Narconon Articles


April 4, 2024

Oxycodone: A Common, Addictive, and Dangerous Opioid

Oxycodone is one of the most common yet one of the least understood prescription opioids. What is oxycodone? How is it different from OxyContin and other opioids? What is the scope of its use? And perhaps most importantly, what can be done for those who are addicted to oxycodone, including those who have legitimate prescriptions for the drug?


March 28, 2024

Gas Station Heroin: A Drug to Watch Out For

Tianeptine, an antidepressant that can have similar effects on the body as opioids, is sold as a dietary supplement at gas stations and convenience stores across the country. It’s often marketed as an “alternative medicine” that can relieve pain, reduce depression symptoms, and address anxiety. While not approved for medical use in the United States, it is approved in some European, Asian, and Latin American countries.


March 21, 2024

What Is the Scope of Alcohol Addiction Today?

Alcohol addiction is one of America’s worst health problems, yet it receives a fraction of the national attention that drug addiction gets. Because alcohol consumption is normalized as acceptable social behavior, the dire complications of consuming alcohol to excess often go unaddressed or are considered a marginal concern. The result? All levels and forms of drinking have worsened across America in recent years, placing alcohol consumption in line to be the nation’s next major public health crisis.


March 14, 2024

These Illicit Drugs Can Destroy Your Lungs as Well as Your Life

Illicit drugs may pose far greater risks to your lung health than you realize, triggering conditions like pneumonia, emphysema, and even asphyxia. From alcohol to heroin, the ten substances discussed in this article impair breathing, set the stage for infection and dysfunction, and can easily turn deadly. Seeking help is crucial for those affected by addiction.


March 7, 2024

What Is “Delta 8,” What Does It Do, and Who Is Using It?

This article explores the sudden emergence of an industry devoted to the manufacture and sales of Delta-8, a psychoactive substance derived from hemp. It’s sold even in states where marijuana is not legal, due to a legal loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. The article examines the effects of this new drug and why its regulation has fallen between the cracks in state after state. Even more cannabis products are on the verge of release, without research or legislation that could keep consumers safe.


February 29, 2024

Prescription Stimulants: What Are They, and Are They Addictive?

Sometimes, people adopt the concept that if a drug is a legal prescription medication, that means it can’t be harmful. Sadly, this is far from the truth. Some of the most commonly used prescription stimulants like Ritalin, Adderall, and others come with many risk factors, addiction included. People need to understand what these drugs are, the risks they pose, and what effects people can expect from using them, even if they use them as prescribed.


February 8, 2024

Why You’re Not Yourself When You Drink, Part 3

Alcohol is a mind-altering substance that affects those who consume it in myriad ways. Because alcohol’s effects differ from person to person, it can be challenging to predict or isolate how alcohol will impact those who consume it. However, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have found a direct relationship between alcohol and self-control.


February 1, 2024

Why You’re Not Yourself When You Drink, Part 2

The idea that “you’re not yourself when you drink” has been around for decades. Alcohol is a mind-altering substance; when people drink it, it changes them mentally, emotionally, and physically. Alcohol affects everyone differently, and its effects become dramatically worse the more someone drinks and the more often they drink.


January 25, 2024

Why You’re Not Yourself When You Drink, Part 1

There are many aspects connected to alcohol consumption that may cause people to behave poorly. Alcohol is a mind-altering substance, and it affects people in different ways. However, new data shows alcohol consumption may affect all drinkers in at least one way that is the same for everyone, i.e., by significantly inhibiting areas of the brain responsible for maintaining attention.


January 18, 2024

Opioid Users Are Overwhelmingly Exposed to Fentanyl

A survey out of New York City found something quite alarming. According to the survey, about 80% of IV drug users in New York City tested positive for fentanyl, but only 18% intended to use that specific drug. These findings showcase the harmful issues of fentanyl being laced into the drug supply, how most addicts don’t go looking for this drug, and how many users end up getting it in their system anyway, almost always without knowing.


