Can Alcohol Drug Classes Curb Child Abuse?

by Mike Miller February 13, 2013

What effect do you think illicit drugs have on child abuse? Certainly you cannot believe that drugs have a positive effect on child abuse. Let’s face it; one of the most heinous crimes on the planet is child abuse. There are two leading factors in child abuse: mental illness and just plain stupidity.

There are some child abusers who are legitimately ill and in need of serious psychiatric care. The majority, however, fall into the category of sane people making incredibly bad decisions. One such decision is the choice to use drugs. As reported in

Lately one of the culprits has been synthetic drugs. Some locations are claiming that cases of child abuse by synthetic drug users were up almost 25% last year. How terrifying is that?

Could it be that some synthetic drugs are legally, and most are easy to obtain?

Is it too late that many municipalities are banning the possession or sale of chemical substances or compounds known as synthetic cocaine and marijuana just now?

Certainly this ban, combined with drug education classes will help curb this disturbing trend.

If you or someone you care about uses synthetic drugs, I urge you to seek help immediately. A drug class is a good place to start. If you prefer anonymity, there are online alcohol and drug classes too.

Could Alcohol Awareness Class have Avoided Dallas Cowboys’ Tragedy?

by Mike Miller February 11, 2013

As a counselor for both in-class and online alcohol classes my students and I often discuss why rich and famous people choose to drive intoxicated and not call a taxi. I ask the same of my students and their friends and family members. After all, the cost of a DUI, physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and financially are extreme. We all should spend the extra $20-$100 to get a safe ride home.

I am sure Dallas Cowboys’ offensive lineman Josh Brent wishes he had splurged the money for a cab back in December. Brent chose to get behind the wheel of his car after drinking alcohol. It not only cost him a driving under the influence violation but one of his best friends and his teammate, his life.

The 25-year-old Brent lost control of his vehicle at 2:30 a.m. Brown, a practice squad linebacker, killed his friend Jerry Brown. Both were teammates at the University of Illinois.

You think Brent wished he’d spent the extra money for a cab?

Brent flipped his car and was dragging Brown away from the Mercedes which had caught fire. Police claim he reeked of alcohol. He failed both a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer.

Could an alcohol class have prevented this from happening? It is yet another tragedy chalked up to drinking and driving.

Drug Classes May Help Curb Current Rise in Prescription Abuse

by Mike Miller February 9, 2013

This is the fourth in a series of blog entries dedicated to the current use of drugs and alcohol by our nation’s youth.

Do you think drugs and alcohol are used by more high schoolers than in previous decades? As a teen growing up in the 1970s and 1980s I remember each generation saying the current generation was using more. I am not sure how the 50s stack up to the 40s as compared to the 30s, but I would venture to guess each of those generations felt the same way about the future youth. As reported in

A recent survey revealed that about 36% of high school seniors use marijuana. That equated to about 11 kids per class! Did you think 11 kids in each of your classes was using marijuana in high school?

After marijuana what do you think the most illicit drug used by seniors was? If you have been following the news the answer is simple – prescription medication. The study showed that 36.4% of students use marijuana, with 2.7% powerderized cocaine, 1.2% crack and 1.1% meth.

With respect to prescription medication, 7.6% used Adderall, also referred to as the modern-day “No-Doze.” Following Adderall was Vicodin at 7.5%, cold medicines 5.6%, tranquilizers 5.3% and Oxycontin 4.3%.

What is especially terrifying about these numbers is the percentage of kids on prescription meds. That is almost 30% using illicit and non-prescribed medications. Do these figures alarm you? They should!

Would increased drug classes and alcohol classes help curb teen use? I welcome your opinion.

Substance Abuse Education May Help Curb Recent Rise in Marijuana Use

by Mike Miller February 7, 2013

This is the third in a series of blog entries dedicated to the current use of drugs and alcohol by our nation’s youth.

In our last entry we entertained the notion that the anti-tobacco movement must be doing something right as more high school seniors use illicit drugs than smoke cigarettes. As reported in

This entry will examine one of America’s most pervasive drugs – marijuana. It sure seems to me that marijuana use is on the rise among our nation’s youth. In fact a recent study showed that almost as many high school seniors use marijuana (36.4%) as drink alcohol (41.7%). Does this figure alarm you? It should!

