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What is Kratom? Cutting Edge Treatment, or Addictive Drug?

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As the opioid epidemic rages in the United States, the Food & Drug Administration has issued new warnings about kratom. Many people have begun talking about this widely used, natural supplement and its benefits and potential risks. Native to Southeast Asia and a member of the coffee family, kratom is seen by many as an all-natural supplement to help in a myriad of physical and mental ailments. Some of the purported uses include treatment for:

  • Pain-management
  • Opioid withdrawal symptom relief
  • Depression
  • Obesity & high blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • As an energy boost
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Is kratom dangerous? Many scientists and government agencies say yes.

But many scientists and the FDA disagree with these claims. In a statement from September 11, 2018, FDA chairman Scott Gottlieb, M.D. claims:

Science and evidence matter in demonstrating medical benefit, especially when a product is being marketed to treat serious diseases like opioid use disorder (OUD). However, to date, there have been no adequate and well-controlled scientific studies involving the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use withdrawal or other diseases in humans. Nor have there been studies on how kratom, when combined with other substances, may impact the body, its dangers, potential side effects, or interactions with other drugs.”

While there may have not been adequate study to substantiate either side of these claims, many leading scientists and addiction specialists are championing the concerns as expressed by the FDA.

To begin, the agency claims that kratom contains opioids, which is not entirely true, yet the relationship is virtually undeniable. Mitragyna speciosa is a tree related to the coffee plant, which is not from the poppy family, but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some compounds found in kratom affect opioid receptors in the brain. Perhaps this is why many sufferers of opiate addiction swear by its usefulness in helping manage their withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, the reasons for this are certainly indicative of the strong potential for addiction to kratom. Because kratom affects the same brain receptors as opioids do, it is essentially like substituting one opioid addiction for another one.

Kratom exhibits a high potential for abuse and can lead to further opioid addiction.

In a study published by Addiction Biology in June of 2018, one of the two psychoactive compounds in Kratom, 7-hydroxymitragynine (or 7-HMG) has a “high abuse potential that may also increase the intake of other opiates”. The study showed that the other of the 2 psychoactive constituents, Mitragynine (MG) does not have a high potential for abuse and can actually decrease subsequent opiate intake. Since kratom is a plant, certain strains can be bred to intentionally have more 7-HMG than occurs naturally, so someone that uses kratom should be warned. The harvesting and extraction of the plant before it is packaged can also be adulterated to some extent. This could pose dangerous consequences to unsuspecting users of kratom extracts and supplements.

The safety of kratom is a major concern that has been taken into account by the FDA. In November 2017 the FDA claimed that kratom was responsible for 44 deaths since 2011. These reports hold true the assessment that kratom is an addictive drug, with a high potential for abuse that can create various health problems, including death.

These same government agencies are also warning that kratom can deter people from seeking medication-assisted treatment (MAT) such as buprenorphine, naloxone and methadone. These substance abuse treatment medications are scientifically proven to reduce opioid dependence in addicts:

“Patients who were using opioid agonist medications at the 18-month interview were more than twice as likely to report abstinence as those who were not (80.0 percent versus 36.6 percent).”National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

With this evidence aside, many people are currently using kratom as a self-administered, step-down treatment for opioid dependence. They might think this will help them steer away from opioid drugs like heroin, yet there is no research-based evidence to back up these claims.

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Many people claim an array of benefits from kratom, yet the research is limited.

 

Kratom is fairly unregulated in the US and as a result potential dangers associated with the product certainly do exist. For instance, nine of the 44 kratom-related deaths the FDA claims in their report, were from a string of overdoses in Sweden, where a mixture of kratom and tramadol (4) was the culprit.

While the FDA tries to classify kratom as an opiate, they may be only partially right. Compounds in the plant affect the same areas of the brain as poppy-based opiates do. The compounds in the plant have been shown to trigger respiratory depression, much like opioids do. This affects the brains’ ability to tell the lungs to breathe and is ultimately how many people die from opioid overdoses. They simply quit breathing, which can result in their untimely death.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with kratom further prove its addictive properties.

Just like most other drugs, kratom can result in a chemical dependency, when taken over a period of time. When a person quits using kratom, they can experience painful withdrawal symptoms. The side effects of kratom withdrawal can include: anxiety, aggression, nausea, vomiting, irritability, depression and even seizures.

Kratom is an absolutely harmful drug whose dangerous risks far outweigh any perceived benefits. Poison control center calls concerning kratom increased ten fold from 2010 to 2015. Just like other drugs, kratom must be taken in higher and higher doses to produce the desired effects over any period of use. Your body can develop a tolerance to kratom much like it can for opioids.

Since the market is relatively unregulated, different batches of kratom can be wildly different from the next, even when it comes from the same brand. This is why many kratom consumers themselves, actually advocate for better regulation of the supplement. They want whole, pure leaf supplements that are not adulterated with other compounds, as these mixtures can be extremely dangerous.

While kratom exhibits a potential for abuse and addiction, many people still make illegitimate claims on the benefits of the plant. Some people are led to believe that it can help treat opioid addiction, then they find themselves addicted to kratom. Hopefully with more research being done, we can fully understand the potential dangers of this natural supplement.

5 Bible Verses to Help People who are Struggling With Addiction and Substance Abuse

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As you or someone you know may have struggled with long term addiction, alcoholism or substance abuse, the bible can offer a source of light in an otherwise dark and lonely world. Many have struggled to find sobriety and many have received a helping hand through their own spirituality with a personal connection to Jesus Christ.

God is love and the bible promises that god is always with us. Through our faith in God we will receive help when we are weak, god will forgive our sins and heal our hearts. In the darkness of addiction we shut ourselves out from the rest of the world. When we lead a lifestyle controlled by alcohol or drugs, we avoid our family, our friends and we ultimately disconnect ourselves from God’s unconditional love.

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God’s unconditional love can be a beacon of light while recovering from an addiction.

