How to Stop Binge Drinking

How to Stop Binge Drinking

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is said to be when an individual’s blood alcohol content reaches .08, or roughly five drinks for men and four drinks for women, within a 2-hour period. Binge drinking can increase the chances of alcohol addiction and alcohol use disorder. In this article, we’ll examine what binge drinking is and how to can stop binge drinking safely.


What Is Binge Drinking?

Simply put, binge drinking refers to taking large quantities of alcohol within a short period. Binge drinking can occur in various situations, such as parties, social events, or bars.

When people drink large quantities of alcohol in a short period, it leads to an increase in blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Individuals with a BAC of 0.08% or higher are classified as legally impaired and not expected to drive.

While binge drinking may not be as severe as alcoholism, it still poses a problem and can be a warning sign of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking can also lead to dangerous and possible life-threatening issues.

While alcoholism is a constant addictive behavior, binge drinking is usually a one-off behavior. It can lead to an increased risk of liver problems, alcohol poisoning, high blood pressure, and digestive problems. It can also result in vehicle accidents, physical and sexual assault, and unintentional injuries.

If you or your loved one are in recovery from alcohol abuse, The Last House ensures a safe, fun, program-oriented setting where residents can find purpose, progress, and build a foundation for a life that is not only free of drugs and alcohol but flourishing in all aspects.

Contact us today to learn more about our structured sober living for men in Los Angeles.


Is Binge Normal?

While binge drinking isn’t normal, it is one of the most common and deadly patterns of excessive alcohol use. While binge drinking differs from alcohol addiction, it is still a harmful behavior that can seriously affect your physical and mental health. Binge drinking is more common among adults and is highly prevalent among college students. Binge drinking on a regular basis can result in alcohol use disorder.

Call The Last House today at 1-866-677-0090 and learn more about our Los Angeles sober living program.


How to Stop Binge Drinking

If you or your loved one is consuming large quantities of alcohol regularly and you want to stop, there are certain steps you can take to achieve this. First, you can create a plan to cut down on drinking or stop drinking entirely. For example, you can restrict yourself to 2-3 drinks at most whenever you want to drink, which should not be frequent.

You can also inform your family and friends to have some form of accountability and support. Also, professional help, such as rehab facilities and support groups can help to curb binge drinking. This is the best way to stop binge drinking.

The Last House offers a safe and secure environment and treatment for individuals suffering from alcohol and drug abuse.


How to Recover from Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse is a spectrum of harmful drinking behaviors, including binge drinking and alcohol dependence. Alcohol abuse poses different types of negative effects on physical health, mental health, and social well-being.

There are certain steps to take to recover from alcohol abuse. Some individuals who abuse alcohol may be able to stay away from alcohol or reduce the amount and frequency. Family support and accountability can also help in recovering from alcohol abuse.

However, professional treatment is one of the most effective ways to recover from alcohol abuse. Professional treatment can include medication, therapy, support groups, and natural therapies.


The Last House Offers a Recovery Program

The Last House is a top-rated sober living facility in Los Angeles with the goal to create an environment that promotes long-term recovery. The Last House offers a safe and secure environment and treatment for individuals suffering from alcohol and drug abuse. Contact The Last House today at 1-866-677-0090 for a consultation.

What Are the Signs of a Cocaine Addict?

What Are the Signs of a Cocaine Addict?

Most people have an idea about what some drugs and alcohol can do to a person and how becoming addicted can affect a person’s life. Not everyone knows, though, how to recognize the signs that a person is suffering from a particular addiction like cocaine. The best way to get a person the help they need is by being able to tell when they have a problem. For a powerful drug like cocaine, there are many dangers of continued use. This means that the sooner you can recognize that a person has a problem, the better it is, and the more likely you are to save them from harm.  

The Last House is a sober living facility for men who have completed addiction treatment. We understand the danger that cocaine addiction poses and understand the importance of professional treatment in getting sober. We believe everyone deserves to live a life clean of cocaine. In this post, we are going to discuss the drug cocaine, the signs of a cocaine addict, cocaine addiction symptoms and what harm they can cause long term, and how to find cocaine addiction treatment in Southern California.


What is Cocaine? 

Cocaine is a drug derived from the coca plant that has been used for centuries due to its anesthetic and energy-giving properties. It is classified as a stimulant drug and is considered highly addictive. The drug was used in various parts of the world for medicinal purposes and at one time by medical personnel as both a treatment for various conditions and as an anesthetic for surgery and other procedures. 

