Archive for San Francisco

How to find help for drug addiction in The East Bay, Alemeda County and Contra Costa County – 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 ManFinding help for someone you love with and addiction to Pain Killers, marijuana, Opiates. alcohol, prescription drugs, Heroin etc.. 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 locally in the Bay Area  for over 10 years working in places like Sacramento, Marin, The East Bay, Santa Cruz, San Joe, Sonoma County and San Francisco to name a few area’s locally. We have an excellent reputation and have performed over 400+ 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. Our Success rate with Intervention combined with Post Treatment Addiction Care Management is the best in the Industry because we understand what it takes to stay sober and don’t just leave Addicts on their on after treatment to find their way. If that worked they would be Clean and Sober already.

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 recommend 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 707-559-5146

Here is a testimonial letter

Dear Treatment Program (Name Omitted),

I wanted to express my thoughts about Bryan Bowen. During the initial stages of my brother intervention, your current guest as of yesterday, our family was referred to your facility by an out patient program in San Fran. I personally called Duffy’s and spoke with Sarah and ask for a referral to an intervention therapist, Bryan being one of two provided.  It is important for you both to know what impact your referral of Bryan had on our family and myself.

Our family did not know what the term intervention was until my wife Heather suggested it. Our brother Tom had just been admitted to the hospital because his body was failing under his addiction. The bottom was reached. Medically, the hospital stabilized him and released him to my sister, a nurse, my mother and Tom’s family.  The watch began and Tom did not drink for a week. But without an intervention, Tom would still be drinking, as I discovered in a voice mail on Saturday.

We hired Bryan and he championed the cause to completion. I was the initial family contact person with Bryan and he was professional from the start. I did not know Bryan, other than through his website. I had no context, background or anything- just Duffy’s referral.  Now in hindsight, everything is crystal clear. Thank you for selecting Bryan for your referral list. He has the passion, the depth, the anguish, the experiences of 400+ people, the sadness, the hope, the inspiration and the tenacity to convince a person who knows not what they do and causes them to voluntarily enter rehab.  As I warned Bryan in the beginning, my brother Tom is a difficult person. He is a “former” attorney, angry, insecure, reclusive, irrational etc. Bryan methodically initiated a process, counseled our very large family through numerous conference calls and emails preparing us and Tom’s family, including his 15 year old daughter, about what was to occur. He held the intervention and did not stumble, lose focus, nor lose control to Tom and his “ways”.  The intervention was brutal in so many respects, from the utter uncaring stoic presence Tom exhibited (addiction) to the agony and despair pleaded by his young daughter Alex to Tom’s heartlessness reaction to her love. Tom did not agree to go after the intervention, even though his entire family had read their third and final statements to Tom. Tom was the 20% of those people who stubbornly refuse to go to rehab after an intervention. There was Bryan through it all, unwavering. I believe even Bryan could not help but be personally impacted by this intervention. Bryan has been given the gift of grace- to help others. He carries a special energy to move mountains.  Bryan clearly went beyond his agreement with the family, volunteering his personal time without complaint. His door was always open, which was difficult given nearly the entire family was in two other time zones.  If Bryan is the person we now know him to be and you referred him to us, then we know what your program is all about. I have never met Bryan in person, just over the telephone, text and email. That’s a powerful advocate!  Thank you!!!

How to find help for drug addiction in 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?

Intervention ExpertFinding help for someone you love with and addiction to Pain Killers, marijuana, Opiates. alcohol, prescription drugs, Heroin etc.. 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 Sacramento, Marin, The East Bay, Santa Cruz, San Joe, Sonoma County and San Francisco to name a few area locally. We have an excellent reputation and have performed over 400+ 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 recommend 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 707-559-5146

Here is a testimonial letter

Dear Treatment Program (Name Omitted),

I wanted to express my thoughts about Bryan Bowen. During the initial stages of my brother intervention, your current guest as of yesterday, our family was referred to your facility by an out patient program in San Fran. I personally called Duffy’s and spoke with Sarah and ask for a referral to an intervention therapist, Bryan being one of two provided.  It is important for you both to know what impact your referral of Bryan had on our family and myself.

Our family did not know what the term intervention was until my wife Heather suggested it. Our brother Tom had just been admitted to the hospital because his body was failing under his addiction. The bottom was reached. Medically, the hospital stabilized him and released him to my sister, a nurse, my mother and Tom’s family.  The watch began and Tom did not drink for a week. But without an intervention, Tom would still be drinking, as I discovered in a voice mail on Saturday.

