Impact of Parental Opioid Abuse on Children

Those golden years of childhood of endless talking, hanging out with friends, playing games, eating sumptuous meals cooked at home and a carefree existence are hard to forget. But not many children in the United States today, can enjoy the bounties of life. Their happiness and lives are marred by the addiction-related problems of their parents. And in case, both the parents are addicted, the situation can be worse.

The opioid epidemic has reached epic proportions and children are severely impacted by it. Opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and heroin are some of the widely abused drugs in America. Millions of prescription opioids are prescribed each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults aged 40 or older and women are more likely to use prescription opioids. The widespread misuse of opioids by parents can leave the children traumatized, leading to developmental difficulties, impaired cognitive abilities, behavioral shortcomings and painful memories. Many a times, children end up in foster homes when a parent dies of an overdose or is unfit to take care of the offspring.

Some of the perils of parental opioid abuse are as follows:

Birth complications: Mothers who continue misusing opioids during pregnancy have an increased risk of delivering opioid-dependent babies. The young victims may suffer from low birthweight and respiratory complications. It can lead to a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a group of problems, in the baby. There’s also a high risk of placental abruption, preterm labor and fetal death.

Foster care: Parental drug abuse endangers the overall well-being of children. As the parent is no longer able to take care of the child or dies due to accidental overdose, the kids are placed in foster care. It is a well-known fact that children who live with their parents have better social skills and are prepared to face life stressors. While some children are lucky and find caring adoptive parents, many suffer in the impersonalized foster care setting. Over time, they too can fall prey to drugs or alcohol.

If the child continues to live with the addicted parent, the child’s basic needs of food, love, emotional support and respectable living would remain unmet as a result of which, he or she may exhibit stunted growth.

Increased risk of addiction: Whether it is alcohol, heroin, cocaine or common prescription drugs, children living with an adult abusing drugs are more likely to fall into the same pattern of abuse themselves. They could begin by experimenting with their parents’ pills. Parents and grandparents should be extremely cautious regarding drug storage. Accidental ingestion of prescription drugs by toddlers and adolescents can lead to a case of overdose. Children are immediately attracted to anything that is shiny and colorful, including pills and bottles. It is recommended that adults take care of following points at home to keep children away from opioids:

  • Keeping medications in a cabinet beyond the reach of children
  • Keeping cabinet locked at all times
  • Disposing of unused or expired prescription medications

Road to recoveryChildren are extremely vulnerable to changes at home and in their environment. Since their brains are developing during the growing up years, they may not differentiate between right and wrong. During this period, parents play a critical role by providing love and care as well as unrelenting support. A cordial parent-child relationship can help the child navigate through difficult phases smoothly. Children often look up to parents as role models therefore, it is important for adults to stay away from drugs and live a healthy and happy life with their children.

Meth Rehab Centers – Treatments Offered

Meth is the shortened version for methamphetamines and it is a very highly addictive stimulant that affects a person’s central nervous system. In addition to being called meth it also has other names like chalk, crystal, and ice. It is an odorless white crystalline powder that is bitter tasting and can easily be dissolved in water. When a person is addicted to meth there are many different treatments that the rehab center offers.

Detoxification

This is the first step in getting off meth and once this process is finished the patient can choose to do outpatient or inpatient drug rehab treatment. Although the center can administer the detoxification program most will have it administered at a separate hospital before they are admitted to the center. The process can be very hard on the body as the patient has to abstain from the drug in order to detoxify their body. When abstaining from meth the person goes through two phases of withdrawal. The most intense phase occurs during the first twenty-four hours after the last usage of meth and the second phase is less intense and last two to three weeks longer. How bad the withdrawal symptom will be depends on how dependent the patient is on the meth and how dependent they are. Some of the symptoms can include anxiety, cravings for meth, and cravings for carbohydrates, sleepiness, inactivity, and depression. This is why it is important to have medical supervision during this process.

Outpatient treatment

Once the person is through the detoxification process they may be offered outpatient treatment. This type of rehab treatment is most effective for those whose addiction is in the early stages. This treatment consists of semi-or weekly counseling appointments and drug testing. This counseling can be done in a group setting or in individual settings. Most counseling sessions are a combination of both. After the counseling sessions they return home where they live.

