Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Connection Between Binge Eating and Drug Abuse

It is a fair and clear statement that the problem of drug abuse and addiction is a complicated issue. Addiction can come with a lot of baggage emotionally. It is also something that can be influenced by many different factors. There is no doubt that the teenage years are a critical period in determining many areas of personality and circumstance that may lead to addictive behaviour or full blown addiction to a substance or substances. Often characterized by exploration and experimentation, a teenager is in a very vulnerable stage of their lives when it comes to coming under the influence and pull of addictive substances.

One way in which teens can be more vulnerable to drug addiction is through the
different issue of binge eating. Binge eating is defined as the time when an individual
will consume food far beyond what is needed or expected at that particular time. This
is characterized by a loss of control over eating patterns and can be a very destructive
behaviour. The researchers within the Children’s Hospital of Boston have now shown
a connection between binge eating and drug use.

The study involved over sixteen thousand participants, both male and female. Over a
period of nine years surveys were distributed on a yearly basis. The results were very
interesting, showing that binge eating was more prevalent in girls as opposed to boys.
An explanation by the researchers was that "In summary, we found that binge eating,
but not overeating, predicted the onset of overweight/obesity and worsening depressive
symptoms. We further observed that any overeating, with or without LOC [loss of control], predicted the onset of marijuana and other drug use."

It is also very important that the subject of earlier ages in addiction be given attention.
While unpleasant, teenagers do in some cases find themselves addicted to serious
substances, requiring expert help. Adolescence is of course a turbulent time in a person’s
life. The fact that there is even more of a taboo or sense of failure attached to teenage
issues with drugs and alcohol does little to help treatment and open discussion on the
subject and how to solve it. Far better for teenagers to understand that help and support
is a phone call away should it be needed, as opposed to suffering in silence.

The value of this knowledge is very clear. As the issue of drug addiction is so
complicated and diverse, knowledge from different areas and stages of life is vital. It
is necessary to the process of understanding every addicted individual that research
is carried out in different areas of life. Studies like this completed in separate fields for
different reasons can highlight important features of our psychology that can lead to
serious gains in the understanding of addiction. The more staff of clinics are armed with
diverse knowledge, the more comprehensive their treatment can be. This can help make
sure that ultimately, addicts are treated and stay treated instead of relapsing.

LifeWorks Community in Surrey is dedicated to recovery. For more information please visit their site.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Understanding Prescription Drug Abuse

While not appreciated by many, the problem of drug abuse extends far beyond that which is illegal. There are millions of recorded cases per year of prescription drug abuse within America and Europe alone. Sadly, this is not always covered well in popular media. A wide variety of people from many different backgrounds struggle with this issue; nevertheless, celebrities are the most common target, with unearthed dependencies and habits gaining the most attention and controversy. 

The culture is important in understanding this issue properly. Illegal drugs are always a talking point and a hotly contested area prone to serious and passionate discussion. The topic of illegal drugs reaches far into fiscal policy, the prison system and our relationships with other countries and their own problems within the global drug network. Legal drugs used in medical prescriptions are a different story. Many of the drugs prescribed to patients are incredibly potent and, unfortunately, addictive. This leads to problems of addiction just as legitimate and intimate as the more well known illegal drugs such as crack cocaine, heroin and so on. The nature of purchase and the culture attached may be different, but the threat to our society in the form of addiction to prescribed medication is just as real and incredibly far-reaching.

A large problem with prescription drug addiction is that of public awareness. As we have established in the previous paragraph, our society is acutely aware of illegal drugs and more conversation is occurring on this subject, as can be seen in recent efforts to legalize marijuana in America. Public awareness of addiction to legal prescriptions is sadly a different story.

Drugs that are commonly abused are often in the area of pain killers, tranquilizers and sedatives. These drugs are in the main used to treat ailments like anxiety and sleep disorders. Opioids are used for many pain killers and can lead to extreme cases of addiction. Many contest the benefit of prescribing such powerfully addictive drugs, with the argument that it creates one problem after it temporarily solves another. This complicated issue has ramifications that extend fully into government level finance and budgets.

Much more needs to be done to bring into the public eye the subject of the powerful drugs that are prescribed to patients for various issues and ailments. Generating more conversation on the subject can help bring awareness, and through that clarity and closer attention to what drugs are prescribed and what is best for different situations. It is the simple act of conversation on a countrywide level that brings about change. This can be witnessed as mentioned previously with the recent discussion on marijuana in America, and its place within the legal and medical laws therein. Awareness is the key to making sure that enough public pressure is applied to the topic of prescription drugs. The reason for this being beneficial is that it will help ensure caution when prescribing powerful drugs, which will help avoid unneeded addictions and negative experiences for those in need of prescription help.

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