We hired Bryan and he championed the cause to completion. I was the initial family contact person with Bryan and he was professional from the start. I did not know Bryan, other than through his website. I had no context, background or anything- just Duffy’s referral.  Now in hindsight, everything is crystal clear. Thank you for selecting Bryan for your referral list. He has the passion, the depth, the anguish, the experiences of 400+ people, the sadness, the hope, the inspiration and the tenacity to convince a person who knows not what they do and causes them to voluntarily enter rehab.  As I warned Bryan in the beginning, my brother Tom is a difficult person. He is a “former” attorney, angry, insecure, reclusive, irrational etc. Bryan methodically initiated a process, counseled our very large family through numerous conference calls and emails preparing us and Tom’s family, including his 15 year old daughter, about what was to occur. He held the intervention and did not stumble, lose focus, nor lose control to Tom and his “ways”.  The intervention was brutal in so many respects, from the utter uncaring stoic presence Tom exhibited (addiction) to the agony and despair pleaded by his young daughter Alex to Tom’s heartlessness reaction to her love. Tom did not agree to go after the intervention, even though his entire family had read their third and final statements to Tom. Tom was the 20% of those people who stubbornly refuse to go to rehab after an intervention. There was Bryan through it all, unwavering. I believe even Bryan could not help but be personally impacted by this intervention. Bryan has been given the gift of grace- to help others. He carries a special energy to move mountains.  Bryan clearly went beyond his agreement with the family, volunteering his personal time without complaint. His door was always open, which was difficult given nearly the entire family was in two other time zones.  If Bryan is the person we now know him to be and you referred him to us, then we know what your program is all about. I have never met Bryan in person, just over the telephone, text and email. That’s a powerful advocate!  Thank you!!!

 

Marijuana Smoking teen problem in, Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Napa, Wanut Creek, Orinda, Danville, Lafayette, whole Bay Area – 1st Step Interventions

Marijuana Smoking in the group of adolescent children who are minors in Junior and Senior High School is a REAL PROBLEM in all Bay Area Cities and Counties. – Marin, Sonoma, Napa, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sacramento,San Joaquin etc. All of our Cities such as Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Novato, San Rafael, Mill Valley, Napa, St Helena, Danville, Walnut Creek, Orinda, Lafayette, Berkeley, San Jose Santa Cruz and on and on.

200423600-001

The scariest thing is we really should not be calling it the same drug name we used in the ’70′s. Pot is 7 time plus more powerful than it was then. It would be like making beer 80 proof like vodka (instead of it’s 6% alcohol content) and still calling it Beer – that would be crazy, but it is what we do.

So our children and young adults in our families are smoking super strong Psychoactive substances while their young brains are still growing and the result is damage to their brains. A recent study http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/08/22/1206820109.abstract shows that cessation, if the user stops using pot the Brain does not return to a normal pre-damaged state. This is really scary. If we allow our children or young 21 year old family memmber to smoke pot on a regular basis, they are damaging their brain, their memory, attention, ability to think abstractly etc.. and this damage is permanent.

As Parents and law abiding caring citizens we need to risk talking to our young human cohorts, family members or children about the dangers of regular smoking of marijuana. I know personally of one 15 year old I have worked with who took a math test high on week and got a 48 the next week not high he took the same test and got an 88. the only difference was marijuana.

Take the time to know what your children are doing, be involved with your older kids.If you see Pot smoking speak up and be willing to tell them the truth of what you are seeing and the dangers. If you are smoking be willing to change your behaviors to help your children. We have a large population now of young adults who are suffering with flat affects and who are having difficulty launching into life. Of course and unfortunately if they are addicts their solution is to smoke more pot and just make the situations worse as it is a Chronic Disease and Expert Intervention

Many Parents themselves smoke Pot and need to get out of the mind set that it is harmless to their children. They need to realize IT IS a different drug and that they (the parents)may only be smoking a hit of pot), but their children are smoking far more than that and the results are not positive and hurting their children and their chances at a good life. If their child is also suffering from Addiction then the results are going to be far worse and without Recovery. If you are a Parent reading this and think you need help feel free to call us we offer a free assessment and can help you,

take first step nowCall today for a free assessment and a plan on how to move forward.

or go to our website www.1ststepinterventions.com

Heroin use up amonst Young Adults in San Francico, Marin, East Bay and Sonoma – 1st Step Interventions

black tar use

Heroin use up amongst Young Adults in San Francisco, Marin, East Bay and Sonoma

All of us in the Treatment industry new when Purdue changed their formula of Oxycontin that Heroin use would skyrocket in the suburbs. What we missed was just how much it would go up.