It was not until the mid-20th century that the addictive properties of the drug were identified, and the drug was made illegal. The modern form of the drug appears as a yellowish or white powder that is sometimes sticky or gummy and sometimes cut with various other substances to dilute it. Most often, it is smoked or snorted though it can be liquified and injected or mixed with other substances to create different drugs. 

Cocaine is primarily used as a party drug though habitual everyday use is possible for those that become addicted. Many people use the drug due to the energy-giving effects that it possesses. It also suppresses the appetite and improves concentration as well as the ability to consume alcohol, which can make using the drug even more dangerous.


What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use? 

Like most drugs, some long-term effects go along with cocaine use. All addictive drugs alter the body’s chemistry. However, cocaine works on the reward and stress centers in the brain. Over the long term, it is harder for a person to derive pleasure from activities because the brain produces fewer of the necessary “reward” chemicals. 

At the same time, long-term cocaine use increases the body’s stress response, making a person easily aggravated and more prone to stress over issues that otherwise may not bother them. Over an extended period, a person’s tolerance also increases, meaning they may need more cocaine to keep from experiencing withdrawal, leading to higher doses more frequently. 


What Are the Signs of a Cocaine Addict? 

Some behavioral and physical signs of cocaine use can tell you if a person is abusing cocaine and needs treatment. 

You may notice increased irritability and restlessness while a person is on cocaine, as well as fast-talking, hyperactivity, mood swings, and trouble concentrating as the drug wears off. You may also notice constant sniffling, a white film or powder around the nostrils, and even lesions in the nostrils. Prolonged use may lead to a loss of sense of smell and even a deviated septum. 

Depending on how a person uses cocaine, you may see other signs, such as marks at sites of injection, redness, and swelling. As we mentioned, mixing cocaine with other drugs can also have its own signs and symptoms. 


How to Find Cocaine Addiction Treatment in Southern California

While The Last House is a sober living home in Los Angeles, we also have access to other resources, including our clinical sober living campus in Santa Monica, an outpatient treatment facility for drug addiction. If you know someone who is suffering from cocaine addiction, contact The Last House. 

After completing their treatment program, they will also be eligible for our sober living facilities and the programs we offer. Whether they need continued support or are just trying to rebuild their life before returning to the ordinary day-to-day, The Last House is here to help with programs and even family support. 

Don’t let a cocaine addiction ruin your life; contact The Last House today.

How to Hold a Drug Intervention

How to Hold a Drug Intervention

Anyone who has ever had a loved one with addiction knows how difficult it can be seeing them struggle with their addiction and the strain it puts on relationships, finances, and just about every other part of a person’s life. However, one of the most complex parts of seeing a loved one with an addiction is knowing how to get them the help they need. There are many reasons why an addict doesn’t get the help they need; they don’t know how, they’re afraid, they don’t think they have a problem, or they don’t have the support they need to go through the process. In these cases, a drug addiction intervention is the best option to help your loved one get the help they need to get clean and sober and start rebuilding their life. 

The Last House is a Los Angeles sober living program that provides a safe place for those that have been through addiction treatment and want to continue rebuilding their life after addiction has destroyed it. We believe everyone should have access to the treatment they need to get and stay sober. In this post, we are going to discuss drug addiction interventions, what it is and why addiction interventions are crucial to the recovery process.


What is a Drug Intervention? 

A drug intervention is a meeting held by the friends and loved ones of a person suffering from addiction. The purpose of an intervention is to get a person suffering from an addiction to realize the harm their addiction has caused and seek help by going into treatment. A drug intervention can take different forms, but the end goal remains the same, to break the cycle of addiction. 

It’s called an intervention because a group of people is intervening or stepping in the way of the addiction to try and get a person some help. The way it typically goes, one person leads the intervention, including choosing an appropriate venue, gathering the rest of the friends and loved ones, and setting up the actual intervention. 

During the intervention, friends and family take turns speaking, sometimes reading from a script or writing a letter to the person with the addiction, explaining how the addiction has hurt them and the danger that it poses. Each person expresses their concerns and why the addict should get help while offering love and support. Once everyone has spoken, the addict is typically given an ultimatum to get help. 

If the intervention is successful, the family and friends work together, and the addict enters a treatment program for their specific addiction. Holding an intervention can drastically improve the odds of success of someone going to treatment and getting the help they need to get and stay sober for the long term. By building a strong support network, it is much more likely that the person will complete treatment and be able to avoid relapse. 


