When families struggle for years with a loved one’s substance abuse problem, lives are in danger and the emotional and financial cost can be staggering. This new guide for families can help.
When loved ones become addicted to drugs or alcohol, some families spend years “hoping it will go away.” Other families provide endless financial and emotional support in the hope that this will bring back the person they used to know. Without effective rehabilitation to bring the addiction to an end, this pattern of substance abuse and resulting life problems can go on for a decade or more. To help families end this destructive pattern, Narconon International offers the Family Help Guide, Rescuing a Loved One from Substance Abuse and Addiction.
The way the guide can help is by walking a family through each of the points of understanding and decisions they need to come to a real resolution. What type of drug is being abused? How serious is it? Is it addiction or could drug education resolve matters? How can a rehab center be located? These questions and more are answered as a family works through the steps of this guide.
“Families struggle because they don’t know the signs of substance abuse and can’t identify which drug is being abused,” observed Clark Carr, President of Narconon International. “With this guide, more families will be able to grasp when drug rehab is the right solution. This can definitely save lives.” Mr. Carr referenced a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on what is called treatment lag. “According to SAMHSA, an average of nearly 16 years passes for most people between the time they start abusing an addictive substance and the time they start treatment,” he said. “Families who think they might be dealing with an addiction problem should use our guide to reduce the danger to their loved one.”
Statistics released by The Partnership at Drugfree.org and the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that nearly 104,000 Americans lose their lives each year due to alcohol abuse or drug overdose.
When more families understand how to approach the problem of substance abuse of a loved one, more of these lives can be saved. Download the Family Help Guide or call 1-800-775-8750 today.
President Carr’s plea responds to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey showing that numbers of drug abusers are still on the increase.
The numbers from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Mental Health tell the tale of a fight against drug abuse that is not yet being won. Compare US drug abuse statistics between 1996 and 2011 and you’ll find that the number of people abusing drugs in the US is getting close to doubling. In 1996, there were 13 million current illicit drug users and in 2011, that number had increased to 22.5 million.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also reports that the percentage of Americans who were current drug users grew from 6.1% to 8.7% in the same period.
Also included in this report: In 2011, two out of three people who started using illicit drugs picked marijuana for their first experience. This comes to 2,617,000 people. On average, they were less than 18 years old when they started. Another 22% of those who started abusing drugs picked prescription drugs, most of them choosing painkillers.
“These high numbers of current drug users are consistent with the huge quantities of illicit drugs that cross our borders every day,” stated Clark Carr, president of Narconon International, a worldwide network of drug rehabilitation facilities. “Once the drugs arrive on the street, drug dealers will make sure they find a buyer. Millions more drug users get their start abusing pills that come from a doctor’s prescription. Add this to alcohol abuse and the result is tens of millions of Americans who need drug rehabilitation services.”
Mr. Carr noted some large drug seizures from the past year reported by local news media or government agencies that illustrated his concern:
- In ten days in January 2012, $22 million in marijuana and cocaine were seized as they were brought across the southern border of Texas.
- In Arizona in July 2012, police seized 6,000 pounds of marijuana and 30 pounds of marijuana, along with $2.4 million in cash
- In August 2012, 330 pounds of methamphetamine worth $9 million were seized in Merced, California.
- Two Okolona, Kentucky homes were storage sites for 2,400 pounds of marijuana valued at $2.6 million and $1 million in cash, all seized in November 2012.
- In Houston in November 2012, nine pain management clinics were raided, with dozens of doctors, nurses and pharmacists implicated in a massive plan to illegally dispense drugs.
“These news stories reveal the huge stores of drugs in every corner of our country,” noted Mr. Carr. “Overcoming this assault will take a concerted effort by law enforcement, businesses, organizations and individuals.
Narconon® centers ally themselves with many different groups in the effort to save lives. Out staff visit schools, clubs and churches and appear on television and radio shows with anti-drug messages. Our rehab centers around the world have helped tens of thousands regain their sobriety. We invite anyone who wishes to join the fight to contact us for information on how they can help.”
To contact Narconon International to find out how you can get involved, call 1-800-775-8750 today.
