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The Texas Substance Abuse Helpline website is designed to provide interesting and helpful information about the latest research and cutting-edge treatments available for interested readers. Check back often for new blogs.

 

Smokers’ population shrinking, but tobacco pushing psychiatric disorders up

Smokers’ population shrinking, but tobacco pushing psychiatric disorders up

Smoking kills, literally. It’s a slow poison that takes a toll on the health of any individual who indulges in smoking. According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2015, prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 16.8 percent, or 40 million, American adults were cigarette smokers in 2014. Of these, 76.8 percent, or 30.7 million, smoked every day, while 23.2 percent, or 9.3 million, smoked occasionally. Continue reading

Concurrent disorders: Face it and fight it

Concurrent disorders: Face it and fight it

To free yourself from the tentacles of concurrent disorders, it is important that you first accept the reality that you are suffering from this problem because it is only you who can decide whether you want to live with it or get rid of it. A report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that 53 percent of drug abusers and 37 percent of alcohol abusers struggle from at least one serious mental illness. Continue reading

What are the symptoms of meth withdrawal?

What are the symptoms of meth withdrawal?

Chronic use of methamphetamine can make an addict become chemically dependent on the drug, which will cause unpleasant side effects when the addict quits using it. All addiction treatment programs begin with detoxification, so experiencing withdrawal is a necessary part of the recovery process. Symptoms of withdrawal are at their most intense in the first 24 hours of the last use, but they usually fade over the next two or three weeks. During that time, meth addicts must resist powerful cravings to use the drug (About Health, “What to expect from meth withdrawal”). Some of the most common additional symptoms include the following: Continue reading

The dangerous new designer drug “N-Bomb”

The dangerous new designer drug “N-Bomb”

A new synthetic drug called “N-Bomb” is gaining popularity, with fatal results. The synthetic drug is a variation on the NBOMe class of drugs, which were originally designed to map serotonin receptors in the brain for medical research (United National Office on Drugs and Crime). This new strain, however, has been developed and marketed as a “legal” version of LSD.

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Using social media to fight substance abuse

Using social media to fight substance abuse

Social media is among the biggest emerging trends of the 21st century, particularly among teens. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 92 percent of American teens use the Internet and 71 percent of those use multiple social media platforms. More and more interaction between teens occurs online, giving researchers another way to access the adolescent mind. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has recently announced that it will be examining social media to find ways of better understanding and treating addiction.

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A roadblock to peace: How drugs impact international relations

A roadblock to peace: How drugs impact international relations

With more than $500 billion changing hands every year, illicit drugs rival oil as one of the world’s most valuable commodities (Global Politics Network). This vast amount of money funneling into criminal enterprises puts nations at risk and wreaks havoc on political relationships. While illegal drugs may seem like a private issue among addicts and their health, in reality the drug trade threatens global peace itself.

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A roadblock to peace: How drugs impact the nation

A roadblock to peace: How drugs impact the nation

Ever since the start of the War on Drugs, the American people have grown more aware of the national drug crisis. From the cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, the heroin surge of the 1990s to the recent introduction of designer drugs, the United States has seen its drug landscape change dramatically, but the one constant that remains is the fact that drugs harm the nation. As the government continues to act and react to the current drug problems afflicting its citizens, it’s important to understand what is at stake.

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A roadblock to peace: How drugs impact communities and businesses

A roadblock to peace: How drugs impact communities and businesses

The residents of a community rely on each other more than they often realize. They attend the same schools, share the same resources, support the same businesses and rely on each other to fulfill their role to keep the community functioning. When addiction touches individuals and prevents them from fulfilling their roles, it can have surprisingly heavy consequences for the community as a whole. Continue reading

A roadblock to peace: How drugs impact families

A roadblock to peace: How drugs impact families

Addiction can do terrible damage to the life of a substance abuser, but those effects tend to ripple out and impact the lives of the abuser’s family as well. The disruptive influence of drugs in domestic life can tear apart family bonds and lead to lasting emotional and behavioral problems. Even when addicts go into treatment, it’s important to understand that their families have their own needs that must be addressed. Each member of a family is just as much a victim of addiction as addicts themselves. Continue reading

Get the facts about salvia

Get the facts about salvia

Salvia divinorum is an herb native to Southern Mexico that produces mind-altering effects when smoked or consumed. The drug has a complicated legal status in the United States because there is no federal law prohibiting its use. Although some states list the drug as a controlled substance, many states do not regulate its use or distribution. This has caused many people to consider salvia to be a “safe” drug. In reality, salvia use can cause a number of physical and mental problems. Continue reading