Good Teens Turned Drug Addicts

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The ugly side of prescription painkillers—and how you could get hooked.

By Elizabeth Foy Larsen

The afternoon of her grandmother’s funeral, Brittany, 19, sat on the bed in what used to be her grandmother’s room, relieved to have finally snuck off after spending all day with her grieving family. In her trembling hands, she held a beaded plastic purse. Brittany knew it belonged to her younger cousin, but still she nervously reached inside, pulling out a $5 bill with her clammy fingers.

Brittany had been furiously rifling through her family’s bags and coat pockets for 30 minutes already, careful to be quiet as her family mourned—somber and teary-eyed—on the other side of the door. She was searching for cash or anything she could steal to sell so she could get high. All the while, her head was aching, and her mouth was dry.
Brittany was desperate. Yet, as desperate as she was, she couldn’t shake the feeling that stealing from a 6-year-old was a new low. How had she gotten here, she wondered—and what had she become?

The answer was at turns frighteningly simple and dizzyingly complex. It all began three years earlier. Brittany had been a bright 16-year-old with good grades and braces, who loved shooting hoops and playing with her dog. After Brittany had her wisdom teeth removed, her orthodontist prescribed Percocet, a commonly used painkiller, for her post-surgery discomfort.

What nobody told Brittany, however, was that using it has a downside. Percocet is a powerful and highly addictive medication—part of a class of drugs called opioids, that are no different chemically than their illegal counterpart, heroin. For one week after her surgery, Brittany took the Percocet every few hours, just as her doctor had prescribed. And with each pill, a numb feeling washed over her—a feeling that she grew to look forward to.

A week later, her pain was gone. But she still had some pills left. So she took one, just for fun.

That single, seemingly innocent, just-for-fun pill led to another, and then another. And before she even realized it, Brittany didn’t just want the drug—she needed it to get out of bed in the morning. Over time, each pill had been changing the chemistry of her brain, turning the happy South Florida honors student into a desperate addict.

THE SILENT EPIDEMIC…  Continue Reading…

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15 Years Later… Then & Now!

Since PRC opened it’s doors on January 19th 2000 we have helped change the lives of thousands of people, clients and their families alike. A lot has changed. We found some old pics of PRC from back in the beginning. These are just a few  of the minor changes that have taken place… Then and Now!

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PRC Alumni Group Dinner & Meeting

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Former PRC clients making up the PRC Alumni Group held the first dinner and meeting on Tuesday January 13th at PRC, sharing stories of hope and encouragement with current PRC residents.  If you’re a PRC alumn be sure to attend next months dinner on Tuesday February 9th at 5 and Meeting after.  A brief business meeting is held immediately after the AA meeting to discuss future fundraising plans and events for PRC residents.

 

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Have a Happy – Sober Holiday Season!

Holidsaytips-300x300There are many reasons that holidays can be a difficult time for someone who is trying to stay sober. It might not even be that a person has been addicted and is in recovery. It could just be that they realize they are not at their best when they drink or use drugs. Unfortunately, the holidays are a time that many people who might not indulge loosen their own restraints. Just being around people who are indulging can be difficult for a person who is trying to stay sober.

Of course, the major drug used during these times is alcohol. But other people may turn to prescription medications to deal with the stress of long days or problematic relationships with family. If they consume more pills than recommended or use someone else’s prescription, then they are abusing these drugs. Benzodiazepines, painkillers, sleep aids – these are all commonly abused prescription drugs. All of them are addictive and have problematic side effects. Some of them can be deadly, especially in combination.

The following are a few comments on holiday sobriety from people who have been there.

Why is it harder to stay sober over the holidays?

  1. Triggers abound during the holidays.
  2. It has to do with people’s expectations. Some people think it needs to be perfect. But it rarely is.
  3. Added pressures of gifts, decorating, family functions can create anxiety.
  4. Office parties, business gatherings, family parties, gift exchange parties (with alcohol at many).
  5. Family expectations, grudges, resentments sometimes come out of the woodwork when everyone is together. Especially if they have not been together during the prior year.

Surviving Holiday Parties

  1. Plan ahead. Know your strategies. Have a backup plan.
  2. Bring your own beverages.
  3. Go with a sober buddy or people who know you need to stay sober.
  4. If you have a Twelve Step Sponsor or mentor, contact them before the party. If need be, contact them during the party as well. Or set up a texting network with other people who need to stay sober. You can help them, they can help you.
  5. If you are doubtful about your ability to stay away from alcohol or drug use at a party, make other plans. Have your own intimate (and drug and alcohol-free) gathering. It is totally okay to respond, “I appreciate your thinking of me but I will not be able to make it.”

