Drug Abuse In California

Drug abuse is by far one of the biggest problems bothering nations across the world and a lot of research is being conducted to look into various social and economic factors that trigger this abuse. Drug abuse is also responsible for the rapid increase in AIDS cases as the disease continues to spread like an epidemic. Contaminated needles that are shared by intravenous-drug users and unprotected sex between drug users are believed to be the main reasons why this disease is spreading so fast. Drug abuse therefore needs to controlled if not uprooted to bolster a society that’s healthy in every way. California understands the need of a more enlightened approach to this deadly abuse and strongly believes in amending certain laws that indirectly encourage abuse. For instance, laws that make needle possession an offense may indirectly encourage drug users to share the same needles thereby becoming a potential health hazard. All thanks to Proposition 36, all addicts who also happen to be nonviolent drug offenders can now seek treatment and dare to dream of a drug free life.

According to California Society of Abuse Medicine, often referred to as CSAM, methamphetamine is the choice of 53% of those who have been diverted to treatment instead of incarceration as per Proposition 36 or The Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act. In order to put a check on the “Methamphetamine Epidemic” in California, there are number of things that can be done on the legal and medical front. The biggest hurdle is the UPPL regulations, that stop physicians from probing into drug and alcohol problems and is more in favor of insurers and not citizens. There should be procedures in place to ensure proper screening for stimulants and other drugs of abuse so that abuse is traced before it’s too late. In addition, there should be parity in the type of coverage insurance companies provide for abuse treatments and other medical illnesses. The incarceration rate for drug-related crimes has shot up and most believe that community-based treatment and not incarceration was the key to bring drug abuse behavior under control. More than 36,000 people convicted of a non-violent drug offense had access to medical treatments as per Prop 36 that aims to not only help people get rid of their addictive behaviors but also bring down incarceration costs.

California’s unique geography and diverse culture greatly influence the drug scene there and also happens to be the reason why the problem of drug abuse has been there since a very long time. Drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and club drugs are abused on a large scale in California, as they are smuggled into the state from Mexico and therefore easily available. In addition, Marijuana and methamphetamine are also produced locally making the drug situation very serious in the State. As the problem of drug abuse continues to grow, the State of California is facing the biggest challenges of providing medical care and treatment to all those people who wish to put an end to their abuse.

With an estimated number of 1,759,368 marijuana users, 288,306 cocaine users, and 16,332 heroin addicts residing in the State, its apparent why California is so concerned about this deadly abuse. The number of people abusing prescription drugs, inhalants, and those using hallucinogens are also staggering and necessitate immediate medical assistance.

How to Detect Drug Abusing Teenagers

The effects of substance abuse in teens are not only individual; they can also be seen on the society. They may face problems at school or college and may involve in criminal activities. It is therefore very important to detect drug abusing teenagers. Drug testing should be conducted on a regular basis at schools and homes to identify and save them from harmful drugs of abuse.

Signs of drug abuse
Identifying certain signs helps you to detect if the kid is addicted to the drugs. Some of the common physical and emotional signs are:

• Change in sleep patterns
• Poor motor coordination
• Poor hygiene and illness including nausea and excessive sweating
• Irregular heartbeat
• Impaired thinking
• Mood swings
• Hyperactivity or overtired
• Depression

Drug abusing teens lose their interest in family activities, often abuse verbally and physically at home or school, and disrespect the family or school. In addition, abrupt decrease in grades, memory and attention loss, and lack of interest and concentration on studies are some of the signs at school. The moment you observe any of the above mentioned signs, you need to immediately check if the kid is abusing drugs. Drug testing is one of the safest and easiest ways to detect the drug abuse among teens.

Types of drug tests
There are different types of methods to detect the teens who are using drugs. Some of the common ones are urine, saliva, hair, and blood tests.

Urine drug test
Of all the types, urine testing is used most commonly as it is inexpensive method used to detect a drug user. You can use urine test kits at home or school to check if the child is addicted to illegal drugs. Quick and accurate results are obtained by these test kits.

Saliva drug test
It is more advantageous as it is relatively non-intrusive. Saliva from the mouth is taken through a swab and is checked for the presence of drugs. Most recent drug abuse can be detected by saliva tests. Conducting saliva test is very easy and also provides accurate and immediate results.

Hair drug test
This method is also non-intrusive. A hair sample of 1.5 inches in length is enough for conducting the test. Drug or its metabolites deposited at the hair shaft are detected by hair tests. You can get very reliable and accurate results by this method.

