Teen Prescription Drug Abuse Explained

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse Explained


One of the most common misconceptions is that prescription medications are safe. While prescription drugs are heavily researched and tested, there is always a risk when you put any type of medication in your body. This is especially true if the prescription medication is not taken as prescribed or is taken by someone for whom it was not prescribed. Misusing prescription drugs is even scarier for teens because their bodies and brains are still developing. Sadly, teen prescription drug abuse is a growing problem with teens misusing prescription opioids, stimulants, and psychotherapeutic medications. 

At The Nook, we know the tragedy of teens misusing prescription drugs. We understand how harmful prescription drugs can be for your teen, and we want to help. We will support you and your teen with a wide range of therapeutic offerings that will enable your teen to live a life free of drugs. 

What Are Prescription Drugs?

Legal drugs are often divided into two categories – prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are those medications that can be purchased in a store without a prescription from a healthcare provider. Examples include aspirin, ibuprofen, many cold medicines, many antacids, and more. Prescription drugs require a prescription from a healthcare provider and can only be purchased at a pharmacy. Prescription drugs are prescribed for a wide range of medical and psychological disorders and conditions. Prescription medications are dosed to the person who is being treated and are often based on that individual’s height, weight, and health history. Teen prescription drug abuse is so dangerous because it usually involves taking drugs prescribed to another individual. 

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse Explained

The most commonly abused prescription drugs fall into three categories – stimulants, opioids, and depressants. Stimulants, such as Adderall, can have similar effects to illegal stimulants including paranoia, high body temperatures, an irregular heartbeat, and more. Opioids, such as Oxycontin or Vicodin, are similar to heroin in how they affect the brain. Opioids can cause drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and even slowed breathing. 

Depressants, such as Xanax, can cause slurred speech, shallow breathing, disorientation, lack of coordination, and more. Withdrawing from any of these drugs can be challenging or even dangerous without medical supervision. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than sixteen million people aged twelve or older admitted to misusing prescription drugs. The study also showed the magnitude of the teen prescription drug abuse problem with findings including:

  • Nearly one million teens misused tranquilizers or benzodiazepines
  • Almost one half million teens misused stimulants
  • Nearly one million teens misused prescription opioids

Many who report misusing prescription drugs admit that they acquired the medications from a family member or friend. Only a tiny percentage purchased prescription medications from a drug dealer, demonstrating how many view prescription drugs as less dangerous. Tackling teen prescription drug abuse requires a great deal of education and a lot of discussions.

How To Get Your Teen Help With a Prescription Drug Problem

We understand that it may be devastating to realize that your teen needs treatment for their drug problem. It may seem unbelievable what likely started as teenage experimentation has transformed into addiction, mainly if the drugs being used were prescribed. At The Nook, we can help your teen transform and help them focus on lifelong recovery. Our sober living homes are often the bridge between early and long-term sobriety. 

Our sober living homes in Los Angeles are located centrally to allow outings to the beach, the golf course, the mountains, and explore Los Angeles. In addition, we offer our clients support to live a life that allows for maintaining employment, educational, and familial commitments. Contact us today to see how we can help your teen build a life in recovery. 

Why Teens Drinking Alcohol Is Problematic

Why Teens Drinking Alcohol Is Problematic

While teen drinking was once viewed as a “rite of passage”, we now know how problematic it truly is. Drinking at an early age can put your child at risk for many physical and mental health issues, including alcoholism. Sadly, many teens still turn to alcohol to deal with the angst of puberty and teenage life. Whether they do not understand the risks of alcohol use or see it as innocent experimenting, they may experience consequences that last a lifetime. 

At The Nook, we know the dangers of teens drinking alcohol. We understand how detrimental alcohol can be to your teen and we are here to help. We can support you and your teen with a full range of therapeutic offerings that will enable your teen to break free from alcohol. 

Is It Common for Teens to Abuse Alcohol?

The sad truth is that even though we talk more about the dangers of alcohol use than ever before, teens are still experimenting with alcohol. In 2019, nearly twenty-five percent of teens aged fourteen and fifteen reported having had at least one drink. Additionally, over seven million young people ages twelve to twenty admitted to drinking alcohol within the past month. More concerning than the admission of drinking alcohol is the number of teens who admit to binge drinking. 