Many people in recovery have been greatly helped by a “higher power,” a personal relationship to God with the benefits of forgiveness, healing and hope. This personal relationship can give a person the motivation to stay on track towards recovery and sober living. Many people claim that once they surrendered themselves to God, they found their commitment to real recovery. These experiences are exemplary of various biblical scriptures that anyone in a substance abuse treatment program can relate to.

  1. Corinthians 10:13

    No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

    This verse has long been cited in the field of addiction recovery and sobriety. In this verse, Paul warned us about being overconfident. Thinking we are stronger than we actually are can cause us to be vulnerable. The real promise of hope in this verse is the fact that God will always provide us with the strength to say no. God’s strength is our strength to bear.

  2. Corinthians 6:12

    All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

    This verse is generally associated with sexual temptations and immorality, but you can apply the greater psychological concept towards any form of negative temptation. You may have the lawful right for instance, to consume any substance you could imagine but not all things are going to be helpful to you. Other things like alcohol or illicit drugs have the ability to dominate you and turn you into someone who you truly are not. Paul seems to preach moderation here but the point is that while all things could be legal, not all are beneficial to you. Ultimately, you should not allow yourself to become a slave to your own personal liberties

  3. Corinthians 15:33

    Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.

    The moments in life where we find ourselves swayed by bad influences are always much easier to identify in hindsight. We are always vulnerable in life and our experience reacting to these vulnerabilities can potentially make us stronger or weaker. Here, Paul warned about false teachers leading people astray from the teachings of Jesus Christ. But this is pertinent to patients in recovery, as addicts may have been led astray by their dark lifestyle that surrounded them during their period of substance abuse.

  4. James 5:15-16

    And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

    For anyone in recovery, hope is a cornerstone in the path towards sobriety. This verse is a lovely reminder that God can heal you, forgive you and give you the strength to carry on. When you are going through drug or alcohol rehab, temptation can seemingly lurk around every corner. While attending a Christian rehab center, God’s word reminds us to be honest and good in personal character. Through God’s watchful eye, we can maintain a constant vigilance to keep us in the light and away from the darkness.

  5. Romans 5:3-5

    More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

    Everyone in this world will experience trials and tribulations. God knows that we can become stronger through conflict. God’s ultimate love is our redemption from the suffering we experience as we navigate through the difficult times in our lives. Our moment of rejoice comes when we realize that no matter how bad our lives became, no matter how long we were addicted, there is always hope and a chance for a new life. God’s love is always there and we can find hope, courage and strength throughout our recovery if we remember this one simple fact.

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    Addiction can be a struggle for your loved ones. Substance abuse is not a moral failing. Help them find God’s light again.

2019 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: Saturday, April 27th. Find a Collection Site Near You.

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On Saturday, April 27th, 2019 the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is hosting the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This event aims to provide for the safe and confidential disposal of any unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs that you may have in your home medicine cabinet. Collection sites will be fully operational between 10am and 2pm.  The collection is completely confidential, with no personal information collected and no questions asked.

Besides removing drugs from potential abuse, the program aims to help to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. On the DEA’s website for National RX Take Back Day, you will find a national list of collection facilities available in California for Saturday, April 27, 2019.  There is also a link to find year-round collection sites in your local area.

Prescription drug abuse is a major concern across the United States as many communities are struggling with the ongoing opioid epidemic. In August of 2018, the Centers for Disease Control released their annual summary of drug overdose deaths in the US. In the report, the CDC shows that over 72,000 people have died in the US from a drug overdose in 2017.  This is the largest number of recorded overdose deaths ever. Factor in the other 630,000 people who have died from a drug overdose since the late 90’s, and we see a growing problem that shows no signs of slowing down. Since the late 1990’s, pharmaceutical companies have been aggressively marketing prescription opioids such as Oxycontin, Percocet, codeine and even fentanyl. This major problem for many Americans begins as a medication, prescribed by a doctor and in several cases turns into a heroin addiction.

As opioid prescription rates are currently in decline, the problem of misuse of prescription drugs is constant and the health risks are dangerous and deadly. It is estimated that last year nearly 11.5 million Americans used a controlled prescription drug without a prescription from a doctor, according to the DEA. This study states that 40% received the pills from a family member or friend. Sometimes this occurs by the person visiting your home and raiding your personal medicine cabinet. Medicines that are accessibly placed in a bathroom or other location are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

This seemingly innocent accessibility of drugs at home or in garbage bins can be very dangerous when they sometimes find their way into the wrong hands. This certainly is a huge contributor to substance abuse in your community. The DEA’s National Take Back Day is a way for you to turn in your unwanted and unused drug prescriptions in a safe, confidential way. National Take Back Day is the perfect opportunity to clean out your home medicine cabinet and be assured that your old medications and pills are disposed of safely and securely with the expert help of the proper authorities.

Some facts about prescription pharmaceutical drugs:

  • -Prescription drug abuse causes more than half of the deaths from overdose in the US.
  • -Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs is the second most abused illicit substance, close behind marijuana.
  • -It is unsafe to simply throw prescription meds away in the trash. This makes it very easy way for people to steal them and sell them on the streets of your local community.
  • -The majority of teenagers in the United States who abuse medications and prescription drugs, get them from the medicine cabinets of their own home, or the homes of family members and close friends. 
  • -Pharmaceutical prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illicit street drugs when taken without a medical doctor’s supervision.
  • -Flushing unused prescription drugs down the toilet is a very bad idea.  It can contaminate rivers and streams and your local community’s water supply. Proper disposal helps to protect the environment and it could help save someone’s life.
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In October of 2018, at a prior RX Drug Take Back Day, collection sites received over 450 tons of prescription meds from 5,839 locations nationwide. This is the agency’s 8th year of the program. The DEA will be holding these events twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

If for any reason you are unable to make it to the National RX Drug Take Back Day, or the event has already passed, click this link to find out where you can find other, year-round disposal sites for your expired, unused or unwanted prescriptions:

On Saturday, April 27, 2019 the DEA is hosting an anonymous, confidential and safe way to dispose of your unused prescription medications. Participants are asked to remove labels or black out personal information before you drop them off at a collection facility. Find locations in California and more information on year round sites here:

https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/NTBI/ntbi-pub.pub?_flowExecutionKey=_c2D824ED8-7C29-BCF5-325E-6D874980C592_k91966A3B-739F-8010-46B0-CE524C868467

If you do not find your area listed at the link above, contact your local law enforcement officials to see if they participate in the event.

