Recovery Now News
  • How to Best Support Somebody Struggling with Opioid Addiction

    How to Best Support Somebody Struggling with Opioid Addiction

    Being around someone with an addiction to opioid medications can be a painful and intensely draining process. Seeing someone you care deeply about in such suffering and feeling they are wasting their lives poisoning themselves can be a huge struggle, and it may be easy to feel helpless against someone else's addiction.

  • Heroin Addiction Recovery in Zanzibar

    Heroin Addiction Recovery in Zanzibar

    How one man used the 12 step approach to change the way people look at recovery on the island.

    The Muslim island of Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean and is part of the nation of Tanzania. The island is also at a key location for the heroin trade that travels between Afghanistan and Pakistan to Europe.

    Those who live on Zanzibar know that heroin is cheap on the island and that a large percentage of the population there are struggling with addiction.

    Suleiman Mauly grew up on the island and was in a continual battle with a heroin addiction that had started at age 17 when he joined a 12 step group in nearby Kenya. Mauly had made a few previous attempts at kicking heroin and had been unsuccessful. Joining the 12 step group finally helped the young man find a path into recovery and to stay on it.

    He was able to stop using heroin and make amends to family and other loved ones whose relationships had been damaged by his addiction. Developing a relationship with a higher power also was a great help to Mauly.

    Although he came from a Muslim country, Mauly was still able to use the concept of a higher power to gain a healthy perspective and incorporate spirituality into his recovery.

    Mauly's recovery story is interesting considering that the 12 step program, which began in Akron, Ohio almost 80 years ago, is based on Christian ideas. Confession (or making amends), a chance at redemption, and turning yourself over to a higher power are all touchstones of the Christian faith.

    For Mauly and many non Christians who join 12 step groups, the concept of a higher power can be adapted to the individual. For Mauly it was his family and the 12 step group itself.

    Others may choose to make their higher power the god from their own religion, nature, or anything in their life that they know is bigger than themselves.

    After Mauly returned from Kenya he decided to bring the 12 step approach to recovery to his homeland. Despite the success of the program in Zanzibar, there is still a lot of suspicion toward its Christian elements.

    Mauly currently has 11 operating recovery houses on the island that have helped nearly 3,000 addicts since they first opened their doors. The houses are also staffed by former addicts who help out with all the daily operations needed to keep them running.

    His next goal is to help female addicts in Zanzibar. That goal may not be so easy, as attitudes toward women who are addicts (and who end up committing crimes like prostitution to support their habit) are vastly different and it's been difficult for Mauly to gain support from the community.

    The Muslim view of these women is that they do not deserve redemption, no matter what. Mauly wants to change how women who abuse drugs are perceived on the island. He has already taken funds from one of the existing houses to start a recovery house for women.

    Mauly believes that every addict deserves a chance at being saved and starting their life over. The success of the recovery houses has already helped change the way the people of Zanzibar look at addiction.

    Instead of being a crime, the people have seen that addiction is a disease that can be treated with the right kind of approach. The addicts are seen as people who need help, rather than just criminals out to do harm to themselves and others.

    photo credit: Frederica Boswell via www.npr.org

  • What you need to know about Tapering off Suboxone

    What you need to know about Tapering off Suboxone

    Many people who have struggled with opioid painkiller addiction have experienced help from Soboxone, a medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone to relieve withdrawal from other opioid medication, reduce cravings, and reduce the unapproved, mood altering and addicting effects of those drugs. However, Suboxone is itself a narcotic drug, that can pose great risk if misued.

  • The Dangers of Detox from Alcohol Addiction

    The Dangers of Detox from Alcohol Addiction

    One of the most important steps in recovering from alcohol addiction is successfully making it through the process of detoxifying from alcohol and clearing all chemical dependency from your system. It is crucial for every person to get through detox before entering rehab so that they are not dealing with physical addiction but rather the mental aspects of being sober.

