This Too Shall Pass

“THIS TOO SHALL PASS”

I found this story posted on a British AA site,

A king called all of his wise men and counselors together for a meeting. He addressed them and said, “I want you to go and think, read, and research. Consult the wisest and most learned men in the land. Spare no expense.”

“I want you to find the ONE statement that will get me through all situations in life. Whether I am on top of the world or in the pits, find that statement.”

“I don’t want to learn long and complicated philosophies. I want one simple statement. Find it or write it; I don’t care, just bring me the statement.”

The men left and consulted for months. They finally returned and handed the King a scroll. The King unrolled the scroll. On it was written four words.

“THIS TOO SHALL PASS” That was it.

The wise men explained. When you are on top of the world, that is but a fleeting moment, things change, always remember, this too shall pass. When you are in the pits, all nights are followed by day, at your lowest moments remember also, this too shall pass.

All external circumstances and material things change, so matter what your circumstances, remember,

”THIS TOO SHALL PASS” 

Photo by Jacob Resch on Unsplash

Continue reading “This Too Shall Pass”

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Cute and No Partner

Attractive people can have just as many struggles finding someone.

Attractiveness can convey more power over visible space, but that, in turn, can make others feel they can’t approach that person – Dr. Tonya Frevert

While it may seem that people who are more physically attractive have an easier time finding a partner, this may not always be true. Physical attraction definitely plays a role in selecting a partner. People are first drawn by what they see. Attractive people have an easier time drawing new people and potential partners in. There’s no denying this.

However, the attraction is more than just about the outside. Attractive people can have just as many struggles finding someone to connect with as someone who has average looks. There are plenty of reasons that someone who is beautiful and it may have the same dating woes as everyone else.

Social psychologist Lisa Slattery Walker explains, “We have a whole set of cultural ideals about beauty that let us say if someone is attractive – and through those same ideals, we begin to associate it with competence.”

HERE ARE 7 SURPRISING DISADVANTAGES OF BEING DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS

1. BECAUSE THERE ARE TOO MANY OPTIONS

While this may not seem like much of a problem, having too many options when it comes to dating can be just as difficult as having no options at all. Social psychologist Christine Ma-Kellams explains, “I think attractiveness gives you more options in terms of relationship alternatives which might make it harder to protect a relationship from outside threats. In this sense, having too many other choices is likely not beneficial for relationship longevity.”

Having an overwhelming amount of choices when it comes to dating can make it hard to connect with one person. After all, dating is something that can lead to connecting and falling in love with someone for the rest of your life.

The idea of having to choose one of many can be daunting.

2. POTENTIAL PARTNERS ARE WARY OF YOUR OPTIONS

Attractive people may intimidate potential partners from making a move because they’re vibrantly aware that they have an array of different people to choose from. This can stop the good-hearted and genuine people from trying to make their move and get to know a person better. It can be disheartening to be part of a competition for someone’s affection, and people may not want to risk being turned down.

Pretty-lonely-girl-anonymous people

3. THEY’RE JUDGED BY THEIR LOOKS

After all, this is the first thing that many people see when they meet another person. Attractive people can be judged on their looks just as easily as people who aren’t as attractive. Whether this comes with the “Ditzy Blonde” stereotype or the “Meathead Jock” stereotype, attractive people are often judged based on their looks, which makes it hard to make a real connection with someone after they’ve already decided your personality based on how you look.

4. PEOPLE WANT TO USE THEM FOR THEIR BODIES

Attractive people often face the unique challenge of people using them for their looks and their bodies. They may be faced with people who try to get close to them and feign interest in them long enough to get intimate, and then being dropped emotionally. This may put people on edge and make them closed off from connecting to other people because they’re used to being used.

5. PEOPLE ASSUME THAT THEY’RE LOOSE

Good-looking people often have a stigma attached to them that assumes that they’re loose. Attractive people are often seen as sexual creatures and nothing else. Their agency is stripped from them and people often refuse to see them as wholly realized people with interests and opinions.

