Drug and Alcohol Policy
HEALTH RISK OF ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG USE
The following is a summary of the various health risks associated with alcohol abuse and use of specific types of drugs. This summary is not intended to be an exhaustive or final statement of all possible consequences to your health of substance abuse, but rather is intended to increase your awareness of the grave risks involved in this kind of behavior.
Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol may increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts. Moderate to high doses of alcohol may cause marked impairment in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses may cause respiratory depression or death. If combined with other depressants, dependency may occur. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol can lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver. Females who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and ental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are more at risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.
Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Opioids and morphine derivatives can cause drowsiness, confusion, nausea, feelings of euphoria, respiratory complications and relieve pain including: codeine, fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, heroin, morphine, opium, Oxycodone HCL, and hydrocodone bitartrate, acetaminophen.
These drugs speed up the body's nervous system and create a feeling of energy. They are also called "uppers" because of their ability to make you feel very awake. Stimulants have the opposite effect of depressants. When the effects of a stimulant wear off, the user is typically left with feelings of sickness and a loss of energy. Constant use of such drugs can have very negative effects on the user. In order to prevent extreme negative side effects of these drugs and the impact they have on life, drug treatment centers are often recommended. Stimulants include: cocaine, methamphetamines, amphetamines, Ritalin, and Cylert.
Depressants slow down activity in the central nervous system of your body. These drugs are also called "downers" because they slow the body down and seem to give feelings of relaxation. Depressants are available as prescription drugs to relieve stress and anger, although drowsiness is often a side effect. The "relaxation" felt from these drugs is not a healthy feeling for the body to experience, to stop abuse of this drug, drug treatment is suggested. Depressants include: barbiturates, benzodiazepines, Flunitrazepam, GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate), Methaqualone, alcohol, and tranquillizers.
When taking hallucinogens, switching emotions is frequent. These drugs change the mind and cause the appearance of things that are not really there. Hallucinogens affect the body's self-control, such as speech and movement, and often bring about hostility. Other negative side effects of these drugs include heart failure, increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and changes in the body's hormones. Hallucinogens include: LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), mescaline, and Psilocybin.
These drugs result in feelings of euphoria, cause confusion and memory problems, anxiety, a higher heart rate, as well as staggering and poor reaction time. Cannabinoids include hashish and marijuana.
PREVENTING SUBSTANCE ABUSE
While it's practically impossible to prevent anyone and everyone from using drugs, here are five ways to help prevent drug abuse:
- Effectively deal with peer pressure. The biggest reason individuals start using drugs is because their friends utilize peer pressure. No one likes to be left out, and people find themselves doing things they normally wouldn't do, just to fit in. In these cases, you need to either find a better group of friends that won't pressure you into doing harmful things, or you need to find a good way to say no. Prepare a good excuse or plan ahead of time to keep from giving into tempting situations.
- Deal with life pressure. People today are overworked and overwhelmed, and often feel like a good break or a reward is deserved. But in the end, drugs only make life more stressful — and many all too often fail to recognize this in the moment. To prevent using drugs as a reward, find other ways to handle stress and unwind. Take up exercising, read a good book, volunteer with the needy, and create something. Anything positive and relaxing helps take the mind off using drugs to relieve stress.
- Seek help for mental illness. Mental illness and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand. Those with a mental illness may turn to drugs as a way to ease the pain. Those suffering from some form of mental illness, such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder should seek the help of a trained professional for treatment before it leads to substance abuse.
- Examine the risk factors. If you're aware of the biological, environmental and physical risk factors you possess, you're more likely to overcome them. A history of substance abuse in the family, living in a social setting that glorifies drug abuse and/or family life that models drug abuse can be risk factors.
- Keep a well-balanced life. People take up drugs when something in their life is not working, or when they're unhappy about their lives or where their lives are going. Look at life's big picture, and have priorities in order.
AVAILABLE DRUG AND ALCOHOL COUNSELING OR REHABILITATION SERVICES
The following is a partial list of Omaha Nebraska alcohol and drug treatment centers and substance abuse services:
- Adlerian Center for Therapy Consultation and Education of Omaha NE
- Alegent Health Psychiatric Associates of Omaha NE
- Arbor Family Counseling Associates of Omaha NE
- Catholic Charities Omaha Campus for Hope of Omaha NE
- Chicano Awareness Center of Omaha NE
- Discovery Center of Omaha NE
- Greater Omaha Community Action Inc. of Omaha NE
- Heartland Family Service
- Lutheran Family Services of Omaha NE
- Lydia House of Omaha NE
- Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition of Omaha NE
- Nova Therapeutic Community Day Treatment of Omaha NE
- Nova Therapeutic Community Residential of Omaha NE
- Open Door Mission Ministries of Omaha NE
- Santa Monica Inc. of Omaha NE
- Siena and Francis House of Omaha NE
- Stephen Center Inc. of Omaha NE
- University Drug and Alcohol Program of Omaha NE
- Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Omaha NE
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