A government study shows 620,000 people admitted to using heroin in 2011, twice the number in 2003 – it’s mostly being seen in, of all places, suburbia.

“Every part of Bergen County, NJ is touched in some way, shape or form by the heroin epidemic,” said Lt. Thomas Dombroski of the Bergen County, N.J., Prosecutor’s Office as he drove through the leafy suburbs west of New York City.

Bergen County reported 28 overdoses last year, up from previous years. Most of the victims were younger than 22.

In the Suburbs of San Francisco we are seeing similar numbers and in some areas worse.  Parent and Family members need to be on the watch for obvious signs,

  • Pinned Pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • “Nodding out” or falling asleep for moments at dinner, on the couch etc.
  • Items of value going missing.
  • Money missing
  • Money constantly being needed.
  •  New groups of friends
  • Being gone at weird hours and having to be some were right now
  • Grey look to skin
  • Long sleeves on hot days.

These are not all the signs but the major ones. The issues is only going to get worse so please be aware of what and where your kids are.

If you have any question you can call 1st Step Interventions at 707-559-5146

Marin Drug and Alcohol Abuse Help – 1st Step Interventions

 You Live in Marin and you have just found Drugs in your Child’s room. After having a moment of sheer fear – what do you do and where do you turn?

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management have been servicing the Bay Area for over a Decade. WE have helped over 1000+ Addicts and their Families and have performed over 375+ successful Interventions: We are the Answer to your dilemma and will help you discern what help is needed and help you put the plan in place. We have specialized in helping families facing addictions and have a compassionate and successful track record. Having been where you are once and the Professional Training we have has given us the upper hand at helping and being the best in The Bay Area./

 

various drugs in kids room

You have just discovered drugs, alcohol or drug paraphernalia in your Child’s room – what are you to do. Scold them and hopefully scare them into never using again, punish them to teach them a lessen, talk to them so they understand the pitfalls – all of the above. This is where Parents wish their kids came with a manual. The Answer is neither yet. You are better off calling a Professional Addiction Service like 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management. We can help assess the issue and help guide you towards a better resolution to the problem and help give you strength and guidance. Every situation is different and because we have helped over 1000+ Addicts and their Families over the last 14 years we have seen just about every scenario.

!st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management is on the front line of Addiction help for families. Our Services cover every possible issue: Our Services cover Sacramento to Carmel and over through the East Bay to Stockton and Fresno. So we Cover, San Francisco, Marin Sonoma, Napa, Santa Cruz, Monterrey, Carmel, San Jose,Walnut Creek, Danville, Orinda Lafayette,Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Mill Valley, San Rafael – about every City and County within a 100 mile radius of San Francisco. 

Our Services, to name a few, include:

  • Instervention
  • Care/Case Management Post Treatment to ensure the Patient is following all of heir Continuing Care Plan
  • Family Education
  • Drug Testing
  • Life Skills

Here are some reason for Using our Services:

  • Not sure if your Child is an addict or just experimenting with Drugs. Our Addiction Care Management Model of Treatment can help assess the situation and over a short period of time make a recommendation.
  • Not sure what drug your child is using and how they are using and hiding it. We can discover the drug(s) and frequency of use and help you make decision that is in the best welfare of the child.
  • If you Child is a legal adult but has failed to launch into life, we can help find them their way and discover if substances are getting the the way of their success.
  • We can set up regular Drug testing and Monitor compliance and if they fail get them to sometimes agree to treatment without an intervention
  • Have they lost their direction and instead of moving forward are they stuck in their addiction. We can help. Sometimes this involves getting an intervention together,and moving them into treatment without any issues.
  • Families are sometimes reluctant to do an intervention for a host of reasons the biggest is they are afraid the patient will be mad and never talk to them again. In all of our experience of doing 375+ interventions over the paste decade we have yet to see any of this happen.