While teens drink less often than adults, they consume more when they drink. In 2019, more than four million young people reported binge drinking at least once in the last month, with nearly a million reporting binge drinking more than five days in the previous month. Whether teens are drinking because of peer pressure, stress, or a desire to experiment is unclear. What is clear is that teens drinking alcohol results in a myriad of consequences.

Why Teens Drinking Alcohol Is Problematic

The consequences of teens drinking alcohol can be devastating and highlight the importance of talking to your teen about alcohol. Your understanding of the dangers of teens drinking alcohol can help you educate your teen and hopefully prevent them from experimenting. Because teens are still developing, their decision-making skills don’t always result in the best decisions. Adding alcohol into the mix only worsens the situation. Teens drinking alcohol can lead to car crashes, injuries, suicide, violence, alcohol poisoning, and even death. 

In 2011, nearly two hundred thousand people under twenty-one visited an emergency room for an alcohol-related injury. Alcohol use also leads to risky sexual behavior, leading to sexually transmitted infections, sexual assault, or unwanted pregnancy. Drinking alcohol also damages brain cells, and long-term use can lead to behavioral, memory, thinking, and judgment issues. Drinking at an early age can affect the hormonal changes in the body, disrupting puberty and growth. Earlier drinking is also more likely to result in developing an alcohol use disorder. It is easy to see how important it is for teens to understand the risks of drinking alcohol. 

How To Get Your Teen Help With Alcoholism

We understand that it may be devastating to realize that your teen needs treatment for their alcohol or drug problem. It may seem unbelievable what likely started as teenage experimentation has transformed into addiction. 

At The Nook, we can help your teen transform and help them focus on lifelong recovery. Our sober living homes are often the bridge between early and long-term sobriety. Our sober living homes in Los Angeles are located centrally to allow for outings to the beach, the golf course, the mountains, and explore Los Angeles. In addition, we offer our clients support to live a life that allows for maintaining employment, educational, and familial commitments. Contact us today to see how we can help your teen build a life in recovery. 

What is an Aftercare Plan in Addiction Recovery?

What Is an Aftercare Plan in Addiction Recovery?

Getting sober is hard work. However, getting sober is just the beginning. You need an aftercare plan that will support your life in long-term recovery. Prior to getting sober your decisions were likely all focused on getting and using drugs and alcohol. After you get sober, you will find that you may have a lot of life decisions to make. It’s essential to know that your choices are votes for or against your recovery and overall health. Having an aftercare plan in place can help you to make those decisions and reduce your stress.  At  The Nook, we understand the importance of an aftercare plan and we would like to be a part of yours.  

What Is an Aftercare Plan in Addiction Recovery?

If you were planning a trip, you would likely figure out where you would go, what sights you would want to see, where you would eat, and where you would sleep. You can think of an aftercare plan as your itinerary for recovery. With the goal of long-term sobriety in mind, you will make decisions about how to structure your life after treatment. Getting and staying sober requires a great many changes.  You may find that you need to change where you work, where you live, and with whom you spend your time. An aftercare plan is something you create while you are in treatment and then refer back to it as you make your way in recovery. Your treatment team can use their expertise to make suggestions and guide you in identifying the resources you need to be successfully sober. An aftercare plan is a blueprint for your sober life. No one should leave rehab or addiction treatment without an aftercare plan.

Why It’s Important to Keep Up With Your Aftercare Plan

While sometimes it is fun to go exploring on a trip without a map, you’ll want to have an aftercare plan to guide you in your sobriety. Many researchers have found that relapse rates after completing treatment can be as high as fifty percent. Most studies have shown that it is the absence of a relapse prevention plan that leads to such a high rate of relapse. It is this high rate of relapse that makes an aftercare plan so vital to your recovery success. Many find it helpful to transition from the higher intensities of treatment to lower intensities of treatment. Your plan might begin with inpatient treatment and then be followed by outpatient counseling and attendance at peer support recovery groups. Likewise, you might find it helpful to reside in a sober living facility and plan other activities that will help support your sobriety. Your aftercare plan will be specific to you and your sobriety. The key is to have a plan and use it.

