Effectiveness of Neurofeedback

Effectiveness of Neurofeedback

Many insurance companies will pay for a 30-day traditional addiction treatment for those recovering from drug and/or alcohol abuse. Many individuals believe that this is “enough” and that they can get clean and sober in the 30-day period. Although this treatment can be helpful, for most individuals, it is not enough. Relapse often occurs, leaving individuals discouraged and depressed. 30-day treatment programs generally aren’t long enough to address all of the needs of an addict and help individuals acclimate back into everyday living without their addiction.

Another possible treatment option is a process called neurofeedback. Through a retraining process, neurofeedback treats addiction in the brain. Through neurofeedback, the brain is taught to be calm, focused, and relaxed and can aid in allowing individuals to think more clearly and rationally. Many relapses are caused by stress in people’s lives. Learning to relax and calm the brain through neurofeedback can help block relapses in addiction recovery. Learning these strategies neurologically can lead to long term recovery. In addition, many facilities prescribe medication to treat addiction. Some see this as problematic—solving the problem of pill addiction with more pills. Neurofeedback treatment is a great option because it doesn’t involves medication. It is a non-invasive therapy that has been shown to have no negative side effects.

Neurofeedback works by helping to correct dysfunctional brain patterns that contribute to addiction.  Using brain mapping, a plan can be created that targets and trains certain areas/regions of the brain that may be malfunctioning. Treatment facilities have seen much success with neurofeedback and find that individuals struggling with addiction can break the vicious cycle they fight against.

Common Street Drugs Part 2: Meth, Weed, Heroin

Common Street Drugs Part 2: Meth, Weed, Heroin

This part 2 follow up discusses 3 more dangerous street drugs that are commonly being used in the U.S. today. Although awareness about the dangers of drug abuse has grown considerably over the last few decades, the problem of addiction continues to exist and, in some cases, is on the increase. Meth, Heroin, and Marijuana are spoken about in the news often. With prescription painkiller addictions turning into street heroin addictions on the rise throughout the entire country and legalization of marijuana in so many states, these drugs pose a new threat that wasn’t around a decade ago because of their easier access.

  1. Methamphetamine – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?
  • Meth is a stimulant often marketed under the name Desoxyn. It is is highly addictive. It was known for being a drug made at home at one time, but because of recent laws, meth ingredients are tougher to get so most of it is coming from South American and Mexico. Meth is ingested by being snorted, swallowed, injected or smoked. Often users change methods. Street names for meth include: Crystal Glass Stove Top, Trash Black Beauties, Chalk, Crank, Yaba. In 2015, agents recovered record setting amounts: 1,686 grams.

2. Heroin – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Heroin is made from opium, a naturally occurring substance extracted from poppies and it has no accepted medical use, no accepted safe procedure for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for addiction and abuse. Known on the street as Black Tar, Chiva, Smack, Hell Dust, Horse, Negra or Thunder, it comes as a white or brownish powder, or as a black, sticky substance and is typically snorted, injected, or smoked. Often,heroin is cut with other substances such as sugar or powdered milk. Abuse of heroin is widespread and is on the rise. Many law enforcement agencies point to the increase in prescription painkillers as a problem, since many turn to street heroin once their prescriptions are no longer valid.

3. Marijuana – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Marijuana is a plant that is grown inside or outdoors in North and South America as well as in Asia. The street names for marijuana include: dope, grass, pot, skunk, smoke, weed, yerba, and boom. Marijuana is addictive and as been shown to decrease brain function. Agents are constantly seizing marijuana based drug It is one of the most common street drugs and is also the best known among high school and college aged kids who abuse drugs. With recent changes in marijuana legalization, many seem to turn a blind eye to some of its harmful effects when it is not used for medicinal purposes. The use of marijuana is very widespread.


Source: usatoday.com


Common Street Drugs Part 1: Oxy, Cocaine, Mushrooms

Common Street Drugs Part 1: Oxy, Cocaine, Mushrooms

A recent article published by USA today states some quick, hard facts about 6 common street drugs in Wisconsin. But the information discussed is true for most of the US. These drugs make up the more dangerous and prevalent substances that law enforcement have been concerned about recently.   The first 3, discussed here, include Oxycontin, mushrooms, and cocaine. The latter 3 will be discussed in a later blog – part 2.

  1. OxyContin – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?
  • Oxycondone (oxy) is a painkiller made from the Persian poppy and the opium poppy. It it has a medical use, but also a high potential for abuse and dependency. Street names for oxycontin include: ox, roxy, perc, oxy, hillbilly heroin, kicker, and OC. Oxy can be swallowed or crushed and snorted or dissolved and injected. Use of oxy is widespread and the use is increasing drastically across the nation.