How to Hold a Drug Addiction Intervention

Putting together a drug intervention on your own can be a difficult task, but there are a few key things to remember when planning one. 

First, it’s essential to pick the right location, a neutral but safe place for all parties involved, including the person for whom the intervention is being held. It can be a relative’s home or a specific venue that is rented out for the purpose of the intervention. 

Second, it is important to gather everyone together and rehearse what they will say and how the intervention will proceed. It is important to remain supportive and caring throughout the process while also being firm about the consequences of the addiction and the potential repercussions if the person does not go into treatment. 

Lastly, suppose you think that you need help planning the intervention. In that case, it is always a good idea to hire a professional interventionist to help plan and execute the drug intervention to ensure it is a success. 


How to Get a Loved One Help With a Drug Intervention 

If you think your loved one needs help, an intervention is a right choice. If you have trouble putting together an intervention on your own, it’s important to reach out to the addiction services in your community to get professional assistance. 

The Last House is a sober living home for men that is available for those who have completed treatment, but we have a wide array of resources that clients and their families can access to get help and support. 

The benefit of a sober living home in Los Angeles is that it gives them a place to live while they rebuild their lives after completing treatment but before returning to a normal day-to-day life. We offer programs for drug addiction and even have a phase out program for those who are ready to transition back into society after sober living. 

If you have a loved one with an addiction, don’t wait to get help; call The Last House today and let us help you help them.

What Are the Signs of Opioid Abuse?

What Are the Signs of Opioid Abuse?

Most people have heard of opioids and know that opioid addiction is a significant issue. One of the biggest problems with the opioid epidemic is that many people become addicted thanks to prescription medications. Without knowing the signs of opioid abuse, it can be hard to tell if someone has an opioid addiction. In some cases, people who aren’t abusing opioids, but are simply taking them for a prolonged period can wind up addicted without knowing it. 

The Last House believes that everyone deserves a chance to live free of drug addiction. We understand what a problem the opioid epidemic has become and that getting your loved ones the help they need is critical. In this post, we are going to look at signs of opioid use, opioid addiction signs, and how to find treatment for opioid addiction.


Which Drugs Are Opioids? 

Opioids are derived from the seeds of the poppy plant. They are widely used in medications that treat chronic and severe pain. Opioids come in a variety of forms and can be both natural and synthetic. 

Most opioids are in drugs such as those of the oxy family of drugs and a few other popular medications. Heroin is in the opioid family as well. Not only these medications, but there are now incredibly strong synthetic opioids such as the drug fentanyl, which is both a prescribed medication, and a derivative street drug that has proven to be incredibly deadly. 

Opioids are all incredibly addictive due to two primary factors. The first factor is due to the fact that opioids affect both the brain and the central nervous system. Over time, opioids change the chemical makeup of the body, changing the way the body and brain react to pain and causing what is known as chemical dependency. Chemical dependency gradually shifts until a person becomes completely addicted to the drug. 

The second reason many people become addicted to the drug is that they start to enjoy the way the drug makes them feel. In particular, some opioids are known to cause a calming and relaxing or even euphoric sensation that some feel is a “high.” They begin to take more and more of the drugs or even change the way they ingest the drug in order to get this feeling.


What Are the Signs of Opioid Abuse 

Like most drugs, there are certain signs to look out for that you can use to tell if someone has an opioid abuse problem. 

Because most opioids that are widely available are prescriptions one thing to look out for is a change in the amount a person is taking, such as taking more than prescribed and going back too often for refills. They may also change the way they take the medication, such as changing from swallowing pills to crushing and snorting them. This is a clear sign that they may be abusing the drugs. 

Other behavioral signs include secrecy and paranoia over their drug use. Distancing themselves from loved ones and favorite activities is another trait, as is neglecting responsibilities. 

A person may even wind up in financial and legal trouble due to drug-seeking behavior. 

Emotional signs include anxiety, depression, mood swings, fear, and anger. They may flip from one mood to another, especially if pressed about drug use.


Are There Treatment Programs For Opioid Addiction? 

Yes, you can find opioid-specific treatment programs that include personal care and medically assisted detoxification at a treatment center near you that work for opioids. However, once treatment is complete, that doesn’t mean the fight with addiction is over. 

That’s when you need The Last House. The Last House offers men’s sober living in Los Angeles for those in recovery. We have multiple programs available for those just ending treatment, all the way to those that are ready to phase out of the program to ensure that everyone has the help they need to return to a life free of opioids. 