What is Inpatient Drug Rehab?

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Inpatient drug rehab is a popular option for many Southern California residents who are struggling with addiction and want to get help. Inpatient drug rehab means a residential living arrangement where addiction recovery treatments and therapies take place. When you finally get sick and tired of carrying on the daily routine of doing drugs, finding money for drugs, lying to your friends and family about drugs, then maybe it is time to seek professional help to overcome your addiction. With literally thousands of treatment options for drug rehab in the Los Angeles area alone, it can be difficult to find the right facility, which is best prepared to treat your substance use disorder.

Any stay at an inpatient drug rehabilitation facility typically begins with a full medical detox. The detox process helps people when they first stop using drugs or alcohol by medically supervising their progress. This ensures a safe, comfortable experience through the sometimes painful, early withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing from certain types of drugs, like heroin and opiates can cause deadly side effects, such as seizures, a coma and even heart failure. Because your body had developed a chemical dependency on the drugs or alcohol, it is highly recommended to go through the early detox phase under close medical supervision. This will ensure a safe first step on your road to recovery from addiction.

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) and evidence-based drug rehabilitation

In the detox and early inpatient drug rehab process, certain addiction types are greatly helped with the assistance of medication. Particularly for alcohol and opiates like Oxycontin or heroin, medication assisted treatments have been shown to significantly help patients recover from their addiction. MATs also have shown a statistically-lower rate for relapses later on throughout their recovery. These medications will ease cravings and withdrawal symptoms to the point where they will become manageable for most patients.

Buprenorphine is used to ease the withdrawal symptoms of an opioid dependency. It has been shown to significantly reduce death rates from opioid addiction, yet many drug rehabilitation programs still won’t use it. While some consider these medications to be simply just a replacement addiction, the effects of buprenorphine do not produce a euphoric “high” feeling like street drugs would. Plus, using MATs in a medical setting, on a set schedule is much different from compulsively using the drugs because you’ve become physically dependent on them.

Medication assisted treatments can reduce cravings and the inevitable relapse that follows those cravings. The medication doses are tapered-off slowly, over time to help the patient steadily kick the habit and lead to a full recovery. Remaining in a treatment program is extremely beneficial to the ultimate goal of sobriety. An inpatient drug rehab program will help you build the foundation of your recovery by giving you the tools to survive once you reintegrate into society.

What is inpatient drug rehab?

As an effective form of addiction treatment, inpatient drug rehab is intended to help individuals stop the often destructive, compulsive behavior of abusing drugs and alcohol. Inpatient drug rehabilitation involves living at a residential addiction treatment center, over a period of time. The average stay at an inpatient treatment center typically lasts from 30 to 90 days or more, depending on the severity of the addiction.

Ongoing treatment is essential to help ensure a full recovery from the devastating grip of an addiction. Living in an inpatient drug rehab center is a good opportunity for a patient to get out of their daily routine. This allows them time and space to focusing on what should be the most important thing to them at this moment: staying free from drugs and alcohol. Inpatient rehab will focus on the psychological and behavioral changes necessary to maintain a lasting sobriety. Individual, group and family therapy sessions will all be guided to address the issues that led to your substance use disorder and how to overcome them. Relapse prevention strategies are a crucial component of inpatient rehabilitation programs. These techniques will come in handy when you first go back into your daily routine of going to work or school, handling your relationships and day to day activities.

Most inpatient rehab programs utilize the ‘social model’ of recovery from addiction. Since you will be living inside a treatment center for a period of time, you will encounter other people who are also struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. Working together, in a group setting has advantages that can be felt long after you leave the constant care of an inpatient drug rehab facility. Working together in a group setting helps you learn how to deal with people (and your reactions to them) without using drugs or alcohol. Odds are, if you had been using for a period of time, you may have forgot basic life skills like dealing with other people in a natural, healthy way.

Beyond the social aspect of inpatient drug rehab, your addiction treatment program should focus heavily on individualized treatment. Individual cognitive behavioral therapy sessions (CBT) will help facilitate a lifestyle free from drugs and alcohol. Changes in your attitude and behavior are important to achieve when you’re trying to stay sober for the long term. All of these therapies should help you develop stress management and coping skills that help you avoid some common relapse triggers.  

Many of your daily activities will consist of various different forms of therapy and other activities which are designed to teach you how to live a sober lifestyle. Many clinics offer meditation, yoga, art classes and different group activities.

How long should treatment at a drug rehabilitation center last?

The amount of time it takes someone to complete an alcohol or drug rehabilitation varies greatly, depending on the individual patient’s needs and circumstances. Studies have shown that the longer someone stays in treatment will have a greater likelihood for positive results. For a patient who had a chemical dependency on multiple substances, or someone who had an co-occurring mental health issue, inpatient drug rehab could last well over 90 days. There is no one, single path to recovery. Each person is different and the results will vary depending on the treatment program you decide to attend.

At 10 Acre Ranch, we have helped thousands of patients come clean from drugs and alcohol. We use an evidence-based approach in substance abuse treatment and aftercare. To speak with a certified addiction specialist, call us today. We are available 24/7:

(877) 228-4679

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Are There Any Rehab Facilities For Teens?

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Coming to terms with the fact that your child or teenager may be experimenting with drugs or alcohol is very difficult for any parent or guardian to go through. Maybe you found out your child wasn’t just “experimenting” with alcohol or drugs, but they have developed an addiction or chemical dependency to the substance. While it may seem that this lifestyle has consumed every aspect of their lives, there is still hope. Many parents and teens face this problem, so please know that you are not alone. Addiction is a disease, and just like any other disease, addiction is a treatable one. Finding the best rehab facilities for teens is a great first step to take when your child’s health and safety is your primary concern.

Communication is a helpful tool for parents of teens who are experiencing a problem with substance abuse.

