Author: CJ Peters
Crystal meth, widely known on the street as methamphetamine, meth, chalk, ice, and crystal, is a highly addictive stimulant belonging to the amphetamine class of drugs. It’s sold illicitly as a white, crystalline powder that’s bitter-tasting and odorless. Amphetamines were first developed in 19th Century Germany and evolved into methamphetamines in Japan in 1919. During World War 2, meth was used to keep soldiers awake, and later, in the 1950s, it was used alternately as a decongestant to lose weight and fight depression. The 1960s saw a period of increased abuse which led to the drug being made illegal for most uses in the US in the 1970s. While the drug remains illegal today, it is a major drug of abuse and continues to be a significant societal concern.
Crystal meth abuse is a widespread problem in the U.S. and is exacerbated by the ease of production in large and small “labs” alike. Additional production of methamphetamine occurs in Mexico, at which point it is brought into the United States illegally. Although it’s not the most popular illicit drug of abuse, it is one of the most destructive.
With all the worries that come with addiction struggles, one commonly seems to come up in treatment sessions, and it can be challenging to discuss openly: the role of alcohol and drugs in sexual drive and performance. Not only can it weigh on a patient’s mind, but it’s the foundation in understanding and accepting our behaviors and sexual responsibilities, in past and future. The question isn’t: Can I get drunk and still perform? Or Can I get high and still have an erection? While valid questions we will discuss, the correlation between addiction and sex goes deeper. The effects of…
Imagine going about your routine, whether taking a shower, using a comb or brush, or even running your fingers over your head and making the frightening discovery that your hair is falling out in clumps. There are very few moments as jarring as finding piles in your shower drain or on your hairbrush, only made worse when you tug your hair to test it, and it comes out in batches. But before your mind goes to the worst, it’s essential to take a step back and think about the current circumstances in your life and how you are processing and handling them (or not handling them). Your hair loss may be linked to a period of high stress or anxiety, and the good news is that this is manageable and reversible.
We’ve all seen the image of the rolled-up dollar bill and a line of white powder disappearing through it. Whether in film, on TV, or in real life, the image is unmistakable – the cut line and the trail of cocaine. And though cocaine can be abused in its various forms, snorting it is perhaps the most recognizable. But the abuse of drugs by inhalation does not end with coke. Other commonly snorted drugs include Methamphetamine, Heroin, Opioids such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, and stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall. However, more today than ever, many people who abuse drugs – especially prescription pain pills – have taken to crushing them into powder and then inhaling them through the nose, also called nasal insufflation.
Alcoholism counseling and its importance to the recovery process should not be underestimated. Alcoholism, while medically defined as a treatable disease, is incredibly difficult to overcome without proper help.
With the World Health Organization estimating an astounding 140 million alcoholics worldwide, it’s necessary to examine some common denominators about alcohol dependency as well as the benefits of alcoholism counseling in battling addiction.
Alcoholism counseling plays a key role in the recovery process because prolonged alcohol abuse can have a lasting negative effect on an addict’s body and mind. Common effects that alcoholics experience are the symptoms of withdrawal. Physical withdrawal occurs when a person with a physical dependency on a substance abstains from it for a period of time, whether it be voluntarily or not. Several common symptoms of withdrawal include nausea, tremors, vomiting, intense mood swings and increased anxiety and paranoia. Alcoholics often continue to drink to avoid the onset of these extremely unpleasant feelings.
Alcohol and drug treatment programs can offer the best chance at recovery for those suffering from addictions and substance abuse problems. Many of the people who need the help of alcohol and drug treatment programs will also have co-occurring issues in addition to their chemical dependency. They may suffer from other mental health issues on top of the addiction such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD often due to trauma or abuse, or other addictive behaviors.
When a person has an addiction in addition to mental health issues, it is called a dual diagnosis. Since more than one third of all alcohol abusers and more than half of drug abusers have a dual diagnosis, it is imperative that alcohol and drug treatment programs be well versed in this area and offer it as a specialty track. The dual diagnoses we see the most often at our alcohol and drug treatment programs include depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
Addicts can get clean in a variety of surroundings, be it at rehab, in jail, basically in any controlled environment where drugs or alcohol are simply not accessible. However, getting sober in a controlled environment because you didn’t have access to substances does not mean that you will stay sober once you leave. Without actually going through treatment and particularly substance abuse counseling, over 90% of addicts will relapse within a year.
The beauty of substance abuse counseling is that it helps get to the bottom of the issues that are triggering the alcohol and drug abuse in the first place. A skilled therapist can help you reveal why you turned to substances in the first place and then help work through those issues to ease your reliance on them.
Substance abuse overdose is epidemic in our society. Statistics show that in 2019 over 7 million adolescents between the ages of 12 and 20 reported that they drank more than a sip of alcohol in the previous month. 20% of seniors in high school report they have taken prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them. And the overall overdose rate in Americans rose by 4% from 2018 to 2019.
Not only do Americans begin to abuse drugs and alcohol an earlier age, but the abuse is following many in our society through the remainder of their adult lives. For example, substance abuse has reached outrageously high levels in the senior citizen community. Studies indicate that 33% of alcoholics developed their problem in their later years of life.
PTSD & Substance Abuse: A Dangerous Duo
Substance abuse can occur because of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a condition that occurs after a person experiences some type of traumatic event. Further, individuals are more likely put themselves in situations that may ultimately cause PTSD because of their substance abuse. War, terrorism, abuse, natural disasters, and assault are examples of events that can contribute to the development or worsening of PTSD. Regardless of its cause, trauma is not uncommon among Americans. One survey showed that over 50 percent of women and 60 percent of men reported at least one traumatic incident in their past.
Alcohol rehab is an incredibly helpful lifeline to individuals suffering from an alcohol dependence. Assessing your alcohol intake and dependency is required to determine your particular level of alcohol abuse. The lines are often very blurred between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, but what’s important to note is that they are both centered around problem drinking.