Roadmap to Understanding Substance Abuse A GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES

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1 Roadmap to Understanding Substance Abuse A GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES

2 Roadmap to Understanding Substance Abuse A Guide for Parents and Families HOW TO COPE IF SOMEONE HAS A SUBSTANCE ABUSE ISSUE... Pg. 4 WHAT S A PARENT TO DO?... Pg. 6 STARTING THE CONVERSATION... Pg. 7 A PARENT CHECKLIST... Pg. 8 WHAT YOU SHOULD WATCH FOR... Pg. 9 THE FACTS ON DRINKING ALCOHOL... Pg. 10 THE FACTS ON SMOKING MARIJUANA... Pg. 14 THE FACTS ON HEROIN... Pg. 16 WHERE TO TURN FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE HELP... Pg. 18 SUPPORT GROUPS... Pg. 20 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SEEKING TREATMENT... Pg. 21 OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES... Pg. 22 Since 1968, we have been an industry leader in providing the answers individuals and their families need related to alcohol and drug treatment. Gateway centers provide adults and teens with substance abuse treatment programs that are innovative, effective and affordable. Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers are dedicated to making a real difference in the lives of the people we treat. Gateway is licensed by the state of Illinois and accredited by The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization. The Joint Commission accredits more than 17,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. 2 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

3 Understanding Substance Abuse: How to Get Started The more you know, the better you will understand how to approach situations down the road that may involve substance abuse and someone you care about. Rest assured, you aren t traveling this road alone. The Roadmap for Understanding Substance Abuse provides useful tips for spouses, parents and friends to identify whether or not substance abuse is a driving issue related to other problems and what to do about it. So turn the page and get started. RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 3

4 HOW TO COPE IF SOMEONE HAS A SUBSTANCE ABUSE ISSUE Nearly one in 10 American adults and teens has a drug or alcohol abuse problem. That one person could be your neighbor, co-worker or spouse. The truth is, odds favor you know someone who struggles with substance abuse. Here are some important tips to help you educate yourself on substance abuse. TALKING TO SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE ABUSING DRUGS OR ALCOHOL Perhaps you feel upset, angry, frustrated or ashamed about someone s problem with drinking or drug use. Whatever you re feeling, it s okay to feel the way you do. What s more, it s often worth talking to the person about your feelings - being honest may encourage someone to open up to you about underlying emotions, fears or anxiety. When you talk with someone about drinking and drug use, listen and respect what he or she has to say. It may actually encourage the person to take action. However, if you are shut down initially, don t take it personal - denial is a common response to concerns about substance abuse. Rather, just listen and don t judge or it may be more difficult to get him or her to open up later. 4 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

5 WHO S AT FAULT? Whatever issues have led an individual to develop a problem abusing alcohol or drugs, you are not to blame. Usually a person believes the problem is not with them, but with everybody else. Realize you may be blamed for suggesting there is a problem, but remember you are not to blame for someone else s drug or alcohol abuse. WRONG WAY: ENABLING SUBSTANCE ABUSE A co-dependent relationship occurs when you are involved with a person who abuses drugs or alcohol and you enable that behavior. It s when you cover up for a person if they lie, make excuses for their behavior, give money or in other ways take care of the individual because of their substance abuse. You may believe you are helping, but ultimately you are only enabling someone to continue abusing drugs and alcohol while depleting your own energy and resources. TAKE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS If a person is struggling with substance abuse his or her judgment may be compromised. You have a right to put your safety and the well-being of your family first. Consider having a backup plan that may include arranging to stay with family or friends if an emergency arises. Understand Substance Abuse is a Disease It is important to realize that substance abuse is a disease. The person with an addiction issue is not able to take control of this problem without professional help. As a loved one, you cannot stop the individual s substance abuse. However, families can avoid covering it up or doing things that make it easy for the person to continue the denial. Encourage your family member or friend to get the professional treatment they need. If someone you care about is abusing drugs or alcohol, Gateway can help. Call our 24-Hour Helpline today at HOPE. Gina Howard, MS, LPC, CADC Gateway Caseyville RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 5

6 WHAT S A PARENT TO DO? Today your children are surrounded by new technology and influenced by media, pop stars, social networking and more. Through computers and personal phones kids have access to the world; and the world has access to them. As a result, there s never been a more pivotal time in helping kids make positive choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol. For all their technology savvy and sophistication, today s adolescents still need guidance on how to navigate some of their tougher choices, especially those with potential to impact the rest of their lives. The next few pages offer parents tips for how to have respectful conversations that empower adolescents to make healthy, well-informed choices. 6 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

