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Signs of Drug Addiction

Although different drugs have different physical effects, the symptoms of addiction are similar. See if you recognize yourself in the following signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction. If so, consider talking to someone about your drug use. Common signs and symptoms of drug abuse You’re neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting your children) because of your drug use. You’re using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex. Your drug use is getting you into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit. Your drug use is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends. Common signs and symptoms of drug addiction You’ve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts. You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety. You’ve lost control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless. Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s...

5 Myths About Addiction

MYTH 1: Overcoming addiction is a simply a matter of willpower. You can stop using drugs if you really want to. Prolonged exposure to drugs alters the brain in ways that result in powerful cravings and a compulsion to use. These brain changes make it extremely difficult to quit by sheer force of will. It takes something supernatural to help empower people to overcome addictions. People need help from God and from people around them in order to get off drugs successfully. MYTH 2: Addiction is a disease; there’s nothing you can do about it. Most experts agree that addiction is a brain disease, but that doesn’t mean you’re a helpless victim. The brain changes associated with addiction can be treated and reversed through therapy, medication, exercise, and other treatments. God can help people overcome any addiction and any disease. Jesus came to heal our diseases and people can overcome addiction by coming to Jesus Christ! MYTH 3: Addicts have to hit rock bottom before they can get better. Recovery can begin at any point in the addiction process—and the earlier, the better. The longer drug abuse continues, the stronger the addiction becomes and the harder it is to treat. Don’t wait to intervene until the addict has lost it all. MYTH 4: You can’t force someone into treatment; they have to want help. Treatment doesn’t have to be voluntary to be successful. People who are pressured into treatment by their family, employer, or the legal system are just as likely to benefit as those who choose to enter treatment on their own. As they sober up and their...

Don’t Give Up – Overcoming Addiction

People who struggle with personal problems have usually done so over a long period of time.  Many times they have tried to change or to stop what they’re doing, only to fail repeatedly.  They become very discouraged.  They may desperately want to change, but they see no way that they can because of their history. You must never give up hope, because truly there is help.  What many people don’t realize is that it’s not that we just need to change our behavior.  But we must see ourselves as we truly are.  It is the nature of the human person to want to solve problems on our own to find ways where we can manipulate our lives and make our own selves happy. You may struggle with the problem for many years, making every effort to overcome it. All of this results in despondency and often drives you deeper into the very problem you are trying to escape. There really is hope for you.  Real change can come to you.  It happens in an environment where you can experience the combination of the working of the Spirit of God, the people of God  and the Word of God. Living Free groups seek to encourage such an environment. For more information on Living Free CLICK...

You Can’t Do It Alone

Most people think that they can overcome a life-controlling problem on their own. They believe enlisting the help of other people is a sign of weakness. They are wrong. The dynamics of entrapment hold us tightly.  Self-deception blinds us to the truth. We cannot see ourselves as we truly are. We see things in extremes. We either excuse ourselves totally or swing to the other extreme and feel worthless and beyond help. When people deceive themselves over a long period of time, they enter a state of delusion. This delusion makes people lose all perspective of reality.  And without a clear view of reality, it is difficult to change. This is why we need others. We need their eyes to see us how we really are and we need their voices telling us what they see. We need honest friends to help us overcome our life-controlling problems. This is why it is so much better to approach our problems in a group of like-minded and loving people, or at the very least, with a trusted friend who is not afraid to tell us what they see. Are you trapped? Looking for help? Click here to find...

