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Archive for Drugs & Alcohol

If a Teen Relapses After Rehab, How Do I Help Without Enabling?

 

 

Claudia Evenson, CAADC
Community Relations Coordinator
Rosecrance Health Network
(630) 849-4295
CEvenson@rosecrance.org

 

Kids who relapse after a treatment episode need much support and encouragement. They need to get back on track stat as this relapse may become regular use very quickly Remember that you are not alone, and neither is your teen, seek help immediately.

Posted in: Drugs & Alcohol

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What Should Parents Say to Their Kids About Medical Marijuana?

 

 

 

Claudia Evenson, CAADC
Community Relations Coordinator
Rosecrance Health Network
(630) 849-4295
CEvenson@rosecrance.org

 

Many parents today are confused about what to say to teens about marijuana when they learn about the compassionate care act.  This video can offer you some practical answers that can keep the conversation going about this often statement from teens, “if marijuana is going to be legal what’s so bad about it?.”

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My Nephew Says He Uses Only Opium. Is Using Opium Not as Bad as Using Heroin? The Way He Looked Was the Same as When He Used Heroin. What Can We do?

Is Using Opium Not as Bad as Using Heroin?

ANSWER:

Opium and heroin, although not one in the same, are extremely similar in many ways. Opium is the highly addictive, all –natural sap that comes from the poppy plant. Opium is often used as the foundation for various other drugs known as opiates, such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain pills. The effects of using any opiate are going to look very similar. These short term effects could appear soon after using an opiate and disappear a few hours later. Some of these effects include, a drowsy state (nodding off), mental functioning becomes clouded, respiratory depression, constricted (pinpoint) pupils and nausea. Some effects you may see when someone is experiencing withdrawal from opiates look very similar to the flu( muscle aches, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose)

Many people who use heroin began by abusing opiate pain pills( Codeine®, Vicodin®, Oxycontin®). Typically, once someone becomes dependent on heroin they develop a higher tolerance and need more and more to get high or just to keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay. Many opiate addicts will say that prescription pain pills no longer gets them high because their tolerance is so elevated. It would be uncommon to stop using heroin and revert to using prescription pain pills or another opiate without that leading back to heroin use.

Something called cross addiction or substitution is also common with individuals who are dependent on drugs. Some individuals will stop using one substance, let’s say marijuana, but then begin drinking too much. Or someone is willing to stop using cocaine but then is smoking marijuana frequently. Other substances that are commonly abused include prescription stimulant drugs, such as those used to treat ADHD(Adderral®, Ritalin®) as well as prescription drugs used to treat anxiety( Valium®, Xanax®). Addiction is a brain disease and once someone is addicted to one substance it is very likely they could become addicted or abuse other substances. Remaining totally abstinent from all substances, including alcohol, is the safest bet.

Unfortunately, when you believe someone has a problem with substances and that person does not feel it’s a problem it can be difficult to get them the help they need. They need to be willing to seek help, you cannot force help upon them. You may be able to set some limits and based on those limits inform the person they need to seek help or there will be a consequence for their behavior. Many local agencies offer programs to treat drug addiction, ranging from one on one therapy, Intensive Outpatient and residential treatment. It is also important that family members get some help, through counseling or support groups like Alanon. Addiction is a family disease and if the person struggling with addiction is not willing to get help the family member can get help for themselves.

Beth Sack
Manager of Addiction Services
Linden Oaks Hospital
852 West Street
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 305-5500
bsack@edward.org
www.lindenoaks.org

Posted in: Drugs & Alcohol, Heroin

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My Son Is Using Heroin and Says He Will Detox with Suboxone. But, He Tells Me This Every Weekend. We’ve Told Him, if He Needs Help, We Will Get It for Him. I Don’t Know What to Do. Any Suggestions?

ANSWER:

Even if your son truly wants to stop using heroin, it sounds like he needs more help. Actions speak louder than words. How much leverage do you have with your son? Can you demand that he gets evaluated now, not tomorrow or next weekend? Often people come into treatment somewhat unwillingly, but they become grateful when they start to lead a clean and sober life.
Some heroin addicts do well using only a substitution therapy, like Suboxone replacement. Others need the additional help and time that a treatment center can provide.

Local treatment centers and regional treatment centers like Rosecrance in Rockford may be able to provide you with additional guidance on how to approach your son. In addition the anonymous SAMHSA National Helpline at (800) 662-4357 can be a good resource to contact.

I would also suggest that you get help for yourself through an organization like Nar-Anon that offers peer support from others who are in similar situations with their loved ones.
It is not uncommon for addicts to make and break promises, but every time your son uses heroin, he runs the real risk of death.