  • Speaking about Struggles with Addiction can Help

    Speaking about Struggles with Addiction can Help

    Addiction thrives on denial and deception, on anything that clouds the truth about your internal tensions and self-destructive habits. As an addict, you are used to lying to others about what you are doing, and hiding your substance use from others.

  • Is it Possible that Poor Sleep Leads to Alcoholism?

    Is it Possible that Poor Sleep Leads to Alcoholism?

    A recent study regarding sleep difficulties discovered a number of issues that could be associated with poor sleeping habits including binge drinking, driving under the influence and risky sexual behavior. The connection between poor sleep and substance abuse is especially prevalent in the younger population.

  • Successful Pain Management in Recovery

    Successful Pain Management in Recovery

    Methods of pain relief have never been easier, more varied, or more effective than they are today. In the past, many people would have been totally unable to function under severe chronic pain, that is now capable of being managed.

  • Binge Drinking’s Direct Impact on the Immune System

    Binge Drinking’s Direct Impact on the Immune System

    Even though young people may not feel the same health effects that adults do after drinking regularly, the binge drinking habits of adults between ages 18-34 can still significantly impact their well-being. A new study has shown that when young adults engage in binge drinking it can disrupt their immune system.

  • Is AA vs. NA Just a Matter of Preference?

    Is AA vs. NA Just a Matter of Preference?

    The Twelve-step program is both the oldest and among the most well-known programs in the modern recovery moment, and has helped thousands and thousands of people from all over the world work through their addiction and successfully journey towards sobriety. Using a model of peer support groups who work through a program together, it helps addicts seeking recovery recognize their need for help, surrender to a "higher power" (which can be either a form of spirituality, or the communal connections within the group itself), and get the strength to pursue continued healing for themselves and reconciliation to others hurt by the addiction.

  • Mending Relationships in Recovery

    Mending Relationships in Recovery

    Battling an addiction takes its toll on a person's mind, body, and spirit. Fortunately those things can be healed during the recovery process.

  • Explaining Alcohol Addiction and Alcoholism

    Explaining Alcohol Addiction and Alcoholism

    If you are struggling with alcohol addiction it can be very easy to feel lost, isolated and misunderstood. Our society has many misconceptions about alcoholism, and it may feel that many people simply consider your addiction a character defect, judging you or confused about why you can't simply "control yourself."

  • The Struggles Of Kicking Heroin Addiction

    The Struggles Of Kicking Heroin Addiction

    With 25 to 30 million people in America today battling a drug or alcohol addiction it's hard to believe that recovery can be possible, but it can be done. There's no doubt that beating an addiction is a hard process, one that requires work, motivation, focus, and strength among other things.

  • Coping With The Stress Of Drug Addiction Recovery

    Coping With The Stress Of Drug Addiction Recovery

    Recovery from an addiction is more than just an accomplishment - it's an ongoing process that requires focus and effort in so many ways. Without a continued dedication to doing the work required to stay sober, the risk of a relapse becomes very real.

  • Can being Active Lower your Risk of Alcoholism?

    Can being Active Lower your Risk of Alcoholism?

    Alcoholism has affected and continues to affect countless people, who come to the disease from every background imaginable. No background is immune from the possibility of this deeply debilitating and potentially harmful genetic condition that makes someone especially vulnerable to abusing alcohol seemingly involuntarily, and so it may easy to feel powerless and even hopeless.

  • The Dangers of Self-Medication for Issues of Mental Health

    The Dangers of Self-Medication for Issues of Mental Health

    It's very common for someone to use drugs or alcohol as a way to deal with emotional problems. They may not even be aware that drinking or getting high helps numb or block out the overwhelming feelings they are having until it's too late.

  • What are your Options for Treatment for Alcoholism?

    What are your Options for Treatment for Alcoholism?

    Alcohol addiction is a very intense and all-consuming problem that requires a multi-pronged plan of attack in order to know how to deal with it. A judgmental outsider may think it's easy to simply decide to stop drinking, but the truth is that alcoholism is an all-consuming disease and habit that dramatically affects all areas of your life.

  • Is A Drug Addiction Treatment Ban Responsible for Dying Ukrainians?

