Substance Abuse in Botswana, Africa

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Substance-Abuse-in-BotswanaIn the Southern African nation of Botswana, illicit drug use is on the rise. A country with a strong political and governmental system, Botswana has seen growth and prosperity much higher than most of the continent. Along with economic prosperity comes expendable income to use towards drugs in some social circles. Illicit drug use is not uncommon in rural or urban areas. With such wide spread usage, government and World Health Organization officials have officially deemed the rise in usage in Botswana an epidemic. In the United Nations world drug report of 2012 a few things are made clear. Illicit drug use may spread HIV, crime rates, and societal instability. With as fragile as the African continent’s economy is, Botswana’s economic success is extraordinarily important to the total monetary and economic development of the region. High drug use though leads entire communities towards economic despair, drives health issues through the roof, and leaves families wondering how they will help their addicted family member cope and seek the treatment they need.

The cultural impacts are innumerable. Women are seen dealing illicit drugs in a sky-high rate greater than men, students in their higher education system are experimenting with hard drugs, and the increased HIV rates are weighing heavily on the nation. Epidemics grow and spread quickly. In order to keep Botswana a thriving nation, the WHO and other health organizations have got to step in and help treat the addicted quickly before the epidemic spirals out of control. New blood, the freshly graduated, educated, and healthy masses are needed to keep this nation and it’s economy churning in the right direction. Without proper treatment and acknowledgement of the issue, Botswana may turn towards a health crisis so extreme it could take decades to correct and treat. Prevention and rehabilitation are key to making sure this epidemic is stopped in its tracks.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.

Flakka, Dangerous New Designer Drug, Causes Alarm

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Flakka-Dangerous-New-Designer-Drug-Causes-AlarmFlakka, a dangerous new designer drug making its way into several U.S. states and abroad is sounding an alarm because of its highly addictive nature and the life-threatening behavior it causes. The drug can be consumed by swallowing, by injection or by means of an e-cigarette. It can result in rapid rise in body temperature, severe anxiety and paranoia, extremely violent behavior and a sensation of extraordinary strength. Flakka is made from a synthetically derived compound made from the khat plant, found in parts of the Middle East and Somalia. Suspected suppliers from China, Pakistan and India often deal in online operations, which opens the door to repackaging. By the time Flakka hits the streets, it may be combine with other addictive substances, such as cocaine or heroin. Reported so far in Florida, Texas and Ohio, incidents involving Flakka have endangered the users themselves, law enforcement officers and innocent bystanders.

Effects of flakka include physical and emotional trauma

Experts have labeled the behavior associated with the use of flakka “excited delirium.” Flakka floods the brain with dopamine, quickly awakening pleasure centers and creating a state of euphoria. The effect is similar to heroin or cocaine. The user becomes psychotic and experiences an adrenaline rush. With the rise in adrenaline comes a false sense of physical invincibility.  Flakka use has resulted in incidents of uncontrolled behavior, such as a man who tore off his clothes and tried to break down a police station door. In another case, a man impaled himself on a fence while attempting to jump over it. Flakka can cause changes in heart, brain and kidney function. Risk of a heart attack or stroke is high, and kidney damage can result in the need for permanent dialysis. Side effects are intensified when flakka is used in conjunction with other drugs. The street name for flakka is “gravel” because of its appearance.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.

Crack in Brazil a National Epidemic

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Crack-in-Brazil-a-National-EpidemicNot that long ago,  the United States was noted as the world’s Number One consumer of crack cocaine, but crack in Brazil has become an even bigger problem, with a whopping one-million Brazilian users. The spread of cocaine use is being referred to as an “epidemic” by Brazil’s government officials and by the global press.

There’s no mystery as to why crack is a problem in Brazil. The country shares borders with the three largest cocaine-producing countries – Peru, Columbia and Bolivia. And it’s been experiencing strong economic growth, with plenty of disposable income available for everything from luxury cars to expensive drugs. The real question is whether the country’s current approach to the epidemic will help Brazil hold back the tide of addiction and ride the wave of real economic prosperity.

Dozens of approaches have been tried by the Brazilian government, but the country’s capital, Sao Paulo, is taking a particularly pro-active stand. The city’s mayor, Fernando Haddad, has embraced a harm reduction approach, with a focus not on stopping drug addiction but on reducing the harm caused by drug users – harm to themselves and to their communities.  The city took over a collection of flophouses around an area of the city known as Crackland – a slum-infested hub of users within the city and set 400 addicts up in long-term accommodations. The program is called “Open Arms” and offers addicts primary health care, three meals a day, showers, and a city job.

Critics of Open Arms say it’s not evidence-based and won’t solve the problem of crack in Brazil. But housing addicts and employing them in city jobs costs less than a quarter of what it costs to hospitalize them. The program boasts numbers of addicts who are now housed, employed and motivated to leave the streets of Crackland. Mayor Haddad says his program is helping “recover the heart of the city” and hopes it will be a model for his country.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.

