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Archive for Bay Area Cities – Page 2

What to do if your High School aged Child is smoking Pot in San Francisco or any City or County within 100 miles – 1st Step Interventions

“Panic sets in – uncertainty abounds and fear fills your head – you have just found Marijuana or pot hidden in your High School child’s room. Is it time for military school or do you say nothing and just watch”

The answer is neither and you don’t have to panic either. There are a few more stages to go through before that.

bag of pot

This can be every parents night mare – a bag of Marijuana, Pot, “The Kind”, Kush, what ever the word is in your child’s High School has just turned up hidden in their bedroom – and they are only in High School. Even if you as a Parent smoked a little growing up, you panic, we know so much more about Addiction and it is on TV everywhere. What do you do?

What I thought I would do is break it down into 2 segments for you – What we know about Marijuana today and how to handle the situation.What we know about Pot Today:

  • It is much stronger than the pot being smoked in the ’70’s and even through the 80’s. The average THC content (the active ingredient that gets you high) was about 6% then. Today it can be as high ( no pun intended) as 30% – 5 times stronger. And if you process it into Hash Oil – as high as 80% THC.
  • This is not the same drug you might have been smoking or they were smoking back then – but it is called the same drug so it is confusing. It’s like taking Beer and making it as strong as Whiskey but still calling it Beer.
  • The Brain of a Human Being does not stop “growing” or “Developing” until we are about 25.
  • Marijuana is not water soluble – in simplicity what this means is that the Body has a hard time getting rid of it. The Kidneys and Liver cannot dispose of it as well. This is how we normally dispose of drugs so they are gone in 3-5 day fully. Pot can last up to a month or longer and is stored in fatty cells, even in the Brain.
  • Introducing a drug like THC at such high concentrations to a young Brain can have profound negative results. In Treatment we often see 19 year old’s who have been smoking Pot regularly since they were 13 and they are not the same as other 19 years old’s and never will be. They are slower and have a flat affect. The definition of a Flat Affect is – Flat affect: A severe reduction in emotional expressiveness. People with depression and schizophrenia often show flat affect. A person with schizophrenia may not show the signs of normal emotion, perhaps may speak in a monotonous voice, have diminished facial expressions, and appear extremely apathetic. Also known as blunted affect.
  • We used to think that smoking Pot if you were predisposed to have Schizophrenia that it would bring it on – we now know you do not have to be predisposed for Schizophrenia to develop it from smoking pot – the strength and potency today is enough in the “right person” for it to develop, and we do not know how to tell who that is beforehand.

How to handle the situation:

  • The first thing you want to do is bring it out into the open. It doesn’t matter if Marijuana is legal in your State – it is illegal for High School aged Children. Therefore you are condoning illegal behavior if you say nothing. Not a healthy way to raise your child.
  • Explain the differences from above. Kids need to know even though the drug has the same name it is not the same “Mother Nature” “Harmless” drug of the Sixties Counter Culture.
  • Just because it is Organic and grown from the earth and natural doesn’t change the above – it is being grown as hybrids constantly to increase it’s potency – so imagine that being done with an Opium Poppy and getting Opium that is now the strength of Heroin and saying it’s OK it’s from the earth !. Somehow when you see it that way you can see my point and the ridiculousness of the argument.
  • Create a simple consequence and don’t yell and scream – this will shut your child down and they will not hear you nor take head of the consequence. Something like being grounded for a month worth of weekends.
  • Normal Humans will respond to consequence and change their behaviors. The simplistic definition for Addiction is ” Continued use despite consequences”. If your child does not respond then up the consequences. If you find the addition of harder and harder consequences is not changing their behavior around the drug then you have and issue.
  • Call an Interventionist or Addiction Services Company like 1st Step Interventions and begin to get an assessment of whether or not you need to look into Addiction Services. You do not have to just send you Child to Rehab (Treatment), there are lower levels of Care that can break the Addiction and give the Child tools for keeping it in remission and resisting peer pressure. If you call a Treatment Program they will probably say send them in, but in many cases this can do more harm than good as the problem may not be there yet and the consequence of sending them away may create other issues.
  • A good Intervention or Addiction Services Company will have other options that are less expensive and can provide the necessary help without creating the stigma of going to Rehab at 16. These will include Recovery Activities and good Drug Testing. Drug Screening can help as it is a yes or no and doesn’t lie. You do need to know what you are doing with Pot and Drug Testing because it does stay in the body so long.
  • A good reputable Intervention company like 1st Step Interventions will recommend the appropriate level of Care – if it is Treatment we will let you know, but we will probably start elsewhere and see if we can create the necessary change before that.
  • New models like Addiction Care Management are starting to appear. These Services can provide accountability for the necessary changes your child will have to make if your consequences are not working. They are also less expensive than Rehab.
  • You as Parents will be included in the Process and Educated as it goes along so you get the help you need to be supportive yet firm in what’s right and wrong or good and bad.
  • Call us today for a free assessment if you are in San Francisco, The Bay Area or anywhere near. 707-559-5146 or email: bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

