Arizona Addiction Recovery Center https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org Phoenix & Scottsdale, AZ Fri, 15 Jan 2021 05:07:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/cropped-aarc-icon-32x32.png Arizona Addiction Recovery Center https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org 32 32 Celebrity Deaths Due To Drugs in 2020 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/celebrity-deaths-due-to-drugs-in-2020/ Thu, 31 Dec 2020 17:05:29 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16067 Living like a celebrity has its own set of perks.

You live your life like the way you want. It’s all glitz and glamour around you. One tends to feel like they are on top of the world.

Although however, glamorous and positive you may find it, there’s never denying the parts which make it a little less desirable. We may not realize it but they do go through a lot of stuff.

One of them being- drug addiction.

Yes, addiction. It may seem like a vice, but a lot of celebrities are known to have been facing the problem of addiction at some point in their lives.

Although many of these celebrities are able to overcome their addictions and come out stronger, there are some who aren’t able to climb up the ladder again.

Behind all the glamour, at some point of time, there’s depression, loneliness, addiction, stress and much more. All of this when combined with influential social circles and hefty paychecks lead to a vicious cycle of drugs and other addictive and harmful substances.

While the effects of some may seem short-termed, the long-term effects, as we may see, might turn out to be fatal.

2020 has already been a rollercoaster ride for the entire world. What made it worse was a few celebrities which left us and were a victim of drug-related abuse.

  • Jason Davis

The famous actor who stayed in Los Angeles, California, died this year on February 16th.

Jason was a celebrity actor who gained fame as the voice behind Mikey Blumberg, from the animated series Recess.

According to a report released after his death, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, the actor died from the effects of Fentanyl.

Jason Davis had also co-founded the organisation Cure Addiction Now, which assisted in funding research for people who were suffering through substance abuse.

  • Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle was a singer, musician and songwriter who hailed from Nashville, Tennessee. A talented soul, Justin went on to release many full-length successful albums which earned him many awards.

However, Justin passed away in August when he was just 38. The cause of death was revealed in a report from the Tennessee Department of Health revealed in December stating that Earle died of an accidental “acute combined drug toxicity”, as mentioned in the Rolling Stones magazine.

Justin was quite vocal and concerned about the opioid epidemic and how legal drugs were one of the major reasons behind major deaths.

In a Facebook post uploaded by his friends and family members, it was revealed that traces of fentanyl were found. It was due to the fentanyl-laced cocaine consumed by the singer that led to an overdose. Justin was the son of alternative country artist Steve Earle.

  • Lexii Alijai

Alexis Alijai Lynch or Lexii Alijai was an American rapper hailing from Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Alexis was just 21 when she died on January 1, 2020, in a hotel room in Minneapolis.

According to a few sources, it was revealed that Alexis was found dead at the Loews Hotel, and didn’t respond to the efforts made by the first responders to revive her.

It’s reported that Alijai died from an overdose of the painkiller Percocet, a prescription opioid that is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen.

The young rapper was seen as an upcoming and rising talent in the music industry. Her sudden and untimely death was sad for many of her peers.

  • Chynna Rogers

Chynna Marie Rogers or Chynna was a rapper, model and disc jockey. Chynna died of an overdose. The celebrity had previously suffered addiction but had been sober since 2017. She attended rehab for the same.

Chynna was found dead on April 8, in Philadelphia

According to a statement by the Philadelphia Department of Health, the cause of death for Chynna Rogers was ascertained to be an accidental drug overdose.

In a statement, she stated how it was important to talk about the drug issue, stating that people should know that they aren’t along who are suffering through this.

“I see a lot of artists decide they want to go through s–t with their fans, and that’s cool because it gives your fans something to hold onto. But I need to handle it myself first, and then, when I’ve figured out how I want to word it, we can talk about it–y’all not about to go through it with me,” she said in a statement.

Chynna started her career when she was just 14 and was associated with ASAP Mob, performing singles and collaborative tracks.

Conclusion

Celebrities seem to be like the people who have the most sorted life around. However, as glamorous as it seems, there are certain aspects of everyone’s lives that are hidden and not so good looking.

While they seem to be living their lives as no one else does, they do have their own set of problems, which leads to such unforeseen events, hence jeopardising their and their loved one’s lives.

Keeping that in mind, this goes on to portray how important it is to be grateful for the things that we have.

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Impact of Decriminalizing Drug Possession – AZ Prop 207 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/impact-of-decriminalizing-drug-possession-az-prop-207/ Fri, 18 Dec 2020 05:34:20 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16062 Arizona just legalized marijuana and has passed prop 207 to decriminalize drug possession. Oregon, too, has become the first state to pass measure 110 and has taken the first step towards making the healthcare system more empathetic and inclusive for addicts. Here’s everything you need to know.

The overall impact of Oregon measure 110 

The entire point of introducing measure 110 is to find an alternative for the current system. Those who voted in favor of the measure said that imprisoning people in possession of drugs hasn’t been shown to work.

There’s no decline in the addiction rates. Instead, the number of deaths and overdose reports have only been growing. So, it’s time to look at our options.

Oregon measure 110 allows the state to offer addiction recovery treatment without raising taxes as it aims to repurpose the money obtained by reducing the incarceration rates, saving $44,021 behind every inmate annually.

The state’s confidence in this new system comes from its historical victory. Six years ago, Oregon legalized the use of marijuana. Since then, they haven’t experienced even the slightest spike in youth usage or in crimes related to drugs.

Additionally, the measure is also set to quadruple funding for non-Medicaid treatment. This includes offering more than $100 million in new funding to recovery services, making healthcare more inclusive for addicts.

This measure will also give rise to addiction recovery centers that will be designed in such a way that they will assess the needs of substance abuse patients and addicts, allowing the state to work on the existing treatment.

But wait! There’s more.

State economists are expecting the 17% tax on retail cannabis to work its magic. The revenue for 2019-21 is projected at $291 million. And the good news is that the money will be used for improving the facilities offered to the public.

The primary reason for their optimism has, again, got something to do with Oregon’s history.

