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Latest Blogs About Drug Use & Drug Addiction: Recovery Connection

Questioning Your Behavior: Am I an Addict?

ashleyM“What’s your drug of choice?”

“More.”

“So what if I’ve had a few nights of heavy drinking, so what if I recreationally use some drugs with my friends on the weekends, that doesn’t mean I’m an alcoholic or an addict, right?” There is a distinct difference between a heavy drinker or recreational drug user and an alcoholic or an addict. The difference is a thinking pattern that only those with alcoholism or addiction have. This thinking pattern cannot be hidden or mistaken, it’s as clear as the triple-distilled vodka that we bought three bottles of at a time, just to make sure we didn’t run out. If you remember taking that first sip of alcohol or that first hit of whatever drug and immediately began panicking about running out, that’s the thinking pattern.

Even when the alcohol or drugs are taken away, the thinking pattern still remains, that’s why we have treatment to work on the underlying brain patterns that enslave people into alcoholism and addiction. If you’ve ever found yourself buying five pairs of the same shoes, that’s the thinking pattern. Or if you’ve found yourself eating so many of something delicious that you feel sick afterwards, that’s the thinking pattern. Or maybe you’ve watched the same movie over and over that you now have all of the words memorized. People with alcoholism and addiction are people that live in excess. Now, not everyone that has done these things is definitively a person with alcoholism or addiction. If you are one, you know that it shows up in every aspect of your life. The common thought of people of our nature is: if one is good, more must be better. Below is a quiz provided by The AA Grapevine in order to help people determine whether they have a problem with alcohol or drugs, if you do answer yes to more of these than you’d like to, contact us today at 800-993-3869 so that we can help you find the best treatment available.

 

  1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking/using for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
  1. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking/using– stop telling you what to do?
  1. Have you ever switched from one kind of drink/drug to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk/building a tolerance?
  1. Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
    (Do you need a drink/drug to get started, or to stop shaking? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not drinking or using “socially.”)
  1. Do you envy people who can drink/use without getting into trouble?
    (At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people, who really can take it or leave it.)
  1. Have you had problems connected with drinking/using during the past year?
  1. Has your drinking/using caused trouble at home?
    Most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us drink/use. We could not see that our drinking/using just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere or anytime.
  1. Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks/drugs at a party because you do not get enough?
    (Most of us used to have a “few” before we started out if we thought it was going to be that kind of party. And if drinks/drugs were not readily available, we would go someplace else to get more.)
  1. Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking/using any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk/high when you don’t mean to?
  1. Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking/using?
  1. Do you have “blackouts”?
  1. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink/use?

 

(The A.A. Grapevine, Inc. with some adjustments to include those with drug addiction)

 


About Ashley

Ashley Madden is the aftercare coordinator at Lakeview Health. She has over two years’ experience working in inpatient settings with both mental health and chemical dependency. She currently is in the process of obtaining her master’s degree from the University of North Florida in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is a person in long-term recovery with a sobriety date of January 13, 2012. Ashley passionately works with the patients at Lakeview Health to ensure that they have a seamless transition from treatment into real life recovery.

Higher Education: MDMA & Molly Abuse on College Campuses

Woman taking pill

Woman taking a pill

Unfortunately, on college campuses across the country, we hear far too often about students overdosing on drugs. Recently, on the campus of Wesleyan University, 11 students were hospitalized after taking the drug Molly. We wanted to get an expert opinion concerning the reappearance of stimulants like Molly and MDMA and find out what kind of preventative measures can be taken that might be overlooked.

John D. Clapp, Ph.D., and the Director of The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery at Ohio State University, lent us some insight into possible cause for concern with college students and what we can do to prevent future incidences like the one at Wesleyan.

In light of the recent Wesleyan University “Molly” Overdose, do you feel there’s cause for concern with our college age young adults in the use of illicit drugs like Molly on college campuses?

The use of illicit drugs among college students has long been a concern for college administrators and AOD professionals.  Although less prevalent than alcohol misuse, the recent tragic event at Wesleyan University reminds us of the potential for very serious consequences associated with certain types of drugs.  In recent years the illicit use of stimulants and opioids has become a concern on college campuses.  These drugs are often prescriptions that are being misused but drugs like ecstasy have long been used.  Street drugs like Molly add a new level of potential danger as their origin is unknown. Multiple overdoses are fairly rare but these “bad batch” incidents do happen are always a possibility with designer street drugs.