Why You Should Go to The Nook Sober Living

The early days of sobriety can be challenging, and you may be wondering if you can stay sober. Sober living homes are the bridge between early and long-term sobriety. Depending on your current circumstances, you may want a location close to those you know, or you may want to start over in a new place. Once you’ve selected an area, you’ll want to look for a sober house that will best support you.  Sober living homes located in Los Angeles are located centrally to allow for outings to the beach, the golf course, the mountains, and explore Los Angeles.  At The Nook, we focus on lifelong recovery. We offer our clients support to live a life that allows for maintaining employment, educational, and familial commitments. Contact us today to see how we can help your life in recovery. 

Common Drugs Used by College Students

Common Drugs Used by College Students

College is a time of experimentation. College students take different classes, make new friends, and have new experiences. Many young adults are away from home for the first time and may find themselves with more freedom than ever before. The newfound freedom and a hint of peer pressure can lead to some questionable decisions. Some of those decisions can be riskier than others. Beyond the storied college binge drinking, there are also common drugs used by college students. Understanding the substances that your college student may encounter can help you to prepare them to make more informed and safer choices when you are not there in person to guide them. Arming yourself with more knowledge can also help you recognize the signs of drug use in your college students. Addiction can strike at any age, and The Nook is here to help your college student with the support of a sober living environment. 

Common Drugs Used by College Students

While recent research has shown that some drugs have become less popular with college students, other drugs have become increasingly popular. In fact, in its national study of adult drug use, Monitor the Future found that college students vaping marijuana and nicotine had increased significantly. 

From 2017 to 2019, the prevalence of vaping marijuana had nearly tripled, and vaping nicotine quadrupled. The overall use of marijuana increased considerably, with roughly half of all college students admitting to using marijuana in the previous 30 days. The same survey found that the rates of use for other drugs have not changed substantially. College students continue to engage in binge drinking and use drugs such as cocaine, prescription, illicit opioids, LSD, ecstasy, heroin, and sedatives. However, it is interesting to note that the researchers also found that using marijuana is much more socially accepted than other drugs. Marijuana is a common drug used by college students because it is socially acceptable. 

Signs of Addiction in College Students

You expect your child to grow, mature, and evolve while they are away at college. These expected changes can make it more challenging to identify the signs of addiction. However, you know your child better than anyone else. Trust your gut. You know the difference between your child sharing less information and completing withdrawing. You will likely know the difference between their struggling academically because college is challenging and their completing bombing out. If you can create and maintain an open line of communication with your college student, you’re more likely to be able to see the signs earlier than later. The specific symptoms will be related to the drugs that they are using. Some drugs, such as opioids, have telltale signs such as pinpoint pupils, drowsiness, constipation, nausea, and more. Others such as marijuana may be less obvious as the signs may only show when the person is actively using. In general, you will want to look for changes in demeanor and physical appearance, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Paying less attention to their appearance
  • Changes in self-care habits
  • Increased or decreased sleeping
  • Dishonesty or secrecy
  • Appearing or reporting to be sick repeatedly

The challenging part of this equation is that many of these changes may occur even if your college student is not using drugs. However, you know them better than anyone, and you’ll likely see the difference. 

Live Sober at The Nook

At The Nook, we focus on lifelong recovery. We offer our clients support to live a life that allows for the maintenance of employment, educational and familial commitments. If your college student struggles with drugs and alcohol, we can provide a living environment that can support them while they pursue their college education.  Contact us today to see how we can help their life in recovery. 