In 2017-19, the state collected $184 million in cannabis tax revenue after legalization. So, the projection of $291 million would mean having a 58% increase in the state’s revenue, which will ultimately benefit the residents.

How Arizona Proposition 207 will change things for everyone

With 59% of positive votes, Prop 207 has allowed the legalization of recreational cannabis for adult use. This also means that the government can now begin taxing it.

Now, people above the age of 21 years can purchase up to 1 oz. of marijuana or have up to 6 plants at home. And apparently, people are loving it.

The decision is a popular one because there are 1,800,000 votes and counting that favor the proposition – a figure that has surpassed the total votes for both Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

It’s a historic win for the public because it promises two things – the release of those convicted for the possession of marijuana and the promotion of a more inclusive public healthcare.

Let’s look at the promise of criminal justice reform. Possession of drugs attracts court intervention and criminal proceedings, leaving a permanent mark on your record.

If drug possession is decriminalized, it can allow people to have a second chance at a better life without the lifelong criminal tag. It will provide people with an opportunity to rebuild their careers without struggling to pursue professions in legal institutions.

Aside from that, it will also make addiction support accessible because drug possession won’t be seen as a punishable offense anymore.

Prop 207 also makes numerical sense. Arizona has 1.2 million cannabis users. So, the state is expecting to generate $341 million in revenue in the first year. The state tax is also said to rise from 4.5% to 8% – a great feat amid COVID-19.

As expected, the money will be deposited into the Smart & Safe Arizona Fund and will be used to offer public safety, community education, better healthcare, and improve the addiction recovery treatment process.

And if that’s not enough, by 2023, prop 207 is also projected to create 385,000 to 475,000 job opportunities in the cannabis industry. So, former addicts will always have a future after their recovery is complete.

Finally, prop 207 will also ensure the promotion of social equity because it’s designed to offer licenses particularly to social equity applicants, which is expected to improve patient and consumer access in Arizona.

So, if you belong to the minority groups, you have a chance at establishing your own dispensary once you embrace sobriety.

What does history tell us about decriminalizing drugs?

Decriminalization of drugs simply means reducing drug prohibition laws. Basically, drug decriminalization refers to supporting the use of fines or other forms of penalties, instead of imprisonment.

They also don’t get an entry in their permanent records, which allows them to pursue career opportunities that they’re interested in.

Most importantly, both Oregon measure 110 and Arizona prop 207 will help reduce the stigma around addiction – something that has possibly caused more harm than the drugs.

Stigmatization of addiction and substance abuse has given rise to a knowledge gap and misinformation among the general population. So, it has become quite difficult to regulate information on drugs and addiction. Removing the stigma is sure to make professional help more accessible.

There are various case studies that have proven the positive impacts of decriminalization drugs with Portugal being one of the most prominent examples of that.

When drugs were first decriminalized in Portugal in 2001, those caught in of them were sent to rehabs or recovery centers. They were offered therapy and the courts avoided giving prison sentences.

As a result, the first five years saw some major changes. The use of illegal drugs among teenagers had gradually declined and the cases of deaths due to heroin and other hard drugs went down by more than 50%.

Another notable change that happened was the rate of HIV infections among substance abusers saw a drop and twice as many people began seeking addiction recovery treatment.

Suffice to say, regulation of drugs can allow the government to make constructive changes in society’s DNA. It can help control and provide the masses with accurate information about substances and mental health disorders while allowing people to find help as soon as possible.

How AARC is doing our part in light of Prop 207

Teenage drug abuse is one of the biggest problems facing America today. Just like the government is taking initiatives to make healthcare inclusive and accessible, AARC is on a mission to offer affordable addiction recovery treatment to everyone involved with us.

With the help of our donors, we’ve enabled thousands of adolescents and teenagers to find mental, financial, and medical support, so they can have a healthier future.

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The Story of Tony Hsieh: Don’t Delay Help https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/the-story-of-tony-hsieh-dont-delay-help/ Thu, 10 Dec 2020 04:54:38 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16073 The sad and unexpected demise of Tony Hsieh left many people sad and numb. Not just the close ones who knew him but the millions of others whom he inspired. He was a person full of positivity and wanted to impact as many lives as he could in a positive manner.

The 46-year-old entrepreneur was a co-founder of a billion-dollar firm called Zappos. His untimely demise has left a void that’s certainly not easy at all to fill.

The entire scenario brings into question an issue which is widely known but less talked about- addiction.

Tony Hsieh and many others like him suffer from various type and kinds of addiction. Whether its substance, or alcohol, or any other kind. The irony is that the victims of addiction are much more talked about after their demise rather than before when they can be saved and given a new life.

Keeping that in mind, let’s study the life of Tony Hsieh and how an early intervention into his lifestyle could have saved his life.

Early Life: Humble Beginnings

Tony’s journey to success started at Harvard. He was born to Taiwanese immigrants living in San Francisco.

At Harvard, Tony Hsieh majored in computer science. Adding to that he started selling pizzas to his dorm. This small entrepreneurial venture made him strengthen his problem-solving ability as well as empathy.

It was while he was studying at Harvard that he met Alfred Lin. Tony and Alfred wet on to create LinkExchange in 1996.

LinkExchange was one of the first digital advertising networks. From there onwards, there was no looking back. They went on to sell it to Microsoft for USD 265 million.

With such a large amount in the kitty, Tony and Alfred started investing in ideas. They opened a venture capital firm. It was during this time that his life was about to change.

The Zappos Story

While Tony was busy with his venture capital firm, he got a call from Nick. Nick was the founder of an online shoe retailer called ShoeSite.

Nick brought Tony on board. Tony invested into the company and it was later renamed to Zappos. Tony always reiterated the fact that shoes weren’t the only thing they were selling. He always focused on the customer experience, something he wanted to get right at all times.

From 24-hour customer service to a 365-day return policy, Zappos went on to become an epitome of customer service.

Seeing the positive response on Zappos, Amazon decided to buy Zappos for USD 1.2 billion. However, Tony remained at the helm of the company till August 2020.