It can be extremely draining and put them off of dating

6. IT’S HARDER TO FIGURE OUT PEOPLE’S TRUE INTENTIONS

Isabell Giardini, a 22-year-old Italian beauty who signed with Major Models mentioned, “When men see beautiful women, they are more concentrated on how she looks because they want to ‘have’ her, and so they don’t want to go deeper and get to know her…”

Hence, attractive people will be faced with the problem of trying to figure out what people really want from them. They’re often stuck with trying to figure out if someone is interested in them for their personality or their looks, which can make connecting with people difficult.

7. THEIR LOOKS CAN CAUSE DRAMA

This can range from people talking behind their back based on stereotypes associated with their looks, or even the source of jealousy. Dealing with drama can be difficult for any person, and attractive people are no different. The drama can make dating difficult because the word of drama often spreads quicker than it can be contained. Everyone loves drama, expect when it comes to drama based on your looks.

Everyone loves drama, expect when it comes to drama based on your looks

When it comes to being attractive, there are plenty of good things that come with it. Of course, there are social advantages that come with being attractive. At the same time, being attractive can cause a lot of difficulties when it comes to dating. Fortunately, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and plenty of fish in the sea. If you’re attractive and find yourself struggling with dating, just remember that there will always be someone willing to see past your face and look into your soul.

Source:

August 2017 Taurus

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY SUSAN MILLER

Hold on to your hat, as changes are on the way. Your life in August – and possibly September, too – will be very busy and likely to be memorable. Eclipses change the status quo, shake us up, and take us out of our comfort zone. It is through adapting to change and moving forward that we grow and mature. Life is for the courageous, and you will see this to be true as you gain experience. If you should feel you don’t like the changes that come up, you will be able to make changes later. Keep an open mind – an eclipse can take several weeks, and sometimes several months – before its message is clearly delivered. For that reason, don’t say any certain eclipse was good or bad; the universe needs time to show you its plan.

The way things play out might be better than anything you could have imagined, for the first eclipse, August 7 in Aquarius 15 degrees, will hit the very pinnacle point of your chart – your tenth house of honors, awards, and achievement. This suggests exciting professional recognition is on the way to you. A full moon brings a culmination to events, so the work you’ve been doing in your career, possibly going back a decade or more, will be rewarded and known by many in your industry or the world at this time.

Sometimes the reward comes naturally, without too much effort. In that case, you might get a promotion or an offer for an exciting new job. Sometimes the universe has to figure out a way to get you out of your current career position so that you can find a new position that would use your talents more fully. In that case, you might be forced to leave, at no fault of your own, and then have to look for that new position. If this is how it works out for you, look with confidence. Later you will say that they did you a favor. Here is why I feel that way.

Jupiter, the good fortune planet, is currently moving through your workaday sector (sixth house), indicating you’ve been working on a number of special projects that have come to the attention of VIPs. They clearly are impressed with your work, and clients are pleased to, and subsequently, these influential people have put you on the short list of stars that show great potential. Now it’s time for your reward. Or, it may be, say, you are a director, have finished shooting a major movie, and now it’s finished and about to be released – I feel you will garner much acclaim.

If you are self-employed, you know by now that you get new clients, and for any reason, lose a client, a shift seems to be underway, but none so much as to worry you. I should mention that no matter if you are self-employed or work for others, this month you might get an award or excellent publicity. If you do, it will change everything – your outlook, your prospects, your plans, and your own view of yourself – for this is the aim of an eclipse. The universe will find a way to give you reward in one way or another, so keep your eyes open and stay optimistic. It’s also possible that a top-level woman (lunar eclipses point to women) might announce a departure from the company and that change in the hierarchy could create an opportunity for you.

The month’s second eclipse, August 21 in Leo, 29 degrees, will focus on your home and property, or possibly your family. You may be relocating to accommodate the new job or move now that you can raise your standard of living due to the better pay you will be making. Or, it may be that you need to make an important repair or renovation on your home, and that may have nothing to do with your career. This eclipse is a new moon, which opens a window of opportunity when none existed before. Eclipses tend to bring sudden news, so be ready. You may move, switch roommates (or have none at all, thereby doubling your space), paint rooms, or undertake a number of changes to your home to make it cheerful and a cozier place to be. You might buy or rent a new property, such as a vacation home, for example. If you have been trying to think of a way to assist one of your parents, the new moon solar eclipse of August 21 can help you find the ideal solution, for your parents are covered by the same fourth house.