Inpatient treatment

This is the best rehab treatment for those that have a full-blown addiction to meth or any other addiction. This is the most common treatment that offered for meth rehab. They offer the person a temporary home while they go through the program to get off meth and can last between thirty and ninety days. While in this program they will have individual and group counseling sessions along with educational classes. These classes are designed to give the person the tools to help them remain drug free after they leave rehab. It is a very helpful program because it removes the person from their outside life that is usually filled with the temptations and triggers to return to drugs. When in this program most meth rehab centers will require the person to attend daily classroom sessions.

This article is penned by Lora Davis for Summer Sky who are the leading Texas rehab center.

Since 1985, Summer Sky, a Texas drug and alcohol addiction treatment center, has served the physical, spiritual and psychological needs of over 18,000 patients who have struggled with drug and/or alcohol addiction (both male and female adults) and their concerned families, friends and employers.

Cocaine Treatment – What Is Involved

As with any addiction treatment the first and most important step the desire to seek help to beat the addiction and stay off the drug. It can only work if they truly want the treatment and help. When a person seeks cocaine treatment it can be very difficult and the relapse rates can be very high. When you are seeking treatment for your cocaine addiction you need to remember the following:

• Be completely honest with the treatment center about all of your drug use if it is more than cocaine because if you understate your usage it can prevent having a successful treatment and becoming addiction free from drugs.
• Make sure that you tell the physician at the center about any prescription medications, vitamins, supplements, etc that you are currently taking, even over-the-counter medications like allergy medications. Any of these could influence your cocaine treatment.
• Beating your cocaine addiction can be a little easier if you have a support system so take a support person with you when you first go for treatment or check yourself into an inpatient treatment center. Some will even allow you to bring the support person with you to your support group or individual therapy. Having another person’s perspective can be helpful
• If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask

In addition to detoxification, behavioral therapy is one of the most effective approaches to treatment for cocaine addiction. You can find these programs through cocaine rehab centers, community groups, hospitals, and therapy groups. One support group that is commonly used is Narcotics Anonymous, which is a 12-step program. Depending on how strong your addiction is some treatments for cocaine can be done in out-patient drug rehab centers but many seek in-patient rehab centers so they will have professional help during the withdrawal phase.

Another type of therapy that is helpful with cocaine treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy helps to change your way of thinking and behavior around cocaine and other forms of drugs. This therapy can also help to decrease your cravings during the withdrawal from cocaine. During treatment they may also use motivational therapy (MT) to help you create a negative view of cocaine addiction. It also will encourage you to make changes in your behavior.

When a person has a cocaine addiction they may also have underlying mental issues that can be treated as they are being weaned off cocaine. Some of these issues can include anxiety disorders, depressions that could lead to suicide, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and antisocial personality disorder. These can be treated with prescription medications and monitored by the physician. When seeking treatment the physician will screen you for any of these mental issues.

This article is penned by Lora Davis for Qualis Care. Going through drug addiction is difficult for everyone involved, and people of all ages can suffer from this disease. If you are looking for a cocaine rehab in Tennessee or prescription drug rehab centers in Louisiana then Qualis Care is where you can find suitable treatment.

Substance Abuse Addiction – Using Therapy

Many times when a person hears the words “substance abuse” they only think in the terms using drugs, both legal prescriptions and illegal, excessively but it can also include alcohol. It is often seen as an illness or medical condition that will require treatment. Using therapy is one type of treatment that could be effective. Therapy can be either individual or done in a group. During therapy they learn how to identify any destructive behavior that causes then to have this problem. They also learn how to avoid these behaviors. One way to do this is to practice positive behavior using role-playing sessions. They also learn how to use a support system.

Therapy for substance abuse addiction is generally aimed at help you work through denial because many deny that they have a substance abuse problem. They deny that there is nothing wrong with their behavior and that they can stop at anytime on their own using the substance they are addicted too. Unfortunately, this is generally not true and they find they cannot put a stop to using the substance on their own. Because they do not believe that they have a problem they may not even try to stop. With therapy it could help them to see the problem and start taking steps needed to change.

In substance abuse addiction therapy it can also involve learning about the different destructive behaviors and the consequences that result from the behaviors. Therapy may help them recognize their own unacceptable behavior and admit they have a problem. It could also help them see how the behavior is not only damaging to themselves but also what it is doing to others such as family and friends. The therapy’s goal is to help them end their pattern of destructive behavior and replace those patterns with positive ones.