In 2008 about 32% of high school seniors admitted to using marijuana. This figure jumped about 1% per year through 2012. That figure is frightening.

However, what is truly scary is the percentage of high schoolers who see marijuana as wrong and dangerous. Over the years at least 25% thought marijuana was dangerous. In 2012 that figure dropped 5% to 20%.

What do you think is responsible for this? I blame medical marijuana for one. But much of the blame has to be shouldered by “adults” who vote these laws in. Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational use! It is affecting the mindset of our youth.

Would increased drug classes and alcohol classes help curb teen use? I welcome your opinion.

Drug Classes May Help Curb Current Rise in Drug Use

by Mike Miller February 5, 2013

This is the second in a series of blog entries dedicated to the current use of drugs and alcohol by our nation’s youth.

A recent national study addressed the drug and alcohol usage of our nation’s youth. It used 8th, 10th and 12th graders. The numbers clearly are disturbing. With what we know, increased alcohol and drug education, through mandatory alcohol classes and drug classes may be the cog that motivates the wheel of change. As reported in

Most of us reading this blog are high school graduates. What percent of high school senior do you think have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days?

Do you think more than half? If so, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that number at only 42%. That still seems really high (pun intended). Speaking of which almost 25% of high school seniors admit to having used marijuana in the last month. That number seems really high. Is it just me or were there very few, compared to 25%, marijuana users in the 1980s?

Here’s some scary stuff – more 12 grader use illicit drugs (25%) than smoke cigarettes (17%). What is the anti-tobacco movement doing to curb teen smoking? Or do you think it is more that illicit drugs are so readily available why smoke cigarettes?

Are tobacco classes working? Would increased drug classes and alcohol classes help curb teen use here too? I welcome your opinion.

Is Demi Moore Following Lindsay Lohan Into a Drug Class?

by Mike Miller February 3, 2013

Am I the only one who thought that Bruce Willis was the hard-partier when he and Demi Moore first got hitched? Lately there has been no good news about Demi and this is no exception.

The actress who is in the process of getting a divorce from boy-toy Ashton Kutcher has sparked fears that she is heading towards relapse and will need treatment for substance abuse and an eating disorder for the second time. As reported in

Perhaps it is the pending divorce that is driving Moore to the brink. Kutcher filed for divorce last month, more than a year after their split in November 2011.

After they split, Moore had checked into rehab for an eating disorder and substance abuse issues.

Her drug use got so bad that he young daughters, Rumer, 24, Scout, 21, and Tallulah, 18 cut contact with her. Obviously, the girls want Demi to pull herself together, act her age and stop carrying on like some teenage party girl. But Demi just refuses to give up the lifestyle that once made her happy, even though it now just amplifies her loneliness.

A close confident of Demi’s claims Moore is determined to find young love again and is at a loss as to why she is still single. When she and Kutcher married I thought it was a major fluke of nature, but who am I to judge. But looking for another Kutcher shows signs of serious issues. I think Demi needs a drug class and serious counseling to overcome her issues.

NIDA Report Shows Need for Drug Classes

by Mike Miller February 1, 2013

Do you think drug and alcohol issues are on the rise for teens? The latest report from the National Institute On Drug Abuse shows an increased need for drug classes and alcohol classes.

The interesting part of this report is that it addressed middle schoolers as well, using grades 8, 10 and 12. As reported in

In many of my blogs you have heard me say that older is not wiser. So many people make poor decision as they age.

The Message is Definitely Clear

I think the anti-alcohol and anti-drug message is working. You certainly don’t see too many 6-year-olds drinking alcohol or doing drugs. They know drinking and using drugs are wrong!

So what changes as kids get older? Why do so many deviate and commit behavior they know is not only unhealthy, but wrong?

How many grown-ups would readily begin doing something that they knew would expedite their eventual demise? The answer to that question is dubious to say the least.

Yet the fact remains, that as we get older, especially through the teens and early 20s experiment and use alcohol and other drugs. With the message so clear, and knowing that children are getting this message, the question again is – why do we do this?

