prescriptionPrescription drug abuse and addiction problems have rocked our country to its core.  In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported that prescription drug abuse and addiction problems are now responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.  Part of the problem with these drug substances is that few individuals recognize them as drug substances, or understand that they can be just as dangerous and addictive as some illicit drug substances.  These medications are FDA-approved and doctor recommended, and many individuals who lack further information regarding their true nature erroneously believe that this means they are perfectly safe to use or even abuse. Read the rest of this entry »

marathonThere are many things that can threaten the health and happiness of humans, not the least of which is mental health issues and substance abuse problems.  These problems often go hand-and-hand, and they can quickly destroy lives, communities and indeed society at large.  When addressing these problems, often the biggest barrier standing in the way of full resolution is ignorance, which prevents individuals not only from comprehending these problems, but also from comprehending what can be done to solve them. Read the rest of this entry »

healthEstablished in 2001, the McIntosh County Coalition for a Healthy Community, or McCoCo, has worked hard to bring many resources into their local communities to help improve the overall health and well-being of the residents in these communities.  Some of these resources include the Drug Free Communities Grant, OCCY Grants, Systems of Care, Tobacco Control Grant, alternative activities for youth and the community so they remain drug-free, the county resource directory, the annual Resource Luncheon and many others.  The issues that face and trouble community youth are a high priority of the group, and McCoCo has long worked very hard to ensure that the youth of the community always has a safe and healthy place in which to grow up.  Activities like After Prom Parties, July 4th celebrations and the Halloween Trail of Terror help community youth discover the fun in drug-free, healthy activities. Read the rest of this entry »

oklahomaSubstance abuse and addiction problems affect every state in the nation, and indeed every nation in the world.  Individuals who encounter some problem or difficulty in their life may be under the mistaken impression that drugs can help them in some way.  The truth of it is that drugs cannot solve any of the problems for which they are taken, whether these problems are mental, emotional or physical in nature.  Instead, drugs interfere with the normal functions of the human body, temporarily suppressing undesirable sensations and stimulating desirable sensations and providing the individual with some degree of relief.  It is for this reason that the individual may believe drugs are helpful to them, however as their drug use continues and then progresses into drug abuse and addiction, the individual sinks farther and farther down the dwindling spiral of drug use. Read the rest of this entry »

prescriptionPerhaps because they are FDA approved and doctor recommended, prescription medications can seem entirely safe to use, and even abuse, to many individuals.  In actual fact, however, prescription medications are drug substances, and as such they can be just as dangerous and destructive as any other drug substance.  In fact, some prescription drug substances have the same potential for harming an individual’s health as illicit opioid drug substances. Read the rest of this entry »

alcoholThis April marks the twenty-eighth annual Alcohol Awareness Month.  Sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), the purpose of Alcohol Awareness Month is to raise general public awareness and understanding of the problems related to alcohol abuse and addiction.  Alcohol Awareness Month is a time for communities to address alcohol-related issues, and promote the ideas of prevention, early detection and effective treatment. Read the rest of this entry »

prescriptionHave you ever been given a bottle of pills for treatment of pain following a minor operation, a visit to the doctor about complaints of aches, or some similar condition which came and went. What did you do with the leftover pills? If you ended up with doses that you didn’t need, where did the pills end up? Maybe you threw them in the trash or flushed them down the toilet, thinking that you could just get rid of them. This may not have been a good idea, since the demand for painkillers and certain other prescription medications is so high that addicts are known to root through the trash in some cases searching for a bottle, while releasing the pills into the water supply poses problems with contamination. Read the rest of this entry »

heartFebruary is American Heart Month, a yearly event sponsored by the American Heart Association. The organization has invested nearly $4 billion over the years into research into research into the causes and treatments for heart disease, making them the leading sponsor of such research not including the federal government. American Heart Month has been observed annually since 1964, and this year’s event was ushered in by a proclamation from President Obama. Read the rest of this entry »

