Drug Action Week reminds us that all sorts of drugs can be dangerous, especially if we self medicate without ensuring that it is safe to do so. Drug Action week will be launched at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday, 14th June 2011 with the actual week running from Sunday, 19 June through to Saturday, 25th June 2011.
This year’s theme is called “Looking after YOUR Mind!”
What do we mean by the word ‘DRUG’ and why is it of such a concern?
Parties can lead to overuse of alcohol and drugs. Pubs, Clubs, Disco’s are the places where we meet and socialising usually means we drink, smoke, eat and be merry. It’s a fact that when we are young we abuse our bodies. We think that we are invincible. Getting unhealthy, sick, suffering mental problems, is the other person not us. Once addicted it can be difficult to let go of the habit.
Current research shows that binge drinking is a major health issue for all Australians, particularly young people. The estimate of the health problems it creates costs $36 Billion annually.
Alcohol is the most widely used mind-altering drug. It is legal, it is readily available and it is generally socially acceptable.
Alcohol has stimulating, depressing and mood-altering functions that leave practically no circuit or system of the brain untouched. This range of effects is what sets alcohol apart from many other drugs. Alcohol is causally related to more than 60 different medical conditions (breast cancer, coronary heart disease, violent crime, domestic violence, injury through risky behaviour), and it accounts for about as much death and disability globally as tobacco and hypertension.
“Only dopes use dope,” goes the memorable warning about drugs, but the same caution goes for cigarettes.
On a Medical Search News Article 22/09/2009 it showed that $31 billion is the cost of smoking to the Australian economy.
There is a tobacco-related death about every 28 minutes in Australia, adding up to more than 50 deaths each day. More deaths were related to use of tobacco than to alcohol or illicit drugs.
A large proportion of these deaths (around 21 every day) are from cancer. Over 4,000 tobacco-related deaths each year are due to ischaemic heart disease (the main cause of heart attack).
Smoking and Lung cancer are well documented, as are heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular disease, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Less known are that smoking damages men’s sperm, intracranial aneurysm formation and growth. Researchers have found a young child’s response to smoke may not just affect the respiratory system, but the cardiovascular system as well. Ear infections for children have shown to develop through passive smoking, Lifestyle factors like diet, smoking and obesity account for an estimated 30 per cent of kidney disease cases. Need I go on?
It appears that cannabis or marijuana is the in-sociably accepted drug of choice as well. What has been shown is that young adults who have used drugs for a longer period of time appear more likely to have hallucinations or delusions or to meet the criteria for psychosis, according to a report posted in the May print issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
A study in 2008 found that the development of bullous lung disease occurs in marijuana smokers approximately 20 years earlier than tobacco smokers. A condition often caused by exposure to toxic chemicals or long-term exposure to tobacco smoke, bullous lung disease (also known as bullae) is a condition where air trapped in the lungs causes obstruction to breathing and eventual destruction of the lungs.
Cannabis smoke contains twice as many carcinogens as smoke from tobacco cigarettes, researchers say. Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, say researchers, warning of an “epidemic” of lung cancers linked to cannabis. The researchers say this may be because cannabis users tend to inhale more deeply and, because joints are smoked without a filter, the smoke is hotter when it hits the lungs.
In 2009 there was mounting evidence to support the existence of a new syndrome afflicting heavy cannabis users, after the world’s first cases were found in South Australia. The condition called ‘cannabinoid hyperemesis’ was first identified in a group of about 20 heavy drug users in the Adelaide hills in 2004. The syndrome is characterised by nausea, stomach pain and bouts of vomiting. Some relief seemed to be gained by ‘compulsive hot bathing behaviour’ to relieve the symptoms. Grown men, screaming in pain, sweating profusely, vomiting every 30 seconds and demanding to be allowed to use the shower was a very dramatic presentation. Whilst this may only be a small proportion of cannabis users, it is it is known that there can be significant mental and physical health complications with this level of cannabis use.
Heroin, speed (amphetamine), extacy and even prescription drugs cause side effects our body can do without. It is not the intention of this article to go into every kind of drug, only to give some information that will hopefully motivate the user to seek some help to come off these things rather than set themselves up for later health problems.
As we know, often the use of drugs is a band-aid solution for deep seated emotions such as anger, guilt, fear or shame. Remove the cause and you remove the need to use the band-aid. Hypnosis is an excellent tool to release these emotions as well as craving, and withdrawal symptoms to put the user back in control of their health and life.
I shall be giving a special 3-session price to support anyone to quit drugs during Drug Action Week, face-to-face or on Skype using counselling and hypnotherapy.