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Senior year of high school Julio started using inhalants. He was bored. A friend offered him gold spray paint. He inhaled, and got a buzz. He liked it. Thus began his recreational use of inhalants. He had good grades in school. And he was doing what he loved, he had always wanted to play soccer, and he was good; being the #6 leading scorer his junior year, and All State. And he was maintaining a 3.0 grade point average.
He arrived at college, with a full financial aid scholarship. He needed this. He was being raised by his father's parents, as his dad was doing time for accidentally shooting his mother when Julio was 3 or 4. His inhalant usage manifested into an addiction. Julio threw it all away. He flunked out of college, and was kicked out of school, losing all his financial aid.
By the time he was 30, Julio had been arrested 15 or 20 times, he has lost count. This last time he was given an offer to try a new type of incarceration. A place where the inmates are called students and even though it's a fully secure facility, he finds he feels at home there.
The Second Chance Center is a secure long-term residential rehab and transition program providing an alternative for the judiciary to traditional sentencing to jails and prisons, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The program was started by Rick Pendery, a drug rehab veteran, who had piloted a similar program in two Mexican prisons for over five years. "The intent of the program is to restore personal integrity and self-esteem in the inmates, and stem the rising rate of recidivism," explained the CEO of the center, Rick Pendery.
"After arriving at Second Chance on September 7th of 2006," Julio explains, "I tried to maintain optimism about being able to successfully function in a sober manner. But with so many failed attempts in the 30 years of my life haunting my memory, my excitement level was low. All at once I noticed the straightforward attitude of the staff and their warm confident receiving of myself that screamed nothing but success. I perceived a vibration that no matter what has occurred in the past or where I'd failed at in life, if I would just allow myself this opportunity, things would be different, and I would not fail!"
"It's been a step by step process in getting to where I am now from where I was at the beginning." Julio continues. "At times, the only assurance I had that I was still making progress and being productive was by taking my supervisors' word that I would get through it. It's never been an easy program to follow. The idea is simple. But actually doing it is not at all a piece if cake. It takes a lot of hard work and it's this hard effort made which requires sincere dedication and discipline."
A unique prison rehabilitation model inside the criminal justice system, The Second Chance Program specifically addresses common deficits found in offenders with substance abuse histories, such as cognitive behavioral skills, life skills, and the development of moral values and restoration of self-esteem, which have been found to have a positive impact on the development of pro-social behaviors and reduced recidivism. Delivered in a secure setting, this six to eight-month program also offers a long-range nutritional and sauna based detoxification program which uses no alternate drugs.
"As I continue to accomplish each step, I become more motivated to continue accomplishing what I set out to do.", Julio says, "I am not willing to give up in exchange for the past failures or lifestyles. I am just thankful to my lord for his hand of mercy extending through the concept of this program, its staff and my fellow students to support and encourage my continued success here in the program as well as outside of the program in life. Its an ongoing success story that continues today."
Julio also said, "I had not encountered relief from the whirlwind of recidivism within our justice system until Second Chance. I am no longer a part of it's vicious cycle but have now become an entity and future pillar in our communities and state willing to assist others in breaking that cycle. My new attitude, outlook on life and actions give credibility to the scripture 'You can tell a tree by the fruits it produces'. It is through the personally observable transformed life that will encourage others to seek out the same results seen in us. Because of the opportunity presented to me by the Second Chance Program to mature mentally, physically and spiritually as well as the sincere urging and encouragement to do so, we now embraced and continue to run with the Second Chance of having granted myself a Stay of Execution from my own, Self Imposed Death Sentence that I had once voluntarily handed down to myself because of my choice to use drugs."
Getting addicted to any kind of drugs or alcohol is always a matter of shame. The addicts always try to keep their addiction and also its treatment discrete. For this reason many people try to stay away from the rehabs. If a person gets admitted in a drug rehabilitation centers, then other people will definitely get to know about that. This fear of getting embarrassed in front of other people keeps the addicts away from the rehabs, due to which their addiction continues. Among the hundreds of rehabs that have grown up in United States, very few have gained huge popularity because of the treatment they provide, the care of the medical staffs and the practice of keeping the identities of the patients confidential.
It has been seen that many celebrities and famous personalities get addicted to lethal drugs sometimes. Some of them get admitted in the rehabs to get their names in the TVs and newspapers, whereas some try to stay away from the rehabs to maintain their image in the public. People face this situation just because some rehabs disclose the names in public to increase their popularity. However, some rehabs like the Luxury Drug Rehab are there which maintain full privacy of the patients. They guarantee the total confidentiality of the name and address of the patients admitted in there. Rehabs like these have given new hope to the drug addicted people who want to get rid of this nasty addiction.