Contact The Last House today to learn more about our Los Angeles sober living locations and get help with your recovery.

What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse?

What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse?

We all know that when someone is suffering from addiction, the only safe way to get them clean and sober is by sending them to treatment. However, the longer an addiction lasts, the worse it can be. That’s why recognizing the signs that someone is using and abusing drugs is so critically important. The important thing to remember is that every drug is different, and each individual’s case of addiction is different. While not everyone will have the same symptoms, there are a few common signs of drug abuse to look out for when trying to determine if your loved one needs help. 

At The Last House, we recognize that addiction is a lifelong struggle and that everyone needs help. We aim to provide help and resources to those going through addiction and their families so that they can get on the path of sobriety. In this post, we are going to look at the drug cocaine and what are some cocaine use symptoms and signs of cocaine addiction, as well as how to find outpatient treatment for cocaine addiction.


What is Cocaine? 

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. It has been around for centuries and was used by native peoples in different parts of the world for its medicinal properties. 

It was originally used to fight fatigue and other conditions due to its potential as a stimulant. As late as the early 20th century, it was also used regularly as an anesthetic before eventually becoming the more modern form of cocaine that became an illicit 

Modern cocaine is either a sticky yellow or white powder and is typically ingested by snorting, though it can be injected or smoked as crack cocaine. 

In terms of what it can do, it has been known to suppress appetite, reduce fatigue, promote higher energy levels, and enhance mood, among other effects. It also causes numbing of areas that it comes into contact with, making it useful as an anesthetic, which in rare cases is still used today in medical procedures. 


What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Use? 

The signs of cocaine use are fairly easy to detect once you know what to look for. There are signs of use that are physical, emotional, and behavioral to look out for. 

For instance, if someone has been using cocaine habitually, you may notice a white residue around their nose or mouth. You may also notice constant sniffling or a runny nose. There may even be lesions in the person’s nose or frequent nosebleeds. 

They may seem overly excited and energetic, including fast-talking and inability to sit still. They may also become irritable once the “high” wears off. 

Other signs include becoming distant from family and friends, losing interest in things you used to enjoy, and neglecting responsibilities such as work, school, or hygiene. Once a person starts using heavily, they often become secretive, trying to hide their drug use. This also usually includes drug-seeking behavior.


How Addictive is Cocaine? 

Cocaine is considered a highly addictive drug. This is linked to two primary factors. 

The first reason for the drug’s addictive potential is because it alters the body’s chemistry to make it dependent on the drug to function normally. Over time this dependence turns to full-blown addiction. 

Secondly, many people enjoy the drug’s effects, making it increasingly popular for recreational use, leading to a higher potential for it to become habit-forming.


Is There Outpatient Treatment For Cocaine Addiction? 

There are options when it comes to treatment for cocaine addiction. Aside from inpatient treatment, there are also two forms of outpatient treatment, standard outpatient treatment, and intensive outpatient treatment. These are excellent options for those that need the help and support that comes along with treatment, but need the freedom to return home after their treatment sessions instead of staying in a facility.  

Once treatment ends, The Last House offers men’s sober living in Orange County for those that need a place to go to continue their recovery and rebuild their life after addiction has taken its toll. We offer different programs depending on the needs of residents, including our LA sober living program, and we also offer family support to help with the transition back to a normal life. 

Contact the Last House today to learn more about our sober living locations in Southern California.

The American Opioid Epidemic, Explained

The American Opioid Epidemic, Explained

The American opioid epidemic is a significant health issue that has reached a crisis level. Along with heroin, opioids have contributed to 75,673 deaths in the United States in a 12-month period ending April 2021. Created as a “safer” alternative to opiates and earlier prescription painkiller medications, opioids have devastated those addicted, their families, and communities across the United States. 

With no end in sight, lawmakers and healthcare policymakers have been scrambling to find solutions to stem the tide of this epidemic which claims over 130 lives per day.

This article will discuss the opioid epidemic in America in greater detail. We will dive deeper into what opioids are and why they are so addictive. We will also discuss the origins of the opioid epidemic in America and where you can find help if you are struggling with prescription painkiller addiction.


What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of synthetic and semi-synthetic medications that doctors commonly prescribe to help patients manage pain from major surgeries and chronic diseases such as cancer. These medications are designed to attach to opioid receptors found in the brain as well as the stomach and the spinal cord. When administered, opioids block pain messages from transmitting through the body. As a result, people on opioid medications feel a tremendous sense of euphoria and relaxation.

