Can Ambien Get You a DUI?

by Mike Miller September 26, 2014

The stories of Florida nut jobs are legendary, so much so that they have spawned a host of fictional authors using the state and some of its residents as fodder for their novels.

Is this one of those cases? As reported in www.sun-sentinel.com.

Keep in mind – DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” Included in a DUI are all forms of drugs, including alcohol and prescription medication.

Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal was arrested and accused of driving to work at the Broward County courthouse while under the influence of drugs, striking a patrol car and repeatedly hitting the gate of the judges' parking lot with her BMW. It certainly does not sound very courtly. How would Rosenthal feel if she was confronted with a similar offender in her court? The judge was also accused of driving into a concrete median on Interstate 595 shortly before her arrest. Rosenthal admitted to taking an Ambien pill the night before and did not appear to have been drinking alcohol.

The arrest happened around 8:45 a.m., when Rosenthal's BMW SUV struck a parked Sheriff's Office vehicle in the parking lot.

The 56-year-old judge was driving a BMW X3 SUV that was still stopped at the entrance to the judges' parking lot between the courthouse and the Broward Main Jail when she was arrested. The driver's side rearview mirror was dangling on the side of the door, but there was no debris, indicating the damage to the mirror occurred before she reached the parking lot.

According to an arrest report, Rosenthal struck the parked patrol car with the passenger side of her SUV, then continued toward the security gate of the judges' parking lot. She struck the gate, put her vehicle in reverse, and then struck the gate several more times before a deputy at the scene stopped her, according to the report. She was described as unsteady on her feet and was speaking with a slurred voice.

There is the possibility Rosenthal will escape the DUI charge since Florida’s laws do not list Ambien as a drug capable of causing a DUI. We will see. In the meantime, I would hope the judge takes a 24 hour online drug program and discontinues Ambien for good.

Disabled Could Benefit from 8 Hour Alcohol and Drug Course

by Mike Miller September 21, 2014

This is the sixth and final installment of the series of blogs looking at the relationship between drug abuse with respect to disabled individuals here at onlinedrugclass.com. So far we have examined the reasons why disabled people are at higher risk of addiction issues as we all some of the dangers associated with their addiction to drugs.

Today, we will continue to look at some of the dangers of drug addiction disabled individuals face as well as look at substance abuse treatment options. As reported in www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com.

Other potential dangers include:

Drug or alcohol abuse worsens some conditions

For instance, a person with a spinal cord injury is already more vulnerable to chronic bladder infections. Alcohol use further irritates and inflames the bladder, as well as interferes with certain medications used to treat infections. Likewise, many substances impair coordination, making relatively normal movement even more difficult – if not impossible – in someone already hampered by mobility challenges.

Substance abuse itself creates additional problems

Living with a disability on its own is challenging. For example, depending on the severity of the condition, a person could have trouble finding work or staying employed. Alcohol and drug abuse compound the problem by further limiting physical and cognitive abilities. Getting drunk or high often results in tardiness, absenteeism, and reduced productivity, any of which can lead to termination.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Because of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in those with disabilities, treatment is critical. A good drug class is a place to start. If you prefer to maintain anonymity there are online drug classes too.

It is also advisable to consult an addictions professional skilled at working with individuals who live with disabilities. He or she will develop a treatment plan, which will likely include outpatient or residential substance abuse and / or addiction treatment.

Living with a disability has a serious impact on a person’s well-being, but the addition of alcohol or drug abuse further reduces quality of life. If you have concerns about substance abuse in yourself or a loved one, contact a drug and alcohol treatment center today. The sooner you get the help you need, the sooner you can get on the road to recovery.

12 Hour Drug Class Helps Eliminate Dangers of Addiction for the Disabled

by Mike Miller September 16, 2014

This is the fifth in a series of blogs here at onlinedrugclass.com looking at the problem of addiction facing disabled individuals. The first four blogs addressed the reasons why disabled people are more susceptible to addiction problems.

Now, we turn our attention to the dangers associated with addiction for disabled individuals. As reported in www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com.

Dangers Of Untreated Substance Abuse In The Disabled

Whenever substance abuse and addiction go untreated, there are inevitable consequences – especially as time goes by.

Drug and alcohol abuse hampers proper medical care

Many disabling conditions require ongoing treatment. Individuals who are abusing substances are less likely to comply with medical advice regarding their disability. For instance, they may miss physical therapy appointments or neglect to take medication that requires adherence to a strict schedule. Unfortunately, not adhering to treatment can make their condition worse, creating even more problems for them.