This is the first in a series of blogs looking at drug use among our nation’s youth. As a counselor for both in-class and online drug classes I am hyper-sensitive to this issue. I welcome any feedback.

Drug Education Classes are Part of Oregon’s Success

by Mike Miller January 31, 2013

Does Oregon have the answer to help curb drug use? West Virginia thinks so.

West Virginia, with its horrific problems with prescription medications and heroin has a long way to go toward getting a grip on the rampant substance-abuse problem and developing a strategy that provides people the help they need to pull themselves out of addiction. As reported in

Interestingly, they might want to look toward Oregon and its approaches as a guide. In the Beaver State, helping addicts get the treatment they need is viewed not only as the right thing to do in terms of saving lives, but also as a practical way to save money in the long-term.

High addiction rates are well-known to West Virginians. The state has the second highest drug overdose rate among the states, at 25.8 per 100,000 people in 2008.

So far, West Virginia has invested relatively little in treatment programs. But it's become clear that it must.

Oregon, on the other hand, has chosen to invest significantly on addiction treatment, to the tune of about $51 million a year now. Officials there believe in the research that says treatment saves lives, reduces crime and medical expenses, and boosts employment. The bottom line, officials there say, is that every dollar spent on treatment actually saves an average of $7.

Oregon's drug overdose death rate is less than half of West Virginia's, and about 50 percent lower than Kentucky's. Oregon admits more than twice as many addicts for treatment as Kentucky.

Perhaps the biggest factor in Oregon's approach is that its Medicaid program covers substance abuse treatment. Also key for Oregon is coordination among state and local governments and provider and support groups.

More drug classes and treatment create a much better framework for rehabilitation.

Take a Drug Class During Mid-Life Crisis

by Mike Miller January 29, 2013

It is not surprising that alcohol and drug problems show up, at least for many, during mid-life – 30-55. Years of prolonged over-indulging finally catch up and either a drug-related arrest or health issue brings everything to a head.

As a counselor for both in-class and online drug classes I often hear the stories from my students, most of whom are in class due to a serious incident. As reported in

One such student was Shiela, who after years of being a social drinker saw her life begin to disintegrate.

First, her father died, and her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Then, without warning, her husband died of an aneurism.

Her social drinking turned into heavy drinking. Believe me, Shiela knew that from the amount of alcohol she was consumed revealed a serious problem. She just chose to not deal with it and continue to pound the booze. The dark, double life of finding refuge in the booze, punctuated by episodes of getting on top of things.

In my experience, you'd be amazed at how many people who have an elderly relative, either a parent or an uncle or aunt, where they know they have a drug issue but they don't know how to talk to them about it.

So how do we get someone who is middle-aged with an addiction issue to quit? I would like to believe that drug classes could be part of the problem. These drug classes help address a primary question – why do addicts continue to use and abuse drugs when they know it will cost them their life?

Berkeley Teacher Should Have Taken 12 Hour Alcohol Awareness Class

by Mike Miller January 29, 2013

There drug culture surrounding Berkeley, California has been prolific for more than 40 years. Long known as the home of the liberals and hippies, the Grateful Dead and drugs, there is almost a cult-like following of the area.

Sometimes the area lives up to its reputation (or down to it depending on your perspective). A teacher at Berkeley High School probably realizes he made a stupid mistake, a sobering experience to say the least. As reported in

They say that older is wiser. That certainly is not the case with former teacher Douglas Haight. What an ironic name for a man that just destroyed his career in the Haight-Asbury district of San Francisco.

The 51-year-old Haight lost his job and teaching credentials immediately after a December DUI arrest. Police were alerted to Haight when his Toyota Camry ran a red light. The result of his Breathalyzer was a .13, BAC. Again, ironically he had just left Terrapin Crossroads — a noted Grateful Dead bar nearby.

A search of his pockets revealed a liquid breath mint. This was not to mask the alcohol on his breath but came back positive for (surprise!) hallucinogenic lysergic acid diethylamide. Although Haight was originally arrested for a misdemeanor DUI, he was later charged with two felonies — one for possession of the LSD and another for trying to bring it into the county jail.

This is certainly not a guy I want around my kids. Hopefully, he will take a good 12 hour alcohol class and drug class and get his life back on track.