This August 21 eclipse will receive a shimmering beam from Uranus, bringing surprise news, and from Saturn, increasing your sense of security. No matter how many ways you look at the facets of this eclipse, it should be favorable or have very favorable parts or outcome. A golden triangle of enormous harmony will appear in the heavens linking the eclipse: Sun (new moon plus Mars cuddled in your house of home), to Uranus (surprising, sudden help), and the third part of the triangle, to Saturn (currently in your financial house of other people’s money). If you need funding, there is a good chance you will get precisely the amount of money you need, such as from a home improvement loan or mortgage, as two examples, of funds that you might need. If your parents are in good health, one parent might be very sympathetic to your needs and give you a financial gift or loan to help you get started.

Saturn has been in your eighth house of other people’s money for nearly forever (I overstate – it’s only been two-and-a-half years, but it might FEEL tough taskmaster Saturn has been in your financial house forever). You may have been saving up for a house, but found the many sacrifices you had to do difficult. Now it seems that you will have the chance to finally buy that house, or if you are more mature, finally pay off your house completely. Yet I feel even enforced changes will work to your benefit. If you are not ready to do either of these things, then be cheered in knowing Saturn will leave your financial house of other people’s money on December 20 of this year and not return until 2044.

You won’t have to wait long to see results – the August 7 full moon lunar eclipse will have a major effect on your career. It will bring attention to all you’ve done, and to the promise of what you will achieve in the future.

To get a better clue of what the eclipse might bring, you might want to think back nineteen years, to August 8, 1998, when you last had a similar eclipse to the one you will have August 7, 2017. Those two eclipses are in the same sign of Aquarius and both at 15 degrees. Also look back to August 22, 1998, same month, when you have the same solar eclipse at the same 29-degree and sign of Leo. You might pick up a theme.

If you have a birthday that falls on or very close to May 6, you might feel changes in your career, but you will benefit from the changes. You like things to remain steady, as your Taurus Sun teaches you to be consistent.

If you have a birthday that falls on or close to May 19, opportunities arising regarding your home or family may get you moving. If you were not born near either date, you will feel them equally but not likely strenuously.

On my website online, AstrologyZone.com, I have a table of eclipses going back to 1994 and forward to 2030 so you can see which dates stand out for you. No eclipse will ever repeat exactly because each one is individual. The other planets change position continually and that matters. Look on the website at the Learn Astrology link for that list of all the eclipses.

Also below the table of eclipses is an essay I wrote, “How to Deal with Eclipses.” That article is also on the premium version of my paid app, called Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone Daily Horoscope. (The app is available on Apple App Store and Google Play.) On the app, look under Life + Love, then go to Susan’s Essays to find the piece I wrote on how to best deal with eclipses. Or, see it instantly on my website’s homepage online. The table of eclipse dates is only found on my website homepage lower left side, but not on my premium app.

This is an exciting month, Taurus.

Summary

Two friendly eclipses are coming this month and they will cut through the vertical center of your chart (from where the 12 and 6 would appear on a clock’s face), bringing important changes to your career and to your living quarters or other property you may own or rent. Choose not to go on vacation in August, as news will come to the surface like a geyser, and you will need to be at your usual base to make decisions and to direct others

You won’t have to wait long to see results – the August 7 full moon lunar eclipse will have a major effect on your career. It will bring attention to all you’ve done, and to the promise of what you will achieve in the future. A woman may announce a departure, creating surprise among the staff, but the vacancy will create an opportunity for you, too.

The August 7 lunar eclipse is remarkably friendly. This full moon will be showered with lovely beams from Jupiter, giver of gifts and luck, from your house of work projects, indicating a plum job may come up that allows you to prove your worth. Apparently, your reputation precedes you, and as a result of your work on this and assignments are done earlier, you will be in line for praise and possible promotion or an offer from a competitive company. If you are self-employed, you are likely to pick up a lucrative new client.