    Is A Drug Addiction Treatment Ban Responsible for Dying Ukrainians?

    In January, it was reported that around 100 drug abuse patients in the formerly Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea had died because the substitution treatment they had been undergoing was now illegal under newly placed Russian laws. This is only a small percentage of the estimated 800 drug users in Crimea who were undergoing the treatment.

  • The Mantra of Living One Day at a Time

    The Mantra of Living One Day at a Time

    When you encounter other people struggling with recovery, in a support group, you may often hear the phrase "One Day at a Time." By this they mean, keeping your attention on the present moment.

  • Helping Your Alcoholic Family Members

    Helping Your Alcoholic Family Members

    One of the most painful experiences in life is watching a friend or family member with an alcohol problem. It's not easy to stand by and see someone you love destroy their health, relationships, and career.

  • The Plight of the Late Bloomer in Recovery

    The Plight of the Late Bloomer in Recovery

    Achieving sobriety is all about giving someone a second chance at a healthy, more fulfilling life. That's why it's not uncommon to find many "late bloomers" in recovery.

  • Facing the Fact that You Have a Problem with Alcohol and Drugs

    Facing the Fact that You Have a Problem with Alcohol and Drugs

    The first thing you have to do to address a drug or alcohol problem is admit that you have one. Sounds pretty simple, but it's actually the most difficult part of recovery for many people. If you're quite sure that you have a problem, there are several signs you can look for.

  • What’s the Difference When Identifying as an Addict or Alcoholic?

    What’s the Difference When Identifying as an Addict or Alcoholic?

    People who attend AA meetings may feel that they must identify as both an alcoholic and an addict if they have a problem with drugs as well as alcohol. They could also feel that they have to choose one term or the other since the problems are separated in different meetings through twelve step programs.

  • Staying Connected to the Your Program with Open Communication

    Staying Connected to the Your Program with Open Communication

    One of the foundations and most important aspects of addiction recovery is for addicts to remain honest and open throughout their time in rehab. A program will not be effective for a patient if they are reluctant to engage in open communication with their peers and the therapists and counselors that are there to support them.

  • Acceptance of Addiction and Alcoholism Provides Relief

    Acceptance of Addiction and Alcoholism Provides Relief

    Addiction is a disease that can lead people to experience a powerful sense of denial for many years before they recognize their own problem. People who are alcoholics may think they have their drinking under control or that they can simply cut down or quit at any time.

  • Dealing with the Emotions that Addiction Recovery Brings

    Dealing with the Emotions that Addiction Recovery Brings

    Although it can be cathartic to finally quit an addiction, for most people in recovery there will be plenty of emotional ups and downs especially in the first few months of entering rehab. Addiction recovery is a very difficult but rewarding path for people who have spent years of their lives coping with alcohol or drug dependency.

  • Identifying with others in Recovery can Save Your Life

    Identifying with others in Recovery can Save Your Life

    Recovery from addiction can easily become an overwhelming process. It involves unlearning a habit you have spent many hours unconsciously developing. It is going without the very thing you thought you could not live without.

  • Understanding Why Addiction Attracts Lower Companions

    Understanding Why Addiction Attracts Lower Companions

    Songs, literature, and movies frequently glamorizes drug and alcohol use, often showing the "highs" and "fun" without drawing attention to the hard realities of an addicted life. This leads many people to view a lifestyle of substance abuse and addiction in unrealistic ways, assuming it's the gateway to a fun lifestyle filled with interesting people and exciting adventures.

  • How to Handle an Aggressive Person under the Influence

    How to Handle an Aggressive Person under the Influence

    Drinking and drug use can radically alter a person's behavior and character. Almost everyone occasionally has moments where they feel angry or frustrated at someone else's behavior, but most people are able to vent their anger in relatively helpful ways, by communicating with the person involved, expressing your hurt or disappointment with a supportive friend, or finding outlets to "let off steam."

