SUBSTANCE ABUSE – WHAT FAMILIES NEED TO KNOW
Substance abuse, a serious problem in the US, causes loss of lives, domestic violence, child abuse, and costs the community millions of dollars each year. It is the 3rd GREAT KILLER, after heart disease and cancer. More than half of Americans have at least one close relative with a substance abuse problem, and the problem is growing among young people.
COMMONLY ABUSED DRUGS:
- ALCOHOL, abused by 1 in 13 Americans, is the #1 drug problem.
- METH LABS are an “epidemic”. John Duncan, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, says, “Oklahoma has one of the worst meth problems in the US.”
- MARIJUANA and COCAINE are popular mood altering drugs.
- Abuse of PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, including pain medications (Lortab, Demerol, OxyContin), muscle relaxants and Ritalin is increasing.
- Recently, youths are overdosing on COUGH & COLD MEDICATIONS (Robitussin, Coricidin).
- Other abused drugs include HEROIN, LSD, PCP, ECSASY, INHALANTS AND STEROIDS.
SYMPTOMS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE:
The effects of different drugs are not all the same, but some to look for:
- Obsessive or compulsive behavior
- Erratic mood swings
- Hyperactive or slowed body movements
- Slurred speech
- Pinpoint or dilated pupils
About 1 in 10 people who abuse drugs will become psychologically, sometimes physically dependent on the drug. They cannot control their use. AMA says that ADDICTION IS AN ILLNESS that is progressive and potentially fatal. Signs of addiction include increased tolerance and continued use in spite of negative consequences. Addiction affects the whole family, and recovery requires treatment and support.
HELP IS AVAILABLE:
Mental health professionals and doctors can help you and your family with substance abuse problems and concerns. Other community resources are:
- A Chance to Change 405-840-9000 www.achancetochange.org
- Alcoholics Anonymous 405-524-1100 :24 Hour Help Line 800-711-6375
- Al-Anon 405-767-9071 www.okcalanon.org
- Narcotics Anonymous 405-524-7068 24 Hour Help Line 800-711-6375
Gracie Moyers, M.Ed.
- Paul G. Tobin, Ph.D.
- Ann E Benjamin, M.ED.
- Lisa Marotta, Ph.D.
- Gracie Moyers, M.ED.
- Phyllis VanHemert, M.Ed.
- Nancy McReynolds, Ph.D.
- Moreen W. Foster, MAPCC
- Fred McGinn, MA
- Kimberly Spears, M.Ed.
- Janet Stafford, M.Ed.
- Jan Nelson Kimball, MSW, LCSW