Finding A Job After Rehab

One of the things about rehab and post-rehab life is getting back to the normal swing of life. This includes doing things like paying bills, getting a job, going grocery shopping and more. However, just because you’ve been to rehab does not mean finding a job again and getting back into a normal routine will exactly be that easy. But, establishing a routine and making meaningful moves to succeed are a part of your continued success.

After rehab, finding a job should be one of your top priorities – and everything else will be able to flow easier after that. A few barriers that you might run into include:

  • You’ve been out of the workforce for some time most likely and therefore, will have a gap of employment (due to rehab).
  • You might feel uncertain about revealing past substance abuse to a new employer.
  • You might worry about employers discriminating against you.
  • You might worry about the stress that having a new job will bring.

However, a survey done in 2012 says that more than 23 million adults in the United States consider themselves to be in recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. And plenty of individuals just like them and just like you have gone on to live successful lives and have successful careers even after rehab.

Once you are nearing the completion of your rehab program, here are a few tips for re-entering the workforce:

  • Search for a resource that will help you with your resume. Most communities have some type of resource and something you could even likely get for free, that help with preparing and editing a resume. You can also take a look at some examples online.
  • Search online and in your local newspaper for opportunities that might be available. While it never hurts to introduce yourself to a business that you would like to work at who might not be looking to hire immediately, it is good to mainly go after those who have shown a desire to hire soon.
  • Find jobs that you are confident about. This is not the best time to try out a job that will push you to your limit – that could lead to a relapse. Try to find a job that you are excited about but confident in, and maybe something you even have experience with.

The best thing you can do is be confident and utilize the sources around you.

How to Identify a Drug Overdose

A drug overdose is an unfortunate, but a growingly popular occurrence. In fact, in 2017, a record number of Canadians died from opioid overdoses, according to CBC. Compared to 2016, fatal overdoses were up more than 45 percent in 2017.

What is an overdose?

By definition, an overdose is an excessive and dangerous dose of a drug, which can have various adverse side effects, even including death. While not all overdoses result in death, there are many that do. Furthermore, one of the key factors in recovering from an overdose is having someone around you notice that you have overdosed so they can get you help.

When you have overdosed, you are unable to get yourself help because you are likely unconscious and/or incredibly ill. Therefore, this makes it immensely important that people know how to identify a drug overdose. It could be life or death for someone.

While no one certain thing guarantees that you will overdose, here are a few things that put you at a greater risk:

  1. Mixing opioids with sedatives, such as benzos or alcohol.
  2. Using drugs in very high doses – more so than usual.
  3. Returning to the drugs after having been in a detox period.

Physical Signs of an Overdose

But, you may not be aware if someone has done some or any of these things, so here is how to identify a drug overdose despite knowing someone’s most recent actions:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Chest pain
  • Dilated pupils
  • Agitation
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Unconsciousness

These are just a few of the symptoms of an overdose; this is not an all-inclusive list. Someone who has overdosed on drugs may exhibit some, or even most of these symptoms. But even just a few of these symptoms can indicate that someone is experiencing an overdose.

When someone overdoses, several things take place within their body – including the slowing of their breathing, then the slowing of their heart rate, and then everything else just starts to shut down from there.

If you believe someone has overdosed, start by checking their breathing and their heart rate. Immediately call the authorities and get instructions on how you should proceed while help is on the way.

Drugs are a serious thing and they can have serious consequences, including an overdose. If you or someone you know is struggling with a drug addiction, get help before it is too late and save yourself or your loved one from experiencing an overdose.

drug overdose signs to look for

Effective Substance Abuse Treatment Includes Family Involvement

family involvement, substance abuse treatmentMany substance abuse treatment programs forbid family involvement and other contacts with the outside world, but studies have shown that involving loved ones in the treatment process can make it more effective and help the entire family unit start to heal from the substance abuse. Before treatment, it is common for friends and family to enable the addict, or to try and protect them from the consequences of their alcohol or drug abuse. Sometimes loved ones do not address the substance abuse because they fear pushing the person away or alienating them even further, but ignoring or denying the problem is not helping the addict and neither is protecting them from facing consequences. It is usually beneficial for friends and family to receive counseling as well as the person with the substance abuse problem.