A recent survey at a Narconon rehab center reveals how many opiate addicts are abusing only prescription opiates and how many increase their risk of death by adding a benzodiazepine like Xanax.
A new survey of those admitted to a large drug rehab center in the Narconon network revealed that the majority of those entering the rehab are part of the current epidemic of prescription drug abuse. What is even more frightening is that eight out of ten of these admissions were abusing a potentially deadly combination of opiates plus a type of anti-anxiety medication called benzodiazepines.
Highlights of this survey:
Out of 70 admissions that were selected at random from recent admissions, 71% were abusing prescription both opiates (with or without heroin) and benzodiazepines together.
Only eight people were abusing opiates with no use of benzodiazepines.
Only twelve people were not including opiates in their mix of drugs being abused.
The addition of drugs like Xanax, Librium, Valium or Ativan to an opiate high is said by some to make the high more pronounced. But the National Institutes of Health report that withdrawing from both drugs together makes the experience more severe than the experience of someone withdrawing from either one alone.
Even more significant is the fact that the opiate-benzodiazepine combination creates a serious risk that the drug abuser will stop breathing. Each drug suppresses the body’s breathing reflex and together, the effect is compounded. Add alcohol and the risk is even greater.
“When a person begins down the slippery slope of addiction, his judgment is one of the first things to be impaired,” explained Clark Carr, the president of Narconon International. “When he starts being driven by his cravings, he will stop thinking about the danger to his health or survival. He will take risks that no sober person would take and for almost 15,000 Americans each year, this risk-taking results in death.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) in 2010, more than 12 million Americans abused a prescription drug, meaning that they took more than prescribed, took it in a different way than was prescribed, took a drug meant for someone else or acquired it illicitly and then abused it. The CDC also stated that nearly 15,000 people died in 2010 from the abuse of painkillers. As noted by the Drug Awareness Warning Network, emergency room visits for problems with drug abuse often involve multiple drugs.
“Our survey shows the vital necessity of effective programs to help people recover from addiction to opiates and benzodiazepines before an overdose occurs,” stated Mr. Carr. “At Narconon rehab centers around the world, we successfully help opiate and benzodiazepine addicts leave these drugs behind but education of our youth must be added to keep other people from starting down this path.”
Mr. Carr recommended drug prevention activities for children of all ages. “Our drug educators can scale our drug education classes to any age bracket,” he added. “This is the best way to curb this epidemic as these youth grow into adults.”
For more information on the Narconon Drug Prevention and Education Program contact the international offices of Narconon at 1-800-775-8750.
A steady stream of stories about animal and human tests with new “cocaine vaccines” may have some positive results there’s a real reason why they will never replace rehab.
The buzz about “cocaine vaccines” keeps increasing as media like Time Magazine and US News & World Report report on recent developments. But despite the buzz, multiple trials involving both humans and animals are finding that most people do not benefit from the vaccine, but even for those that do, the vaccine wears off in four to thirteen weeks.1
The vaccine attempts to help cocaine addicts by blunting the ability of the drug to affect the brain its usual manner. There are different vaccines being tested, some using norococaine, a substance resulting from a breakdown of cocaine, bonded to inactive cholera toxin. The vaccines are then injected between one and five times, the number of times varying depending on the exact formula and the procedure being used by the trial.
Can the Vaccine Spur Cocaine Overdoses?
In one trial, men addicted to cocaine were given crack cocaine to smoke after they had received the vaccine. Some of them still tried to get high by using far more cocaine than usual – up to ten times the amount the researchers had ever seen before. As noted in the Time Magazine article, it is possible for this kind of test to result in people overdosing on cocaine in an attempt to get high despite the presence of the vaccine in their bodies.2
This is not the only time that a medication-assisted drug treatment program put the participants at risk of overdose. One study published by the American Journal of Public Health noted that more than half of those in a trial of methadone for heroin addiction treatment still tested positive for heroin.3 Those taking methadone or Suboxone may inadvertently overdose on heroin or prescription opiates if they try to achieve a high over the effects of the prescribed drugs. The prescribing information for Suboxone notes that a person can die of an overdose if they use other opiates, benzodiazepines, sedatives, tranquilizers or even alcohol.4
The Basic Omission
“The most important omission in the plan to create a cocaine vaccine is that it misses the psychological reasons people use drugs,” explained Bobby Wiggins, longtime drug educator and spokesperson for Narconon International. “They began abusing drugs because there was some apparent relief for them. It could be they escaped from problems they didn’t feel they could face or they thought their lives would be more exciting or maybe they were running with a crowd where everyone else was indulging. To fit in, they used the drug too. This motivation doesn’t go away just because a vaccine blunts the effect of the drug for a few weeks.”