Early Intervention Saves Lives

An addiction to drugs or alcohol can fragment previously happy families, derail promising careers, and seriously damage health and well being; and left unchecked, addictions inevitably run their full course of destruction. There’s a truism that people need to hit rock bottom before they can really see what a mess they’ve made of things, and really get motivated to seek and benefit from needed drug or alcohol treatment. Unfortunately, what’s perceived to be true and necessary is not so, and people can benefit from intervention and therapy at any stage in the progression of addiction, and generally, the earlier drug treatment is sought, the easier the transition back to sobriety, and the better the ultimate prognosis of recovery. People do not need to admit to a problem to benefit from therapies and treatment, and if you can ever convince someone needing help to get it, their wall of denial may come crashing down under during the scrutiny of individual and peer group therapies. The best time to initiate an intervention is as soon as substance use threatens to become abuse, and well before an addition has taken hold. People should express their concerns or arrange informal and brief professional interventions as early as possible, using abuse prevention as a much easier and preferable way to manage substance use and abuse behaviors, before the problem becomes too severe. If you hold concerns about the use behaviors of a loved one…those concerns are very likely justified. Not everyone one who flirts with heavy use and abuse consumptions will become dependent, and some may simply walk away unharmed from the abyss of...

Why there is ALWAYS Hope

It’s heartbreaking to watch a loved one destroy their body and mind through abuse, and we often feel as though there is nothing we can do to make things better, and not through lack of trying either. Addictions show incredible resilience, and addicts continue their abuse even in the face of some terrible consequences. Families yell, plead and bribe, to no good effect and if losing a job, a family and even good health can’t change behaviors, what hope can family hold? Thankfully, although things can sometimes seem bleak, families do have some powerful tools to effect change, and when they provide tough, educated and loving support, they can make a difference. Addiction is rarely intuitive, and what makes sense isn’t necessarily what works. Find out what you can do to get an addict into treatment, and what you can do during and after rehab to make sure that treatment brings sobriety, brings health and brings peace. People recover from addictions everyday; having a loving and supportive family can make the difference. Read more: Hope for families living with a drug addict or alcoholic. treatments that work and afforable drug and alcohol rehab Follow us: @choosehelp on Twitter | choosehelp on Facebook by John Lee Editor Google+ Twitter...

How to Write an Intervention Letter

You run an intervention to break through a wall of denial and to convince a loved one to get the help they need. During an intervention, you need your loved one to feel concern and compassion rather than blame and shame and he or she needs to understand how serious things have become, how the behaviors of addiction affect everyone in the family and that things can’t go on as they have been any longer. An intervention’s persuasive strength emerges out of the compassionate repetition of the facts of the situation from all loved ones assembled for the meeting – so it’s important that everyone participating be ready and able to communicate the necessity of treatment. However, because interventions can get emotional and because you need to stay focused on conveying an important and compassionate message, you should always write out what you want to say in advance. The Intervention Letter The script each person reads during a family intervention is called the intervention letter. Ideally, you want your letter to: Communicate genuine love and compassion, and to convey that you only want to see your loved one get better Help the subject realize the severity of their situation Help the subject to understand that their ‘private’ actions cause hurt and pain to those who love them Clearly express that you wish them to accept the offered treatment Clearly express the consequences you will impose if they choose not to accept the treatment that is offered To ensure that you include all the necessary ingredients, try writing your intervention letter as 5 separate segments that make up a powerful...

What can I do?

What Parents Can Do If you have found out for sure that your child is experimenting with drugs and alcohol, what you do next is a matter of utmost importance. Some parents shrug drug experimentation off as a phase a child goes through as they grow up. Other parents just want to deny the problem and hope it will go away on its own. But the truth is you can’t ignore your child’s drug problem…it will not go away on its own, it will only get worse! Here are some suggestions on what you can do as parents if your child is using drugs or alcohol. You need to find out what kinds of drug your child is experimenting with. Often children will claim they are only smoking marijuana when they are really using other drugs also. Take the time to investigate matters for yourself, and find out what’s really going on. Begin to scrutinize your child’s choice of friends. If your son or daughter is experimenting with drugs, some of his or her friends are also involved. It is important to find out which of these friends are involved in this experimentation and get your child away from these influences. This is one of the most difficult things to accomplish, but it is also one of the most necessary. Bad friends corrupt good morals. Of those that leave Teen Challenge and end up back on drugs, one of the most common reasons is that they went back to the same old friends and environment where they used drugs before. Those that stay clean invariably find a new set...