You also asked if you should tell his girl friend’s parents that she is using heroin. First, it is very unlikely that one person will remain clean from heroin if their partner is actively using. Second, if you were unaware of your son’s use would you want a concerned person to let you know or would you rather have them keep it a secret? This is something you have to decide.

Michael Kuna, M.D.
Psychiatrist/Addictionologist
Genesis Clinical Services
Wheaton, IL
(630) 653-6441

Posted in: Drugs & Alcohol

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How Do I Know If My Kid Is on Drugs?

ANSWER:

Parents often want to know, “How Do I Know If My Kid Is on Drugs?”

Most of the time there will be some signs and symptoms that you will be able to identify. Some of the changes you may see in an adolescent are change in attitude, change in friends, and change in activities. Often when an adolescent begins using their peer group will change, their grades may begin to drop and they may stop participating in activities that were once important to them, like sports or extracurricular activities. Sometimes it may seem difficult to differentiate between normal adolescent behavior changes and substance use. Research has shown that open communication about parents disapproval of substance use is one of the leading reasons that teens choose not to use. So, it is very important to have open conversations with your child about your views on substance use.

You may also be able to identify some physical changes too, depending on the substance being used. If alcohol or marijuana are being used, you may notice slurred speech, red eyes, or unsteady gait. If someone is using opiates you may notice watery eyes, itchy nose or “nodding out”. When a person is not using some of these substance you may begin to notice withdrawal symptoms, if they are using regularly. Some of these symptoms may include, agitation, shakiness, upset stomach, hot and cold flashes and other flu like symptoms.

Again, it is important to communicate your values regarding substance use to your child. If you continue to suspect substance use you can purchase a urine drug screen and the local pharmacy and do a drug test at home. You can also seek out professional help if needed. Linden Oaks at Edward provides free assessments 24/7. You can call 630 305-5027 to schedule an appointment

Beth Sack
Manager of Addiction Services
Linden Oaks at Edward Hospital
852 West Street
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 305-5500
bsack@edward.org
www.lindenoaks.org

Posted in: Drugs & Alcohol

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When Is It Time for an Out of Home Therapeutic Program for My Child?

ANSWER:

Kim Jenkins, MSW, CADC
One Oak Educational & Therapeutic Placement Consulting
www.oneoakconsult.com
Kim@OneOakConsult.com
(773) 288-9156

When Is It Time for an Out of Home Therapeutic Program for My Child?

Choosing to place your child in a therapeutic program outside of the home is incredibly difficult. It is a painful decision to have to make and can be frightening and costly. When parents are broached with this decision, they have often attempted to intervene several ways that have proven unsuccessful. Or, there has been a crisis so serious where maintaining a child’s safety at home is in question. Additionally, some psychiatric disorders require 24-hour treatment in a highly structured setting that could not possibly be recreated in a home environment. There are many reasons why parents may choose to place their child in a therapeutic program and below are a few signs that may warrant consideration of a therapeutic placement:

• Substantial decline is academic performance
• Refusing to attend school or participate in other age appropriate activities
• Severely oppositional or aggressive behaviors in the home
• Disrespect of rules, laws and authority figures
• Threats to harm self or others
• Self-harming behaviors
• History of suicidal ideation or attempts
• Persistent use of alcohol or other drugs
• Sexual acting out or promiscuity
• Lack of emotional regulation and/or severe mood swings
• Frequent episodes of aggression or anger
• Threats to run away, running away, or consistent disobedience of curfew
• Obsessiveness about weight gain, excessive dieting, binging, purging or restrictive eating to the extent that one’s health is suffering
• Obsessive Compulsive behaviors that impact daily functioning
• Resistance to participating in therapy or outpatient treatment
• Previous behavioral health hospitalizations or short term treatment experiences that haven’t been successful

Some of these behaviors alone would not necessitate placement in a residential program or school. However, the intensity, duration, and frequency of some of these issues should be considered, along with the complexity and co-occurrence of issues. Additionally, it is important to pursue the least restrictive options as a first step, which may include seeing a therapist or attending an outpatient program. If these options have been exhausted, and there continues to be an exacerbation of symptoms, it may be time to consider a therapeutic placement.