How to Tell if Your Teen Is on Drugs

How to tell if your teen Is on drugs

Parenting, on its best day, is still a demanding job, and that’s even more true during the teenage years. Your child who has always wanted you near them suddenly wants very little to do with you. You have likely become one of the least cool people on the planet without changing a thing about yourself. While all of this may feel awful, the good news is that most of it is entirely normal and developmentally appropriate. It gets more complicated when you start to wonder if typical teenage angst has crossed over into drug use. You may wonder how to tell if your teen is on drugs, and it’s beneficial to arm yourself with information before you start asking questions. You know your child better than anyone else, so if you think something is wrong, start doing the research. At The Nook, we understand the challenges of parenting a teen, whether they are using drugs or not. If your teen is abusing drugs, we are here to support your teen in a drug-free life. 

Common Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use in Teens

Always remember that you know your teen better than anyone. If your gut is telling you that something is wrong, you’re probably correct. Still, if you want to know how to tell if your teen is on drugs, you can look for the common signs and symptoms of drug use. Some signs will be specific to the drug being used. For example, those abusing opioids will have pinpoint pupils. Those using alcohol, marijuana, alcohol, and other depressants may have slurred speech. The cycle of using and withdrawing from drugs may result in your child complaining of flu-like symptoms. You may notice a change in their weight, appetite, or sleeping habits. Additionally, you may note that they have changed their friend circle, have lost interest in activities that they previously enjoyed, or have increased mood swings. Approach the situation like you are putting together a puzzle. Examine all of the pieces objectively and see what comes together. 

How to Get Your Teen Help With Their Drug Addiction

The first step in anyone getting help with drug addiction is acknowledging that there is a problem. As you examine the changes in your teen, you might consider writing down a list of the changes so that you have a starting point to talk to your teen about their drug use. While it is so hard to remain calm, try to talk to your teen in a way that provides them the opportunity to speak openly about their drug use. They may be looking for a way to stop using and not know where to turn. Once you’ve agreed that it’s time to get help, you can explore the different options, including a treatment facility, peer support recovery groups, and sober living. The most appropriate treatment will depend on your teen’s specific drug use, overall health, and other circumstances. 

How The Nook Can Help Your Teen

Navigating the road to sobriety with a teenager can be complex, and a sober living facility may be just what is needed. Depending on the current circumstances, you may want a location closer to your home, or your teen may require a bit of distance. Once you’ve selected a location, you’ll want to look for a sober house that will best support your teen. So, as you explore the options, be sure to look at the requirements for continuous sobriety and the house’s offerings.  Sober living homes located in Los Angeles are located centrally to allow for outings to the beach, to the golf course, to the mountains, and to exploring Los Angeles.  At The Nook, we focus on lifelong recovery. We offer our clients support to live a life that allows for the maintenance of employment, educational, and familial commitments. Contact us today to see how we can support your teen in recovery. 

The Signs of Relapse to Look Out for in Your Loved One

The signs of relapse to look out for in your loved one

Addiction is a heartbreaking disease, and it’s heartbreak is increased by relapse. Sadly, the research has shown that the higher the dependence on drugs, the higher the chance that relapse will occur. If your loved one has relied on drugs and alcohol as their only coping mechanism, the early days of sobriety can be tricky. Using drugs and alcohol as the escape hatch from stress and difficulty is a hard habit to break. Still, those in early recovery may seem just as emotional and moody as someone who has relapsed, so it’s good to know the signs of relapse. If you were there for your loved one’s active addiction, think about the symptoms you saw during their active use and use those as your barometer for what’s happening now. At  The Nook, we know that relapse happens, and we’re here to help. We can be part of the plan to help prevent a relapse or to return from a relapse. 

What Is a Relapse in Addiction Recovery? 

While relapse is simply a return to using drugs and/or alcohol, most who relapse admit that it began long before they used again. Learning how to live without drugs and alcohol isn’t easy. It requires a lot of new skills and practice using those new skills. Whether someone goes to treatment, attends peer support groups, goes to therapy, or completes some combination of therapies, relapse can still happen. Relapse is not a sign of weakness or failure. Sometimes relapse is simply a part of recovery. When someone is learning how to ride a bicycle and falls down, we don’t tell them that they are a failure. We ask them to get back up and try again. Relapse can be thought of as falling off of the bike of sobriety. It may be a sign that different interventions or treatments may need to be investigated, or it just may be a lesson of a life to which someone does not want to return. 

