Drugged Drivers more Dangerous

Drugged Drivers Three Times More Likely to Be Involved in Fatal Crash

Smashed car

Drivers who test positive for drugs are three times more likely than those who test negative to be involved in a deadly car accident, a new study finds.

Using drugs and alcohol together dramatically increases the risk of a fatal crash, according to researchers at Columbia University. People who test positive for both alcohol and drugs have a 23-fold increased risk, Health Day reports.

The study analyzed the results of roadside surveys of drug and alcohol use by drivers. The researchers found almost 32 percent of drivers involved in fatal accidents, and about 14 percent of drivers not involved in such accidents, tested positive for at least one drug. Depressants were most likely to be associated with deadly accidents, followed by stimulants, narcotics and marijuana, the article notes.

About 9 percent of drivers overall, and 57 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes, had elevated blood alcohol levels. Twenty percent of drivers involved in deadly accidents tested positive for alcohol and one or more drugs, compared with 2 percent of drivers overall.

The findings are published in Accident Analysis and Prevention.

“While alcohol-impaired driving remains the greatest threat to traffic safety, these findings about drugged driving are particularly salient in light of the increases in the availability of prescription stimulants and opioids over the past decade,” lead researcher Dr. Guohua Li said in a news release.

http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/alcohol/drugged-drivers-three-times-more-likely-to-be-involved-in-fatal-crash

Drug Addiction Treatment

Principles of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)

Principles of Effective Treatment

1. Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.  Drugs of abuse alter the brain’s structure and function, resulting in changes that persist long after drug use has ceased. This may explain why drug abusers are at risk for relapse even after long periods of abstinence and despite the potentially devastating consequences.

2. No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.  Treatment varies depending on the type of drug and the characteristics of the patients. Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society.

3. Treatment needs to be readily available.  Because drug-addicted individuals may be uncertain about entering treatment, taking advantage of available services the moment people are ready for treatment is critical. Potential patients can be lost if treatment is not immediately available or readily accessible. As with other chronic diseases, the earlier treatment is offered in the disease process, the greater the likelihood of positive outcomes.

4. Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.  To be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems. It is also important that treatment be appropriate to the individual’s age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.

5. Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.  The appropriate duration for an individual depends on the type and degree of the patient’s problems and needs. Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment. Recovery from drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment. As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug abuse can occur and should signal a need for treatment to be reinstated or adjusted. Because individuals often leave treatment prematurely, programs should include strategies to engage and keep patients in treatment.

6. Behavioral therapies—including individual, family, or group counseling—are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.   Behavioral therapies vary in their focus and may involve addressing a patient’s motivation to change, providing incentives for abstinence, building skills to resist drug use, replacing drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding activities, improving problem-solving skills, and facilitating better interpersonal relationships. Also, participation in group therapy and other peer support programs during and following treatment can help maintain abstinence.

7. Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.  For example, methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone (including a new long-acting formulation) are effective in helping individuals addicted to heroin or other opioids stabilize their lives and reduce their illicit drug use. Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are medications approved for treating alcohol dependence. For persons addicted to nicotine, a nicotine replacement product (available as patches, gum, lozenges, or nasal spray) or an oral medication (such as bupropion or varenicline) can be an effective component of treatment when part of a comprehensive behavioral treatment program.

8. An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.  A patient may require varying combinations of services and treatment components during the course of treatment and recovery. In addition to counseling or psychotherapy, a patient may require medication, medical services, family therapy, parenting instruction, vocational rehabilitation, and/or social and legal services. For many patients, a continuing care approach provides the best results, with the treatment intensity varying according to a person’s changing needs.

9. Many drug-addicted individuals also have other mental disorders.  Because drug abuse and addiction—both of which are mental disorders—often co-occur with other mental illnesses, patients presenting with one condition should be assessed for the other(s). And when these problems co-occur, treatment should address both (or all), including the use of medications as appropriate.

10. Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug abuse.  Although medically assisted detoxification can safely manage the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal and can, for some, pave the way for effective long-term addiction treatment, detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicted individuals achieve long-term abstinence. Thus, patients should be encouraged to continue drug treatment following detoxification. Motivational enhancement and incentive strategies, begun at initial patient intake, can improve treatment engagement.

11. Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.  Sanctions or enticements from family, employment settings, and/or the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.

12. Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously, as lapses during treatment do occur.  Knowing their drug use is being monitored can be a powerful incentive for patients and can help them withstand urges to use drugs. Monitoring also provides an early indication of a return to drug use, signaling a possible need to adjust an individual’s treatment plan to better meet his or her needs.