Call 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management 707-559-5146 the call is free and the first 1/2 hour assessment is free so you have nothing to lose,

 

take first step now

 

New “Gunpowder Heroin” On San Francisco Streets has higher potency and is more Dangerous – 1st Step Interventions

In the last year and a half a new form of Heroin called “Gunpowder” because of its gunpowder consistency and look is flooding the streets of San Francisco and the Bay Area Suburbs putting our Children and Young Adults at a very high risk. Most Heroin addicts unfortunately will go where the stronger Heroin is being sold and will buy the Heroin that is the strongest, figuring it will go farther for them between fixes and last longer. If you were an addict on the surface it makes sense – the terrible downside is exactly that – it is stronger and this Overdoses are on the rise as a result. That’s right more and more of our Children, could be yours, your Niece or Nephew or the next door neighbor kid who used to drop off your newspaper on his or her route.Gunpowder HeroinGunpowder Heroin

At 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management Services, Inc. we saw back in 2009 when Purdue Pharmaceuticals changed the formulation of Oxycontin (which on face value was good) that the resulting problem was going to be a resurgence in Heroin use and addiction. Since Oxycontin became harder to get and the new formula made it harder to abuse, the tens of thousands of young adults addicted were going to switch to Heroin. Of course then they were going to gravitate to the strongest Heroin they could find. Here in San Francisco and the surrounding areas like, Marin, Sonoma, Santa Clara, Walnut Creek, Danville, Orinda. Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Palo Alto Woodside. Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel to name a few – the new drug of choice became quite rapidly and almost overnight – HEROIN!!!

Heroin has been around for years, accidentally invented while searching for a cure to the common cold if you can believe it, has extremely addictive properties and very profound euphoria for the user – making it the perfect drug for those suffering from the Disease of Addiction who gravitate to Pain Killers. In the Bay Are unlike east coast cities we have Black Tar Heroin or its newer big brother Gunpowder Heroin. East Cost Heroin mostly comes from Columbia or maybe Southeast Asia. Our Heroin here comes from Mexico and is less refined that other more white or beige powder heroin found out east. As a result it is quicker from Poppy (it grows as a sap in the Poppy seed) to market requiring less chemical stages. Additively it is just as addictive in any of its forms.

Users usually start out here in the Bay Area and San Francisco smoking the Black Tar or Gunpowder (as you cannot snort it very well) and eventually move on to using needles when their habit gets larger and it takes less of the drug when you inject it to get high. Users will need to fix at least 2x daily with heroin lasting about 12 hours before withdrawals set in and the addict goes through extremely “flu” like symptoms with diarrhea and throwing up until they get another fix.

Heroin addicts do not usually get honest with those around them about what is going on and friends and family usually find money and other things going missing. This is usually how Families discover that their loved one is using. This or they find bits of Paraphernalia around or the Addict may be behaving oddly – falling asleep at odd times (nodding out), scratching themselves, disappearing at times when family events are going on and usually having a short fuse.

Heroin and different types of Heroin like “Gunpowder” are here to stay and given the billions of dollars the Mexican and other Drug Cartels have to continue their operations coupled with the huge demand in this country and other countries, we as family, friends and loved ones have to be able to help those that we can and that are in our inner circle.

Most Family Members feel helpless and don’t know what to do because a they either do not know what resources are available to them for help or are too afraid to ask their loved one to get help because they lash out and push the help away with anger and acting out. This is particularly prevalent amongst Young Adults 18-27 who have failed to launch and are either living at home or living in an apartment subsidized by their Parents. AS a result the Addiction goes around and around and everyone gets caught up in it until some major catastrophe happens and even this can sometimes not be enough to bring about change.

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management has been providing Drug and Alcohol Interventions in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade and has helped well over 350 addicts find their way into Recovery and at the same time helped1000+ addicts and their families manage the early stages of Recovery through its Addiction Care Management Program.

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management is committed to the Men and Women, Young and old and their families in the Greater Bay Area, from Sacramento down to Carmel and over to Stockton and Fresno , live Clean and Sober Lives and not be all caught up in Illicit Drugs, destroying their lives and the lives of their family members. 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management offers Intervention Services and post treatment Care Services that continue to help the Addict settle into a Sober Life with the help of a Professional and continue to educate the Family on how they can better support a newly sober family member. Our Services are affordable and on a sliding scale for those who are in need but are going through tough times.