Blood drug test
You can also use a blood sample of the teen to detect illegal drug usage. It is however expensive and you need to approach laboratory as you cannot conduct it at your home.

Detection periods
The detection period depends on the method of test conducted. These detection periods vary from the type, dosage, and frequency of drug used.

Urine drug test can detect drug or its metabolites for 30 days in frequent users and for 2-3 days in occasional users. The test detects Cocaine for 4-5 days, Heroin for 2-4 days, Methamphetamine for 3-5 days, PCP for 3-7 days, and Codeine for 2-4 days.

A saliva test is mostly used to detect recent drug usage. However, it can also detect drugs consumed 3 days back. Of all the methods, hair drug test has a longer detection period. It detects illegal drug consumption for about 90 days.

What if results are positive?
Once the kid is tested positive by drug test kit, talk to him/her about the result. You can get a confirmatory result through laboratory tests. Communicate with him regularly regarding the effects of drug abuse. Ask him to leave companions or friends who are habituated to drugs. If necessary, send him/her to substance abuse treatment program.

Importance of intervention
Detection and intervention of drug abuse at primitive stages can prevent further damage. Drug intervention is an attempt made by family members or school authorities to help the teen get out of drug abuse or addiction. The main objective of intervention is to make the teen understand the physical and mental destruction caused by drug abuse. If you are not able to speak to the kid on this, you can take help of your friends or relatives. You can also consult specialists who counsel drug abusers and help them get back to their normal life.

Parents and school authorities should always keep an eye on the behavior and activities of the teens. Necessary measures have to be taken in order to prevent them from taking drugs.

Suffering From Drug Abuse

Many people do not realize that they suffer from drug abuse problems. There are many different substances that count as drugs. Abusing these substances might only mean using them to a degree more than they were intended.

For instance, caffeine is a drug. There are many different ways that a human being can take caffeine into their body. In this day and age there are like five different kinds of energy drinks at any gas station market. Each of these energy drinks will contain a high amount of caffeine. If someone were to drink many of these energy drinks in one day, then they would be suffering from drug abuse. Still, if someone asked them if they had a problem with abuse, they might not think that they do.

There are definitely harsher forms of abuse than caffeine abuse. Hardcore drugs have the potential to wreck the human body a lot more than the lesser drugs. Still, the lesser drugs can harm the body quite a bit as well.

The problem is that some people associate drug abuse with illegal drugs. There are many drugs that are very legal to buy. These drugs can be abused. What it all boils down to is that everyone has to be careful about what they take into their body. The government isn’t going to make everything that’s bad for the body illegal. Instead, they are going to leave some decisions up to the people. That means that people need to be learned enough to figure out what they should or shouldn’t take into their body.

Sometimes people are having an illegal abuse problem without even knowing about it. When a doctor prescribes a certain amount of medication, it is illegal to go beyond the prescribed amount. There are many people who don’t seem to think there is a problem with this. In fact, there are some doctors who make a living on overprescribing people medication. They are actually helping people with their abuse.

I feel that part of thing that drives abuse in middle class society is the fact that moderately wealthy to extremely wealthy people don’t think that they can have a drug abuse problem. They think they are somehow above the entire drug abuse situation.

That’s just not true. Anyone who has access to drugs can have an abuse problem. Drugs are incredibly addictive, and so everyone is subject to having a problem with them. The sooner high society admits that they suffer from drug abuse as much as everyone else, the sooner we can all start solving this problem together.

Still, this won’t happen until drug abuse is more clearly defined for people. Simply put: drug abuse is abusing drugs. Legal drugs that are overused are being abused. It’s as simple as that. The problem with most types of drugs is that they are so addictive that people can’t help but take more of them than they should. This is why abuse is even a problem.

A Look at Drug Abuse Treatment Centers

As a long term or short term care program for drug abuse, treatments centers are used to encourage the stoppage of drug abuse through their various programs. Drug abuse treatment centers offer a wide variety of ways to help attain a clean life style for many addicts that are struggling with their addictions. Many drug abuse treatment centers are staffed by recovered addicts or alcoholics. Since drug abuse is common, treatment centers use rules and stipulations to keep things alive and well in their institutions.

Drug abuse treatment centers are fully able to try to help but not cure addicts from their drug abuse. Treatment centers are able to run groups focused on self preservation and the use also of other programs such as Narcotics Anonymous. Drug abuse treatment centers also have transportation at most times to get the addict to and from local meetings and also to in-house events such as bowling, softball or things of leisure such as the movies.

