What is MDMA?
MDMA, (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamp-hetamine), is a sythentic drug that alters mood and preception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions). It is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, producing feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotinal warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception. MDMA was intially popular in the nightclub scene and at all-night dance parties ("raves") but the drug now affects ...(click for entire article).
The prescription drug and heroin epidemic continues to grow nationwide. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimate that 2.1 million people in the United States suffer from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers and a half of a million Americans are now addicted to heroin. While there are many effects on society, overdose is one of the most dangerous and deadly realities of opioid use. More than 16,000 people die each year from prescription opioid overdoses, while another 8,000 die from heroin overdoses (NIDA). Kane County has experienced . . . (continue)
When Maria first came to Renz Center, she did not think her marijuana use was problematic. Through counseling, Maria revealed she smoked marijuana to help ease anxiety and stress brought on by family obligations and an alcoholic father. After Maria’s mother passed away in an accident, as an only sibling she felt compelled to care for her father after extended family turned him away due to his excessive drinking. Maria was resistant to treatment, and shared little personal information. She did the minimum amount of work, and left the Center’s outpatient program after only three months. It didn’t take the court long to catch up with Maria, and require her to come back into substance abuse counseling. And while reluctant at first, Maria finally decided maybe her marijuana use was contributing to her unhappiness. She embraced the idea of recovery and leading a healthier lifestyle. She immediately began (click to continue)
Alcohol Use, how much is too much? (infographic)
Each year, alcohol is responsible for 2.3 million deaths worldwide. That breaks down to approximaetly 6,300 deaths per day from traffic accidents, alcohol-relatied illnesses, burns, alcohol poinoning, falls, and drownings, as well as violence againest oneself while intoxicated. Not only do these deaths include the people who sonsumed alcohol, but also the deaths of those who were victims of their behavior. In the United States, it is estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually...(continue)
Mindfulness...What's all the Hype?
Mindfulness is defined as "the practice of maintaining a nonjudgemental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a omoment-to-moment basis". The practice is very common among Buddhists and has been utilized for centures to aid in meditations and awareness. It can mean anything from taking a walk and observing your surroundings, to sitting quitely and focusing on your breathing. Neuroplasticity is (read on to find how Renz Center incorporates mindfulness in treatment).
Recovery Set Him Free, A Client's Story
From childhood, Dave identified himself as emotional and said that it continued on into his teenage years. Early on, he experimented with alcohol and marijuana and was rebellious to the point that once he turned 18, he moved out on his own. Looking back, Dave says that his substance use was continually progressing, but he did not see it. He was drinking heavier than ever and his alcohol use was daily by the time he was (for more...)
Overdose Prevention Naloxone Trainings
Renz Center recognizes loved ones on Overdose Awareness Day with candlelight vigil and Naloxone trainings to prevent overdoses...click here for more information
Cannabis and the Adolescent Brain: Why We Need To Intervene
Throughout adolescence and going into young adulthood, a profound amount of development occurs within the human brain. The brain of adolescent and young adults has a lot of developing to do, transforming from the brain of a child into the brain of an adult. Research has shown that the brain continues to mature and develop until approximately the age of 25 years. Marijuana use among adolescents and young adults has the potential to greatly affect this crucial process. As the rate of marijuana use among teens rises, so has the potency of marijuana, making it crucial to raise awareness and educate individuals as to the effects that marijuana can have on the growing adolescent brain. Marijuana being smoked today is much more potent than it was in the 1970s, with far higher levels of THC, the main mind-altering ingredient. With this being said, the higher the THC levels and frequency of use, the more disruption in development and changes occur to brain, in addition to placing teens at higher risk for addiction. In a recent federally sponsored survey...(more)
Gender Specific Treatment Works
Research shows that addiction is rarely, if ever, a single-dimension issue for women. Addiction is a part of a larger picture that includes a woman’s individual history and the social, economic, and cultural factors that create the framework of her life. Research also indicates that gender-specific addiction treatment that addresses women's specific issues are more effective for women than are traditional programs, which were originally designed for men. When women come to treatment ...(continue)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse have a close and complex relationship, yet often times this link can go unrecognized. For people with substance abuse, PTSD is one of the most common dual diagnosis. A further understanding of the complexity of this relationship can, and should, be carried through to the treatment of both disorders in order to provide the most effective care. One of the most common myths about PTSD is (continue)
World AIDS Day
December 1st is World AIDS Day, a day where we celebrate sucesses worldwide toward preventing and treating the HIV virus. Locally Renz Center is working with the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide prevention education outreach services to individuals at risk. Locally, we reach out to those individuals most at risk and offer services to prevent the spread of the HIV virus. About 1.2 million people in the U.S. were living with HIV at the end of 2011, the most recent year this information was available. Of those people, about 14% do not know they are infected. For HIV basics click here
Active Parenting Now
Do you ever wonder if there’s a better way to handle those daily parenting problems? Maybe your son dawdles around whenever it’s time to get dressed for school… your daughter is suddenly using disrespectful language… or the children seem to forget to do their chores and argue every minute of the day. Maybe you feel unsure of yourself and your parenting skills and want to be more confident and want to become more successful at parenting. Renz Center can help. Renz Center is helping those we see for substance abuse treatment become more successful at parenting with Active Parenting Now. Active Parenting now is (continue...)