Common opioids that doctors prescribe include:

  • Oxycontin
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Tramadol
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone

Drugs such as heroin and morphine are often included as opioids. While technically known as opiates because they are created from the sap from the poppy plant, they produce the same effect as synthetic opioid medications.


Why Are Opioids Addictive?

There are many people who feel that opioids are “safe” because they are prescribed by doctors and used to treat legitimate medical issues. The reality is that opioids are often more potent than opiate drugs such as heroin. For example, fentanyl is 100 times more potent than heroin or morphine. When people are prescribed prescription painkillers, it is done under strict medical supervision and monitoring by experienced medical personnel. Even under this strict monitoring, people can still become addicted to opioids.

How is this possible?

As stated earlier, opioids attach to specific opioid receptors in the brain. The connection these drugs have to these receptors is like a key to a lock. Opioids release vast amounts of dopamine, which is known as the brain’s own “feel good” neurotransmitter. The area of the brain dopamine targets is the mesolimbic brain region where the “reward centers” life. As a result, the rush and pleasure felt when opioids are taken are extremely reinforcing. People will take more opioids to replicate those feelings.

People will continue to take opioids because the withdrawal symptoms are painful and uncomfortable to endure. Withdrawal symptoms often appear approximately 12 hours after the last done and can include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Widened (dilated) pupils
  • Body aches
  • Vomiting
  • Belly cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Rapid breathing
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

If people have underlying medical conditions or are taking multiple substances, these withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening.


History of Opioids and the Opioid Epidemic in America

While opioid addiction in America has been front and center for the past few years, it is not a new phenomenon. The history of the opioid epidemic in America can be traced back to the 1980s. At that time, the general consensus among health providers was that opioid medications were a safer alternative to manage pain. 

In the mid 1990s, Purdue Pharma developed OxyContin, which was touted as being a “safe alternative” and was aggressively marketed to healthcare providers. Operating under the philosophy that opioids were only addictive if used recreationally, doctors increased their prescriptions of opioid medications. There were also vulnerabilities in the healthcare system, with many doctors in private practice who could increase income by seeing more patients and prescribing more painkillers.

Between the late 1990s and 2010, there was a gradual increase in opioid deaths because of the ability for users to stockpile medications due to patient privacy laws and the rise of the black market for medications. When laws were changed, and supplies became more restricted, users transitioned to using illicit opioids like heroin because it was more plentiful and inexpensive. 

Around 2013, heroin dealers began to cut their products with fentanyl and other fillers. The use of fentanyl in this capacity created an explosion in overdose deaths for several years. This effect is continued to be seen today.


Don’t Become Another Statistic… Call The Last House Today!

The American opioid epidemic has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. If you are struggling with opioid addiction, today is the day to get professional help. Located in Santa Monica, CA, The Last House is a premier men’s sober living program in Southern California.

With three decades of cumulative experience, our treatment staff has a proven track record of helping those in the grip of opioid addiction. No matter the severity of your addiction, our individualized treatment programs will give you the tools and support you need to overcome your opioid addiction for good.

Call The Last House today and begin your recovery journey.

Important Addiction Statistics in the United States

Important Addiction Statistics in the United States

Drug addiction is a major health and social issue in the United States. It affects people from all walks of life and in every community across the country. You may not see the effects of drug addiction on a daily basis, but the impact of drug addiction in your community does impact you and your family. To grasp the immensity of this problem, this article will outline addiction statistics in the United States that will make you take notice. You will also know the key reasons why addiction is common in the United States and where you can get help if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.


Why is Addiction Common in the United States?

When looking at addiction in the United States, it is essential to understand the reasons why it is so common across the country. The following data from the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) show the shocking rates of drug use in the United States:

  • 139.8 million Americans 12 and over drink alcohol
  • 14.8 million Americans over the age of 12 have an alcohol use disorder
  • 58.8 million Americans use tobacco
  • 31.9 million Americans use illegal drugs
  • 2 million people, or 24.7% of those with substance use disorders, have an opioid disorder

So why is drug use and addiction so common in the United States? One major reason is the ongoing opioid epidemic. Along with heroin, prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Percocet are responsible for over 70% of drug overdose deaths in 2020. While effective in helping people manage the pain from surgery and chronic diseases, opioids are highly addictive, and people become easily hooked—even if under strict medical supervision.

