Stay Present For The Miracles

Every now and then, someone says something, or does something so profound that it sticks with you for your whole life. Maybe it was something a relative said to you as a child, or a boss’s piece of advice or maybe even a great movie line that you’ve carried with you as a sort of mantra.
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Drug Abuse Down Amongst Teenagers

The kids are alright! The most recently published Monitoring the Future survey released by The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that children and young adults have been engaging in far less harmful drug-related activity than in previous years. Kids are smoking fewer cigarettes, drinking less alcohol, and experimenting far less with synthetic drugs and prescription medications. Interestingly enough, however, the marijuana rates have remained stable despite increased legalization. When the survey was taken, 6.5% of 8th graders admitted to smoking within the past month, while 16.6% of 10th graders and 21.2% of 12th graders had smoked within the past month. Though since rates of abuse relating to synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as Spice, have been on the steady decline, authorities firmly believe this is overall a highly positive trend.

Continued Intervention is a Necessity

Of course, a decline in drug abuse amongst teenagers does not mean that parents and other authoritative figures should become complacent. The lessened prevalence of use may in fact be a direct result of increased intervention and preventative programs geared towards adolescents. An increase in educational campaigns over the course of the past several years in addition to increased awareness in the national health care system have undeniably contributed to the decrease in youth substance abuse. A continued pervasiveness of programs in elementary and high schools and throughout communities will undeniably help to wipe out teen drug abuse even further.

Heroin Abuse Still An Issue Amongst Teens

Despite these upward looking trends, teenagers still struggle with drug abuse to quite an alarming degree. While rates of smoking and prescription medication abuse are down, the rates of heroin abuse amongst teenagers and young adults have skyrocketed in recent years. In a unfortunate amount of instances, cases of heroin addiction that take place in unsuspecting suburban, middle-class homes go unnoticed until it is too late. It is important for parents to understand that street drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are now beginning to infiltrate upper and middle-class communities. If you believe that your child may be battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is important to get the proper information you need in order to get them the help they deserve. Contact one of our trained representatives to find out what actions you need to take and what specifically you can do to help.

The Marchman Act

The Marchman Act is an involuntary statute in the state of Florida that allows the loved ones of an addict or alcoholic to involuntarily commit them to a detox or long-term inpatient treatment facility if they refuse to do some themselves despite risk of serious harm or death. The procedure is both civil and confidential, and is often utilized by family members to get their loved one the help that they may themselves be unaware they need. A spouse or blood relative can implement the act, as well as three people who have extensive knowledge of the at-risk individual and are aware of the danger they pose to themselves and others. In Southern Florida specifically, which has quickly become the rehab capital of the world, the Marchman Act has proven essential to the well being of many men and women who may have otherwise lost their lives to addiction.

What is the Marchman Act?

A law enforcement officer may have an individual placed involuntarily in treatment if he or she exhibits irrational, dangerous, or blatant drug or alcohol-induced behavior in a public place or in a way that has drawn the attention of law enforcement. In many cases, an intoxicated individual who completely lacks control of their actions based on what might be called ‘temporary insanity’ due to addiction or alcoholism will be given the option to commit him or herself voluntarily to a treatment facility. In most cases an addict will refuse this offer, insisting that he or she is not in need of treatment – that he or she does not have a problem. It is important to remember that the disease of addiction is riddled with denial, and it is rare that the addict has an accurate opinion of what is best for him or her.

Who Can The Marchman Act Help?

The Marchman Act also contains provisions concerning and addressing areas other than involuntary commitment, including voluntary admission, voluntary drug court, treatment for habitual users, inmate substance abuse programs, and licensing of service providers. The Florida Marchman Act specifically provides five differing avenues directly related to involuntary treatment. The first three do not involve the court in any way. These include: emergency treatment admission, protective custody, and involuntary assessment of a minor. Court-related involuntary action falls into two separate categories – involuntary assessment and stabilization and involuntary treatment. If someone you love is battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol and is in denial about the fact that they need treatment, contact one of our trained representatives to find out more about the Marchman Act, and how you can get your loved one into treatment before it is too late.

The Baker Act

The Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, what has become more commonly known as ‘The Baker Act’, is intended to allow the involuntary institutionalization of an individual who is suffering from a psychological condition and may not be mentally capable of admitting him or herself. Sometimes examining an individual is crucial and time sensitive, and this act allows a judge, law enforcement official, mental health professional, or physician to request an individual be involuntary examined in a timely manner. One might be a target of the Baker Act if they potentially suffer from serious mental illness or if they may pose harm to themselves, harm to others, or are self-neglectful. Once an individual is committed, the examination may last up to 72 hours even after he or she is deemed mentally stable.

What is the Baker Act?

Once an individual has been committed, there are several possible outcomes. If a person is competent, they may commit to treatment voluntarily. They may be deemed stable and released back into the community, or if proven a danger, there may be petitions to involuntary commit them to inpatient treatment. Involuntary outpatient treatment is also an option – an amendment that was made to the act in 2005. Florida is the only state with the Baker Act, and it is prevalently used throughout the states to commit drug addicts and alcoholics who are not mentally coherent and capable of taking care of themselves. Because the recovery scene is booming in Southern Florida particularly, this region has seen a great increase in Baker Act attempts over the course of the past several years. Although it is more common for addicts and alcoholics to be involuntarily committed as a result of the Marchman Act (which places an individual battling substance abuse in residential treatment), the Baker Act is also frequently employed based on its immediacy and the fact that many addicts and alcoholics are severely mentally unstable and dangerous while under the influence.

Why is the Baker Act Important?

The term has been transformed into a verb, used commonly in reference to individuals who may be mentally unstable and in need of urgent medical and psychological care. “Baker Acted” has quickly become a household term, despite the fact that many use it without a comprehensive knowledge of its meaning. The Baker Act is an important part of the mental health industry, and has undeniably saved innumerable lives since it was first implemented.

Should I Stage An Intervention?

While interventions have been proven to be extremely helpful in nudging loved ones towards treatment, even a correctly executed intervention will not always be successful – and in some instances, can do more harm than good. While there is no immediate risk involved in an unsuccessful intervention in relation to the worsening of the disease (by way of symptoms), there is a huge risk in the sense that your relationship with the addict may be extremely disrupted. Read up on what an intervention is, and why or why not this method of support will work for you before deciding to stage one for your beloved friend or family member.

What Is An Intervention?

During a typical intervention, a group of close friends and family gathers to share with an addict or alcoholic how much they love him or her, and how his or her addiction has been affecting them directly. Recently established boundaries are presented to the addict, and an ultimatum is given. A trained and licensed interventionist will lead the process, directing the family if need be to make sure things do not get out of hand.

What Is The Purpose of an Intervention?

The purpose of an intervention is to show the addict or alcoholic how their behavior is affecting those around them, and to show them how much better their life will ultimately be if they stop using. An intervention is also important in setting up boundaries for the addict, in example, “If you do not accept help today we will no longer support you financially.” It is extremely important for the friends and family of the addict to stick by these boundaries if he or she ends up refusing treatment, for the likelihood that the addict will change his or her mind is far greater if margins are strictly adhered to.

Is An Intervention Right For My Situation?

In most cases, interventions will do far more good than harm. Make sure a professional interventionist is present, and make sure to avoid common misconceptions about interventions, such as “it is best that the addict is under the influence during the process” or “rehab won’t work a second time if it didn’t work before”. Even if an addict does not accept help right away, it will at very least plant a seed and he or she will know where to turn when enough finally becomes enough.