7 CONNECT & PROTECT Steer meaningful conversations with your kids We understand that it s scary to think about the extremely widespread use of drugs and alcohol among today s adolescents. As experts in the substance abuse treatment field, we can tell you not to be lulled into thinking it can t happen to your child. The fact is a wide variety of drugs and alcohol is available to your child if he or she wants them. Conversations are one of the most powerful tools parents can use to combat a child s drug and alcohol use. The truth is adolescents do listen to their parents when it comes to drinking and smoking, particularly if the messages are conveyed consistently and with authority. In fact, research suggests the majority of teens - around 80% - feel parents should have a say in whether they drink alcohol.* Did You Know? About 35% of 12th graders reported using marijuana in the past month. More than 5% of teens age have admitted to using illicit substances, such as: prescription drugs, inhalants and even heroin. *National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Parenting to Prevent Childhood Alcohol Use. July 2013 KEYS TO DRIVING MEANINGFUL EXCHANGES Figuring out how to approach the issue with your kids can be tough. Realize this issue cannot be adequately addressed in a one-and-done talk, instead it s an on-going conversation you will revisit and reinforce many times over the years. Consider these helpful tips: When you talk with your child about drinking and drug use, listen and respect what he or she has to say. If your child feels judged they are less likely to turn to you with concerns. Make your expectations of no drinking or drug use clear to your child, and let them know you will enforce those expectations. Teach your child about the dangers of drinking and drug use. Discuss laws, potential repercussions and health-related outcomes. RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 7

8 A PARENT CHECKLIST ENCOURAGE OPEN DIALOGUE If you ve been talking to your child openly throughout the years then you ve formed a solid foundation for an open dialogue. However, as your child matures even the most communicative child can close up. It s up to you to keep the lines of communication open and non-judgmental. SET ASIDE ONE-ON-ONE BONDING TIME Sometimes your child needs to be reminded despite the preoccupations of everyday life for the both of you - work, school, after-school functions, siblings and family obligations - he or she still matters and is being listened to. Try to get some one-on-one time with each of your children. MONITOR AND COMMUNICATE MORE Did you know kids who are not monitored are four times more likely to use drugs than those whose parents monitor their activities? You have every right to know what s going on in your kids lives from who they interact with to where they go. Consider talking to other parents and school leaders about drug and alcohol use to stay informed. DISCUSS DRUGS AND ALCOHOL IN A WAY THAT REFLECTS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TOPIC A quick chat in between texts or on the drive to soccer practice may not be sufficient to signal the gravity and importance of drug abuse. We know it s hard to find the right time to have a conversation with your children, but this is an important message to share. ADOLESCENT WARNING SIGNS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE - Defiant of authority or complaints from teachers - Loss of interest in school activities, hobbies or sports - Drop in grades; truancies or loss of interest in schoolwork - Change in friends and secretive about whereabouts 8 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

9 WHAT YOU SHOULD WATCH FOR Many signs of alcohol or drug abuse, in isolation, may be just normal behavior. If someone you know is exhibiting a combination of these signs, substance abuse may be at the heart of the problem. BEHAVIOR - Change in overall personality - Hidden stashes of alcohol - Moodiness, irritability or nervousness - Sudden oversensitivity or resentful behavior - Secretive phone calls, texting or instant messages - Extreme hyperactivity; excessive talking FAMILY/FRIENDS - Withdrawal from family members - Disengage in family activities - Change in friends; secretive about new friends HEALTH - Sweatiness - Depression - Sores, spots around mouth - Dilated pupils or bloodshot eyes - Inability to sleep or unusual sleep patterns - Runny nose, not caused by allergies or a cold; Unexplained nosebleeds, nausea or vomiting PERSONAL APPEARANCE/HABITS - Poor hygiene - Messy, careless appearance - Unexplained weight loss or gain - Concealed marks or lines on arms or legs - Chewing gum or mints to cover up breath - Smell of smoke on breath or clothes MONEY ISSUES - Unexplained need for money - Not able to account for spending - Found or accused of stealing HOME - Locked bedroom doors - Frequently breaks rules and curfews - Missing household funds or valuables - Excessive need for privacy; unreachable - Increased use of air fresheners, scented candles or incense RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 9