The Downtown Project and Beginning of Addiction

Continuing his dream of creating a world full of happiness and positivity he came up with The Downtown Project. He wanted to convert the sin city of Las Vegas into a tech-oriented hub. So much so, that Tony ended up relocating Zappos to Vegas.

Tony sincerely believed that he can impact many lives involving local communities and entrepreneurs from his Downtown Project. He wanted to create a thriving community involving people from all spheres of life.

However, on the other end, it was reported that Tony’s dream project, The Downtown Project witnessed the deaths of three co-founders. He went on to move away from The Downtown Project and started to disassociate himself from his real life.

He started getting involved in recreational drugs. This started to earn him a tag of an eccentric entrepreneurial guru who partied hard. According to some of his friends, he started getting addicted to vodka, Grey Goose to be specific.

The Disassociation Phase

After stepping away from The Downtown Project, Tony lived a life disassociated from his peers.

Many sources reported him to party at The Burning Man and consume substances in unusual quantities. Most of Tony’s old friends went on to reveal that they haven’t heard from Tony in almost a year. Tony went on to ditch plans with his old friends.

Starting 2020, Tony’s addiction and dissociation problems began to rise.

2020: The Year That Could’ve Been Different

In the year 2020, many friends complained about not being able to reach Tony at all. With the pandemic impacting almost everyone around the world, Tony was impacted too.

Before the pandemic spread, Tony decided to invest in another project which involved creating a utopian dance festival space, resembling the Sundance Film Festival. He began hiring people for the same at ridiculously high salaries.

Hsieh went on to try eccentric practices. Biohacking was one of those. Biohacking refers to training your mind into reframing the body’s functionalities. He used to deprive himself of oxygen, used to go for cold baths, tried not to urinate.

Adding to this was his addiction to psychedelic drugs and most importantly, nitrous oxide. Tony got addicted to nitrous oxide, due to which he consumed more than normal amounts of the gas.

Later on, Tony apparently stepped down as the CEO of Zappos.

Unfortunately, on the morning of 18 November at around 3 AM, Tony Hsieh was found at his home in Connecticut. He went on to survive for the next 9 days but couldn’t be saved. The reason for his death was cited to be “complications due to excessive smoke inhalation.”

Conclusion: It’s Never Too Late

Tony’s sad demise seemed to be a case of isolation and addiction. Entrepreneurial isolation is a common phenomenon. According to a study conducted by a psychiatry professor at the University of California, founders are 30 per cent more likely to suffer from depression than non-founders.

According to reports in The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, Hsieh was battling depression and substance abuse.

Addiction is considered to be a taboo or a vice in our society.

While many of us consume these substances there are some who get addicted to them. Although, it may seem that it’s a choice, for many it isn’t.

Talking and even acknowledging the fact around addiction can go a long way.

The process of early intervention can save a life.

Talk to someone. It’s the best option out there.

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How a bad economy and unemployment affects alcohol addiction https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/how-a-bad-economy-and-unemployment-affects-alcohol-addiction/ Wed, 02 Dec 2020 05:07:00 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16059 Every time the economy takes a hit, people turn to alcohol to take the repercussions in stride. And it’s because a poor economy usually leads to a drastic loss of jobs, assets, savings, and source of livelihood for many. In fact, individual unemployment is a risk factor for alcohol misuse.

Office workers may not be the happiest all the time but they surely dodge the risk of falling prey to consuming excessive alcohol.

A recent study has concluded that people who are employed and have job security aren’t usually heavy drinkers. While they do consume alcohol, their level of consumption is much lower than those individuals who are unemployed.

For instance, between 2006 and 2012, job loss among middle-aged individuals during the downturn of the economy, and the recession was positively associated with becoming a hazardous drinker.

And that isn’t limited to middle-aged individuals. Unemployed teenagers are also at risk of alcohol addiction. The employment rate among young adults is quite high. With student loan debts at an all-time high, young adults and adolescents are left with alcohol to deal with their frustration and stress.

Safe to say, recessions in the economy and unemployment do affect alcohol addiction among all age groups. But for the sake of this discussion, let’s take an in-depth look at how and why employment opportunities influence alcoholism.

The relation between addiction and employment

Countless studies have shown that unemployment can lead to excessive consumption of alcohol, eventually leading to addiction. The frustration of being out of work or not having a stable source of income can force people to become heavy drinkers as an escape.

On the other hand, addiction can leave you feeling unproductive, which can significantly affect your job performance. If you’re constantly consumed by the thought of drinking, you might also find it difficult to focus on the most basic tasks. Naturally, this can lead to unemployment.

If anything, it’s a paradoxical situation. Alcohol addiction and unemployment are interlinked and a difficult economy are enough reasons to add insult to injury.

Factors that lead to alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction doesn’t happen suddenly. There are various triggers that cause adolescents to drink excessively. Besides giving in to peer pressure and drinking to forget, here’s are a few more factors that can lead to alcohol addiction.

1. Length of the unemployment

Probably the most important but overlooked factor in nearly every substance abuse survey is the length of the participant’s unemployment. The question – “how long have you been unemployed?” has led to a groundbreaking discovery for the treatment of addiction.

While it’s true that any type of unemployment can lead to alcohol addiction, two studies have found a correlation between heavy drinking and the duration of unemployment.

A study found that people who have been unemployed since before the recession and have been looking for a job for less than a year struggled with alcohol addiction more than the other groups. Similarly, another study concluded that people who have been unemployed across a span of 13 years were significantly heavy drinkers.

2. Lower educational qualifications

An economic crisis generally means fewer jobs for the population. And more often than not, the ratio of people-to-jobs is, to put it mildly, awful.

So, the less educated people usually have to compete with those with better qualifications and higher-level degrees. This not only increases the competition but also reduces the number of fair opportunities available for people with lower educational qualifications.

Consequently, it puts both men and women at risk of alcohol addiction and binge drinking more than once a week.

3. Emotional influences

Our society isn’t the most forgiving one. One slip is enough to kick anybody on a downward spiral. So, while you’re dealing with major financial losses, you might also have to deal with emotional triggers.