Besides these above mentioned facilities the luxury drug rehab also provides high class treatment facilities along with the services of the highly experienced medical staffs. The medicinal treatment conducted in this rehab is high class and extremely helpful for curing the patients. There treatment have cured many drug addicts and brought them back to the normal life. Medicinal treatment is very important for curing the addicted patients, but the most important one that is done in this drug addiction rehab is the mental treatment of the patients. During the addiction therapy several withdrawal symptoms show up; these withdrawal effects are so painful that the patients get wild and reach a level of madness. At this time the patients need a lot of attention and care. The highly experienced medical staffs of this drug rehabilitation center provides all the care and whatever the patients need to keep them calm. The mental support that these medical staffs provide is very essential for the patients to fight against the withdrawal effects.
Besides these, a cool and calm and environment is needed for proper treatment of a drug addicted person. This drug addiction treatment center provide excellent and mind soothing environment. It is situated at a place far away from the city life; as a result the patients get a different environment which helps them to recover quickly. Even when a patient gets extremely wild, the calm environment can calm them down. It is advised to all people, that if you are searching for a rehabilitation center, try this rehab. They will surely help you to leave the nasty addiction habit and get back to normalcy.
Studies have found that 35% of lesbians had a history of excessive drinking, compared to only 5% of the heterosexual women in the sample (Saghir, 1970; Lewis, 1982). Approximately 30% of lesbians and gay men are addicted to drugs (Rofes, 1983). The facts show that the homosexual community constitutes a high-risk population with regard to alcoholism, drug addiction and dual diagnosis.
Why is drug addiction and alcohol addiction such a problem?It is important not to assume that homosexuality causes gay drug rehabor gay alcohol addiction. When gays, lesbians and bisexuals internalize society's homophobic attitudes and beliefs, the results can be devastating. Society's hatred becomes self-hatred. As a minority group; gays, lesbians and bisexuals are victims of systemic and ongoing oppression. It can lead to feelings of alienation, despair, low self-esteem, self-destructive behaviour, and drug addiction (Nicoloff & Stiglitz, 1987). Some gays, lesbians and bisexuals resort to drug abuse or alcohol abuse as a means to numb the feelings of being different, to relieve emotional pain or to reduce inhibitions about their sexual feelings. Drug abuse or alcohol abuse often begins in early adolescence when youth first begin to struggle with their sexual orientation. When surrounded by messages telling you are wrong and sick for who you are, eventually you begin to believe it. Having to hide your identity and deal with homophobic comments and attitudes- often made by unknowing friends and family -- can have a profound effect on you. Lesbians and gay men are also 7 times more likely to be the victims of crimes than the average citizen (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1984). In response to this overwhelming oppression and homophobia, many lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals use alcohol and drugs to cope.
Homophobia in our society has limited the opportunities for gays and lesbians to meet each other safely. The gay bar culture emerged as a place to find other gays and lesbians without fear of harassment. The gay bar is a seductive institution. It is the most available place where people can explore being gay and socialize. There is also a lack of alternative alcohol-free places and occasions to socialize within the gay community. This only intensifies the implied connection between drinking and socializing in gay and lesbian social circles.
For those gay addicts or gay alcoholics seeking drug rehab or alcohol rehab, there are gay drug rehabs, gay alcohol rehabs or drug rehabs with gay addiction treatment components where a gay or lesbian can expect to receive addiction treatment in a safe, gay friendly environment.
More gays and lesbians have considered suicide an option than heterosexuals (Bell & Weinberg, 1978). Lesbian and gay youth are 2 to 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than other youth, and may account for 30% of all completed suicides among teens, although they account for only about 10% of teens (Cook, 1991). This in conjunction with a high incidence of drug use and alcohol abuse, would lead one to believe that dual diagnosis in the gay community is higher than that of the heterosexual community. If you are looking for alcohol rehab or a gay friendly addiction treatment program, you can call Recovery Connection, a national referral helpline, at 1-800-511-9225.
Jonathan Huttner is a principal of Lakeview Health Systems, a drug rehab specializing in addiction treatment, with a gay friendly drug rehab for the gay community...[http://www.lakeviewfreedomrings.com]
Continuing the rising trend from earlier years, more young adults abused prescription pain drugs in 2007, while their use of other illicit drugs fell. A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that the ongoing prescription drug addiction and abuse epidemic among young Americans is far from over.
