heart lining and valves.

When a person consistently uses the drug, cant control his use and has developed a tolerance, he is addicted. If he stops using the drug, he will experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

The price to purchase heroin varies from state to state and whether a buyer lives in an urban or a rural area. On average, it costs about $15 to $20 per tenth of a gram. When a person becomes addicted, its easy to go through a gram each day. In New York, a person addicted to heroin might be burning through $100 a day, and in Florida, he might need $150 a day to maintain his habit. At this point, many people have to resort to theft, prostitution or other illegal activities to support the addiction.

In some areas, heroin is being cut (diluted) with a prescription painkiller called fentanyl. While fentanyl has long been used as a painkiller in hospitals, the fentanyl being used to cut heroin today is usually manufactured in illicit drug labs which means the costs are very low. This means the drug dealer can make his supply of heroin go farther and make more money. No matter where its manufactured, fentanyl is vastly stronger than heroin. Even experienced heroin users are being killed by this adulterant.

So what is the cost of heroin addiction? Heroin causes physical, sometimes irreversible, damage to the structure of the brain, slowed heart rate and breathing, coma and death. Theres the increased risk of HIV, Hepatitis B and C, collapsed veins and heart infections. Financially, heroin may cost a user as much as $50,000 per year, which increases their risk of incarceration if they get caught committing crimes or buying the drug. If this is not shocking enough, the biggest cost of heroin addiction is the life of the addict.

With each use the person is playing roulette with his or her life. That is the biggest cost of heroin use — the life of the user. If you or someone you know uses heroin, please get help now because the next time they use this drug could be their last.

Filed under News #

Before doing the Narconon program, my life was in shambles. I had come close to dying several times and wasn’t shaken by it. I was so unhappy with who I was as an individual, that dying didn’t scare me enough to want to change.

I was the kind of person who didn’t care about anyone. If you were someone I could exploit, I would exploit you. It didn’t matter if you were family or not. My addiction had gotten to the point where there were no lines or boundaries. I wasn’t that person deep down, but that’s what I had to do to keep feeding my habit. Knowing that I wasn’t that person, but doing it anyway made me want to run and hide even more. I was going nowhere fast and exhausted by the everyday grind of screwing people over. I had toyed with the idea of rehab many times, but always figured it would never be a doable thing for me and I couldn’t swallow my pride enough to go and have everyone know I had a drug problem, even though they already knew.

When I told my parents I needed to go to rehab, I was just blowing smoke to get them off my back. The next day, my mom came and asked me if I was serious about seeking treatment and told me that she and my dad had found a place called Narconon. They told me a little about it, but all I really knew was I needed to go. I told her that I did want help. Immediately I then thought, “What have I gotten myself into?” I was emotionally distraught, but my Dad told me to take the time to work on me and find my way.

When I arrived at Narconon, I didn’t know what to think, but for the first time in a long time, I felt peace. I was shocked by how nice everyone was and how genuine they were. As I went through the withdrawal, I began to realize the beauty of living a healthy, sober life. It was the first time I had been sober in a long time. I was quietly overwhelmed with excitement. All I could think about was getting out of withdrawal and changing my life.

After about a week in withdrawal, I started my sauna detox program. In sauna, I detoxed my body and it felt amazing. I then moved onto the objectives part of the program and became aware of myself and my environment. As drug addicts, we develop blinders to both physical objects and mental things. The objectives program peeled these blinders off. I also learned the importance of being in present time, not dwelling on the past, nor worrying about the future. This helped me a lot.

I then moved onto the Life Skills part of the program where I learned how to tell which kind of people I needed to surround myself with. I also learned how to deal with all the bad things I had done. It felt amazing to get the negative baggage off my chest and actually handle what I had done. During the final parts of the program, I was able to see the issues which had negatively affected every aspect of my life. With that information, I was able to address those issues and take the exact steps to bettering myself.

rehab-integrity-wordNarconon taught me how to be a man of great integrity and to be a man of my word. They helped me bring out the Cameron that’s always been in me. I’ve never been more proud of myself than when I decided to come to Narconon. It was the best decision of my life and I recommend it to anyone who wants to better themselves and their life.

Narconon didn’t give me my life back. It gave me a better life. It made me the man I always wanted to be; not only for me, but for my family and loved ones.

Filed under Success Stories #

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