Shame caused due to job loss and emotional traumas such as loss of family or loved ones during the economic recessions can lead people to alcohol consumption. The current pandemic saw an increase in alcohol use, which could also be due to the personal loss of a loved one for many people.

4. Psychological influences

A worldwide pandemic is a perfect opportunity for your mental health to decline over time. Experiencing psychological downsides during downturns in the economy isn’t anything unheard of. It has happened before and 2020 is no stranger to that.

Close to 80% of Australians reported experiencing mental health disorders while the figure is 41% in the United Kingdom. In Japan, COVID-19 cases are no more than 2000 while the suicide rates stand at 13,000 – an alarming gap.

Mental strain and financial pressure have gotten to everyone and people are turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

How to get help with addiction when unemployed

The NIDA has been extremely clear about making treatment readily available the moment you’re ready to get help. But when money is an object, and a big one at that, it can be difficult to seek medical attention.

Fortunately, there are quite a few alternatives for people who are willing to get clean. Generally,  insurance providers take care of the partial cost of the treatment. But if you don’t have that, you can also apply for scholarships or private sponsors.

Additionally, AARC also offers to help you with getting healthier. Each year, we raise more than $2 million with the help of our donors to make treatment affordable for you. Through conscious efforts, we subsidize addiction treatment for the majority of our clients.

If you or anyone you know needs help with alcohol addiction, get in touch with our team to understand your options and accelerate your treatment process.

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Impact of Election Stress & Anxiety on Addiction https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/impact-of-election-stress-anxiety-on-addiction/ Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:59:10 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16065 The year 2020 started with a bang and it refuses to stop with the rollercoaster of surprises. We’ve had a lot to deal with so much that it feels like the universe accidentally put a decade worth of misery in the same year. And then, came the election. We’re still counting the votes, in case you’ve stopped checking the news.

Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, election stress and election anxiety might have gotten to you by now. And now that the results are out, things may not be celebratory for everyone. A study has revealed that depression may follow post-2020 elections.

In 2016, a set of researchers interviewed about 500,000 people across all the 50 states to find out how they were feeling around the election time.

They found that the states that supported Hillary Clinton experienced a 15% spike in mental and emotional distress between October to December. The condition worsened throughout the first half of 2017.

Countless people don’t even realize the amount of toll constant poll updates can take on our brains. So, what happened in 2016 can essentially happen in 2020. Perhaps more because the stakes were higher this time.

In fact, a survey by the American Psychological Association reported that 70% of adults had high pre-election stress this year. Nearly every citizen had an extreme opinion about the 2020 elections, so there’s a huge possibility that they’ve affected both sides – positively and negatively.

Why elections affect us

The purpose of the study was to encourage people to take care of their mental health. It may not seem like the elections affect us too much but that can’t be further from the truth.

The election process and results can directly create a significant impact on our emotional well-being.

The reason? Emotional investment!

Our relationship with the government is as important as the one with our loved ones. Mostly because they decide our future. We’re so emotionally invested in each of our candidates’ performance that it affects us when we don’t get the desired results.

The higher the stakes, the more you feel it.

Another reason for election stress may be isolation or solitude. This year, specifically, people have been feeling lonely due to the pandemic-driven lockdown.

Younger people from ages 18 to 24 are reportedly most likely to experience loneliness. So, as you burden yourself with additional political stress, it’s natural to feel exhausted and burned out.

What’s not natural is continuing to inflict that torture on yourself without finding a permanent solution for it.

Election anxiety is real

According to Clinical Psychologist Liz Matheis, who deals with special matters, there are a few common telltale signs of election anxiety. You may have election anxiety if you are

  • Frequently checking the polls
  • Thinking about or discussing the candidates and the polls throughout the day
  • Feeling tired during the day but struggling to sleep at night
  • Feeling waves of anxiety when you think about the election results
  • Feeling relieved or unusually disappointed ever since the results of the election were announced

Even as Joe Biden has been announced the 46th President-elect of the United States, the anxiety refuses to settle because the counting won’t stop. It’s been 4 days and Georgia, North Carolina, and Alaska are yet to finish the race.

The anticipation can bottle up and compel you to turn to various coping mechanisms.

Coping with election stress and election anxiety using substances

Alcohol consumption has already become a common response to COVID-19. So, when you add politics to the picture, you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Fear, guilt, anger, shame, and depression are some of the most common internal triggers for substance abuse and addiction. When you’re so emotionally invested in the elections, it’s not unusual to feel one or more of these triggers kick in when the candidate of your choice doesn’t win.

Your brain learns to crave drugs when it’s stressed out. Election stress is no different. It’s Pavlov’s classical conditioning. So, it’s possible for you to feel the urge to use drugs, for example, if you’re consuming a certain type of political content from a particular social media page.

You may also use substances if you’re feeling vulnerable. That’s also why prescriptions for opioids increased significantly in 2016 and a high voter turnout was experienced in counties struggling with drug overdose as they may have been feeling vulnerable since the previous elections of 2012.

It’s easier to find escape in substances. Most people actually turn to them because they offer a quick fix. That’s also why therapy and treatment are so underrated and underutilized. They are time-consuming and require constant work.

What should you do instead?

Focus on doing what you can control right now. Here are four things you can do right away to cope with election stress and anxiety.

  • Define boundaries

What’s done is done. You did your part by voting for someone who you deemed fit for the President’s office. Now, it’s time to think about your life post-elections.

Give yourself a break.

All you can do is stay informed but cut down on the mindless scrolling and quit burying your head in the news. You don’t necessarily have to quit the conversation but make sure to turn off that TV for a while.

  • Bid social media adieu

Speaking of TV, social media is yet another culprit for poor mental health post-election. Although teenagers have reported that social media has a positive influence on them, it’s unwise to overlook its negative impacts.

Eating disorders, troubled sleeping patterns, and depression have all been linked with social media time and again. Know when to stop or determine a fixed routine to avoid overindulging.

  • Keep it out of the bedroom 

If you think you can’t stop using your phone no matter how much you try, make it a habit to sleep without your phone. It’s a difficult decision to make at first but once you get used to it, you’ll never want to go back to your old ways.

