Why do some people become addicted to drugs and not others?

8 Sep


There is no single prerequisite or contributing factor that will signal if someone will become an addict. It takes a group of influencing factors working together (in most instances) to create the addicted person and the more of these prerequisites a person has the greater the chance that addiction becomes an issue for them.

A few examples of these contributing factors are:

  • The Individual’s Biology. Addiction is a disease and therefore the genes someone is born with will make up for about half of their possible predisposition to becoming an addict. Other factors include a person’s gender, ethnicity, and the possible presence of some form of mental disorder may also increase risk for drug use and addiction.
  • The Individual’s Environment. One’s environment can include a whole host of different influences, from a person’s family and friends to their economic status and general quality of life. Other contributors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and lack of parental guidance can greatly affect a person’s likelihood of drug use and addiction.
  • The Individual’s Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction risk. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens. Because areas in their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, teens may be especially prone to risky behaviors, including trying drugs.

These are only a few of the contributing factors that can lead to drug addiction. If you or a loved one need help with addiction call us today.

Letter from the Surgeon General Regarding the Opioid Epidemic

7 Sep


Dear Colleague,

I am asking for your help to solve an urgent health crisis facing America: the opioid epidemic. Everywhere I travel, I see communities devastated by opioid overdoses. I meet families too ashamed to seek treatment for addiction. And I will never forget my own patient whose opioid use disorder began with a course of morphine after a routine procedure.

It is important to recognize that we arrived at this place on a path paved with good intentions. Nearly two decades ago, we were encouraged to be more aggressive about treating pain, often without enough training and support to do so safely. This coincided with heavy marketing of opioids to doctors. Many of us were even taught – incorrectly – that opioids are not addictive when prescribed for legitimate pain.

The results have been devastating. Since 1999, opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled and opioid prescriptions have increased markedly – almost enough for every adult in America to have a bottle of pills. Yet the amount of pain reported by Americans has not changed. Now, nearly 2 million people in America have a prescription opioid use disorder, contributing to increased heroin use and the spread of HIV and hepatitis C.

I know solving this problem will not be easy. We often struggle to balance reducing our patients’ pain with increasing their risk of opioid addiction. But, as clinicians, we have the unique power to help end this epidemic. As cynical as times may seem, the public still looks to our profession for hope during difficult moments. This is one of those times.

That is why I am asking you to pledge your commitment to turn the tide on the opioid crisis. Please take the pledge. Together, we will build a national movement of clinicians to do three things:

First, we will educate ourselves to treat pain safely and effectively. A good place to start is the TurnTheTideRx pocket guide with the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline. Second, we will screen our patients for opioid use disorder and provide or connect them with evidence-based treatment. Third, we can shape how the rest of the country sees addiction by talking about and treating it as a chronic illness, not a moral failing.

Years from now, I want us to look back and know that, in the face of a crisis that threatened our nation, it was our profession that stepped up and led the way. I know we can succeed because health care is more than an occupation to us. It is a calling rooted in empathy, science, and service to humanity. These values unite us. They remain our greatest strength.

Thank you for your leadership.

Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A.

19th U.S. Surgeon General

Parenting in Recovery: How to Prevent Addiction in your Children

31 Aug

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Raising children in this day and age is difficult to say the least. Parents try to set good examples for their children every day but still struggle to do the right thing in each situation. Raising children as a recovering addict is even more difficult. How as parents can we shelter our kids from the horrors of addiction? Are there parenting methods to help prevent this? What can you do?

  1. Teach by example
    Each child is different and has their own individual set of needs. Some children learn by observing while others will jump right in and learn by experiencing things firsthand. As a parent we need to be cognizant of these differences and engage each child in the best manner possible. Above and beyond this we as parents need to teach by example. Don’t drink, even casually, in the presence of your children. By not using drugs yourself and discussing the consequences of using and abusing substances with your children you will instill an effective deterrent in them.
  2. Be open and ask questions
    If you have had any addiction problems in your life it is best to be open and honest about them and more importantly discuss with your kids what you did proactively to change your life. Make it clear that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but of strength. Lead by example.
  3. Your influence has limits
    You can only do so much. There are limits to your ultimate influence on your children and the outside world will have a major effect on them by itself. We do not come from perfect families nor do we always know what the right thing to do is in any given situation. You just have to do your best to be an effective leader for your family. The ultimate hope is that by showing your family how you live your daily life, always seeking to better yourself and make informed decisions, in turn they will do the same.
  4. Exude love for yourself and others
    When children see how your treat yourself and others around you they learn how to deal with life’s myriad of situations. If they see you get out of control, angry or depressed they may learn to deal with similar situations in negative ways. Do your utmost to stay calm and mindful of each situation and your family will hopefully do the same.

Dr Michael Stone MD: Why I opened Cornerstone 32 years ago.

26 Aug

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In 1983 many of my patients in the hospital where I was employed were being discharged early due to the insurance companies refusing any further treatment. I felt that many of my patients, although medically safe to leave the hospital, were in no way ready to go home. So, I decided to open a sober living house in order to continue to help them after they were discharged.

In those days the hospital was charging $1200/day plus doctor and other charges to the insurance. When asked to leave the hospital I transferred a few to my first home. The cost was then $20/day – food and care included. We soon named the house Cornerstone of Southern California and proceeded to license it with the state of California.

Over the past 32 years we have become the best, most ethical, family owned and operated addiction treatment system. We now have 16 fully licensed and certified Recovery Homes in the surrounding cities of Santa Ana, Orange and Tustin.

Unfortunately, over the years many facilities have sprung up doing very questionable treatment practices and are mostly owned by investment teams and bankers with an extremely strong profit motive and not only poor ethics but also taking part in blatantly fraudulent business practices.

Cornerstone of Southern California takes great pride in our ethical treatment and has not and will never be a part of questionable or outright fraudulent practices. Cornerstone was founded to help addicts find lasting sobriety and after 32 years we will continue to promote ethical treatment practices and effective treatment programs.


Increase in Marijuana poisonings in Colorado since retail legalization

25 Aug

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While many have touted the benefits of marijuana legalization in Colorado there is a negative side as well. Marijuana, post legalization, now comes in a myriad of forms that can, and have already, caused harm to. You can now purchase anything from soda, cookies, chocolate bars and gummy bears all made with marijuana and all infused with the potential to get users high. What happens when an unsuspecting child comes across a bunch of candy or soda that contains marijuana? Take a look into the negative side of Marijuana legalization: Click Here!

Recovery Success: What Happens After Detox?

18 Aug


If you can’t stop taking a drug even if you want to, or if the urge to use drugs is too strong to control, even if you know the drug is causing harm, you might be addicted. The NIDA has put together some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you think about drugs a lot?
  2. Did you ever try to stop or cut down on your drug usage but couldn’t?
  3. Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without the use of drugs?
  4. Do you ever use drugs because you are upset or angry at other people?
  5. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you?
  6. Have you ever taken one drug to get over the effects of another?
  7. Have you ever made mistakes at a job or at school because you were using drugs?
  8. Does the thought of running out of drugs really scare you?
  9. Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to pay for drugs?
  10. Have you ever been arrested or in the hospital because of your drug use?
  11. Have you ever overdosed on drugs?
  12. Has using drugs hurt your relationships with other people?

If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, you might have an addiction. People from all backgrounds can get an addiction. Addiction can happen at any age, but it usually starts when a person is young.  Read more HERE.