2. Psilocybin mushrooms – what are they made of and what do they do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Mushrooms contain psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance and are a schedule I drug but have no approved medical use. Called “shrooms” or “magic mushrooms,” they are usually dried and eaten but can brewed as a tea, mixed with other foods or, coated with chocolate and then eaten to mask their bitter taste. Use of mushrooms is less than it once was in the 1960s and 70s, but many individuals still use this street drug.

3. Cocaine – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Cocaine is a Schedule II drug – meaning it may have limited medical usage, but it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Cocaine is a stimulant that most often looks like a white powder. It can be cut (mixed) with sugars and can be inhaled or dissolved and then injected. Crack cocaine is smoked and produces a shorter high than snorted/inhaled cocaine. Users often have white powder around their noses from snorting. Street names for cocaine include snow, crack, coke, or flake. Although cocaine use was more widespread in the 1980s, it continues to have a strong street presence currently.


Source: usatoday.com

Take Care of Yourself when Helping Others in Recovery

Take Care of Yourself when Helping Others in Recovery

Sometimes, when helping others in recovery, individuals forget about their own needs too much and suffer themselves. It is really important to take care of yourself when helping others in recovery. Supporting someone else takes vast amounts of time and emotional energy. Most of the time, financial pressure is involved as well. Often, those taking care of the individual in recovery let themselves fall to the bottom of the list of priorities.

Thinking that you will take care of yourself when your loved one is completely done with recovery seems like the right thing to do when they seem to be suffering so much and need so much support. However, if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s easier to be reactive, frustrated or unnecessarily anxious. Instead, if you are meeting your own needs, you can be positive, caring, and calm for your loved one in recovery.

Remember the safety announcement on airplanes about securing your own oxygen mask first before helping others? Doing things to enhance and uplift yourself and your life can benefit the individual in recovery too. Sometimes its ok to go to dinner with friends or go to a movie even though you feel like that seems selfish knowing what your loved one is dealing with. Knowing you are happy and secure and healthy can help your loved one want the same thing for themselves.

Keeping you energy up, your life intact, things running smoothly, and continuing to foster other important relationships in your life can help you navigate the bumpy road that may be ahead with your loved one. The road may be longer than you think and taking care of you sets an important example for your loved one while in recovery.

7 Legal Drugs Teens are Abusing

7 Legal Drugs Teens are Abusing

A recent study by cnn.com names seven legal drugs abused by teens today. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 7 out of the top 10 drugs abused in America by teens are legal. The list is composed to herbal remedies, over the counter drugs, and prescription drugs – all of which can be purchased at one’s local pharmacy—not on the street. The study further indicated that alarmingly, about 3% of kids ages 12 to 17 admit to abusing a prescription drug in the past month, and 12% of teens admit to abusing OTC cough and cold medicines in that time frame. If you are wondering how to keep those you love from abusing legal drugs while in their teens, read through the following list and be aware of what you have in your home. It just takes a minute to find a safe place to lock these dangerous legal substances up to prevent abuse.

  • Prescription Stimulants: if a prescription is used in any way other than the doctor prescribed it, it is consider drug abuse. The most commonly abused legal prescription drug is a stimulant called Adderall. The research shows that almost 8% of 12th graders have tried Adderall, known on the street as speed.
  • Prescription Pain Medicines: these opioids can cause addiction can lead to overdose just like heroin. Many teens think that because a physician gives prescription pain pills that they are harmless. Most commonly abused by teens are the drugs Oxycontin and Viocodin. More than 7% of 12th graders admit to using Vicodin in the past year.
  • Over the Counter Cough Medicine: Teens may abuse cough syrup because it can cause hallucinations and a feeling of being away from reality. However, it can cause dangerous side effects and panic attacks. Almost 6% of 12th graders say they’ve been high from cough medicine.
  • Prescription Depressants: Teens may take these sedatives for their drowsy and calming effects. Nembutal, Valium, Xanax, Ambien, and Lunesta are among the most commonly abused. Use of these depressants can slow down one’s heart and breathing to dangerous levels. If alcohol is present, prescription depressants can be especially deadly. The study showed that around 2% of 12th graders report using a sedative or tranquilizer in the past month.
  • Salvia – this drug is an herb that teens smoke or chew. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Agency in the U.S. has not made salvia illegal. However, use of it can cause a distorted sense of reality and can cause long-term learning and memory problems. Although less common in its abuse by teens, in 2009, almost 6% of high school seniors reported trying salvia.
  • Anabolic Steroids – Not surprisingly, steroids are often abused by teens. Teens may want to appear larger or stronger and they don’t recognize the damage of steroid use on their bodies’ long term including shrunken testicles for men, facial hair growth for women, and kidney and liver damage. Almost 2% of high school seniors have tried anabolic steroids.
  • Tobacco and Alcohol – Both alcohol and tobacco are legal and many teens parents use both drugs Although teens may be made aware of the dangers of alcohol and tobacco use, they may not believe the warnings if their loved ones or acquaintances are using them. Alcohol abuse kills brain cells and damages important organs in the body and smoking destroys the lungs. About 40% of 12th graders admit to drinking alcohol in the past month.

