A: Due to the severe withdrawal symptoms, cocaine is a very difficult substance to stop using. Frequent use can deplete the body’s dopamine, and leave your friend susceptible to depression, possibly severe depression. This can be a huge problem when quitting, along with all the other side effects and health risks that go along with frequent substance use.
The best thing you can do is to encourage your friend to get help, professional help. Your friend should be evaluated by a trained substance-abuse professional to find out how severe the use is, to formulate a treatment plan, and to work to implement that plan. If your friend isn’t willing to get help, maybe you can encourage him to talk to his parents. If this doesn’t work, you might need to speak to his parents on your own.
It is not easy to quit using cocaine on your own. Having the help and support of a friend like you, along with professional intervention, is the key to your friend’s recovery.
A: I can safely say that any help you receive from a professional psychologist, counselor, therapist, or social worker, or school counselor is going to be confidential. The behavior of these professionals is guided by very strict laws of confidentiality and codes of ethics from their professional organizations. Confidentiality is taken very seriously, as it is one of the most important factors in allowing individuals such as yourself get the help they need, without your confidence being compromised.
A: Percocet and hydrocodone are opiate medications used for pain. They are highly addictive because they are powerful drugs that, in some people, can create feelings of euphoria, calmness, sedation, and emotional numbness. If you have been taking these drugs for more than a year, it is highly probable that your body is now dependent on them. If you stop taking the medications cold-turkey you could develop signs of opiate withdrawal, which include diarrhea, anxiety, muscle aches, sweating profusely, running nose, cramping, and intense desire to take more opiates.
The withdrawal from opiates is not life-threatening but it can be very difficult and uncomfortable to overcome.Left without treatment, the period of withdrawing from opiates can last anywhere from three to 10 days. Cravings for opiates are a strong sign of withdrawal and is often the last symptom to go away on its own. Most people who are addicted to opiates are so worried about the withdrawal process that they continue to use even though they know it will not help. Nowadays people should not have to go through withdrawal on their own. There are plenty of places and medications that are available to make the detoxification/withdrawal process go much smoother and without complications.
People who get into treatment will start feeling good again as soon as they get help to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. People who don't get this help tend to continue to struggle with cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and are not able to stop taking the opiates on their own.
A: The answer is clearly "yes." Marijuana use, like other drugs, poses multiple risks for teens. One of those risks is addiction. Addiction involves both psychological and physical components. This may mean that you find yourself often using more marijuana than you had planned, (for example, using more on a single occasion or more often than you thought you would). In other words, your use starts feeling out of control.
Similarly, you may promise yourself that you won't use anymore or that you won't use so much or so often, and then find yourself back using at the same or greater rate than before. You may notice that the process of getting pot, using it, and being high, is taking more of your time each week, and you stop doing things you used to do like sports or other activities. You may find that you need more marijuana to get the same high, or find that the same amount doesn't produce the same effects that it used to; this is called developing "tolerance" to a drug.
Last, if you smoke pot frequently (multiple times per week or per day), you may notice when you stop that you may feel irritable, nervous, restless, have sleep problems, less of an appetite, and maybe even feel depressed. These are withdrawal symptoms that have been associated with quitting marijuana.
You might also want to know that teens appear to be at a somewhat higher risk statistically for developing dependence on marijuana than adults because of the stage of a teen's brain development which makes them more vulnerable. We are not sure why teens are more vulnerable, but it may have to do with the stage of a teen's brain development, the general feelings of invincibility, rebellion, and impulsivity that are a normal part of teen development, or environmental influences such as peers or friends that get high or the struggle to fit in socially.
A: This is in actuality a fallacy. Drug addicts will not stay sober by staying busy with hobbies. Boredom for addicts is often a manifestation of depression. So it is important that your brother see a psychiatrist who has experience treating addicts. Not treating his depression will endanger his sobriety. He doesn't do drugs because he is bored, however. He does drugs because he is an addict and there is something very wrong with his program of sobriety. He may need more structure, as I said above, he might need associated disorders treated, and he clearly needs to increase his meeting attendance and work more diligently with a sponsor.
