In the movie "Requium for a Dream", Sara Goldfarb (played by Ellen Burstyn), a widowed mother, finds herself hooked on diet pills. We watch as her world gradually spirals out of control.
This scenario and others that are similar, are becoming all too common. Teenagers, young mothers, parents and grandparents--all are susceptible to prescription drug addiction.
Much of today's information on this topic deals with the problem--how widespread it is, and highlights the "celebrity of the day" who has succumed to its consequences.
We know that you are seeking answers. For the friend or family member who is at a loss of what to do, the solutions detailed in my book Why Don't They Just Quit? remain the same. Empathy, education, intervention, allowing consequences to happen, all apply--regardess of the type of addiction.
This newsletter is packed with up-to-date information about Prescription Drug Abuse. You may want to keep this in your "in box" to refer back to, as there are many interesting articles and video interviews to explore.
Scroll to the bottom to find links to:
- An 85-year old woman's story of her 30-year addiction (and eventual recovery) to tranquelizers and pain pills.
-An interview with Katic Couric about prescription drug abuse.
-A great article from the Menninger Clinic about painkiller abuse (which highlights treatment options and speaks about relapse).
We have decided to extend the date of our FREE Teens Under the Influence DVD (see ordering details in the right-hand column). Don Williams, an expert who specializes in working with teen abusers gives advice that I wish I had had years ago, when we were dealing with our son's substance abuse.
Lastly, take a few minutes to view "Paul Sings".
You won't regret it!
"The Accidental Addict"
by Joe Herzanek
|A prescription drug abuser is sometimes referred to as an "accidental addict."
The Grammy's #1 Song of the Year 2008 was awarded to Amy Winehouse for her song "Rehab". My wife and I watched the show and as far as we could tell, the judges must have really liked the title.
Our recent news features tragic stories of singers, models, movie stars and other well-known celebrities--many who are in trouble with drug abuse, either in rehab, needing to be in rehab, just getting out of, or going back into rehab. Sadly, some are paying the ultimate price for their drug use. What we are also seeing is the abuse of prescription drugs. The famous, along with the not-so-famous, are dying while using legal, often doctor prescribed pain and stress management pills.
Forty years ago, a drug called Valium became popular and was immortalized in a song by the Rolling Stones called "Mother's Little Helper". We now know that this class of drugs called benzodiazapens (Valium, Xanax, Librum, Klonapin) are possibly the most difficult drugs to get off of--even harder to quit than Heroin. We've learned much since 1968.
Legal, tested and FDA approved drugs are just as powerful as street drugs such as Cocaine, Heroin, and Methamphetamine. In fact, there is a legal form of Meth called Dysoxin, which is often prescribed for children with ADD.
Many prescribed drugs are helpful for a percentage of those who use them. The pharmaceutical companies make a lot of money from these drugs. There is nothing wrong with making money. The problem is that these drugs are over prescribed and the dependency issue and side effects are not made clear to most users.
A case in point involves one of the most powerful and addictive pain medications on the market--the drug Oxycontin. The manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, promoted the drug as effective and non-addictive. On May 10, 2007, Purdue Pharma reached a settlement, paying 1,100 patients a total of $75 million (no big deal though, since annual sales of Oxycontin have reached $1.5 Billion). (click here for more details on this case)
Advancements in technology and medicine have increased the quality of life for many people, but not for all.
"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."
or, in the words of Amy Winehouse:
"They tried to make me go to rehab,
but I said no, no, no."
Drug Rehab Can Be A Tough Sell To Prescription Drug Addicts
by Rod MacTaggart
Tens of thousands of Americans have found out the hard way that addiction to prescription drugs is every bit as dangerous and devastating as addictions to alcohol and all the infamous and illegal street drugs. For many prescription drug addicts, an intervention is needed to get them into drug rehab.
If you have a friend or loved one who is addicted to prescription drugs, that unfortunate person is not alone. Prescription drug abuse is out of control in this country, and addiction statistics are climbing out the roof. For example:
* Methadone addiction is up 29 percent
* Prescription pain reliever addiction is up 24 percent
* Anti-anxiety drug (benzodiazepine) addiction is up 19 percent.
Just because the pills were prescribed by a doctor doesn't mean they are safe. Yet this is the kind of excuse you often hear from prescription drug addicts. Meanwhile, drug detox and rehab centers are reporting more prescription drug cases than ever before - often more than the traditional street drug addictions. Hundreds of people are dead because of prescription drugs side effects and interactions with other drugs. And there are hundreds of articles on the Internet these days describing how quickly people can get addicted to prescription drugs and how hard it is to get off them.
Most stories we've seen also describe how often addicts refuse to enter drug detox or rehab despite urging from friends and family members. When they try to intervene, they hit a brick wall. This isn't because the addicted person is different from, or worse than, other addicts, or even ungrateful - they know they need help no matter what they say. But addiction to prescription drugs is often defended by the addict as "it's just prescription drugs - they're from the doctor!"
