what is the worst drug? In reality, all drugs of abuse hold their own specific dangers. That includes heroin, LSD, cocaine, prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana, and more. But as a culture, we tend to want to focus on one at a time. We then demonize that drug and then we forget about everything else.
There has long been controversy about women who drink alcohol during pregnancy. In fact, the problem of birth defects and other problems caused by maternal drinking has become such an issue that the advice now given (at least officially) is, “No level of alcohol is safe for the unborn baby during pregnancy.”
We, as a society, have a very ambivalent attitude about alcohol in general, toward abusive drinking, and even toward underage drinking.
Even though the science has shown us that underage drinking (under age 21) and heavy drinking over a certain amount at any age is bad for your health and puts you at greater risk for addiction, we still have that attitude of “kids will be kids,” “let them sow their wild oats (they’ll get over it soon enough),” or “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” (or a woman, for that matter).
When a child, whether grown or not, has an addiction problem, so much goes through the parent’s mind. Some of these thoughts include, “I’m a terrible parent,” “What did I do wrong?” “What happened to my little one that used to play with toys and watch cartoons and was so excited about birthdays and Christmas?”
When a child becomes addicted, a parent’s heart breaks. It may look like anger or disappointment or depression or any number of things but it’s all about a broken heart.
Extreme drinking games — when I was 16 that might have sounded kind of fun. There are games such as Beer Pong, Drink ‘Til You Pee, Dicey, Fuzzy Duck and maybe hundreds more. There’s even a drinking game related to the family card game Uno. In fact, when I Googled “extreme drinking games,” I got hundreds of links and web sites. I’ll let you do your own research on extreme drinking games, but basically they are designed for the participants to drink as much as they can in as short of time as possible. What’s the goal? Extreme intoxication, of course.
On Saturday, JTNN along with the Reno PD and a number of other partners are hosting the second Prescription Drug Round Up in which we invite people to bring their unused and unwanted prescription and over the counter drugs. A law enforcement officer and volunteers will collect and catalog the items that people bring in. Then the Reno PD will incinerate the drugs. These are drugs that will no longer be in circulation and that will no longer have the ability to be used in a way that they weren’t intended.
was in high school in the late 1960s when the news began to report on soldiers from the war in Vietnam coming home addicted to heroin. Now, most troops didn’t take heroin but there was enough to make it something to talk about. This may have been the beginning of America’s modern day awareness of heroin addiction.
I remember those days and how the drug seemed so awful, especially because it was associated with injection, crime, and a lifestyle that most of us can’t relate to in the least. Then Hollywood took over and showed us a sometimes realistic and sometimes exaggerated view of heroin use. I’d say we had a very negative view of heroin and everything related to it. I’d also say that I was afraid of the drug and would never have tried it. My reaction then was kind of like the reaction of many kids today with methamphetamine. I saw it as a “dirty” drug.
What would you say if I told you that 90% of babies with asthma don’t get the medical care that they need? What would you say if I told you that 90% of children with cancer don’t get treated? What would you say if I told you that 90% of women with breast cancer can’t find a doctor to see them until they have progressed to a more serious stage of the disease.
OK, take a deep breath. None of that is true. But what would you say if I told you that 90% of the 23 million people with substance use disorders in America don’t receive treatment? That statistic is true but it may not upset you or make you feel so uncomfortable as untreated babies with breathing problems.
Everyone has a story about a person in their life who has a drinking or drug problem but can never seem to get better, despite the best efforts of those around them. Unfortunately, this person’s story is often used to prove that treatment for substance use disorders doesn’t work and that recovery from said disorders rarely happens.
Everyone has been exposed to alcoholism and/or drug addiction through a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor. Because of that, everyone has experiences, thoughts, and usually opinions about the issue. Probably the most common response I get is, “Isn’t it true that a person has to really want it in order to get better?” Of course, that’s not really a question as much as it is a declarative statement. Then the “you-have-to-want-it-to-get-better” comment is followed up with something like, “I have an uncle that’s been to treatment six times and he’s still drinking and using drugs. He just isn’t motivated.”
These comments and questions are all understandable because each person that has an experience with someone else’s addiction has often had a heartbreaking and emotionally painful time with that person.