Drug Abuse Prevention: Ending the Need for Treatment

Posted on :  August 17th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Addictive drugs are easier than ever to find, so preventing drug abuse is just as important as treating people who are suffering from addiction. The most important time to begin a prevention program is before children become adolescents. Drug abuse is incredibly dangerous for young minds because illicit drugs affect the brain, which is how addiction occurs. When it comes to drugs like heroin or other opioids, the brain is permanently changed.

Watch for Transitions

The most common times that drug abuse begins is with transitions. Adults can be drawn to drugs when they lose a job or have marital issues. Adolescents can be drawn to drugs in more transitional moments. For example, students who switch schools can be enticed to do drugs as a way to meet new people. They can also be drawn to drugs as a way to deal with family issues like divorce or personal issues like depression or anxiety. Middle school and high school tend to be dangerous times because drugs are available, especially when young students meet the older ones who can drive, have jobs, and have more access to drugs. Teens will encounter drugs or will be asked about drugs when they are in school.

Risky Behavior Begins in the Teen Years

Another major danger for teens is the fact that they are naturally risk takers. They do not understand the potential dangers that come with abusing drugs. Teens might do drugs to try to fit in, especially if they are in situations where parents are not nearby. Teens might do drugs to improve their social status. Some might also be tricked into taking drugs. There are also teens who will sell their prescription drugs, like ADHD medicine. Some also will take drugs to cover up their psychological issues. There are plenty of reasons why teens will take drugs and they always think they are logical reasons, even though they really are not.

Drugs Damage Young Brains

Since teen brains are still developing, taking drugs can seriously affect their young brains by damaging the areas associated with import skills like learning, memory, and controlling behavior. Teens with history of drug abuse will have issues in school and after – many end up in the justice system with lengthy criminal records. Sadly, there are too many children between the ages of 12 and 13 who are using drugs.

Thoroughly Research Drug Prevention Programs Work

Because of the trends, prevention programs have been researched, tested, and retested. These scientifically researched programs have proven to be successful in teaching children, teens, and their parents about the dangers of drug abuse. Parents are taught about risk factors and signs to watch for in their children. Schools and communities are also involved in the prevention programs. The programs have reduced the numbers of young people who are getting involved in drug abuse.

The programs are designed for three different population groups. There are programs designed to work with an entire community or school. There are also programs designed for kids who have been identified as a potential risk – usually they were identified at school or in a community center. The last group is for teens who are using drugs. The programs are designed to meet the different needs of the identified groups.

Schools and community groups that use drug prevention programs as they are designed find that fewer students use drugs. Once students see that drugs are dangerous, they tend to avoid them.

Reducing the Reliance on Treatment Programs

Ideally, prevention programs will be so successful that eventually there will be no need for treatment programs. Even after students leave school and enter into the work world, prevention programs still occur. The general public is regularly exposed to images of drug abusers in commercials, movies, and reality television shows. Whether prevention programs are geared toward young children, teens, or the general public, the goal is still the same: to completely end drug abuse.

At Towards Recovery Clinics, our goal is to help addicts end their addiction to opioids, but we would be perfectly satisfied if drug abuse was ended through all of these prevention programs. If you have any questions about how prevention programs work or about treatment programs, we encourage you to call us, email us, or visit us.


Why Does Heroin Cause Vomiting

Posted on :  June 9th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When people decide to take heroin for the very first time, they are unsure of the way it will affect the body. Usually, they expect that they will feel the euphoria that heroin supposedly gives to users. But, in many cases, users will vomit and not just once.

Drugs Changing the Way the Body Works

When heroin enters the body, it can seriously alter the way the body functions. So much so, that the only response the body can do is vomit. And vomit repeatedly. This happens because of the chemical structure of the drug. It is made in such a way that the drug actually attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain. This completely changes the way the body sends and receives messages about pain and pleasure. When the body does not know what it is experiencing, it can attempt to rid the body of the unexpected substance. Vomiting is the natural way for the body to do this.

Altering the Brain

Heroin confuses the brain because the brain thinks it is getting a natural chemical. The brain cannot distinguish between heroin and what the body produces when managing pain and pleasure. The brain does not understand that heroin is addictive, but the concentrated potency of the drug can be overwhelming at first.

