Mental Health and Addiction
April 8, 2021
Mental Health & Addiction – Talking Mental
In my new book, Mental Health & Addiction – Talking Mental! I will share with you the mental health challenges that so many men face. Like women, men too experience stress, depression and anxiety. There are two types of men – one is the happy go lucky type, who thinks nothing of what others think, who believes that everything will be OK as long as he can get the woman he loves; and the other type of man is the kind who think his problems are the problem in the relationship he has with his girlfriend.
The Challenging First Step
The first step to improving your mental health and coping with your mental health issues is to find out what is causing them. Even thinking about the threat of addiction can be stressful. It could be anything from a traumatic experience to a diagnosis of a medical condition. If the issue is something you have been struggling with for some time, it may take some therapy or some time away from the situation to figure out what is causing you to have these thoughts.
For most men however, the cause is usually something that happened to them while they were young. Whether it was abuse, depression or excessive alcohol use, the trauma will bring on a host of feelings that are not pleasant and will manifest themselves in different ways for each man.
Mental Health Issues
Men who are dealing with mental health issues are going to need to talk with their girlfriend about their issues. Women are often much more understanding and can offer support that will help her man see that he is not alone. However, men will have to be equally open and honest with their girlfriends about their issues. It is never easy to talk about complicated issues like depression, drug addiction, eating disorders or insecurity. However, talking about these issues with your loved one will offer support and will give both you and your girlfriend some distance from the emotional ordeal that is affecting your relationship.
Once you and your girlfriend have come to terms with the fact that you are dealing with an issue that effects both of you, it is time to try and find a way to move past it. One of the most common causes of these types of disorders in men is because they are depressed. If this is the case, then there are many things that a doctor can do to help. A psychologist or psychiatrist can make treatment sessions more manageable and allow you to work on clearing your mental health problems.
There are also support groups specifically for men dealing with issues of addiction. In some cases, alcohol or drug abuse has been brought on by other life circumstances. When you are diagnosed with a mental disorder and have challenges with addition, that is called dual diagnosis. If this is the case, then the support of your friends and family may be the best thing that you could do. You could attend a support group meeting of other men, learn more about how you feel about the situation and even to discuss what you have done to get to where you are today. This could be the first step toward getting you back on the right path.
Sometimes, there is no clear reason why a person becomes addicted to certain substances. This is a problem that has no simple answer, but there are many common threads that run through all of the cases that deal with mental health & addiction. For example, these illnesses are usually caused by depression or anxiety issues. People with this type of disorder are often also dealing with personal issues. This is why it is so important to work on having a positive outlook and developing a strong sense of self. If you can do that, then you will be well on your way to overcoming any addiction that you might have.
The Threat Of Addiction In Our Future
September 13, 2018
How Addiction Is Threatening Our Future
The dramatic increase in America’s opioid addiction is indicative of a swarming epidemic. Not only is it shocking, but it is deadly for the current and the future generation to come.
The drug overdose epidemic has been termed as the deadliest crisis in the history of America. It’s been recorded that in 2016 alone, death by drug overdoses occurred at an alarming rate, whereby more than 170 people died from it on daily basis.
On a yearly scale, drug overdose has killed more Americans than the Vietnam War. In fact, this crisis has taken more lives alone than the number of lives claimed by car crashes and gun violence. It surpasses even the total number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS every year.
We as a community must raise awareness to not just the challenge the epidemic but also to increase awareness as to how addicts can develop enough conviction to overcome their addiction.
According to a forecast by STAT News, it was concluded that over the span of ten years about 650,000 are expected to die from opioid overdoses — if drastic changes to the increasing stats don’t make a turn.
The estimated number is so vast that it can account for the entire population of Baltimore. In other words, we’re set to lose a number of people that is the equivalent of a whole American city.
When we analyze this problem, we see that on the one hand, we have a vast number of addicts who need to be rescued before they fall off the deep end, and on the other hand, we have future generations that we must prevent from becoming potential addicts.
In order to the treat the latter, we must treat the former. We need the addicted lot to seek treatment and these methods should be made available to them vigorously.
Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?
The first question that comes to the minds of many is “can addiction be treated?” Yes, it certainly can. But it is not a simple process, and in order to understand the complexity of the treatment, we must understand the nature of addiction.
Addiction is a chronic disease that requires a ongoing treatment, as well as a healthy dose of commitment. Addicts cannot simply quit taking drugs and be cured. They need to invest long-term into abstaining from drugs so that they can recover from this abuse. With that said, even then the possibility of relapse remains high.
How Should Drug Addiction Be Treated?