You can consume uncomfortable content all you want throughout the day but reserve bedtime for some light-hearted, easily-digestible content if you want to improve your sleep pattern.

  • Agree to disagree 

Because everyone has such extreme views on subjects today, it has become easier to be ignorant and intolerant toward differing opinions.

This might take some getting used to but learn to be okay with opposing views. “Stop demonizing people who think differently than us,” says clinical psychologist Lynn Bufka.

Understand that you can’t change anybody’s views in a day because their experiences are bound to be different from yours.

Remember that you can only control your actions, so learn the art of letting go when discussing political matters such as the elections.

Lastly, AARC is here to offer any help and support you need to cope with election stress and anxiety. Speak to us if you’re seeking medical assistance and we’ll get on to finding a solution to your problem right away.

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Drug Addiction Usage Trends During the Economic Recession https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/drug-addiction-usage-trends-during-the-economic-recession/ Wed, 11 Nov 2020 20:43:45 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16050 The country officially entered an economic recession earlier this year. Although it’s easy to blame the pandemic for it, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Throughout 2019, several news sources published reports confirming the fact that the U.S. economy is going to take a major hit. This was way before the possibility of a worldwide pandemic was even hinted at.

And if we’ve learned anything from the existing literature on addiction and substance use associated with economic downturns, it’s that this economic recession will replicate the nature of all the previous ones.

As the world economy struggles to find its balance, below are a few drug addiction trends that we’ve observed during economic recessions throughout history.

Alcohol consumption among adolescents

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has put out the numbers that dominated 2019 and the figures are alarming. About 52.1% of high school seniors used alcohol in the past year.

Here, we’re talking about individuals below 18 years of age as the NIDA categorizes high school seniors between ages 16 to 18.

Until January 2020, 19.30% of 8th graders, 37.70% of 10th graders, and 52.10% of 12th graders reportedly consumed alcohol in the past year. The only silver lining to this is that the figures have been decreasing every year.

Teenagers and the drug industry

We know how economic downturns affect adults. But the effects of recessions on teenagers were only studied recently during the Great Recession of 2008.

Although it’s easy to say that teenagers aren’t affected by recessions because they don’t add as much to the economy as their adult counterparts do, the truth is that the economic shifts do affect them.

Teenagers who are part of a poor-performing economy are said to have fallen prey to alcohol, marijuana, and other harder drugs during the recession. Furthermore, teenagers also increased their cigarette use when the economy was weaker in European countries.

Another study revealed that men belonging to ages 16 to 24 turned to tobacco to deal with the stress caused by the economic recession in Spain.

Additionally, weaker economies also contributed to the youth selling drugs on the streets. Due to the rise in the demand for salesforce in the drug industry, teenagers find it easier to get a job as drug pedlars than as office workers.

Since unemployment was one of the major negative impacts of every economic downturn, 1 in 6 unemployed workers was addicted to alcohol or drugs during the 2008 recession.

What about the current economic recession? 

The brief issued by the AMA confirms that “more than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder.”

Although the brief was issued in October, many counties began reporting a rise in their region’s cases of overdoses from March 2020. About 61.84% of counties submitted their reports, which also suggested a 17.59% increase in the overdoses from the previous week.

The reports were received right after the government began encouraging social distancing behavior and implementing the lockdown.

Has the pandemic fueled overdose cases? 

Government helplines all over the world have received numerous reports of substance overdose. Even though opioids continued to take the limelight, alcohol addiction cases remain at the forefront of every economic crisis ever.

Since March 2020, ODMAP has been constantly analyzing the possible implications of the pandemic on the overdose epidemic. The data has made it possible to analyze the gradual growth of drug addiction usage trends during the current economic recession.

ODMAP-generated spike alerts have increased by 191% between January to April 2020 compared to those between January to April 2019. These alerts are generated when the number of reports rises by two standard deviations above the mean. The alerts happen every 24 hours and are analyzed in real-time to keep a check on overdose cases.

In the past year, overdosing has killed about 72,000 people in America, including teenagers, adolescents, and young adults. The number has increased by 5%, making the drug crisis in America even more severe.

Given the historical data and existing literature, the reasons for drug use throughout the current recession can be categorized into three groups; emotional factors, psychological factors, and economic factors.

  • Emotional factors

Personal losses are the most common reason for drug addiction and substance abuse during economic recessions. Loss of assets, savings, security, and even a loved one can force individuals to use alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, cocaine, etc.

  • Psychological factors

The COVID-19 pandemic compelled people to lock themselves inside their homes for months, possibly without jobs or enough funds. This caused many people to report mental health disorders. Self-medicating depression, anxiety as well as PTSD using alcohol and marijuana may have led people to addictions.

  • Economic factors

Countless people have lost their jobs due to the current economic recession. Since there’s strong evidence supporting the fact that the risk of drug addiction is higher among unemployed individuals, being out of work has caused many to engage in addictive behaviors.

Finally, all the major economic recessions in the world, which have been reviewed, have pointed at men belonging to all racial groups experiencing a higher risk of developing a drug addiction. For this reason, more men die of a drug overdose and alcohol poisoning than women do.

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The Dangers of Inappropriate Medicine Disposal to Our Water Systems https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/the-dangers-of-inappropriate-medicine-disposal-to-our-water-systems/ Sat, 31 Oct 2020 15:31:00 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16038
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The development of medical projects is increasing over the years. From all the research made by the experts in the field utilized with technological upgrades, they came up with various medicines that help maintain people’s health. However, once these medicines get improperly handled, several hazardous effects might occur.

Many consumers tend to dispose of their used medicines through water drainages, like flushing it down the toilet, throwing it in sinks, or discarding it through drainage systems, without knowing its adverse effects. This article will help everyone become aware of the potential dangers of inappropriate medicine disposal through water systems.

The Effects on Bodies of Water

Everybody knows about the presence of pollution in our waters, how this phenomenon harms living organisms, and its direct impact on humans and animals. But what kind of waste makes these bodies of water polluted?