Family involvement can make substance abuse treatment more effective and improve the odds for a full and complete recovery. Sessions of family counseling can help clear the air in a safe environment and allow those close to the person with the addiction to voice and then let go of past anger and resentment over the drug or alcohol abuse. Just like an intervention this type of counseling will also allow the individual to see how their behavior and substance abuse has harmed the ones that they love. For a full recovery, healing must happen, and family involvement in substance abuse treatment can make this happen much faster and in an environment where relapse is not a problem.

Stimulant Medication Misuse Raises Risks for Conduct Problems, Substance Abuse, and ADHD

stimulant medication misuse for adhdInvestigators at Massachusetts General Hospital have determined that stimulant medication misuse increases the risk of conduct problems, substance abuse, and ADHD among college students when compared to peers who did not misuse stimulant medication. The investigators also discovered that the extended versions of this class of drug was misused less often than the immediate release versions. The investigative results of the study can be found in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. According to the report corresponding author Timothy Wilens, M.D., “Our data suggest that college students who misuse prescription stimulant medication are more likely to exhibit clinically relevant psychiatric dysfunction. In addition to higher levels of ADHD, conduct disorder, and alcohol or drug use disorders, the majority of those misusing stimulants met or approached criteria for stimulant-use disorder.”

The fact that stimulant medications are typically used to treat ADHD is ironic because stimulant medication misuse can actually cause this disorder, as well as making the person more likely to engage in other forms of substance abuse and to develop conduct disorders. Dr. Wilens explained that “Someone may report on a survey that they misused stimulants on ‘a handful of occasions’ and have never been diagnosed with a substance-use disorder. While that misuser may deny having a stimulant-use disorder, when systematically queried, it may be found that he or she met or approached the criteria for a full disorder. Some misusers may be pressured to use a friend’s prescription if they believe it will improve academic performance, which is not likely if combined with alcohol or other drugs. We know that untreated ADHD is associated with increased risk of alcohol- and drug-use disorders, so it is not surprising that we found high rates of co-occurring ADHD and of stimulant-use and overall substance-use disorders in those misusing stimulants. It’s possible that pre-existing cognitive deficits may lead some individuals to develop stimulant misuse as they try to self-medicate.”

What You Need to Know About Remifentanil

Remifentanil is a synthetic opioid drugRemifentanil is one of the fentanyl analogs which has been approved for use in human patients, and this drug is marketed under the brand name Ultiva by Abbott and GlaxoSmithKline. This is a synthetic opioid drug which is short acting but very potent, and it is used during surgery for both anesthesia and pain management purposes. Sedation is another purpose that remifentanil may be used for, and when combined with other drugs it can be ideal for general anesthesia. Some anesthesiologists use remifentanil because it is strong enough to do the job but it has a fairly fast recovery time when compared to other opioid drugs that could be used instead. This opioid has a shorter half life than many alternatives so the patient becomes alert and aware in less time and the drug leaves the patient’s system quicker.

Just like other fentanyl analogs there have been cases of abuse reported with remifentanil. Because it is an opioid this drug can cause euphoria and the typical opioid high, however the extremely short half life means that this drug would be low on the preference list when compared to most other drugs in this class. Fentanyl is only half as potent as remifentanil, and the fentanyl analog has a potency that is between 100-200 times what morphine has. In fact remifentanil is so strong that there have been cases where the drug has successfully circumvented naltrexone for those who need adequate pain management. This potency is also what makes the drug such a dangerous one when it is bought and sold illicitly.

What is Carfentanil?

CarfentanilCarfentanil, sometimes called carfentanyl or by the brand name Wildnil, is a drug that is the synthetic version of fentanyl and it is an extremely powerful opioid. This specific fentanyl analog is not approved in the USA for use in humans but it is allowed in small quantities for zoo veterinarians and others who may need to sedate very large wild animals. A related drug, sufentanil, is less potent and is the strongest fentanyl analog that is used for medical purposes in people in the United States of America. Carfentanil was first created in 1974 by a Janssen Pharmaceutica chemist team, and Paul Janssen was one of the chemists responsible for the synthesis of the drug. Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl, and it is 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Imagine the addiction and overdose potential that this drug threatens when used by people, and it had been found in the USA mixed with heroin.

