Marijuana’s Cloudy Future

Medical marijuana and other marijuana news and marijuana facts

Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used in the United States. Although it is contrary to common belief, marijuana is also addictive. Estimates from research suggest that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number increases to about 17 percent among those who start young and increases to 25-50 percent among those who use marijuana on a daily basis.

Current Laws

In 1970, Proposition 215, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was signed into law which divided substances in 5 Schedules. Schedule I being the most heavily restricted which prohibits any use, medicinal or not. Marijuana landed itself as a Schedule I drug alongside heroin, ecstasy, LSD, etc. It wasn’t until 1996 that the CSA was challenged. California lead the way by passing the Compassionate Use Act that prevents a patient, a patient’s primary caregiver, or a physician from being prosecuted or sanctioned for “the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.” Proposition 215 sparked a nationwide debate as to whether the rewards outweigh the risks of the decriminalizing and legalization of marijuana. Today that debate continues.

Currently the States of Colorado and Washington have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. In addition, Twenty-two other States and the District of Colombia have laws that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there is more public support now than ever before showing that more than half the country is in favor to reform current laws prohibiting the recreational use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana.

Future Implications

With so many supporters for a reform, one must ask “What implications or consequences will be caused if marijuana is legalized across the country?” Firstly, marijuana, like many other substances is a gateway drug that has a strong potential to lead to other dangerous addictions. According to SAMSHA, there are already 23.5 million people in need of treatment for a substance abuse addiction. Currently only 2.6 million or 11.2% of them actually receive the treatment they require. Will legalizing marijuana potentially cause a dangerous spike in the amount of individuals that need substance abuse treatment? Much needed treatment that is already incapable of accommodating current demands.

Secondly, what social impacts will occur if marijuana is legalized and freely marketed ti the public? When we think about the power of marketing and what alcohol and nicotine companies have accomplished through it, we can see how quickly adolescents and other at risk individuals such as recovering addicts will be exposed and persuaded to the recreational use of marijuana. Products that are driven by profit motivation have a profound and powerful effect on consumers. Like mentioned above, this type of persuasion driven by profit motivation can cause many individuals to start an addictive cycle that could have been avoided.

Lastly, what dangerous driving conditions does legalizing marijuana create? THC, the active ingredient in marijuana impairs the users judgment and motor skills. However, multiple studies have been conducted to analyze the effects marijuana has on drivers and the extent of the impairment remains inconclusive. Although the extent of impairment on drivers that have marijuana in their system is moderate compared to alcohol, serious risks and dangers are still present.

Your Voice, Your Opinion

Like previously mentioned, decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana has become a heated debate. Everyone has their own voice and opinion. Zion Recovery Center stands firm in its belief that marijuana is a harmful and addictive substance. Addiction is a progressive disease which means that marijuana will only hasten the destructive cycle of addiction. We believe that real and lasting recovery is achieved by abstaining from all substances. This includes illicit drugs and alcohol to marijuana and nicotine. What do you believe? Do you support the legalization of marijuana? 385-207-2029

The Effects of Marijuana

 

Marijuana effectsMarijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in North America, and the severity of its effects are often greatly disputed. Many people, uneducated about its impact on the body, falsely believe that Marijuana is a safe, non-addictive drug. While there are certainly “harder” drugs that are far more damaging on the body, Marijuana is by no means “safe”, and its effects should be properly understood by all of us.

Short-term memory loss

Marijuana inhibits the brain’s ability to decide what should be remembered and what should be thrown away. In experiments where users were asked to listen to news stories and then recount what they remember, they were almost completely unable to recall anything they’d heard.

Feelings of relaxation and hyper focus

The most common side effect of Marijuana use is a feeling of relaxation, and “stress relief”. By affecting dopamine levels in the brain, the drug leads to sensations of euphoria, pain modulation, and general heightening of experiences. Perception is magnified, which explains why people under the influence of Marijuana become so hyperfocused on their ideas – they’re unable to think about anything else until a new idea takes hold in their brains.

The Marijuana “high” typically lasts around two hours, and users will often feel sleepy toward the end.

Disorientation

People who have inhaled or ingested Marijuana often experience confusion (especially because of their memory loss), decreased coordination and movement control, paranoia, sedation, dizziness, and sometimes anxiety. Marijuana slightly increases the heart rate, and if someone is anxious about using it, this effect may be magnified.

The drop in blood pressure brought about by Marijuana can also trigger a fainting reflex – causing a lot of people to feel the need to sit down.