Good stress management is essential during this season.  Fighting off the temptations of the holiday season can be exhausting.  There are many things you can do to help clear your mind, such as deep breathing, taking a walk, and getting plenty of rest.  Our resident holiday planning expert Kevin G. lays out some more tips to help you make this holiday season one of the best and stay sober through it.

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  • Send holiday cards early and often.  If you send out your cards early enough, you give people the chance to send one back.  If you have a new address, like I do this year, this will give everyone your new address.  You can even write your return address extra-large on the envelope so the recipients will take notice.
  • Sometimes, sending just a card is enough.  I know that I really appreciate getting Christmas cards from friends and family.  If you are expecting a card from someone, make sure that you check with mom and dad as there may be cards there with your name on it, meant for the whole family.
  • Don’t overspend on holiday gifts.  Remember that it’s the thought that counts.
  • Have fun!  The holidays should be enjoyable.  Indulge in decorations, cookies, presents, and Christmas lights and music!
  • Don’t forget to get religious – if you have faith!  This could mean attending a Christmas candlelight service or a Chanukah chabat.  There is a reason for the holiday season and it’s not just about parties and presents.  Get back to your roots.
  • Practice ingenuity.  Sometimes we can make gifts that will make our recipients realize we really care.  Oftentimes, we can add personal touches to such gifts, like burning a CD or crafting something with our hands, and save money in the process.
  • If you aren’t really close with someone but you want to buy that person a gift, consider giving a family gift.  For example, a DVD or board game that the whole family can enjoy together may be the perfect gift, and no one will be forgotten!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people what they want.  It can be difficult choosing just the right gift for someone you love.  Sometimes people have Christmas lists and if you can get ahold of them it will be easy to get them something you know they want.
  • Re-gift with caution – it’s a controversial practice.  See: Seinfeld Episode on Regifting
  • If at all possible, deliver gifts personally.  I know that family and friends are often spread far and wide, but if you can deliver gifts in person, it may increase the chance that you will receive a gift in return, and it’s always nice to visit right?
  • Finally, see if you can make someone’s Christmas wish come true.  Do some sort of charitable act this Christmas season.  It will probably make you feel better and help someone who really needs help.

The key is to not pressure yourself. Be honest about the influences you can deal with and which ones you perhaps should wait awhile to deal with. Hopefully, those closest to you will support your need to take things at your own pace. If this ruffles some feathers, remind yourself that your sobriety can be a life and death matter. Someone who takes offense because you don’t show up for an event may not understand this but you do.

It might also work better for the first couple of holiday seasons to limit yourself to events where the other attendees will also be sober. This is why some people in recovery tend to socialize with other people in the same situation. With care, you’re going to be sober for a very long time, so missing a few holiday parties may be the best way to preserve your sobriety in the early days.

 

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Data seem to support the 12-step program’s benefits for addicts.

Does Science Show What 12 Steps Know?

France - Alcoholic Anonymous celebrates its 75th year

By Jarret Liotta

for National Geographic

PUBLISHED AUGUST 9, 2013

 Science has never revealed as much about addiction—potential genetic causes, influences, and triggers, and the resultant brain activity—or offered as many opportunities and methods for initial treatment as it does now.

Even so, the grassroots 12-step program remains the preferred prescription for achieving long-term sobriety.

Since the inception of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.)—the progenitor of 12-step programs—science has sometimes been at odds with the notion that laypeople can cure themselves.

Yet the success of the 12-step approach may ultimately be explained through medical science and psychology. Both offer substantive reasons for why it works.

Climbing the Steps to Recovery

The “miracle” of A.A. can be traced to the evening of June 10, 1935, when a struggling alcoholic named Bill Wilson, fighting to stay dry while on a business trip to Akron, Ohio, met with an apparently hopeless drinker named Bob Smith in order to quell his own thirst.

It had been suggested to Wilson, through a religious organization called the Oxford Group, that talking to wet drunks about his experiences and trying to help them get sober would, in turn, help him stay dry. Smith, once a respected physician in the community, was referred to him as someone at bottom, beyond help.

Their discussion sparked the insight that the best hope for sobriety was a daily reprieve from alcohol, which stood with the singular practice of helping others.

Over the next five years, a non-denominational program emerged that drew much of its spiritual doctrine from Christian practices. It embodied an action plan in the form of 12 “steps” that are essentially guidelines for right living, including taking a personal inventory of one’s strengths and shortcomings, making restitution for past wrongs, and helping others find sobriety.

Continue Reading…

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Mike Bloom presents the Key To PRC to Dr Drew

We really love Dr Drew… Michael Bloom, Owner/Co Founder, Pasadena Recovery Center presented Dr Drew Pinsky with the “Key To Pasadena Recovery Center” at “An Evening With Dr Drew on Wednesday night November 19th 2014 in appreciation for all the years of service and support that Dr Drew has shown Pasadena Recovery Center and in anticipation of bigger and better things to come of our relationship with him, We love you Dr Drew!!!