December 28, 2023

Alcohol-Related Harm Escalates During Winter

Colder and darker climates are associated with heavier alcohol consumption, more frequent instances of alcohol poisoning, and a high risk for alcohol-related car crashes. Not only are people more likely to drink, they are more likely to drink in greater quantities, more often, and in dangerous ways. Inclement weather and poor driving conditions make drunk driving during winter even more dangerous, and the cold weather has the potential to prevent drinkers from being as aware of how much they’ve consumed and the effect the alcohol is having on them.


December 27, 2023

Drug Overdoses Climb During the Winter Months

Research shows winter is the worst season for drug overdoses in states where the temps drop and snow sets in. Cold weather, social isolation, hampered travel, slower emergency response times, and other factors all make this season more dangerous for drug users. All of those factors combined increase the urgency for those who struggle with drug addiction to enter qualified residential drug treatment centers as soon as possible.


December 14, 2023

Alcoholic Liver Disease Deaths are on the Rise

It’s not often discussed, but the frequency with which alcohol is consumed and the volume by which it is consumed have both increased considerably in recent years. Further, newly published research suggests a direct connection between increased frequency and volume of consumption and a newly reported increase in alcoholic liver disease fatalities, as such fatalities now represent nearly half of all annual liver-related fatalities.


December 7, 2023

Reducing Alcohol Consumption During the Holidays

Drinking alcohol is a part of the holiday festivities for many people. However, just because alcohol consumption during the holidays is an accepted cultural occurrence, that does not make it a good or healthy thing to do. Studies increasingly show alcohol as having harmful effects on people’s health, and CDC data increasingly shows alcohol as contributing to serious societal health issues and a growing number of deaths annually. Given these findings, Americans should do everything they can to reduce their alcohol consumption during the holidays.


November 16, 2023

Kratom Is Not a Safe Alternative to Opioids

In recent breaking news, a woman who bought kratom supplements died from taking them, and a jury in a wrongful death lawsuit ordered the supplement company to pay the woman’s family $11 million. While awareness around kratom has gone a long way from the initial perception of the drug as a safe alternative to opioids, more work is needed to educate the public on the risks people face when they use kratom.


November 2, 2023

New Science: No Amount of Alcohol Is Healthy

A new set of research data sheds doubt on the old narrative that moderate alcohol consumption may help some people guard themselves against experiencing diabetes or obesity. According to growing evidence, no amount of alcohol consumption provides drinkers with any health benefit or a net health gain.


October 19, 2023

Will Ketamine Be the Next Major Drug Trend?

According to a recent report, illicit ketamine drug busts and seizures by law enforcement skyrocketed by 349% between 2017 and 2022. Ketamine has been in use for years as a tranquilizer medicine for veterinary practices and hospital applications, but now the sedative is a major drug of choice among addicts and recreational drug users.


October 5, 2023

Is the Addiction Treatment Gap Opening or Closing?

Around 80% to 90% of people who need drug and alcohol addiction treatment do not receive it, and for those who do, it is sometimes inadequate to provide them with the tools they need to overcome their addiction. And in addition to the people who accurately perceive they need treatment, millions more aren’t seeking treatment at all, even though they need it.


September 7, 2023

Illicit Use of Ketamine on the Rise

Ketamine has been used recreationally in the U.S. for some time, but only recently have usage rates increased significantly, and only recently has the drug become a major drug of concern. Law enforcement offices are reporting spikes in ketamine busts and seizures, and hospitals are increasingly reporting ketamine chemicals in ER patients.


August 21, 2023

Alcohol and Your Immune System

Most people understand that alcohol consumption harms critical organs in the human body. People understand that excessive drinking can damage the liver, kidneys, and heart. However, very few people know what alcohol does to the body’s immune system.


August 3, 2023

Alcohol Consumption and Chronic Pain

A recently published scientific paper highlighted how alcohol contributes to chronic pain. Contrary to the commonly held view that alcohol numbs or dulls pain, researchers found that chronic alcohol consumption makes people more susceptible to pain sensitivity.