Another reason why addiction is common in the US is the changing viewpoints people have about substances and substance use. With the growing movement to legalize marijuana to the portrayal of substance use on social media, drinking and drug use are increasingly seen as normal and even acceptable behavior. Additionally, the increasing stress of everyday life leads more people to use substances as a coping mechanism. This can include work stresses, family issues, the rising cost of living, and increasing financial burdens.


Important Addiction Statistics in the United States

To fully grasp the drug problem in America, you need to take a deeper look at the addiction statistics supplied by reputable sources and agencies. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that 23 million Americans have struggled with substance abuse. Of that number, 75% fail to seek treatment for their addiction. It is also estimated that 8.5 million people have a dual diagnosis where they have a co-occurring mental illness along with drug addiction. This condition is challenging to treat and requires specialized help.

In 2020, there were 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States. Drug overdoses have now become the leading cause of death in this country. The third-leading cause of death in the United States is alcohol, with an estimated 95,000 people. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol is also responsible for 28% of all driving fatalities and comprises 18.5 percent of all emergency room visits. For those who do become clean and sober, the chances of relapse are surprisingly high. It is estimated that 40 to 60 percent of those in recovery will relapse at least once during their recovery.


Do You Need Help With a Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

Drug and alcohol addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer of lives. If you are struggling with substance abuse, you may feel hopeless and feel you are fighting a losing battle. While you may feel hopeless, help is just a phone call away. The Last House is a sober living facility in Los Angeles specifically tailored for the unique needs of men who are seeking recovery. We offer outpatient and aftercare programs that are customized to fit your unique and specific needs.

Our staff has over 30 years of combined experience in the addiction treatment field. Our programs, services, and support will transform your life. In addition to our programs, we offer fun and engaging activities such as basketball, surfing programs, sober softball leagues, snowboarding, ski trips, among other activities. The support network built at The Last House will motivate and empower you to live a fulfilling life in recovery.

For Los Angeles men’s sober living, call The Last House today!

Why Do Teens Use Drugs?

Why Do Teens Use Drugs?

To combat teen drug use, it is crucial to understand why do teens use drugs in the first place. In a child’s earliest years, the parents are responsible for making the right decisions to ensure their child’s safety, development, growth, and health. As the child enters their pre-teenage and teenage years, they start to make their own decisions and form their own, unique personality.

These teenage years are critical to the child’s overall outlook on life, but they can be extremely worrisome for the parent. Their child will be exposed to a world of new risks and dangers that could have a negative impact on their ability to live a healthy, happy, and rewarding lifestyle. 

Of all the risks teenagers encounter, one of the most dangerous is the use of drugs and other harmful substances. It can lead to a number of other bad decisions and could result in drug abuse or drug addiction as they grow older. As we know, this often leads to self-harm or death.

Why do teens use drugs?

The CDC estimates that two-thirds of all seniors have tried alcohol at least once. Nearly half of all high school students have tried marijuana, about 40% of high schoolers have smoked a cigarette, and nearly 20% have taken a prescription drug without a medical prescription. 

Teen drug use is a growing problem in this country, but why do teens use drugs? Well, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons:

  • To satisfy boredom
  • To experiment; satisfy curiosity
  • To forget their problems; feel good
  • To ease their pain
  • To feel grown-up; feel independent
  • To fit in; give in to peer pressure
  • To improve performance (academically, athletically)
  • They’ve become addicted to the drug

With that said, some factors can help reduce a child’s chance of using or abusing drugs. This includes having a good relationship with their parents, having high self-esteem, surrounding themselves with the right people, and staying busy with extracurricular activities.

What Drugs are Commonly Abused by Teens?

It can be a bit unsettling to know that teenagers are using or abusing drugs, and that feeling only grows more intense when we learn the many different types of drugs teenagers are using. When you consider the consequences, especially at such an early age, it’s a harrowing reality.

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly abused drugs by teenagers:

  • Alcohol – since alcohol is readily available in most teenagers’ homes, it’s often one of the first drugs or substances they try. To avoid this, keep your alcohol hidden from kids. 
  • Nicotine – similar to alcohol, tobacco products are readily available in homes throughout the world. While tobacco is legal for those above the age of 18, it should be avoided. 
  • Marijuana – with many states legalizing marijuana, it’s available and accessible now more than ever. It doesn’t take much for a teenager to get their hands on some. 
  • Prescription Drugs – many children and teenagers are under the assumption that prescription drugs are safe and unharmful, since they’re prescribed by a doctor. 
  • Over-the-Counter Drugs – since over-the-counter drugs are in most medicine cabinets in the home, they’re easy for teenagers to use and abuse. 
  • K2 (Spice) – also known as synthetic marijuana, spice is a very common drug among teenagers that can’t get access to marijuana. K2 (spice) is a highly-addictive drug. 