Why do you think there is this resurgence of stimulants like MDMA?

While alcohol and marijuana use rates are fairly stable—there are some changes in use patterns for these substances—drugs like MDMA fluctuate in popularity and use.  Multiple factors influence this including the availability of the drugs, price, and received risk.  When a drug becomes easy to get, is inexpensive, and is viewed as being fun and safe by students, use rates can go up.  If you look the data over the past decade or so MDMA use has gone up and down but has never exceeded 13% of students using it in the past year.  That number is still alarming given the potential risk.

What prevention measures do you see are necessary to help young adults understand the high risk consequences of this drug use?

Preventing incidents like the one we are talking about is very difficult.  Campus professionals need to be in tune with the various drugs students use and the associated risks.  Programs that challenge misperceptions of how safe drugs like Molly are, along with screening and early intervention for heavy users are probably a good first step at the campus level.  Of course, law enforcement is also another needed environmental approach to reduce supplies of such drugs.

We can’t go to every single college campus and physically prevent students from taking drugs, but we can try to better educate them on the dangers of these substances and the potential harm they can cause. All it takes is one bad batch and one time of saying, “what’s the worst that can happen?” for your life to be over. It’s never worth it.

Source: John D. Clapp, Ph.D., Director, The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery

Layperson Access to Naloxone in The Sunshine State: Giving Life. Inspiring Hope.

Kelly Corredor

Kelly Corredor

Drug overdose deaths are now the leading cause of injury death nationwide.[1] Opioid overdose can occur, accidentally, from medical use of prescription opioid pain relievers, non-medical use of prescription opioids, and heroin use. In 2013, approximately 16,000 people in the United States died from overdoses involving prescription opioids.[2] That same year over 1,900 Floridians died with at least one prescription drug listed as a cause of death, and the majority involved opioids.[3] In addition, heroin deaths in Florida increased by nearly 80% from 2012 to 2013.[4]

In response to our national opioid overdose problem, various national organizations (including the American Medical Association[5], the American Society of Addiction Medicine[6] and the American Association of Poison Control Centers[7]) as well as federal government agencies (including the Office of National Drug Control Policy[8] and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration[9]), have adopted policy positions supporting greater access to naloxone. In addition, just last month, the Florida Medical Association signed a letter addressed to the National Governors Association, urging an increased focus on overdose prevention, including enhancement of access to, and utilization of, naloxone.[10] Also, last month, the Florida Board of Medicine issued a final order authorizing a Florida physician to prescribe naloxone to his patients at risk for administration by third parties to those patients.[11]

Naloxone is the standard treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose. Naloxone is a prescription medication that was approved by the FDA in 1971. It is not a controlled substance and has no potential for abuse. The medication is virtually inert to patients without opioids in their systems. However, it temporarily blocks the effects of opioids in the event of an opioid overdose. Traditionally, it has been used in hospitals and by emergency medical services (EMS), but it can also be administered effectively by laypersons with some basic instructions. These basic instructions involve recognizing opioid overdose, calling 911, administering naloxone, performing rescue breathing, putting overdose victims on their sides in the rescue position, and caring for an overdose victim until EMS arrival.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since the first naloxone program began distributing naloxone to laypersons in 1996, over 50,000 individuals have been trained in naloxone use, primarily drug users and their friends and family, with over 10,000 overdose reversals reported between 1996 and 2010.[12] In a recent study of the Massachusetts naloxone distribution program, communities with high implementation of overdose education and naloxone distribution had a nearly 50% lower opioid overdose mortality rate compared to communities that did not implement overdose education and naloxone distribution, over the course of the same time period and accounting for community differences.[13] As of December 15, 2014, 27 states and the District of Columbia have amended laws to facilitate the prescribing and dispensing of naloxone and layperson administration.[14]

However, naloxone is not often available when needed in Florida due to legal barriers to access. So what can we do in the Sunshine State to remove those barriers? By making some simple changes to Florida law, the answer is – a lot. During Florida’s 2015 legislative session, the Sunshine State has the opportunity to join this movement to save lives. Sen. Greg Evers (R-Pensacola) and Rep. Julio Gonzalez (R-Venice) have introduced Senate Bill 758/House Bill 751, Florida Opioid Overdose Prevention Act/Emergency Treatment & Recovery Act, bills which would expand access to naloxone in Florida.