“Gunpowder” Heroin is just one new drug on our streets, others such as Bath Salts are just as bad. It seems almost several times a year some chemist somewhere comes up with a new substance that falls between the cracks of Federal Guidlines and until the Guidelines catch up the drug continues the reek havoc amongst our Children.    Take a change today and call 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management and see if we can help you. The initial assessment call is free so you have nothing to lose and it costs you nothing unless you decide to move forward, Hundreds and thousands have gotten help through 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management, why don’t you be another one and help your loved one or yourself find Recovery and a new way to live happy and Sober.

take first step nowFor the FamilyAbout 1st Step Interventions

We Are Honored To Help A San Francisco Rehab, Duffy’s, Teach Families About Intervention – 1st Step Interventions

Duffy’s Rehab - Located in Beautiful Calistoga and Managed by the same Family, The Duffy’s – Ever since Gene Duffy, The Families Patriarch (since passed away), Founded the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center almost 40 years ago – Kepping in the tradition of giving back, Duffy’s will be posting a video series about Intervention and how a Professional Intervention is the best way to go for Families stuck motivating a loved one to get help for their Drug or Alcohol problems.

Duffys EntranceBryan Duffys profile

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ is Honored to be a part of this excellent and professionally produced series.

Duffy’s is doing a great Community Service by putting this series out there for Families struggling with an Addiction who:

  • Cannot get their loved one to see the problem.
  • Cannot get their loved one to get help
  • Are caught up in their own fear and codependency
  • Are making the issue worse while trying to help, by enabling the Addict hoping if they help them pay their bills or have a place to live will get their act together eventually.

These are the Families who need to have this type of information available to them so that they can move foward and into action by calling Duffy’s or an Intervention Co. like 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ and finding more information about how to get their own Intervention process started for a loved one. Call today, your initial Assessment is free.

 Link To Duffy’s Website to access Intervention information and help:

San Francisco Drug Interventions – 1st Step Interventions

San Francisco  street carSan Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the leading financial and cultural center of Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. And if Addiction rates match the National rate of 10%, then th Population of 825,863 means we have 82,000 Addicts and Alcoholics living in San Francisco.

Most people would think that these Addicts are found wandering the streets of San Francisco in areas like The Tendeloin or parts of The Mission, but they are mostly normal everyday people living in nice, normal and other areas, searving us our coffee or working in the Operating Rooms of our Local Hospitals. The point is most people afflicted with the Diease of Addiction live and struggle through and we cannot always tell.

They all live around friends and family who eventually can tell something is going on when the Addiction becomes too big for the person to manage and they start to wobble out of control. Lots of times Families will notice and talk about their family member behind their backs and wonder what is going on or how they are going to help. Usually too there is someone or more than one person in their lives enabling the Addicition to go on. The enabling is not meant to continue the Addiction, it is usually harmless in intention, trying to buy time so hopefully the Addict gets their act toghether -However, by the nature of the Disease all the enabling does is help continue the very Addiction that is trying to be stopped.

So what is a Family to do when they figure out one of their own is drowning in drugs or alcohol. Intervention is one of the most loving acts that you can do for a family memeber and for the family. If you find that you have a Family member who is struggling with drugs and alcohol Intervention Companies like 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Behavioral Healthcare Services, Inc can provide you with a plan and help your family and your loved one look beyond Treatment and help put a plan of action together that will provide all the steps and tools needed for “A Lasting Focus On Recovery”

Addiction is a Chronic illness an those 82,000 people in San Francisco with The Disease of Addiction will always have it – it never goes away ,only into remission – if the addict does what they need to do daily and if the family stops their enabling and get help for codependency if neccessary.

National stastistics give recovery rates of only about 20%. This can be confusing because it doesn’t give details around if they had a plan or not, continued with Professional help with their plan or any other details. It has been shown that those who not only start their recovery by the way of Intervention, but who also continue after their treatment with Professional help with their Continuing Care Plan with Programs like Addiction Care Management, have higher rates of success.

In conslusion, it is my hope that if you are trying to help a loved one who has addiction that you will not get caught up in the riduculousness of Reality TV and the shows that have basterdized Intervention by showing the despair and using of drugs instead of the happiness and joy of recovery, and call for a free assessment today. It doesn’t cost anything and may save your loved ones life.

For help with Drug Interventions if San Francisco call 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Behavioral Healthcare Services, Inc today at 707-559-5146.

take first step now

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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