Category Archives: Treatment Admissions

Rise in Ecstasy Use Shows Up in ER Visits

ecstasyresearchThe club drug that boomed in the late 90’s had apparently peaked shortly after 2000 and then waned, but has been rising again in recent years. A recent release from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showed that the number of people under the age of 21 showing up in emergency rooms because of Ecstasy has more than doubled.

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), Ecstasy-related emergency department visits rose a total of more than 120 percent between a six-year period for those under the legal drinking age. The number jumped from less than 4,500 visits to more than 10,000. While this represented only a small portion of the total drug-related visits, the continuing increase in MDMA use is substantial and alarming.

Among the most common side effects that could induce a trip to the ER for Ecstasy could be rapid heart rate, dehydration and hallucinations. Additional substance abuse while taking the drug also increases the incidence of seriously harmful reactions.

Even for those who don’t have immediate serious reactions, scientists say that Ecstasy use causes a depletion in serotonin availability after the initial burn-up, leaving many users in a depressed state. This is a dangerous and vulnerable time, especially for younger people, and their reactions unfortunately often include more substance abuse to try and cover up the feelings.

If you or someone you know needs help for Ecstasy abuse, contact us today for more information about successful treatment options from Desert Cove Recovery.

The AMA Amends Policy on Marijuana but Continues to Oppose Legalization

amalogoThe American Medial Association (AMA) recently held its interim meeting in Maryland among its more than 500 House of Delegates. During this meeting the Association recommended and adopted changes to its policy concerning marijuana, while reaffirming its stance against legalization.

As mentioned in the US News & World Report article, the AMA continued its stance against legalizing marijuana by stating that, “cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.” In addition to some reinforcement came recommendations of change and evaluation by noting that, “federal efforts to address illicit drug use via supply reduction and enforcement have been ineffective.”

Both advocates and opponents of marijuana decriminalization commented on the recent changes, each claiming minor victories since the changes also included recommending a “comprehensive review of the risks and benefits of U.S. state-based drug legalization initiatives.”

In addition to many states allowing for medicinal marijuana use, Colorado and Washington have recently approved measures for legalization and regulation of the drug for personal recreational use. Several more state legislatures are considering or preparing bills to reduce criminalization of the drug as well.

While the general consensus is that alcohol is a more serious threat to public health, the dangers of marijuana use cannot be understated. In addition to the continued increase in potency affecting motor skills and judgment, there is the fact that marijuana still represents the highest percentage of addiction treatment admissions among people between the ages of 18 and 30. According to the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), there were nearly 688,000 substance abuse treatment admissions among that age range in 2010. Of these, more than 340,000 reported marijuana abuse, and over 86 percent of those started using cannabis at age 17 or younger, so prevention efforts are essential.

The delicate balance for national drug control policy seems to lie somewhere between allowing people to live their own private lives and make good decisions for themselves vs. enforcing positive influences in public health. Either way, the majority of people who develop substance abuse problems should be given the opportunity to attend a rehabilitation program rather than being incarcerated.

Expanding Access to Treatment for Those Who Need It

healthcarereformAccording to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), there were approximately 6.5 million illicit drug users who needed but did not receive specialty treatment for substance abuse last year. Of the reasons cited for not entering a rehabilitation program, lack of funding was one of the more prevalent issues.

Many treatment providers are hoping that the Affordable Care Act that is set to take effect next year will open the door for more people receiving the help they need. An article in the Washington Post indicates that number of people who would become eligible for coverage and thus seeking treatment could double. They raise the issue as to whether or not there are enough treatment beds available for the probable influx of patients.

However, there is another thought that recent drug law changes in New York serves an indicator that availability doesn’t suddenly mean usage. While insurance coverage for drug rehab doesn’t equal the same as nonviolent offender sentencing, it still creates a valid point that other social factors could be limiting those receiving treatment than just financial aid.

At Desert Cove Recovery, we understand that those people who have insurance coverage for addiction treatment want to get the most out of their policies. We work with many of the top insurance carriers to help provide services for those in need of professional care, and we welcome the prospect of being able to assist many more on their path to recovery.

Marijuana Treatment Admissions Increase Along With THC Content

potplantCNN’s Sanjay Gupta made headlines last week when he endorsed marijuana for medicinal purposes, but the network also highlighted some important facts about the drug, such as the rising percentage of THC content in today’s weed.

Experts claim that pot from the 1970’s had a THC content of roughly 1%, while the average potency of the drug now is about 13%, with some blends reaching more than 25%.  This presents a significant factor in the overall debate on the dangers of marijuana.

While anyone would be hard-pressed deny that alcohol is a much bigger problem in America, the treatment admission rate for primary marijuana was 21 percent higher in 2010 than it was a decade ago.  There were more than 330,000 treatment admissions for primary marijuana use in 2011 alone.

Additionally, an article also states that more than 455,000 patients entered emergency rooms with marijuana in their system in 2011, a 19% increase from just two years earlier according to government statistics.

Wo, while the immediate effects of marijuana abuse may not be as severe as alcohol or other drugs, it doesn’t change the fact that there are many people who wind up needing help to stop using it.  If you or someone you love is looking for treatment for marijuana abuse, contact Desert Cove Recovery today.