Browse Tag by drug abuse

Drug Abuse Help: Warning Signs of Teenage Drug Abuse


When a drug addict begins abusing drugs, many times he chooses to hide it from friends and family members. Typically, the drug addict has a select group of friends who use drugs, and other friends who do not use drugs begin to see a withdraw from social activities. Serious drug abuse occurs from depression, life’s traumatic situations or pure curiosity. Regular drug use can turn to addiction, and that is when serious personality changes are seen. Parents and friends involved with teenage drug abuse can identify some common warning signs. When these warning signs are presented, drug abuse help can save the life of a friend or family member.

Mood Swings and Youth Drug Abuse

The most common indication that a friend or family member is abusing drugs is perpetual mood swings. When the drug abuser is able to get drugs, the mood is generally cheerful and happy. Withdrawals from drugs lead to depression, anger, lethargy and other changes in common behavior. The teenager may feel depressed and lash out at friends and family when the drug of choice is not available. Some teenagers miss classes. Adults miss work. Both of these patients are unable to keep commitments, especially when attempting to find the drugs.

Signs of Drug Use – Weight Loss

Weight loss is a common side effect of most stimulant drugs. Stimulant drugs such as meth and cocaine decrease appetite. This is a common teenage drug abuse sign. Opiate drugs such as oxycontin and heroin also reduce appetite. These drugs leave a pale color on the patient when they use continuously. Some patients have dark circles under the eyes, which is a sign of chronic, excessive use. One of the most prominent signs is weight loss. Some drug addicts lose several dozen pounds and look sickly. Other drug addicts succumb to anorexia and bulimic habits, which are increased during drug use.

Drug and Substance Abuse and Theft

When the money runs out, some teenagers resort to stealing from friends and family. Withdrawals are painful, so the teenager fears the symptoms of drug detox and steals money to buy the drug of choice. This causes more strain on internal family ties, so drug abuse can affect direct family members as well as the others who notice the wrongdoing from the drug abuser. The drug addict steals from parents, siblings and friends to avoid withdrawal symptoms from drugs.

Drug Addiction Treatment and Teenagers

Parents and friends are encouraged to find drug abuse help for anyone thought to have a dangerous addiction to drugs. Warning signs of drug abuse should be taken seriously, and parents and friends of the drug abuser are encouraged to support the drug abuser during the detox and recovery time. Many drug abusers want to recover and quit the dangerous habit, but they are afraid of the withdrawals. Find ways to avoid the withdrawals, and many drug addicts with follow the road to drug recovery.


CNS Depressant Prescription Drug Abuse

prescription drugs

A type of prescription medication, depressants reduce the activity in the central nervous system, or CNS. Doctors will prescribe a CNS depressant to treat anxiety. When people take these medications for non-medical purposes, they may have serious health problems.

Types of CNS Depressants

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million people ages 12 and older abused prescription medications. The Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that in 2015, 0.7 percent of people ages 12 and over abused tranquilizers and 0.1 percent of people ages 12 and over abused sedatives, two types of CNS depressant.

The US Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration point out that people can abuse multiple types of CNS depressants, which have moderate to high physical and psychological dependence. Examples of CNS depressants include glutethimide, barbiturates, chloral hydrate, methaqualone and tranquilizers, also called benzodiazepines. All of these CNS depressants work by affecting the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, which decreases the brain’s activity, resulting in a calming effect.

Access to CNS Depressants

People who abuse CNS depressants obtain these drugs through multiple methods. The Office of National Drug Control Policy points out that people who abuse CNS depressants may doctor shop, in which they go to many doctors to get prescriptions for the medication. Some abusers may get their supply through over prescribing, in which they tell their doctors they lost some pills and need more. CNS depressant abusers may get their pills from friends and family. Other ways abusers access the medications include theft and illegal online pharmacies.

Signs of CNS Depressant Abuse

People may notice certain signs in people that can indicate abuse of CNS depressants. For example, people who abuse CNS depressants may display alcohol intoxication-like behavior, but without the smell of alcohol on their breath, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. They may also have difficulty concentrating when abusing CNS depressants. Other signs of abuse include dilated pupils, lack of coordination and falling asleep at work or school.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy explains that abuse of CNS depressants can lead to serious health problems. For example, people who abuse CNS depressants may start having seizures. Taking too high a dosage of a CNS depressant can result in respiratory depression and decreased heart rate. Withdrawal from these drugs after using large amounts can put users’ lives at risk. Severe withdrawal symptoms include delirium, convulsions and death.


Drug Abuse among Older Adults on Increase: Ageing Baby Boomers Abusing Drugs at an Alarming Rate

drug abuse rate

As baby boomers are getting older, drug rehabs are seeing an increase of older adults being admitted for addictions. This problem is not new as it has been going on for years. Robert Higgins of New York State’s Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services says that most seniors have been abusing drugs for twenty years or more.

Boomers and Addictions

Alcohol is the most popular drug of choice by older adults with prescription drug abuse coming in a close second. Marijuana, cocaine and heroin also make the list of drugs that seniors abuse. New York State’s Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services reports that drug abuse among older adults has increased by 106% for men and 119% for women between 1995 and 2002.

Drug abuse among seniors was unforeseen and is now almost at epidemic proportions because of the boomers. Back in the 60’s and 70’s many drug users maintained some of their drug habits and now society has aging drug users. This demonstrates that drug addiction and abuse knows no age limits. According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the increase in those over the age of 50 being admitted to treatment programs for just heroin abuse rose from 7,000 to 27,000 between 1992 and 2002.

According to CBS News and Brunilda Nazario, MD of WebMD, boomers with cocaine addiction increased from 3,000 to 13,000. Also, the percentage of older adults in treatment for opiate abuse increased from 6.8% to 12% from 1995 to 2002.

Alcohol Addiction among Older Adults

Alcohol abuse is the major substance abuse among older adults. According to a study published at the National Library of Medicine, in the U.S., it is estimated that 2.5 million older adults have alcohol problems and 21% of hospitalized adults over the age of 40 are alcoholics. According to the report, hospital costs are as high as $60 billion every year.

In 1990 those over the age of 65 comprised 13% of the American population and it’s estimated that by 2030 older adults will comprise almost a quarter of the population. This means that this has serious implications for both alcohol-related problems and the costs involved to respond. Today, alcohol-related hospitalizations for older adults are similar to those for heart attacks.

Older Adults and Treatment

SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie, states in a newsletter, “We are only beginning to realize the pervasiveness of substance abuse among older adults.” SAMHSA is making older adults a priority in hopes to be ready for what is expected to be a continuing growing problem.

Wanting help is the first step to getting help. To find out about resources close to home contact the local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.