Carfentinal is such a powerful opioid that in the year 2015 the drug had a DEA ACSCN of 9743, and is a Schedule II Narcotic controlled substance. The 2015 annual aggregate manufacturing quota of 19 grams was also kept in place from the previous year. As a fentanyl analog the drug can have side effects which include respiratory depression which can be serious or even life threatening, and it can cause nausea and itching. Hundreds of individuals in Europe and What was once the Soviet Republic have died from overdoses that involved fentanyl analogs. Law enforcement is always trying to play catch up because novel and new derivatives are synthesized all the time.

How Does Prescription Drug Abuse Lead to Heroin Use?

Prescription Drug Abuse and HeroinPrescription drug abuse is one of the biggest threats facing North America today, and another is the epidemic of heroin abuse and overdose deaths in recent years. Many people who start to use heroin do not start with this drug, they begin with prescription opioid use and then progress to heroin as time goes on and the prescription drugs become harder to obtain. When an individual is given opioid medications these can cause a tolerance to develop and the user may start taking more than prescribed or taking doses earlier than directed. Eventually a new prescription is needed, and doctors are becoming more wary of giving out these drugs because they have such a high potential for abuse. This can lead to doctor shopping as the person tries to get a legitimate prescription for the drugs they are seeking.

Over time the prescription drug abuse gets worse, and the opioids may not be available. Purchasing these drugs illegally off the street is the next step, but the high demand means that opioids can be very expensive especially in larger doses when they are even available on the street market. In contrast heroin use is a much less expensive habit, with a packet of the drug selling for as low as $10 in some areas compared to $1-$2 per milligram for oxycontin and other powerful opioids in some areas. A 100 mg oxycontin pill may fetch between $75-$200 while the same strength of heroin costs a small fraction of this price.

Does Marijuana Increase the Risk of Substance Use Disorders?

mariuana and the risk of substance abuseMarijuana has been termed a gateway drug by some while being touted as a medical miracle cure by others, depending on who you talk to. New research suggests that marijuana use can increase the risk of substance abuse disorders in people who use this drug though. According to Health Day the study does not show marijuana use associated with a higher risk for the development of anxiety or mood disorders though. Columbia University Medical Center lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson explained that “This new finding raises the possibility that the recent rise in marijuana use may be contributing to the coincident rise in serious harms related to narcotics and other drugs of abuse.” The study involved close to 35,000 adults who were interviewed at 3 year intervals.

During the initial interview for the study on marijuana and substance use disorders close to 1,300 participants reported using marijuana. Three years later around 65% of these individuals had developed at least one form of substance use disorders, while only 20% of the participants who did not use marijuana within the last 12 months developed the same disorders. Individuals who used marijuana at leats one time each month had much higher substance use disorder rates. Olfson did note that there is no cause and effect relationship proven by the study, meaning that it does not definitively prove marijuana use causes other substance use disorders. Olfson said “In the ongoing national debate concerning whether to legalize recreational marijuana, the public and legislators should take into consideration the potential for marijuana use to increase the risk of developing alcohol abuse and other serious drug problems.”

Opioid Abuse Risks May Increase After Common Surgical Procedures for Many Patients

Opioid abuse risk after surgeryOpioid abuse is on the rise across North America, and recent research shows that common surgical procedures include a standard practice of opioid prescribing. First time opioid exposure after one of these procedures could make some patients more vulnerable to opioid abuse in the future. The suggestion from researchers is that opioid use needs to be monitored more closely for a period of up to a year after many of these common surgical procedures. Early detection can increase the odds of a full recovery, but abuse of these drugs may not be detected right away. Monitoring could prevent the abuse from continuing and provide early treatment resources to patients who end up abusing opioid drugs.

According to the conclusions reached by the researchers who performed the study on common surgical procedures and opioid abuse “Our results have several clinical implications. First, while we found that surgical patients are at an increased risk for chronic opioid use, the overall risk for chronic opioid use remains low among these patients, at less than 0.5 percent for most of the procedures that we examined. Thus, our results should not be taken as advocating that patients forgo surgery out of concerns for chronic opioid use. Rather, our results suggest that primary care clinicians and surgeons should monitor opioid use closely in the postsurgical period.” Some of the common surgeries that were associated with a higher risk for opioid abuse included simple mastectomy, traditional gall bladder surgery, total knee replacements, and total hip replacements.