Spirituality Linked to Drug Abuse and Other Mental Health Issues

Pagan SymbolsPeople who describe themselves as “spiritual” but who aren’t members of an organized religion are more likely to suffer from a variety of mental problems, including eating disorders, drug abuse, depression, anxiety and phobias. This was the finding of a recent study conducted by researchers at University College London.

The study used survey data from more than 7,400 randomly selected adults. Study participants were asked about their spiritual beliefs and religious habits as well as their mental state. About 35% of those surveyed were self-described members of an organized religion and said they attended services at a church, synagogue or mosque. Nearly 20% of participants said they were spiritual but had no religious affiliation. The remaining survey members, about 45%, claimed to be neither spiritual nor religious.

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Professional Boxers and Drug Abuse

Hector Comacho dead at age 50.Years of substance abuse appear to have led to the death of former world champion boxer Hector Camacho in a drug-related drive by shooting. In November of 2012, former world champion boxer Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho, died tragically after he was shot in the head while sitting in a parked car. According to the New York Times, several bags of

Oscar cocaine were found in pockets of a friend of Camacho’s who was with him in the car and also killed.

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New Study on American Teen Drug Use

Teens and marijuanaProlonged use of marijuana by our nation’s students and the drug’s harmful effects were the focus of this year’s “Monitoring the Future” survey. This annual survey of students from the eighth, tenth and twelfth grades recently completed by researchers from the University of Michigan. The data was obtained from classrooms throughout the country earlier in the year and was licensed through a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The study reveals that 6.5% of high school twelfth graders smoke marijuana daily, compared to 5.1% only a few years ago. A surprising 23% admitted they had used the drug in the month before taking the survey and more than 36% confessed to using marijuana in the prior year. For tenth graders, 3.5% reported using the drug daily, 17% said they have used it within the past month, and 28% admitted using pot in the previous year. Only 1.1% of eight graders said they use the drug daily, and 6.5% of students used it within the past month. Over 11% of eight grade students admit they used the drug in the prior year.

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ADD/ADHD Medication Abuse

RitalinThe majority of prescription medications in America are taken safely and properly by the intended recipient, but the growing trend of prescription drug abuse among teenagers and young adults can make many of these medications dangerous and even lethal.

Ritalin is a prescription drug that is frequently abused by young people. This drug is a stimulant that is prescribed to children for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A 2009 report showed that over 10% of high school seniors admitted using some form of a stimulant within the past year, and almost 25% of college students admit abusing their medications (like Ritalin and Adderall) as either a study aid or for pleasure.

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New Study Reveals Lack of Empathy in Alcoholic Men

Alcoholism causes a wide range of physical and emotion problemsA new academic study has been released that appears to indicate that alcoholic men may suffer from an increased inability to fully grasp concepts such as empathy and irony. In a more general sense, the study supports the conclusion that men who drink to excess appear to lose the ability to understand complex forms of communication. The study included an even number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic men. The study participants were asked to read a story that included a section regarding irony, and then to also read a story where the concept of irony was not present. Shortly after completing these stories, the men in the study completed a written survey to indicate whether or not they felt irony was being utilized.

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Pot Legalization – Like it or not, it’s here

Legal marijuanaWashington and Colorado are paving the way to notable change in the country and its drug laws. In Washington State, the legalization of marijuana went into effect on December 5. In Colorado, pot became legal on January 5. The new laws legalize recreational use for adults age 21 and up. In Washington, adults may possess up to an ounce of marijuana and smoke it in private. Smoking in public will continue to be treated the same as public intoxication and can lead to a fine.

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Psychiatrists Approve New Manual of Mental Disorders

DSM 5The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has just finalized the new version of its Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the most important reference for mental health disorders. The changes included in this new version of the manual have the potential to impact anyone who is diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

The manual of disorders, which is commonly referred to as the DSM, defines and categorizes more than 300 mental health issues. The APA spent 13 years on the fifth revision of the DSM (also known as DSM-5), with more than 1,500 mental health experts contributing to the revision process. This is the most significant revision of the manual since 1994.

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Ritalin – Considered Legalized Study Cocaine By Many

Ritalin (the brand name for methylphenidate) is widely known and used as a treatment for ADHD in children.

ritalin

For many years, Ritalin was seen as relatively harmless until abuse of the drug started appearing in schools and colleges about a decade ago.
In 2002 the effects of Ritalin abuse made the news when three students at Antelope Valley High School, near Los Angeles, were hospitalized because of overdosing from the drug. Ten other students were also treated after becoming groggy or incoherent.

Today, many illicit drug users are getting their hands on Ritalin pills and using them along with drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines. The Drug Enforcement Administration lists Ritalin in the top ten of prescription drugs that are stolen today.

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Substance Abuse Counselors Change View on Abstinence

According to a study recently published by the American Psychological Association, about 50 percent of substance abuse counselors believe that it’s acceptable for some alcohol abusers* to have an occasional drink as an intermediate or final treatment goal. When it comes to drug abusers, about half of counselors accept moderate drug use as an intermediate treatment goal, while only one-third of counselors accept it as a final goal.

*It should be noted that this survey question referred to “alcohol abusers” not “alcohol dependent individuals (fully addicted).

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