blank   Click to listen highlighted text! blank

How Does a Methadone Treatment Work?

Posted on :  February 27th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

As a drug, methadone has been known to treat chronic pain aside from opiate addiction. It was originally developed during World War II in Germany and introduced in the United States in 1947. After 1950 it was used for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms from heroin and morphine addiction. Although similar to opiates, it is not the same because instead of coming from opium poppies, it is synthesized in labs. It also has longer pain-killing effects compared to natural opiates.

Treatment Delivery

How is the methadone maintenance treatment delivered?  Usually, a national level regulatory framework is in place for the prescription of methadone. In Canada, the Office of Controlled Substances work with provincial governments as well as medical licensing bodies. This is to help in facilitating the access to the treatment program.

There are numerous guidelines developed in the use of opioids for the management of opioid dependence. These guidelines also cover the training for practitioners who are interested in delivering the methadone maintenance treatment. Even if provinces are increasingly involved in outlining the conditions who are allowed to prescribe methadone, Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act explicitly identify that only those with exemption can do so.

There are a variety of conditions where the methadone treatment program can be delivered. This can include the following:

  • Substance use for inpatient and outpatient treatment;
  • Community-based health centers;
  • Private medical clinics;
  • Community pharmacies and physician’s offices;
  • HIV/AIDS services;
  • Hospital-based clinics;
  • Correctional facilities; and
  • Mental health agencies.

The delivery of methadone treatment programs is not limited to those with medical disciplines and backgrounds. Many practitioners come from diverse fields like social work, mental health, and substance use treatment for example.

Factors like program setting, qualifications, geographic location, and available resources result in varying roles. In the same way that there will be differences that exists among the programs in the manner of services delivered, clients served, program philosophy, policies, settings, and level of client involvement.

Philosophy and Treatment Goals

What is program philosophy? It is the principles and goals where the treatment is based. This is why it is extremely important to have a clear declaration of the program philosophy, which will serve as a starting point for the development of an accessible and effective methadone treatment program.

The concerns on drug use and its related crimes have greatly influenced the various goals where the methadone treatment programs and its delivery approaches have been based. But the different goals for treatment can result in how its definition for success can be interpreted. You also need to take into consideration that goals will change depending on the progress of the treatment.

In the eyes of policy makers, such a treatment program should be able to deliver long-term positive results that will reduce threats to society brought about by opioid dependence.

For practitioners, more specific focus on specific clinical benefits can be expected like reduced opioid withdrawal symptoms for example.

From a patient’s point of view, success can be measured in different terms like the reduction of the risk of infection, improved family relations, better job performance, or better methods of treatment while imprisoned for example.

The methadone treatment programs must be able to examine and clarify its expectations in terms of substance use, opioid dependence, and the treatment goals that will be implemented. The program philosophy should be extremely clear to all patients as well as the members of the program team expected to oversee the implementation.

The overall program philosophy should be made up of specific procedures and policies that are consistent with it. On the other hand, the goals of the program must not only reflect the needs of individual patients, but also respect the goals.

When it comes to program philosophy, few are better than one that focuses on helping individuals take control of their addiction while helping them rebuild their lives and careers.

Get in touch with Towards Recovery Clinics today to get a better understanding of how the methadone treatment can work for you.


The Side Effects of Methadone Use

Posted on :  February 25th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Strange as it may sound, but in order to treat opiate abuse, another opiate must be used as a support when the drug abuser stops the original drug used. The purpose is to try and limit the intense drive to seek and abuse opiates like heroin for example. In this instances, the usual choice would be methadone primarily because it is widely available and comparatively cheap. Unfortunately, it can be abused and comes with its own set of side effects. What are the potential methadone treatment side effects that may be experienced?

Major Side Effects

Are you aware that there are about 5,000 people that die from methadone abuse every year? This normally occurs when the drug integrates with substances like benzodiazepines and alcohol. The major side effects can be just as bad as those manifested by heroin. Even the injectable form of methadone can result in side effects especially when needle is shared or used in multiple doses. Here are some of the major side effects that may manifest:

  • Bleeding gums;
  • Black, tarry stool;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Blood in stool or urine;
  • Soft and bulging spot on head of infant;
  • Difficulty in distinguishing colors, especially yellow and blue;
  • Skin color changes;
  • Chest pains or difficulty in breathing;
  • Convulsions;
  • Feeling of confusion;
  • Chronic coughing, sometimes with pink frothy sputum;
  • Decreased amount of urine;
  • Noisy or wheezing breathing;
  • Dilated neck veins;
  • Difficulty in swallowing;
  • Feeling of dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness;
  • Headaches;
  • Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat;
  • Skin rashes, itching, or hives;
  • Sweating;
  • Frequent thirst;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Muscle cramps or pain;
  • Vomiting or nausea;
  • Tingling sensation in the hands, feet, or lips;
  • Pale colored skin, lips, or fingernails;
  • Red spots on the skin;
  • Swelling of around the eyes, lips, tongue, face, fingers, or legs;
  • Seizures;
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding; and
  • Weight gain.