As President & CEO of The Skeeterhawk Experiment, a nonprofit based in Northeast Florida, dedicated to reducing prescription drug misuse and related harms, our group is proud to be a member of “A Mother’s Act”, a growing, grassroots coalition of healthcare professionals, treatment providers, law enforcement, advocates, educators, family members, and friends, joining forces, to support increased access to naloxone in Florida.

A Mother’s Act calls on all Floridians to work together to increase opportunities for opioid overdose prevention education and access to naloxone by advocating for the following key principles:

  • Third party prescription authorization for first responders (such as law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians), family members, friends and others who may be in a position to assist someone at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose;
  • Access to all generic and proprietary naloxone delivery methods;
  • Increased opportunities for opioid overdose prevention education via community organizations and substance abuse treatment centers; and
  • Meaningful prescriber, pharmacist, and layperson administrator liability protections.

Naloxone, alone, is not the solution to our state’s opioid overdose problem, but it is an important tool which we are failing to utilize – for each time it’s prescribed, dispensed, or administered, we are presented with a critical opportunity to provide education, intervention, treatment, and the possibility of long-term recovery.

To add your name to “A Mother’s Act” Support Letter, email the following info to amothersact@gmail.com: [Name][Title/Organization][City, State][If applicable, relationship to family member who passed away in connection with an opioid addiction].

You can also visit “A Mother’s Act” website to learn more: http://www.amomsact.org/

Help us give life, so that, together, we may inspire hope. Join us.


 

About the author: Kelly Corredor is the President & CEO of The Skeeterhawk Experiment, a 501(c)(3) organization based in the Jacksonville, FL area, dedicated to reducing prescription drug misuse and related harms through the testing of innovative prevention, treatment and overdose rescue strategies. Prior to co-founding The Skeeterhawk Experiment, Ms. Corredor was an attorney in the global real estate department of a leading international law firm. Ms. Corredor is now a stay-at-home mom while she works on addressing her community’s problem with prescription drug overdoses.

[1]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2014) Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html.

[2] CDC. Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/overdose/facts.html. Accessed on December 4, 2014.

[3] FLDE. Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Medical Examiners, 2013 Annual Report.

[4] Id.

[5] American Medical Association. AMA adopts new policies at annual meeting. 2012. Accessed October 17, 2014. Available at: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2012-06-19-ama-adopts-new-policies.page.

[6] American Society of Addiction Medicine. “Public Policy Statement on the Use of Naloxone for the Prevention of Drug Overdose Deaths. Accessed November 5, 2014. Available at: http://www.asam.org/advocacy/find-a-policy-statement/view-policy-statement/public-policy-statements/2014/08/28/use-of-naloxone-for-the-prevention-of-drug-overdose-deaths

[7] American Association of Poison Control Centers. American Association of Poison Control Centers Publishes Joint Position Statement on Expanding Access to Naloxone. Accessed November 5, 2014. Available at: http://www.aapcc.org/press/33/.

[8] ONDCP – Office of Public Affairs. Fact Sheet: Preventing, Treating and Surviving Overdose, August 28, 2013. Accessed on November 9, 2014. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ondcp/prevention/overdose_fact_sheet.pdf

[9] SAMHSA. Opioid Overdose Toolkit. Accessed November 5, 2014. Available at: http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Opioid-Overdose-Prevention-Toolkit-Updated-2014/SMA14-4742

[10]http://static1.squarespace.com/static/54df9e41e4b0060372877a19/t/54ee8f1be4b0186d6a4eb9b9/1424920347427/AMA+Harm+Reduction+and+NSC+urge+NGA+to+focus+on+treatment+Feb+2015+sign+on+with+sigs+FINAL+%281%29.pdf. Accessed on February 25, 2015.

[11]http://static1.squarespace.com/static/54df9e41e4b0060372877a19/t/54e3f175e4b056b9f06711de/1424224629521/CLF-1501-45450+%28DOH+15-0182+DS%29-1.PDF. Accessed on February 25, 2015.

[12] CDC. Community-Based Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Providing Naloxone – United States, 2010.. MMWR 2012; 61:101-105.

[13] Walley Alexander Y, Xuan Ziming, Hackman H Holly, Quinn Emily, Doe-Simkins Maya, Sorensen-Alawad Amy et al. Opioid overdose rates and implementation of overdose education and nasal naloxone distribution in Massachusetts: interrupted time series analysis BMJ 2013;346:f174.