Drug abuse treatment centers may also introduce medications as a way to help people detoxify off of most drugs. This includes alcohol and heroin abuse. These medications are taken to help deal with things such as tremors and also many other side effects of the addict’s drug abuse. Treatment centers also monitor things such as the medical needs sometimes and also mental health needs. This is due to the fact that, in some cases of drug abuse, treatment centers need to cope and help with other issues involved in the addicts recovery process which also may include HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

Addicts use drug abuse treatment centers at the usual time when people cannot tolerate their usage anymore and is sometimes a healthy alternative to being an out-patient and going to NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings. Drug abuse centers also provide liaisons between parents and their children and also for teenagers with their parents. More than half of drug abuse treatment centers are for adults where the others are designed for the addicted teen.

Teenagers that have been put into drug abuse treatment centers must at times provide parental permission to do so. Teens involved in drug abuse treatment centers usually wind up with a case manager or a therapist to help them cope with their troubles or their thoughts that it it is cool to continue the drug abuse. Treatment centers know this and will do all that is needed to keep the teen from exterminating themselves with the lives filled with drug abuse.

Drug abuse treatment centers may have an age limit as to who and how young the teen must be to be able to enroll in it. This is because they don’t want the usual adult stuck with a teenager with a giant age gap between themselves and their recovery. Recovery at a drug abuse treatment center to staff and to most people who enter them can be a satisfactory experience because of the level of experience and the quality of care that most entail.

Drug Abuse Addiction: A Misunderstood Problem

Too often people don’t truly comprehend the real reason why a person develops a drug abuse addiction or how drugs can alter their brain to stimulate compulsive drug abuse and addiction. They wrongly perceive this problem as something that is surely a social problem only and may discriminate those who abuse drugs as morally powerless. A persistent and general belief is that addicted individuals should be fully capable of just quitting drugs as long as they are willing to alter their attitude and behaviour. Again and again, what people often simply and underestimate is the complication of drug addiction. It is a serious disease that impacts the very brain itself and as a result, ceasing drug abuse and drug addiction is not plainly a matter of an individuals’ willpower. Through current scientific advances we are now able to understand much more in regards to how precisely drugs affect the brain. Furthermore, we now know that drug abuse addiction can be successfully treated to assist individuals’ in stopping the abuse of drugs and carry on their normal lives.

Drug abuse and addiction can be a huge burden on society. There have been approximate estimates of the overall costs of this issue in the USA alone, which includes health costs as well as losses in productivity, to surpass 500 billion dollars annually. As distressing as these figures are, they don’t adequately and fully convey the breadth of detrimental public health and safety implications, which involve domestic violence, school failure, family disruption, loss of employment, child abuse, and many other types of deviant crimes.

To truly understand what drug abuse and drug addiction is, we need to know that it is a continuous, relapsing brain disease that induces uncontrollable drug seeking and use and abuse in spite of harmful and damaging consequences to the abuser who is addicted and to all those who are close to them. Drug abuse and addiction is defined as a brain disease for the reason that this problem advances changes in the function and also the structure of the brain. Even though it is undeniable that for most addicts the initial decision to take drugs is purely voluntary, over the course of time the alterations in the brain, as a result of abusing drugs over and over again, can greatly affect an individual’s self control and capability to make logical decisions, while at the exact same moment send extreme impulses to take more the addictive substance.

It is these very extreme changes in the brain that makes it so difficult for an individual who is addicted to absolutely cease from abusing drugs. Fortunately, there are existing treatments that assist people to neutralize drug addiction’s strong damaging effects so that the individual can recapture some semblance of self control. Studies have shown that incorporating drug abuse addiction treatment medications along with behavioural therapy is one of the most successful ways for majority of patients. When a treatment method is customized to each patient’s patterns along with psychiatric aid can lead to long term continuous recovery and a life without the need for further intervention.

Very much like other chronic or relapsing diseases such as heart disease or diabetes, drug abuse addiction can be managed quite successfully. Additional, it’s not unusual for a drug abuse and addiction person to backslide and start abusing drugs again. We must be clear that relapse does not indicate failure, rather, it demonstrates that proper drug abuse and drug addiction treatment should be reintroduced, modified, or that other forms of drug abuse addiction treatment is required to help the individual retake self control and recover.