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Just How Dangerous Is OxyContin, Anyway?
OxyContin belongs to a family of drugs called opioids, which are derived from the opium poppy and are among the most common drugs used to address both chronic and acute pain. Due their abuse and addictive potential, they are nearly always prescribed with caution.

Opioids suppress the body's response to pain by acting on what is called the mu receptor, which is a molecule that bonds with the body's natural pain killers. The mu receptor is thus the body's most significant pain gateway. It also bonds with opiate drugs such as heroin and morphine. This receptor affects not only the experience of pain but also of euphoria, which contributes to the addictive potential of these drugs.

Unfortunately, medical textbooks inform us that all opioids have been abused, and there is no way around their high abuse potential.

To control distribution of addictive drugs, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency classifies drugs for regulatory purpose into schedules, of which there are five. Schedule 1 drugs, like raw opium and LSD, are as close to completely prohibited as is possible (they're permitted, for instance, in special laboratory research circumstances), while schedule 5 drugs are common over-the-counter medications that pose extremely little risk of addiction or abuse.

Where do opioids fit into the picture? Oh, they're in with their schedule 2 neighbors heroin, cocaine, morphine, amphetamine and the like. All except oxycodone (the active ingredient in OxyContin), which despite an addictive potential comparable to heroin is in the more "harmless" schedule 3!

OxyContin has been popping up in the news quite a lot lately. It's become the drug of choice among new addicts. In fact, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, between 50 and 90 percent of new patients admitted to drug rehabilitation programs in the states most severely affected by OxyContin abuse (West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Virginia) list OxyContin as their drug of choice.

To be fair, chronic pain sufferers are seeking relief from their pain, rather than a dangerous high, and medication certainly plays a useful role in pain management in many circumstances. Further, OxyContin becomes most addictive when its long-acting time-release safeguard is circumvented, usually by chewing the pill, thus releasing the active drug oxycodone all at once. Patients using the drug legally, for its intended purpose and under their doctor's supervision are clearly at less risk.

Still, the risk is definite and grows over time, as all opioids are known to diminish in effectiveness over time, mandating either higher doses or opioid rotation (temporarily switching to a new opioid) or both. Further, withdrawal symptoms can be experienced when patients stop taking opioids, making them crave more drugs. In fact, many patients report that their sensation of pain is worse after ceasing treatment than it was before they started! (In some cases, such as cancer, this effect could be attributed to the progression of the disease.) Surely it's best never to get started along this vicious cycle.

Let us understand that even dangerously addictive drugs have their legitimate medical uses, one of which may indeed be to relieve chronic pain sufferers of their plight. Still, regardless of whether or not you and your doctor choose drugs as one means of treatment, never forget that pain is a message that you're doing the wrong thing or you're doing things wrong. Listen to your body. Don't shoot the messenger.

About the Author
Daniel Punch. Article Source: http://articlecity.com/

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10 Tenets of Effective Drug Addiction Treatment
On any given day in the United States, one million people are in treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction. It is not getting into treatment, however, that makes the difference. Instead, it is what a person gets out of treatment. The fact that many people do not find success in treatment on their first attempt is due in part to a lack of understanding about what makes effective treatment.

1.There is no treatment formula that will work for everyone.

Occasionally, people looking for treatment will come across other individuals who are already in recovery and who insist that the only path to recovery is whatever path the recovering individual has taken. This simply is not true. The ultimate success of each individual entering treatment depends on finding the right treatment setting and methods for the individual, and everyone’s needs are different.

2. Medically supervised withdrawal is only one step in addiction treatment; alone it will do little.

Frequently, it is necessary for addicts and alcoholics to go through a medically supervised withdrawal period before they can safely enter treatment. However, some people confuse this short 3 to 7 day period with treatment, which it is not. Some people cycle in and out of these withdrawal episodes convinced that they should be able to maintain abstinence afterwards, but never finding success. Seemingly tragic, this allows some addicts to continue in their addiction while giving the appearance that they are attempting to get healthy.

3. Length of treatment counts.

The appropriate duration for an individual depends on his or her problems and needs. Research indicates that for most patients, significant improvement is reached at about 3 months. The research suggests that this may be residential, outpatient or a combination of both depending on the individual’s needs. After this initial period, additional treatment can produce further progress toward recovery.

4. Drug addiction is a multidimensional problem, and treatment needs to address all of an individual’s needs.

Effective treatment must address the individual's drug use, but also any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, or legal problems.

5. Counseling (individual and/or group) is a critical part of effective addiction treatment.

Many alcoholics and addicts mistakenly believe that if they could just stop using for a week or two they could stop using forever. In reality, they need therapy. In therapy, addicts examine their motivation, build skills to resist drug use, replace drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding nondrug-using activities, and improve problem-solving abilities. Additionally, therapy helps individuals to rebuild and re-learn family and social living patterns.