Many substances interfere with prescription medications

Another danger involves the way substances, especially alcohol, interact with certain medications. For example, the combination of alcohol and certain antidepressants can impair a person’s alertness and ability to think clearly. Mixing opioid pain medications with alcohol is also extremely dangerous. When painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine interact with alcohol, their sedating effect is intensified. This can cause respiration to become dangerously slow. Alcohol has been implicated in many overdoses involving opioid pain medications.

Drug or alcohol abuse worsens some conditions

For instance, a person with a spinal cord injury is already more vulnerable to chronic bladder infections. Alcohol use further irritates and inflames the bladder, as well as interferes with certain medications used to treat infections. Likewise, many substances impair coordination, making relatively normal movement even more difficult – if not impossible – in someone already hampered by mobility challenges [2].

Substance abuse itself creates additional problems

Living with a disability on its own is challenging. For example, depending on the severity of the condition, a person could have trouble finding work or staying employed. Alcohol and drug abuse compound the problem by further limiting physical and cognitive abilities. Getting drunk or high often results in tardiness, absenteeism, and reduced productivity, any of which can lead to termination.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Because of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in those with disabilities, treatment is critical. Consult an addictions professional skilled at working with individuals who live with disabilities. He or she will develop a treatment plan, which will likely include outpatient or residential substance abuse and / or addiction treatment. It’s also important for the recovery plan to take the disabled addict’s physical needs into consideration. For example, a person utilizing a wheelchair may need special transportation to and from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Living with a disability has a serious impact on a person’s well-being, but the addition of alcohol or drug abuse further reduces quality of life. If you have concerns about substance abuse in yourself or a loved one, contact a drug and alcohol treatment center today. The sooner you get the help you need, the sooner you can get on the road to recovery.

Drug Education Classes Could Keep Disabled People Healthier

by Mike Miller September 11, 2014

This is the fourth in a series of blogs here at onlinedrugclass.com looking at the addiction issues faced by those with disabilities. People with handicaps, be it mental, physical, or emotional, are more susceptible to addiction.

In the first three blogs we looked at some statistics and a few of the reasons why the disabled are so more susceptible to addiction problems. If you have not read them, I encourage you to go back and catch up at the onlinedrugclass.com blog. As reported in www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com.

Now we will continue to explore the reasons why the disabled are at higher risk for addiction.

A person with a disability may not have access to proper treatment

Physical disabilities and mental health conditions, such as impaired visions or severe depression, leave some individuals essentially trapped in their homes. The logistics of living with the disability prevent them from receiving regular medical care that would otherwise provide education or screening for substance abuse, followed by the necessary treatment.

Some experience a lack of social support

Many individuals who become disabled end up losing much, if not all, of the social support they had prior to their disability. Their condition and, perhaps, the stigma attached to it, keep friends and family away. This social isolation potentially leads to the loss of other sources of support as well, including that from former co-workers, neighbors, and even fellow church members. The loss of much-needed emotional support and sense of connection can make them very vulnerable to abusing alcohol or drugs.

In the fifth installment we will continue to look at drug use and abuse with disabled individuals, more specifically addressing the dangers. Again if you, or someone you care about suffers from addiction issues, seek help ASAP. If you prefer to maintain anonymity there are online drug classes which provide a good place to start.

Drug Classes Can Help Disabled Face Addiction Issues

by Mike Miller September 6, 2014

This is the third in a series of blogs here at onlinedrugclass.com addressing the addiction issues faced by disabled individuals. We are currently looking at some of the reasons why the disabled may be at higher risk for addiction. If you missed the first two installments, I encourage you to go back and read them at the onlinedrugclass.com blog.

Do you know someone who is disabled (mentally or physically)? Do you think they may be suffering from addiction issues? If not, you might want to confirm they are not addicted, because the statistics are high in their favor of susceptibility. As reported in www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com.

Here are some more reasons why the disabled are at higher risk for issues with addiction.

The disabled person’s loved ones act as enablers

Empathy and sympathy are very common for loved ones of disabled persons. Sometimes family and friends unintentionally enable substance abusers. For instance, a spouse who feels badly about a partner’s serious injury may be reluctant to say “no” when asked to run to the liquor store for a bottle of tequila. Other loved ones simply ignore the use of alcohol or drugs, telling themselves that the person has had a hard enough time living with the disability – why shouldn’t he or she be able to enjoy smoking a few joints or drinking a few beers?