heroinAt the end of January, The Huffington Post published a long-form article, “Dying to Be Free,” which provides an exhaustive examination of the current heroin addiction epidemic which is surging throughout the United States. According to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the number of Americans who used heroin shot up by 265,000. The number of people who died of heroin overdose on an annual basis doubled between 2010 and 2012, and spiked another 39% over the next year, per numbers reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read the rest of this entry »

alcoholOklahoma holds a place in the American imagination as being a rural, relatively peaceful and quiet area of the country. Images of the Sooner State usually include wide open prairies, cattle out on the range, and tornadoes being usually the worst event happening there. Alcohol poisoning deaths are not the type of thing that is typically associated with Oklahoma, but that could change, with recent news coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the beginning of January, the CDC released a report, “Vital Signs: Alcohol Poisoning Deaths — United States, 2010–2012,” in which they ranked Oklahoma 11th in the nation for the number of deaths caused by alcohol poisoning on an annual basis over recent years. Over the years 2010 through 2012, an average of 37 Oklahomans died from drinking too much alcohol, a number which was only surpassed by 10 other states (in ascending order): Read the rest of this entry »

new yearsThis holiday season, Narconon Arrowhead was active in spreading information about the dangers of substance abuse. The goal was to help those who struggle with drinking or drug use problems and who were at risk during the holidays to stay safe and get help. Though they are a drug rehabilitation center dedicated to the treatment of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, the team at Narconon Arrowhead would actually prefer not to see anyone fall into the trap of addiction in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

christmasSince 1989, Narconon has been a part of the community in Oklahoma, providing thousands of people with help over the years in getting sober and putting an end to their struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. The center has been located in its current position at Narconon Arrowhead since 2001, and over much of this time the group has been taking part in what has become a holiday tradition. Read the rest of this entry »

handNarconon Arrowhead plays an active role in the community where it is situated in Oklahoma. Narconon has been helping drug addicts recover in Oklahoma since 1989, and in 2001 they took up their current location in a resort on the shores of scenic Lake Eufaula. Throughout the year, Narconon Arrowhead staff and students take part in activities aimed at helping people in the nearby towns and throughout the region to enjoy happier and healthier lives, and one of the most important of these comes every year in the first part of December. Read the rest of this entry »

partyWhen the holidays roll around, the staff and students of Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma get busy with activities to celebrate the season. It starts when the students are welcome to invite their families to join them for a joyful and festive Thanksgiving dinner, an event which is by itself a highlight of the year for many families, who find themselves spending their first Thanksgiving together since their loved one became an addict. The festivities continue into December, with a number of events on the calendar for celebrating Christmas. These began in 2014 with a Deck the Halls party on the 6th of December. Read the rest of this entry »

grievingCurrently, there are around 20 million people across the United States whose struggles with drugs and alcohol are great enough that they classify as having a substance abuse disorder. Of these, only around 2 million get treatment for their addiction in a given year. The rest go without treatment, spending another year in the trap of substance abuse and addiction. These people head into the holidays living every day with the incessant cravings for another drink or another hit, and anything they might hope to enjoy with friends and family during Thanksgiving and Christmas is clouded over by the fact that they will also be compelled to drink or use drugs on a daily basis. Read the rest of this entry »

ghettoEarlier this month, Narconon Arrowhead issued a warning about the dangers of synthetic marijuana. The center also features a section on their website which is dedicated to providing information about this drug, but they saw that it was time to raise the alarm about synthetic marijuana in an effort to make as many people as possible aware of the issue. Synthetic marijuana has been on the rise over the past few years, and recently the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control spoke out, saying that the use of the drug has reached epidemic proportions there. Given that Narconon Arrowhead is located in Oklahoma, they felt a duty to support the state in addressing the problem and keeping young people there safe from what has become a serious public health threat. Synthetic marijuana sent more than 28,000 million Americans to the emergency room in 2011 alone, and has already killed far too many people in the relatively few years that it has been on the scene. Now, it can be hoped that the statistics of synthetic drug abuse will experience a sharp decline, as more people are learning about exactly what these drugs are and just how dangerous they really can be to someone who makes the mistake of using them.