Many users report that they usually throw up each time they take heroin. But, the vomiting session is often described as being a good one because when it is over, the user feels better. Once they are finished vomiting, the effects of the drug kick in and the mind begins to experience the euphoria that makes the substance so addicting. Users enter their own world.

Changing the Chemicals in the Brain

The drugs keep endorphins from entering the neuron receptors so dopamine levels rise and so do the feelings of intense euphoria. The body cannot produce euphoria like the one created unnaturally by heroin. Humans cannot control endorphin release in any other way, except by taking an opioid. So, they continue to take it. The high is several times more intense than anything experienced during sex or by eating an exceptional meal.

Cravings Begin

Just like the body can crave chocolate or a glass of water, the brain begins to crave the feelings associated with heroin use. When regular opioid users stop taking the drug, the body begins to feel pain. Since all opioids fight pain, the tolerance to them builds up and people need more of the drug to feel substantial relief and extreme highs. Prescription pain medications can solve the problem, but pain pills like Percocet and Oxycontin get expensive. It is actually cheaper to take heroin instead.

Frightening Facts about Opioids

The fact that heroin and other opioids can cause the body to vomit is not the scariest problem with opioids. The addictive quality is frightening, but more so is the fact that the drug can slow the respiratory system. Despite the fact that the brain develops a tolerance to opioids, the rest of the body does not. The respiratory system and central nervous system can become so overwhelmed that they simply shut down if the opioid dose is too big. People can become sleepy and they can stop breathing. They can die from hypoxia and from high levels of carbon dioxide.

Get Help from Towards Recovery

Along with vomiting and respiratory issues, the addiction to the drug can cause extremely painful withdrawal. The fact that the brain becomes used to the opioids blocking the endorphins makes the body feel pain when people stop taking opioids of any type.

With patient-centered treatment, the pain can be managed and the addiction can be stopped. At Towards Recovery Treatment Centers, we can help addicts work their way back to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. Our methadone treatment can help fight and recover from addictions.

Contact us at our main office at 905-527-2042.


What are the Substance Abuse Disorders in the DSM

Posted on :  June 7th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In the world of psychology, the DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the book that the experts in the field use on a daily basis. This book is loaded with all of the information that psychologists and psychiatrists need to diagnose issues ranging from depression and schizophrenia to disorders about substance abuse.

The DSM has several disorders related to substance abuse. They are all about the abuse of opioids, marijuana, stimulants, hallucinogens, as well as tobacco and alcohol. The disorders are ranked by severity from mild, moderate, and severe. This manual explains the criteria for each degree using different factors like impairments, recurrence, and risky behaviors. Pharmacology is also taken into consideration.

Opioid Use Disorder

Opioids are an addicting substance because they block the receptors that tell the brain to experience pain. But, the substance can cause problems like nausea and constipation, confusion and euphoria, and drowsiness, too. If too much of the drug is taken, it can slow down respiration to dangerously low levels. Opioids can be found in prescription medications like oxycodone and it is also in heroin. Because opioid users need more of the drug to experience the same euphoria every time, they often inject the drug to speed up the reaction. This is why so many people experience overdoses and why so many people choose heroin instead of prescription options because the high is more intense.

According to research, more than 2 million people in 2014 were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder related to prescription drugs and/or heroin in the US alone. The symptoms that therapists look for include a craving for opioids and the reduction of a regular social and work like because of drug use. People with a disorder build up a tolerance and they work hard to get the drugs they crave. When they try to stop, they develop physical symptoms like pain from muscle aches, fevers, diarrhea, and negative mood issues.

Hallucinogen Use Disorder

A Hallucinogen Use Disorder is diagnosed when a therapist sees symptoms that are similar to those of a Opioid Use Disorder. The drug-of-choice for a Hallucinogen Use Disorder includes drugs like LSD, peyote, or mushrooms that cause hallucinations, personal detachment, and distortions in time and space. The symptoms include cravings for hallucinogens, inability to control the use of them, not taking care of responsibilities in lieu of drugs, and practicing risky behaviors, and developing tolerance to the drugs. There are significantly fewer people who are diagnosed with this disorder. The numbers are under 250,000 in the US.