The Narconon program offered in fifty locations around the world takes a holistic approach to addiction recovery. The program includes methods of repairing the damage done to body, mind and life by addiction, building the life skills that enable one to stay sober, and reducing the cravings that might drive a person back to use drugs. No drugs are ever used as part of the treatment protocol.
“A person who still feels they need that relief or excitement will just find another way to get it unless they truly recover from addiction,” added Mr. Wiggins. “It takes time, one-on-one work with a recovering addict and an effective pattern of treatment to help a person achieve lasting sobriety. You don’t find that in a needle.”
For more information on the holistic method of recovery at a Narconon facility, call 1-800-775-8750.
Good News for Crack Offender’s Family
As addiction rates and overdose deaths remain high, US government officials request reformulations as a solution but this fails to strike at the heart of the problem.
Once again, an addictive painkiller has been reformulated to try to save people from overdoses. Reformulation creates a pill that is harder to abuse because it cannot be crushed or dissolved. But this action failed to save people from addiction or death the last time it was done and it is just as likely to fail this time.
The drug in question this time is Opana, known generically as oxymorophone. Those abusing to the strong painkiller OxyContin turned to Opana in 2011 after OxyContin was reformulated into a pill that turned gummy when it was crushed. Opana is twice as strong as OxyContin and soon began to kill people, particularly in the Midwest. According to a New York Times article, one county in Indiana saw 14 Opana-related deaths in the first six months of 2011.
OxyContin Went Through its Own Reformulation in 2010
OxyContin, on the market since 1996, was reformulated in 2010 in an attempt to deter people from abusing it. As reported in the New York Times article, this change simply drove many people to abuse other substances like heroin. Heroin is cheaper and often easier to get as it does not involve seeing doctors and falsifying symptoms to get a prescription.
But it soon became clear that heroin wasn’t the only alternative people were choosing. When deaths involving the painkiller Opana began to rise, Endo Pharmaceuticals was asked to reformulate their pill in the same way. Endo announced their new formulation in December 2011.
Reformulations Do Not Get to the Cause of Addiction
But will this new solution reduce the number of people addicted to opiates? According to a spokesperson for Narconon International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse, probably not.
“A person who craves opiate as intensely as they crave food or air will never be deterred by reformulations, they will just switch to a new substance to abuse,” explained Bobby Wiggins, longtime spokesperson for Narconon International. “In fact, they will not be deterred by the threat of arrest or the anger of their families. Addiction is overwhelming. To be overcome, it must be addressed comprehensively, helping a person first to lose the cravings, then to repair the damage done by addiction and finally to learn sober living skills.”
Mr. Wiggins pointed out that many rehabilitation programs keep a person on opiate drugs as part of their treatment. “When a person is prescribed methadone or buprenorphine, an ingredient in Suboxone, it is referred to as medication-assisted treatment but in fact it keeps a person addicted to an opiate-type drug, sometimes for years. At Narconon drug rehab centers, we have developed a way that an opiate addict can be tolerably withdrawn from the drug and recover a bright, drug-free outlook on life once again.”
The Narconon program utilizes a sauna-based drug detoxification program to flush out old, stored drug toxins that can contribute to cravings for drugs, resulting in fewer or even no cravings when it is done. This is followed by life skills training that helps people develop sober living patterns to maintain their recovery after they go home.
“Helping a person overcome cravings and recover their interest in their futures eliminates the need for substance abuse,” concluded Mr. Wiggins. “With this kind of help, they can stay sober. Just changing the formula for a pill is not likely to even make a dent in the problem.”
For Narconon drug help, contact Narconon International at 1-800-775-8750.