Substances can be used to self-medicate emotions or symptoms

The challenges of living with a disability are, at times, overwhelming. Some disabled individuals turn to alcohol or drug use in the belief it will relieve the pain of negative emotions, such as anger, frustration, sadness, or guilt. Furthermore, many substances numb physical symptoms as well. In one study approximately 25% of patients with chronic jaw or facial pain or arthritis had used alcohol in an attempt to relieve the pain. While this study didn’t specifically examine those disabled by chronic pain, it does suggest that self-medication is widespread enough to be a concern.

In the next onlinedrugclass.com blog we will continue to look at this topic.

Disability Can Lead to Addiction – Drug Education is Helpful

by Mike Miller September 1, 2014

This is the second in a series of blogs looking at addiction issues faced by those suffering some form of disability.

In the first installment we looked at a few figures showing that those who are disabled are more likely to suffer from addiction issues. Why are the disabled at higher risk of addiction issue do you think? As reported in www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com.

Potential Reasons For Higher Risk

Following are a couple of potential reasons that living with a disability can increase the risk for substance abuse and addiction:

The disability comes from a head injury or affects cognitive ability

As illogical as it sounds, individuals who have experienced a reduction in their ability to think clearly don’t always recognize that abusing substances is dangerous. They also may not be able to recognize the problem if they already have one. Furthermore, some individuals with traumatic brain injury, in particular, believe the use of alcohol will improve their ability to interact socially.

The disability is a mental health disorder

Disability is a word often connected to physical impairment, but psychiatric conditions can also seriously hamper a person’s ability to function. Major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder are just a few of the mental health conditions that make it difficult for a person to live a “normal” life. As a result, the person is more vulnerable to using substances in a desperate attempt to alleviate troubling symptoms, such as insomnia or low energy, and numb painful emotions.

We will continue to look at the reasons disabled individuals are at higher risk in the next onlinedrugclass.com blog.

Disability and Addiction: Online Drug Class is a Powerful Resource

by Mike Miller August 27, 2014

The image conjured up of someone disabled is a person in a wheel chair having trouble with mobility, right? There are many types of disability, mental, physical, spiritual and emotional. With disability often comes pain and suffering. From pain and suffering can spring addiction.

Whether a disability stems from an accident or a medical condition, such as multiple sclerosis or a serious mental health disorder, it often has a serious and negative impact on a person’s emotional well-being. In some individuals, that impact leads to the abuse of alcohol or drugs. Some want to numb the physical and /or emotional pain and sense of loss, while others struggle to distract themselves from having too much time on their hands As reported in www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com.

It’s been estimated that over 50 million Americans live with some type of disability. While that statistic includes those born with a mental or physical impairment, it also encompasses those who become disabled at some point during their lifetime. Individuals with disabilities have a substance abuse rate 2 to 4 times that of the non-disabled population, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s estimated that as many as half of those with an orthopedic disability, spinal cord injury, amputation, or vision impairment can be classified as heavy drinkers. Additionally, arthritis sufferers and those with multiple sclerosis have high rates of drug and alcohol abuse – nearly double the rate of the general population.

This is the first in a series of blogs looking at disability and addiction issues. If you or someone you care about is suffering from a disability and may also have addiction issues, I urge you to seek help immediately. A drug class is a place to start. If you prefer to maintain anonymity, there are online drug classes too.

Richie Sambora Knows Drug Classes are Important in Fighting Addiction

by Mike Miller August 22, 2014

Whether or not you believe celebrities should be a role model, you will have to admit that it is better when they model good behavior rather than bad, right? I am a devout fan of the band Bon Jovi. Of course the lead singer is Jon Bongiovi. His partner up front is Richie Sambora.

Sambora not only understands addiction issues but uses his celebrity to help fight them. As reported in wogl.cbslocal.com.

Sports fans might know Sambora best as he and Bongiovi are co-owners of an Arena Football League team – the Philadelphia Soul. Others may know him because he was married to Hollywood hottie Heather Locklear. He currently lives in Laguna Beach, California.