The most obvious principles to adopt in order to build ourselves a cure is to stop using drugs and to dedicate ourselves to staying drug-free as much as possible. This is only possible when the mind is distracted and occupied with activities that are healthy and productive, such as staying involved with the family and work. We can also be more active in contributing to society in general and build niches for ourselves.
What Are Specific Treatments for Drug Addiction?
Although, there are a number of treatments that have been successful in treating drug addiction, the primary element that forms the foundation of these treatments is commitment.
Once we’ve built enough commitment to effect a change in our addiction and ultimately find control over it, we can explore the following methods to pursue long-term treatment (also note that each person reacts differently to treatments and may be more responsive to some methods than the others):
– Behavioral counseling
– Medical devices employed to overcome withdrawal symptoms
– Skills training
– Proper evaluation and treatment for any mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
– Follow-up on a long-term basis to prevent relapsing
– Getting help from reputable organizations
– Treatment centers
Those of us who are well aware of our symptoms and “triggers” can also seek a tailored treatment program that is specifically designed to address those. Treatments are best when they include a variety of methods or factors, such as community or family-based recovery support systems.
Advice for Those Seeking Help
For people seeking help, it is best if they can refer to professionals they can trust for advice. These are some steps suggested by experts that people-in-need can make use of:
– Get referrals from our doctors know your medical history.
– Explore information on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
– Seek treatment in your home community to ensure the commute doesn’t deter you from resuming our treatment, even during post-treatment. This would help prevent any relapses.
– Seek programs accredited by reputable organizations.
– Ask questions, speak to people and interact as much as possible. Gain motivation from everywhere around you.
The Hope of Dope?
October 25, 2017
Medical cannabis research and legalization is on the rise along with recreational use around the world. Many states here in America have either legalized medical use or it is a hot topic on many ballots. Society is opening its eyes on a healthy alternative to many medications that are just as harmful or dangerous as the cancer or tumor they are intended to treat. With the explosion of drug use and addiction in the US – some are still worried about the effects of legalized cannabis. Many are worried that marijuana use in kids can evolve into long term drug use and abuse of common drugs that kids abuse such as huffing or other drugs such as flakka.
Health conscious people are seeking out more natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals. With research on cannabis showing positive results for treating many illnesses or conditions from arthritis to the Zika virus, the negative stigma surrounding cannabis is slowly disappearing. As people continue to accept cannabis more funding becomes available and more research is done on the medicinal properties of the plant.
With around 29 states with some form of medical cannabis program, patients who need a safer alternative have the ability to access medicine. Some of the conditions where cannabis has been shown to be effective are cancers, seizures, nausea, appetite loss, headaches, anxiety, and pain relief. Studies from the National Cancer Institute and other reputable research centers have shown that certain cannabinoids found in cannabis have the ability to slow, stop, or kill growing cancer cells.
Louisiana’s Medical Marijuana Policy
Louisiana recently updated its medical marijuana policy which previously only allowed LSU Agricultural Center to cultivate and research cannabis. Although there has been some form of medical marijuana program in the state since the late 1970s, there were no places to access medical cannabis, nor were there any doctors that would actually recommend cannabis for medical purposes. The state will now allow LSU and Southern University to cultivate cannabis and produce medical products in the form of oils, topical applications, and pills to name a few. However, like a few other states, any form of cannabis that can be smoked will be against policy. LSU Agricultural Center and The LSU Board of Supervisors have selected GB Sciences of Las Vegas to be the producer of high grade cannabis. Southern University has not yet selected a producer at this time.
Widely Used Already
There is a good chance that many of us know someone is either already a medical marijuana patient or someone that would benefit from it. In any case, cannabis for medicinal or recreational use is a much safer alternative for better overall health. Only in recent decades have we started to do scientific research on the cannabis plant. Truth be told, humans have been doing research and testing on cannabis for thousands of years. Even ancient man discovered the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant.
Medical uses aside, cannabis and/or hemp has hundreds of uses and can be made into many different products including edibles. The entire plant from top to bottom can be utilized for its fibers, oils, cannabinoids, and flowers. Fuels, foods, clothes, industrial applications, and housing are few simple things cannabis can be made into. And growing cannabis or hemp does less damage to the soil than traditional crops like corn or wheat. The time of the stereotypical “stoner” is a thing of the past. Now is the time of the successful entrepreneur who enjoys cannabis and the toking grandmother using cannabis to ease her pains from arthritis. People are realizing that pot can help some and others can enjoy recreational use of marijuana while being successful in many aspects of life.
The Psychedelic Comeback
April 11, 2017
Not everyone got to experience it but, we all know about it in some form. From the music that seems to come from another dimension, to the art that represents a different state of consciousness. We are talking about the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s, and it is making a comeback. The magical substances such as mushrooms, LSD, and Mescaline were being consumed all over the world. People not only wanted to enter into an alternate state of consciousness, they needed it.