July 20, 2023

Florida’s Revolutionary Pilot Program Offers Immediate Support to Overdose Survivors

Florida’s CORE Pilot Program offers immediate support to overdose survivors. In this program, first responders will bypass conventional emergency facilities and take the survivor to a specialized facility for stabilization and immediate referral to a drug rehabilitation service. The program offers a more certain path to breaking the cycle of addiction and reducing the risk of future overdoses.


June 29, 2023

What Are the Effects of Using Meth?

As the opioid epidemic continues to spread across the U.S., Americans face a new threat, the risk of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl being mixed into non-opioid drugs like meth. Given the changing drug landscape, becoming educated about opioids and avoiding them is no longer enough to keep one safe.


June 22, 2023

What are the Effects of Using Cocaine?

Cocaine addiction is on the rise, as are cocaine-related deaths. Cocaine has also made headlines recently, given that fentanyl is increasingly mixed into cocaine batches and sold to addicts without them knowing. The result? Across the nation, people are being exposed to readily available fentanyl-tainted cocaine...

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

May 22, 2023

Recovery Is a Lifelong Journey. New Research Shows it Should be Treated as Such.

A 2022 study revealed that there is measurable success in assisting recovering alcohol addicts to look at recovery from the perspective that it is a lifetime activity. Conversely, addicts who seek to get better lose out to some degree when they view recovery as a sudden change in their behavior that requires one intervention and can then be mostly forgotten about afterward.


April 27, 2023

Despite a Decline in Deaths, More than 100,000 Americans Lost Their Lives to Drugs in 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released their provisional count for fatal overdoses in 2022, highlighting that about 6,000 fewer Americans died from drugs in 2022 than in 2021. If the provisional figures are accurate, 2022 will represent the first year that drug-related fatalities dropped since 2018.


April 20, 2023

‘Tranq Dope.’ A New Hybrid Drug Poses Challenges to Responders and Families of Addicts

Xylazine, a mind-altering animal tranquilizer once thought only rarely used in the U.S., has become so popular in some parts of the country that it has a slang name. It’s called “tranq dope.” In almost all cases, it’s mixed with fentanyl. What happens when an animal tranquilizer is mixed with America’s most potent opioid?


April 10, 2023

Drug Use and Cardiac Complications Go Hand-in-Hand

A paper published by the European Society of Cardiology found a connection between drug use and serious heart complications requiring intensive cardiac care unit treatment. Further, the research indicated addicts might experience long-term health complications even after ceasing drug use.


April 9, 2023

One Drink Is One Drink Too Many

A research paper published in September 2022 showed that even one alcoholic drink has the effect of “priming the brain” for addiction. While the biological side of alcohol dependence is just one contributing factor to addiction, it’s worth noting the effect that one alcoholic beverage has on brain chemistry.


March 14, 2023

American Life Expectancy Fell Again in 2021—Drug Addiction Played a Significant Role in the Decline

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published their life expectancy data for 2021, and the findings show Americans experienced their second year in a row of a drop in life expectancy. Several leading health and medical institutions, including the CDC and Harvard Health, are now pointing to drug overdoses as a primary contributing factor to the drop in life expectancy.


March 10, 2023

Are Date Rape Drugs Still a Threat?

Reports of drug-facilitated sexual assaults are being received by law enforcement all over the country. To keep themselves safe, women and men should know what drugs are being used and how they are administered, both on college campuses and in cities.


March 9, 2023

Get Clean for Them: At least 10 Percent of Children Live in Households with at Least One Addicted Parent

Research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows about one in eight children live in a household where at least one of their parents regularly abuses drugs and alcohol. Given what is known about the intergenerational nature of addiction, this means at least 12.5% of U.S. youths are at extremely high risk for developing addiction later in life simply as a result of their at-home living situation.