The Narconon Drug Education approach has for decades enabled teens to stand up to peer pressure when faced with offers to take drugs. Never has the challenge been greater than today. In addition to teen parties, mini (2000)and mega raves (200,000) often lasting more than 8 hours and even multiple days act like magnets that attract the 18 year-old and older set into packed venues and easy access to drugs.
Lehigh University, a four year private college in Pennsylvania was the subject of headlines on Dec. 5, 2011. “At least 44 (later corrected to 35) from Lehigh U. rave party taken to hospitals for drugs and alcohol – Incident is being called ‘mass casualty’ event that burdened emergency responders. The event was the rave Dayglow.
The event venue was Phillip Rauch Field House, which bears signage: “Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any Lehigh athletic facility.” Yet all ambulance incidents were reported as alcohol and substance abuse related by campus police.
Rave promoters generally seek to play down in the media that illegal drugs are part of the rave scene, but the premise is preposterous, if only because human stamina requires drugs to keep up the 128 beats per minute pulse of typical house music. Parents of 18 year olds may hope the draw is just the music, but evidence is clearly otherwise. Today’s public rave concerts are big business. Like any business they do what is required to protect their market share and adhere to their successful formulas – including an unspoken invitation to get very, very high.
“Law enforcement officers can do little to curtail drug abuse that takes place at raves. Promoters set minimum age for their events at 18 hoping to escape fault, but the ambulances roll and in the wake of events lives can be ruined and sometimes lost,” says Bobby Wiggins, senior Drug Prevention Specialist at Narconon International. “Promoters generally shrug off responsibility, apologize or offer condolences as required of them when incidents occur.”
There is a further factor of risk beyond emergency room incidents that Narconon® has addressed for decades – serious addiction. Studies show that the tendency for teens to use drugs is laid in years before they enter their first rave. As stated in the white paper, Non-Medical Marijuana III: Rite of Passage or Russian Roulette? (first issued in 1999) by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, these are facts:
- Most illicit drug users begin their illicit drug use with marijuana; their use of this drug usually is preceded by the use of alcohol and nicotine.
- Research indicates that the earlier drug use is initiated, the higher the risk for abuse and dependence. In 2006, for adults 21 and older who first tried marijuana at age 14 or younger, 10.4 percent were classified with illicit drug abuse or dependence compared to 2.0 percent of adults who had first used marijuana at age 18 or older.
Wiggins says that Narconon Drug Prevention services are available to youth throughout their school experience, but there is a crucial time. “You want to focus your most diligent drug education at or before kids are considering experimenting with drugs. We understand the mindset that it is important to a pre-teen to be accepted by peers, which means peer pressure has to lean heavily against drugs for that child to be safe. The Narconon approach accomplishes that by giving very real and very accurate information that can actually turn most children totally off to drugs. It really can be done.”
In an effort to reach students on the brink of their partying years, Friends of Narconon, a sister organization of Narconon International raised funds to produce Xstasy the Real Story Parts 1 and 2. “We wanted to present information about ecstasy (MDMA) in particular because of its direct association with the rave scene, and we wanted young people to be able to relate to the actual situations they could be facing,” says Wiggins. “Hundreds of 1000s of kids have seen the film and they really get the picture. I feel confident we have prevented a lot of ruined lives, but much more needs to be done.”
Narconon Drug Education presenters are a ready resource to parents who are concerned about whether their sons or daughters are prepared for the tough choices that lie ahead of them. Contact Narconon International to be put in touch with the most immediate resource to your area schools.
This New Years, Narconon asks: What If Entire Communities Resolved to Help the Addicts in their Midst Seek Sobriety?
Reaching Out to Communities to Curtail the Destruction of Out of Control Addiction Tops Narconon’s List of New Year’s Resolutions
It is that time of year when we take stock of our individual lives and seek to lay down plans to steer us back to pursuing our dreams. We acknowledge our successes and we assess the damage caused by 12 months of hammer and pound undergone while trying to achieve our dreams. Along the way, some individuals have succumbed to addiction and now face a dismal future, which takes a toll on loved ones as well. It is certain that there are hurting families hoping desperately for a solution in the new year. The Narconon network stands ready to assist them. In the last few years, the Narconon First Step Program has come to the fore and is producing far reaching effects. What is it?