On part of therapy may be role-playing. One example of role-playing is engaging the one with the addiction in exercises while someone else attempts to convince them to use a substance and the one addicted will practice how to refuse their efforts to get them back taking the substance. This is a way for the abuser to practice and build their refusal skills.

A very important part of substance abuse addiction therapy is having a support system. It can be a challenge to battle your substance abuse addiction alone. It also requires commitment to becoming substance abuse free. With support there is someone there to help encourage them to stay on the path to becoming addiction free. Therapy also can include individual therapy in which they will meet with the therapist alone. They also use group therapy that can involve family members or groups of substance abusers that are on the path to being addiction free or already there.

Things That Can Be Done to Kick-Start the Marijuana Detoxification Process

Detoxing is not an easy process and it actually takes time to achieve. While the body can handle detoxification at its own rate and in time, there are things that can be done to help the body eliminate the chemicals left behind after marijuana use to clear the body complexly.

While there are products that can be used for the process, there are still ways that can be applied to aid the body to naturally detox from marijuana use. This makes the process much shorter.

Sometimes you may be required to take a drug test. There are various situations where this is necessary and it may include job interviews and sometimes participating in things such as championships or games. When you have some time before you are needed to take the test, you may have a chance to get negative results.

The things that can be done include:

Eating the correct food types

Some foods aid marijuana detoxification, making it smoother and faster. There are also foods that may slow down the detox. What you should know is THC is fat-soluble. This means that you should stay away from any fatty foods as they will end up absorbing the chemical and this give it new avenues to enter the bloodstream. Instead of such a diet, concentrate on vegetables and fruits. Make sure that food is nutritious and full of antioxidants to ensure that the body works optimally. The fiber helps in the redirection of the chemicals from the body through excrement. Avoid junk food.

Whole grains and legumes should also be included in the diet as they are amazing for detoxing. Foods that are rich in vitamin niacin like potatoes, tuna and avocados are the best. Niacin flushes out toxins and is good at clearing the system. Also, include foods with vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. This includes citrus fruits, tomatoes, leafy greens, bananas, melons and tomatoes among others.

Drink

If you want to detox, then you need lots of water for it to be successful. Water is needed when you are flushing the body. This includes the THC metabolites. If you do not have enough water, the movement is limited which is bad. Drinking a lot of water means that you excrete lots of fluids through sweat and urine.

Exercise

You need to be up and about. Exercise as much as you can. This is because of the concept of elimination of fluids. When you work out, you lose a lot of fluid through sweating. You also feel the urge to consume more water, which is very good for the body. The metabolism increases and therefore you burn the fat tissues that store the THC making the cleanse successful. Avoid working out the night before or on the day when you are required to do the test as the THC may be released from the fatty tissues. You can also go to a sauna where you will sweat more without much effort.

Rest

A lot of detoxification also happens as you sleep. Rest as much as you can to allow the body to function at an optimal level. Get as much sleep as you can and try to relax. When the body is stressed, it will not detox, as it should.

How One Letter Fed the Opiate Epidemic

In light of the Opiate Epidemic sweeping America, many citizens find themselves with questions. One of the most common questions: who is to blame for this? Now, Dr. Hershel Jick is the one finding himself answering to many. In 1980, Dr. Jick wrote a letter during his time with the Boston Collaborative Surveillance Program which has had a massive and fateful impact on how narcotic painkillers are being distributed in America.

The Letter

The letter, which could hardly be described as such, based on the fact that it equaled hardly more than a paragraph, stated that though narcotics were being widely used in hospitals all around the United States, addiction rates were found to be low in those who had no previous history of addiction. Additionally, the study that was conducted looked at patients who were hospitalized and therefore on a regimen of receiving these Opioid painkillers in a strictly regulated manner, overseen by medical staff. The letter was sent to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, where it was eventually published. The letter stated, in full:

Recently, we examined our current files to determine the incident of narcotic addiction in 39,946 hospitalized medical patients who were monitored consecutively. Although there were 11,882 patients who received at least one narcotic preparation, there were only 4 cases of reasonably well documented addiction in patient who had no history of addiction. The addiction was considered major in only one instance. The drugs implicated were meperidine in two patients, and Percodan in one, and hydromorphone in one. We concluded that despite widespread use of narcotic drugs in hospitals, the development of addiction is rare in medical patients with no history of addiction.

Dr. Jick never expected his testimony on a small study conducted with narrow specifications to become one of the most highly cited publications on narcotic painkillers, and yet, that is exactly what happened.