March 6, 2023

One Simple Step Could Help Prevent Unnecessary Overprescribing and Keep Patients Alive

A new study has shown that when a doctor is told that a patient of theirs survived a near-fatal overdose on opioids, the rate at which that doctor prescribes opioid pain relievers to his patients falls in the following year. The study also found that if the doctor’s patient died as a result of an opioid overdose, that doctor’s rate of prescribing falls even lower.


February 9, 2023

Parents: Getting Rid of Expired Pills Can Save Kids

A significant percentage of young people undergo their first exposure to mind-altering drugs by simply consuming leftover medications they found in the family medicine cabinet or elsewhere in the home. Because it is far easier to prevent someone from using drugs than treat addiction once the person is hooked, families should commit to creating substance-free homes.


January 5, 2023

Without Sufficient Drug Treatment of Addicts, Current Overdose Plateau Will Not Last

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest a slight leveling-out in overdose deaths across the U.S. This has led some to believe the worst of the addiction epidemic has passed. Unfortunately, no leveling-out or even a downturn in overdoses will become stable and lasting if effective treatment options are not made available to the 23 million addicts at constant risk of an overdose.


December 27, 2022

Clandestine Labs in the U.S.? Illicit Fentanyl No Longer Just a Transnational Trafficking Problem

When illicit fentanyl production first became a serious problem in the United States, it was almost entirely a trafficking problem, with the fentanyl being made in Mexico and China and then trafficked to the U.S. But according to recent DEA reports, many clandestine labs have cropped up on U.S. soil, labs which are making the potent synthetic opioid and distributing it locally, especially in the form of counterfeit pills.


December 26, 2022

Most Americans are Open to Non-Opioid Pain Relief Post-Surgery

A survey published by Orlando Health showed that 68% of Americans would be willing to try alternatives to opioids for post-surgery pain. Given that opioid prescriptions are one of the most common ways Americans become addicted to drugs, these findings suggest medical institutions should put in more effort to make alternatives to pain relief available to patients.


December 22, 2022

As the Holidays Approach, Learning the Signs of Addiction Could Save a Life

With the holidays around the corner, people should familiarize themselves with the signs of substance abuse. Most Americans will spend quality time with family members in the coming weeks, potentially with loved ones they don’t see often. Given those unique circumstances, the holidays present an opportune moment to intervene with loved ones if they misuse drugs and alcohol. But first, people must be educated on the signs and symptoms of substance abuse.


November 24, 2022

Small Group of Doctors are Responsible for a Majority of Opioid Prescriptions

Even as opioid prescribing rates decline, a few thousand doctors are still responsible for the significant overprescribing of opioids to the broader public. With that in mind, the American people will not overcome the opioid epidemic until all doctors and prescribers agree to adopt more conservative, cautious prescribing guidelines as outlined by the CDC.


November 23, 2022

Prevention Does not Work Without Treatment, the Story of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) rose to prominence in the early-2000s as a watchdog system for curtailing overprescribing and the diversion of pharmaceuticals into the hands of addicts, not patients. Twenty years later, research shows PDMPs only work when drug rehab is included for those addicted. When rehab is not included alongside PDMPs, addicts seek hard street drugs, and overdoses follow.


November 18, 2022

Animal Tranquilizer Xylazine Linked to Overdose Deaths in Michigan

Since 2019, there have been 171 verified overdoses in Michigan that were traced back to a non-opioid animal tranquilizer called xylazine. That number is likely an undercount, but it is the most recent number Michigan toxicologists have published. Often without addicts knowing, drug dealers lace the tranquilizer into other drugs to create an extended high. Unfortunately, combining xylazine with other drugs increases users' risk for an overdose.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

November 17, 2022

Why Drug Prevention Is So Important

Decades of scientific efforts have sought to understand why some people become addicted to drugs and others do not. One research paper suggests the issue is far simpler than what many believed. According to the data, anyone and everyone are at risk for drug and alcohol addiction, hence the importance of educating the public about this critical health risk.