Increased appetite

Using Marijuana causes people to experience what’s known as “the munchies” – a sudden desire to seek out and consume food. Regardless of hunger levels, users will feel desperate to eat.

Psychotic reactions

Some people experience paranoia to a level that becomes classified as a “psychotic reaction”. How vulnerable a person is to the drug can vary, with some users reporting feelings like the ability to communicate telepathically while under the influence.

Increases risk of Chronic Bronchitis

Marijuana smoke attacks the cilia that line the lungs, either paralyzing or destroying them completely. Holding smoke in the mouth for extended periods of time, as a lot of users will do, increases the level of this kind of damage.

Addiction

Statistics indicate that if a person tries Marijuana just once, 9% will become frequent users who feel unable to live without it. Though the drug is typically considered non-addictive, human beings can become addicted to basically anything, so whether or not Marijuana is inherently addictive by nature, there are still many people who are dependent on its relaxing, euphoria-like effects.

Regular users also experience withdrawal effects when they stop taking the drug, such as insomnia and anxiety. Symptoms typically only last between one and two weeks, and are not life-threatening.

Detrimental effect on life overall

Users of Marijuana often reach a point where they feel they could have achieved more in life. Despite many being in denial of how Marijuana affects them, people are typically less motivated and productive when they use the drug frequently.

Studies also show that using Marijuana under the age of 16 can cause long-term impaired brain function.

The effects of Marijuana may come on instantly or be delayed, depending on whether it’s inhaled or ingested. Those struggling with substance abuse of any kind, including Marijuana use, should seek to overcome their addictions immediately, seeking professional help when necessary.

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How to Choose the Right Drug Rehab Center

Finding the Right Rehab Center

Choosing a drug rehabilitation center for you or a loved one is no easy decision. The overall success of recovery will largely depend on the quality and effectiveness of care given while receiving treatment, so it’s important to carefully evaluate your options and take into account your individual needs.

Listed below are some factors to consider when deciding between different centers.

Length of programs

Typically, a longer stay would be helpful for someone struggling with a more intense addiction, so be sure to find out how long each center’s inpatient program is (and outpatient).

Program accreditation and licensing

A rehab center may be set in the beautiful rolling hills of a unicorn-filled valley, but if it’s not accredited by the state it’s in, and it’s not run by properly trained professionals, it’s not going to be much help. Find out how specialized each center is at dealing with addictions and substance abuse, and never compromise on what’s really important.

Whether or not their treatment methods actually work

Statistics can provide some insight into what you might be able to expect during and after a treatment program, so examine the success rates of various centers. All drug rehab centers will tell you that their methods work, but search for non-biased proof of that.

Inquire as to provision/quality of aftercare

Anyone who’s familiar with drug rehabilitation knows the hardest part of treatment comes after treatment. Find out about the aftercare services offered by centers you’re looking into, and try to determine which one would be most helpful at helping maintain recovery.

Testimonials

Don’t just rely on testimonials featured on a center’s website – ask around and find out for yourself. If you know someone or just know someone who knows someone who’s been in drug rehab, ask them as much about their experience as possible. Choose a center with a great reputation.

Spend adequate time doing research, but recognize no rehab center can be fully responsible for total recovery – it’s a personal effort that a good facility should be able to really help with, but complete responsibility for overcoming addiction lies with the individual.

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How to Help an Addict

Addiction Help in Utah

Drug addiction never affects just one person. When someone you love is suffering with substance abuse it can feel impossible to know what the best way to handle it is – how do you support them without supporting their addiction? Though you can’t force someone to recover, you can certainly respond in a way that is loving without being enabling.

Allow consequences to happen

Though your natural instincts might be to protect your loved one from the negative consequences of drug addiction, it’s not conducive to recovery. In order to have a desire to change, an addict must recognize that there are consequences to their actions – if someone is there to “bail them out” every time, it makes it easier for them to continue using drugs.

Extend love

People are more motivated to change by love than by other negative responses such as criticism, shame, or control. Treat people as they can become – this will help them feel capable of overcoming their addiction. Guilt may cause addicts to further abuse substances to try and numb the pain associated with people being so disappointed in them.

Love gives people hope, so try to show as much of it as possible, without seeming accepting of their bad choices.

Always speak calmly, without seeming attacking

A person’s response to feeling attacked is nearly always defensiveness, and drug addicts are particularly prone to responding in this way. Don’t confront a drug abuser in an overly confrontational way – speak in a way that avoids a potential argument, and express care and concern for them. Don’t let your emotions take over, and don’t let yourself manifest anger towards your loved one.