The Aftermath

As time went on, and pharmaceutical companies began to push Painkillers more, this paragraph would start to become cited continuously as a scientific testimony that doctors and patients need not worry about the addictive potential of these Opioid prescriptions. The notoriety of the New England Journal of Medicine was growing around this time due to the fact the it was frequently publishing groundbreaking studies, which is believed to have fueled the fire that led to this brief letter being used to push the pharmaceutical agenda.

While most articles published in the Journal were peer-reviewed and scientifically sound, this article was submitted in a section of the publication known as the “Correspondence” section. What this means is that the article did not receive peer review prior to it being included in that addition of the publication, but because the NEJM was considered a highly credible source for scientists, this short explanation of a simple study became blown far out of proportion. Certainly, the study is credible within the scope in which it was conducted, but when taken out of context, it implies a concept which is far from the truth- that prescription Opiates rarely cause addiction. Unfortunately, it was this cherry picking of facts by manufacturers and pharmaceutical reps that led to the current epidemic.

Righting Wrongs

Considering clear evidence that Opiates are in fact addictive, it became imperative that the doctor take actions to stop the spread of misinformation. “This has been a matter of a lot of angst for me,” Dr. Jick told a publication recently, when asked how he feels about the ramifications of that letter. Dr. Jick has taken every effort to ensure that his letter does not continue to give the impression that Opiates are safe, including an editor’s note added to the original letter which reads:

“For reasons of public health, readers should be aware that this letter has been ‘heavily and uncritically’ cited as evidence that addiction is rare with opioid therapy.”

In addition to the note, the letter is also linked to the most recent studies about the addictive potential of Opiates.

Despite the damage that’s already been done, new studies have been conducted and will continue to be, which will hopefully deter physicians and pharmaceutical companies from prescribing narcotic painkillers without exploring other options first. It is a long road to recovery for America and its Opiate dependent citizens, but progress is being made all the time.

Sedative Addiction and Its Effects

Drug addiction is a rampant disease that is quickly overtaking many people in the world. And while there are many people who have found recovery from their addictions and are able to live healthy, happy lives, there are still many out there who feel stuck in the nightmare of their addiction. Sedatives, such as Barbiturates and Benzodiazepines, while not the most obvious choice for addiction, are nonetheless addictive and can be very dangerous when abused.

What are Sedatives?

The first sign of any chemical sedatives came about in 1864 when Adolf von Bayer developed a substance known as Malonylurea, which was later taken and perfected by French chemist Eduard Grimaux just over ten years later in 1879. This substance later became the base for modern Barbiturates, common sedative and seizure medication used in throughout the 20th century.

Over 2,500 Barbiturates were synthesized, but only 50 were released to the public for medical purposes. It didn’t take long before the first reports of dependence on this medication occurred. Germany started reporting cases of physical dependency in 1912, though it wasn’t until the 1950s when researchers really began to look into the addictive properties of Barbiturates. Even after discovering the potentially harmful effects and addictiveness of Barbiturates, it wasn’t until the 1970s when doctors began to decrease the number of Barbiturates prescriptions.

Today, very few medications with Barbiturates are in use, and are prescribed sparingly for more serious forms of insomnia and epilepsy, as well as being used in general anesthesia. In place of Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines have taken over as a common form of sedative medication, including Valium and Xanax.

Research Shows

Following much of the same grain as Barbiturates, over 2,000 Benzodiazepines were synthesized, with only 15 making it to the public arena for medicinal use in the United States. Benzodiazepines, though the chemical compound that were used to largely replace Barbiturates, have proven to be just as addictive as their predecessor.

Both types of sedatives are known for their ability to reduce one’s inhibitions, decrease anxiety, and counteract the crash one could get after abusing stimulants such as Cocaine or Methamphetamines.

Because of their relaxing properties, Sedatives are most often combined with other drugs, such as Alcohol or stimulants, which carries with it a higher chance of fatal overdoses.

Many sedatives already carry a high-risk factor for overdoses, as they have what the medical community calls a narrow therapeutic index, meaning the rate of the drugs toxic dose is close to the amount used to treat a medical condition. It is because of this, as well as their addictive properties, that doctors are becoming more careful in how and when they prescribe Sedatives to patients.

Yet even with doctors being more careful in prescribing sedatives to their patients, an average of 233,000 adults aged 26 and older abused sedative medication in the United States in 2014, up from the 204,000 people who abused Sedatives in 2010.

