Computer Based Drug Class is Integral Part of Substance Abuse Prevention

by Mike Miller July 26, 2013

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of therapy. The best way not to become a substance abuser is to never use in the first place. Wouldn’t you agree?

There is no denying that drug abuse is reaching epidemic proportions in this country. It’s important as friends and family members to stay close to those using drugs and aware of any indications of abuse or addiction. While some people’s problems don’t get noticed until it’s too late, substance abuse prevention can help millions of people out there who are struggling.

The time to remain silent has passed. If you care about someone confront them about their addiction. There are plenty of groups and websites dedicated to helping “intervene” in a manner which will provide the best opportunity for success.

A good substance abuse prevention program can literally be life-saving. If the “user” prefers to maintain total anonymity, there are Internet based drug classes which are a perfect place to start.

Substance abuse prevention is designed to help prevent the onset of substance abuse, but it can also limit the development of problems associated with using illegal or legal substances.

Quality substance abuse prevention programs will focus on the individual, his work and home environment, as well as his support network. Getting clean is not easy.

Do Twitter & Facebook Help Keep You Out of DUI School?

by Mike Miller July 24, 2013

Is it just me or does social media seem to be taking over life? Granted I have a Facebook account and have many friends. I use my Facebook page not so much to post photos of myself or detail my day-to-day life, but to congregate with former students and continue to promote alcohol awareness, drug awareness, and the need to continue our efforts to educate and heal.

Interestingly, as invasive as social media seems to have become, there is one place it never had occurred to me - DUI checkpoints. Of course when I was a heavy drinker, putting my life, and the lives of everyone else on the line, I would have loved to have known where these checkpoints would be. I would definitely have changed my evening plans of I had been supplied with that information.

Police put a lot of time and thought into their DUI checkpoints. Many of my students received a DUI at a checkpoint. Police set them up on Friday and Saturday nights. They redouble their efforts on New Year's Eve.

The police now have a stronger enemy in the people -- the people who are using social media to warn others that this particular Friday or Saturday night has been selected for special drunk-driving checking.

Have you heard of this? I will discuss this subject further in next week’s blog.

At first, it seems that police were a little bemused by the very idea that people wouldn't want other people to be caught be the police.

Now, however, some police forces have decided to use more sprightly tactics to ensnare those who are unwise enough to imbibe and drive.

Is it possible that big checkpoints may be on the way out?

They're too obvious, take too long to set up and word travels too quickly, as they're so often located on busy roads -- on the shooting-fish-in-barrel principle.

Now, some police forces say they are using roads less traveled and even setting up in the middle of the week in order to catch their quota.

The AP quoted Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, as saying: "Social media cuts both ways. It can be a good tool to inform the public about what's going on, and it also can be used to undermine enforcement efforts."

But is informing others on Facebook and Twitter that the police are out in force truly undermining enforcement efforts? Or does it, in fact, show a peculiar form of solidarity that isn't always evident in other aspects of social life?

It's quite common for people to keep themselves to themselves. Caring for one's fellow human isn't always such a natural impulse, as the debate over universal health care often shows.

Perhaps there's something about DUI checkpoints that people find essentially unfair (which doesn't mean they're unnecessary, of course).

Perhaps there's also that element of so many knowing they are there, but for the grace of Facebook and Twitter, go they.

It's almost as if there is some unspoken understanding that we should all be allowed to party a little, given life's gamut of tribulations.

Yes, we shouldn't get behind the wheel when we drink, but many seem to be saying that it would be a shame if we were actually caught doing so.

Take Drug Awareness Class before Self-Medicating

by Mike Miller July 22, 2013

There is no doubt that we all self-medicate. If you have a headache you take a couple of Tylenol. That is self-medicating too.

When people get sick they usually want to feel better. Hopefully, they decide to see a doctor who will prescribe something, if necessary. Unfortunately, many choose to ignore the problem and others take medication of their own choosing. This is something known as self-medication.