Some drugs are more addictive and dangerous than others, but there’s absolutely no reason why teenagers should be misusing or abusing any of the drugs listed above. It can cause a great deal of distress not just in your life, but in the lives of those that love and care about you.

What are the Signs of Teen Drug Use?

Now that you know what causes teens to use drugs and why teenagers try drugs, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the many different signs of teen drug use. By detecting it early, you can begin the process of teaching your child the dangers and risks involved in drug use.

Here are some of the most common signs of teenage drug use:

  • Lack of interest in hobbies they once loved
  • Hanging out with the wrong crowd
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Frequently breaking the rules
  • Physical signs, including weight loss, red eyes, bloody noses, and tremors
  • Avoiding contact, acting distant, or isolating themselves
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious activity
  • Stealing money, cigarettes, or alcohol
  • Poor performance in school
  • Constantly asking for money

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, don’t hesitate to take action. Consider contacting their primary doctor or pediatrician to discuss the next steps. If you believe it’s needed, you can also seek the help of a treatment program designed to help teenage drug users.

How to Find Drug and Alcohol Treatment for Teens

There are so many reasons why teens do drugs, and while they’re more accessible now than ever, that doesn’t mean children should use, misuse, or abuse them. If you believe your child is using drugs, there are things you can start doing today to ensure that it comes to an end.
That’s where we come in. At The Last House, we take great pride in our ability to provide sober living in Los Angeles. If you’d like to learn more about men’s sober living program in Los Angeles, contact us immediately!

Why are Teens More Vulnerable to Addiction?

Why are Teens More Vulnerable to Addiction?

Teens have been found to be vulnerable to addiction when they start experimenting with drugs, and rates have been rising over the years. Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are the substances that are most commonly used by young adults. Unfortunately, there are some risks of substance use that are unique to teens and young adults. For example, drug use can affect their growth and development, especially with the brain, frequently occurs with other risky behaviors, and can contribute to other health problems in their adult life such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders. 

What Causes Addiction?

The development of an addiction first starts in the brain. It starts with a neurotransmitter known as dopamine, which is a chemical in the brain that causes us to feel happiness. Typically daily activities that can release this neurotransmitter include things like eating your favorite dessert, seeing a family member, or doing a hobby that you enjoy. When drugs are ingested, an excessive amount of dopamine is released in the brain, causing a more intense form of happiness known as euphoria, which is known as the “high” that drugs cause. Because this high is very pleasurable and much more intense than typical daily activities can achieve, individuals will often continue using drugs to chase that high. This behavior leads to addiction and dependence on drugs. 

How is Teen Addiction Different?

Teen addiction is slightly different because they are often used for different reasons that adults report for using substances. For example, teens are highly influenced by their peers and may be more inclined to give in to peer pressure to use substances and “fit in.” Some teens also have difficult home lives that they are trying to cope with that are mostly out of their control until they are old enough to move out on their own. Additionally, teens are often not equipped with the tools to cope with peer pressure and other life stressors in the way that adults are, so they may be more likely to turn to drugs to cope if they are exposed to them. 

Why are Teens More Vulnerable to Addiction?

Teens have been found to be more vulnerable to developing an addiction if they start experimenting with drugs at this age. Some reasons for why they are more vulnerable to addiction include:

  • Teens do not experience withdrawals as intensely as adults do. Therefore, this is not something that may deter them from using the substance. 
  • Teens’ brains are more focused on the reward they get from the dopamine release than they are about the negative effects of drugs. Therefore, using reasoning skills is difficult for them because their brains are biased. 
  • Their frontal lobe is still developing. The frontal lobe is what is used when reasoning skills are being used and developed. In addition to their brains being more focused on the reward they get from dopamine, they are also not equipped to weigh the pros and cons of experimenting or mixing drugs, to begin with. 

How to Find Teen Drug and Alcohol Rehab

It can be challenging to try to help your child with their addiction. It’s tough when they are not ready for treatment. However, talking with them, going over their options, and letting them know that you will always be there for support can be helpful. Once they are ready for treatment, it’s important to point them in the right direction of trusted mental health professionals that are trained in substance use. The Last House can help. 