  • Josh Gordon Responds to Critics Regarding Addiction

    Josh Gordon Responds to Critics Regarding Addiction

    In January, TNT sports analyst Charles Barkley spoke publicly about his concern for NFL player Josh Gordon. The Cleveland Browns wide receiver had failed yet another mandatory drug test and was moving ever closer to a one year suspension.

  • First Canadian National Addiction Recovery Summit Held

    First Canadian National Addiction Recovery Summit Held

    In an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and work toward better treatment options, Ottawa held its first Canadian National Recovery Summit. This meeting organized by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse was a part of a campaign to bring more awareness to people in recovery and give them a chance to feel that they are accepted and understood by society.

  • What Is Going On In The Life Of Kurt Busch?

    What Is Going On In The Life Of Kurt Busch?

    Recent news involving the ongoing drama between NASCAR driver Kurt Busch and ex girlfriend Patricia Driscoll now includes allegations of alcoholism and depression. In December, Driscoll testified in a hearing over an incident of physical abuse by Busch during their 4 year relationship and described him as a man struggling with severe depression who abused alcohol to deal with his problems.

  • Jon Jones Doesn’t Have a Drug Problem

    Jon Jones Doesn’t Have a Drug Problem

    Ultimate Fighting champion Jon Jones recently opened up about his drug use in an interview and discussed his time in rehab and how it impacted his life. Jones has asserted in the past that he never had a drug problem but his recent cocaine use ran him into trouble with the UFC when he was caught through a drug test.

Addiction is a disease that can affect anyone, from any racial or socioeconomic background, male or female, at any age. Certain demographics of the population, who find themselves abusing drugs and alcohol, have a special set of needs in recovery.

One group is teenagers. When the still-developing brain is impacted by mind-altering substances, unique techniques, therapeutic approaches, and areas of focus have proven effective for a teenage addict’s recovery.

A teen program, that can successfully integrate the client’s family, is providing a vitally important piece of treatment. A safe place for families to honestly deal with problems, where the teen has a voice, is heard, and can also listen openly to family members, is priceless in the healing process.

Teenage Substance Abuse: A Growing Problem

Currently, alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, and psychedelics (ecstasy, salvia divinorum, and mushrooms) are the most commonly abused drugs among teenagers, despite the continuous publication of the dangers and potential consequences.

The age of first use of drugs and alcohol, is getting younger and younger. The use of mind-altering substances, like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogenic mushrooms, LSD, MDMA (or ecstasy), or anything else that alters brain chemistry, is prevalent among the youngest members of our population.

While smoking marijuana once may not seem like a big deal to a thirteen-year-old, the age of first substance use is the single best indicator of substance abuse and addiction later in that person’s life. When any substance is used, including nicotine and caffeine, before the age of 12, the chances of abuse and addiction to any substance is exponentially greater than when use happens after the age of 18. Further, since the brain is not fully developed until approximately age 25, those who do not drink or use any drug before then, rarely progress to any form of chemical dependency at any point in life.

To treat teenagers who have suffered from any of the disorders, issues, or combination of struggles on the list below, special care is important. A family program helps address each individual need, ideally with the inclusion of the most important and influential people in this young person’s life.

  • Alcohol abuse or addiction (alcoholism)
  • Drug addiction (to any mind-altering substance)
  • Depression
  • An eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder)
  • Mental illness (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.)
  • Isolation (social, relational, familial)
  • Legal troubles
  • School problems
  • Peer pressure
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Problems with authority
  • Manipulation and lying
  • Runaways, homeless, orphan

Rates of Teen Drug Use

According to the University of Michigan’s 2013 Monitoring the Future Study, conducted through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), each year, in the United States alone, the following percentages of high school seniors abuse each drug:

  • 36.4% abuse marijuana
  • 7.4% abuse Adderall
  • 5.3% abuse Vicodin
  • 5.0% abuse cough syrup
  • 4.6% abuse tranquilizers (mainly in the form of prescription drugs)
  • 4.5% abuse hallucinogens
  • 4.8% abuse sedatives (mainly in the form of prescription drugs)
  • 3.6% abuse OxyContin
  • 4.0% abuse MDMA or ecstasy
  • 2.5% abuse inhalants
  • 2.6% abuse cocaine
  • 2.3% abuse Ritalin

These percentages add up to millions of only high school seniors who are abusing highly-addictive and life-threatening substances. These statistics do not take into account all other people under the age of 18, or the abuse of alcohol, heroin, and several other prescription drugs.