HIV and Drug Abuse in Women

HIV and Drug Abuse in Women

Many understand that drug abuse can definitely increase one’s risk for HIV. However, some individuals, both men and women, with HIV do not understand the implications that drug abuse can have on their HIV disease. Women are at a higher risk often due to some risky behaviors they may engage in due to drug addiction. A recent report, published by cnn.com, states the following statistics about HIV and drug abuse in women:

  • 84% of women get HIV from risky sex with an HIV-infected man.
  • 15% of women get HIV from injecting drugs.
  • If you abuse drugs, you are more likely to trade sex for drugs, which is an HIV
  • Individuals who abuse alcohol, are nine times less likely to follow through on HIV treatment than someone who does not abuse alcohol. More women are struggling with alcohol addictions than ever before
  • Women who inject drugs are at higher risk of getting the liver infection hepatitis C. Hepatitis C makes it harder to treat HIV.
  • Alcohol abuse and other drugs can cause HIV to multiply more quickly in your body, increasing your viral load. Alcohol also can worsen the side effects that HIV medications already have on your liver.

Overall, anyone who abuses drugs puts himself or herself at risk for contracting HIV. The combination is dangerous and recent statistics show that women are even more susceptible to contracting HIV from drug abuse.

Why Drug Rehab Accreditation Matters

goldseal250Why Drug Rehab Accreditation Matters

Researching which drug rehab is best for you or your loved one often leads to questions of whether or not a facility is accredited. Many may wonder why this is important and what accreditation really means.   However, accreditation is key to finding the right rehab treatment facility. Being accredited doesn’t always ensure quality care, but most it often does.

Accreditation means that in addition to getting licensed by the state, some drug rehab programs choose to get accredited by a third party. In the U.S., drug rehab centers are most commonly further accredited by CARF (The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) and/or The Joint Commission. When a drug rehab meets the CARF or Joint Commission standards, they demonstrate that they are committed to being the best in every way. They meet high standards of quality and are committed to individualized treatment and client satisfaction.

When searching for a drug rehab facility, it’s imperative that different places and avenues of rehab are researched. Accreditation can’t guarantee a successful outcome, but it is always one of the best indicators of quality. By choosing an accredited program and asking detailed questions about the program staff, services and reputation, individuals can have more confidence in the drug rehab center they choose.

Rural Areas Producing More Drug Dependent Babies

Rural Areas Producing More Drug Dependent Babies

The New York Times reported Monday that rural areas in the United States are showing more infant drug dependence than previously recorded. This finding is due in large part to the use of opioids in women in these rural areas a recent study shows.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, is the first to show this connection. Researchers used data from 2004 to 2013 and found that compared with their urban matches, rural infants and mothers with opioid-related diagnoses were “more likely to be from lower-income families, have public insurance, and be transferred to another hospital following delivery. The proportion of infants diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) who were from rural areas increased from 12.9% in 2003/2004 to 21.2% in 2012/13.”

Further results indicated that newborn deliveries complicated by opioid use by the mother increased among those mothers from rural areas as well. While NAS primarily impacts infants while in utero, symptoms after delivery can include seizures, fever and tremors with treatment programs often using methadone to wean the newborns off of dependency.

The New York Times also reported on these findings and indicated that articles and news were once published in regard to babies being born to heroin-addicted mothers in large urban cities.   The new statistics are significant in that the trend has completely “flipped,” showing a need for opioid/drug use prevention and treatment in more rural areas in the United States.

Sources: nytimes.com, jamanetwork.com


Recovery is a Gift – Happy Holidays from Turning Point

Gift Of RecoveryRecovery is a Gift – Happy Holidays from Turning Point

The holiday season is a time of warmth, fun, and good memories for many. But for some, the holidays are a time when other factors such as high stress or depression are present- compounding problems associated with substance abuse and addiction. This time of the year is the highest risk season for those struggling with drug abuse and addiction. Sometimes family gatherings can intensify difficult or unhealthy relationships and cause additional anxiety. Stressful end-of-the-year workplace demands combined with required holiday party attendance can place additional pressure to drink or use. There are also many opportunities to celebrate in excess that can create tremendous challenges for those with addiction and trying to hold it together. Those struggling with drug addiction can benefit from getting into a treatment program during the holidays. The greatest gift you can give your addicted loved one—or yourself–is the gift of recovery.

Turning Point recognizes the difficulty of recovery as well as aiding someone through the recovery process. We commend you for your efforts to overcome the challenges you or your loved one struggles with and appreciate the hard work you are making to change. Happy Holidays!