10 The Facts On Drinking Alcohol A person may behave or do things out of the ordinary under the influence of alcohol - even after consuming a small amount. Alcohol affects how well a person assesses risk and makes decisions. In other words, all the tools, rules and lessons a person knows can easily be forgotten and/or ignored if intoxicated. Many people believe that beer and wine are safer than hard liquor. One 12-ounce bottle of beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine (about a half-cup) has roughly as much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. The fact is that alcohol can make you drunk and cause you problems no matter how it s consumed. CAUTION: One drink can make you fail a breath test. In Illinois the minimum cost of a first conviction while driving under the influence is estimated at more than $14,000. Alcohol is a depressant, or downer, because it reduces brain activity. If you are depressed before you start drinking, alcohol can make you feel worse. Alcohol is a drug. Mixing it with other over-the-counter or prescription drugs can be extremely dangerous. Even some herbal remedies don t mix well with alcohol. 10 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

11 Many people have their own opinions about what constitutes moderate drinking. However the USDA has defined moderate drinking as: MEN Up to 2 drinks per day WOMEN Up to 1 drink per day WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A FUNCTIONING ALCOHOLIC? A functioning alcoholic is someone who can hold down a job, pursue a career or care for children while most often under the influence of alcohol. Some can do these things successfully, but the question becomes, how well are they handling their role of spouse, parent, driver, financial manager or community volunteer while under the influence? A functioning alcoholic may not understand the health risks for them are just as serious as for someone with a more obvious addiction to alcohol. SIGNS OF ALCOHOLISM Craving A strong need or urge to drink. Loss of Control Unable to stop drinking once drinking has begun. Physical Dependency Withdrawal symptoms occur after drinking stops, such as: nausea, sweating, shakiness and anxiety. Tolerance The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get intended high. Because alcoholism is a disease, most alcoholics can t simply exercise some willpower to stop drinking. Alcoholics are frequently in the grip of a powerful craving for alcohol, a need that can feel as strong as the need for food or water. RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 11

12 EFFECTS OF DRINKING TOO MUCH ALCOHOL Until recently, it was generally accepted that regular light to moderate drinking is good for the heart, but that s only a portion of the story. With heavy or at-risk drinking, any potential heart benefits are outweighed by far greater risks. In fact, alcohol can damage every organ in a person s body since alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. The health hazards related to alcohol range from hangovers and alcohol poisoning to increasing one s risk for a variety of ailments and diseases including: Weaken the immune system, increasing susceptibility to infections. Cause cardiovascular conditions ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attacks. Make the liver work harder, possibly causing significant damage or liver failure. THE BRAIN SAY SO LONG TO SELF-CONTROL Consuming alcohol changes the way a person s brain works. It depresses one s central nervous system, lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment. Likewise, drinking alcohol leads to a loss of coordination, slowed reflexes, distorted vision and even blackouts. INJURY PRONE Drinking too much alcohol increases your chance of being injured or even killed. For example, alcohol is a factor in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and fatal falls. When people drink too much alcohol, they run the risk of hurting themselves and potentially others, especially if they drink and drive. FREE CONSULTATION Are you concerned about the drinking or drug use of someone you care about? Gateway s confidential consultation is a free, no-obligation way to help determine the extent of someone s alcohol or drug use. We will answer your questions, discuss treatment options and recommend next steps to get someone help. Call HOPE (4673) to learn more. 12 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

13 Misconceptions About Drinking Alcohol Many people mistakenly have an all or nothing perception about alcoholism, assuming there are only two options: He or she can handle alcohol and doesn t have a drinking problem. He or she is a total alcoholic whose life is falling apart. The reality is not a case of simple black or white but more of a spectrum with shades of gray. That s because an alcohol use disorder - alcohol abuse or alcoholism - can range from mild to moderate to severe. What this means is people who have an alcohol use disorder can be highly functioning, highly compromised or somewhere in between. Alcohol addiction is rarely a case of all or nothing. RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 13