To stop the use of any mind-altering substances in your teenager, call Recovery Now TV today at 800-281-4731. Life can change. Your teen can choose a substance-free life. Call now!

Adolescent & Teenage Development

The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain located directly behind the forehead, controls executive functioning and impulse control, and is the part most greatly impacted by drugs and alcohol.

As we all know, major physical, emotional, mental, and psychological changes happen between the ages of 10 and 18, depending upon the person. The process of maturing through puberty is not easy. Hormones are all over the place, new desires and sensations are confusing and awkward, and often times young people feel isolated or separated from society, and from their families.

Through these years of change, the brain is developing and the body is maturing. As the brain slowly develops, from back to front, important parts of the reward/reinforcement pathway are the last to form. The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain located directly behind the forehead, controls executive functioning and impulse control, and is the part most greatly impacted by drugs and alcohol. When a drug affects this developing area of the brain, telling it that substances are the way to feel pleasure, the still growing brain stores that information as knowledge.

A major consequence of an altered prefrontal cortex is a young person’s inability to control compulsive drug use. Without an established sense of healthy reward/reinforcement, functioning, and impulse control, the choice to continuing abusing substances is much easier than the choice to stop. Anyone with prefrontal cortex impairment is unable to delay gratification, to make and carry out long-term plans, to recognize potential consequences of choices and actions (example: smoking marijuana at a young age could cause permanent and irreversible damage to the developing brain), or to recognize a problem with substances, therefore, living with a strong sense of denial.

Drug and alcohol abuse in adolescent and teenage years is beyond dangerous. If you see a young person in your life using any substance, contact the team at Recovery Now TV to find out how you can intervene to stop the progression.

Call now! 800-281-4731.

Identifying a Problem

A list of signs and symptoms to look for in a teenager can help you identify a problem with substance abuse.

How can a parent, teacher, or other adult recognize a problem with drugs and/or alcohol?

These signs and symptoms of use, abuse, and addiction indicate a problem that needs to be addressed:

  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Missing school
  • Grades dropping
  • Constant runny nose and watery eyes
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain (indicates the abuse of different substances)
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Consistent coughing
  • Changes in clothing choices
  • No longer caring about appearance
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing (offensive images or phrases, wearing long-sleeved shirts when it is hot out, etc.)
  • Changes in friends and social groups
  • Stealing
  • Lying or secretive behavior
  • Loss of appetite or excessive hunger
  • Forgetfulness
  • Disrespectful demeanor and dialogue
  • Money or valuables missing from your home
  • Hostile, aggressive outbursts that are out of character
  • Unusual sleeping habits
  • Visible anxiety or depression
  • Something seeming “off”

If you see any combination of these symptoms, contact Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731. Intervention and treatment can stop recreational drug and alcohol use from progressing to problematic substance abuse and addiction.

Intervention: Stopping Substance Use & Offering Treatment

Interventions are not a one-time, scared-straight technique. Interventions work because they are an effective first step in the road to recovery that requires follow through.

Interventions are designed to help a teen see how loved he or she is, and how destructive the current path of drugs and alcohol will very soon be, if use continues. The design of an intervention is to interrupt the damaging and dangerous behavioral choices, and to offer alternative possibilities. With the help of a trained professional, a treatment program can be introduced to your teenager that will help the substance abusing young person face the consequences in a loving and supportive environment.

Interventions are not a one-time, scared-straight technique. Interventions work because they are an effective first step in the road to recovery that requires follow through. For young people who have been abusing alcohol and various drugs (which include prescription drugs), and who also suffer from a mental illness, an eating disorder, unmanageable anger, aggression, or sadness, chronic feelings of isolation, legal problems, or communication issues, an intervention is a great way to guide him or her toward the treatment that can address and treat each aspect of suffering.