When someone chooses to treat an untreated or undiagnosed medical ailment with drugs not prescribed or advised by a doctor’s order, it is defined as self-medication. This is defined as a type of psychological behavior and includes recreational, psychoactive drugs, alcohol, and anything else that soothes and helps the individual deal with mental and/or physical pain.

It’s important to note that self-medication is not only associated with physical ailments, it is often referring to mental illness and psychological trauma and people see it as a way to have a sense of personal independence from medicine that is considered to be established.

Some people who diagnose their own conditions genuinely believe that they are right and the medications they choose are the appropriate ones. This is true even for heavier drugs like narcotics and opiates.

Alcohol, marijuana and prescription medications are three of the primary self-medicating substances used as “self-medication.”

Make no mistake, self-medication is extremely dangerous because it enables and escalates the problems associated with drug addiction. Typically, drug addicts know that their pattern is destructive and the substances they are using are dangerous, but they use them regardless. If you think you may be self-medicating and need help there are in person and online drug Awareness classes.

Don’t Kid Yourself, Parents Need Drug Classes Too

by Mike Miller July 22, 2013

When I was a kid I did not know any parent that supported their child using marijuana. Alcohol was taboo too. Given today’s liberal parenting, it is no surprise that some actually do not have a problem with the kids smoking weed.

Other parents who support legalization of marijuana also expect strict regulation of its availability to kids and teens. As reported in www.usatoday.com.

The nationally representative online survey was done for the Partnership at Drugfree.org, a New York City-based non-profit organization formerly known as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. It reached 1,603 adults, 1,200 of whom are parents of kids ages 10-19. About 35% of parents favored legalizing marijuana for recreational use, 46% said it should be decriminalized, and 70% supported legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

About half of both mothers and fathers said they had used marijuana. The number saying so in Colorado was 62%. Voters in Colorado and Washington state made marijuana use legal last year.

About 90% of moms and 94% of dads say the legal age for marijuana use should be 21. As opposed to what? 18?

Some other findings

  • About 95% of moms and 96% of dads say marijuana should be prohibited in public places where smoking is banned. About 92% of Colorado parents and 96% of Washington state parents agree. Still 4-8% of parents think public use is perfectly acceptable?

  • About 88% of moms and 90% of dads say marijuana advertising should be banned. Who are these other 10-12%?

  • About 90% of moms and 85% of dads agree that marijuana can have strong negative effects on the still-developing brains of teens. Do they really have any sort of education on the issue?

The data bring to life the fact that parents have serious expectations that legal marijuana will be regulated and restricted to protect kids and teens. The scariest thing is that those expectations far exceed how legal marijuana is being implemented. So the fact remains, whether marijuana is legal or not, much more needs to be done to protect the health of our children.

All the more reason why mandatory drug classes should be implemented for kids and parents!

Drug Abuse Classes Illuminate Dangers of Weed

by Mike Miller July 20, 2013

Marijuana is one of the fastest-growing problems in our country. I say problems because there are more and more people using marijuana each day – and it is not medicinal use. I would say it is the fastest-growing problem, but I really think the meteoric rise in use of prescription medications might actually be the fastest-growing segment of drug use.

Cannabis has become one of the most commonly used drugs and is even the topic of popular debate on legalization. It is currently legal for recreational use in both Colorado and Washington and legal for medicinal purposes in 12 other states plus Washington DC.

There are a myriad of reasons why users claim marijuana should be legal. From that fact that it is a natural plant to its potential medicinal value the fact remains that THC is a psychoactive and addictive chemical substance.

Marijuana finds its way into nearly every party, school, and social gathering, so even the most casual users have easy access to it on a regular basis. It is easier for underage youths to obtain marijuana than alcohol.

Keep in mind that the American Medical Association has yet to find even one medicinal reason to use marijuana. Even if they did, there is a pill, Marinol, which can be prescribed by a physician and picked up in a local pharmacy.