[14] The Network for Public Health Law. Legal Interventions to Reduce Overdose Mortality: Naloxone Access and Overdose Good Samaritan Laws. https://www.networkforphl.org/_asset/qz5pvn/network-naloxone-10-4.pdf. Accessed on February 25, 2015.

What Do Heroin Addicts Look Like?

masks

A new study about heroin addiction showed that the demographics of heroin addicts have changed–not a surprise to people who work in addiction treatment–but still may shock many who may not even know they may be standing on the rim of an erupting heroin volcano.

Since the 1960s, the image of heroin addiction was the worst of the worst among addicts: men in inner cities, often quite young, completely cut off from society. Today, that picture has shifted to the suburbs.

The study by researchers from Washington University showed that in the 1960s, more than 80 percent of heroin addicts were men, while the gender breakdown now is almost even. The drug’s users were more racially mixed 50 years ago, too. Then, about 40 percent of those seeking treatment were white, while today more than 90 percent are white. The path to heroin shifted, too. In the 1960s, 80 percent of users said that heroin was their first opiate. Today, almost as many (75 percent) started with prescription opiates.

There are a few caveats to the study. First, the researchers were talking to people seeking treatment, which may skew the results. Many addicts cannot afford treatment. Second, a study today cannot provide adequate information about older addicts from 50 years ago. Most would be dead even if they had normal lifespans and their addiction may mean their lives were cut short, too.

But the study is a good warning sign for those who need a warning. Many people who remain disconnected from heroin base their impressions on images from their youth. Inner city druggies, as opposed to suburbanites who only drink or, at worst, smoke pot. Suburban parents who may have smoked a little weed know that no one they knew ever did heroin, so they think their teens will think the same way. It’s the drug of last resort for the most destitute. It’s easy for them to say ‘my kid would never try heroin’ or ‘I’ll never try heroin’ because that was a line no decent person crossed. That was going too far.

But economics have changed that picture. People who developed an opiate habit from prescription pills get to a point where $10 of heroin makes more sense than $80 for one oxycodone pill. The stigma of needles disappears when it is all so much cheaper. Everyone needs to recognize that today. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin recognized it in his state, which is a microcosm of so many other places battling heroin. You may not think heroin can touch your life or the lives of anyone you know, but it’s out there and it may be closer than you think.

If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin or opiate addiction, Recovery Connection can help. Contact our intake counselors at (800) 993-3869 to learn about the options open to you.

 

Saving Lives from Opiate Overdose

iStock_000002090601Small

A Lifesaver for Overdoses

The evolution of American drug use has two faces: On one side is the groundswell for the approval of medical marijuana and even recreational marijuana. On the other side, the arrival of heroin abuse and opiate overdoses in the suburbs has increased the demand for lifesaving methods to combat overdoses.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the approval of Evzio, an auto-injector version of naloxone, the drug that can reverse opioid overdoses. Naloxone blocks the opiate drug from binding with opioid receptors and can prevent someone who might stop breathing from overdose. Previously, naloxone has been available in hospitals and to emergency personnel, although not all emergency responders carry it. In a few states, private citizens with a need for it could be trained to use naloxone. Now naloxone in the Evzio pen is available by prescription. It means family members and loved ones can use it quickly if they fear a person has overdosed on opiates. The ability to reverse an overdose before getting to a hospital can mean the difference between life and death.

Some people are concerned that approving a method like Evzio gives addicts a ‘free pass’ to abuse drugs, knowing they can reverse any overdose. Experts insist this is not the case. Many overdoses come from people not intentionally abusing opiates. They take a prescribed dose of a painkiller, but mix it with something like alcohol or a benzodiazepine, which makes the opiate stronger.

The greatest danger for opiate overdose occurs among people in recovery who relapse. If someone returns to using drugs, they go back to the doses they used before, which was probably an elevated dose. After a period of abstinence, their bodies are no longer habituated to the drug and that old dose is now an overdose. In such situations, Evzio can save lives.

Evzio is not a treatment for addiction, but a tool to help those at the greatest risk for relapse that can keep them alive before help arrives. The dose of naloxone in Evzio is a stop-gap measure and does not last long. You should still seek treatment for the overdose after using Evzio. It’s possible the person could experience overdose again, even without taking more drugs.