Sambora’s Battle With Addiction

In June, 2007 Sambora entered rehab for the first time – for alcoholism. In the Bon Jovi documentary "When We Were Beautiful", Sambora talks candidly about his addiction to painkillers following a slip in his bathroom. He credited his bandmates and mother with helping him through the difficult time.

In April, 2011, Sambora entered rehab again following a DUI offense. Now clean and sober he is doing what he can to help others.

His new song aims to shed light on the serious issue of addiction. “Lighthouse,” by Sambora is specifically geared to raise awareness about drug abuse and to provide some hope to those dealing with addiction.

His motivation for doing “Lighthouse” was to do something optimistic, a beacon of light and hope. He said, “Everyone needs that light when they’re far off the shore.”

Sambora is committed to the cause of helping others defeat their addiction. He is dedicated to continuing to lend his support to anti-drug initiatives in the area. It is always nice to see someone doing something to help others.

Europeans Need Drug Awareness Classes Too

by Mike Miller August 17, 2014

As the education director here at onlinedrugclass.com I am constantly on the lookout for articles involving drug use and abuse. There is no doubt that drug addiction is a global problem. Americans are not the only ones suffering from a surge in addiction to prescription medication.

More and more people in Europe are getting their fix from prescription drugs, including some used to treat heroin addiction, while heroin use in Europe is declining. As reported in health.msn.co.nz.

A recent report also warns of a flood of new synthetic drugs, and of established ones like ecstasy and cannabis becoming more potent.

As in America, our neighbors across the pond also suffer from the abuse of synthetic opioids - the class of drugs to which heroin belongs - including methadone and buprenorphine, which are used in substitution treatment.

Like heroin, they are addictive but safer, partly because they are taken orally rather than injected.

In 2012, 17 countries reported that over 10% of first-time opioid clients entering specialist treatment were misusing opioids other than heroin. The report warned of an emerging plethora of new substances, with 81 previously unknown psychoactive substances in 2013 to bring the total to 350.

Unregulated, they are marketed as "legal highs" or disguised as herbal incense, bath salts, jewelry cleaner or even plant food.

Increasing Strength & Prevalence

The report warned that the strength of ecstasy and cannabis appeared to be increasing, as their active ingredients were boosted in the lab.

More than 80 million Europeans, about a quarter of the adult population, are estimated to have used illicit drugs at some point in their lives.

The study quoted a recent analysis of raw sewage in 42 cities in 21 European countries, which calculated that 832kg of cocaine were consumed daily in Europe's cities, led by Amsterdam, Antwerp, London and Zurich.

In Europe, it is estimated that one in four 15 to 16 year olds, is estimated to have used an illicit drug, mainly marijuana. Cannabis accounted for about 80% of the one million drug seizures each year, followed by cocaine and crack.

It is clearly evident that Europeans need greater access to drug classes. Given the easy access of the Internet, online drug classes might be the alternative.

Congresswoman Understands Need for More Drug Education Classes

by Mike Miller August 12, 2014

It does not take a genius to realize that drug education classes can certainly do no harm. The more we educate ourselves and our children as to the dangers of drug use and abuse the better off our society will be. I am glad that one person in the US Congress is taking steps to help with our current drug problem.

A bill pushed by Rep. Marsha Blackburn to curb prescription drug abuse cleared a House panel back in late May. The health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the measure, which aims to balance the need to keep drugs away from abusers while ensuring continued access to patients with a genuine need. As reported in www.tennessean.com.

The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act was introduced earlier this year by Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.

Punishing Pill Pushers

A key part of the proposed legislation clarifies the Controlled Substances Act, making it easier for the Drug Enforcement Administration to suspend narcotics licenses of those in the supply chain whose actions have shown they pose an "imminent danger" to public health. It also would establish a working group of industry officials, pharmacists and representatives of federal and state enforcement agencies to develop strategies for reducing drug diversion and abuse.

Make no mistake about it – prescription medication can be deadly! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of drug-overdose deaths are related to prescription painkillers. Studies also have found abuse of prescription pain drugs is contributing to a resurgence in heroin addiction.

There is no doubt the United States is in a crisis. Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic that's greatly in need of a solution. There needs to be a clear distinction between the legitimate pharmaceutical supply chain that directly serves patients and the criminals who are diverting and selling illegal drugs. Supply chain stakeholders need further guidance on how to collaborate more effectively with law enforcement.

Hopefully we will increase public funding for educational drug classes. Even online drug classes would be an economical approach. What do you think?