Despite the positive findings regarding other drugs, young adults ages 18 to 25 who abused prescription pain relievers rose 12 percent last year. Prescription drug addiction and abuse involving painkillers and other psychoactive drugs is the number one drug killer of young Americans -- more than heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and all the other typical illicit drugs combined.
The report also found that illicit drug abuse among baby boomers in their late fifties continued to soar, confirming predictions that older Americans are continuing their higher levels of substance abuse as they age. Baby boomers are those born during the post-World War II baby boom between 1946 and the early 1960s.
The number of Americans aged 55 to 59 abusing marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants and prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes more than doubled to 4.1 percent in 2007 over the previous year. The baby boomer figures have been further confirmed by the impact on drug detox and rehab facilities across the country, where older adults from all walks of life -- many of them well-to-do professionals -- continue to arrive for treatment for a wide range of prescription drug addiction and dependencies. Psychiatric drugs -- particularly antidepressants -- are among the most abused by people in older age groups, along with prescription pain killers like OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and Lortab.
Drug Czar John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, commented on the soaring rates of prescription drug addiction and abuse. +Our efforts against methamphetamine, cocaine, and other illegal drugs are working,+ he said. +The markets for these poisons are shrinking, and the deadly grip they hold on the lives of individuals, families, and communities is being countered.
+But when it comes to prescription drugs, we cannot afford to re-live the painful experiences we've had with illegal drugs. We must act quickly to increase awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse, decrease the illegal diversion of these products, and shore up safer practices for their prescription and distribution.+
The only bright spot in the report about trends concerns kids aged 12 to 17, which showed a significant decline in overall past month illicit drug use from 11.6 percent in 2002 to 9.5 percent in 2007. But we're left with millions of kids still abusing all kinds of drugs, falling victim to prescription drug addiction, and many dying from drug interactions and overdoses.
The battle to reduce and eliminate prescription drug addiction among all ages of Americans is far from over. Meanwhile, the best weapon we have for those already dependent or addicted is +medical' drug detox, followed by comprehensive drug rehab when needed -- which is most of the time.
If you're worried about someone you know who's taking drugs getting into criminal activity, you have every reason to be. The number of people in prison for drug-related offenses highlights just how many people are actually taking drugs and getting involved in crime + often simply to support their own habit. The prison population is such a heavy financial burden, the laws are starting to loosen up. And, thanks to drug courts, some offenders can now go into a drug addiction treatment center instead of prison.
Lightening up on the laws is definitely called for. A recent article in the magazine Mother Jones chronicled some of the legal changes in the last 20 years and the effect they've had on the prison population.
In 1986, for example, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act made the sentence for selling or possessing crack cocaine 100 times stricter than for powdered cocaine. The prison population doubled over the next ten years.
Two years later, the Omnibus Anti-Drug Abuse Act mandated that anyone even loosely connected with the sale or possession of certain quantities of crack would also get a five-year sentence. In other words, if you lived with someone who had five grams of crack on the premises, even if it had nothing to do with you, you could go to prison for five years. In the six years following that law, the number of people in prison for drug offenses quadrupled. And offenders still didn't have the option of a drug addiction treatment center. That didn't start for another ten or twelve years.
In 1994, the three-strikes law was enacted in California making the sentence for a third felony conviction 25 years to life. According to Mother Jones, one such offender was a homeless man who tried to take food from a church. Within a year or so, the three-strikes law was in 24 states.
These laws, and there are many more, are a large part of the reason one in ten Americans is now in prison.
How many of those people would be better off in a drug addiction treatment center? And if these are just the people who got caught, how many more people are out there who also need a drug addiction treatment center and are likely to wind up in prison instead?
Some prisoners are now being released early. Some are getting the rehab treatment they need. So things are changing. But if changes in drug laws can create this kind of effect, it's clear that we need to spend a lot more money on drug addiction treatment centers if we want to spend less on prisons, the justice system and law enforcement.
investing in high quality, successful drug addiction treatment centers could have a huge impact on our faltering economy. It would also reduce drug addiction and crime + and we spend billions on that in addition to the legal and prison system costs - and we'd save a lot of lives in the process instead of taking drug addicts and turning them into drug addicts who are also hardened criminals.
Can someone you know who's taking drugs become a criminal? Absolutely. Get them into a drug addiction treatment center before that happens. They need drug rehab , not prison.