For loved ones and family members, a doctor can prescribe Evzio, which they can use on someone struggling with narcotics addiction or are taking opioids for a medical condition.

Keeping Teens off the Marijuana Bandwagon

talk to teens about drugs

Keep the Conversation Going

The conversation about marijuana is not dying out. Medical, recreational, legal or illegal, it is part of the buzz in state legislatures and professional sports. Despite the cries of ‘it’s harmless,’ the medical studies continue to show that the earlier you start smoking marijuana, the worse it is for your brain development. Another new study shows that high school students considered low risk for using drugs—nonsmokers, religious students and those with disapproving friends–said they would use marijuana if it were legal.

The arguments about marijuana addiction continue as well. Numerous studies have shown how regular marijuana use (once a week or more) can change the developing teen brain, causing problems with memory and problem solving. Some changes can be permanent, like the loss of IQ points that did not return even if they stopped smoking. In other words, the teen brain is vulnerable and those years are about the worst to use a drug that can affect brain development.

That may be something baseball player Jon Singleton can attest to. Singleton is a top prospect for the Houston Astros. He served a 50-game suspension last year after he tested positive for marijuana twice in 2012. Even after the second test, when he knew he was likely to get suspended, Singleton kept smoking.

While first calling it a lapse in judgment, Singleton later admitted he’s addicted to marijuana and sought treatment. In an interview with the Associated Press, Singleton said that growing up, about 80 percent of his friends could get marijuana within an hour. It was available and made him feel good. Going to addiction treatment made him realize that he needed to work on the issue for himself. Now clean a year, Singleton is doing well in spring training and hopes to make the big league squad.

So the conversation with teens should start early and continue. It can be difficult, with marijuana legal in some places, medical in others and with each new opinion poll, considered less and less of a problem by more and more people. Regardless, it’s clearly not good for teen brains, that last time when the physical development of the brain can make a huge difference.

If marijuana is a problem, or has led to other drug problems for you or a loved one, Recovery Connection can help. Call us at 800-993-3869 for a recommendation about treatment. We can help.

Not Me: Identifying Addiction

being a smoker

No, I Don’t Smoke

A new survey of smokers, or should I say, people who smoke, has brought out that old issue of admitting there’s a problem. The California study showed that more than 12 percent of Californians who smoke do not identify as smokers. These are people who:

  • Smoked at least once in the past 30 days
  • Smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime
  • Said they smoked at least some days

But are you a smoker? No. Are they addicted to nicotine? Definitely not.

This type of behavior is definitely not limited to smokers. You see it everywhere in life. I remember my father being asked his medical history by a nurse and he answered ‘no’ to the question ‘have you ever had cancer?’ I mentioned that he had had prostate cancer and skin cancer, and he replied that they didn’t count—prostate cancer because he had been treated for it and never had another problem and skin cancer because that wasn’t a ‘real’ cancer. I suppose you can split hairs, but in a medical history, cancer is cancer.

When does it count? When does drinking or using drugs count? No one wants to be part of the statistic. You can listen to statistics about anything in life—unplanned pregnancy, divorce, car accidents—and your response would be ‘that can’t happen to me. I’m different.’ If you are lucky, your first fender bender is enough to make you realize car accidents are called accidents for a reason. They happen, can happen to anyone and no one plans on them. Every other worst case scenario fits that, too.

It’s not what you planned to be, but what you are. Part of being an adult is learning to deal with whoever you turned out to be. You didn’t plan on cancer, but you treat it, you don’t ignore it. No one planned to be an addict or alcoholic. Look at how you are using and drinking and tell the truth to yourself, for once. It’s time to make a change and deal with the situation in drug rehab.

Recovery Connection can help. We can find you safe, comfortable rehab where you can face the situation in your life and get the tools to cope with it. Call our intake counselors any time at 800-993-3869 for help.

Sounding the Alarm on Crystal Meth

Meth Awareness Needed When Impact Is So Deadly

Sounding the Alarm on Meth

Sounding the Alarm on Meth

The calendar is full of awareness weeks and months, with different colored ribbons (pink for breast cancer) and even facial hair getting into the act (Movember mustaches for men’s cancers). Sadly, we’ve had to make room for another cause—we are in the middle of the inaugural Meth Awareness Week, November 30 to December 7.