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How to Help somone with Prescription Pill Drug Addiction in San Francisco – 1st Step Interventions

Have someone you love addicted to Prescription pills and they are no longer taking them for the Medical reason they were prescribed,  but are now taking them for Emotional or Psychological needs?

Pills

Prescription pill addiction and overdoses have now overtaken Heroin, Cocaine and Methamphetamine’s combined. Let me first say there is nothing wrong with Prescription Pills and that for instance a body will not heal if it is in pain. The problem is when someone with an addiction problem already or  is suspected of possibly having issues with substances gets their hands on “feel good” drugs like Pain killers, Opiates or Opioid’s like (Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Oxymorphone, Hydromorphone – these are generic names for Percodan, Vicoden, Tylenol #3, Dilaudid and Opana) or benzodiazepines (Alprazolam, Diazapam, lorazapam, Clonozopam – generic names for Xanax, Valium, Ativan or Klonopin) the latter are used for anxiety, muscle relaxant, sleep disorders to name a few. The addict becomes either physically addicted or psychologically addicted to the emotional pain they relieve.

The biggest issues related to Prescription Pill abuse and suggestions for avoiding Prescription Pill abuse are below:

  • The person taking them is already an addict and they have full control of the medication. In this case another family member or friend should and in most cases getting a small safe or lock box and only giving a days worth at a time can relieve the addict from even thinking about taking more than they should.
  • A family member not attending all Dr’s visits and allowing the addict to describe symptoms that maybe are not being seen by you or over playing the amount of pain they are actually in.
  • Stepping in when it seems as though the “Patient” has been taking the medication for a long time and asking the Dr during these visits is the medication really necessary or is there a non narcotic replacement medication that could now be prescribed.
  • Pill Counting – every once and a while it is good to count the amount of pills still in the bottle. The bottle will have the amount and frequency of how the medication should be taken. This will tell you how many pills should have been taken and should be left. When you get a prescription these days you also get a piece of paper with your insurance info, personal info and precautions on it. It will also have how many days the prescription is supposed to last for on it.
  • Making sure your loved one or friend isn’t seeing multiple Dr’s for the same ailment and getting more prescriptions than they need.
  • Make sure the medication is being taken as prescribed – this does not usually include, snorting pills, crushing or chewing long acting medication or in severe instances using a needle. No matter what your loved one says these are not OK routes for taking these medications. Your Dr has prescribed an amount to deal with your issue – doing the above cause much more of the medication to get into your system potentially causing overdose or increasing tolerance and now you need more to get the same pain relief for instance and your normal amount doesn’t work when swallowed.
  • If your loved on is Physically addicted to their medication and it is time to get off them, instead of trying to tapper the medication over time – look into your insurance and see if you have coverage for a medical Detox in a Center or Hospital. It is safer, quicker, ensures it gets done and a Dr can provide a letter stating you are taking a week off work for “Medical Reason” only and your work has to accept it and cannot legally ask what your “medical’ issue is.

I’ve done these things and I am still finding problems and it is not getting better even though my husband, wife or child swears they will stop or change. I am even finding they are buying pills from other people, off the internet or the streets or have switched to illegal drugs.