If placement in a program or therapeutic school is recommended, it is important to choose the right program for your child. An educational or therapeutic placement consultant can be an important resource as they have firsthand knowledge of hundreds of therapeutic schools and programs nationally and can help to ensure that your child is placed in an environment that will clinically and academically meet their needs. Placement consultants are creative thinkers who work in collaboration with parents, home treatment providers and schools to match a child to the right type of program, which could include:

• Acute Stabilization and Crisis Intervention Programs
• Short Term Residential Treatment Programs
• Addiction Treatment Programs
• Wilderness Therapy Programs
• Therapeutic Boarding Schools
• Transitional and Independent Living Programs
• Summer Programs

Posted in: Anxiety & Stress, Depression & Self Harm, Drugs & Alcohol

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My Teen Says Everyone Is Using. Is This True?

ANSWER:

Karen Jarczyk
Prevention Director
360 Youth Services
1305 W. Oswego Road
Naperville, IL 60540
kjarczyk@360youthservices.org
630-961-2992 ext 225
www.360youthservices.org
www.ThePowerofChoice.info

My Teen Says Everyone Is Using. Is This True?

Some teens and even adults seem to think this is true, but it is not. Data collected annually through surveys taken at our local area high schools clearly indicate that the majority of students are making healthy choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

So why is it so hard for some to believe?

Health is quiet. No one gossips about health, or spreads rumors about someone’s healthy choices, no one shouts down the hallway that so and so was babysitting or working out, or home have dinner with the family. Health doesn’t make the papers, or catch the attention of police. Health is just quiet and goes about its business… doing the many healthy, normal and significant things most teens do from day to day.

Research indicates that if a person is using or hanging out with people who are using, they are likely to have a perception that more of their peers use.
You may want to suggest your teen take a step back and try to see the bigger picture…look at the whole student body.
It might be the perfect time to remind your teen why you do not want them using and what your family’s values and expectations are.
You may want to ask if they are concerned about someone’s use, and if you can help them reach out on behalf of that someone.

Research also demonstrates that when we consistently acknowledge and remind teens that most students are making healthy choices related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, we can actually grow the number of youth in our community who are making healthy choices. We can empower and support those who are making healthy choices to know they are not alone. We can encourage those on the fence to make healthy choices. Teens who are actively using and/or are in the process of addiction obviously need other resources and care.

So bottom line: The majority of students make healthy choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. If you would like to see the data or learn more about this topic, check out the website under my contact information.

Posted in: Drugs & Alcohol

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How Will School Respond to Parent Reporting Child’s Suspected Drug Use?

ANSWER:

Sarah Heinkel, MSW
Social Worker, Class of 2014
Neuqua Valley High School
630-428-6036
Sarah_Heinkel@ipsd.org

How Will School Respond to Parent Reporting Child’s Suspected Drug Use?

• We encourage you to contact your school social worker or guidance counselor with questions or concerns regarding your student.
• Information will be kept confidential and will not be shared with teachers or other faculty.
• We will work to provide you with referrals to community providers and resources that can help support your family and student.
• There are many places in the community you can go to get a free evaluation if you are concerned your child may be experimenting with drugs.
• We will meet with your student and support him/her as appropriate in the school setting.

Posted in: Drugs & Alcohol

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What Can Parents Do to Prevent Teen Drug Use?

ANSWER:

Rosanne Tenuta
Health Educator, Robert Crown Center for Health Education
(630)325-1900
rtenuta@robertcrown.org
www.robertcrown.org

What are some things parents can do to prevent teen drug use?

• Talk to your kids about drugs: 90% of addictions start in the teen years and ½ can be prevented with conversation with trusted adults
• Be clear with your expectation of no drug use: your kids need to know where you stand on this issue
• Practice refusal skills: use teachable moments from TV shows or school situations to help kids work thought how they would handle situations in which there are drugs
• Monitor the medicine cabinet: many teens start drug use through prescription medication that is in the house. Lock it away or dispose of these medications through community “take-back” events so that adolescents do not have access.

Posted in: Drugs & Alcohol, Prescription Drug Abuse

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What Are Some Reasons That Teens Use Drugs?

ANSWER:

Rosanne Tenuta
Health Educator, Robert Crown Center for Health Education
(630) 325-1900
rtenuta@robertcrown.org
www.robertcrown.org

Some of the reasons that teens use drugs are listed below:

• Transitions: life transition can make kids vulnerable (middle school to high school, moving, change of peer group, etc.)
• Brain Development: adolescent brains are still developing, the part of the brain that makes long term plans and weighs risk is not fully developed until mid-20s so sometimes teens make riskier decisions without fully understanding consequences of their actions
• Self-Medication: adolescents may take drugs to feel better because of undiagnosed mental health issues such as depression and social anxiety
• School issues: struggling in school can make kids vulnerable
• Peers: if peers are using drugs, there can be peer pressure and normalization of drug use

Posted in: Drugs & Alcohol

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