What is dopesick and how can it be managed during treatment?

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What-is-dopesick-and-how-can-it-be-managedThe term dopesick, also referred to as dopesickness, is commonly used to describe the painful physical and mental symptoms that accompany heroin withdrawal. When an addict decides to quit heroin, or greatly reduce their daily intake, withdrawal symptoms can begin to appear in as little as 6-8 hours.

In order to avoid these painful symptoms, many addicts continue to seek out the drug by any means necessary, regardless of the consequences they may face. Over time, an addict’s body becomes accustomed to the drug and they will often continue to use in a desperate attempt to feel normal, even though the initial high they once felt is no longer obtainable.

What is dopesick and why does it occur?

The human body naturally produces its own painkillers, thanks to opiate receptors that reside in both the brain and within the digestive system. When a person becomes addicted to opiate-based drugs, such as heroin, Percocet or OxyContin, the body naturally adapts by reducing its production of “feel good” chemicals, which include endorphins and dopamine.

When an addict chooses to quit opiates, the production of these natural chemicals remains low for a short period of time, resulting in painful withdrawal symptoms as the body works hard to re-balance itself. In medical terms, this process is commonly referred to as homeostasis.

What are the symptoms of dopesickness?

Many symptoms may occur when an addict tries to quit heroin or other opiate-based drugs. These painful symptoms often cause an addict to continue their drug use even though they may sincerely want to quit. Family members and loved ones often ask “What is dopesick?” as it can be hard to understand opiate withdrawal if they have never experienced opiate withdrawal themselves. When an addict is dopesick, a wide range of symptoms can suddenly occur which include:

    • Irritability
    • Hot and cold sweats
    • Restless Legs
    • Insomnia
    • Heightened awareness of pain
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Diarrhea
    • Stomach Cramps
    • Intense cravings for opiates

Because of these uncomfortable symptoms, it may seem impossible for a heroin addict to quit the drug on their own after multiple failed attempts. Fortunately, a professional treatment center has the knowledge and expertise needed to treat the symptoms of heroin withdrawal properly so that an addict can finally regain control over his or her life.

How can a drug treatment center manage dopesickness?

When a heroin addict enters a drug detox facility, they may feel nervous or afraid, often because of their previous failed attempts to quit the drug. Thankfully, at a drug treatment center, medical professionals will evaluate and treat a heroin addict’s withdrawal symptoms every step of the way to ensure that the process is as comfortable as possible. After the initial drug detox, addicts will then receive the professional counseling they desperately need to help them change their addictive behaviors in order to reduce their chances of relapse.

A wide variety of medications may be used during heroin detox in order to reduce the painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Medications such as Suboxone, benzodiazepines, Clonidine and other treatment options, will make the entire withdrawal process much more manageable for the patient. By choosing to enter a professional drug treatment center, an addict can greatly increase their likelihood of successfully quitting heroin or other opiate-based drugs once and for all.

Choosing To Enter a Treatment Center for Heroin Withdrawal

Drug treatment centers can mean the difference between life and death for a person when it comes to heroin addiction. Fortunately, heroin addiction can be treated and with the proper medications, counseling and other helpful treatment options, addicts can finally overcome their addiction.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.

Perfectionism Hinders Recovery Process

Articles, Education

Perfectionism-Hinders-Recovery-ProcessOne common thread among alcoholics, addicts and their loved ones is the presence of perfectionism. Those who are addicted to alcohol or drugs often seek to be perfect – or at least look perfect on the outside – in order to cover up the inadequacy they feel inside. They may present themselves with an attitude of bravado or self-importance, particularly in the early stages of their addiction when they may have periods of seeming to manage their alcohol or drugs. Meanwhile, their family members and loved ones try to appear perfect in order to cover up the problem. If they look good on the outside, then perhaps no one will notice their lives are falling apart. They also may strive for perfectionism in a vain attempt to hold themselves up as a beacon for the addict or alcoholic. No matter what the motive, perfection is impossible. It can create havoc with recovery. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hillary-rettig/perfectionism-and-addicti_b_396056.html

Expectations Open Door To Resentment

Expectations are an aspect of perfectionism – expectations of oneself and of others. If an alcoholic or addict expects perfect performance at work, perfect relationships and perfect social connections, it opens the door to resentment. Setting excessively high standards by some internal measuring stick sets the stage for consolation in alcohol or drugs when the standards are not met. Expectations also create a critical attitude. When people are caught up in the behavior of others, it becomes easy to place blame and to avoid looking at one’s own patterns of drinking and drug use. It also can provide an excuse for relapse. http://blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2012/04/perfectionism-addiction/

Treatment Offers Realistic Feedback

Addiction treatment can provide a solution for stepping out of the cycle of perfectionism and substance use. With the help of therapy and recovery groups, alcoholics, addicts and their families begin to develop a more realistic way to deal with life. They learn to let go of perfectionism.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.