Let’s face it. It is highly unlikely that your son or daughter will come out and admit they have a problem with substance abuse and they need to go to rehab. At some point in their young lives, a conversation with your child about the dangers of alcohol and drug use should take place. As you watch your teens grow into young adulthood, you want them to have all the opportunities and experiences possible, to help them have a brighter future. When a teen starts abusing alcohol and drugs, those opportunities can become greatly diminished.

The good news is that, according to the NIDA’s “Monitoring The Future Survey,” overall substance abuse amongst teens has significantly decreased over the last decade. Yet, there are still reasons to warrant major concern. A lot of teens and young adults will try drugs and alcohol. For a younger person, this experimentation can quickly turn into a loss of self control, as the compulsion to “get high” overwhelmingly guides their behaviors.

Teens and young adults are much more vulnerable to addiction than adults are. Since the human brain doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25, experimentation with illicit substances can lead to an addiction much faster than for a typical adult. Teens experience a much stronger emotional response in their thinking patterns. When a teen begins using drugs or alcohol before their brain is fully developed, a chemical dependency or addiction can develop much sooner. This condition will only get worse, the longer the problem goes without treatment. Early detection is crucial to helping your child leave behind the destructive lifestyle that is commonly associated with substance abuse.

So how do you talk to your teen about alcohol & drug abuse?

If you suspect that your teen may be using drugs or alcohol, the best time to talk with them is right now. Some of the recent changes you may have experienced in your household with your teenager could be the result of their problems with substance abuse. These behaviors can become increasingly self-destructive for your child and the entire family. Sadly, when you try to confront them about their drug or alcohol use, it only seems to make things worse. Somewhere deep-down, you know these changes are not just the typical growing pains in adolescence.

When you approach your teen about their substance abuse, it is important to come from a foundation of understanding, love and support. If you make them feel like they’re in trouble, or that you are mad at them, they will likely try to continue hiding their substance abuse. The negative stigma surrounding addiction has prevented many people from seeking help on their own. This is especially true for teens. Nobody ever wants to admit that things have gotten out of control. Most teens will hide their substance abuse for as long as possible for fear of repercussions they face if they happen to “get caught”.

In modern American culture, experimentation with drugs and alcohol seems like a rite of passage for many teenagers. Many kids are simply reacting to peer pressure and other social stimuli when they begin to experiment with legal and illegal drugs. Substance abuse and addiction should not be considered a moral failing of your child.

When a child or teen chooses to “get high,” it does not necessarily mean that they are bad kids. A lot of people who start using drugs often times are trying to self-medicate for feelings of low self-esteem, depression, social anxiety or family problems. Some kids are prone to experiment with drugs because they might be experiencing symptoms of an underlying, undiagnosed mental illness. When addiction is present along with another co-occurring mental health issue, the need for a dual diagnosis treatment strategy may be necessary to fully help your child recover.  

If you have experienced any of the symptoms or signs that your child might be abusing drugs, finding a reputable drug rehabilitation facility for your teen should be the top priority. The best time for your teen to get help with their substance abuse is right now. Remember that addiction, when left untreated, will only get worse over time.

Teen drug abuse will lead to more problems later in life. Finding drug rehab facilities for your teen is their best hope.

If you suspect your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, consider scheduling an intervention to help confront their substance abuse. This shouldn’t be viewed as an attack on them personally, but rather as an offer to get them the help they need. Most teens and young adults will not think they need the help of a professional alcohol and drug rehab facility. This is why it is important to approach the conversation about their drug use with an understanding, compassionate heart and mind.

Hopefully, your conversation will go well and your teen will accept the help you are offering them. If this is the case, you should have already made a decision on which rehab facility can best suit your child’s individual needs, so they can begin the recovery process as soon as possible.

The drug and alcohol rehabilitation for teens at 10 Acre Ranch is well-known for laying the foundation to a successful recovery from addiction. We employ a ‘social model’ approach to addiction recovery, which helps structure and monitor the success of our treatment services. This helps our patients learn the skills to stay sober, long after they leave our rehab facility. Please call us to speak with a certified addiction counselor. We are available 24/7:

(877) 228-4679

What Happens to Me When I Use Meth?

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Methamphetamine, crystal meth, ice, speed or whatever you want to call it, is a powerful, highly addictive drug with deadly consequences. A very potent high is the reward for people who choose to use this deadly drug. Although the destructive potential in meth use has been widely discussed and publicized for decades, many communities around the globe still struggle with the problem of meth addiction. As a highly powerful stimulant, this illicit drug can cause serious, long-term detrimental mental and physical effects for anyone who decides to use meth. Some of the damage it causes can become permanent. It is cheap and relatively easy to make, so its use has continued to be a common problem across the United States.

The history of meth abuse.

Meth abuse across the United States exploded in the early 1990’s, though it has been around for much longer than that. Methamphetamine was first synthesized in Japan in 1893. It was widely used during World War II, where both sides of the conflict would administer high doses to their troops to keep them awake. After the war, methamphetamine was easily available in the US through the 1950’s and 60’s. Meth was even prescribed by doctors for weight loss and depression. Meth became popular with college students and truck drivers, helping them stay awake for long periods of time.

The US government made methamphetamine illegal in 1970.  After this, biker gangs controlled most of the production and supply of methamphetamine in the US. Because it was much cheaper than cocaine, many people in poor, rural communities were using the powerful stimulant. This continued until the 1990’s, when Mexican drug cartels began producing it in California and Mexico in large laboratories. The number of people who use meth grew to epidemic proportions in the US, with small home-based labs popping up all across the country.

What happens to your mind and body when you use meth?

There are numerous negative physical and mental health consequences when a person decides to use meth. The intense high someone experiences when they first use meth can rapidly lead to addiction. Meth use can cause feelings of dominance and superiority. This sudden rush of confidence can make the person seem more confrontational or argumentative. Many users feel that meth gives them an edge, helping them accomplish more over a short period of time. Dopamine floods the pleasure center of the brain during the rush or high rapidly after ingesting the substance.