Consider an intervention

Interventions should be handled very carefully, if used. Those present at an intervention should be close to the person struggling with drug addiction, and the tone of the meeting should be love and concern, not shaming or disappointment. Friends and family involved can write letters that specifically describe how the person’s addiction has affected them and their relationship. Have a recovery plan prepared before, to give the addict an understanding of how to move forward toward positive change. Some people also offer specific consequences if the addict rejects the idea of overcoming their problem – if you decide to state these, make sure you follow through with them.

Expect relapses

Relapses are nearly always a part of recovery, unfortunately. Don’t respond to them as if your loved one has “failed”, but keep supporting them with their recovery efforts, seeking treatment each time it is needed.

Be there for them

Regular calls or texts of love and support can make all the difference to someone struggling with drug addicts. Also aim to spend as much time with your loved one as possible, to help them stay away from their addictions and to engage them in activities that they genuinely enjoy for good reasons. Try to do their favorite things, and stay positive when you’re around them. It’s important that they feel hope.

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Do You Have a Shame-Based Family?

In order to understand if you are part of a shame-based family, you have to observe behaviors that take place within a private family setting, find out which behaviors are toxic and unhealthy, and create a plan of action to correct the behaviors. As we discuss common behaviors of a shame-based family, take an objective approach to find out which ones are practiced in your family and what you can do to facilitate change.

What is a Shame-Based Family?

Shamed Base Family therapy for codependency

Shame-based families have very limited and constricted feelings. There may be rules about what feelings are appropriate to share. For example, a family may discourage the expression of anger or sadness, but expect all family members to smile, show happiness, and/or act like nothing is wrong. This causes a person to assign a negative label to certain feelings or to see feelings as bad or wrong. The emphasis of the family is to portray a healthy image to others, even though the family is dysfunctional. What matters most to shame-based families is not the healing of its hurting members, but the maintenance of its reputation at all costs.

Their Effect on Family Members

Shame-based families are critical of each other’s needs. This causes those needs to be denied or overlooked. For example, if a child approaches a parent and is in need of their time, attention, or affirmation and that child is ridiculed, criticized, or dismissed, that child will end up feeling like that their needs are “bad.” Because they have that need, they begin to feel that they are a “bad” person. You will see this frequently with an addicted loved one who is part of a shame-based family. Their addiction creates a serious and legitimate need, but because they have so much shame about having that need, they avoid seeking help or addressing their needs. Essentially, they develop the map adaptive habit of not to voice what they are needing from others.

The environment of a shame-based family also denies the needs and desires of individual family members. This means that someone’s needs will constantly go unnoticed and unmet. As a result, this can create feelings of unworthiness in the family member whose needs weren’t validated. Family members may not feel worthy of vocalizing their needs because they don’t believe they deserve to, or they are afraid their needs will just go unnoticed or unheard. Shame-based families also have painful or unresolved issues such as: abusive behaviors, addictions, toxic secrets, etc. However, because the expression of feelings is not allowed, the relationships between family members cannot be authentic. This causes family members to become tolerant of painful things that are inappropriate and unhealthy.

Finally, shame-based families have little respect for each other’s limitations. If someone expresses a limitation, whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual, those limits are most often overlooked and viewed as a weakness that should be kept secret. For example, if you are physically sick as a child, but are not allowed to stay home from school without getting in “trouble” or being ridiculed, you don’t learn to set good boundaries and limits as an adult and take care of yourself when you don’t feel well. Having personal limitations becomes “weak” or “bad,” as opposed to healthy and nurturing.

The Solution

At Zion Recovery Center, we believe that in order for our clients to heal, the entire family must be willing to change and heal as well. The Shame-Based Family Model and the behaviors that are part of it are very destructive and can be carried on from generation to generation. If you have a shame-based family, it is important that you do all you can to take corrective action and prevent these behaviors from continuing. Encourage open dialogue and consider help from a professional with experience in family counseling.

To receive additional information regarding a shamed-based family, or to get help with an addiction, please call us toll free at 385-207-2029 or fill out a Contact Us form.

Naltrexone and Vivitrol’s Positive Effect on Treatment

Naltrexone and Vivitrol as opposed to Subutex, Suboxone or BuprenorphineNaltrexone is a medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of alcohol and opiate dependence. It is an opioid receptor antagonist that decreases drinking and opiate use in alcohol and opiate-dependent individuals by blocking the release of endorphins via neural reward pathways. In other words, Naltrexone blocks the body’s ability to feel the “high” that these particular substances produce. This has proven to be helpful for clients that are abstaining from opiates or alcohol on their own and for those who chose to admit themselves into a substance abuse treatment facility because the drug ultimately has a zero effect on the mind and body while the Naltrexone medication is taken.