6. Medications are an important part of treatment for many people. Medications such as suboxone, methadone and LAAM can all be effective in helping certain individuals stay away from illicit drugs. Some times frowned upon by some individuals in recovery the truth is that these medications allow millions of individuals to live normal, productive lives.

7. Drug testing during treatment is important.

Drugs are found everywhere, even in drug treatment. Whether treatment is offered on an outpatient, inpatient or in a jail drugs are available to individuals in treatment. This puts individuals in treatment at risk for reusing even while in treatment. It also means that every individual in treatment should be monitored for drug treatment on an ongoing basis. In this manner treatment, plans may be modified to increase the chance of ultimate success.

8. Alcoholics and addicts with mental health disorders should be treated for both at the same time.

An alcoholic or addict who also has a mental health disorder is said to have “co-occurring” disorders. In the past, the question has sometimes been should the person be treated for the mental health problem or the addiction first. People may be using drugs to deal with the mental health problem or they may have the mental health issue because of their drug use. The most effective way to deal with these two “co-occurring” disorders and deal with the addiction is to treat them at the same time.

9.Addiction Treatment works even for people who don’t choose it of their own free will.

It used to be believed that someone had to want to go into treatment before it could be effective. New research has shown that this is not the case. In fact, treatment is just as effective for individuals who are court ordered to do treatment as it is for people who figure out the need for it on their own. Families and employers can be just as effective at getting unwilling addicts into treatment. Stephen King, in his autobiography “On Writing,” tells about the intervention his wife and family performed on him. King did not want to go into treatment. He was seemingly happy doing coke and drinking mouthwash, but his wife Tabitha and his children were not happy with the situation and performed an intervention. Forced to choose between family and drugs, King made the right choice. Interventions are most successful when done correctly and with the help of a professional. For more information on interventions visit www.interventionresources.net

10. Don’t give up.

As with other chronic illnesses, relapses can occur during or after successful treatment episodes. Addicted individuals may need lengthy treatment and more than one time in treatment before they can enjoy long-term abstinence and full restoration to a drug free life. The period after treatment is just as important as being in treatment. Finding support and continuous work to stay drug free will be necessary. A slip or relapse is just an indicator that more work, and possibly more treatment, is necessary. Don't give up.

About the Author
David Westbrook Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
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Alcohol: Is There Really A Problem?
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are different branches of the same poisonous tree. Alcoholism is dependence based; meaning, a person feels that they need alcohol in order to cope with day-to-day life.

Alcohol abuse, on the other hand, is not an uncontrollable urge, but the uncontrollability of the abuser once s/he obtains alcohol.

An alcoholic abuser may have problems keeping up with daily responsibilities, such as going to work or adhering to familial needs. He or she may also get in drunk-driving accidents, or develop medical conditions due to their alcoholic consumption.

Binge drinking, for example, is a method of abusing alcohol, but not everyone who binge drinks would be considered an alcoholic, by definition.

Try asking yourself the following questions to assess whether you believe that you could have a problematic alcohol related issue. The first question relates to how others view you.

* Question 1: Has anyone ever brought the issue up, that your drinking is a problem? The next three deal with personal reflection.

* Question 2: Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking?

* Question 3: Have you ever thought that drinking got in your way or that you should cut down?

* And, question 4: Do you drink in the morning to feel better, or to calm your nerves (or to recover from a hangover)?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you could have an alcohol related problem. If you answered yes to more than one, then you should seriously start thinking about treatment options because, like any disease, if caught early enough, the chances for success are exponentially greater than if you allow the disease (as it is a disease of the body and mind) to carry on its course.

Once you talk to an expert or others about these issues, you'll find the best route of treatment. Many problem drinkers recover and abstain from alcohol for the rest of their lives. Others attempt to moderate their consumption. That, however, takes even more control and determination than quitting all together.

And, as stated, if you 'feel' within yourself that there is a problem, or if others have shown concern in regard to your drinking habits, then it might be best to consider abstaining from alcohol completely, thereby allowing you no "slip ups" in the future.

Discover valuable advice and information about alcohol abuse - its causes and its treatment. Website contains valuable articles and information about this widespread problem. http://www.alcohol-abuse-mastery.com/

About the Author
Paul Article. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/

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Internet Addiction
The Internet is fast becoming just another part of everyday life, much like the TV and the computer itself. What started as something amazing, exciting, and often out of reach, has become commonplace and freely available. Technology is advancing at an amazing rate. I can remember when 56k connections were the new exciting fad that everyone just had to have, and now you're almost abnormal if you still chug along with your trusty dialup. The Net has become integrated into our lives, as people are becoming dependant on its services. The advent of the Internet has its threatening side though. It has been found that some people are becoming addicted to the online world.

A recent news story reported that the Finnish army has sent some of its conscripts home due to the fact that they are unable to handle the compulsory six months in the army without access to their computers. When computers and the Internet are becoming integral components or even the main focus of leisure, education, and work time, it's not hard to see how losing access can really affect someone. I can see this new technology getting blamed for all sorts of woes in the future much in the same way television has in the present.