The Signs that Something is WRONG

Some Common Signs That Your Child is Using Drugs or Alcohol When children start using drugs they usually exhibit many different signs which parents need to watch out for. Unfortunately, many parents often write-off these signs as normal adolescent behavior and as a result they don’t realize that their child is into drugs until it is too late. So how can you as a parent know for sure whether or not your child is in danger of falling into drugs? Simple … by understanding that every child is in danger of this. The parent who says “not my kid” is the same parent who will miss all the signs that their child has started experimenting with drugs. Often they will stay in this state of denial till their son or daughter is arrested or overdoses — and by then it is too late. So what should you as parents be looking for as signs that your child is experimenting with drugs or alcohol. Dramatic changes in style of clothes, hair, music These outward signs of rebellion should be obvious to a parent. Has your child started listening to radically-different music such as heavy metal or punk rock? Is your kid coloring their hair some weird color just to fit in? Is your child dressing down to fit in with friends at school? All of these are outward signs that your child is succumbing to peer pressure and all these should serve as warning signs to you that your child is in danger of falling into the same kind of peer pressure when it comes to drugs. Hanging out with...

A Parent’s Guide to Drug Abuse

This is a guide for parents which we are always updating with the latest information available. One of the most effective ways parents can prepare themselves to combat drugs is by learning about drugs and drug abuse. Whether it’s the latest street lingo or a list of signs that your child is using drugs, this is your one stop source for information that could save your child’s life. These days kids are experimenting with a wide variety of drugs. While most people don’t associate cigarettes with drugs, surveys as well as our own residents in Teen Challenge report that nearly all people who have used drugs started smoking cigarettes as youngsters before they first experimented with drugs. “No step on this path is inevitable, but this ‘gateway’ principle makes clear that the best way to end new addictions among the young is by drawing a line on the abstinence side of marijuana use, underage smoking and drinking,” the report said. This is not to say that everyone who smokes cigarettes today uses drugs or used to use drugs. But when children begin to smoke, this is an early sign of rebellious behavior — especially if your family does not smoke cigarettes. If you discover that your child is smoking cigarettes, you have to ask yourself – why? If your child is smoking, his friends probably do also. The most common reason a child smokes is to feel “cool” or to be accepted by his friends. According to those who began using drugs as teenagers, the groups of kids at schools who smoked were also the ones most likely to...

How the Alcoholic Thinks

How The Alcoholic Thinks Friends and family of active alcoholics ask me to explain how the alcoholic thinks. I am happy to share what I have learned after we establish what their motives are. The Insanity of Alcoholism Sadly, well-intentioned folks try to protect the alcoholic from him/herself (enabling) or try to predict what they will do next (no crystal ball available). There are hundreds of wise sayings amongst alcoholics in recovery. Some are meant to make you think and some are meant to be taken very literally. Alcoholics Anonymous refers to, “the insanity of our disease.” This is a very literal statement. I can tell you a bit about understanding the active alcoholic but I cannot make it make sense to you because understanding the active alcoholic requires stripping away a lot of rational thought, the acknowledgement and willingness to learn from mistakes, the ability to recognize obvious patterns of behavior, and quite often, the application of common sense. There are at least a hundred forms of alcoholism. What I am describing here is the person who is still drinking, is high functioning, and has not yet lost the things they hold dear. The disease of addiction dictates that they will lose these things in time and the rule of threes dictates a grim long-term prognosis (jail, institution, and/or death). Alcoholics think, act, believe, and feel based on distorted perceptions or themselves and the world around them. They live at the extremes of all or nothing. There is no moderation, no middle ground, no compromise, and no gray area in their worldview. To varying degrees, alcoholics live in...