Minor Side Effects

There will also be some side effects that do not necessarily need medical attention. These are usually symptoms of your body’s adjustment to the methadone treatment, which should go away after some period. Healthcare professionals may give advices how these minor side effects can be minimized or prevented. Here are some effects that you may experience during the treatment:

  • Irregular menstrual periods;
  • Blurry, double, or loss of vision;
  • Feeling anxious or confused;
  • Constipation
  • Decreased sexual appetite or erection problems;
  • Affects color perception;
  • False sense of well-being;
  • Seeing halos around lights;
  • Irritable or feeling restless;
  • Feeling weak;
  • Night blindness;
  • Swelling, redness, or soreness of the tongue;
  • Tunnel vision;
  • Welts; and
  • Unexplained weight changes.

Short-Term Effects

Aside from the major and minor side effects, there are also some short-term effects with varying intensity. Normally, these can last up to 24 hours. However, if these effects last longer or become more intense, you must seek medical attention immediately. What are these short-term effects?

  • Feeling of extreme happiness or relaxation;
  • Drowsiness; and
  • Sedation

Overdose Symptoms

Although similar to heroin, methadone does not create an effect that is the same as that of heroin. It is still open to abuse just like any type of opiate. Therefore, it can still have a potential to do harm, but, based on its track record, more good is done for the people that undergo methadone treatment.

Reduction of the dosage can be done safely even if it remains relatively safe even when used in high doses. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why it is highly recommended for maintenance therapy. Just to help you to be aware, here are some of the overdose symptoms that can be experienced when taking methadone:

  • Difficult or shallow breathing;
  • Low or high blood pressure;
  • Twitching of the muscles;
  • Sudden nausea or vomiting;
  • Bluish appearance of the lips and fingernails (cyanosis); and
  • Coma

To know more about methadone treatment side effects and other effective ways to get rehabilitated, get in touch with Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. now.


Treating Addiction with Methadone

Posted on :  February 24th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Did you know that treating opioid dependence with methadone has been around since the 1950s? The routine with the methadone treatment is that the patient will take a daily dose in liquid form. The intention is to reduce the craving for opioids and the symptoms of withdrawal. However, with the potential for addiction, it is necessary to follow certain guidelines for treatment.

Opioid Addiction

Just like any other opioid, methadone is addictive, but not like heroin. What are the main differences between methadone and similar opioid addictions?

  • Methadone is safer for patients to take provided that it is under medical supervision;
  • When taken orally it minimizes the possibility of HIV transmission;
  • Patients on methadone are productive and are rarely involved in criminal activities; and
  • Methadone is part of the list of essential medicines released by the World Health Organization.

With so much research going into methadone treatment, there are some significant results that have been uncovered such as:

  • Methadone treatment will drastically reduce drug injecting, hence minimizing HIV transmission;
  • Opioid dependence related death rate can be significantly reduced;
  • Criminal activity of addicts can be reduced; and
  • The most effective doses are higher than 60mg.

For patients using methadone who want to pursue the treatment within a closed setting or those with opioid dependence history should have ready access to it. This must continue for the entire time that they are under a closed setting. The rationale behind this is to ensure that they receive the maximum benefits from the treatment.

Closed Settings

Part of the methadone treatment guidelines is that it must be available in federal prisons where the process is offered. In fact, according to the Correctional Service of Canada (SCS), as early as December 2001, there were already 304 federal prisoners receiving methadone treatment. This forms part of the public health approach and thrust to prevent HIV infection as well as being consistent with the principle of having care equivalence.

There are about 30 countries providing methadone treatment in a closed setting as an option for reducing the number of prisoners injecting. This includes Canada, Indonesia, Spain, Iran, and Australia. Encouraging results can be seen like in the case of Australia where a drop from 80% to 25% in heroin addiction was recorded after only 4 months of methadone treatment.

