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    How Prescription Painkiller Abuse Starts

    Last updated 19 hours ago

    Abuse of prescription painkillers is on the rise. The exact number of people with addictions to prescription painkillers is unclear, but experts believe that millions of Americans are struggling with painkiller dependency. For high school students, only marijuana is more popular than prescription opioids. In one study, one in 10 high school seniors admitted that they had used Vicodin within the past 12 months. How does painkiller addiction start? Consider the facts:

    Easy Access

    More people have access to prescription painkillers than ever before. In fact, for much of the past decade, Vicodin was the most widely prescribed drug of any kind. Although better pain control is beneficial to many patients, more liberal prescribing puts these drugs into the hands of more people. Not only does this increase the chances of addiction for the patients themselves, but it also creates a new avenue of access for the patients’ children, spouses, and friends.

    Pre-Programmed Vulnerability

    Most doctors agree that some people have genetic predispositions to addiction. When people with these dispositions are prescribed prescription painkillers, abuse is a very real risk. Painkillers can deliver a feeling of euphoria and then trigger a craving in the brain for more. The next dose reinforces the cycle, and addiction can take hold. Eventually, the need to take greater doses of the drug more frequently than prescribed will set in. Experts believe between five and 10 percent of people have genetic predispositions to addiction.

    Environmental Factors

    Not everyone who is genetically prone to addiction will abuse painkillers, and not everyone addicted to painkillers has a predisposition to addiction. Environmental factors also play a role. Stress and depression, which are often exacerbated by pain, can make the relief of painkillers irresistible. Having family and friends who abuse drugs also increases the risk of addiction.

    Are you or a loved one struggling with prescription painkiller addiction? Las Encinas Hospital is here to help you face your chemical dependency issues and reclaim your wellbeing. Call (888) 348-2165 anytime, 24-hours a day, to learn more about substance abuse treatment program in Pasadena.

    Understanding the Dangers of Methamphetamine Abuse

    Last updated 5 days ago

    Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, stimulant drug. Those who engage in meth substance abuse develop dangerous side effects involving the body and the mind. Meth acts on the central nervous system to release a cascade of dopamine, causing feelings of pleasure. Over time, however, the dopamine receptors in the brain are destroyed, leading to potentially permanent damage to the brain. Since meth is so addictive, users will need to undergo an intensive substance abuse treatment program.

    Physical Effects

    Substance abuse exacts a heavy toll on the user’s body. Users tend to suffer ill effects from insomnia, malnutrition, and weight loss. They run the risk of damage to the liver, kidneys, and lungs, and they are at an increased risk of life-threatening events such as stroke. Methamphetamine also has a detrimental effect on a user’s oral health from a combination of factors such as increased dry mouth, poor nutrition, poor oral care, and drug-induced teeth grinding. Meth users commonly display broken, rotting teeth.

    Psychotic Symptoms

    Although users take meth to feel a sense of euphoria, this substance will alter the structure of the brain, preventing users from feeling any joy at all. This substance abuse problem is also commonly characterized by psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and anxiety. Users may become extremely aggressive or severely depressed.

    Lifestyle Risks

    Since methamphetamine lowers a person’s normal inhibitions, use of the drug can lead to potentially dangerous lifestyle choices. Meth users often have multiple sexual partners and fail to use condoms, placing them at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Furthermore, substance abuse causes significant financial and legal problems for the user.

    Substance abuse has devastating consequences for the user and his or her family members. With the intensive addiction treatment program at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, you can overcome chemical dependency and rebuild your life. Call us today at (888) 348-2165 to speak with one of our friendly representatives.

    When Moderate Drinking Signals a Larger Problem

    Last updated 7 days ago

    Do you worry that perhaps you drink too much or too often? While every person has his own tolerance threshold, some signs can indicate that your drinking habits may be leading to more serious addiction consequences. By keeping in mind the following factors that frequently point to an alcohol addiction, you can better determine if you need help to control your drinking behavior.