“The Narconon First Step program empowers an entire community proactively reach out to the addicted. Anyone, friends, work associates, possibly even total strangers can help someone end a life of addiction,” says Mr. Clark Carr, President of Narconon International. “We know these tools can be administered anywhere, because we have successfully used them in the toughest neighborhoods imaginable – including in the Mexican states of Sonora and Michoacan, caught in the crossfire of warring drug cartels.”
The First Step program addresses the toughest aspect of addiction and what most often prevents addicts from breaking free of their habits – the initial agony of withdrawal. The First Step shows a person how to go through withdrawal without experiencing the horrific suffering that every addict knows awaits him or her. And it is accomplished without the administering of any drugs.
Mr. Carr says the effect of the program on the community surrounding an addict is highly therapeutic. “When an individual realizes he can take someone hopelessly strung out on drugs and bring him through withdrawal over a relatively short period of time it is hugely empowering. It is as life changing for the non-addict who helped his friend, brother, sister son, daughter or parent to kick a hard core habit as it is for the addict himself. For the addict, it is that vital first step on the journey to sobriety.”
The importance of addressing addiction in a community is not in question. There is a direct relationship between drug addiction and crime and violence. The International Narcotics Control Board, the independent and quasi-judicial control organ monitoring the implementation of the United Nations drug control conventions, in 2003 issued definitive findings on the matter in its report, Drugs, Crime and Violence: The micro level impact:” There is abundant evidence about the relationship between serious delinquency, crime, violent crime and drug abuse and the negative consequences for both individuals and communities.”
Drug-plagued communities face the reality of the UN’s findings every day. Grass roots organizations such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) seek to prevent addiction before it destroys communities through policies and campaigns implemented and carried out at the community level. But there is something else that can be done says Mr. Carr. “It is a powerful strategy to actually reclaim the victims of addiction. In Mexico thousands of men, women and even children are being salvaged from drugs without painful withdrawal through the Natrconon First Step workshops being delivered to existing twelve step rehab centers (Alcoholics Anonymous). As a result word spread very quickly. The effect on their communities was profound.”
The First Step program is designed for implementation at the community level. It does not require more than a few caring people to implement it. It is capable of assisting far greater numbers than what one hospital or one rehab can handle. It is designed to be easily put into practice. Narconon drug rehabilitation specialists are trained to assist communities wishing to implement this. “Our resolution for 2012 is that through our network of centers in 40 countries, we will be able to work with hundreds of communities worldwide to help them become safer and less impacted by drugs.”
For more information on how to bring the Narconon First Step Program to your community, contact 323-962-2404 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Narconon International Urges Alertness to the Capacity of Fine Festive Wines to Intoxicate
Going home for the Holidays can be a fun time with family, friends, nostalgia, and gifts. Unfortunately it can be a disaster when people forget that even the finest vintage beverage can turn deadly when mixed with driving.
“It is all too likely that blood alcohol content (BAC) of guests following holiday parties where alcohol has been served will be well above the limit where it is safe to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive home,” says Bobby Wiggins, senior Drug Prevention Specialist at Narconon International.
Quality expensive wines are often relied on to be traditional harbingers of holiday good cheer. The doorbell rings, the host answers and is handed a gaily wrapped bottle of wine. All the guests assembled anticipate the moment it will be uncorked and the first glasses poured. The furthest thing from anyone’s mind is that this could be the advent of a tragedy that plays out only hours later when guests leave for homes near and far.
Driving fatality statistics confirm that people who decide to drive even though their blood alcohol content is over the limit are putting themselves and others at risk on the highway. The Centers for Disease Control reports that every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes.
In Europe, trends are monitored by the European Transport Safety Council. Per a 2010 report, drunk driving remains one of the top three causes of road deaths throughout the 27 countries of the European Union. The council states there is “massive underreporting” in this area and estimates that alcohol related deaths make up to 25% of all road deaths (11.5% per statistics).
We haven’t been hanging out at a bar. We are not staggering or even from our point of view even tipsy. No one is urging us to take a cab for our own safety. We simply enjoyed a fine wine with the sumptuous dinner that was prepared and a few merry toasts poured throughout the evening. However, Wiggins tells us there is a factor that is often overlooked by hosts and guests alike.