Alcohol and Tobacco Use Disorders

Out of all of the substance abuse disorders, Alcohol Use Disorder and Tobacco Use Disorder are the most common. They cause a significant number of deaths, despite all of the warnings about lung cancer and driving drunk. When it comes to alcohol use, over half of everyone 12 and older claim to be alcohol drinkers, but about percent of those who drink alcohol are considered abusers. The DSM has three levels of ranking drinkers: Moderate, Binge, and Heavy. Moderate drinkers have one to two drinks per day. Binge drinkers have five or more drinks per event at least once per month. Heavy drinkers consume more than five drinks in a sitting at least once per week.

Tobacco Use Disorder can affect people as young as 12 and approximately 25% of American that age and older use tobacco products. This is the one disorder that does not involve changing the mental state of the users, like opioids, alcohol, and hallucinogens do. So, the biggest problem with this drug is the damage it does to the physical body. The disorder is diagnosed when people smoke so much that they are diagnosed with physical issues like heart disease, respiratory disorders, and cancer caused by smoking and they continue to smoke.


Identifying Heroin: What It Looks Like

Posted on :  March 26th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

If you are concerned about a loved one becoming addicted to heroin, it is a good idea to educate yourself on the appearance of the highly addictive substance.

Heroin comes from a type of poppy plant. When the plant is harvested, the white, milky sap is taken from the seedpods. It is then dried. Despite the simple processing, heroin comes in many forms, textures, appearances, and purity levels. This makes it difficult to identify for people who do not use the drug.

Where Heroin Originates

Once the sap is dried, it looks like a white powder. But, most of the heroin in North America is not white. It is usually a shade of brown, pinkish-gray, and black, too. These colors occur because someone diluted the pure powder by adding substances like coffee, sugar, or other drugs.

People who inject heroin are in danger of blockages in blood vessels because the purity of the powder is always questionable. In some cases, the substances that are added to heroin do not dissolve quickly. Those substances can block vessels in the major organs, like the lungs, the kidneys, or even the brain. So, if you spot a powdery substance, in different colors or with different textures of powder, it could be heroin.

Where Heroin is Stored

Heroin is sold on the street in four different forms. Since the drug is a powder, it needs to be contained in tight packaging that hides its nature. It is common to find it packaged in aluminum foil wrapped in squares. Many dealers will put heroin in balloons that are not inflated, but tied at the ends. Emptied gelatin capsules are often refilled with heroin powder because this makes them easy to swallow and to hide. Other sellers will simply put the powder in everyday plastic sandwich bags. If you know to look for these types of containers, it will be much easier to determine if your loved one is using heroin.

Street Names for Heroin

Because heroin addicts become singularly focused on getting high they often forget to hide that they are doing the drug. So, if you overhear your loved one talking about words that you do not know, your loved one could be talking about heroin. There are many street names for the drug. They include words like H, white, gear, black tar, smack, horse, hammer, rock, elephant, China white, dragon, junk, and Chinese H. It is helpful to understand all of the language surrounding the drug so you are able to make the right moves to help your loved one. If you have questions about language about heroin, please do not hesitate to contact us as Towards Recovery at 905-527-2042. We can help.

How Heroin Is Taken

It is also important to understand how heroin is taken, so you can look for signs through paraphernalia or even signs on your loved one’s body. There are several ways to take heroin to get high and the highs arrive at different times.

The most common way to take heroin is to inject it with an intravenous needle. The powder is mixed with water. Most people will feel the high immediately. You might notice the marks from the needle on the skin, either in the arm, buttocks, or thighs. Some people will inject in different places to hide the needle marks.

Another common way to take heroin is by snorting it. You might find the powder on a flat surface, like a mirror. You also might find items that are used to inhale heroin through the nose, like rolled paper or small pieces of straws.

Some heroin users prefer to smoke their drugs. They will usually heat the powders on a piece of aluminum foil so they can inhale the smoke. Others will roll the drug into a cigarette. It is easy to look for papers or aluminum foil if this is the method your loved one prefers.

There are some people who will simply eat their heroin or possible add it to other foods or beverages. This is harder to find, but if your loved one begins to act high after eating or drinking, you will know why.


Can Opioid Addiction Be Managed with Psychedelic Drugs

Posted on :  November 25th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Opioid addiction is a serious problem all over North America. In the United States, researchers are working on a variety of different ways to help those who have developed an addiction from OxyContin, heroin, or Vicodin. For many years, rehab and methadone have been the standards of treatment. But, some addicts have not had much success or they have needed the treatments for an excessively long time. To replace the standard treatment, researchers are looking at the effects of psychedelic substances, specifically a substance called ibogaine to fight opioid addictions.