Synthetic drugs are a class of drugs which are also known as designer drugs, and the two most widely recognized examples of these are synthetic marijuana and bath salts, the latter of which are used as stimulants similar to amphetamine. They have until recently been entirely legal, despite the fact that they were just as powerful as illicit street drugs and in some cases even more dangerous. This situation existed thanks to the fact that the laws which prohibit drugs apply to specific chemical substances. The federal or state government could pass a law that would ban a known synthetic drug, but clandestine chemists could simply come up with a variation on the chemical formula and start producing a new version which had essentially the same effects but which didn’t fall under the blanket of the applicable drug laws. This circumstance not only made synthetic drugs more dangerous in terms of avoiding the efforts of lawmakers, but also in respect of the variability of the substance itself. Marijuana, heroin, cocaine and others are all bad enough, but at least we know what they do, how they work and what their effects are on the user. With an ever-changing recipe, synthetic drugs are typically not very well studied, and health care workers treating emergency room patients often have trouble figuring out what the person took and therefore what is necessary to treat the condition.

Oklahoma Law Targets Synthetic Drugs

A new law in Oklahoma seems to have taken the variability of synthetic drugs into account, and should prove to be effective at stopping these drugs in their tracks in that state. Upon its signing, the law targeted 142 chemicals, making them illegal for purposes of manufacturing or using synthetic drug. This initially broad sweep is important, but it is not all that makes the law effective. A provision of the law includes the power to add more chemicals to the list based on expert testimony, which demonstrates that a given chemical could be used for making synthetic drugs. The law not only addresses the current situation but also takes into account the future developments in this field.

t will now be significantly more difficult for drug dealers to stay ahead of the game, and young people should not be able to buy synthetic marijuana and bath salts in gas stations, convenience stores and smoke shops any longer. Narconon Arrowhead supports this new law, and they hope to not only help prevent the spread of synthetic drugs in Oklahoma but also offer effective treatment for those who have become addicted.

drugsOklahoma, like other states across the U.S., is waking up to the fact that there is a serious problem with synthetic drugs. Until recently, many people simply were not aware of synthetic drugs. The term refers to a category of drugs, also known as designer drugs, which are not manufactured using substances found in nature — as is the case with marijuana, cocaine, heroin and others — but which are created in the lab using several different chemicals. These drugs have entered widespread use in the United States over the past few years, and according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration there were more than 28,000 cases of people being taken to the emergency room following complications with synthetic drugs in 2011 alone. Read the rest of this entry »

girlNarconon Arrowhead is busy getting ready for the holidays. Every year, the staff and students of the center are involved in a variety of activities aimed at celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas, and reaching out to the community to share in the spirit of the season. This includes decorating and running a float in two annual Christmas parades in nearby towns, managing a food pantry that raises donations of food, household supplies and money for families in need, and getting everyone involved in decorating the center to give it a festive atmosphere. Read the rest of this entry »

thanksgivingThis year, Narconon Arrowhead continued what has become an annual tradition by hosting a Thanksgiving feast for the staff and students at the center, and opening the doors to families of those who are currently in treatment. The Thanksgiving dinner at the Oklahoma Narconon center offered everything that people love about the holiday, with delicious dishes including turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and more. With capacity to host as many as 210 patients, Narconon Arrowhead has room for a large and festive Thanksgiving celebration, and having parents, spouses, siblings and children of patients on hand to take part in the celebration makes it that much more of an event. Read the rest of this entry »

christmas treeEvery year, the staff and students of Narconon Arrowhead ring in the holiday season with a Deck the Halls party, a time when everyone gets together to festoon the center with holiday decorations. Narconon Arrowhead is not at all a center with an institutional feel — as a former resort lodge, it retains a warm, welcoming and beautiful lakeside atmosphere. But the Deck the Halls party sees the building take on a whole new character, with a large Christmas tree in the lobby, and decorations throughout the center so that everyone can share in the cheer of the holiday season. By involving the students in decorating, rather than having the staff take care of it on their own, the center gets everyone on board and they all have a part in making the place more festive and a nice place to spend the holidays. Read the rest of this entry »