Prescription opioids are powerful painkillers prescribed to treat moderate-to-severe long-term pain. They work by blocking the pain receptors in the brain, stimulating dopamine that produces a feeling of euphoria, heightened pleasure, relaxation, and in some cases, an altered state of consciousness.
Ask anyone who is going through it – addiction recovery is tough. Some days will be easy, while others will be down right torture. But just because there are inevitably going to be rough days, doesn’t mean you should forget them. One of the best ways to keep a record of your addiction recovery is to write about it. By being able to go back and review some of your hardest moments you can learn more about yourself and the strength you have, than you could ever imagine.
Imagine for a moment that you are a child and you are watching your father, whom you love more than anything in the world, struggle and spiral out of control. You notice that Daddy isn’t acting like himself, he loses his temper easily and is not home nearly as often as he once was. Perhaps you start to wonder what you had done to make him so upset and start to blame yourself for how he is acting – why else wouldn’t he want to be home with you? What you don’t know is that Daddy is struggling with addiction.
When you or somebody you love is struggling with addiction, it is often referred to as a family disease because of the impact the addiction has on the individual struggling and those around them. Being a family member of someone who is struggling can be extremely difficult because of the emotional turmoil that occurs while watching a loved one grapple with their battle with addiction.
Some of the emotions that may arise from being a bystander to a loved one’s addiction include fear, anger, sadness, shame, guilt, anxiety and/ or depression. The emotions of helplessness and hopelessness are commonly experienced as you are forced to watch your loved one self-destruct. These feelings can evoke a belief that your loved one’s struggle with addiction is your responsibility: “Their pain is your pain; their struggle is your struggle.”
If you have a friend or family member that struggles with addiction, it is likely that you have heard the phrase, “you to need to stop enabling the addict.” We always want the best for our loved ones, especially those struggling with addiction. We believe that we are doing the right thing when helping them. At the end of the day, we may not realize that our helping could be enabling the habits and behaviours of someone struggling with addiction. When we enable an addict, we are preventing them from seeing the total consequences to their actions and/or behaviours.
To say that life has been stressful this year is an understatement. Life as we know it has changed completely. We have been faced with social, financial, professional and spiritual restrictions. This has created a lot of additional stress for many of us and there really isn’t an end in sight. When life gets hectic and overwhelming, we can burn out from pushing ourselves too much without a break.
Throughout life, the majority of us will be affected by anxiety in one way or another. For some of us it is just a minor blip to our normal, everyday life. However, for others it can be all encompassing and quite literally take control of our lives, sometimes without us even knowing it.
Unless you or a loved one has a history of substance abuse, it’s hard to understand the true nature of addiction. Without personal experience, people often fill their knowledge gap with presumptions, speculation, rumour, and conjecture, creating myths about addiction, and the recovery process that overshadow facts. So, let’s clear the air. The following are some of the most common myths about substance abuse, addiction, and recovery, and the real facts everyone should know.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a highly addictive, synthetic stimulant.
Developed in the early 1900s, methamphetamine gained popularity during World War II as a way to keep soldiers awake. After the war, use became prevalent among college students, truck drivers, athletes, and homemakers who used the drug for its ability to create increased alertness, energy, and confidence; and suppress appetite.
Today, methamphetamine is one of the most commonly used illegal drugs in the world.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug extracted from the leaves of the South American coca bush.
When processed, it is available in two forms, hydrochloride salt and freebase. Hydrochloride salt is the powdered form of cocaine, it can be snorted, or dissolved in water and injected. Freebase is the base form of cocaine, it’s sold as solid rock crystal and is “cooked” using heat and inhaled or “smoked”.
Crack cocaine is derivative of cocaine made by cooking hydrochloride salt with water and baking soda. It is also smoked, typically through a pipe. Continue reading “Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Cocaine”
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an illegal, opioid drug synthesized from morphine, a natural substance derived from the seedpod of the opium poppy.
In its purest form, heroin is fine, white powder. When the drug is “cut” with other substances its colour and consistency can change. Street heroin can range from a white powder to a beige or brown grainy substance to a dark black tar. The purity of heroin varies significantly from batch-to-batch and depending on which additives are used to cut the drug, this will determine its potency and risk. Continue reading “Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Heroin”
Club drugs are a group of psychoactive drugs that take their name from their popularity at nightclubs, concerts, bars, and all-night dance parties. Club drugs are also commonly called designer drugs, as most are synthesized in a lab.
Generally used by teens and young adults, the majority of club drug use is limited to specific places, events, and activities where the drugs are thought to improve the overall experience or solicit a certain response.
The most common club drugs are Ecstasy, GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol. All of these drugs act on the body’s central nervous system to produce a sense of euphoria, reduced inhibitions, heighten emotional and sensory feelings, and hallucinogenic effects. But not all club drugs are the same.
Sometimes what you are most of afraid of admitting is the very thing that will set you free.
The cliché is true, the hardest part of addiction recovery is admitting you have a problem. Denial is a major part of addiction, and many people have to reach rock bottom before they will accept that they are an addict and need help.
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you already know you have an issue with substance abuse, but you may be uncertain if you’re an addict.
Prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin increase alertness, attention and energy by amplifying the activity of certain brain neurotransmitters including dopamine and norepinephrine. These prescription psychoactive drugs act similar to illegal substances like cocaine, crack and methamphetamine.
Originally prescribed for a wide variety of medical conditions, as the prevalence of abuse became more wide spread stricter standards were enacted. Today, prescription stimulants are predominately prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and occasionally depression.
Research shows that children who learn the facts about drugs and alcohol from their parents are significantly less likely to use them.
No child is immune from exposure to drugs and alcohol. Teen drug and alcohol abuse is prevalent in every community across Canada, and addiction has become a national crisis.
Children who aren’t properly educated about the dangers of drugs and alcohol are more likely to experiment and have a greater risk of addiction. Continue reading “Talking to children about drugs and alcohol addiction”
Prescription depressants are used as popular sedatives, tranquilizers, and hypnotics. They work by increasing the amount of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) neurotransmitters in the brain to produce a calming effect on the central nervous system that reduces anxiety and over-stimulation and induces feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
Prescription depressants are grouped into three drug classes: Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan; Barbiturates, like Nembutal; and Sedative-Hypnotics like Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata. Continue reading “Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs – Depressants”