How Many People Are Addicted to Opioids

The United States Center for Disease Control claims that more than 2 million people have an addiction to prescription and hard drugs containing opioids. This problem has created epidemics in some of the state in the US. Just a few years ago in the US, there were over 24,000 deaths from taking heroin or prescription opioid medications. This problem needs to be dealt with because the troubles in the US are also happening in Canada.

What Happens During a Standard Treatment Program

The current detoxification program usually involves the addicts spending time in a supervised program, which can last a week or longer. Then, the recovering addicts receive a prescription to methadone or a similar drug that manages withdrawal symptoms. Some have to manage an abstinence program that can be painful. In the US, some treatment centers are seeing 25 percent success rate and some are seeing about 90 percent of addicts return for a second round of treatment. These unfortunate numbers are forcing the healthcare community to look for another treatment and in some cases the treatment is in the form of a psychedelic drug.

How Does Ibogaine Work

The drug that is showing up in several studies is from a West African plant. Ibogaine is found in the root bark. The other psychedelic drug that is showing up is psilocybin, which is commonly found in psychedelic mushrooms. These two drugs can help people manage their addictions to both smoking and/or alcohol. In a small study of 15 chronic smokers, 12 of them successfully quit using psilocybin. In another small study, a group of people reduced their drinking of alcoholic beverages decrease by 50 percent.

How Was It Discovered to Help

Ibogaine was not a drug that was on the minds of researchers. It was classified decades ago as a Schedule 1 substance because it had no medical use and was highly addictive. In the 1960s, a man addicted to heroin tried ibogaine. After taking it for the first time, he realized that he no longer felt the need for opioids. Six of his addicted friends also tried it and all but one quit heroin. He has continued to advocate for the medical community to begin a formal research program to see if the drug could be used around the globe.

Why Is It Not Approved for Use

The problem with ibogaine is that is a controlled substance that is illegal to own and use. There were some underground studies conducted on it, and some of the subjects died. Eventually, the National Institute on Drug Abuse did decide to research it, but the study never occurred because there was not enough money.

Should It Be Regulated for Detox?

Currently, there are several organizations that are pushing for a real study on ibogaine. Opiate addictions are not easy to treat, so specialists need to have several options at their fingertips. Addicts can be desperate for something to help them and ibogaine could be the answer to many problems. There are currently only three medications that have been approved for treatment in the United States and not all of them work for every patient.

If you have any questions about treatment options, please contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics via email:  info@towardsrecovery.com or phone: 905-527-2042.


Krokodil: What is it?

Posted on :  September 4th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

This drug is a horrible drug that is used in place of heroin. It originated in Russia, where heroin became scarce due to the war in Afghanistan and the decreased production of poppies. The drug is a combination of codeine and either paint thinner, gasoline, or lighter fluid. The drug is usually injected and it causes an immediate high. Because of the codeine, krokodil includes Desomorphine, which is highly addictive and faster acting than morphine. The drug earned its name because of the toxic ingredients that actually cause the user’s flesh to rot.

The Zombie Drug

Krokodil is the Russian word for crocodile. The drug was given this name because it actually eats away at human flesh and makes the skin look scaly. Before users realize it, their skin develops green scales at the injection site. The wounds are horrible to look at and the affliction is difficult to treat. The flesh actually dissolves on the inside, starting at the bones. Eventually, the bones are exposed. By this time, users die, unless they can be saved by surgery and they stop using the drug. Some users have limbs amputated, but most who continue to use krokodil do not live beyond two years from the time they start using.

Destroying the Body from the Inside Out

Krokodil not only destroys the skin, but it also wreaks havoc on blood vessels, too. Many users suffer from blood diseases, especially as the drug moves through the body. Krokodil then damages other sites in the body. There is nothing good about this drug.

The drug has been described as a “zombie drug” because it kills people from the inside out. The substance does not dissolve in the blood, so it clumps in the veins. This is what causes the issues with the skin. Thrombosis (blood clotting) is what creates the scaly skin and the horrible damage that occurs.

Unpurified and Deadly

People take this drug by injecting it. Because it is already a liquid or syrup, it is ready to be injected. Unfortunately, people inject it without purifying it at all. This is the danger of the substance. People can make it at home and immediately use it.