“People who drink fine wine do drink it for the buzz as much as any of its other qualities. Experiencing that buzz equates to reduced faculties. It doesn’t matter whether the alcoholic beverage used to get the buzz was a can of beer, distilled liquors mixed or straight , cheap or the fanciest of wines,” says Wiggins.
There is no dispute of this. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Departments of Transportation (DOT), Health and Human Services (HSS), National Consumers League, and the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, to name a few, all strive to end the myth that some alcoholic beverages can get you more drunk than others. The fact is that the quantity of alcohol is the same whether it is found in a glass of white or red wine, a bottle of beer, or a shot of whiskey or other distilled spirits, straight or in a mixed drink. The size of the container varies, but the alcohol content remains about six-tenths of an ounce of pure alcohol in each case. The potential for getting drunk is the same.
Wiggins points out that often we have to suddenly maneuver our own car to avoid a “crazy (out of control)” driver for whatever the cause. We, not the other driver, are able to avoid the eminent crash. We have full control of our vehicle, but with a few glasses of wine in the picture it could end very differently.
Wiggins says, “We urge everyone to be alert to the intoxicating properties of their favorite wines and to take precautions to ensure that impaired drivers stay off our streets and highways. We also know that amongst those who drive under the influence are habitual users, and we sincerely hope that those who suffer from alcohol addiction are able to find a way to restore happiness in their own families this holiday season.” Narconon International with its worldwide network of rehabilitation centers is ready to help if you or anyone you love are alcohol dependent or struggling with dependency on any street or prescription drug.
Narconon® in Part Attributes Its Success to Strategic Implementation of Today’s Established Principles of Addiction Treatment – With One Crucial Difference
Recently, Narconon took stock of its score according to the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Addiction) 13 principles of addiction treatment to see how the program measures up and reports as follows: “Narconon, because it does incorporate most of the scientifically proven fundamentals of addiction treatment through a deep understanding of addiction, is arguably one of the most effective and successful drug treatment programs in the world,” says Bobby Wiggins, senior drug prevention specialist at Narconon International. “There is one crucial point of departure, however. Narconon means “no drugs.” The program is administered – drug free.”
In 1999 NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Addiction, which supports most of the world’s research on drug abuse and addiction presented for the first time what it considered the 13 fundamental principles that characterize effective drug abuse treatment. Since then there have been a series of revisions to take in more recent discoveries – the latest version published in 2009, represents more than three decades of scientific review of addiction treatment methodology.
Wiggins says “One thing remains perfectly clear, whereas Narconon is highly attentive to NIDA’s 13 principles of addiction treatment, combining therapy with any medications has never been found necessary and is strictly avoided.”
How various principles outlined in the NIDA publication, Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-based Guidehave been precisely implemented can be fully comprehended by reviewing a description of the full Narconon Drug Rehabilitation Program.
NIDA outlines the key factors that must be addressed when dealing with addiction, which in part accounts for the dismal failure of programs that score low. Conversely, Narconon Drug Rehabilitation earns a high score with no less than 10 of the 13 principles clearly prominent in its program curriculum and administration.
Whereas many principles are important, such as ensuring that addicts are in treatment long enough (#5), that addicts are monitored to ensure no drug use occurs during treatment (#12), and of course that treatment is readily available at the time the addict needs help (#3), one principle takes precedence in the Narconon model. It is perhaps the most important factor leading to a high percentage of full recoveries without relapse, a signature outcome of the program.
Principle #4 states: Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse. The Narconon program is structured to enable the addict to uncover and effectively remedy all issues that have caused his or her life to spin out of control because of addiction.
As stated in Narconon literature: Unethical behavior and repeated misconduct go part and parcel with an addicted life style. Addicts become trapped in committing transgressions against people in their lives and against society at large. They get into the vicious circle of committing transgressions in an attempt to hide or continue their drug or alcohol use. This then puts them in situations where further transgressions are committed in an attempt to solve the problems that the earlier transgressions have created. As this cycle continues, these individuals begin to individuate from the people in their lives who love and care about them and may become antagonistic toward them. They hurt the people they love most and as a consequence they become ridden with guilt. This in turn makes them so uncomfortable they will use more drugs or drink in an attempt to cover up or medicate away these negative feelings.