It is worth noting that there are fewer options available to provincial prisoners as only those who were in a methadone program prior to being incarcerated are qualified for in-prison treatment whenever available.

Treatment Planning

In order to be familiar with what would happen once the treatment commences, it is important that the patient should be given proper information so that the right decision would be arrived at. What are the information that should be given?

  • Rationale of the maintenance treatment;
  • Reasons why methadone treatment is recommended for opioid dependence;
  • Potential side effects and risks of the treatment;
  • Length of treatment; and
  • Treatment options.

Patient should know the methadone treatment guidelines and rules. For example, guidelines should cover:

  • The need for patients to complete their doses in front of the staff to ensure that they are not sold in part or in whole to others;
  • Violence or threats against staff and other patients will not be tolerated;
  • Consultation with doctors is required; and
  • There will be consequences when the rules are breached.

All the necessary information must be given to the patient in the form of an information sheet so that it can be read and understood. In cases where the patient cannot read, it should be read aloud to him and asked if he has understood it. A consent form must also be signed by a patient who is willing to begin the treatment program.

Once an informed consent has been given by the patient, the treatment plan should be developed. The plan must cover the starting dose of the patient as well as the schedule when those doses should be increased. Every treatment plan must be supervised.

In order to help patients take control of their addiction, it is necessary to have methadone treatment guidelines. Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. can help in the comprehensive treatment of drug abusers, contact them today.


Intervention as a Successful Treatment Strategy

Posted on :  February 23rd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

There are many different drug abuse treatment strategies that you can choose from, but not all of them yields the expected result. And what result is this? Typically the successful reintegration of the drug abuser as a productive member of society. Let’s take a closer look at one of the successful drug abuse treatment strategies.

Drug Intervention

Aren’t all treatment strategies classified as drug interventions? Not exactly! Successful drug intervention is based on a non-confrontational step towards recovery from addiction. It must also be structured and solution-oriented that will encourage an abuser to seek treatment to overcome the addiction.

Family, friends, and other people involved with the abuser play a vital part in the intervention process to show the ill-effects of substance abuse. An interventionist acts as the guide as well as the educator before, during, and after the entire process of intervention.

Necessity of Intervention

How necessary is it to undergo drug intervention? There are many who realize the extent of damage that drug addiction has brought upon them and seek treatment voluntarily. However, for the majority who simply refuse or are reluctant for one reason or another, intervention remains as one of the more successful drug abuse treatment strategies to rely on.

Denial will always be a stumbling block to overcoming addiction. The usual recourse is for drug users to put the blame on others while absolving themselves of the responsibility. Intervention breaks this vicious cycle of denial and allows the drug abuser to see past and beyond the wall of denial so that he can get back on the road to rehabilitation.

Intervention Timing

The understanding before was that abusers need to hit rock bottom before they are ready to seek treatment. Unfortunately, this can prove to be disastrous and can make rehabilitation difficult. So when is the right time to have an intervention?

The suggested intervention timing is before any damage is sustained by the abuser. This means that a treatment plan should already be prepared that will take the drug abuser directly to treatment after the process of intervention has completed.

In this instance the role of the professional interventionist would be to escort the abuser to the chosen rehabilitation facility for treatment.

Why Professional Intervention

Is it possible for family and friends to do the intervention process without the presence of a professional interventionist? Yes it is possible, but, considering that there is so much riding on the process, staging an intervention without a professional present can have disastrous effects.

Staging an intervention with a professional present can help breakdown walls of denial. A professional is prepared to handle situations wherein the drug abuser can suddenly become angry, violent, or confrontational. So essentially, the presence of the professional interventionist can ensure that the process will go smoothly and improve the chances of getting treatment for the abuser.

Another thing that family and friends should understand is that staging an intervention can be an emotionally-charged activity. Something that they may be ill-prepared to handle. It is normal for participants to express hurt, anger, and negative feelings because of the actions of the drug abuser. However, it is necessary not to lose track of the fact that an intervention is about the drug abuser and not the participants.

Name calling, accusations, and other practices that can hamper the road to rehabilitation should be kept out of the process. In most instances, without a professional interventionist acting as a moderator, the whole process just goes down the drain.

Bottom line is that experienced and professional interventionists possess the right training and knowledge to truly help not only the drug abuser, but the family, friends, and colleagues as well.

If you want to know more about successful drug abuse treatment strategies, contact the Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. (TRC) today!


