By Sara Schapmann
In a criminal justice system where 1.5 million of its 2.3 million prisoners meet the DSM-IV criteria for drug addiction, Lake County Jail in Waukegan, IL is making a positive impact. Substance abuse in prisoners is a widespread problem, and one that often goes unaddressed–some argue at the expense of both perpetrator and victim.
While some women may be incarcerated for being married or associated with male partners who deal drugs, some women do so themselves to escape poverty and support their families.
The most recent drug abuse statistics in San Antonio reveal some changes in patterns of usage, as drugs illegally imported from Mexico have transformed local markets. This has led to increases in drug consumption overall, and three drugs in particular have seen use levels spike in the San Antonio area: marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin.
No matter where you work, sharing your workplace with someone who shows signs of being a drug user can be distressing and worrisome. Whether it’s your co-worker, assistant or boss who shows these signs of addiction, it can disrupt your day, create inefficiencies, and lead to real problems—fiscal, interpersonal and even emotional. But how do you know what those signs of being a drug user are?
Benzodiazepines are a large group of prescription medications you might know better as sedatives or tranquilizers. People who use these medications for extended periods of time can develop symptoms of physical dependence, even if they follow the terms of their prescriptions. In some individuals, cases of dependence turn into diagnosable cases of abuse and addiction. Doctors can look for signs of benzodiazepine abuse and addiction with a variety of dependence questionnaires.
Whether you voted for or against the legalization of marijuana, many U.S. citizens now live in states where marijuana has been legalized. For those living in states where marijuana is still illegal, a product called “synthetic marijuana” is on the market as a purportedly legal alternative. Though the synthetic form is also illegal, drug producers are working hard to stay one step ahead of the law so that they can continue selling it disguised as something else.
How does all of this impact us?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdoses accounted for 52,404 U.S. deaths in 2015, the most recent year statistics are available, including 33,091 (63.1%) that involved opioids.
The tragic increase has been “driven in large part by continued sharp increases in deaths involving heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl,” the CDC said in its latest report.
Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is a medication administered to those who have overdosed on opioids such as:
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a location made infamous by the wildly popular drug show “Breaking Bad,” a real epidemic of drug use is sweeping the city. Especially in the South Valley, a largely Hispanic neighborhood, families are seeing the devastation wrought by prescription drug abuse and, more recently, heroin. The South Valley is not the only part of the state to suffer in this way. New Mexico sets records for crime, overdose deaths and drug use. While some cities in the state have seen crackdowns that have improved life for residents, much of Albuquerque still needs to learn from their lessons.
While it is still not talked about much, Ambien addiction is a growing problem among the American adult population. Because of differences in the way they metabolize the drug, women are especially vulnerable to Ambien dependency, and many women are taking unsafe doses of the drug in a futile attempt to conquer their insomnia.
Teenagers who are prescribed sleep or anti-anxiety medications are at a much increased risk of becoming dependent on them than those who are not, reports a recent University of Michigan study published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behavior.