Internet addiction comes in many forms. The common areas of Internet addiction that are often listed are cybersex, cyber-relations, gaming, information addiction, and the simple addiction to computers and Internet in general. Information addiction is an interesting concept to me. Basically the sheer volume of information freely available online has lead to some people desperately 'needing' to find out more and more. To me, getting people obsessed with learning seems kind of like a good thing, but it does seem that it can form a similar sort of mentality to drug addiction where the user is always searching for their next 'hit' which becomes harder and harder to find. Often the depth of information available is actually lacking. We tend to skim read information online by just picking out a few points and then moving on. I've found in my own case that it's sometimes quite hard to concentrate on a page long enough to read it in its entirety. I tend to read a little until I get the basic idea and then move on. This process has carried over into the 'real world' in some ways with newspapers rarely keeping my interest long enough to actually get through a whole article of any real length. I've witnessed similar experiences with friends and families and I think that attention spans are gradually getting shorter.

This means that probably more than half of the people who come across this article have stopped reading by now. Their interest has waned and they've moved on for the next tidbit. I could probably get away with padding the end of this article with the word 'chicken' and it would go relatively chicken unnoticed due to the skimming nature of article reading.

A quick Internet search will reveal that Internet addiction is actually more of a problem than many would choose to believe. Chicken. There are several websites and foundations on the Web dedicated to helping people over their Internet addiction. I found that humorously ironic - websites dedicated to helping people get over Internet addictio . . . it's kind of like printing anti-drinking messages on the inside bottom of a beer can. The cynic in me can't help but wonder about the validity of these online services. A common question in the 'Could You Be Addicted to the Internet?' questionnaires is 'Do you have trouble controlling the urge to make purchases online?', and then they encourage you to send them $90 to book an online chat room counseling session!

It shouldn't be too hard to work out if you're addicted to the Internet. Do you find that when you get offline you're frequently surprised by the amount of time that has passed? Do you find yourself staying home because you'd rather use the Internet than do something else chicken? Do people comment on the amount of time you spend online? If this is ringing a bell then you may have to look at what you're doing.

I don't know how severe Internet addiction can get. Presumably it's as problematic as any other addiction. I shouldn't downplay it or the therapy institutions out there offering help. I will take a guess and say that, at least to some degree, people simply being aware of what can happen can probably prevent it. Don't be afraid to do something if you notice problems in yourself or a friend. Just try cutting back on your usage for a while until it's under your control. Like any problem, don't be afraid to get friends involved. If it's particularly serious you could try installing a parental control program that limits your access to the Internet, and get a friend to choose and keep the disabling password secret from you. Stay aware, alert, and in control and your Internet use can and will be a beneficial part of life.

About the Author
Daniel Punch. M6.Net Chickens. http://www.m6.net. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
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Meth Addiction Help
Methamphetamine is commonly known as "speed" or "meth." It is a white and odourless crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water. The drug was developed early in this century from its parent drug, amphetamine, and was used originally in nasal decongestants, bronchial inhalers and other related products. Like amphetamine, it causes increased activity, decreased appetite, and a general sense of well-being. Meth is a highly addictive substance, and is widely abused among our youth. It has become Meth addiction is a serious problem and often has very serious consequences.

Treatments for meth addictions range from method to method. The primary treatment for methamphetamine addictions is an intensive outpatient program that is designed to treat the patient's dysphoira, paranoia, psychosis and agitation. Successful meth treatment requires the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy. This approach prepares the addict for life-long recovery. Although recovering from meth addiction is challenging, it is not impossible. With determination and support the addiction can be beat.

Treatment for meth overdoses require certain protocols in the emergency room. Becasue hyperthermia(overheating) and convulsions are common and often fatal, ER treatment focuses on the immediate physical symptoms. Overdose patients are cooled off in ice baths, and anticonvulsant drugs may also be administered.

Currently there are no pharmacutical treatments for addiction. How ever, often meth addiction is followed by depression, therefore the use of some anti-depressant medications can be helpful in users who recently have become abstinent. Shock therapy is a outdated form of addiction treatment, and was discontinued becasue it was found to have more negitive effects than positive.

In conclusion, meth addiction is one of the most serious, hardest to recover from and harmful addictions there is. Treatment for meth addictions should be taken seriously and professional help should be found. The first step to addiction recovery is admitting to yourself you have the problem. The second is doing something about it. If you or a loved one has an addiction to meth, please use our sites as a useful guide to your addiction recovery.

About the Author
More info about the author, Tyler Falls can be found at http://www.addiction-spot.com. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
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Recent News
Just How Dangerous Is OxyContin, Anyway?
10 Tenets of Effective Drug Addiction Treatment
Alcohol: Is There Really A Problem?
Internet Addiction
Meth Addiction Help
Overcoming the Fear of Getting Started
5 Motivation Killers and How To Avoid Them
Facts About Smoking
Drug Addiction Treatment Centers - A Fresh Start
Addiction to Thinking

January 2005  February 2005  March 2005  May 2005 

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