If you or someone you care about uses marijuana, stop. Begin your life free of weed by taking an internet drug class.

12 Hour Drug Class Could Keep You Safe From Drug Club

by Mike Miller July 18, 2013

We all have heard of club drugs. Yet unless you actually frequented clubs or raves you may never even have known they existed. Unfortunately, club drugs have escaped the clubs and made their way into mainstream society.

Club drugs began in the 1980s and 1990s by patrons of music clubs and raves. A club drug can be defined within a category of recreational drugs, which are associated with discotheques in the 1970s, nightclubs, parties, and most commonly raves that burst on the scene in the 1980s.

A club drug is a loosely defined category because it’s based on convenience and can include anything from ecstasy, inhalants likes nitrous oxide to stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine or hallucinogens such as LSD and mushrooms. These drugs are so common at nightclubs and raves because people dancing at all-night parties need them for their stimulating and/or psychedelic properties.

Do you know anyone who has used a club drug? Have you ever been to a club and known that someone else there was obviously high?

During the 70s a disco club scene was the place to be and it was such a thriving drug subculture that the term club drug was born. In the 70s, cocaine was the most popular club drug during that time and is even where it got its nickname, blow.

Some of the most common drugs categorized under the club drug umbrella are ecstasy, various, amphetamines, GHB, ketamine, and alkyl nitrites more commonly referred to as ‘poppers’. Poppers usually refer to a yellowish liquid that is inhaled for its intoxicating effects, but these nitrites used to come as a small glass capsule that was popped up, thus giving the drug its nickname.

Club drugs can be some of the most deadly drugs out there because they are often taken in dangerous environments. Since the user is typically dancing and partying all night long, they are dehydrated, tired, and very susceptible to overdose.

If you or someone you care about has a problem with using club drugs or any other chemical substance I urge you to seek help immediately. Start with a 12 hour online drug program.

Stay Out of Drug Culture and Enroll in an 8-Hour Online Drug Class

by Mike Miller July 16, 2013

We all have heard the term “drug culture.” But what really is it?

Drug use continues to be a growing part of our culture here in the US. Despite stronger laws and increased vigilance by law enforcement officials, it is evident America’s drug problems are worsening.

There are many different subsets of drug use because people use them for different reasons and include different kinds. This makes up a drug culture. There are different subcultures within the drug culture and these are defined as countercultures that are primarily defined by recreational drug use.

People who use drugs tend to socialize and congregate with others with similar habits and use issues. These subcultures come together because they unite different groups of people who share a common understanding of the meaning and value of the incorporation into one’s life of a specific drug. That shared value can be both negative and positive, but it is something that brings them all together in a drug culture.

Drug subcultures can include those using drugs, but also those who deal drugs. Taking it one step farther there are groups that form into a full-scale political movement (like NORML) for the reform of drug laws. All of these parts come together to make a drug culture.

Increased drug education and parental involvement is crucial in thinning the drug culture – less users means smaller culture. I have long advocated for mandatory online drug classes for all middle school and high school students in America. What do you think?

Substance Abuse Course is First Step in Staying Off Opioids

by Mike Miller July 14, 2013

Have you ever heard of Opioid Replacement Therapy? The odds are that if you or someone you know does not, or has not, had a problem with opioids you never have heard of this therapy.

What is an opioid?

Everyone knows about the most dangerous illegal substances out there and heroin is always at the top of that list. Heroin is classified as an opioid, which is a psychoactive chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors. Opioid receptors are found in the central and peripheral nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract, making them especially lethal.

Opioids have been around for a very long time due to their painkilling and sedation effects and are among the world’s oldest known drugs. Opioids are used for medicinal purposes. Codeine, Oxycodone, and morphine are a few of the most common painkillers used to treat acute pain and/or to wean users off more severe opioids.

The problem is that these medications are highly-addictive and are being used both by patients and addicts for un-proscribed purposes – namely to get high!