Because Saturn is so closely supportive, no matter if you work for others or for yourself, the career events that happen now should increase your financial security. Mercury will be retrograde from August 12 to September 5 so take your time mulling things over. Fortunately, it’s vacation time, and let’s hope that you will not be pressured to decide yet. The one exception to this rule is that you can decide immediately if you want to take the job if have already worked with a company – or if you almost did, but for some reason, the timing was not right back then, you can work for that new company now. You have a history together and started the relationship some time ago. (This also works in reverse. If you wanted to hire someone then, but now have a new chance to hire that person, you can act when Mercury retrogrades – there is more to do together.)

Several industries shine now: The Internet, digital world, telecommunications, the space sciences, charities, a not-for-profit company, or social work or the humanities – you will do especially well, as this full moon is in Aquarius, ruling these areas. The full moon always brings news to culmination – you will hear soon.

The second eclipse of August 21 will be a new moon solar eclipse in Leo and focus you on your home. Solar eclipses are known to open a new path, so if you hoped to renovate your kitchen, redo your closets, make home repairs, find a new roommate (or see one leave, thereby doubling your space), you will get your moment. You can buy a house or condo, or sell one. You may move residences to take advantage of career opportunities or upgrade your living situation due to the fine things happening in your career. Or, if you are getting serious about the one you love, it may be time to move in together. With a solar eclipse happening this month, someone may be “eclipsed out” of your home environment, such as a roommate, or you may see your landlord or superintendent change.

Mars, the action planet, will be in your home sector all month, giving extra emphasis to this part of your chart. Mars brings noise and movement – you may move, yes, or you may simply invite guests to stay over in your guest room, or give a party. Keep in mind that events that happen at eclipse time always fall outside the norm – eclipses are powerful and can bring on the major life altering events, in this case, most likely happy ones. Mars will work with Jupiter on August 20 – felt for many days before and after – another fortunate coincidence, suggesting that you will move into a new home, or make your current home more spacious, sunnier, or beautiful. Jupiter is now in your sixth house, indicating that you might be setting up a home office or exercise room (as the sixth house would cover both areas, or either one).

Romance will not take center stage, not unless you are moving in together, or one of you is moving out (either is possible). If your birthday falls near May 5, you will feel the first eclipse, August 7, with changes in your career most directly. If your birthday falls near May 19, you will feel this eclipse strongly.

It is rare to see an eclipse as positive as the one August 21. All solar eclipses, like this one, are new moons, known to open a previously locked door. This solar eclipse will also create a triangle in the sky, linking Saturn (security), Uranus (sudden change), and the Sun and the moon (opportunity). If you need funds such as a mortgage or bank home improvement loan or cash for a down payment from family, you are likely to get it this extraordinary month. Life can’t always be this sweet, but when it is, take full advantage.

Eclipses run in families of signs, and the first one in this family occurred six months ago, on the full moon lunar eclipse on February 10. That one emphasized your home and family, just like the one August 21 will do. Any discussions that came up then will be advanced to a new level now at the next eclipse in Leo, August 21. Remember that some eclipses are felt one month to the day earlier or one month to the day later plus or minus five days.

This family of eclipses in Leo-Aquarius will keep coming every six months in different degrees of the same two signs until January 2019, at which time you will be fully transformed. You won’t feel all the eclipses in the series of signs, only the ones that touch your natal Sun, moon, or planet in your chart. As we go along I will tell you.

More importantly, eclipses repeat every 19 years, so think back to the time near August 8 and August 22 in 1998 to see what came up then, for you may find a theme to be loosely echoed now.

Original source:

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY SUSAN MILLER

Continue reading “August 2017 Taurus”

A Thoughtful Soul

At Times You Have To Let Go & Let God

Today I was stressing out looking online for ways to keep my house. Working against God’s will. I’ve been praying daily and nightly but still trying to do things my way.