Anyone with experience with some form of psychedelic or another will tell you that they allow you to expand your mind. Many people will ask what does this mean. We all have a certain thought process we go through daily when presented with tasks and situations. The way we evaluate people, things, and situations is our thought process. Psychedelics open the mind and allow the user to evaluate things from a whole new perspective. Under the right conditions many people report lasting effects of elevated mood for days or weeks after a mild dose of a psychedelic like psilocybin mushrooms. Studies have shown that people were able to quit smoking tobacco or using harder drugs like heroin after a profound psychedelic trip. Very seldom does someone require drug rehab for the use of psychedelics.
Are Psychedelics Safe?
Although, there is still a stigma associated with psychedelics where some people that don’t fully understand them reject them. Psychedelics are fairly safe when compared to many other substances in use today. For example mushrooms have an LD50 of approximately 285mg/Kg meaning that a 180lb adult would have to consume nearly 50lbs of psilocybin alone to come close to death. The substance is not in question in most cases. There are situations where people can get sick with mushrooms. The illness is most often associated with the misidentification of the mushrooms in the wild. There are plenty of toxic mushrooms that grow next to the edible and magic mushrooms. Picking and consuming the wrong mushroom can lead to a slow and painful death. Picking wild mushrooms can be extremely dangerous and should only be done by those with the knowledge and experience to identify both toxic and non-toxic mushrooms.
There have been studies that show micro dosing with psychedelics can counter the effects of depression and anxiety in some patients. More studies are in progress to identify the benefits of medicinal use of psychedelics. This research has the potential to provide many people suffering from mental disorders, PTSD, anxiety, and depression in ways pharmaceuticals have not been able to do so and in a safe and natural way. Indigenous people of almost every continent have respected many psychedelics and revered them as medicine for thousands of years. Who are we to argue with thousands of years of research.
Micro Dosing Mushrooms
Magic Mushrooms Make a Resurgence
March 1, 2017
“Magic Mushrooms” Make a Resurgence
Psychedelic drugs, such as “magic mushrooms”, which contain the chemical Psilocybin, are making a comeback on the party scene across the nation. The substance is a hallucinogen and can cause a range of mind-altering, “trips” that young people are experimenting again with once more.
We are seeing people find legal ways to take shrooms and a push for them to become fully legal. There are also pushes to make the much more powerful drug DMT legal.
In the 1960’s Mushrooms were first introduced to the party scene in Australia. As soon as they hit America, the mid-late 1960’s, era of the free love & peace hippie scene, they exploded.
Commonly referred to as:
- Magic mushrooms
How This Dangerous Drug is Found and Used
People will ingest the mushrooms by either eating them, cooking them into a tea, or even just putting them in other foods. Unfortunately, there have been reported deaths due to people picking the “wrong” mushroom, thinking they were picking a culinary mushroom and ending up with a psychedelic. Often, the mushrooms picked straight from the ground even have maggots in them, thus they ingest maggots. If people do not know what they are doing 100%, they should stick to “picking” their mushrooms up from the local grocery store, so they don’t end up on a “trip” instead of a topping for their steak.
How Risky Is It?
The use of “Magic Mushrooms” may have a reputation of not being as harmful as other psychedelic drugs, but many incidents of overdose and death have occurred. When used often, or in high doses people can damage the developing brain, making this even more dangerous for teens and young adults. Addiction can take place.
Users can suffer psychosis, excessive anger and the danger of taking extreme risks, while high on the Psilocybin found in Mushrooms.
Law Enforcement is Cracking Down
It seems if you ask law enforcement while there has not been a bigger crackdown on “Mushroom Picking” and usage, they will candidly tell you they have been dealing with so many other drugs that have been deemed riskier, or more abundant in the past. It is almost unheard of to hear of anyone having gone to jail for picking them in the past. Let it be known, The active ingredient, Psilocybin, is illegal in all states and in the past it has often been punished with a fine. Drug & Alcohol rehab counselors, educators and law enforcement are now saying that the possibility of serving jail time should be stressed as well as the health concerns to discourage the use.
How To Find Help
If you yourself, or someone you know, has been abusing Mushrooms, you need to find a reputable rehabilitation facility that has experience in treating this type of drug abuse. Each rehab will offer a variety of treatment programs. You may choose inpatient or outpatient drug addiction counseling to help you learn to live and enjoy life without the use of mushrooms, and other psychedelic drugs like them.