“By concentrating on helping the individual to deal with the complications of his life, along with aspects of the program that directly address and reduce the powerful physical cravings for the drug, we get traction with the addict necessary to achieve full recovery and dramatically lower instances of relapse,” says Wiggins.
The NIDA principles are a valuable tool because they are designed to encompass the full scope of effective addiction treatment, not single out any one model as ideal. However, one principle goes beyond guidelines for the treatment facility — #11 states: treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. “This is a principle that we work diligently on,” says Wiggins, “waiting to intervene when a family member is addicted to drugs is truly the biggest mistake anyone can make. It is not easy to place someone in rehab, but failure to do so can be utterly disastrous. The outcome can go beyond any guidelines followed to try to save them.”
A Holiday Message to Families Struggling with Elder Alcoholism and a Reminder that there Is Hope
The holidays are a time when thoughts turn to family – when we gather together hoping to share precious moments and celebrate long-held traditions that bind us and fill us with joy. “At this special time, it is a terrible tragedy when the dignity of those in their elder years is marred by cravings they have no control of,” says Narconon® spokesperson, Bobby Wiggins. “Too many families make a very false assumption that there is nothing they can do for their addicted elder family member, and nothing is further from the truth.”
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Addiction and Alcoholism (NIAAA ) the likelihood of the onset of alcoholism amongst seniors, meaning those over 65, has been increasing in more recent years even as attention seems riveted on adolescent and college-aged binge drinkers.
NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Addiction and Alcoholism) has issued an alcohol alert based on extensive research into the area of elder alcohol abuse. The findings more than suggest on many counts that it is important not to look the other way when a senior family member has an alcohol dependency problem. The very fact that in many cases such persons do not drive and often are no longer employed makes the detection of drinking problems far less likely through usual channels. Further, they often drink at home when alone and only alert family members become aware that the problem exists. So hidden is the problem of alcohol abuse amongst elders, according to the NIAAA study, problems are sometimes mistaken for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease by medical personnel. However, in time, the truth is revealed that the health problems are due to alcohol or in some cases drugs.
Persons age 65 and older constitute the fastest growing segment of the American population. Although the extent of alcoholism among the elderly may be a matter of debate, the study predicts that diagnosis and treatment of alcohol problems are likely to become increasingly important as the elderly population grows.
According to former NIAAA Director Enoch Gordis, M.D., it is a mistaken belief that older persons have little to gain from alcoholism treatment. Dr. Gordis ends the study by stating that each stage of life has “its own rewards for sobriety,” that they are all valuable – including seniors.
“It is too bad when families do not reach out to help an elder loved one who has succumbed to addiction,” says Wiggins. “Through Narconon recovery is possible. It begins with medically supervised withdrawal to ensure maximum safety and is then followed by Narconon’s entirely drug-free program. More good news for our older recovering addicts is that they will always be treated with the utmost dignity throughout their stay at a Narconon facility because of the unique way that the Narconon Rehabilitation Program is structured.” The alternative to failing to reach out to our addicted senior citizens can mean needless health complications that can cut their lives short and also involve costly medical complications according to the NIAAA alert, including these findings:
- The incidence of hip fractures in the elderly increases with alcohol consumption. This increase can be explained by falls while intoxicated combined with a more pronounced decrease in bone density in elderly persons with alcoholism compared with elderly nonalcoholics.
- An elderly driver with alcoholism is more impaired than an elderly driver without alcoholism after consuming an equivalent dose of alcohol and has a greater risk of a crash.
- Alcohol-medication interactions are especially common among the elderly, increasing the risk of negative health effects and potentially influencing the effectiveness of the medications.
- Among persons older than 65, moderate and heavy drinkers are 16 times more likely than nondrinkers to die of suicide.
“No one wants to think about the very real consequences of allowing alcohol dependency to go unaddressed, but unless we do we may not see the actual danger that our elder family members are in. There is that regrettable possibility that we may not get them safely into a rehabilitation situation that will save them,” Wiggins. If this is your situation, there are Narconon specialists who can help and who are standing by.
Contact Narconon at 1-800-775-8750 or send your email to email@example.com.