The typical high from methamphetamine can last for a very long time. Unlike crack cocaine which only lasts about 5 to 20 minutes, a meth high can last anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. Many people who abuse meth will go on binges for days or weeks, constantly ingesting the drug without eating or sleeping for days on end. This long binge on methamphetamine is often referred to as “tweaking”. When a person can no longer feel the effects of taking a dose of meth, they will typically crash as their body and brain virtually shut-down. Constant itching is common, as some people strongly believe that bugs are crawling under their skin. Due to this, many meth addicts have skin sores all over their face and body as they are trying to pick out the bugs under their skin.

Dramatic weight loss is another common physical effect of methamphetamine abuse. Meth will completely eradicate a person’s appetite. Someone who suffers from addiction to meth will typically not eat very healthy, if they eat at all.

Psychosis and vivid hallucinations are common for someone who has been on a long-term meth binge. People who enter this stage of drug abuse are likely to be completely detached from reality. Self harm and suicidal thoughts are a possible for someone coming down from a long-term meth binge.

Meth is primarily ingested by snorting, smoking or injecting the substance into the body. Each method of use has distinct differences in the effects felt by the user. Those who use meth are typically looking for a quick acting, almost instantaneous high. Either method of use will produce rapid effects and can quickly become habit forming.

The dangers of snorting meth.

Most people begin with snorting meth through the nose. This can cause severe damage to the sinus cavity. The dangerous chemicals are absorbed by the mucus membranes in the nose. Nosebleeds and regular sinus infections are some of the common side effects of snorting meth. Over a period of long term meth abuse, a hole can eventually form in the septum, resulting in permanent and irreversible damage. Snorting, or orally ingesting meth generally does not produce as intense of a high as smoking or injecting meth.

Smoking meth is highly addictive.

The more a person uses meth, the high will become shorter and less intense. Smoking meth produces a faster, shorter duration high and is the most likely form of use to cause addiction. As a person smokes meth, a tolerance to the drug will quickly develop. This will lead the user to smoke more and more over time, creating drug dependency. Smoking meth has serious consequences to the health of the mouth, throat and lungs.

Rapid tooth decay from smoking meth is a condition commonly referred to as “meth mouth”. The corrosive chemicals in meth break down the structure of the teeth and gums due to the high acidity of the drug. Clenching and grinding of teeth are a common side effect of meth use. This action further deteriorates the integrity of the teeth, causing many to fall out or rot away completely. Gum disease and mouth sores are also common for people who smoke meth. If gum disease goes untreated, it can lead to major heart problems.

Injecting meth and the dangers of intravenous drug use.

Injecting meth is arguably the most dangerous form of use. The effects of shooting up are immediate and especially intense. Sharing needles carries many negative health effects, let alone the dangers of the methamphetamine itself. Intravenous drug users commonly share needles with others when getting high. Sharing needles greatly increases the risk of contracting deadly diseases such as HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis C. Repeated use of needles can lead to collapsed veins, infections at the injection site and other types of blood diseases, such as sepsis.

Common withdrawal symptoms for meth addicts.

When someone who has used meth for a long period of time suddenly stops, very intense painful withdrawal symptoms are likely. While withdrawal from stimulants is relatively harmless, many people who quit using meth can have severe drowsiness, violent mood swings, anxiety and depression. The emotional effects of meth withdrawal can put people at a high risk for self-harm and even suicide.

At 10 Acre Ranch, we take methamphetamine abuse very seriously. When you use meth, you do so much damage to your physical and mental health it is important to complete a comprehensive drug rehabilitation. We look at the individual needs of each and every one of our patients and formulate a plan for a successful recovery from addiction. Beginning with a full medical detox, our drug rehab facility in Riverside, California is among the best in the nation. If you or someone you love has been using meth, we can help. Please call us right away, we are open 24/7 to help you get the treatment you need.

877-228-4679

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Can Food Help Cure Addictions?

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The role of nutrition and a proper diet in addiction recovery is an important, but often overlooked one. Nutrition in a long term substance abuse treatment program is often neglected due to lack of knowledge, negative conditions for recovery or even the economic inability to afford healthy food for many recovering addicts. Different drugs of choice can be among many contributing factors to a patient’s overall malnutrition. Co-occurring mental health disorders may also play a part in the lack of eating healthy, nutritious foods.

Most people recognize or know that a substance use disorder contributes to destruction of relationships, legal troubles, loosing a job, financial troubles along with physical and mental health deterioration. Many fail to recognize that a lack of proper nutrition is a common issue that plagues people who have struggled with addiction and substance abuse problems. Some drugs cause you to eat too much, other commonly abused drugs will stifle your appetite. In the case of a long-term addiction to drugs, the substance may have created a mental stimulus that can cause someone to skip meals entirely, for days on end.

With alcohol abuse, the subject may replace their caloric intake for the day with the consumption of alcoholic beverages. This may cause them to feel full and not eat enough food for the day. As this problem persists over time, the alcoholic is more likely to experience some forms of malnutrition.

Opioid abuse can contribute to poor eating habits as well. Opiates like Oxycontin, codeine, methadone, heroin, hydrocodone and fentanyl cause euphoric feelings in the individual. They often cause drowsiness and nausea which can make it difficult to eat regular meals. As the drugs slow bodily functions, digestion becomes affected and many people who are abusing opioids experience constipation.

Stimulant abuse for drugs like crack, cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamines, even nicotine and caffeine are all appetite suppressants. Using or abusing these drugs can make it difficult to even develop a desire for food, let alone eating regular, healthy meals. Since these drugs cause a loss or reduction of appetite, weight loss is common in people who become addicted to stimulant drugs. Cocaine abuse has been tied to anorexia and other eating disorders.

Marijuana use typically causes an increased appetite. It is also the most commonly used drug in the United States. For someone who has used marijuana for long periods of time, weight gain may become an issue. Marijuana users may require a reduced calorie diet and the effects on digestion from cannabis can take 3-6 months to return to normal.

How healthy, nutritious food can help cure addictions.