The Numbers on Drug Abuse Treatment

Posted on :  February 22nd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Aside from stopping the abuse, one of the envisioned goals of drug abuse treatment is to successfully return users as a productive member of society. This can only be done if treatments are successful, which is why keeping track of individual progress is very vital. It is important to point out though that individual results will vary depending on how extensive the dependence of the individual is and the type of drug that is abused. You also have to consider the suitability of the treatment including the quality of interaction the user receives for the duration of the treatment. Let us take a look at some drug abuse treatment statistics.

Age and Ethnicity

Why are these factors important? If we subscribe to the idea of individualized or personalized treatment of abusers, then we have to know from what age and which segment of society they come from.

Based on the figures from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in 2009 there were approximately 23.5 million people needing treatment for abuse who are 12 years old or older. What is alarming with this figure is that only 11.2% or about 2.6 million abusers received the treatment they needed from a specialty institution. The highest number of admissions was for the age group of 25 to 29 at 14.8%.

Among those admitted, 60% were White, 21% African-American, 14% Hispanics, 2.3% American Indian, and 1% Asian. The survey did not indicate whether financial capability had something to do with the percentage of admission per ethnicity.

Cost of Abuse

Is it really important to focus on the treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers? Why is it necessary to reintegrate them into society? Let us take a look at the financial burden that drug abuse brings.

In the United States alone, the cost of abuse reaches an approximate amount of $137 billion for health care. The cost estimate does not take into account the lost in productivity and the criminal aspect of the abuse. If we were to factor these in, the amount would go well beyond the $600 billion mark or roughly 17.1% of the federal budget!

Staggering, right? Wait, there’s more to sink your mind into. The statistics on the drug problem indicates that it is on an upward trend. Considering those aged 12 years and older, in 2002, there were 13% that used drugs, by 2012 the number had risen to 13.2%. What is 0.2% you say? Well, that small percentage translates to an increase of more than 4 million drug users! For people 50 years and older, the figure more than doubled during the same period.

Cost of Abuse Treatment

With these alarming statistics, is the cost of treatment worth it? As far as successful treatment programs are concerned, they have shown to reduce the associated social and health costs compared to the actual cost of abuse treatment.

The emergence of treatment strategies present cost effective alternatives to incarceration, resulting in lowering the cost of drug abuse. What does this mean? Let us take a user undergoing methadone treatment, the cost for a year amounts to $4,700. This is significantly lower compared to the $24,000 spent on every drug abuser that is put in jail for a year.

Conservative drug abuse treatment statistics also reveal that for every dollar that is used to fund addiction treatment programs, the return in anywhere from $4 to $7. The return is based on the reduction of drug-related offenses, cost to the criminal justice system, and possibly theft.

When you factor in the saving to the healthcare costs, the total savings significantly increases to an astounding ration of 12 to 1. You also have to consider the reduction in interpersonal conflicts, fewer drug-related incidents, and the increased productivity of the treated user.

If you would like to know more about significant drug abuse treatment statistics, get hold of the Towards Recovery Clinics, Inc. today.


How to use a Naloxone opioid overdose kit

Posted on :  January 17th, 2017  |  By :  Robby Breadner

HowToNalaxone-1600x

The kits are available prescription-free at Ont pharmacies.
Could you use one in an emergency?

.Since anti-overdose kits for opioids were made available in pharmacies in June 2016, Ontario’s ministry of health has distributed 12,000 Naloxone packages to more than 1,400 locations across the province.

Here’s what pharmacists at the Canadian Addiction Treatment Pharmacy want you to know about using a Naloxone kit correctly.

Call 911

Even if you have an Naloxone kit, don’t wait to call for help. Contact emergency services right away.

Make sure it is an opioid overdose

Naloxone is effective in counteracting opioids like fentenyl and oxycodone, not cocaine or crystal meth. Know how to spot the signs of an opioid overdose: look for small pupils, laboured or no breathing and extremities that are turning blue.

The person must be unresponsive

Shake, shout and do everything you can to help the person regain consciousness before injecting a dose of Naloxone.

.

Intramuscular not intravenous

Naloxone works when it is injected into a muscle, not a vein. The bigger the muscle, the better. Go for the arm but if the person is wearing a heavy coat, the thigh muscle is another good option.

Naloxone takes time to work

After the first injection, don’t expect an immediate response. The antidote takes at least three minutes to start working.

What happens afterward

Naloxone can lead to withdrawal symptoms and that may result in aggressive behaviour. The person may also be unaware that they’ve overdosed and could be confused. Be calm and help them understand what has happened. And be certain that 911 has been called, for professional medical help.