  • Never just take their medication away – severe withdrawals could happen and in some cases potential death.
  • If you are allowed to still talk to their Dr, make sure their Dr knows. One thing to know is if they are suffering from Chronic Pain you may want to consult with an Addiction Services Expert or an Interventionist, like 1st Step Interventions & Addiction Recovery Services, INC. for advice.  This can potentially lead to unwanted consequences and a Professional can help you come up with solutions that don’t negatively impact the addict, but get them off the medication and back living normally without needing the medication.
  • If you have found that no matter how many promises you loved one has made, it doesn’t matter they are always broken. Intervention is a potential solution as a good Professional, Compassionate and Confidential Interventionist, who knows your local area well and is local to your Region, such as The Bay Area – will have a high success rate at getting your loved one into Treatment or an Addiction Care Management Service Company that can monitor their progress and accountability. This removes the stress and anxiety from you and allows a Professional in to help and in appropriate cases assess the situation and decide that Rehab ( a Drug Treatment Program) is really needed.
  • You may find that you have developed Co-dependency during this time and have enabled the situation just to relieve your own feelings or to get the Addict out of your hair or to stop acting our, yelling, screaming, being mean etc.. In these cases talking to an Interventionist or Addiction Care Management Service Company helps, but you may need more like Al Anon or CoDA (Co-dependents Anonymous) first let me say as an active AA member myself, the support found in these groups can be found no where else and is really important if you are dealing with a loved one who has an active addiction or who is going through early Recovery (by this I mean the first 2-3 years).
  • If you are trying to help your loved one accept that they need help and your conversation is going in circles – STOP – and then call a Professional like me. You probably have had essentially no impact on their Addiction to this point and you don’t want to further drive them underground and isolated.
  • Lastly this is nothing to be embarrassed about, it doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. Addiction is a Brain Disease and if you have it you were born with it. The introduction of the substances has activated it and now Professional help is needed.

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How to find help for drug addiction in Marin County, Sonoma County and San Francisco – 1st Step Interventions

Do you have someone in your life suffering from The Disease of Addiction and Talking to them hasn’t helped – Anxious and Scared?

Woman Yelling at Man

Finding help for someone you love with and addiction can be harder than you think. Friends will tell you stories of people who have gone to Rehab and relapsed or you will go online and be faced with so many choices and each will tell you they are the best and treat everything under the sun in 28 days.

This can be confusing and add to your anxiety. 1st Step Interventions has been in business here locally for over 10 years working in places like Marin County, Sonoma County and San Francisco. We have an excellent reputation and have performed over 350+ successful Interventions and in our 15 years in the industry (other positions as well, see “About Us” on site) we have helped over 1000+ Addicts and their Families.

We are an Ethical company and I am a certified Interventionist and Addictions Services Counseling Expert. I will spend the time with you to hear what you and your loved one’s needs are and then receommend a reputable local Rehab that can help and will focus on Sobriety and what we know works, not fancy chefs, expensive views and high thread count bed sheets. None of these things have ever gotten anyone sober and just cost you more and feed the addicts entitlement.

Our first assessment is free so giving us a call today costs you nothing and we will help you begin the process of getting your loved one help that will stick and help you free yourself and your family from this crisis you have found yourself in. Our Interventions are compassionate, Professional and Confidential.

For longer term help, as addiction is a Chronic Disease, we have founded a Service for Continuing Care called Addiction Care Management. Essentially we remove you from having to police whether your loved one is staying Sober and doing what they need to early on to build a strong foundation for long term Recovery. When you call us please ask about our Service or you may go to www.addictioncaremanagment.com for more information.

Call today and move out from being help hostage by an addiction and help your loved one reclaim their life and move on healthy and positive.

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Novato Checkpoint catches DUI Offender – 1st Step Interventions

Check Point takes a Man driving drunk  off Marin County Streets

Novato DUI

I read this article and then tried to remember how many DUI deaths have happened over the last 10 years that I can remember being reported in Marin County and Cities Like Novato, the sad thing is I can remember quite a few.

The National Highway Patrol Association reports that somewhere aroung 70% of all drivers on the highway after midnight on any given night are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and a large percentage are above the legal limit. Each one of these drivers is a potential killer.