The Last House has been around for over ten years to help men strive to achieve sobriety in their life. We offer a supportive environment with skilled staff whose passion is to help those with addiction concerns and services that promote building skills to maintain a sober lifestyle. Our program includes groups, therapy, accountability, and exploring sober activities. When you leave The Last House, you will leave with long-lasting connections and the skills you need to continue your sobriety long-term. The Last House is connected with Thrive Treatment to easily contact quality treatment teams to ensure the care you are getting is consistent. 
Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you.

Top 10 Most Common Drugs Abused by Teens

Top 10 Most Common Drugs Abused by Teens

Teens often experiment with drugs for many different reasons. Although alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are the most common substances used by teens, there are many others that parents and caregivers should be aware of that are also commonly abused. Some are prescription or over-the-counter drugs that are abused, and some are entirely illegal drugs. 

What are the 10 Most Common Drugs Abused By Teens?

The following data represents the most common drugs abused by teens and the percentage of teens that have used each substance in the past year. 

  1. Alcohol
  2. Tobacco/Nicotine
  3. Marijuana: 36.4%  
  4. Amphetamines: 8.7% (the top drug used in this category being Adderall at 7.4%)
  5. Synthetic marijuana: 7.9%
  6. Prescription painkillers: 7.1% (the most common drugs in this category are Vicodin at 5.4% and OxyContin at 3.6%)
  7. Cough medicine: 5.0%
  8. Sedatives: 4.8%
  9. Tranquilizers: 4.6%
  10. Hallucinogens: 4.5%

Why Do Teens Abuse Drugs?

There are many reasons teens might abuse drugs. It depends on the individual, their personality, environment, and more. Some reasons that teens may abuse substances include: 

  • Trying to fit in – Teens will often use drugs when they perceive that everyone else their age is doing it. They don’t want to miss out, and they want to be able to fit in, so they experiment with drugs too. This is especially true for teens who have a friend group actively using drugs.
  • To feel high – Drug use can cause the brain to release a lot of chemicals that cause a “high” or a feeling of euphoria. Teens will often experiment with drugs in effort of chasing this high.
  • To ease difficult emotions – Teens will often use drugs to feel better when they are experiencing depression, anxiety, or stress. They may use it to numb the pain or to experience euphoria in place of that emotion. 
  • To increase performance – Teens may often use stimulants such as Adderall to improve performance athletically or academically.
  • To experiment – Teens may just be curious about what it is like to do certain drugs and try them for this sole reason. 

What are Signs of Teen Drug Abuse?

Sudden changes in behavior without a clear explanation for the change are often an indication that substance use may be an issue. Here are some signs to look out for

  • Frequently changing friends.
  • Decreased participation in activities that they used to enjoy or withdrawing from social circles. This can include quitting sports teams or clubs they used to enjoy, staying in their bedrooms more often, not talking to family members, or not going out on outings with old friends. 
  • Breaking the rules, such as curfew, and coming up with fabricated explanations for this behavior. 
  • Unusual aggressive outbursts. It may feel like walking on eggshells around them because they are unusually irritable. 
  • Confronting them about possible substance use is met with an angry reaction. 
  • Their grades start to slip noticeably, and they start skipping class or entire schooldays. 
  • Mood swings.
  • Bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, or pinpoint pupils. 
  • A general lack of motivation affecting their school behavior, hygiene, and household chores. 
  • Uncharacteristic behavior, such as stealing, lying, or disrespecting authority figures.

How to Find Addiction Treatment For Teens

It can be challenging to try to help your child with their addiction. It’s tough when they are not ready for treatment. However, talking with them, going over their options, and letting them know that you will always be there for support can be helpful. Once they are ready for treatment, it’s important to point them in the right direction of trusted mental health professionals that are trained in substance use. The Last House can help. 

The Last House has been around for over ten years to help men strive to achieve sobriety in their life. We offer a supportive environment with skilled staff whose passion is to help those with addiction concerns and services that promote building skills to maintain a sober lifestyle. Our program includes groups, therapy, accountability, and exploring sober activities. When you leave The Last House, you will leave with long-lasting connections and the skills you need to continue your sobriety long-term. The Last House is connected with Thrive Treatment to easily contact quality treatment teams to ensure the care you are getting is consistent. 
Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you.