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An Evening with Dr Drew at Pasadena Recovery Center November 19 2014

Pasadena Recovery Center hosted an “Evening With Dr Drew” with a standing room only crowd of over 200 guests and PRC residents on Wednesday night November 19th 2014. Dr Drew stopped by PRC on his way from CNN to give us one of his sensational talks on addiction and the process of recovery, answering questions from the audience then rushing off to his nightly live radio show “Loveline”. In case you weren’t able to be here in person you can catch the entire talk on video here.

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Former GUNS N’ ROSES Drummer STEVEN ADLER Says He Has Been Sober For Nine Months

guns-rosesOn October 26, Argentinean rock journalist Lucas H. Gordon conducted an interview with former GUNS N’ ROSES drummer Steven Adler and Steven’s wife Carolina on the red carpet at an evening of art with Billy Morrison and Joey Feldman benefiting the Rock Against MS foundation at Village Studios in Los Angeles, California. You can watch the chat below.

Asked what he has been up to in recent months, Adler said: “Right now I’m just taking care of myself. I’ve been having these problems with alcohol, and right now I’m just taking care of it. I have a nice program I’m working, and I’m looking forward to having one year [of sobriety]. Right now I’ve got nine months and eighteen days. And then next year I’m gonna start working and getting the band back together… I’m taking care of [my alcohol addiction] — cutting it off at the neck. I’m looking forward to going out and playing again. I have my record, ‘Back From The Dead’ [released under the ADLER band name], which I hope everybody will buy and listen to. And it’s just been very exciting. Having a new life is exciting.”

Little has been heard from ADLER since the band was forced to cancel its summer 2013 tour due to Steven checking into an undisclosed rehabilitation center to continue working on his sobriety.

Adler appeared on season two of on the “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew” show and the first season of the spin-off program “Sober House” back in late 2008 and early 2009. Adler then went on to stints in real rehab centers after being ordered to by a judge as part of a DUI bust. He subsequently returned for Season 5 of “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew” alongside Michael Lohan, Dwight Gooden and Bai Ling, among others.

“Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House” included footage of Adler being arrested on July 18, 2008 after he showed up at a sober-living home high and in possession of heroin.

Steven Adler was the drummer for GUNS N’ ROSES from 1985 to 1990. He was eventually fired from the band due to his drug addiction, which caused him to spiral down into depression and more drug use.

Steven Adler’s autobiography, “My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses”, came out in July 2010. In the book, Adler tells all, fearlessly addressing his struggles with heroin and crack addiction; his financial ruin after being kicked out of GN’R; his shattered marriage; and the severe health problems that nearly claimed his life on several occasions.

ADLER’s debut album, “Back From The Dead”, was released in North America on November 26, 2012 via New Ocean Media.

ADLER is comprised of Adler, frontman Jacob Bunton (LYNAM, MARS ELECTRIC), guitarist Lonny Paul (ADLER’S APPETITE), and bassist Johnny Martin (CHELSEA SMILES).

GUNS N’ ROSES was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012. Adler, Slash and bassist Duff McKagan attended the ceremony, while Axl and founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin stayed home.

For the Full Interview Click Here…

 

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October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month?

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Why do we recognize National Substance Abuse Prevention Month?

Every day, far too many Americans are hurt by alcohol and drug abuse. From diminished achievement in our schools to greater risks in our roads and in our communities, to the heartache of lives cut tragically short, the consequences of substance abuse are profound. Yet, we also know that they are preventable.

Preventing drug use before it begins-particularly among young people-is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences. The best approach to reducing the tremendous toll substance abuse exacts from individuals, families and communities is to prevent the damage before it occurs.

The President’s Drug Control Strategy promotes the expansion of national and community-based programs that reach young people in schools, on college campuses, and in the workplace with tailored information to help them make healthy decisions about their future.  In fact, recent research has concluded that every dollar invested in school—based substance use prevention programs has the potential to save up to $18 in costs related to substance use disorders.

This month we pay tribute to all those working to prevent substance abuse in our communities and rededicate ourselves to building a safer, drug-free America.

Read more…

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#14Days on the Wagon

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Nearly 23 million Americans need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports. If you’re not one of these people, chances are you know someone who is.

In response to these staggering numbers, and what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled an “epidemic” in the U.S., CBS News is introducing a series, #14Days on the Wagon, to increase awareness about addiction and generate support for those struggling with this life-threatening disease.

Continue reading .. 

 

 

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