Do’s and Don’ts of talking to your TEEN

Many parents avoid talking to their teenagers about drug use and abuse because they fear an awkward conversation or don’t know the best way to approach the subject. However, especially in today’s society, this conversation is more important than ever. The following tips can make this conversation easier to have. Do Do keep it honest Honesty is always the best policy when speaking to teens–especially regarding sensitive subjects, such as addiction history in the family. Parents should educate teens on the history of addiction and outline the consequences of use. Do communicate openly If you have family members who have overcome any kind of addiction, meaning they have obtained and sustained recovery from addiction, open a line of communication between your teen and these family members. This line of communication can facilitate a non-biased and non-judgmental resource for a teen to communicate with regarding substance abuse topics. Oftentimes, when teenagers (or adults) have a person to talk to who has experienced a hardship first hand, it is much easier to communicate openly and honestly without judgment. Do utilize resources Self-help groups and addiction treatment centers can provide resources for teens regarding substance abuse. In addition, youth prevention groups, such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), can be extremely helpful. Do show your support Ensure your teenager that, as a parent, you are coming from a loving and caring place. And if your teen is battling a personal addiction, be sure your teen understands that you will be there to support him/her on the road to recovery. Do set limits It is vital to set boundaries regarding expectations of behavior...

3 Ways to “Raise the Bottom”

How do we “raise the bottom?” You’ve heard it said, “They must hit bottom before they will be ready to get help.” Do you have to wait until they hit bottom? Or is there something you can do to help “raise the bottom” so your loved one can get help sooner? Here are three great ways that you can help raise the bottom for your loved one! 1. Stop rescuing your loved one All too often we have covered up their irresponsible decisions— paid bail so they could get out of jail—paid delinquent bills, or the rent. We’ve believed their heart-stopping stories of tragedy. “I cashed my check, and put the cash in my pocket. When I got home, the money was gone! I must have dropped it.” They played the part so well—the tears, the frustration—“I was trying so hard to be responsible, and now I have nothing!” Your heart of compassion goes out to them and you generously give to help them through to the next paycheck. You failed to see their story was a very convincing con job to get extra cash for drugs. You “raise the bottom” for your loved one when you say, “No,” and allow them to face the painful consequences of their irresponsible actions. 2. Tell them the truth You help “raise the bottom” for your loved one by being truthful about their problems. We often have perfect insight in seeing the problems in strangers and other casual acquaintances. But when it is your own family member—you want to believe the best—and you deceive yourself by saying, “Things really aren’t all that...

12 Drug Prevention Tips for Parents

Every Parent wants to ensure that their kids do not get involved with drugs. It is important for parents to make preventative measures in order to help ensure that their kids do not get involved with these unhealthy behaviors Focus on what “good things” you want to develop within your child. Develop these by spending time together as a family and individually with each child. Show plenty of affection often and in a variety of ways. Make sure your child knows how much you love him/her. Use hugs, kisses, and lots of words of encouragement – pay attention to what you say as well as how you say it. Strengthen your child’s decision making skills by providing choices. These can include where to sit at the table or what game to play. Show your children how you want them to behave. Children learn by watching you. If you want your children to read, let them see you reading. If you want your children to stay calm when angry, then you stay calm when you are angry. Nurture your own development as an adult, spouse, and parent. Young children are challenging and demand much time and energy from you. Take part in activities outside of the home to enhance your own personal growth. You will find yourself more relaxed and prepared to meet the demands of parenting. Work together with your family, friends, and community. Reach out for support and share some of the parenting responsibility. View discipline as a way to reach, not as punishment. Children learn from their mistakes, but they need to know what to do instead....

Why not raise the BOTTOM?

You’ve heard it said, “They must hit bottom before they will be ready to get help.” Do you have to wait until they hit bottom? Or is there something you can do to help “raise the bottom” so your loved one can get help sooner? What does it mean to “hit bottom?” We often look at a person who has lost everything—job, car, home, respect, often family relationships have been destroyed by broken promises. They “hit bottom” when they are homeless and living on the streets. They’ve hit bottom when no one will loan them money to make it through their current “crisis.” One ex-addict told me, “ ‘Hitting bottom’ meant giving up my dignity and self-respect—doing whatever it took to get money for drugs. I even sold my body for a few dollars.” For another young mother on her way to “hitting bottom” it meant losing custody of her children—and still falling deeper into her addiction.“‘Hitting bottom’ meant I was in so much pain—I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. ‘Hitting bottom’ meant I was ready to change—to give up on my miserable life and find help.” “Hitting bottom” means facing reality—hitting a hard painful place— with nowhere else to go.   Do you know someone struggling with an addiction? We have many resources that are here to help them. What are some ways you can think of that will raise the bottom in your loved ones life?...