Along my searches I ran into a woman realtor in California  who posted her number on a forum with hopes to help someone  with their foreclosure. I called the number and spoke with her for over an hour. In the end I felt so much better and accepted the outcome.

Let Go and Let God Quote-Anonymous People

I need to start fresh and everything is pointing to  leaving the house and focusing solely on recovery. The woman has been in AA and sober for many years. She has been through my situation and much worse. She is now a success and living a life of God’s will and true happiness.

Things don’t happen by chance. We are now friends on Facebook and I’ve volunteered on a hotline to help people in crisis.

Prayer is great if you let it work in your life.

When a young woman texted DoSomething.org with a heartbreaking cry for help, the organization responded by opening a nationwide Crisis Text Line to provide an outlet for people in pain. Nearly 10 million text messages later, the organization is using the privacy and power of text messaging to help people with issues such as addiction, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, sexual abuse and more. The data collected in the process is reshaping policy and preparing schools and law enforcement to better handle spikes in crises.

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Brain and Addiction

Understand Your Brain and How Addiction Works

Your brain is who you are. It’s what allows you to think, breathe, move, speak, and feel. It’s just 3 pounds of gray-and-white matter that rests in your skull, and it is your own personal “mission control.” Information from your environment—both outside (like what your eyes see and skin feels) and inside (like your heart rate and body temperature)—makes its way to the brain, which receives, processes, and integrates it so that you can survive and function under all sorts of changing circumstances and learn from experience. The brain is always working, even when you are sleeping. (Learn more about the brain-body connection.

The brain is made up of many parts that all work together as a team. Each of these different parts has a specific and important job to do.

When drugs enter the brain, they interfere with its normal processing and can eventually lead to changes in how well it works. Over time, drug use can lead to addiction, a devastating brain disease in which people can’t stop using drugs even when they really want to and even after it causes terrible consequences to their health and other parts of their lives.

Drugs affect three primary areas of the brain:

  • The brain stem is in charge of all the functions our body needs to stay alive—breathing, moving blood, and digesting food. It also links the brain with the spinal cord, which runs down the back and moves muscles and limbs as well as lets the brain know what’s happening to the body.
  • The limbic system links together a bunch of brain structures that control our emotional responses, such as feeling pleasure when we eat chocolate. The good feelings motivate us to repeat the behavior, which is good because eating is critical to our lives.
  • The cerebral cortex is the mushroom-shaped outer part of the brain (the gray matter). In humans, it is so big that it makes up about three-fourths of the entire brain. It’s divided into four areas, called lobes, which control specific functions. Some areas process information from our senses, allowing us to see, feel, hear, and taste. The front part of the cortex, known as the frontal cortex or forebrain, is the thinking center. It powers our ability to think, plan, solve problems, and make decisions.

How does your brain communicate?

Nuerons: Building Blocks of the Brain. The brain is made up of billions of nerve cells, also known as neurons. Neurons communicate with other neurons through a process known as neurotransmission.

The brain is a complex communications network of billions of neurons, or nerve cells. Networks of neurons pass messages back and forth thousands of times a minute within the brain, spinal column, and nerves. These nerve networks control everything we feel, think, and do. Understanding these networks helps in understanding how drugs affect the brain. The networks are made up of:

  • Neurons
    Your brain contains about 100 billion neurons—nerve cells that work nonstop to send and receive messages. Within a neuron, messages travel from the cell body down the axon to the axon terminal in the form of electrical impulses. From there, the message is sent to other neurons with the help of neurotransmitters.
  • Neurotransmitters—The Brain’s Chemical Messengers
    To make messages jump from one neuron to another, the neuron creates chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters. The axon terminal releases neurotransmitters that travel across the space (called the synapse) to nearby neurons. Then the transmitter attaches to receptors on the nearby neuron.
  • Receptors—The Brain’s Chemical Receivers

    A cartoon depiction of how brain cells communicate.

    To send a message, a nerve cell releases a chemical (neurotransmitter) into the space separating two nerve cells, called the synapse. The neurotransmitter crosses the synapse and attaches to proteins (receptors) on the receiving nerve cell. This causes changes in the receiving nerve cell, and the message is delivered.