14 The Facts On Smoking Marijuana The psychoactive chemicals in marijuana smoke affect a person in many ways. The chemicals in the smoke not only disrupt coordination and balance, but impair a person s ability to form new memories and negatively impact learning. Also referred to as pot, weed, herb, Mary Jane, bud, grass and reefer, Marijuana is: A greenish-brown mixture of dried, shredded leaves of the hemp plant called Cannabis sativa. Marijuana s active ingredient is delta- 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The most commonly used illicit drug in America with 17.4 million past-month users and used by 76.8% of current illicit drug users, according to NSDUH. 275% more potent than it was just 10 years ago due to new growing and harvesting techniques. Harmful to a young person s brain, which is still developing. It is connected to changes in adolescent brain development that may result in learning issues, memory problems and IQ loss. When someone smokes marijuana, the THC goes into their lungs, heart, bloodstream and brain within a few minutes. It can disrupt their coordination and balance. And it can inhibit the ability to perform tasks, such as participating in athletics or driving a car. Long-term marijuana users who try to stop using report symptoms, such as: irritability, anxiety, sleeplessness, decreased appetite and drug craving; all of which make it difficult to quit without professional help. 14 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

15 HEALTH HAZARDS Marijuana is approved for medical use in many states including Illinois, and its recreational use has been legalized in Colorado and Washington. Although attitudes seem to be changing about the legal status of marijuana, the fact remains its use is associated with health and developmental risks for both adults and teens: Marijuana use may cause bronchitis and lung complications. Did You Know? Smoke from marijuana contains 50-70% more carcinogens than tobacco smoke.* * National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. https://ncadd.org/learn-about-drugs/marijuana 11/2014 There is a possibility that street marijuana is laced with other dangerous substances, such as: cocaine, crack, PCP or even embalming fluid. If prone to mental health issues, marijuana use increases the risk of psychosis. MARIJUANA IS ADDICTIVE Smoking marijuana leads to changes in the brain similar to those caused by use of cocaine, heroin and alcohol. Does a person... Need an increased amount of marijuana to achieve the desired effect? Continue to use marijuana to avoid physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms? Continue use despite knowledge of having a persistent physical or psychological problem? If so, the individual may be addicted to marijuana. RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 15

16 The Facts On Heroin Over the past few years, cities and small towns in Illinois and the St. Louis area have been blindsided by a heroin overdose epidemic. Unfortunately, the issue of heroin has not settled down and it continues to wreak havoc in our communities, perhaps where you live and work. WHAT IS HEROIN? Also known as: smack, horse, mud, brown sugar, junk, black tar, big H, dope, skag. Processed from morphine and usually appears as a white or brown powder. Larger blocks of heroin may also appear as a black sticky substance called black tar heroin. The most abused and rapidly acting of the opiates. It has been classified by the federal government as a Schedule I substance with no legal use. Users generally consume heroin by snorting, smoking or needle injection. SIGNS OF HEROIN ABUSE Shallow breathing and shortness of breath Clouded mental functioning Uncontrollable feelings of itchiness Constricted pupils Substantial increase in time spent sleeping. Increase in slurred or incoherent speech. 16 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

17 HEROIN ADDICTION: HOW DOES IT START? Individuals who abuse heroin over time develop a tolerance for the drug, meaning that they must use increasingly larger doses to achieve the same intensity or effect. Heroin ceases to produce feelings of pleasure in users who develop tolerance; instead, heroin users must continue taking the drug simply to feel normal. Heroin slows down the way a person thinks, their reaction time as well as memory -- which affects their behavior and decision-making. Highly Addictive About 1 out of 4 people (23%) who use heroin become physically dependent on it.* *National Institute on Drug Abuse drugfacts/heroin, 10/2014 ALL HEROIN USERS RISK BECOMING ADDICTED Because heroin enters the brain so rapidly, it is highly addictive, both psychologically and physically. Individuals with a heroin addiction who stop using the drug may experience withdrawal symptoms, which include heroin cravings and extreme flu-like symptoms, including restlessness, muscle and bone pain and vomiting. LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF HEROIN ABUSE As dependency worsens, people lose the ability to handle stress or make decisions without the support from a heroin high. Job loss, financial ruin, relationship problems and arrest for crimes committed to feed the addiction are not uncommon. Heroin cravings can also persist years after someone stops using the drug. Stress, specific people, places and things associated with heroin use can trigger a relapse. RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 17