The Good News

While abusing sedatives is not a light-hearted matter, the good news is that the medical community is aware of the addictive properties of many of these sedatives and are also becoming more aware of how their prescribing habits may be contributing to people’s addictions. There are also many people who have found their way to recovery, and continue to help others find their path as well.

Whether the drug in question is Alcohol, Cocaine, or Sedatives, addiction is addiction; it does not discriminate, and it doesn’t take the day off. If you or someone you know is in need of help from a drug addiction, don’t be afraid to reach out. There are people who are ready and willing to help you; all you have to do is ask.

Opioid Addiction: New Approach Gives Hope to Patients Awaiting Treatment

Amid the growing opioid crisis in the United States, the capacity of available treatment programs is falling short of demand. As a result, people needing treatment for dependency on heroin or prescription painkillers have to wait for months, sometimes even years, to get appointments with certified doctors or to find slots in rehabilitation programs. While waiting to consult the experts, they are at risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis infections, as well as dying from a drug overdose.

To address the opioid-related risks in people waiting for addiction treatment, Dr. Stacey Sigmon and her colleagues at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine have come up with a new therapeutic approach. They have developed an interim dosing treatment that can help reduce use of illicit opioids and injectable drugs among waitlisted patients.

The intervention suggested by Sigmon would save patients from frequent visits to a doctor or a clinic. The opioid addiction treatment combines buprenorphine, a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and an electronic dispenser that provides a single daily dose on its own. The mechanism involves locks and alarms to ensure medical adherence and prevent tampering. It also has an automated phone-based monitoring system and a random callback visits for pill counts and urine testing. This is a temporary arrangement for waitlisted patients seeking opioid treatment, allowing them to start taking medication immediately while they wait for a community-based comprehensive program.

The 12-week trial focused on establishing the efficacy of the intervention showed positive results. The study found that the interim buprenorphine helped waitlisted opioid-dependent participants experience abstinence from illicit drug use. The researchers recommended the interim therapy as an effective approach to help patients prevent the potentially fatal dangers of illegal opioid use while they await an intensive-care program.

Opioid crisis in US

The opioid epidemic has been affecting millions in the country. The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) suggests that 11.8 million Americans aged 12 or older misused opioids in the year. The country reported highest opioid misuse among young adults aged 18 to 25, recording an annual incidence of 7.3 percent in the past year. The opioid epidemic has been claiming thousands of lives each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), misusing opioids – heroin, fentanyl and prescription drugs – led to 33,091 deaths in 2015. Moreover, non-fatal unintentional opioid poisoning contributed to around 53,000 hospitalizations and 92,262 emergency department (ED) visits across the country.

Heroin, in particular, wreaked havoc in the past years. The CDC reported a two-time increase in heroin use among young adults aged 18 to 25 in the past decade. With increased use of the drug, heroin-related overdose deaths have also grown significantly, witnessing a four-fold increase since 2010. Heroin-related overdose death rates saw a 20.6 percent increase between 2014 and 2015, with around 13,000 people dying from the same in 2015 alone.

Dealing with heroin abuse

Researchers indicate a strong association between past misuse of prescription opioids and initiating heroin use. Besides, official data shows that more than 90 percent people who used heroin also reported use of at least one other drug. Increased availability and relatively low price (compared to prescription opioids) are some common factors contributing to the rising use of heroin. Taking strict action against drug dealers and educating people about dangerous consequences of heroin use can help deal with the problem.

The Health Effects of Cannabis – Informed Opinions

Enter any bar or public place and canvass opinions on cannabis and there will be a different opinion for each person canvassed. Some opinions will be well-informed from respectable sources while others will be just formed upon no basis at all. To be sure, research and conclusions based on the research is difficult given the long history of illegality. Nevertheless, there is a groundswell of opinion that cannabis is good and should be legalised. Many States in America and Australia have taken the path to legalise cannabis. Other countries are either following suit or considering options. So what is the position now? Is it good or not?

The National Academy of Sciences published a 487 page report this year (NAP Report) on the current state of evidence for the subject matter. Many government grants supported the work of the committee, an eminent collection of 16 professors. They were supported by 15 academic reviewers and some 700 relevant publications considered. Thus the report is seen as state of the art on medical as well as recreational use. This article draws heavily on this resource.

The term cannabis is used loosely here to represent cannabis and marijuana, the latter being sourced from a different part of the plant. More than 100 chemical compounds are found in cannabis, each potentially offering differing benefits or risk.