To break the cycle of substance use before major life consequences forever change the life of a young person, call Recovery Now TV today at 800-281-4731.

Treatment for Teenage Substance Abuse & Addiction

Treatment for teenagers is most beneficial when it includes: short-term goals, drug and alcohol education, and constant peer involvement.

Formal rehabilitation services for young people are based on therapeutic methods of guidance, clinical assessment, and medical supervision that combine to treat the mind, body and soul of the troubled teenager, plus his or her family. An effective treatment center employs a medical doctor, a psychologist, and several drug and alcohol counselors, all of whom have many years of experience and expertise in dealing with the specific needs of teenagers, and the established family dynamics.

When a young person chooses treatment, generally during a formal intervention, there are a series of steps that involve various levels of care.

Inpatient Treatment

Following a medically-monitored detoxification program, an inpatient, residential treatment program is recommended for all substance-abusing teens. In this level of care, clients live and receive treatment at the same facility.

The benefits of inpatient treatment are:

  • Twenty-four-hour monitorization
  • Majorly restricted, if not prohibited, ability to leave the facility
  • Access to a member of the treatment team at all times
  • Constant peer involvement
  • No access to drugs or alcohol
  • Involvement in 12 Step programs
  • Ongoing medication management
  • Continuous care for every aspect of recovery

Outpatient Treatment

An outpatient treatment program means that the teenager reports to the licensed facility every day for group and individual meetings, just like in inpatient treatment, but with much more freedom. While a client must hold him or herself more accountable for choices, outpatient treatment provides a way to continue formal care.

Using the coping skills and techniques for recovery learned in inpatient treatment, and while being required to pass random drug screens, outpatient treatment allows a newly sober client to participate in the “real world” with a consistent support system and treatment team in place.

Family Therapy

Family involvement can greatly help a teenager during all stages of treatment. Individual therapy sessions can be scheduled where a client, his or her therapist, and the family who choose to participate, engage in open and honest dialog, with a third-party mediator (the therapist.) Often families want to simply “fix” the alcohol and drug problem without a true understanding of the addiction. As family members are educated and exposed to the reality of substance abuse, common ground can be found, support is offered, and young addicts heal.

An 18-year-old polydrug abuser shares his experience while participating in family therapy while in an inpatient treatment program:

I burnt every bridge that I’ve got with pretty much everybody in my whole life. The family sessions here are helping a little bit, you know. My mom comes in - my stepdad doesn’t want anything to do with me but my mom comes in; we’re working, we’re listening, you know. We’re not just fighting anymore. She’s not yelling at the top of her lungs. I’m not telling her to f*** off anymore. We’re actually working together. It feels good. I might be able to get a life.

Important Aspects of Treatment for Teenagers

A few approaches to treatment are helpful, and needed, for teenagers to make progress in the right direction during substance abuse treatment:

  1. Since chemical use has altered the prefrontal cortex, and the teen’s mindset is present-oriented (not seeing into the future), treatment needs to be focused on setting goals that can be achieved in a short period of time. With daily and weekly goals, for example, a teen can experience the reward and positive reinforcement of a good choice.
  2. Treatment for teens must downplay the benefits of alcohol and drug use. By explaining that the perceived fun and enjoyment of substances is actually more of a fantasy that a reality, a young person’s brain can compute the information and then see the misconceptions that tend to glorify substance use.
  3. Teen drug and alcohol treatment must involve peers. Research shows that teenagers are much more likely to listen to one another than they are to listen to adults. When guidance, support, and honesty can come from peers, teenagers hear it and let it sink in. An effective rehab program for teens needs to include peer process groups that are built into each treatment day.

By calling Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731 today, you can find a set of treatment programs that are best for your teenager’s unique set of circumstances and needs.

Sources:
Coalition Against Drug Abuse
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens
University of Michigan 2013 Monitoring the Future Study
Uppers, Downers, All Arounders by Darryl S. Inaba & William E. Cohen