Cheap and Easy to Make

Krokodil is commonly used because it is so inexpensive and easy to obtain. Desomorphine synthesizes quickly in the body, so it is difficult to trace the drug during testing. People who enjoy getting high will choose krokodil because they can outsmart the drug tests, but eventually the drug will destroy their bodies and that will become evident to their employers.

Little Use in North America

At this time, the drug is not used too often in North America, but there are users in both the US and Canada. Most people contribute the low numbers to the fact that heroin is still easy to get. Heroin in North America tends to come from Mexico, where it has been produced starting in the early 2000s. Interestingly, krokodil users say they get the drug from Mexico. The drug has been found in Chicago, as well as Arizona and Oklahoma, where people were hospitalized from the effects it. In Canada, the drug was found in the Niagara Region.

Know the Dangers and Get Help

It is important for the general public to be educated about the dangers of all street drugs. There are not any that are healthy. The long and short term consequences of abusing substances that are not meant to be in the human body usually involve death. If you know of anyone who needs help to break a dependency on drugs, we encourage you to contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.


Kratom: What is it?

Posted on :  September 2nd, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Kratom might not be the first name you think of when you think of dietary supplements or of opioids, but it is known as being both. The Kratom plant is native to Southeast Asia and is part of the coffee family. This supplement is found in Canada and since it is an ethically produced product, many people are interested in using it. However, the plant has some shocking properties for people who are not ready for them.

This plant is actually illegal in some countries, because it has psychoactive properties. The plant is illegal in Thailand and has been for over 70 years. But, since the plant can help people stop using other drugs, the government is reviewing their policies with it. Some find that using kratom helps people stop using heroin, methamphetamines, and other strong drugs. Kratom is legal to buy and use in Canada and it is legal to use in the United States. However, the US officials can seize kratom if it is used as anything other than a dietary supplement.

Kratom has some serious side effects. They include physical problems like severe and prolonged vomiting and nausea, along with respiratory depression, lethargy, constipation, tremors, sweating, and itching. Psychological effects can range from edginess and nervousness to delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. Psychotic episodes as well as aggressive and combative behavior are common experiences, too.

There are addiction effects and withdrawal effects with kratom, too. Those who are addicted often experience constant cravings for the drug, loss of weight and sexual desire, as well as facial skin darkening. The withdrawal effects include physical problems like diarrhea, muscle tremors and pain, restlessness, and sleeplessness. The psychological effects include depressions, crying, panic, irritability, and sudden mood swings.

Kratom plant leaves are used in the supplement. They can be used to make tea and they can be chewed. Some people will grind the leaves down so they can smoke them and some people inject kratom. In Eastern countries, kratom leaves are chewed in small doses to increase productivity since they act as a stimulant. Users compare the effects of kratom to drinking strong coffee throughout the day.

The trouble with kratom comes when it is ingested in higher doses. The plant has an opiate effect on the brain because the chemicals in the leaves will bond to opioid receptors in the brain. Due to this, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration has been watching this plant. They consider it a “drug of concern” because they worry that people will become addicted to it. Some researchers have found that those who use it regular can develop a tolerance so they will need more kratom to get the same effects, just like other opioids.

In the United States, the National Institute of Health has commissioned some studies on kratom and addiction. Those who have been researching the drug have found that it behaves like other opioids. Because of this, it does slow the problems that come from opium withdrawal. Kratom binds to serotonin receptors, so it helps with treating depression, opioid pain, and sleepiness.

There are several communities that do not think kratom should be regulated or banned by government agencies. Those groups claim that the drug is safe and people have been using it for hundreds of years. Some groups have found that kratom helps people with fibromyalgia and other painful conditions tolerate their pain.

Kratom continues to be legal in Canada and the United States. There are some individual states in the US that have banned the plant. If you are thinking about taking kratom, it is important to be aware where you are getting the plant. People have been found lacing the leaves with opioids like oxycodone to increase the effects.

If you have any questions or you want to visit Towards Recovery Clinic, please contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042.


Flakka: What Is It?

Posted on :  August 31st, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

If it seems like people are always looking for new ways to get high, your perception is correct. Somewhere, someone is trying something to get high. The latest discovery is a synthetic drug called “flakka”, which made its media debut in April 2015. This drug is entering North America in Florida and it is coming from countries like Pakistan, India, and China. People who have been trying flakka are ending up in emergency rooms and police stations.