Aside from tons of garbage, which are mostly plastics, and toxic chemicals from different manufacturing factories, there’s also a presence of compounds coming from perfumes, lotions, creams, and sunscreens.

However, the most dangerous ones are substances from prescription drugs and medications. Its presence in our waters highly suggests people’s lack of knowledge when it comes to throwing medicines. Hence, a proper expired medication waste procedure must be taught to prevent further contamination.

People who advocate for environmental safety and awareness are highly bothered by this category of water pollution. The chemicals in these drugs and medicines, flushed down toilets, drains, and other waterways, will reach rivers, lakes, and streams.

Moreover, our water reservoirs are not safe from this. They can also get contaminated with these harmful substances from medicinal products. Contamination can spread even further than we expect once not resolved.

Many claim that this contamination will not significantly affect human health, but it could be wrong. There are still things that we need to know about the phenomena’s impact on our health. We might even have unknowingly consumed some of these substances through the food and drinks we eat.

The Future of Aquatic Life

If there is an ecosystem that will be greatly affected by this method in medicine disposal, it will be aquatic life. The harmful chemicals can bring disturbance to this ecosystem. When this happens, many aquatic creatures’ lives will be put at high risk.

However, this is not solely because of society’s unawareness when it comes to proper medicine disposal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that livestock farms, nursing homes, and hospitals all contribute to the continuous presence of prescription drug substances in bodies of water. Wastewater facilities and septic systems cannot filter these chemicals. Thus, their presence will remain in the more extensive waterways.

This is what devastates aquatic life, especially fish. Many studies show the impacts of these chemicals on the behavioral alteration of female-to-male ratios among fish. Estrogen, which comes from birth control pills and hormone treatments, can have a feminizing effect on male fish. Various intersex fish are also found in polluted areas.

Other pharmaceutics, such as antidepressant drugs, are also present in the brains of fishes. This can affect their natural mechanisms of living, like hunting food and their defense against predators. Studies show that fish being exposed to this kind of medication can result in delayed reflexes and reaction over nearby predators. It can lead to an imbalance in the ecosystem.

Uncertain Hazards in the Human Body

Medicinal drug contamination in water reservoirs, groundwater, lakes, rivers, and other water systems is a continuing problem. Many consumers, including facilities, are flushing used and expired medicines or discharge them through body waste onto water drainages.

Moreover, sewage treatments are not able to remove those. These substances have even ended up in the water supplies for human use.

Drinking water is also getting contaminated with these chemicals. Research shows that medicine and drug substances are traced in the water supplies of over 40 million residents in America.

The medical chemicals found in the water supplies have many sources. There are pharmaceutical substances for heart prescription, mood-stabilizers, antibiotics, hormone treatments, anti-seizure medications, contraceptives, and steroids. Moreover, there are other medicines that are not detected yet as of now.

Despite the apparent presence of these low-level medical substances in our drinking waters, its effect on human health is still unknown. Water utility companies are ensuring their water’s safety for intake. Still, there’s a potential danger lingering.

Several experts from private organizations and the government are still not certain about this issue. They are unsure if the level of medicines present in drinking water is low enough to finally discard the possible risks these can bring to human health.

Takeaway

Water systems are highly crucial to all living creatures. However, improper medicine disposal can cost a lot of damage to them, which can bring harmful effects. Instead of throwing these drugs on water drainages, why not surrender these drugs to take-back programs? This program collects used and expired medicines for safe and proper disposal.

 

 

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How to Find Drug Addiction Treatment That is Affordable https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/how-to-find-drug-addiction-treatment-that-is-affordable/ Fri, 30 Oct 2020 04:20:02 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16043 We can’t emphasize this enough that more than 10 million people are experiencing some form of addiction and that only a percentage of the entire population is getting the medical attention that they deserve. Because addiction recovery is a time-consuming and exhausting process, it’s becoming difficult to find affordable addiction programs every day. From low-cost and free rehab centers to reasonably priced individualized programs, let’s take a look at how you can find drug addiction treatment that you can afford.

The Cost of Addiction

Quite literally, addiction can cost you. In fact, it makes you spend twice of what you normally would. Since addiction is a disorder of the mind, you’re literally paying to get a mental disease.

On average, an alcoholic spends $3000 on alcohol every year. That’s an entire month’s income for countless people around the world. But what’s even more shocking is that it can take anywhere between $10,000 to $25,000 for addicts to permanently recover through an inpatient treatment program.

How to Find an Affordable Rehab Facility

When life gives you lemons, you have to find ways to make lemonade somehow. So, if you can’t afford just about any treatment facility, here’s how you can filter your options.

  • Size of the treatment facility or type of center

Centers built on huge spaces that offer luxury treatment will always charge you more than those that take a reserved approach to recovery. If you’re not one for aesthetics, stick to a local rehab facility that will cost you less.

  • Types of treatment services

Most large addiction centers cost more because they provide you with a holistic approach to addiction recovery. If you can’t afford a big center, which has an excellent brand reputation in the market, you can opt for a local treatment center that specializes in your case.

  • Amenities

Recovery is all about relaxing and relieving stress as it’s one of the primary reasons for addiction among countless individuals. But if you don’t need the swimming pool, nature retreats, spa and massages, gourmet food, and the large recreational rooms, you can always cross them off of your list to narrow it down.

Other Alternatives

Low or no-cost treatment centers

Your options don’t end with cutting down on luxury. If you’re in a position wherein you can’t afford even the basic addiction recovery programs, you still have plenty of low-cost and free options.

Public Therapy Programs

Public therapy programs are funded by the state for the welfare of the people. These programs take grants from the state government to help people who need recovery services but can’t pay for them. While they’re useful, you have to wait for your turn because the affordability factor puts them in high demand. Another shortcoming is that they may not be available during an economic crisis. During those times, you’re on your own.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Probably the most popular of them all, the AA is a free addiction treatment program for alcoholics. It offers you amazing peer support because you get to work in a closely-knit environment. Every member of the group relies on each other for support. The only drawback of the AA is that it’s driven by spirituality. So, if you’re an atheist, you might not be comfortable enough to be part of it.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army offers youth education programs for adolescents struggling with drug addiction. While it’s free, it’s built on religious principles because it’s run by the Church.