NOTE: Please do not interpret these tips as definitive medical advice. Always call 911 if you suspect drug overdose.

By Amanda Margison, CBC News


How pharmacists are becoming the first line of defence against opioid overdoses

Posted on :  January 17th, 2017  |  By :  Robby Breadner

NaloxoneItems_1600w-slide

‘I have had patients I’ve trained who’ve used kits to save people’s lives in the community’

“People who are concerned a friend or loved one could overdose on opioid drugs like heroin or fentanyl can turn to their pharmacists for help.

Since June 24, kits containing naloxone – a drug that reverses overdose effects – have been available to pharmacists to give out to Ontario health card holders for free over the counter.”

By Kate Bueckert, Amanda Margison, CBC News.

Read full article, here.


Youth Drug Abuse Treatment, a Controlled Outcome Study

Posted on :  January 11th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

A recent study looked into the potential of a new behavioral method designed to treat illegal drug abuse especially among the youth. It attempted to compare the results from supportive counseling to that of the behavioral techniques. This is significant considering that drug use normally starts at a very early age and the effectiveness of this program can put a stop to the abuse before reaching adulthood. What can be learned from the study?

Evaluation of Method

The new behavioral method introduced for treating drug abuse took into account 26 young people from 13 to 18 years old. Each was randomly assigned to either the supportive counseling or the new behavioral treatment method.

Each assigned group will be subjected to the designated treatment for a period of 6 months. The core of the behavioral program was anchored on the restructuring of family and peer relations. This was part of the treatment to help abate urges of the youth to use addictive drugs. To evaluate the usage, urinalysis was used as measurement and supplemented with self-report and family reporting.

In looking at the outcome, there was a drastic difference. From the group that was receiving supportive counseling, only 9% of the participants remained abstinent while a high 73% of the youth from the behavioral treatment group abstained from drug use.

Confirmation of the reduction in the use of drugs was confirmed from the urinalysis data obtained. The basis was the number of days per month of drug use or the overall number of months that the youth remained abstained. What was notable was that the youth group using behavioral treatment showed signs of improved functioning.

Better work or school attendance, higher youth-parent relationship satisfaction, decreased incidence of depression, less frequency of use and better conduct ratings were observed as a result of the behavioral treatment method.

Lack of Controlled Studies

The controlled outcome study remains significant because although there are a number of treatment methods used for young adolescents having drug use problems, there are very little known well-controlled studies.

This can make establishing the efficacy of the new behavioral treatment method a bit challenging. However, if the observed results would be used as a basis to determine if such method can be effective in addressing the rising drug abuse problem among the youth, then it can be concluded that it is indeed successful.

Keys to Success

What the newly designed behavioral treatment method reveals is that to achieve significant success in address drug abuse among the youth, there are certain factors to take into consideration. These factors make up the core treatment modalities. What are these?

  1. Family-based and multi-systemic interventions;
  2. Behavioral therapy;
  3. Cognitive behavioral therapy;
  4. Pharmacotherapy; and
  5. Twelve step approaches.

 

It is equally important to ensure that the adolescent-specific standardized assessment instruments come into play. The inclusion of these instruments can help to further improve future treatment methods as well as comparison studies to come up with better methodologies.

With such promising results, there is no doubt that the inclusion of family-based and multi-systemic therapies along with cognitive behavioral therapy can help gain a lot of headway in combatting drug abuse among the youth and young adolescents. This however does not mean that one treatment approach is necessarily more effective than other treatment methods for drug abuse among the youth.

It is important in understanding these keys to success that drug abuse may be expressed in a number of ways. The application of the varied methods only enforce the need to use several approaches to the drug use and abuse problem as every individual can be considered different.

This also highlights the need for treatment centers to explore the different methodologies much like what Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. does in helping its patients to recover, become more productive, and eventually be successful in their personal lives. Pick up the phone and call them today!


Hepatitis C Treatment

Posted on :  January 9th, 2017  |  By :  Robby Breadner

HepCslides_945x366

Hepatitis C Treatment FACT SHEET

  1. Contact the Towards Recovery (www.towardsrecovery.com has all the contact information listed) or walk-in during regular business hours
  2. Required to have a valid health card.
  3. Inform the staff in the clinics that you are here for information about Hepatitis C Treatment.

.