Prescription Drug Abuse A Growing Concern
Alcohol. Marijuana. Cocaine. Heroin. As a society, many efforts have been made to raise awareness of the dangers of these substances. As a parent of a teenager, these words most likely conjure up feelings of fear, anxiety, and perhaps an overwhelming need to protect. Adderall, Ritalin, Xanax, Vicodin. Do these words elicit the same reaction? Nowadays, abuse of prescription medication is just as real a problem as illegal substance among teens.The difficult part about this drug problem is that the substance is very easily accessible. Alcohol and illicit drugs prove a more difficult task to obtain versus opening up the medicine cabinet, or getting a prescription from a friend.The 2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey data confirm that misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is now a normalized behavior among teens. According to the study, (continue...)
What do we mean when we say this person has a “dual diagnosis”? This term refers to a person with both a chemical abuse or dependency problem and a co-existing psychiatric disorder. According to ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) criteria also known as the ASAM patient placement criteria, Dimension three directly addresses Emotional, Behavior, or Cognitive Conditions and Complications in all levels of treatment. Coexisting disorders are oten referred to as "double (continue...)
Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Elgin
The Coalition, formerly Elgin Gang/Drug Task Force receives grant to bring prevention programming to Elgin High School freshman. See more...
Never Too Late ...A Success Story
Calvin is a 46 year old Caucasian man referred by Lazarus House in
AIDS after 30 years
On June 5, 1981, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention published the first mention of a mysterious illness among gay men. Since then AIDS has killed more than 25 million people worldwide, including 600,000 Americans. Three decades later...(continue)
Alternatives to 12-Step Program
When it comes to chemical dependency, the number one recommended program for recovery from addiction is Alcoholics Anonymous, and the various other support groups that have evolved fromt he Twelve Steps and T welve Traditions. Approximately 93% of all treatment programs in theUS are "12 Step" based. Why is that? Because for many people, the 12-Step philosophy and program of recovery works, and that is fantastic. However, there are those that this philosophy and way of life does not work. Therefore there has to be alternatives. The following is a brief overview of a few programs of recovery that have proven to be successful for many people that are not 12-Step based. (see more)
Juvenile Drug Court
Renz Center is actively involved with the Juvenile Drug Court Program through Kane County. Juvenile Drug Court is a separate program within the Juvenile Justice System; however, every member is still assigned a juvenile probation officer. The goal of the program is to incorporate substance abuse treatment with the judicial monitoring for non-violent, substance abusing youth who live in Kane County. In order to meet all the needs of the individuals...(Continue)
Renz Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary in 2011
Renz Center opened the doors of service for those suffering from alcohol abuse on February 6, 1961 as Community Concern for Alcoholism. For more than 50 years the agency has developed into a community based agency with many programs to aid with the prevention and treatment of substance abuse as well as treating those suffering from a problem gambling disorder. (See more)
TIPS Training in Spanish
Renz Center offers BASSET certified TIPS training for businesses and indivuduals who sell or serve alcohol. Some establishments in certain communities are required to have this certification. Renz Center is one of the few who offer in-person training for English and Spanish speaking staff. (Continue)