13. Treatment programs should test patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as provide targeted risk-reduction counseling, linking patients to treatment if necessary.   Typically, drug abuse treatment addresses some of the drug-related behaviors that put people at risk of infectious diseases. Targeted counseling focused on reducing infectious disease risk can help patients further reduce or avoid substance-related and other high-risk behaviors. Counseling can also help those who are already infected to manage their illness. Moreover, engaging in substance abuse treatment can facilitate adherence to other medical treatments. Substance abuse treatment facilities should provide onsite, rapid HIV testing rather than referrals to offsite testing—research shows that doing so increases the likelihood that patients will be tested and receive their test results. Treatment providers should also inform patients that highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has proven effective in combating HIV, including among drug-abusing populations, and help link them to HIV treatment if they test positive.

More at; http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment

Dangers of Opioid Pain Medications

pills 3 Opioid pain medications include a broad range of drugs, such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone. They are marketed under many different brand names, including Percocet®, OxyContin®, and Tylenol No.1®.

When used as directed, opioid pain medications are effective and the side effects (e.g., drowsiness, nausea, constipation, etc.) are generally manageable. However, abuse of these medications can have serious health effects and may lead to addiction.

Opioid pain medications are generally used to manage moderate to severe pain, which may be acute (e.g., short-term pain following surgery) or chronic (e.g., long-term pain associated with a medical condition, such as different types of cancers). They may also be used to control moderate to severe cough, control diarrhea, and treat addictions to other opioids, including street drugs like heroin.

Potential for Abuse and Addiction

In addition to treating pain, opioid medications can also cause euphoria (a "high"), and this makes them prone to abuse. Patients taking opioid medication for pain may or may not experience a high. However, all opioids have the potential to be addictive. Addiction refers to the compulsive use of a substance, despite its negative consequences. People with a personal or family history of substance abuse, including alcohol, may be at higher risk of addiction to opioid pain medications.

Over the past decade, abuse of and addiction to opioid pain medication has emerged as a public health issue. Abuse of these medicines can cause serious health effects for the user, including a risk of death from an overdose. Drug abuse and addiction to any substance may also cause problems at work or school, and can result in the breakdown of family relationships. In addition, drug abuse can result in financial costs to society for things like healthcare, crime, and lost productivity.

Other subjects in this article include;

  • Side Effects of Opioid Pain Medications
  • Other Safety Concerns
  • Overdose
  • Drug Interaction
  • Physical Dependence / Withdrawal
  • Minimizing Your Risk
  • Health Canada’s Role

Need More Info?

And, visit the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and search for these resources: "Do You Know…Opioids," "Oxycontin: Straight Talk" and "Is it Safe for My Baby – Pain Medications."

Full article at; Health Canada

See also; Narcotics Anonymous

Poll; Is recovery from alcoholism / addiction sexy?

What is your experience with people in recovery from alcoholism, addiction, codependency, and ACOA.

Were they sexy when practicing their dysfunctional behaviour?

Have they become more attractive since being in recovery?

Cast your vote in this poll.

Is recovery from alcoholism / addiction sexy?

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ANOTHER SOBER ALCOHOLIC: SOME THOUGHTS ON GRATITUDE

ANOTHER SOBER ALCOHOLIC: SOME THOUGHTS ON GRATITUDE.

Many of us Peeps (“We the Peeps”!) from time to time write our gratitude lists in the posts.  It is GooooD for me to read these, and to be reminded how important it is–to know and recognize that God is the constant Giver, and I, the undeserving receiver.  I am SO grateful for SO many things which I take SO for granted.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C in alcoholism, addiction The highest rates of hepatitis C are in addicts and alcoholics.

Hepatitis C is a chronic liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Because many people do not have symptoms when they are infected, it is important for those at risk to take action to avoid infecting others.

Background

Although HCV has existed for a long time, it was only identified in 1989. HCV causes inflammation of the liver, which can progress to cirrhosis (extensive scarring that can affect the normal function of the liver).

Some people recover from their infection, but 75-85% progress to the chronic (carrier) state. People with chronic hepatitis C may not have symptoms for decades. Approximately 35% of those who have chronic hepatitis C, do not know that they are infected.

Other topics in this article are;

  • Health Risks of Hepatitis C
  • The Health Effects of Hepatitis C
  • Minimizing Your Risk

Full story at; Health Canada

See also;

Awareness, Acceptance, Action

Roberts Coogee beach Awareness, Acceptance, Action

Dear God,

Slow me down when all I do is try to fix and control things and people.

Help me to first accept situations, as they are when I become aware of them.

    • Slow me down in your stillness.
    • Mark my awareness with unselfishness,
    • my acceptance with humility, and
    • my actions with usefulness to me and others.

You are reading from the book: The 12 Step Prayer Book Volume 2 by Bill P. and Lisa D.

See also;

The 12 Step Prayer Book: A Collection of Favorite 12 Step Prayers and Inspirational Readings
by Bill P., Lisa D.

Read more about this title…