Addiction treatment for veterans

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, you can avail any addiction recovery services near you if you’re covered by health benefits for veterans. You can find suitable programs here.

Making Addiction Treatment More Affordable

Drug addiction can cause you to lose not only your family but also your employment. So, when you decide to get clean, you’re met with one of the toughest challenges of your life; making the treatment more affordable – a seemingly impossible task but doable nonetheless.

  • Insurance

We can all agree that insurance is complicated. So much so that you feel that you’re better off without it. But make no mistake. What if you were told that an insurance cover can bring down your addiction treatment cost by half?

A health insurance plan can help you cover for your treatment for a set number of days. So, if you’re opting for a short program, you might be able to benefit from the plan.

  • Outpatient treatment facility

Inpatient treatment is expensive. Understandably so as it involves more resources than an outpatient program does. But if you think you won’t require 24/7 assistance and will do just fine living in your current arrangement, outpatient treatment may be an ideal choice for you.

  • Tax relief

If you decide to enter an inpatient treatment program, you can benefit from the tax deductions that it’s accompanied by. According to the federal income tax law in the U.S., you can deduct medical expenses that are more than 10% of your total annual income.

  • Payment plans

Some recovery centers allow you to pay in installments. If your rehab facility allows you to make small payments instead of a big one, don’t hesitate to avail it. Work with them to design a payment plan that works for both parties without it stressing you out.

  • Private sponsorship

Rehab centers may offer scholarships to those eligible for it. If not, you can find sponsors who will be willing to fund your recovery because they see potential in you. If you can promise them that you’ll lead a clean and sober life, it won’t be tough to find private sponsorship.

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How To Recognize Drug Abuse & Detect Substance Use Disorder https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/how-to-recognize-drug-abuse-detect-substance-use-disorder/ Sun, 25 Oct 2020 04:11:16 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16041 Teenage drug abuse is an incredibly prevalent issue in the U.S. Whether it’s to feel good or escape from reality, doing drugs comes with serious consequences. Since October is the national substance abuse prevention month, here’s everything you need to know about how to recognize drug abuse as a problem and ways to overcome it.

Signs of Substance Use Disorder

Drug abuse is one of those things that when you know it, you know it. Still, it can be hard to spot the difference between recreational use and a full-blown disorder. Here are some common signs that’ll set it in stone.

  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeplessness
  • Loss of memory
  • Negligence
  • Cravings
  • Bizarre dreams/nightmares
  • Inability to focus
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Extreme sweating
  • Shivering caused due to stifling
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Delusions
  • High blood pressure

Questions to Ask Yourself to Recognize Drug Abuse

Sometimes, the answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. You may require counseling and mentoring to reach to the conclusion. Meanwhile and before you meet with a professional, below are some questions related to drug abuse that you should try finding answers to.

  • Can I go a day without substance?

Most people struggling with drug abuse would choose to lie on this one, so be honest with yourself before answering. And more often than not, the honest answer to this is no. Because if you could go a day without using substance, you would’ve done it long ago.

People battling substance use disorder have a high desire for substance and low motivation for making the change that’s needed. And if you’re like that, it’s okay.

Simply accept it because that’s the first step. Once you do that, you can overcome addiction and get clean in no time with the right people and guidance.

On the other hand, if you say yes, you’ve already won half the battle and can move on to seeking help.

  • Can I limit my use?

This also depends on the number of times you use substance in a day. Are you doing drugs once or multiple times a day? If you’re doing it once, what’s stopping you from doing it more?

If it’s your conscience that’s asking you to refrain from drugs, then you’re already on the right track because you’ve learned not to let substances control you.

  • Do I have a history of drug abuse in the family?

Because drug abuse is categorized as a mental disease, it can be genetic. This is why so many people with chronic substance use problems are those who have either seen their parents doing it or have a history of drug use in their immediate family.

Professionals approach genetic drug abuse differently, so you must make sure to disclose all the facts to them and yourself when seeking help.

  • Is something triggering my addiction?

Stress and depression are two of the most common triggers of addiction. But they aren’t the only ones. Do you use more substance after large family gatherings? Do classwork or assignment deadlines induce an itch inside of you? Does your sibling make you want to drink more?

Believe it or not, the reasons are endless. But you must identify what’s causing the urge to find suitable solutions.

  • Do I have any other mental health issues?

As mentioned before, stress and depression can increase instances of drug abuse. Along with them, having other mental conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, and hallucination can also aggravate the urge. If you suffer from mental disorders, your substance use disorder may be related to it and you may be suffering from yet another disorder.

  • Has substance use affected your relationships?

A good time to internalize your substance use episodes is when they start interfering in your relationships. Ask yourself if you’re prioritizing drugs over your loved ones. If yes, you’re suffering from drug abuse.

  • Have you ever overdosed?

Overdosing is one of the most telltale signs of drug abuse. Many people take it as a wake-up call. So, the moment you overdo drugs, don’t hesitate to seek help.

  • Why do I use substance?

Many people who use drugs do it for recreational purposes. But they don’t realize when it turns into a thing that they use to escape or for coping with stress. So, if you’re using substance as a coping mechanism, you may be struggling with drug abuse.

When to Seek Help

It’s best to get help immediately after you begin to show signs of substance use disorder. But if you haven’t yet, there’s still time. Here are 3 definite times when you ought to let people who know more and better guide you through your way out of addiction.

  • When you can’t deal with it on your own

Most people struggling with drug abuse usually try to deal with it by themselves first. But not many people find luck with it as it’s generally not possible to overcome substance use alone. That’s why good recovery centers have such a vast team of professionals to help them.

  • When you don’t have support from peers and family

It’s not uncommon for people to resort to drugs due to stress induced by family or social circles. In such cases, it isn’t possible for you to fall back on those who trigger your drug abuse more. So, it’s best to reach out to experts who can offer you that mental relief and help you curb your itch for substance.

