How do I know if I am addicted?

26 Jul

blog-knowifaddicted

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.

Opioid Addiction Increases Post Surgery

29 Jun

Blog (18)

A new study has linked those who have had a back surgery or joint replacement surgery to a higher risk of opioid use and dependence post surgery. The study shows that a significant percentage of patients who have gone under the knife continue to take very potent prescription opioid painkillers for months even years after their initial procedure.

These findings help to prove that when joint replacement surgery is increasingly common there is a correlation in quickly rising rates of opioid overdoses in the United States. The most common prescription opioid painkillers include drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin, fentanyl and Percocet.

A recent autopsy report showed that music legend, Prince, died after taking fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller. The artist was said to have suffered from severe hip pain and used the synthetic opioid to alleviate his pain after years of performing intense acrobatics during his stage performances.

In this study, researchers followed 574 patients who were undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery. Approximately 30 percent of these patients were taking potentially addictive opioid painkillers before their surgery. Among this group, 53 percent of knee patients and 35 percent of hip patients were still taking the narcotics six months after their surgery.

This study also found that among patients who refused to take opioids prior to having surgery, 8 percent of knee surgery patients and 4 percent of hip surgery patients were still taking the painkillers six months after receiving their joint replacement.

The strongest predictor of long-term opioid use and dependence among the study participants came from those patients who were taking high doses of the opioid painkillers before joint replacement surgery.

The results show clearly that some patients will continue to use opioids despite improvements in their pain.

Some patients who did not use opioids before joint replacement will still become chronic users after the surgery. And continued opioid painkiller use post joint replacement surgery is much more common than previously believed.

What’s the difference? Alcohol Abuse vs Dependence

12 Apr

blog (11)

Alcoholism can be described in different ways, for example using the term ‘alcohol abuse’ or the term ‘alcohol dependence’. Do both of these descriptions mean the same thing? The answer is NO. No they do not mean the same thing at all.

What is Alcohol Abuse?

The term ‘alcohol abuse’ refers to someone who drinks alcohol to the point of harming themselves or to the point of engaging in risky behaviors like driving under the influence or having unprotected sex. A person who abuses alcohol will do so in spite of the consequences they face each time they drink. They will repeat this behavior time and time again and allow the wreckage to build up all around them. Alcohol abusers have impaired cognitive abilities and impaired judgement when it comes to decision making. This bad decision making and the consequences that arise from it will inevitably create tension in interpersonal relationships and will negatively affect their performance in all areas of their life. This person may not have become ‘alcohol dependent’ yet but the constant damage to the brain, liver and digestive tract will accumulate and soon become a major health issue. Unlike someone who has become alcohol dependent the alcohol abuser may still have some self control over how much and when they drink.

What is Alcohol Dependency?

Someone who is ‘alcohol dependent’ has a physical and psychological need and desire to drink alcohol. They have abused alcohol to such an extent that it becomes required by the body to function. This person has now built up a tolerance to the copious amounts of alcohol that they consume and are able to drink large quantities with little outward evidence. When they don’t feed the body the required dose of alcohol their body begins to crave it. The four criteria used to diagnose true alcohol dependency are high tolerance, uncontrolled daily drinking binges, cravings for alcohol and outward physical signs of withdrawal when not drinking. Both the abuser and the dependent alcoholic are at risk of serious health consequences from liver disease to cancer but while alcohol abuse is highly and quite easily treatable, alcohol dependency requires skilled assistance in a medically assisted detox facility. It takes time and a strong network of support for the dependent person to break free of the chains of their addiction.

This skilled and quality assistance can be found here at Cornerstone of Southern California in our DHCS licensed and certified, Joint Commission accredited Inpatient Residential Detox Program. We have been helping addicts for 32 years and are ready right now to help.

Drinking Alcohol is worse for you than you thought!

2 Mar

worse-for-you-blog

We have all heard or read about the idea that drinking a glass of red wine per day is good for the human body due to certain chemicals contained within it. Chemicals like antioxidants and resveratrol are thought to be ‘heart healthy’ both of which red wine has in abundance. The issue is that it is unclear whether red wine is better for you than beer or liquor and it is also unclear whether the benefits outweigh the detriments.

Recently the UK Medical Chief, Sally Davies, has proposed that alcohol consumption can actually lead to a higher risk of cancer. Davies says that, “Drinking any level of alcohol regularly carries a health risk for anyone, but if men and women limit their intake to no more than 14 units a week it keeps the risk of illness like cancer and liver disease low.”

Read more HERE!

Educating Families about Addiction

1 Mar

educating-Fam-Blog
Here at Cornerstone of Southern California we have been helping addicts and their families recover from addictions for the past 31 years. Our approach centers around
Relapse Prevention Education and we have always strongly encouraged family involvement by offering a comprehensive Family Program. In this program we offer education on a broad range of topics from codependence, boundaries, enabling, and tough love over an 8 week time period.

Our Family Night Speakers have been given rave reviews from the family members of clients in our care. Some recent comments include:

“I had no idea I was sick also and this is a family disease.”

“The content of the lecture was meaningful and insightful and we truly learned a lot.”

“The information that they provided was relevant and up to date.”

“I was laughing out loud with everyone in the room.”

“I was impressed by Aaron’s ability to teach us the cold hard facts of this disease while keeping us laughing. He definitely had the rooms attention!“

“Learned that I can’t make them change.”

“Aaron brought it home. Realized that things have to change at home so it is not the same environment and to make things change.”

“Keep Aaron as a speaker he does a great job.”

“Very credible given their personal experience.”

“Appreciate his honesty.”

If you have a family member in treatment with us we hope that you take advantage of our Family Program.

 

Use of the “Devil’s Drug” Flakka is on the rise

22 Feb

Blog-flakka

α-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone – aka Flakka is a synthetic stimulant which is highly addictive and extremely inexpensive to buy on the street. For about $5 this imported drug from China can cause an immediate rush which quickly turns into rampant paranoia, hallucinations, abnormal strength and elevated vital signs.

In Florida it is quickly becoming an epidemic with some treatment facilities reporting up to 20% of their clients addicted to this new drug. Many, however, have been turned away from treatment due to the extremely high rate of relapse associated with its use. In Broward County at least 60 people have already died from causes directly linked to this drug within the last 14 months.

There have been numerous reports of addicts high on Flakka doing insane things like running through the streets naked , climbing then jumping off of high bridges in paranoid attempts to flee from imaginary followers.

We at Cornerstone of Southern California are very concerned about this new substance of abuse and the incredible damage it is already causing.

To learn more click here.