An experienced drug rehab intervention specialist possesses insights about the sources of addiction and the effects they have on someone's thought processes. For example, many addicts actually don't realize their addiction can lead to illness or death. With your help, the interventionist can get the addict to understand and accept what's really going on with them, and become willing to enter drug rehab to deal with it.
Once your loved one has made the decision to go to drug rehab, the intervention specialist can help you find the best possible drug rehab program for your needs and budget - a drug rehab program that works, and through which your loved one can recover and rebuild his or her life, free forever from prescription drug addiction.
Rod MacTaggart is a freelance writer who contributes articles on health.
Recent Feedback From Our Readers
Changing Lives has had the pleasure of hearing from some of you.
With their permission, we are honored to share some of their feedback and
experiences, with the hope that you too, will know that you are not
alone, and to "never give up hope."
"It is so sadly ironic that I received your February "Teens" email newsletter today relative to "Raising Kids in the Twenty-First Century". My 19-year-old son (Blake) only last week received his 2nd DUI. I have your book "Why Don't They Just Quit?" but had not began to read it yet. I'm so very sorry that I had not started it earlier; maybe I could have averted this last incident. He was lucky, wrecked his car but did not injure anyone.
My wife and I are very sensitive to what we could have done different in raising him. He has refused to respond to counseling, punishment or all the hundreds of hours of talking we have done. I intend to get involved in your book and re-commit myself to saving his life.
I myself have been in recovery since 1983, from alcohol and drugs. Started using in Viet Nam in 1969 and continued heavy through college until I almost killed a whole family on the road in 1982. I went to AA and found the right people to help save me. I know this all happened by the grace of God and I am praying I can help bring my son around as well.
I plan to order the DVD "Teens Under The Influence" as soon as possible and hope this will help my wife and I gather some strength and hope. Right now, we are very weak and can barely see the way out for our whole family. (we have 17-year-old twin daughters still at home) I wish you were close to our part of the world, we need help so very much.
God Bless you both. We will never give up hope!
" . . . a very good read. Joe has effectively drawn together much of
the wisdom from AA and Alanon's 70-plus years of experience, the
hands-on lessons from professional counseling and the more recent
medical advances in the treatment of addictions. His counsel and
advice, while based on complicated problems with no easy answers is
very practical and down to earth. As an addctions counselor
with over 35 years experience I am particularly impressed that Joe
avoided the common temptations of giving pat answers or proposing
solutions that are over the heads of most people and require
Joe clearly has a good grasp of the
disease of chemical addiction and has presented a very objective
overview of the best treatments and interventions for this disease." Dave Ketter, LCPClinical SupervisorValley Hope Association
"I found that your book Why Don't They Just Quit? was an excellent read in terms of gaining a very keen understanding of alcohol and drug addiction. Having very little knowledge of the why, what, how, when of addiction, I found your book to be extremely forthcoming with personal and educational insight into a very complex, but solvable, problem.
Although alcohol and drug addiction is weighted heavily with emotional issues, it is, without a doubt, a very serious disease--something that everyone involved needs to address immediately.
After reading your book, I felt a sense of relief knowing that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, but it will take time and practice. Thanks for sharing your personal story, it's was inspirational."
Thank you for partnering with us in the battle to free those we care about from the bonds of addiction. I believe that your family and relationships can be fully restored and that you can play an important role in changing someone's life immediately.
Remember to never give up hope!
Changing Lives Foundation
Changing Lives Foundation is committed to bringing you practical
information that can be used right now, to help someone you care about
break the bonds of addiction.
*How to Order
"Teens Under the
from our "Why Don't They Just Quit?" website
(offer ends May 31,2008) and
FREE 30-minute "Teens Under the
(as always, FREE Shipping and Handling)
(you will NOT receive your Teen DVD if you do not enter this code at the end of your order)
Enter coupon codeTEENDVD
in indicated box
at the end of order form.
(Note: you may need to write this code down so you will have it at checkout. Code is not case sensitive.)Click for ordering info.
May 31, 2008
Now you can explore ...
our past newsletters
and press releases.
|to access our Archive and
- "MEANEST MOM ON THE PLANET" -
from Feb. 2008
- INTERVENTION -
from Jan. 2008
- WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH STRESS? -
from Dec. 2007
- HOLIDAY PROBLEMS? -
from Nov. 2007
- Q&A "ASK JOE" -
This person is amazing!
Click on the image below for a real treat; one that will remind you that dreams do come true!
"My dream is to spend my life doing what I feel I was born to do."
Paul--a mobie phone salesman
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bottom line is . . . when I take away the pain,
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I ALMOST ENSURE . . . the thing is going to happen,
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Here's my statement.
Can you love your child enough
to let him hurt?
love him enough
to let him
be mad at you?
can do that,
that's the love
that they need.
Clear Brook Lodge