  • When your drug abuse has become fatal for you

It’s a proven fact that drugs can be life-threatening. If you’ve done something to harm yourself or put your life in danger in any way to acquire drugs to satiate your urge, you need to start looking at your options. Because that’s the end of the road. Consider drawing the line and commit yourself to getting clean as soon as possible.

Who to Reach Out to?

Addiction can be cured. Unlike the common myth that surrounds addicts, addiction is one of those mental diseases that can permanently be overcome with top-notch professional help. While you can try recovering on your own, the stats are in favor of the experts. Addicts who work with specialists have a higher recovery rate and a lower relapse rate.

At AARC, we’re more than just adept at our work. We’re hopeful and optimistic about offering a community of care to adolescents and their loved ones to support them in their fight against drug abuse and substance use disorder.

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Alcohol Addiction https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/alcohol-addiction/ Tue, 20 Oct 2020 14:14:12 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=16035 Substance abuse disorder of any sort is deteriorating to one’s mental and physical health, however, there is one type of addiction that hides in plain sight and does the most damage – alcoholism. Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a type of substance abuse disorder where a person gets the uncontrollable cravings to drink alcohol. This form of addiction is a matter of concern because alcohol is legal in most countries across the globe, and people do consume this daily. And even though responsible drinking has its own set of benefits, anything that’s done excessively usually comes with a heavy price to pay.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcoholism or alcohol addiction is a brain disease where the individual gets an unending and unmanageable urge to consume alcohol. Many people are known to binge drink and consume alcohol daily which deteriorates their health to a point where they completely depend on this substance. Mostly, teenagers and young adults are on the more affected side of this disorder, since they are always up for trying something new. Also, the dire need to prove oneself an adult force many teenagers to drink even if they do not want to. This continuous need to prove their adulthood slowly pushes these teenagers to alcoholism without them even realizing it.

Alcohol addiction is also largely related to the habitual aspects of one’s life. For instance, many people like going out for a walk when they are angry, or maybe even read a book. For an individual who’s suffering from alcoholism, their primary choice in any negative event of life would be to turn to alcohol. Sometimes, the person may not even want to drink alcohol but since the brain now depends on this substance, they feel powerless. This inability to stop even though they want to and the uncontrollable urge to drink is known as alcohol addiction.

Alcoholism – Symptoms

When an individual is suffering from alcohol addiction, they experience symptoms which are quite different from what people feel when they are under the influence of other substances such as heroin, cocaine, etc. This is primarily due to the way alcohol interacts with our bodies and mind. However, the factors that can trigger alcohol abuse are countless and depends entirely on the individual.

While most of the alcoholics have stooped neck-deep into addiction after being distressed by any negative situation that may have happened in their life, many just tried drinking once and now they cannot stop. The triggers can vary, but the symptoms are common among the addicts. These are:

  • A sudden increase in alcohol consumption.
  • Drinking inappropriately or at unusual times such as in the morning or the afternoon.
  • Restricting oneself from family members and friends.
  • Prioritizing alcohol consumption over any social activity such as hanging out with friends/family.
  • Preferring a group of friends who are into drinking.
  • Distancing from people who stop them from consuming alcohol.
  • Always remaining under the influence of alcohol.
  • Encountering depression and other severe mental health problems.
  • Lying frequently to loved ones and those who are close.
  • Bad physical health and an unhygienic lifestyle.

However, alcohol consumption does not always source from a person’s immaturity to prove themselves an adult. Sometimes, distressing events such as financial crisis, loss of a job, relationship issues, and other mind-disturbing factors can lead to depression. This depression can then force an individual to rely on alcohol to ease their mind and find a sense of peace. However, addicts must understand that in an attempt to gain temporary serenity, they are putting their whole life at risk. If more than 3 of the above symptoms are visible in an individual, it is time to get them medical help.

Alcoholism – Stages of Alcohol Addiction

There are five stages of alcohol addiction, with each stage reflecting the level of addiction in an individual. Closely looking into every stage can give you a broader idea about how slowly addiction engulfs an individual.

Stage 1: Experimental Stage

Everything begins at this phase when a person starts experimenting with alcohol and try different types of drinks. However, not all who experiment with drinks end up being addicted. A considerable number of people quit at the very first stage, never to return. But, many continue this habit, simply to enjoy the feeling of being high.

Stage 2: Frequent Drinking

After the just trying phase is out of the picture, individuals enter frequent drinking mode wherein they begin consuming alcohol on a fixed time. The person may drink due to the daily stresses of life, stay away from boredom, or overcome sadness. This stage pushes an individual more towards becoming an addict.

Stage 3: Pre-symptomatic Alcoholism

This is the stage where the addict begins abusing the drinking, and consume more with thinking that he/she will quit in the future. This negligence towards personal health and the people around elevates to a level where the individual’s behavior affects relationships, isolation, financial crisis, losing friends, and accompanying people with a bad influence.

Stage 4: Extreme Dependence

Individuals who have their addiction increased to a level of extreme dependence find it difficult to perform any job without being under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, if they are separated from alcohol consumption, they begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, sweating, body tremors, high heart rate, and aggression.

Stage 5: Alcoholism

Although stage 4 is almost a state of alcoholism, it only reflects a lifestyle change. This stage, however, depicts the psychological and physical dependence of the individuals on alcohol. They need it to function. Drinking is now not about having fun but reflects passion and pride. Even if they want to, they can’t stop drinking now. This is called alcoholism and it demands immediate medical attention.

Conclusion

Alcohol addiction’s severity is extra difficult because this substance is available globally and is not illegal to consume. Though there are age limits in various countries, loopholes are everywhere. These contingencies and the lack of laws on alcohol consumption have increased its global use, with more and more people falling prey to alcoholism including teenagers aged between 12-17 and young adults. And since it is a brain disorder, an effective and immediate treatment is required for those who are suffering. Dodging medical care, thinking it will fade away on its own is only going to make it worse. So if anyone around you is suffering from alcoholism, the first step is to get them the medical help they need.

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