Naltrexone has also been shown to reduce cravings, which for motivated clients can promote long-term abstinence. Finally, naltrexone has proven to relieve withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, body aches, runny nose and eyes, sweating and restlessness which allows clients to enjoy a more comfortable treatment experience without constant ongoing cravings and miserable withdrawal symptoms.

In 2010, the FDA also approved an extended release form of naltrexone administered by intramuscular injection (Vivitrol) once per month to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and to prevent relapse. Although this delivery system is a more costly option, it removes the patient burden of daily decision making or medication non adherence. Naltrexone and Vivitrol’s efficacy has been demonstrated in numerous randomized clinical trials worldwide.

Unlike other medications such as Benzodiazepines, Suboxone, and Methadone that are used to help regulate cravings and withdrawal symptoms; Naltrexone is a non-narcotic medication that is free from any addictive qualities and future withdrawal symptoms. However, like most medications there are possibilities for side effects (such as dizziness and upset stomach); especially if taken prematurely while detoxifying which can cause rapid withdrawaling. You should always consult your physician before taking this medication. 385-207-2029

Why Faith Based Treatment?

Faith Based Treatment Program (LDS Addiction Recovery Program)We are often asked why we have chosen to offer faith-based treatment for those who are suffering from a co-occurring mental health disorder alongside with a substance abuse use disorder. The answer is simple, spirituality improves our clients chance to achieve enduring sobriety. However, understanding that concept is far from simple.

A recent article by Dr. Simon Dein entitled Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health helps clarify why spirituality or faith-based principles have a rightful place within the treatment process. In his article, he explains that until the early 19th century, psychiatry and religion were closely connected. Religious institutions were responsible for the care of the mentally ill. As the years passed, religion became associated with hysteria and neurosis, which created a divide between religion and mental health care that has continued until recently. Psychiatry has a long tradition of dismissing and attacking religious experience. Religion has often been seen by mental health professionals in Western societies as irrational, outdated, and dependency forming and has been viewed to result in emotional instability.

Psychiatrists are generally less religious than their patients and, therefore, they have not valued the role of religious factors in helping patients cope with their illnesses. It is only in the past few years that attitudes toward religion have changed among mental health professionals. In 1994, “religious or spiritual problems” was introduced in DSM-IV as a new diagnostic category that invited professionals to respect the patient’s beliefs and rituals.

As a Christian facility, Zion Recovery Center helps patients clarify how Christ’s teachings and principles influence the course to sobriety. We do not attempt to manipulate the client’s beliefs or push them down an unfamiliar path or denomination. Whatever his or her Christian background, Zion’s stance is neutral. We simply assist them in returning to their familiar Christian path that most often then not, they have strayed from. This strategy alongside the incorporation of proven therapeutic approaches gives our clients the best possible chance to live a healthy and sober life.

To contact us regarding our faith based treatment programs, call us at 385-207-2029 or fill out a Contact Us form.

For more information and to read the entire article by Dr. Simon Dein, click here.

Common Rehab Questions

Zion Recovery Common Rehab QuestionsSubstance Abuse Rehab Questions and Answers

How quickly does a drug or alcohol addiction occur?

This can vary by person. Much of it depends on the person’s atmosphere, age, social interaction, etc. A young person who has a family addiction history is more probable to abuse drugs than an older person with no history.

What is involved during rehab?

The person must abandon his prior way of life by joining the program. Then the patient will go through detoxification which is a phase when the substance of abuse is entirely detached from the body. The addict then acquires in rehab ways to avoid circumstances that have triggered cravings in the past and how to deal with feeling emotions again. The patient learns how to cope.

How long does recovery from a substance addiction take?

Recovering from a drug addiction lasts a lifetime. It is an ongoing process where the addict will sometimes be tempted to use their drug of choice. Rehab teaches the addict how to cope with these temptations, making it easier to create and sustain a responsible and healthy lifestyle. The actual time in rehab can vary from one to three months. The severity of the addiction and the patient’s willingness to overcome the addiction will be taken into account as well.

What can I bring to rehab with me?

You will want to bring comfortable clothing, most people prefer gym attire. You will also want to bring toiletries. Religious texts or motivational books are helpful items that are encouraged as well. Cell phones and other electronics should usually stay at home. Communication with the outside world is typically discouraged during the first few weeks of rehab.