    As the neurotransmitter approaches the nearby neuron, it attaches to a special site on that neuron called a receptor. A neurotransmitter and its receptor operate like a key and lock, in that a very specific mechanism makes sure that each receptor will forward the right message only after interacting with the right kind of neurotransmitter.

  • Transporters—The Brain’s Chemical Recyclers
    Once neurotransmitters do their job, they are pulled back into their original neuron by transporters. This recycling process shuts off the signal between the neurons.

How do drugs affect your brain?

Drugs are chemicals. When someone puts these chemicals into their body, either by smoking, injecting, inhaling, or eating them, they tap into the brain’s communication system and tamper with the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. Different drugs—because of their chemical structures—work differently. We know there are at least two ways drugs work in the brain:

  • Imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers
  • Overstimulating the “reward circuit” of the brain

Some drugs, like marijuana and heroin, have chemical structures that mimic that of a neurotransmitter that naturally occurs in our bodies. In fact, these drugs can “fool” our receptors, lock onto them, and activate the nerve cells. However, they don’t work the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and the neurons wind up sending abnormal messages through the brain, which can cause problems both for our brains as well as our bodies.

Other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, cause nerve cells to release too much dopamine, which is a natural neurotransmitter, or prevent the normal recycling of dopamine. This leads to exaggerated messages in the brain, causing problems with communication channels. It’s like the difference between someone whispering in your ear versus someone shouting in a microphone.

The “High” From Drugs/Pleasure Effect

Most drugs of abuse—nicotinecocainemarijuana, and others—affect the brain’s “reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system. Normally, the reward circuit responds to feelings of pleasure by releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine creates feelings of pleasure. Drugs take control of this system, causing large amounts of dopamine to flood the system. This flood of dopamine is what causes the “high” or intense excitement and happiness (sometimes called euphoria) linked with drug use.

The Repeat Effect

Our brains are wired to make sure we will repeat healthy activities, like eating, by connecting those activities with feeling good. Whenever this reward circuit is kick-started, the brain notes that something important is happening that needs to be remembered, and teaches us to do it again and again, without thinking about it. Because drugs of abuse come in and “hijack” the same circuit, people learn to use drugs in the same way.

After repeated drug use, the brain starts to adjust to the surges of dopamine. Neurons may begin to reduce the number of dopamine receptors or simply make less dopamine. The result is less dopamine signaling in the brain—like turning down the volume on the dopamine signal. Because some drugs are toxic, some neurons also may die.

As a result, the ability to feel any pleasure is reduced. The person feels flat, lifeless, and depressed, and is unable to enjoy things that once brought pleasure. Now the person needs drugs just to bring dopamine levels up to normal, and more of the drug is needed to create a dopamine flood, or “high”—an effect known as “tolerance.”

Watch our video below: Why Are Drugs So Hard To Quit? for more.

Long-Term Effects

Drug use can eventually lead to dramatic changes in neurons and brain circuits. These changes can still be present even after the person has stopped taking drugs. This is more likely to happen when a drug is taken over and over.

What is drug addiction?

Addiction is a chronic brain disease that causes a person to compulsively seek out drugs, despite the harm they cause. The first time a person uses drugs, it’s usually a free choice they’ve made. However, repeated drug use causes the brain to change which drives a person to seek out and use drugs over and over, despite negative effects such as stealing, losing friends, family problems, or other physical or mental problems brought on by drug use—this is addiction.

What factors increase the risk for addiction?