November 15, 2022

It’s in the Water, Opioid Use so Widespread that Tests Now Detect Trace Opioids in Water Supply

From Appalachian wastewater to the Puget Sound, California groundwater to rivers and streams, scientists across the nation have begun detecting trace elements of opioids in water supplies. The presence of opioids in the water could harm individuals who do not want to have any opioids in their bodies and who have a right not to have their bodies influenced by such chemicals. Further, the findings have alarming implications for wildlife if fish, mussels, and other marine life now must evolve to adjust to increased levels of opioid chemicals in the water.


November 3, 2022

Addiction Treatment Should Focus on Individuals, Not Drugs of Choice

A recent study found that 75% of people who come forward and seek addiction treatment are hooked on more than one drug at the time of entry into a treatment facility. Given that most addicts use more than one drug, an effective public health response may be to shift away from focusing on the types of drugs being used and instead focus on the people using them.


November 1, 2022

Young People at Potentially Highest Risk Ever for Drug Abuse Harm

A recent study has shown that since 2020, youth harm from drug abuse has skyrocketed. Further, this harm has occurred in a very peculiar way. While overall drug use rates have mostly stayed the same for young adult demographics, the harm from drug use (accidents, injuries, overdoses, and fatalities) has skyrocketed. Primarily because of the types of drugs being used, substance abuse is now far more dangerous for young people than it used to be.


October 30, 2022

The Shocking Role of Methamphetamine in Rural Overdose Deaths

New research has chronicled the alarming rise in methamphetamine-related deaths over the last few years. In the findings, analysts were able to identify where in the U.S., meth-related deaths have been occurring the most. The overwhelming majority of them are happening in rural counties across America. So what has caused the spike in rural methamphetamine overdoses?


October 27, 2022

New Study Shows LSD Experimentation More than Quadrupled Among Young Adults from 2002 to 2019

Newly published research into youth drug use trends indicates an alarming, unpredicted surge in hallucinogen use. Those who are now hooked will need help getting off such drugs. Further, understanding what prompted the surge will be crucial in preventing more young people from experimenting with mind-altering drugs.


August 18, 2022

Sober Does Not Mean Boring

Boredom is a dangerous condition for a person determined to stay sober. It's smart for anyone in recovery to know the best ways to prevent themselves from feeling bored. The payoff is not only sobriety but often includes achievement of personal goals, attainment of greater skills, and the chance to help others.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

August 16, 2022

Change Your Environment, A Critical Strategy in Overcoming Addiction

It’s been understood for some time that individuals newly in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction should not re-enter the same environments they were in when they were abusing substances. While this has always been a common sense view, there is new scientific research to provide evidence-based confirmation for why recovering addicts must seek new environments.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

July 28, 2022

Simple Rule Change Could Expand Efficacy of Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a set of prescribing guidelines, written in a way to encourage doctors to curb excessive opioid prescribing. The guidelines were somewhat effective, and overall prescribing trends did recede. However, recent data shows that another small but critical change to the prescribing guidelines could significantly reduce opioid addiction and overdose in the United States.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

July 26, 2022

An Occasional Party with Lots of Alcohol? Still Harmful, New Study Shows

Most Americans don’t see any harm in binge drinking occasionally, maybe just a couple of weekends a year. However, this behavior is quite harmful. A new study shows that people who binge drink at all, even if just once every few months or on holidays, are at several times more risk of developing alcohol addiction than those who do not binge drink at all.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

July 21, 2022

The Dangerous Effects of Speedballing

Speedballing is not a new trend, but it is a trend that is changing and becoming more dangerous. Unfortunately, as more people seek to mix stimulant drugs with opioids or “speedball,” more people will die from overdoses caused by such lethal cocktails. And with the ever-expanding addition of fentanyl into the drug supply, addicts are at even greater risk.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

June 29, 2022

Inhalants Commonly Abused in Growing Trend

Inhalants refer to a broad range of household and industrial chemicals whose volatile vapors or pressurized gases cause a mind-altering effect when breathed through the nose or mouth. Such vapors produce intoxication in a manner not intended by the manufacturer. In fact, many of these substances are actually poisonous to inhale, and they carry warning labels that specifically caution people not to inhale them.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

June 23, 2022

What Are Poppers?