What are the chances of relapsing?

Once an addiction develops, the addiction will always be susceptible to a relapse which is why recovery is a lifelong process. Relapse does not mean rehab did not work, it suggest that individual may need additional treatment to reinforce some recovery strategies.

Is rehab worth it?

Rehab is a life changing investment because you are investing against the development of or worsening of problems in the future.

What happens after rehab?

Recovery is a lifelong effort but rehab gives you the skills to fight cravings. Patients normally seek support through counseling or community groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Zion Recovery Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol Withdrawal SymptomsWhen a person who drinks everyday suddenly stops drinking, one can experience alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawals are most common with adults, but can happen to adolescents as well. The more you drink, the more likely you will have alcohol withdrawals. If you have certain medical problems, your alcohol withdrawals may be more intensified. Alcohol withdrawal can be a possibly life-threatening circumstance that can happen to people who have been drinking severely for weeks, months, or years and then entirely stop drinking or considerably reduce their intake of alcohol.

Withdrawals from alcohol can start as early as two hours after your last drink and can linger for weeks. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can array from mild anxiety and shakiness to severe complications such as seizures. Along with seizures, you can get delirium tremens, which is defined by confusion, speedy heartbeat, and fever. The death rate from delirium tremens ranges from 1% to 5%.

If you have experienced prior alcohol withdrawals or have additional health issues, it is important that you see a doctor. Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms are an absolute medical emergency. If you experience seizures, fever, severe confusion, hallucinations, or have irregular heartbeats, go to an emergency room or call 911.

If you overly drink daily or are a heavy persistent drinker, you are disturbing your brain’s neurotransmitters, which are the brain chemicals that convey communications. Alcohol increases the effect of GABA, the neurotransmitter produces feelings of easing and serene. Chronic alcohol intake overpowers the GABA activity so more alcohol is necessary to produce the anticipated effects, known as tolerance. Lingering alcohol consumption also overrides the movement of glutamate, the neurotransmitter that produces moods of excitability. When heavy drinkers abruptly stop or suggestively decrease their alcohol consumption, the neurotransmitters formerly inhibited by alcohol are no longer blocked. They recover into alcohol withdrawal such as anxiety, irritability, agitation, tremors, and seizures.

Some minor alcohol withdrawal symptoms that often occur six to 12 hours after alcohol use include:

  • Sweating
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Shaking hands
  • Anxiety

Between 12 and 24 hours after alcohol consumption, you may experience visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations which usually end within 48 hours.

If you are experiencing these alcohol withdrawal symptoms or think you may have an alcohol problem, please contact Zion Recovery.

385-207-2029

Benefits of Rehab

Benefits of a Utah Drug RehabZion Recovery Benefits of Rehab

People might be uncertain about going to rehab because they feel that cannot benefit from it. You should know there are many benefits of rehab. Here are some of the many benefits:

  1. Support group- Every rehab program will have a supportive atmosphere with a group of people who are trying to get sober, just like you. The connection that takes place in the close environment is very powerful and helps to form part of your support group after you leave treatment. Rehab will give you a new network of positive people in your life which is a great benefit. Networking with others is significant particularly in early sobriety.
  2. Safe environment- Rehab is an environment that is meticulous and free from drugs and alcohol, which is critical for achievement. This safe environment is the basis where you can start healing and learning how to live a sober life. It will give you a fighting chance in a safe setting.
  3. Trust the process- While abstinence and clean time are the critical goal, most people have to go to treatment a couple times before it sticks and that is okay. Do not be hopeless by past failures and instead see them as a step in your journey for sobriety. Trust that this process is essential for your new, clean life. Going to rehab can clear your mind enough to see if you want to change your life, and you might surprise yourself. Rehab can set you up for long term success in recovery. Long term success in recovery takes thoughtful effort.
  4. Rehab can save your life- Many alcoholics and addicts can be on the edge of death because of their disease. Rehab can save your life in numerous ways that you may never foresee. An addict or alcoholic can have so many more opportunities for life by going to rehab and turning their life around. Rehab can lead an addict towards healthier decisions and a healthier lifestyle.
  5. After Care- An after care plan is normally developed after a short time in rehab. This may include regular counseling sessions, treatment house, or intensive outpatient treatment. These after care programs are a perilous element to uphold long term sobriety.

Contact Zion Recovery for additional assistance and help to overcome addiction. Get to know the Zion Recovery difference! 385-207-2029