The sad thing is that most of these DUI cases or deaths or accidents could have been averted if Families has just called an Intervention Company that specializes in Addiction Services like 1st Step Interventions. Most Families get caught up in the whirlwind of the Addiction and don’t know what to do. And to give some of them credit they have tried to talk to the member of the family who is struggling with substance abuse or obvious Addiction, but their pleas go no where and their codependency keeps them stuck.

Intervention can be the most loving thing you can do for a family member. It is an act of kindness shown to a person who is suffering from a Mental Illness, Addiction, which is a Brain Disease, and who on their own cannot stop until some consequence like a DUI or killing someone while driving drunk causes the crisis the then makes the family call for help. If the family where just to call before hand and  become educated on their options and how caring and compassionate a Intervention can be, then a great deal of these drivers could get help first.

At 1st Step Interventions we are glad the police are out there doing checkpoints, but I have to admit I get sad knowing that many of these drivers could have avoided the trouble they are in or the potential harm they could have caused, if the people that love them would just take a risk and call a Rehab or Addiction Intervention Company beforehand here in Marin County, The Greater Bay Area or Cities like Novato.

If you have a love one suffering from addiction or who you know drives under the influence in San Francisco, Novato, Napa, Walnut Creek, Sacramento – any Northern California area please take a risk and help someone not get killed and your loved one get help by calling 1st Step Interventions for a free assessment today.

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Sacramento Intervention and Addiction Counseling Services – 1st Step Interventions

Do you need help with a loved one in Sacramento who is suffering from Addiction?

Sacramento

1st Step Interventions has become the leading choice for families being held hostage by a family members addiction In Sacramento. Most of the time the Addict will deny using and drugs or alcohol and you find yourself in a conversation going around and around getting no where and you are living with anxiety and worry. 1st Step Interventions over the last 10 years has performed over 350+ successful Interventions and worked with 1000+ Addicts and their Families.

Some times you only have one chance at an intervention and you want to make sure you do it right. We are a local company who only works in Sacramento and the Greater Bay Area. We have a 95% success rate at getting Patient into Treatment, cost less than our competitors and unlike out of area Interventionists will not charge you to fly us in and then leave the next day if your loved one says no. In our Contract we agree at no extra cost to stay helping you for 3 months if your loved one says no the first time. We will have a plan in place that works and will be here locally to help you all the way through the process.

call us today our assessment process is free and you have nothing to lose 707-559-5146, if emailing is easier you may email me at bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com. Once hired we will take over all of the planning, we will take all of the worry out of your hands and with care and compassion put a plan into place that will work. We will help choose the right Rehab (Treatment Program) at the right cost for your loved one’s needs based on our assessment. Our relationships with local Rehabs are built on trust and confidentiality. We are the Interventionist of choice for most if not all local Bay Area Rehabs.

Don’t be fooled by fancy Intervention Models that get thrown around. The most important piece’s are; is your loved one going to be in front of you to hear how bad their life has gotten, how scared and anxious you are and that there is help available. 1st Step Interventions will make sure this happens and during the pre-Interventon the day before the Intervention without your loved one, we will educate you on the Disease Process of Addiction, Codependency and enabling, discuss what has been going on, help you with what you are going to say and in what order and finally go over several times the process of the Intervention until everyone is sure they fully understand what is going to happen and what their role is going to be.

During Rehab we will stay involved with you during weekly conference calls and getting feedback from the Treatment Program. This is called our Addiction Care Management™ Program. The first month of Rehab’s service is free. Over the last 3 years since founding this Model to better serve this Chronic Disease and the rate of relapse we see, every family has hired us. We take the worry out of whether or not your loved one is doing what they need to for their recovery, are they following their Continuing Care Plan from Rehab. We provide the accountability, keep our conference calls going and meet weekly face-to-face with your loved one. For more information go to www.addictioncaremanagement.com

Don’t wait – Call us today we answer our phones 7 days a week. If we are on another call, leave your information and we will call back immediately. It is time to act and move your loved one and family out of the Crisis of Addiction.

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