CLINICAL INDICATIONS

A person who is “stoned” on smoking cannabis might experience a euphoric state where time is irrelevant, music and colours take on a greater significance and the person might acquire the “nibblies”, wanting to eat sweet and fatty foods. This is often associated with impaired motor skills and perception. When high blood concentrations are achieved, paranoid thoughts, hallucinations and panic attacks may characterize his “trip”.

PURITY

In the vernacular, cannabis is often characterized as “good shit” and “bad shit”, alluding to widespread contamination practice. The contaminants may come from soil quality (eg pesticides & heavy metals) or added subsequently. Sometimes particles of lead or tiny beads of glass augment the weight sold.

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

A random selection of therapeutic effects appears here in context of their evidence status. Some of the effects will be shown as beneficial, while others carry risk. Some effects are barely distinguished from the placebos of the research.

  • Cannabis in the treatment of epilepsy is inconclusive on account of insufficient evidence.
  • Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy can be ameliorated by oral cannabis.
  • A reduction in the severity of pain in patients with chronic pain is a likely outcome for the use of cannabis.
  • Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients was reported as improvements in symptoms.
  • Increase in appetite and decrease in weight loss in HIV/ADS patients has been shown in limited evidence.
  • According to limited evidence cannabis is ineffective in the treatment of glaucoma.
  • On the basis of limited evidence, cannabis is effective in the treatment of Tourette syndrome.
  • Post-traumatic disorder has been helped by cannabis in a single reported trial.
  • Limited statistical evidence points to better outcomes for traumatic brain injury.
  • There is insufficient evidence to claim that cannabis can help Parkinson’s disease.
  • Limited evidence dashed hopes that cannabis could help improve the symptoms of dementia sufferers.
  • Limited statistical evidence can be found to support an association between smoking cannabis and heart attack.
  • On the basis of limited evidence cannabis is ineffective to treat depression
  • The evidence for reduced risk of metabolic issues (diabetes etc) is limited and statistical.
  • Social anxiety disorders can be helped by cannabis, although the evidence is limited. Asthma and cannabis use is not well supported by the evidence either for or against.
  • Post-traumatic disorder has been helped by cannabis in a single reported trial.
  • A conclusion that cannabis can help schizophrenia sufferers cannot be supported or refuted on the basis of the limited nature of the evidence.
  • There is moderate evidence that better short-term sleep outcomes for disturbed sleep individuals.
  • Pregnancy and smoking cannabis are correlated with reduced birth weight of the infant.
  • The evidence for stroke caused by cannabis use is limited and statistical.
  • Addiction to cannabis and gateway issues are complex, taking into account many variables that are beyond the scope of this article. These issues are fully discussed in the NAP report.

CANCERThe NAP report highlights the following findings on the issue of cancer:

  • The evidence suggests that smoking cannabis does not increase the risk for certain cancers (i.e., lung, head and neck) in adults.
  • There is modest evidence that cannabis use is associated with one subtype of testicular cancer.
  • There is minimal evidence that parental cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with greater cancer risk in offspring.

RESPIRATORY DISEASEThe NAP report highlights the following findings on the issue of respiratory diseases:

  • Smoking cannabis on a regular basis is associated with chronic cough and phlegm production.
  • Quitting cannabis smoking is likely to reduce chronic cough and phlegm production.
  • It is unclear whether cannabis use is associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma, or worsened lung function.

IMMUNE SYSTEMThe NAP report highlights the following findings on the issue of the human immune system:

  • There exists a paucity of data on the effects of cannabis or cannabinoid-based therapeutics on the human immune system.
  • There is insufficient data to draw overarching conclusions concerning the effects of cannabis smoke or cannabinoids on immune competence.
  • There is limited evidence to suggest that regular exposure to cannabis smoke may have anti-inflammatory activity.
  • There is insufficient evidence to support or refute a statistical association between cannabis or cannabinoid use and adverse effects on immune status in individuals with HIV.

MORTALITYThe NAP report highlights the following findings on the issue of the increased risk of death or injury:

  • Cannabis use prior to driving increases the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
  • In states where cannabis use is legal, there is increased risk of unintentional cannabis overdose injuries among children.
  • It is unclear whether and how cannabis use is associated with all-cause mortality or with occupational injury.