Flakka is also called “gravel” because it looks like it is made of small crystalline pebbles and it smells horrible. It is made from a khat plant which produces a stimulant that behaves like an amphetamine. In Pakistan, India, and China, some people actually use the leaves of the khat plant as a chew to get a high. This is similar to the people in South America who chew on coca plant. Alpha-PVP is the active ingredient that causes the high in flakka. In 2014, the DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Agency) banned alpha-PVP, but the substance is still used all over the country. In the southern Florida county of Broward, alpha-PVP was involved in nearly 200 cases in 2014. But, in the first quarter of 2015, over 300 cases were filed in that same county. Many of them had to do with flakka.

Users can vape, smoke, inject, swallow, or inhale the drug. Since it can be vaped, it is easy to take the drug in public. Most people have no idea what flakka is, so no one thinks twice about it.

When flakka enters the body it immediately attacks the central nervous system. It works by blocking the re-uptake of both dopamine and norepinephrine. By blocking the absorption of those brain chemicals, the brain becomes flooded which causes extreme pleasure. Amphetamine drug users experience relatively the same high.

But, like all drugs, flakka does not last. Users only need to take a small amount of flakka to get high and since the drug is inexpensive, it is easy for users to get. The drug increases the heart rate and causes heart palpitations. Users also experience shortness of breath and they get extremely excited. The sense of euphoria increases, too. After a short time, the euphoria ends because the brain begins to hallucinate from the excess dopamine and norepinephrine. Physically, the body temperature increases, as some users experience a body temperature spike of up to 41 degrees Celsius. As a result, many users take off all of their clothes and often in public! People have been arrested for being naked in public and then found to be using flakka.

As the body tries to maintain homeostasis, the user experiences an adrenaline rush, which causes violent and agitated outbreaks. They also experience the super-human strength that often comes with adrenaline rushes which is why many arrests require several officers to restrain a user. Because of the hallucinations, users experience paranoia, too. They are quite dangerous to people around them.

Because of the strength and cost of flakka, it is a dangerous drug to have on the streets. Most users only need one tenth of a gram to trigger a high. The cost is usually around $5 per use. The low price and the low dosage means that many users try more than they should. The dosage increase affects the brain by creating an excited delirium that includes agitation and excitement; this effect lasts longer as the doses get higher.

The other danger is due to the increased body temperature and the effect on muscle tissue. High body heat breaks down this tissue which is sent into the bloodstream. This then causes kidney failure. Some people have heart attacks as a result of the increased body temperature from using flakka. No one develops a tolerance to the drug, so it is easy to overdose at any time.

If you or someone you know need any treatment, contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042 to get the best addiction treatment.


How Drug Use Affects the World

Posted on :  August 28th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Drug abuse affects more than just the small communities where drugs are sold and used. The entire world is affected by drug use. Since nearly 200 million people use illegal drug (not alcohol and tobacco) all over the world, it is easy to imagine the costs related to accidents, health care, and policing.

Studies have been conducted to investigate the world wide effects of drugs like opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, and marijuana. The numbers included information about dependency, fatalities, and medical problems. These drugs were picked for the studies because they are most commonly abused and there are so many numbers available all over the world.

The studies showed that between 125 and 200 million people use marijuana. Between 15 and 55 million people use amphetamines. Nearly 20 million people use opioids and cocaine. Injected drugs are used by as many as 21 million people. Five percent of people between the ages of 15 and 64 use illegal drugs. These statistics are shocking, especially when you consider that one out of every 20 people you know are statistically drug users.

When it comes to health problems relating to drug abuse, overdose by death is an obvious problem. Other major problems include cardiovascular and pulmonary problems like lung disease, heart attacks, and breathing issues. People also suffer from kidney and liver disorders as well as mental illnesses due to drug abuse. These health problems tend to come with large price tags.

Keep in mind that these numbers do not include people who use tobacco or drink alcohol and currently, over 16 million people in the United States, alone, have health problems directly related to tobacco use. When it comes to alcohol abuse, nearly 2 million people around the world die from it. Illegal drug abuse takes about 250,000 people globally each year. Lives are significantly shortened by drug abuse and experts estimate that nearly 2 million years of life are lost annually. This is a sad statistic because so many young people use drugs and they usually die from them, too.