    Binge Activities

    Perhaps you refrain from drinking all week only to indulge once the weekend comes. Yet no matter how many days that you restrict your drinking habits, if you tend to consume more than three or four drinks in one sitting, you may be in danger of developing an alcohol problem. This type of behavior, which addiction experts refer to as binge drinking, is a common component among individuals who suffer from alcoholism.

    Excited Behaviors

    One reason why so many people binge drink is because it makes them feel good. If you habitually consume multiple alcoholic beverages in a short period of time, it may be because of the emotional response you experience. Studies indicate that individuals are more likely to drink more than they should if their habit results in positive emotions, such as confidence or elation. Should you experience this type of reaction when you drink, it can prompt you to keep drinking so that the euphoria you feel does not end.

    Other Risk Factors

    If you are questioning your drinking habits, it is important to take a look at other possible risk factors that may encourage your behavior. Heredity is a known risk factor for alcoholism, so take a moment to consider if you might have a genetic predisposition to it. Especially when you combine a family history of addiction with other dangers such as a social network that values drinking activities, you may be putting yourself in a position to develop an alcohol problem.

    Would you like to talk to someone about your drinking habits? Call Las Encinas Hospital at (888) 348-2165 to discuss your concerns with a qualified addiction specialist. You can also visit our website to find out more about how our Pasadena chemical dependency treatment center can help you manage your addiction behaviors.

    Understanding the Role of Genetics In Alcohol Use Disorders

    Last updated 14 days ago

    Do you have a sibling or parent with an alcohol addiction? Are you worried that a family history of alcoholism might make you more susceptible to it, too? Genes can affect your chances of suffering from many conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and alcoholism. Yet as the following information demonstrates, even with a strong presence of alcoholism in your family, it need not determine your own addiction.

    Impact of Heredity

    If you have immediate family members who suffer from alcohol addiction, it does raise your risk of alcoholism as well. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, though, heredity is only one factor for alcoholism and accounts for approximately 50 percent of an addiction danger. So while genetics is a key component in the development of alcoholism, if you have a family history of this disease, you can still avoid succumbing to it.

    Influence of the Environment

    Do your coworkers go to the corner bar each night after work? Do you spend most of your time with friends who enjoy drinking to the exclusion of other activities? If so, these scenarios can contribute to your risk of alcoholism just as significantly as your family history of the disease. If your environment presents ample opportunities for alcohol consumption, it can trigger an addiction problem.

    Knowledge of Risk Factors

    If you know that alcoholism runs in your family, integral to avoiding it is controlling your environment. When you are encouraged to drink with friends or fellow employees, and you already carry genes that predispose you to alcoholism, it can tip the scales in favor of you developing a problem. By recognizing your inherent risk and taking steps to control other addiction dangers, you can prevent a future addiction problem.

    Let Las Encinas Hospital help you take the first steps toward having an addiction-free future. If you suffer from alcoholism, our confidential addiction treatment services can provide you with the support system you need to regain control of your life. Call our Pasadena facility today at (888) 348-2165 for more information.

    A Look at the Most Addictive Prescription Drugs

    Last updated 19 days ago

    When prescription drugs are used as advised, they can provide relief from a variety of medical ills. However, these powerful medications can become highly addictive when users deviate from their prescription recommendations. Ritalin and Adderall, two types of amphetamines, can help to control the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Because of their ability to temporarily increase focus and alertness in users, some people may abuse these amphetamines to perform better while at school or in the workplace. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, which may be the reason why so many people form addictions to popular painkiller medications such as Demerol and Oxycodone. Yet the anxiety drug Xanax is responsible for more drug addictions than any other type of prescription medication. The drug’s ability to soothe and relax users may be to blame for its widespread usage in the United States.

    Chemical dependency is a problem that requires professional help. At Las Encinas Hospital, we offer dual diagnosis treatment that can address both the drug addiction and the physical or psychological issue underlying it. For more information on the services that we offer to Pasadena area residents, call (888) 348-2165.

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