18 WHERE TO TURN FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE HELP Understanding what treatment and support options are available to someone with a substance abuse issue is a key step in helping your loved one get life back on track. PROFESSIONAL TREATMENT In order to sort through complicated terminology and acronyms, you should know there are generally three categories of substance abuse treatment programs: outpatient treatment, residential or inpatient treatment and day treatment. INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT Outpatient treatment is for people that have a strong support system, a stable living situation and the internal motivation to change. Individuals attend multiple counseling sessions, before or after work/school, per week for about 4-6 weeks. RESIDENTIAL Residential or inpatient programs provide on-site living arrangements and offer round-the-clock support. The length of time a person spends in a Residential Program is based on one s individual needs. DAY TREATMENT Similar to a residential program; provides a full day of treatment while allowing a person to return home at night. AFTERCARE After completing treatment a person should remain involved in aftercare, which is counseling and group therapy that is less frequent than outpatient care. Aftercare should also include alumni support. 18 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

19 There also are several key elements you should be familiar with, which are part of effective professional treatment programs: EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES Behavioral therapy and medications that are clinically proven to work. INTEGRATED TREATMENT Because no single treatment is right for everyone, the best treatment addresses a person s medical, physical and mental health needs, not only drug abuse. RELAPSE-PREVENTION PLANNING Counseling to help a person identify and anticipate high-risk situations, and learn coping skills for how to manage cravings and urges. SPECIALIZED TREATMENT FOR TEENS The stress of addiction for teens is often compounded by the pressures of school and peers. Adolescents need specialized programs to focus on their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. FAMILY PROGRAMS Substance abuse counseling and education for family members, as well as access to experts who can appropriately answer questions and concerns. Learn more about the Support Groups an individual can attend during and after treatment to help maintain their sobriety. RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 19

20 SUPPORT GROUPS Once treatment is completed, a person requires a solid commitment and a strong recovery support network. We all know that staying motivated and positive is much easier when you have other people you can turn to in tough times. Support groups provide an environment for letting people share tips and exchange strategies on how to keep their life on track and maintain a fulfilling life in recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Cocaine Anonymous (CA) Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Al- Anon for friends and families of problem drinkers Teen Anon FREE NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION Are you concerned about the drinking or drug use of someone you care about? Gateway s confidential consultation is a free, no obligation way to help determine the extent of someone s alcohol or drug use. We will answer your questions, discuss treatment options and recommend next steps to get someone help. Call HOPE (4673). 20 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

21 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SEEKING TREATMENT To find the best possible treatment for substance abuse, The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends asking potential providers specific questions to determine expertise and services, including: What kind of specialized programs does the treatment center offer? Does the center use therapies backed by scientific evidence? How long has the treatment provider been in business? Does the treatment center have the ability to tailor treatment to the needs of each patient? Does the treatment center have the in-house expertise to address both mental health and substance abuse concerns? Is the treatment center licensed by the state and certified by The Joint Commission? Find more online at RecoverGateway.org/Questions. RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 21

22 Resources for Parents IPASS Account - Review where you child is driving by monitoring activity on toll-way responders. Text Message Drug Slang Translator - Understand if your child s text messages relate to drug use. Drug Slang Dictionary - Understand if your child is referring to drugs or drug use in their conversations with friends. Pill Identifier - Identify what type of pills your child might have in their possession. Find these resources at RecoverGateway.org/Parents 22 Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

23 Helpful Resources Are Only a Click, Tap or Swipe Away Go online for more details about Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers: Learn about programs tailored for men, women and teens Take a virtual tour of a Gateway Treatment Center Find helpful information about insurance coverage Learn more about our free, confidential consultation Visit us online today at RecoverGateway.org RecoverGateway.org HOPE (4673) 23

24 Aurora 400 Mercy Lane Aurora, IL Caseyville 600 W. Lincoln Caseyville, IL Carbondale 1080 E. Park St. Carbondale, IL Chicago Kedzie 1706 N. Kedzie Ave. Chicago, IL Pekin Aurora Lake Villa CHICAGO Kedize River North West Chicago River North 444 N. Orleans, Ste. 400 Chicago, IL Chicago West 3828 W. Taylor St. Chicago, IL Springfield Lake Villa W. Cedarcrest Lane Lake Villa, IL Pekin 11 South Capital Pekin, IL ST. LOUIS METRO Caseyville Swansea Springfield 2200 Lake Victoria Dr. Springfield, IL Swansea 1 Bronze Pointe Swansea, IL Carbondale FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION Are you concerned about the drinking or drug use of an adolescent or adult you care about? Gateway s confidential consultation is a free, no obligation way to help determine the extent of someone s alcohol or drug use. We will answer your questions, discuss treatment options and recommend next steps to get someone help. 24-Hour Helpline HOPE (4673) RecoverGateway.org MORE WAYS TO STAY INFORMED

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