Various drug rehab clinics will address nutrition because a healthy lifestyle can improve both physical and mental health. Eating healthy meals on a regular basis can assist in the addiction recovery process through:

  • Scheduled, regular eating patterns can aid in reducing stress and stabilizing mood.
  • Nourishing and healing organs and body tissues impacted by substance abuse.
  • Reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Helping address medical conditions and problems compounded by substance abuse.
  • Encouraging an overall healthy lifestyle through making healthy choices.

“Nutrition education is an essential component of substance abuse treatment programs and can enhance substance abuse treatment outcomes. Dietitians should promote and encourage the inclusion of nutrition education into substance abuse treatment programs.” NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information)

Nutritional therapy can greatly increase the effectiveness of drug abuse treatment programs. It turns out, eating healthy can really help people who are recovering from addiction feel better, both mentally and physically. Combined with regular exercise and strength training, proper nutrition is an essential component of a successful recovery plan. As these efforts will greatly improve the physical health of the patients, they also help train the mind to act in it’s own self interest by developing healthy habits to replace the old, unhealthy ones.

An addiction is by itself a dangerous activity for the human body. It’s not just the effects of the drugs that play a negative influence on the overall health of the individual. Addiction is often associated with a variety of bad habits and negative health implications. These harmful lifestyle choices which are associated with addiction include: not eating healthy, lack of exercise and irregular sleeping patterns. These patterns can all negatively affect the body and can result in major long-term health problems, including: diabetes, hypertension, weight gain and eating disorders like anorexia.

The importance of eating healthy, nutritious food while in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.

Since substance abuse can dramatically alter the brain’s chemistry, it may be difficult for someone just beginning recovery to recognize the signals their body is sending them. Are they craving alcohol and drugs, or are they just hungry? This is a common occurrence for someone as many simply have forgotten what it feels like to be hungry and they will mistake the feeling as a desire to relapse. As such, studies have shown that people with poor eating habits are more likely to relapse during recovery, than those who eat regular meals.

At 10 Acre Ranch, we take our meal schedule very seriously.

We emphasize diet as part of a radical change in people’s lives. Our meal plan includes foods rich in healthy fresh ingredients with an emphasis on protein, healthy carbohydrates, probiotics, fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals. We teach our clients to avoid fast food, sweets, caffeine and empty calorie intake. These foods can often become abused as a replacement for the substance abuse. Some people turn to sugary, unhealthy foods as a coping mechanism, so we avoid them from the start in our recovery program.

Since our recovery program focuses on a social model of recovery, all of our nutritional meals are prepared by the clients. When most people come to 10 Acre Ranch, they don’t know how to cook for themselves, or the components of a well-balanced, healthy meal. Clients will take turns preparing meals for everyone in the facility and cleaning up after the meals. This process helps them develop the skills they need to maintain their sobriety, long after they leave our facility. We call these Activities of Daily Living Skills (ADLS) and they are a cornerstone of our successful recovery program. To find out how 10 Acre Ranch can help you or a loved one recover from addiction, please call us today! We are available 24/7:

877-228-4679

Why Is Stopping Drugs So Hard?

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Addiction is a disease of the brain. Your brain is the control center of your body, affecting your thoughts, feelings, decisions and actions. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is hard because it changes the signals in your brain, which makes it difficult to feel okay without using the drugs. When you first take drugs you feel a high or a rush from the substance. But over time, the high is not as strong and you must take more and more of the drug to keep from feeling bad. This is what happens when you become addicted. Many people who are addicted want to quit and they think they can do it on their own. Stopping drug use is hard to do alone because the brain’s pleasure centers have been chemically changed over the course of the addiction. There is no shame in asking someone for help in stopping drugs. In fact, most people simply cannot do it alone. The first step is to ask for help to overcome your addiction. Luckily, there are many great resources that are available today to help you stop using drugs.

Drug abuse is not a moral failing.

For the greater part of human history, alcohol and drug abuse has been viewed as a moral failing of the individual. It was easy to write off people’s bad behaviors as some sort of problem the individual chose to do. For many, it meant the addict was a bad person who simply wanted to make bad choices. Society has locked people up in jail, only to be forgotten and a negative stigma about addiction and drug abuse became pervasive in human culture. Only recently, science has learned more and more about the brain and the neurotransmitters that are affected through addiction. In reality the addiction is a shift in the wiring of the brain’s neural pathways that leaves people seemingly helpless in overcoming their habit. It is these alterations in the brain that make stopping drugs so hard.

Traumatic experiences can lead to addictive behavior.

It is natural for the human brain to look for quick and easy solutions to our problems. Many people begin using drugs and alcohol because it makes these difficult feelings go away, even if only momentarily. While some people are able to “party” or experiment with drugs without developing an addiction, others who are dealing with unresolved mental issues can continue using to the point that they become addicts. This type of person will continue to use because it seemingly helps make their problems go away for a short period of time. Continued use of drugs will change how the brain deals with emotions and stress to the point that life can feel unbearable without them. This leads to further use which can rapidly turn into abuse and addiction.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and helps a person experience the feeling of reward. Most substances of abuse affect the absorption, production and pathways related to dopamine. Dopamine is released in many experience of life without drugs. Falling in love, playing with your pets, listening to good music, exercising or eating good food can all release dopamine, naturally. When a person uses drugs over a long period of time these natural pathways are disrupted and trained to only release dopamine when the drugs are used. This definitely makes it hard to stop using drugs because the brain forgets how to experience pleasure without the drugs. Many people are prone to relapse after they go through rehab for this reason. Addicts may miss being “high” when they first experience sobriety, but a lot have a hard time dealing with emotions that had been masked for so long while they were abusing drugs and alcohol.

Withdrawal symptoms can often be uncomfortable, even painful and unbearable for some recovering addicts.