The Signs of Relapse to Look Out For

You know your loved one better than anyone else. You’ve seen them during their active addiction, and you’ve seen them sober. You know the difference, but you still may question what are and are not signs of relapse. As a person on the sidelines of someone else’s recovery, you’re walking a bit of a tightrope as you balance wanting to trust them and wanting to identify relapse. The physical signs of relapse will often depend on the drug being used. For example, a person who uses opioids, such as heroin or fentanyl, exhibits pinpoint pupils and drowsiness. However, a person using stimulants such as cocaine might seem to be moving at a faster speed. Regardless of the drug being used, you’ll likely also see changes in behavior. If your loved one suddenly seems more secretive or has more mood swings, there might be cause for concern. 

Why You Should Go to the Nook for Sober Living

The early days of sobriety can be challenging, and sober living facilities can offer additional support. Sober living homes are the bridge between earlier and more extended sobriety. You’ll want to look for a sober house that will best support your loved ones as they learn to create a sober life.  Sober living homes located in Los Angeles are located centrally to allow for outings to the beach, to the golf course, to the mountains, and to explore Los Angeles.  At The Nook, we focus on lifelong recovery. We offer our clients support to live a life that allows for the maintenance of employment, educational, and familial commitments. Contact us today to see how we can help you or your loved ones create a life in recovery. 

How to Tell If Someone Is an Alcoholic

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your loved one is drinking a bit more often than they used to or drinking more when they do drink. Maybe you’ve seen changes in their personality or their health. Whatever the running list is, you may be asking yourself how to tell if someone is an alcoholic. The truth is that the only one who can determine if someone is an alcoholic is that person. However, you know when something has changed in your loved one’s behavior, and there may be enough signs to warrant a conversation. Here at  The Nook, we understand the difficulty in loving someone who is an alcoholic or addict. We are here to support you and your loved ones as they recover. 

Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a disease that encompasses more than drinking; it is a disease of mind, body, and spirit. As an outsider looking in, you may notice that your loved one is not happy without being able to have a drink or may need to drink earlier in the day to function. You may also notice that the drinking continues no matter the consequences. Is your loved one facing problems at home, at work, or even in the courts but continuing to drink? These are all ways to tell if someone is an alcoholic. Additionally, if you have tried to talk to them about their drinking and the response has been heated, they may have a problem. 

Beyond the emotional and personality signs, there will be physical signs as well. Are you noticing tremors or shaking hands in the mornings? Is your loved one complaining of not feeling well in the mornings? Are you finding liquor stashed in different spots throughout your home? Alcoholics who discover that they need the alcohol just to get through the day will find places to hide alcohol in an attempt to hide their drinking. Sometimes the first step for you is to observe what is happening objectively. Start a list so that you’ll be able to present the facts when it is time to talk. 

How to Get Someone Help With an Alcohol Addiction

One of the saddest things about addiction and alcoholism is that help usually only works when the person with the problem wants help. You cannot make someone want to get sober. However, you can talk to them about how their addiction or alcoholism affects you and your family. You can set clear boundaries about what behavior you will or will not accept. Finally, you can ask them to get help. If they are interested in getting help, there are many options. As you explore treatment options such as partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient, your loved one might explore peer support recovery groups as a first step. If you are unsure of what treatment facilities are in your area or how to choose one, you can reach out to your family physician for assistance in making decisions. 

How the Nook Helps With Addiction and Recovery

Early recovery often requires additional support, and sober living homes are a great way to get that support. Choosing a sober living facility can be difficult, and there are lots of options. Depending on your current circumstances, you may want a location close to those you know, or you may want to start over in a new place. Once you’ve selected a site, you’ll want to look for a sober house that will best support you. So, as you explore your options, be sure to look at the requirements for continuous sobriety and the house’s offerings.  

Sober living homes located in Los Angeles are located centrally to allow for outings to the beach, to the golf course, to the mountains, and to explore Los Angeles.  At The Nook, we focus on lifelong recovery. We offer our clients support to live a life that allows for the maintenance of employment, educational, and familial commitments. Contact us today to see how we can support your life in recovery.