Category Archives: IV Drug Use

Beginners Guide to Understanding Why You’re An Addict

Finding out about a loved one’s addiction can be challenging. Parent’s often ask themselves where they went wrong, why their child or children made the choices that led to their addiction, and why their child is addicted. Addiction is not solely the result of non-adaptive decisions. Instead, it is often the result of genetics, psychological problems, trauma, and one’s social environment.

Genetics & Social Environment

Addiction is partly genetic. There is no single gene associated with addiction. For example, many twin studies have demonstrated that children of alcoholics are at least four times more likely to develop alcohol addiction than their peers. There are multiple genes that can influence an individual’s likelihood to develop an addiction. Some genes influence impulse control or decrease the likelihood of individual’s disengaging in substance use. Other genes influence the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Although genes cannot be changed, families with histories of addictions can work proactively to educate their children, adolescents, and adult children about the genetic risks for developing addictive behaviors. This can include helping your loved one make positive social connections in their community.

Psychological Problems & Trauma

Addiction rarely presents as a single issue. Instead, many individuals who experience addiction also have depression, significant anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mood disorders. Addiction is often developed as a non-adaptive coping skills in order to manage the symptoms of psychological problems. This is why individual and group mental health counseling is often a key part of addiction treatment. Mental health counseling can be used during addiction treatment and in recovery to help individual’s learn adaptive coping skills so that they can manage anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders without drugs or alcohol.

Trauma

Trauma, especially childhood trauma, can significantly impact the brain’s development. Chronic stress and fear, which are related to childhood experiences of abuse and neglect,can result in cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impairments. Two thirds of addicts have experienced physical or sexual trauma during childhood. You cannot always control your child’s experiences. However, knowledge about trauma can help inform addiction treatment. There are a variety of trauma-focused therapeutic approaches which can help your adult child address his or her traumatic experiences and learn alternative coping skills.

Genetics cannot be changed. However, addiction can be conquered by addressing your loved one’s social environment, underlying psychological issues, and past traumas.

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Fentanyl Increases Heroin Overdose Rates

fentanylAmong the largest number of drug overdose fatalities in history is a subset of opioid users, typically heroin, who unknowingly ingest fentanyl. The drug, which is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, made headlines again when it was implicated in the death of Prince in Minnesota this year.

Fentanyl is so potent that it is typically prescribed to people with more severe chronic pain in the form of a transdermal patch that slowly releases the drug in small increments. It has been the source of multiple spikes in overdose deaths in recent years ranging from New Jersey to Michigan and Illinois to Massachusetts. Most recently, it has caused numerous deaths in New Jersey again as well as Delaware.

The Pacific Northwest has also had a long history with opiate addiction, and fentanyl has reared its even uglier head there as well. Just north of the border in Vancouver, British Columbia, officials have declared a public health emergency due to the overdoses in the area. According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control spokesperson Jane Buxton, “We did a study – it was a year ago now – where we asked people what they do – what drugs they’d used in the last three days and asked them to pee in a pot. And then we tested it. And we found 29 percent had fentanyl in their urine. But of those, 70 percent didn’t know they’d taken fentanyl.”

People addicted to opiates wind up taking fentanyl when the heroin they’re using is cut with the drug. It is a way for dealers to dilute the heroin itself at first with other powders and then increase the potency by adding a small amount of the drug. If this at all comes as a shock to you, please remember that they’re intentionally selling highly addictive and deadly drugs to begin with, so it’s not like they’re really concerned about the health or wellbeing of their buyers.

If you have a loved one with a substance abuse problem, contact us to find out more about Genesis House and successful recovery.

CDC Warns of Spread of Disease Through IV Drug Use

jaidscoverSubstance abuse can make people do things to themselves and others that they would never consider if they were sober. The grip of addiction is itself a harmful and deadly practice, and there are various aspects of it that make users more vulnerable to different kinds of health problems in addition to the damage from the drugs themselves.

One of the most devastating results is the spread of infectious diseases through the use of injecting drugs and sharing needles. While most people might assume that heroin is the only drug that is used intravenously, other drugs fit into this category as well, such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a report about the 220 counties in the United States that are most at risk to an increase of HIV and hepatitis C outbreaks from needle-sharing drug users. The results of this report appear in the June edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Of the counties named, more than half of them are in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, where rural areas have been hit heavily by IV drug use of opioids.

“Our main goal was to prevent this from happening again, and this is one way we think we can help jurisdictions,” study author John Brooks, Senior Medical Advisor for the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, told the Wall Street Journal.

Officials in the areas most at risk are working to provide more prevention programs, testing centers and other forms of assistance. While these might help a little bit, the most beneficial help would be to provide more treatment beds for addicts so they stop using drugs altogether. Recovery is the best prevention of this form of outbreak.

If you have a loved one addiction to drugs, whether they are using them intravenously or not, contact us today to find out how we can help.