February 13, 2017
A Dangerous Addiction
In just the past few years the streets of Florida and other southern states began seeing the impact of the inexpensive, explosion of Flakka on their streets, sending drug rehab facilities into high alert to educate themselves on the safe detox from the drug. The drug is manufactured primarily in India, China and Pakistan, and the United States is working diligently to circumvent the import of this dangerous substance.
Recently, across the U.S. cases of individuals testing positive for the active ingredient in Flakka, a stimulant developed in the 1960s called alpha-PVP, has shown a dramatic increase. Today, alpha-PVP is manufactured in overseas pharmaceutical plants and shipped all over the world.
Why People Use Flakka
Availability appears to be the big draw. It has been referred to as the “poor man’s meth”. They also saw a large number of younger addicts abusing this substance, most likely due to the low cost and availability. Flakka is cheaper than most street drugs, and has been sold under the illusion of “Bath Salts” in tobacco shops, and convenience stores. Now Flakka has moved to the street dealer. Sometimes called “Gravel” and “Salt”, Flakka only became declared a controlled substance in January 2014, and that was only by emergency declaration from the Justice Department. Each time a ban on a specific formula, the formula would be changed slightly, and repackaged.
Flakka is often ingested through snorting, smoking, or eating. However, it can also be ingested through “vaping” in an e-cigarette, so addicts can conveniently take it in public without anyone noticing until the crazy effects begin.
The bizarre behavior of the people using Flakka has caused First Responders, Police Officers’, and Substance Abuse Counselors to act swift in finding a response to this epidemic. Drug treatment centers began to reach out into the streets to educate the young addicts of this dangerous chemical.
Signs of Flakka Use
Flakka is associated with cocaine-like changes in behavior. Behavior changes induced by Flakka use may include:
- Extreme agitation.
- Aberrant and ‘bizarre’ behavior.
- Delirium or intense confusion.
- Psychotic symptoms, delusions, and hallucination
- Changes in heart rate.
- Heart attack.
- Cardiomyopathy (damage to heart muscle).
- Death due to cardiac complications.
*Warning the video below may be disturbing to some individuals
Inpatient Drug Rehab is the Best Answer
The Flakka addict is like any other addict. The first step would be detoxing in a qualified rehabilitation facility. Quitting on their own, if they even attempt it, proves to be unsuccessful without the aid of rehab counselors facilitating a medical detox. A good follow up rehab program after detox is imperative for drug addicts, including Flakka addicts. Addiction specialist agree that inpatient drug rehabilitation is the best treatment option for these addicts.
Long Term Effects of Flakka Use
Assuming the Flakka drug user survives the end result of his/her bizarre behavior while under the influence of the drug there, are lasting effects on the body.
The worst of the lingering after effects of the drug can be compared, in rare instances, to someone who runs a marathon, wherein muscle tissue starts to decompose and break down into the blood stream. That can lead to kidney failure and death.
Struggles in Recovery
February 3, 2017
Struggles in Recovery
Being successful in recovery can be very challenging and requires a ton of effort. Obviously, the most crucial step is ending the substance abuse itself, but that isn’t the end of the road. Recovery is lifelong and is a choice you will face every single day, which makes those recovering extremely vulnerable to relapse.
These are the top 5 struggles that recovering addicts face during their lifelong journey of recovery:
- Anger- Drug addiction changes the chemistry of your body and brain, and you may find yourself struggling with anger issues when recovering from addiction. In most cases, the anger is a normal part of life, but for recovering addicts, it can quickly lead to relapse.
- Sadness or Depression- Sadness is another normal emotion, but that may be made worse by those who are recovering from drug addiction. Because of the changes in the brain, it can take a long time after stopping drugs for your body to regain some balance in emotions. Those recovering must learn to manage these emotions and create a routine and healthy lifestyle.
- Being Around Drug Users- Often times those who are on the path to recovery find themselves wanting to spend time with the friends they had while on drugs. Usually, those people are also using drugs and this can be very dangerous. People want to fit in, they want to please, and they often give into temptation—and giving into that peer pressure can ruin some people’s chances at full recovery.
- Happiness- Negative emotions can easily trigger relapse to drug use, but so can happy or joyful emotions. Exciting events in life usually are cause for celebration—it’s hard to celebrate as the ‘new’ you when the ‘old’ you would have used drugs as celebration.
- Stress, Mistakes, and Boredom- Making mistakes, being stressful, having boring or dull days is a commonplace thing for everyone. But for those struggling through recovery, your mind might be quick to jump to the desire to take drugs again because you may think that will relieve your stress or boredom, or make you forget those mistakes.
All of these struggles are common, not only for everyone but especially for those who are recovering drug addicts. You must learn to understand who you are and how you feel, and learn to cope with those feelings. You have to strive to develop ways to do things without going back to using drugs.