Since so many people become addicted to opioids each year, something known as Opioid Replacement Therapy has become increasingly popular.

Opioid Replacement Therapy is a medical procedure or replacing an illegal opioid drug, such as heroin, with a longer acting but less euphoric opioid. The substituted opioids are most commonly methadone and buprenorphine and are taken under medical supervision.

The primary objective of this therapy is to help an opioid addict regain a normal life. This is done while being treated with a substance that stops him or her from experiencing withdrawal symptoms or drug cravings.

Opioid Replacement Therapy has proven successful for those with a slight addiction to a prescription pain pill that had following a hospital visit. If they can nip the problem in the bud, perhaps it will never develop into a full-blown addiction.

There are also many addicts who find themselves referred to Opioid Replacement Therapy programs as a last resort to overcome a heroin addiction.

In addition to helping individuals, it also helps to lower the overall costs for society that are a result of drug-related crimes and subsequent prosecutions.

Substance Dependence Could be Avoided With Drug Class

by Mike Miller July 12, 2013

Do you know anyone who might have an issue with substance dependence? This is just a glossed-over term for a person who might have an addiction to a chemical substance. Substance dependence can come in many forms including but not limited to: alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, depressants, stimulants and prescription medication.

No person ever began experimenting with drugs or alcohol with the intention of becoming addicted. Many people fall into using drugs unintentionally; they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, abused a prescription, fell victim to peer pressure, etc. Most people who use drugs don’t have the intention of developing an addiction or substance dependence. They begin using recreationally and it later becomes a habit. This is true of every single drug addict, regardless of the time it took for the addiction to set in.

Substance dependence can occur in as little as one hit of crack or heroin or crystal meth. For others the addiction is a gradual process.

Substance dependence is defined as a drug user’s compulsive need to use controlled substances in order to function normally. Sometimes it’s hard to understand how someone could get to this point, but it could happen to anyone and isn’t reserved for those with problems, the homeless, or gang members. Anyone including doctors, lawyers, students, and school teachers alike can find themselves with a substance abuse problem.

Prescription drug dependence is becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. Prescription drugs have always been relatively easy to obtain through a physician and if taken for too long or not as prescribed, are extremely addictive. Now there is increased access to online pharmacies and a growing number of young people obtaining drugs through their parents’ medicine cabinets. This is a source of serious concern as college campuses, and even high schools, have become a hotspot for prescription drugs being passed around and abused.

The best thing to do if you suspect that someone you know may be suffering from substance dependence is to talk to them and be aware of what’s going on in their life. Sometimes all a person needs is a sympathetic ear and if they need more, then you will be there to help them get help too. An online drug class is a good place to start. This is especially true if the addict prefers to begin rehab anonymously.

Do Stoner Films Spawn Need for Online Drug Abuse Classes?

by Mike Miller July 12, 2013

It is an unfortunate reality that Hollywood often has a strong influence on society and often how people behave. There is no doubt that society and what it likes also influences what types of films and characters are popularized.

Film has always had a strong impact on society and the different groups of people who exist within it. Movies can have a negative effect on people who watch them for they have caused deaths, gun control issues, violence, and drug addictions. For some, it is difficult to separate real life from the world that they see in a two hour film.

There are many genres of films including romantic comedies, slapstick comedies, black and white comedies, and there’s even something referred to as a stoner film.

The type of sub-genre referred to as a stoner films is a movie that is centered around or based on the use of marijuana. Usually, these types of movie involve cannabis use in a funny or silly way and it’s almost always done in a positive way, which is why so many people watch these films and want to smoke. Some of the most popular films in this sub-genre are the Cheech & Chong movies, “Dazed and Confused”, “Half Baked”, and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. One of the most popular television shows over the past decade was Showtime’s “Weeds”.

These shows glorify marijuana use in ways that can seriously cause aberrant behavior among some viewers. What do you think about “stoner films?”