BRAIN FUNCTIONThe NAP report highlights the following findings on the issue of cognitive performance and mental health:

  • Recent cannabis use impairs the performance in cognitive domains of learning, memory, and attention. Recent use may be defined as cannabis use within 24 hours of evaluation.
  • A limited number of studies suggest that there are impairments in cognitive domains of learning, memory, and attention in individuals who have stopped smoking cannabis.
  • Cannabis use during adolescence is related to impairments in subsequent academic achievement and education, employment and income, and social relationships and social roles.
  • Cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk.
  • In individuals with schizophrenia and other psychoses, a history of cannabis use may be linked to better performance on learning and memory tasks.
  • Cannabis use does not appear to increase the likelihood of developing depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
  • For individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorders, near daily cannabis use may be linked to greater symptoms of bipolar disorder than for nonusers.
  • Heavy cannabis users are more likely to report thoughts of suicide than are nonusers.
  • Regular cannabis use is likely to increase the risk for developing social anxiety disorder.

It must be reasonably clear from the foregoing that cannabis is not the magic bullet for all health issues that some good-intentioned but ill-advised advocates of cannabis would have us believe. Yet the product offers much hope. Solid research can help to clarify the issues. The NAP report is a solid step in the right direction. Unfortunately, there are still many barriers to researching this amazing drug. In time the benefits and risks will be more fully understood. Confidence in the product will increase and many of the barriers, social and academic, will fall by the wayside.

Tips for Parents to Help Their Child Get Clean From Substance Abuse

For parents, it is heartbreaking to see their child struggling with substance abuse. There could be multiple reasons behind a child’s entry into the world of addiction and it becomes the duty of the parents to safeguard the physical and psychological health of a child by taking ownership of the situation and resolving to prevent future abuse.

Here are some ways through which parents can help their child lead a sober life and address the underlying issues to prevent recurrence.

    1. Having right perspective to deal with addiction – When parents get to know about their child’s addiction problem, they could have a different perspective and may not come to a consensus. One might perceive it as a social problem and think that the society will have to deal with it. The other one might see it as a moral problem. One could also perceive it as a criminal issue if the child abused an illegal substance. However, the best approach to the problem is to understand that addiction is a disease and, like any other physical ailment, it needs proper diagnosis, management and aftercare.
    1. Getting out of denial – Sometimes, parents are so convinced about their parenting style that they find it hard to believe that their child could get into an addiction. Living in denial is a recipe for disaster as a lot of time is wasted and help is denied to the one who needs it the most. It is important to accept the situation and instead of complaining, put efforts towards instituting support for the child.
    1. Identifying the signs – It is important to look for specific signs of the problem before approaching a child and confronting him/her. A parent must be cautious if the child is showing increased irritability, agitation and mood swings without any apparent reasons. If the child stays alone and does not mingle much with the family, then this could also be a red flag. If the child misses school and tutions often or loses weight and health, professional support should be sought without any delay.
    1. Healing the underlying pain – If a child is abusing drug, it could be that he or she is dealing with an underlying problem, which warrants undivided parental attention. The hidden cause could be parental neglect, family conflicts, history of abuse in the family, peer pressure, etc. It is important to understand that unless the root cause of the problem is dealt with, the problem will keep recurring.
    1. Spending considerable time with children – It is important that parents shower their children with quality time and attention. It is equally important to lay down certain rules and instill a sense of discipline and honesty among children. The child should know that if he or she drinks alcohol or takes drugs, certain privileges are bound to be withdrawn. Additionally, a parent can also encourage the child for periodic drug tests if they suspect anything. What matters most is being involved in children’s lives, participating in games, going out for movies, cooking or any other pleasurable activity. Family support at all times is crucial to a child’s development.
  1. Reaching for professional support – Once a parent has established that the child is grappling with an addiction problem, it is imperative to institute help before matters go out of hand. They should get in touch with a rehab, which can cater to the needs of children and treat addiction in a holistic manner.

Treatment for drug addictionParents are role models for their children. Kids imitate parents’ actions and look up to them for love and affection. It is important that parents do not get into any sort of addiction and keep the atmosphere at home safe and secure for the younger ones. If the addiction problem looks too hard to be managed alone, parents should reach out for professional help.

If you or your loved one is struggling with drug addiction, it is important to seek immediate professional help. The 24/7 Drug Addiction Help can connect you to some of the best inpatient drug addiction treatment centers across the country where a variety of treatment programs help in treating patients in a holistic manner.