In recent weeks there have been a number of deaths related to Methadone that was obtained illegally, and two of these deaths occurred in Maryland. Unfortunately the people who died were all smaller children. Individuals who buy illegal street drugs are not as concerned with the way these drugs are stored as they are with obtaining the drug in the first place. A 5 year old girl died after drinking liquid methadone from an open cup placed in the refrigerator. In a different case a 5 year boy was discovered unconscious after he got into liquid methadone that was not properly stored. The father of the boy admitted that the drug was purchased on the street, and the 5 year old later died at the hospital from an opiate overdose. These are just 2 of the cases that have been in the news recently which spotlight the danger that substance abuse can pose to children in the household.
Methadone is a very powerful opiate narcotic and the drug is used to help treat heroine addiction in some individuals. This drug is so powerful that younger children who consume even a small amount often die, and in some cases the most aggressive medical treatment methods may not be able to save the child. Most methadone clinics that supply the drug to heroine addicts watch the client take the drug. In rare cases if the staff of a clinic feels a client is trustworthy then methadone may provided for the client to take home. Often these drugs end up on the street and may find their way into the hands of small children.
The studies and statistics show that individuals being treated for substance abuse or addiction have a relapse rate comparable to many chronic conditions. This makes the choice of treatment program even more important. Individual counseling is required to root out the specific causes of the substance abuse or other addiction so these can finally be resolved. More than 1 million people are admitted to a substance abuse and addiction treatment facility each year, and many of these individuals will need further rounds of treatment after a relapse due to ineffective treatment methods.
Statistics show a surprising trend for substance abuse and addiction. These include the following facts and figures:
Close to 9% of the American population over the age of 12 have used some form of street drug more than once.
More than 40% of substance abuse treatment admissions are for alcohol abuse.
1 in 5 treatment facility admissions is due to opiate abuse or addiction. This includes heroin use, and this percentage may be higher in certain areas.
Approximately 1 in 6 admissions to a substance abuse treatment facility nationwide is due to marijuana use.
Men tend to have a higher relapse rate than women, and experts believe that this is due to the fact that women will generally engage in group counseling and individual sessions.
Addiction can be properly managed with the right treatment methods, so that the substance or activity that is the basis of the addiction no longer affects your life in the same destructive way.
1. Does Alcohol Or Drugs Interfere With Daily Activities? If substance abuse interferes with your daily life then this is a sign that substance abuse treatment is needed. As the alcohol or drug use continues it gets harder to function normally each day and your substance abuse will start to intrude on your daily life and activities.
2. Does Substance Abuse Interfere With Your Employment? If your drinking or drug use interferes with your job then this is a sign that substance abuse treatment is required. Alcohol use may cause you to be chronically late because you stayed up late the night before, or you may be suspected of drinking or using drugs on the job and this may put your employment in jeopardy.
3. Do You Drink In Secret Or Hide Drug Use? One sign of addiction is hiding your use of substances. Many people drink in a social setting. If you find yourself drinking in private or hiding the amount of alcohol or drugs consumed then this is a sign that you need substance abuse treatment.
4. Is Your Substance Abuse Causing Financial Difficulties? If your drinking or drug use causes financial difficulties then this signals that there is a problem. Substance abuse can be a very expensive habit and you may start neglecting bills and other expenses to afford the alcohol or drugs you want.
5. Is Your Substance Abuse Causing Medical Problems? If you start developing medical problems due to your addiction then substance abuse treatment should be sought immediately. Alcohol can destroy the liver and other organs, and this is also true with many drugs of abuse as well.
A new medical research study has found some surprising links between the use of alcohol and certain changes in the DNA that could lead to cancer. Consuming alcohol leads to a breakdown of this substance in the body. During the breakdown process acetaldehyde is formed, and this substance is very similar to formaldehyde, which is known to cause cancer in human and animals. Past laboratory experiments have shown that acetaldehyde has the ability to damage the DNA, is carcinogenic to animals, and can cause chromosomal abnormalities in cultures of cells to be triggered.
Consuming alcohol puts anyone at risk for increased cancer, but the study also showed that individuals who are Asian descent have a much higher risk of this occurring. Approximately 3 in 10 individuals who are of Asian descent have a gene variation and can not metabolize alcohol the way that the rest of the population does, and this can increase the rate of cancers including esophageal cancer.
Study leader Silvia Balbo, Ph.D., who works as a research assistant at the University of Minnesota, said “We now have the first evidence from living human volunteers that acetaldehyde formed after alcohol consumption damages DNA dramatically, Acetaldehyde attaches to DNA in humans – to the genetic material that makes up genes – in a way that results in the formation of a ‘DNA adduct.’ It’s acetaldehyde that latches onto DNA and interferes with DNA activity in a way linked to an increased risk of cancer. These findings tell us that alcohol, a lifestyle carcinogen, is metabolized into acetaldehyde in the mouth, and acetaldehyde is forming DNA adducts, which are known major players in carcinogenesis.”
Crack cocaine is so addictive that in Rio the drug dealers have stopped selling this specific drug. Powdered cocaine can still be seen in any of the small poorer neighborhoods in this city, and the powder is sold along with marijuana in open air areas of certain neighborhoods. The drug bosses in Rio originally allowed crack cocaine to be sold in this area but the devastation that crack caused in the neighborhoods was widespread. Crack users would set up cardboard shelters near the street to be close to their crack fix around the clock. The drug bosses in Brazil generally come from the lower income neighborhoods and these bosses are the ones who put a stop to crack sales. The second in command for one of the most influential drug bosses in the area, the Red Command, said “Crack has been nothing but a disgrace for Rio. It’s time to stop. I see this misery. I’m a human being too, and I’m a leader here. I want to say I helped stop this.”
The refusal of the drug bosses in Rio to profit from crack cocaine shows just how this drug devastates entire communities. For some of the dealers it is personal, many have lost family members or close friends to the call of crack cocaine. Even educated individuals can become addicted very quickly. The drug bosses are all in agreement that the money made from crack cocaine sales are not welcome, despite losing millions each month by not offering the highly addictive drug. Hopefully the drug dealers in the USA will follow suit. A crack addiction destroys lives, but this does not have to be the case. There are substance abuse treatment centers that can help anyone find a full recovery.