Key to avoiding the heartache of seeing someone you love spiral downwards and out of control, is to prevent it before it happens. Wishing will not make it so when it comes to substance abuse prevention. Knowledge is key!
Unbearable as it may seem to take on one more task while your family member or friend is on the edge of destroying their lives and possibly yours, it is simple and almost effortless to get the information you need to prevent any worsening and to help your loved one to get on a path that will avoid the inevitable incarceration. Whether that is in a correctional facility, rehab facility or psychiatric ward, substance abuse is now a financial route for some to cash in on the nightmares that accompany drug and/or alcohol abuse.
First, and foremost, abuse is a relative term for some. Substance abuse prevention may not even be on the forefront of your mind, if you feel that smoking marijuana is okay or that having a drink or two at night is fine. Using heroin, speed, synthetic marijuana, designer drugs, may fit into the category of substance abuse for many, but it is also very important to understand the relativity of what a substance may do to one and yet not to another person.
In the field of Genomics (medical testing of DNA), there has been a breakthrough of sorts, where we find that a test exists that can determine if a person can metabolize a substance. If their body cannot break down the substance and move it through the various bodily systems, the person essentially becomes toxic as the liver cannot process the substance and the result is the “adverse effects” of the substance.
For instance, one person may be able to drink beer, whereas another cannot. A “lush” is only someone who is not able to metabolize the alcohol they have consumed and therefore their behavior is reckless and out of control.
Drugs and alcohol have been around since the dawn of mankind, yet the use of and abuse of both are now considered mental health issues. This marks a new segment in time, because it opens the door for anyone who is not able to handle the pot, the drinks, the drugs, to be diagnosed as mentally ill, placed on mental health drugs (which are considered mind-altering and carry warnings such as hallucinations, mania, psychosis, delusions, suicidal thoughts and homicidal thoughts).
The game has changed and therefore it may benefit all of us to keep up with the factual information that is available on the subject of substance abuse prevention.
In a recently published article, reporter Debra Winters, talks of the drugs that are being used nowadays.
K2, spice, or otherwise known as synthetic marijuana is taking its toll as people are “landing in the hospital”. Cases have been cited, throughout the state of Florida, where people are becoming psychotic as a result of smoking this drug. Psychotic in terms of that they are no longer able to function in life, their thought processes have slowed or halted and the families are left to pick up the pieces or pay the psychiatric bills, or both.
MDMA, Ecstasy or Molly, is a man-made drug that alters the mind (psychoactive) and as a hallucinogen is likely to end the person up in a psychiatric ward as well and has been responsible for deaths around the country.
Cited in Ms. Winter’s article, “The chemical base for Molly is coming from China. The problem with Molly and Ecstasy is the elevation of the body temperature. By the time the kid is taken to the emergency room there is little that can be done to bring it down. Kids are literally frying themselves to death.”
“Bath Salts” (not the kind used in a bathtub), but a stimulant found in the khat plant. This substance produces a “hallucinatory delirium, in addition to psychotic and violent behavior and deaths have been reported.”
Flakka, another designer and synthetic drug, that like “Bath Salts” is made from the khat plant and causes people to hallucinate, become delusional, and act erratically and again, causes death. One news report says, “In 2013 there were a total of 126 reported deaths tied to synthetic cathinone in Florida.” (cathinone, the substance in MDMA, Mollly, Ecstasy and Flakka.
Some of the effects of these drugs are a “melting of the muscle tissue and the release of muscle fibers in the blood stream. This can lead to kidney failure and result in a user needing permanent dialysis.”
Prevention is the key! Understanding how to help the person who is inclined to take street drugs, designer drugs, abuse of alcohol, marijuana, or even the inability to tolerate the latter two.
Medical professionals throughout the country, who are traditional in their approach and aware of the medical causes for depression, anxiety, aggression, and many other of the mental health problems that arise in a person’s real-life and stressful existence, can test for underlying physical causes for why the person is not handling the life’s stresses well, physically.
There is a huge body of documented research into the medical causes for stress and extreme stress and the mental health symptoms that accompany. Finding the medical cause for why the person is unable to handle stress, is a first step into substance abuse prevention and handling of.
Some valuable web resources for this documentation include the following:
Wayne Police, Student Resource Officers Keep tabs on new drug trends, http://www.northjersey.com/news/crime-and-courts/police-student-resource-officers-keep-tabs-on-drug-trends-1.1322331, North Jersey.com
What is flakka? Florida’s dangerous new drug trend, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/flakka-floridas-dangerous-new-drug-trend/, CBS News
Psychiatric pharmacogenomics testing in clinical practice, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181940/