Overview of the treatment:

  1. All clients on the program or not will be tested for Hepatitis C
  2. If they are Hepatitis C positive, they MUST be tested for the type of Hepatitis C and the amount of Virus (Genotype/Viral Load):
    There are two possible results – the bloodwork will come back with both GT and a Viral Load OR the Viral Load will be “undetected” (meaning that it is either too early to detect, or their body has cleared the virus themselves).
    TIP: Should re-test at 6 months if the results are “undetected”
  3. If an active virus is present we need to do more bloodwork to find out how much fibrosis is in the liver.
    Currently in our clinics we are testing via a blood test (there is also a Fibroscan which can be used (similar to an ultrasound, but test is not covered by OHIP) – if the bloodwork comes back with a Fibroscore of 2 or higher – both private and public insurance is apt to cover all the treatment costs.
  4. 4If F2 or higher Towards Recovery will make a referral for an ultra sound.
  5. Towards Recovery will then send documentation requesting approval for medication coverage.
  6. After approval is received by Towards Recovery, the client will then start on the treatment.

.

Pharmacological Information:

Currently at Towards Recovery we are working with 2 different Pharmaceutical companies.

  1. Gilead – Hepatitis C products – Sovaldi / Harvoni
  2. AbbVie – Hepatitis C product – Holkira Pak

Depending on the type of Hepatitis C, previous treatment, and level of cirrhosis will dictate the length of treatment – current treatment can run as little as 8 weeks and as long as 24 weeks.

Please contact Towards Recovery for further details.

The PDF of this Fact Sheet can be downloaded. Click here.


Drug Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

Posted on :  January 9th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Experimenting with drugs is nothing new with adolescents and young adults. Perhaps even our parents at one time even went down the same path of experimentation. Should this be something that we must be concerned about or can we chalk this up as a passing phase? Unfortunately, not! Drug use in young adults is something that must be taken seriously, otherwise, the addiction may be difficult to treat.

The Statistics

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), as many as 50% of senior high schools have abused illegal drugs and another 20% have tried prescription drug for recreation or other non-medicinal purpose.

In a 2014 report, the incidence of drug use among 8th graders was placed at 20.3%, 37.4% for 10th graders, and for 12th graders 49.1% became drug abusers. For college students, the rate of drug abuse was 36%. The incidence was twice as much for college-age young adults who were not attending school. Among the psychoactive substances abused by teenagers, marijuana was at the top of the list according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Experts believe that the risk-taking behavior and level of experimentation among young adults can be attributed to the fact that the regions of the brain (including the prefrontal cortex) controlling willpower, impulse control, and wise decision making are not yet that developed.

Identifying Drug Abuse

How can you know if your young adult or teen has problems with drug abuse? The reality is that abuse and addiction can happen at any stage of our life. However, the problem can normally start while the person is still young. When this dependence and abuse is not curbed, the consequences can be very harmful.

Luckily, there are some signs that will help you catch the possible problem early on. For example, suddenly becoming withdrawn, depressed, hostile, or frequently tired can be indicators. Being on the lookout for these signs and the ability to distinguish them from normal puberty patterns can be crucial. Here are other identifying signs of drug abuse:

  • Change of peer groups;
  • Lack of grooming;
  • Dip in academic performance;
  • Skipping classes or school;
  • No longer interested in favorite activities;
  • Problems with authority;
  • Switch in eating and sleeping habits; and
  • Deterioration of relationships.

 

Stopping on Their Own

Why is it difficult for some young adults to stop using drugs on their own? With the abuse happening at a stage when the brain is not yet fully developed, the possibility of addiction becomes higher. It is important to understand that repeated drug use will change the brain.

Some brain imaging studies done on people with drug problems reveal significant changes in the areas of the brain that have to do with learning, memory, decision making, judgment, and behavior control. This is perhaps one of the reasons while young adults find it difficult to quit on their own.

Obviously it would take a lot of courage to help young adults with drug problems. The good news is that there are treatments that work and help young adults recover to live a fruitful life. It will take a lot of time and patience to counteract the disruption of normal brain functions and behavior, but, it can be done.

Helping Young Adults

Where do we start? The most important first step to take is to ask for professional help. Bring the young adult to professionals the moment you notice the signs of drug abuse and addiction. Ask for advice and if possible, screening for drug use with the help of assessment tools.

Going to the appropriate treatment provider becomes the critical step after the assessment. There are many treatment centers, but not all can be trained or have the proper therapy to deal with young adults. You can check with associations like the American Society of Addiction Medicine to look for competent treatment centers.

Better yet, you can take advantage of the comprehensive assessment and treatment plan used by Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. Call today to help treat young adults of their drug addiction.




Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
Click to listen highlighted text!