When people do not die from drug use, their health care costs rapidly run out of control. The price tag extends into the billions of dollars. Caring from chronic health problems involves regular stays in hospitals and visits to emergency rooms. The costs include numerous prescription medications, too. Many people who suffer from problems relating to their drug addiction are unable to work, so they rely on the government to cover their medical expenses.

Drug use not only causes an increase in medical expenses, but it causes problems with work productivity. If one out of every twenty people uses drugs, it is likely that they use drugs at work. Employers who do any sort of drug testing do it because they suspect that their employees are using drugs. Employers have to spend money that could be used for other things on drug testing expenses. Accidents are more likely to happen when employees are using drugs, which can cause insurance rates to increase. Costs can quickly snowball.

Drug dependency is always a problem. At this time, there is no way to accurately find how many drug users develop a dependency. There is not a way to statistically and accurately predict what drug users will need health care and how much those costs could be. What statisticians and researchers can say is that the trend shows that health care costs due to drug use will increase, especially because the number of people who use illegal drugs continues to grow.

If you have any questions about drug use in our community, please contact us at info@towardsrecovery.com. We are happy to help.


The Dangers of Prescription Drugs

Posted on :  July 29th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Visiting the doctor has become synonymous with getting a prescription for medication. Doctors prescribe medication for every problem imaginable. From medication that helps kids sit through school lessons to pills that stop debilitating pain, medication is the answer that everyone is looking to find. While many of the prescriptions that physicians write really do good things for the people who take them, there are plenty of other drugs that can become life-changing in a bad way.

When Abuse Begins to Happen

For many people, prescription drug use is a normal way of life. They take medications to help regulate their thyroid or their high blood pressure. Their prescriptions are not abused, but taken dose by dose, day by day. On the other hand, there are people who are just seeking prescription medication to help fuel their abuse. They might shop doctors in the area to see which ones are quick to write prescriptions for pain medications.

Addicts who need pain medications to keep their bodies functioning will do whatever they can to get the medications legally for as long as they can. This might include seeing many different doctors, especially after they have exhausted their own. The prescription drugs that most addicts seek are opiates like Oxycontin and Vicodin. Once the prescriptions run out, most addicts are able to find what they want, either from friends or from dealers. Even friends can be tricked into sharing a few pills from their own cache of unused prescription bottles.

How the Abuse Grows and Develops

Eventually, men and women who abuse prescription drugs can land in a downward spiral. It might seem like prescription medications are easy addictions to break, but for those who have been abusing opioids, this is far from the truth. Prescription drugs are the new gateway drug, because the addicting ones are so similar in structure to hard, illicit drugs. Some call Oxycontin the legal form of heroin because the two drugs behave in the same way. Many prescription drug users will combine their Oxycontin or Vicodin with other drugs and with alcohol to create a more extreme high. This behavior can land a drug abuser in the hospital or even in the morgue, even with accidental mixing. With the fact that opioids in prescription drugs eventually create tolerance, the abuser really does physically feel like he or she needs more. When physicians block this need, the drug abuser will turn to drugs that are easier to get – like actual heroin.

When the Abuse Hurts Loved Ones

Prescription drug problems eventually end up hurting loved ones. In many situations, the drug abuse began after being prescribed painkillers after surgery, giving birth, or having an accident. Life continues on as usual, but the need for drugs strengthens. Addicts then begin to change their lives to get drugs. They steal from their family members and friends, they skip work, and they forget to pay bills. All of these behaviors can create problems with family and friends, who are not drug abusers. Many prescription drug abusers end up turning to the streets to find what they are looking for to get the fix. Unfortunately, the people who are busy selling opioids do not care about what is happening to their customers’ lives, as long as the addiction continues and the money keeps coming.

Looking Into Ways to Protect People from Prescription Meds

Fortunately for everyone involved with prescription drug abuse, there are plenty of things being done to curb it. The first is watching the prescriptions of key physicians. With online health records, it is much easier to find a doctor who is writing an unusual amount of pain medication and it is easy for doctors to see patients who are shopping for meds.

Since over 15,000 people annually die in the United States from prescription medication abuse, researchers are taking note and looking for solutions. The companies that manufacture prescription medication are looking for ways to remove those addicting drugs from their products. Lawmakers are also pondering what to do with dangerously addicting prescription drugs. Should they be easy to obtain? Should there be more regulation on them? How involved should the government be?

If you have any questions or you want to visit us, please contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042.




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.