When using drugs, the brain will adjust to the increase in dopamine and other neurochemicals by reducing normal production. For many people who abuse drugs or alcohol feeling normal is no longer being sober. Being high, or drunk is the new normal for them. When this is the case, a tolerance has been built up and many people will not even notice they are taking more and more of the substance to attain the feeling of normality. Once the tolerance is built up, quitting use can result in withdrawal symptoms. These can often be painful even excruciating to overcome, in some rare cases people have been known to die from their withdrawal symptoms

For many people who are addicted and want to quit using drugs, the fear or very real physical pain associated with withdrawal compels them to continue their abuse. Avoiding potential withdrawal symptoms can be a strong motivator for addicts to keep abusing drugs, even when they want to stop using drugs. When your brain has been conditioned to use drugs to the point that they help you feel normal, quitting can seem impossible. Fortunately, curing addiction is not an impossible feat. It is quite difficult for most people, but sobriety is always within the realm of possibility.

Scientific research has dramatically changed the addiction treatment industry in recent years.

We have learned about the brain’s reward system and the potential underlying emotional and mental issues that contribute to substance abuse and addiction. This has led to a rapid advancement into drug rehabilitation techniques that go far beyond the failures of old approaches to viewing addiction as something only bad people do.

Medication assisted treatments have shown great potential in treating patients who have become addicted to opioids, like heroin or Oxycontin. Psychologists have learned more about cognitive behavioral therapy and how to teach the brain new ways to approach emotions or past traumatic experiences that may have led to the initial use of drugs.

Some modern advancements of addiction science have been focused on researching mindfulness mediation, magnetic stimulation of the brain and even vaccines that could prevent drugs from entering the brain. These techniques may be far away from becoming reality, but they do show the potential of emerging science.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, know that it is okay to ask for help. Simply asking for help could be the most important decision you make in your entire life. At 10 Acre Ranch, we strive to help people rebuild their lives. We can help you today. We are open 24/7 and are available to guide you in the right direction. All you have to do is call:

877-228-4679

Can I Tell if Someone is on Benzos or Xanax?

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Benzodiazepines are type of powerful pharmaceutical drug, typically prescribed to treat anxiety and a variety of other mental health ailments. Treatment with these types of drugs can also be used for panic attacks, seizures and as a sleep aid for people suffering from insomnia. In extremely rare circumstances, Xanax has been prescribed to patients to ease withdrawal symptoms resulting from an alcohol or drug addiction.

Benzos like Alprazolam are commonly referred to on the streets by their brand name: Xanax. “Xanny bars,” or “zanny planks,” totem poles, white girls and blue footballs are all street names for this class of drugs. The benzodiazepine family of prescription drugs also includes Klonopin, Librium, Ativan and Valium. The “date rape drug” Rohypnol is also a form of benzodiazepine. They are often among the most commonly abused pharmaceutical drugs, on par with prescription opioids like Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin.

One of the most common questions surrounding the field of substance abuse treatment is how to tell if someone is abusing a particular drug. Xanax is commonly known for its relaxing effects on the human brain. Many people begin abusing this drug after it is prescribed to them by their doctors. When people use these medications to get high, they will often mix them with other prescription drugs like opioids, marijuana and even alcohol, as it is perceived to increase the drug’s pleasurable effects. People who are addicted to stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine will often use benzodiazepines to help them sleep after a long coke or meth binge. Excessive abuse of benzos like Xanax can lead to respiratory failure, coma heart attacks and even death.

Fentanyl is commonly found in street versions of Xanax and there have been numerous reported cases of people dying after taking just one dose of Xanax. In addition to these dangers, Xanax can become highly addictive when taken at a high dose, over a long period of time. This addiction to benzos can be difficult to get over for many people as the acute withdrawal symptoms are often very painful and difficult to manage.

So what are the signs that a family member, close friend or loved one may be abusing Xanax?

Quite often whether used as prescribed by a doctor, or as an illicit substance people on benzodiazepines exhibit quite a few distinct signs of use.

  • Often seeming drowsy, sleepy or a general state of constant sedation.
  • Confusion, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. 
  • Feeling light-headed.
  • Excessive sleeping, often for a long, unexplainable amount of time.
  • Concentration problems and frequent memory loss.
  • Slurred, slow speech.
  • Declined physical coordination, stumbling around.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Psychosis.
  • Lack of motivation and general loss in personal interests.

These symptoms will obviously vary from person to person, so it is good to look for a combination of these symptoms if you suspect a friend or family member of Xanax abuse.

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If someone is compulsively using benzos or Xanax, they may have an addiction.

It is important to note that abusing Xanax and benzos will look quite different than a full-fledged chemical dependency on the substance. Some people who experience addiction to Xanax could be taking upwards of 20 pills each and every day. Most teens who become addicted to the drug say they started by using what they could find in their home medicine cabinets. Since Xanax is a fast-acting drug, it can lead to taking higher doses at a much faster pace. This increases the dangers of developing an addiction, even for people who are prescribed the drug by their doctor.

Just like many other types of addictions, an addiction to Xanax will affect nearly every aspect of the person’s life. A typical addict will let their personal relationships deteriorate, while often isolating themselves socially. Job loss, financial hardship and legal troubles are common with those who are addicted to benzos. Developing a chemical dependence on Xanax can lead to many dangerous situations. Since benzodiazepines are sedatives, it is generally unsafe to operate an automobile, even when on a prescribed dose from a doctor. Physical problems are likely to occur after prolonged use, such as musculoskeletal deterioration, memory loss, depression with suicidal thoughts and a multitude of gastrointestinal issues. In some circumstances, an overdose on Xanax can cause a person to enter a coma or even die from the overdose.

In 2017, benzodiazepines were present in the system of 11,537 Americans who died from a drug overdose.  –National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Since many people who abuse benzodiazepines often mix the high with other drugs that are commonly abused, most people who enter treatment are often suffering from addiction to multiple substances. Treatment for addiction to Xanax and other benzos is often a very nuanced process with severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms. It is never recommended to quit abusing benzodiazepines “cold-turkey”. It is highly advised that an addict or someone who has used Xanax or other benzos, do so under close medical supervision.