Meth use may be declining, but it is still deadly.  Despite the notoriety from AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” most meth is made in Mexico and imported.  It is cheaper and may be purer than in previous years.  But the dangers of meth haven’t changed. People can get addicted quickly.

Meth is one drug that sucks in so many innocent bystanders. Children who are endangered by meth labs at home or end up in foster care. Age is no barrier, either. Police recently found an active meth lab inside a Florida condominium normally filled with seniors and seasonal residents.

Taking down meth labs isn’t easy. The state of Maine has had a record number of meth busts in 2013—18 so far, up from 13 in 2012. Each bust requires agents with specialized training, hazmat gear, containers and other equipment to remove the dangerous drugs and the chemicals. They can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 per bust and involve other agencies as well. Not to mention, the drug agency resources devoted to meth are not available to deal with other drugs of abuse.

Don’t think that the drug use is personal or doesn’t harm anyone else. Meth above all other drugs can harm many people along the way.

If you or someone you love is struggling with meth, Recovery Connection can help. We can find drug rehab for meth addiction and get you into treatment right away. Call us 24/7 at 800-993-3869.

Toronto Mayor Admits Smoking Crack

Toronto mayor ford crack

Admitting What Everyone Knows

After months of denials, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted to smoking crack, in the latest chapter of a saga that puts the city’s residents in a place that seems all too familiar to loved ones of people struggling with alcohol or drugs.

In May, staffers from Gawker and the Toronto Star claimed to have seen a video of Ford smoking crack. For months, the mayor denied smoking crack and that any video existed. In October, Toronto police claimed to have the video. Now, in a brief press conference, Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine “probably in one of my drunken stupors.”

The Canadian people and press have a good decade of Ford’s bad behavior behind them. Both the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail have been keeping track of it. There have been repeated incidents of blunt language and poor choices, more disturbingly mixed with boorish behavior blamed on alcohol, bad driving and a 911call about a domestic situation. Just two days before the crack admission, on a radio show co-hosted with his brother, Ford promised to stop getting “hammered” in public and made a vague, general apology for mistakes. A caller later asked his brother to stop enabling Ford.

Ford’s crack admission included some grammatical parsing. He said in May he was asked “do you smoke?” which would not have the same answer as “have you smoked?” That situation may sound familiar to a lot of people. As do the words “Am I an addict? No.”

Denial, bargaining, promises to change have all been heard, along with people taking different sides. What’s support? What is tough love? It may be easier to watch the drama play out far away and with other players. Don’t let it be a part of your life any longer. Nothing will change until you make a move to change it. If you or are loved one are struggling with addiction, call Recovery Connection at 800-993-3869 and see how we can help you get the treatment you need.

Kava and Kratom: Buyer Beware

kava kratom purple lotus bar

No Magic Potion

A couple in Florida is suing a kava bar, claiming that the drinks they bought there got them addicted to kava and kratom. The Purple Lotus Kava Bar in West Palm Beach sells several drinks advertised as ‘kava with a little kick’ or ‘kava with a serious kick.’ Their website, which may not be up to date, doesn’t even mention using kratom. The couple is suing because they were not warned and want to be reimbursed for money spent on treatment to kick this addiction.

Kava and kratom are two substances that fall into a gray area. Both come from plants found in the South Pacific or Southeast Asia, where they have a long history of use. They are not controlled substances in most places, nor do they have legitimate medical uses.

Kava is made from the root of the plant and can be chewed, drunk in tea or taken in pill form. It has been used to reduce anxiety. Kratom comes from the leaves of its plant. At low doses it can be a stimulant, but higher doses have a sedative effect. Reports vary, as does the status of kratom. It is banned in some places, while at the same time is being studied for its potential use to wean people from opioid addiction.

The discussions about substances like kava and kratom range the same way that discussions on marijuana do, and opinions vary, depending on who has tried what. Some say the substances produce a small buzz and are no big deal. They may even reduce dependence on other drugs, like benzodiazepines or opioid painkillers. Others fear that the drugs are the next in line to be drugs of abuse, and the fact that they are legal makes it that much easier. The people suing the kava bar are good examples of that.

The message for kava and kratom may be the same as that for many emerging psychoactive substances (molly, synthetic marijuana, bath salts): You don’t know what you are getting and you don’t know how your body will react.

Are you concerned about addiction to emerging drugs of abuse? Recovery Connection can help. Call us at 800-993-3869 for help finding an addiction treatment center.