It’s important to monitor new drug trends as they arise, as every trend brings new risks to addicts. While the usage of “poppers” is not new, this drug trend is making a bold comeback, posing risks to a new generation of drug users.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

June 23, 2022

Hallucinogens Show Potentially Deadly Rise in Use

If a drug has the potential to create mind-altering effects in those who use it, then that drug has the potential to cause harm. And while hallucinogenic drugs do not cause the high overdose rates or critical public health crises associated with other narcotics, such substances are still physically and mentally debilitating and overall quite harmful. This article aims to cover basic trends in usage and the statistics surrounding hallucinogen abuse in the United States.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

June 2, 2022

Treating Addiction Provides Lasting Economic Benefits

Though it is not often mentioned by the media, there is a broader economic cost to the national public health emergency of drug and alcohol addiction. Addiction is expensive, not just for addicts, but for all Americans. Conversely, solving America’s addiction epidemic and returning millions of recovering addicts to the workforce would benefit the economy.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

May 24, 2022

Marijuana Use Linked to Consequences in Young Users

A common narrative heard circulating amongst the proponents of cannabis legalization is that cannabis is not dangerous and therefore should be legal. This narrative is not just misleading; it’s largely untrue. As cannabis research continues, scientists and researchers are finding many dangerous health complications intimately connected to cannabis.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

May 11, 2022

No Amount of Alcohol Consumption Is Good For You

A recent study seems to dispel the age-old belief that just a little bit of alcohol has heart health benefits. Contrary to that belief, rather than being beneficial, any alleged “benefits” once observed in people who drank alcohol in moderation were likely caused by other factors, like an active lifestyle. Alcohol consumption, even when done in moderation, poses a severe risk of harming one’s health, not benefiting it.


May 10, 2022

Alcohol’s Assault on the Body

The consumption of alcohol is so ingrained in many cultures that it is accepted without question. What may go unnoticed is the millions of deaths it causes every year around the world. The deadly character of alcohol should be understood by everyone.


May 3, 2022

Missteps in Oregon Decriminalization Illustrate Need for Additional Addiction Treatment Resources

In 2020, Oregon passed decriminalization legislation to reduce the harmful effects of the addiction-to-prison pipeline and the failed war on drugs. However, new data shows that the implementation of the state’s program fell short of properly incentivizing addicts to seek treatment. The result was a less effective plan than intended and addicts continuing to use drugs.


May 2, 2022

Further Consequences of Drug Addiction Emerge

Researchers at the University of New England found that the rate of opioid-related cardiac arrests has risen dramatically and is now on par with the rate of cardiac arrest from other causes. The research sheds light on yet another major health risk connected to opioid addiction, i.e., the risk for suffering a potentially fatal heart complication.


April 21, 2022

What Are Hallucinogens and Psychedelics?

Depicted in movies and popular music and pop culture as a way to “Expand Your Mind”, hallucinogens have been circulating in modern society for over fifty years and doing a lot of damage along the way. Some of the names are, shrooms, angel dust, hell’s bells, and acid. Acid, also known as LSD, is the granddaddy of these drugs in terms of strength and unpredictability.

Claire Pinelli LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP

April 21, 2022

Emerging Opioid Threat From New Synthetic Drug

Nitazenes are a new type of opioid drug said to be 800 times more potent than morphine and 40 times more potent than fentanyl. This drug has not yet been approved for human consumption in the U.S., and it is not FDA approved. But could nitazenes become the next “super opioid” to hit the streets?


March 16, 2022

What Exactly Is Khat?

The drug is not too common in the U.S. (although that is difficult to determine because the U.S. does not record statistics on khat usage). However, about 20 million people worldwide use khat for its stimulant-like and mind-altering properties.