The withdrawal symptoms alone can be lethal to someone who had built up a tolerance and was taking a lot of the substance over a long period of time. If prescribed by a doctor, the procedure for stopping use will be to slowly taper-off doses in incremental amounts. This will help mitigate the severe withdrawal symptoms. For addicts who undergo an inpatient treatment program at a drug rehab center the process is going to be specialized to suit your individual needs. If you have a family member or loved one who you suspect is struggling with any type of addiction, and intervention may be necessary for them to address their potentially deadly substance use disorder. Most people won’t want to admit they have an addiction, but they will be glad to see that someone in their life cares about them deeply enough to get them help.

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Xanax abuse is a serious matter, but overcoming addiction is possible.

Overcoming an addiction to Xanax or other benzodiazepines is not easy, yet people do it every day. 10 Acre Ranch offers a full medical detox and recovery program that will help you, every step of the way. Call us today to speak with an addiction specialist and we can get you, your family member or loved one the help they need right away. We are open 24/7:

877-228-4679

 

How do I know if my teenager is on drugs?

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Finding out that your teenager may be abusing drugs is one of the most painful events that far too many parents experience in the United States these days. Communication with your child is an important tool you have at your disposal that can help prevent further teen drug abuse. Talking to your kids is always a great way to help them grow into their young adulthood. These conversations should, at some point address the dangers and risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse. It is important to be aware of the signs of drug use, as your son or daughter might have begun experimenting with them. Early detection is crucial to helping your teen avoid a full-blown addiction that could potentially come with deadly consequences.

How can I tell if my son or daughter is abusing drugs?

Young SoCal resident struggling with addiction in the Riverside, CA area.
                     How can you tell if your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol?

A very telltale sign of drug use is sudden and abrupt changes in behavior. Many American kids will go through rapid shifts in behavior as they approach early adolescence and puberty. This is a natural part of their physical and cognitive development. However, if your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, the changes you notice are probably going to be much different than your typical ‘growing pains’. Some changes you notice may lean towards outright self-destructive behavior, anger and depression. These will only become amplified with further substance abuse, so you will want to get help for your child quickly.

Examples of cognitive and behavioral change associated with teen alcohol and drug abuse may include the following:

  • Lower academic performance and/or ditching school.
  • Intense hostility and defiance for authority. Lashing-out at the world.
  • Suddenly acting secretive and intensely demanding their personal privacy.
  • Getting in trouble at school.
  • Decrease in motivation and not wanting to do anything.
  • Constant forgetfulness. Problems with remembering basic things.
  • Suddenly changing friends and social circles.

Noticing one, or many of these behavioral changes in your child may be an indication that he or she has began experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol. As we mentioned above, a lot of teens experience some of these traits, simply as a normal part of growing up. Going through puberty and early adolescence can be a tremendously difficult adjustment for any child. The early teen years usually come with normal fluctuations in behaviors and physical actions. But when these changes are amplified or compounded with other physical behaviors, they may indicate a sign of teen drug abuse.

Examples of physical symptoms and actions associated with teen drug and alcohol use:

  • Sleeping all day, being constantly fatigued, lethargic or excessively lazy.
  • Intense hyperactivity, staying awake for long periods of time.
  • Laughing uncontrollably, even at seemingly nothing.
  • Bloodshot eyes or widely dilated pupils.
  • Appetite changes, either eating constantly, or not eating anything for days.
  • Twitching, spastic or erratic body movements.
  • Nosebleeds or constantly runny nose. Scratching or touching their nose a lot.
  • Unexplained injuries, cuts, sores or bruises.
  • Teeth clenching, rapid deterioration of dental health and bad breath.
  • Stealing money or constantly asking family members for money.
  • Smell of smoke or alcohol on their breath, clothing or in their bedroom.

If you are experiencing any of these conditions at your home with your teenage child, maybe it is time to have a real face-to-face conversation with them. While you’re thinking of what to say as you approach your kid about their drug abuse, be mindful to lay the foundation for a positive interaction. Speak with your partner or spouse and come to an understanding that you will work together as one single entity to help your child. Now is not a time to play the old ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine. It is important to work in concert together, as a solid parental unit here. Even if you disagree on minor details of how to deal with the problem, understand that you both are doing out of love for the child.

It is also important for your teen to feel like you are trying to help them. Let them know it’s because you are concerned for their safety and well being. This shouldn’t be an emotional lecture on how they have let you down, or how much trouble they’re in. Addiction and drug use is actually quite normal for teens and adults alike. The negative stigma associated with alcoholism and drug abuse is the reason a lot of addicts go without treatment. They are afraid to ask for help because of their fears of their parents or authority figures in society will judge them or punish them. Sadly, this stigma forces a lot of people with substance abuse problems to go into hiding, or out on the streets, where their disease can only get worse.

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Teenage drug use is on the rise in the Los Angeles, California area.

With over 70,000 Americans dying from drug overdoses in 2017, the time to get serious about helping people who are experiencing drug abuse is now.

You may have discovered your teen’s drug abuse through any of the signs listed above, or snooping through their room or looking through their phone. Your child will likely feel attacked as you confront them about their drug use. As a parent, you shouldn’t set your expectations too high. It is highly unlikely they’re going to simply admit to using and promise to quit.

Sometimes just communicating the fact that you are aware of their substance use and you’d like them to quit can be considered a productive conversation. It is important to keep moving forward, one small step at a time. We sincerely hope that you caught on to the signs of your teen’s drug use early, before their problem has become a full-fledged addiction. Following up with your child about this topic is the important part after your first conversation with them. For a teenager, sometimes all it takes is a little parental involvement for them to understand how much you still care for them. This feeling can go a long way to boost their self-esteem and get them to think of the external consequences of their actions.

While the development of an addiction is gradual, it may be difficult to spot the thin line between recreational use or experimentation and full-blown drug abuse and addiction. If you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, your child doesn’t want help or has completely shut themselves off from you and other members of the family, 10 Acre Ranch has the resources, services and expert staff to help you during this difficult time. Our drug treatment program for teens and young adults is widely-recognized for laying the groundwork to a lasting sobriety through recovery.

If you need help finding the best treatment program in the Riverside, California area for your teen, please call us today. We are open 24/7 and a caring, certified addiction specialist is available to talk to you right away.

877-228-4679