Although we know what happens to the brain when someone becomes addicted, we can’t predict how many times a person must use a drug before becoming addicted. A combination of factors related to your genes, environment, and development increase the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction:

  • Home and family. Parents or older family members who abuse alcohol or drugs, or who are involved in criminal behavior, can increase young people’s risks for developing their own drug problems.
  • Peers and school. Friends and acquaintances who abuse drugs can sway young people to try drugs for the first time. Academic failure or poor social skills can also put a person at risk for drug use.
  • Early use. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, research shows that the earlier a person begins to use drugs, the more likely they are to progress to more serious use. This may reflect the harmful effect that drugs can have on the developing brain. It also may be the result of early biological and social factors, such as genetics, mental illness, unstable family relationships, and exposure to physical or sexual abuse. Still, the fact remains that early use is a strong indicator of problems ahead—among them, substance abuse and addiction.
  • Method of use. Smoking a drug or injecting it into a vein increases its addictive potential. Both smoked and injected drugs enter the brain within seconds, producing a powerful rush of pleasure. However, this intense “high” can fade within a few minutes, taking the person down to lower levels. Scientists believe that this low feeling drives individuals to repeat drug use in an attempt to recapture the high pleasurable state.

Learn about addiction risk, Anyone Can Become Addicted to Drugs.

Can you die if you use drugs?

Yes, deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the last decade. In 2015 alone, more than 52,400 people died from a drug overdose. More than three out of five drug overdose deaths involve some type of opioid, either prescription pain reliever, heroin, or man-made opioids like fentanyl. Among young people, just over 4,200 deaths from a drug overdose occurred that year.1 Young males were two times more likely to die from a drug overdose than were females. Learn more about drug overdoses in youth.

In addition, death can occur from the long-term effects of drugs. For example, use of tobacco products can cause cancer, which may result in death.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2015 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2016. Available at: http://wonder.cdc.gov.

 

Are there effective treatments for drug addiction?

Yes, there are treatments, but there is no cure for drug addiction yet. Addiction is often a disease that is long-lasting (sometimes referred to as chronic). As with other chronic diseases, like diabetes or heart disease, people learn to manage their condition. Scientific research has shown that 13 basic principles are the foundation for effective drug addiction treatment. Find out more in NIDA’s Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide or from Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.

Types of Treatment

Treatment will vary for each person, depending on the type of drugs used and the person’s specific circumstances. Generally, there are two types of treatment for drug addiction:

  • Behavior change, in which people learn to change their behavior
  • Medications, which can help treat addictions to some drugs, such as tobacco, alcohol, heroin, or other opioids

Length of Treatment

Like diabetes and even asthma, drug addiction typically is a long-lasting disorder. Most people who have become addicted to drugs need long term treatment and, many times, repeated treatments—much like a person who has asthma needs to constantly watch changes in medication and exercise. The important point is that even when someone relapses and begins abusing drugs again, they should not give up hope. Rather, they need to go back to treatment or change their current treatment. In fact, setbacks are likely. Even people with diabetes may go off their diet or miss an insulin injection, and their symptoms will recur—that’s a cue to get back on track, not to view treatment as a failure.

Motivation for Treatment

Most people go into drug treatment either because a court ordered them to do so or because loved ones wanted them to seek treatment. The good news is that, according to scientific studies, people can benefit from treatment regardless of whether or not they chose to go into treatment.

How do I know if someone has a drug problem?

There are questions people can ask to gauge whether or not a person has a drug problem. These may not mean that someone is addicted, but answering yes to any of these questions may suggest a developing problem, which could require followup with a professional drug treatment specialist. These include:

  1. Have you ever ridden in a car driven by someone (including yourself) who had been using alcohol or drugs?
  2. Do you ever use alcohol or drugs to relax, to feel better about yourself, or to fit in?
  3. Do you ever use alcohol or drugs when you are alone?
  4. Do you ever forget things you did while using alcohol or drugs?
  5. Do family or friends ever tell you to cut down on your use of alcohol or drugs?
  6. Have you ever gotten into trouble while you were using alcohol or drugs?

What should I do if someone I know needs help?

If you see or hear about someone misusing opioids, talk to a coach, teacher, or other trusted adult.

If you, or a friend, are in crisis and need to speak with someone now, please call:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (they don’t just talk about suicide—they cover a lot of issues and will help put you in touch with someone close by).

If you need information on treatment and where you can find it, you can call:

For more information on how to help a friend or loved one, visit our Have a Drug Problem, Need Help? page.

Continue reading “Brain and Addiction”