A: No, it's a common misconception that only people who use "hard-core" drugs ? also known as "street drugs" ? need treatment. Any substance, when used to excess, can become addictive or cause a person to become dependent. Treatment is available, and very often necessary, for people who abuse any substance, including alcohol, marijuana, prescription pills, over-the-counter substances, meth, heroin, etc.
Drug abuse can have a significant impact on all areas of a person's life including their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relational, and financial well-being. As the abuse continues, problems multiply and start a difficult downward spiral. Treatment can interrupt this negative process, help people put their lives on a positive path, and work towards improving on the losses drug abuse may have caused.
A: Drug addiction is a brain disease. One of the reasons that people who are addicted to drugs just can't stop on their own is that this disease is so powerful that it changes the way people think and behave. Imagine if someone said to you to just cut back your eating from three meals a day to just one every other day. After a while, you would get an intense hunger and the only thing you would think about is food.
Drug addiction is very much like that - there is an intense hunger or craving with drugs that doesn't just go away with willpower. Furthermore, patients with drug addiction have been shown to have abnormalities in the areas of the brain that are responsible for self-control. So, when these parts of the brain are damaged, no matter how hard someone tries to stop, he or she cannot do it without admitting the problem and getting help.
The good news is that once a patient with a drug addiction decides to quit, the success rates for treatment are actually pretty good. This is especially true when they have support from their families, friends and doctors in order to recover. Sometimes the toughest part about treating patients is just getting them motivated to start treatment.
A: All sorts of people can become addicted to drugs from all walks of life ? young and old, rich and poor, males and females. What you are pointing out is that there are several environmental risk factors that contribute to a person developing drug addiction.
One of the most powerful risk factors is spending time with other people who use drugs and alcohol. It is important to note, though, that just hanging out with people who smoke pot won't make you into a drug addict. There are a lot of other risk factors that make people become addicted, some of them genetic and some of them environmental.
For instance, research has shown that people who have a lot of stress in their lives (from dealing with a family divorce or being the victim of physical or sexual abuse) have an increased likelihood of developing a drug addiction. Another example of a major risk factor is family history. If you are related to someone with a drug addiction problem, the chances that you will develop an addiction are higher.
Nowadays, we don't usually say that people have an "addictive personality." Instead, we emphasize that some people are born with a higher genetic risk to develop addictions than others. For instance, people who have a positive experience the first time they take drugs are more likely to develop an addiction. We know this is partially controlled by genetics. Overall, we know that everyone exposed to drugs could become addicted, especially under certain circumstances. This is why it is so important to prevent young people from using drugs in the first place.
A: Yes, there are a variety of ways to seek help without going into a treatment center. However, you may find out that a treatment center might be most beneficial for you. To find out, I would recommend talking with someone who is educated in the field of substance abuse and addiction. A professional's assessment can help you to determine the extent of your drug dependency. From there, you will be able to determine the appropriate course of action for you.
If you are struggling to build trust, it may be helpful to talk to people who have been in a similar situation. Local support group meetings can assist you at this critical time and help you realize that you are not alone.
There will be people there who can relate to you and what you're going through. Also, you can find help locally by calling NCADI(National Clearinghouse of Alcohol & Drug Information) at 1-800-788-2800 to be referred to a confidential hotline in your area or receive other resources.
A: That's good news that your friend has gotten help! Treatment is difficult, but living a clean, healthy life of recovery and sobriety after treatment is even more difficult. Rehab is often a very safe environment for a person to get clean and begin to learn the basics of recovery. Once treatment is completed, the person is challenged to put those practices to work in a less safe environment ? the real world.
In order to stay healthy, your friend has to avoid those people or things that encourage unhealthy behavior. It's a good idea to avoid people that your friend used with and places where they used. There is a saying that goes something like this, "if you spend enough time in a barber shop, you're bound to get a haircut." If your friend spends enough time after treatment associating with those people or places that lead to her unhealthy behavior, she is bound to return to that behavior eventually.
If you want to be a part of your friend's recovery and support your friend, then yes, it's a good idea for you to choose not to hang around the people who contributed to that unhealthy behavior.