Tag Archives: Drug Addiction

The Five Most Unrealistic Drug Portrayals in Movies

Some Hollywood directors, such as Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) and Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) go to great lengths to portray drug addiction and substance abuse in as realistic manner as possible in their films. They capture every grueling aspect of addiction -from the euphoric rush of the drug to the terrifying crashes that inevitably follow.

But not every moviemaker is as concerned with realism. Take for example the following movies, each of which portrays drug use about as realistically as Heather Locklear playing a nuclear physicist.

5. Midnight Cowboy.

Yes, the movie is the only X-Rated film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, but there’s something about Dustin Hoffman’s fatal tangle with drug addiction that is less “I’m a methadone addict” and more “I’m a method actor.” Now Jon Voight as a gay hustler cowboy? That we believe.

4. Traffic.

OK, some people are going to tell you that this epic Academy Award winner is one of the most realistic portrayals of drug use ever put on celluloid, but let’s stop and think about this for a minute. An upper-class housewife sees her husband go to jail for trafficking and three days later she just takes a nice drive down to Mexico and sets up her own drug deal with a ruthless cartel? The kid from That 70’s Show buys his drugs in inner-city Baltimore’s worst housing project? Michael Douglas is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones? What? That last one is real? Oh.

3. Scarface.

Al Pacino’s so-called Cuban accent wasn’t the only thing played over the top in this Brian De Palma epic tale of money, violence and powder. The cocaine scenes inside Tony Montana’s house are played to the hilt, as the kingpin snorts from giant mountains of what must have been the most expensive baby powder ever ordered to the set of a Hollywood production.

2. Basketball Diaries.

Nobody has ever accused Leonardo Di Caprio of coming off as too rough around the edges. But what he does with the seriously gritty source material of Jim Carroll’s memoir about heroin addiction in the early 1970’s is just plain wrong. It’s so hard to believe that Leo ever struggles with anything that it takes away the power of what should have been a great film. Don’t believe it? Check out the wind blowing through the A-lister’s hair in the opening of the trailer. Gritty indeed.

1. Reefer Madness.

The unintentionally hilarious drug movie by which all others are judged. Reefer Madness may have been released over half-a-century ago, but after all these years it

How Much Does Drug Rehab Cost

While you obviously can’t put a price on recovery from drug addiction, the fact is that drug rehab costs money. In some cases, it can cost quite a bit of money. While more and more insurance carriers and employers are covering the cost of treatment, it is still important to know what benefits you are entitled to before registering and committing to payment.

The following is a rough estimate of some drug rehab costs. Of course, like many services, there is a wide range of costs associated with treatment, but this list should serve as a base of what cost could be for you.

The Cost of Outpatient Drug Rehab

Writing a checkOutpatient treatment is generally best for patients whose addiction is less severe or who have not been treated for an addiction in the past. Within outpatient treatment, there is a wide range of services available ranging from intensive therapy to basic drug education.[i] Programs may also range in duration; however, 30 days is a common time frame for outpatient care. All these factors and more affect the cost of treatment, but outpatient drug rehab programs generally cost between $3,000 and$12,000. While that is a fairly large price range, there are several factors which help determine the cost including the following:

  • Length of stay
  • Geographic area (New York, LA and other major urban areas tend to run higher)
  • The types and number of programs included in the plan

Outpatient rehab offers many benefits for patients, particularly the flexibility to maintain family and even employment responsibilities. Patients often can continue to stay at their own homes at nighttime and may even be able to continue working a normal schedule.[ii] By being able to continue working for a paycheck and avoiding addition costs like childcare of home upkeep while way, outpatient treatment can be even more cost effective.

The Cost of Residential Drug Rehab

Residential treatment—also called inpatient treatment—is often a much more intensive form of addiction treatment. Those who choose residential drug rehab choose to leave their normal setting and lifestyle to focus solely on addiction recovery. Inpatient facilities offer round-the-clock care for patients in their programs.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that residential addiction treatment costs more than outpatient care. Simply put, these facilities have more overhead—including staff, cuisine, etc.—and therefore cost more. The average cost of residential rehab is between $7,500 and $35,000 for a 30-day stay.  However, many patients who need inpatient treatment will need to stay more than 30 days—generally at least 60 to 90 days. The higher of these prices tend to be for luxury drug rehab facilities located in scenic locales such as Malibu, California and Park City, Utah.

Although inpatient recovery is more expensive, there are great benefits to residential rehab. Because patients can devote more time and attention to recovery, they learn more skills and adaptations for life without drugs. Residential care also allows more time for individualized therapy and counseling so that participants can work with trained counselors to uncover personal struggles that led to addiction. Inpatient care also often specializes in preparing patients for re-entry into a world full of past triggers and temptations and offers follow-up programs for this time following re-entry.[iii]

Finding the Right Treatment

There is a price to be paid for drug rehab, but the benefits can be invaluable. The price that you will likely pay for continuing in addiction—loss of job, relationships, freedom and even life—will be much higher than the money dedicated to recovery. Finding a drug rehab program that meets your needs can help you find sobriety and learn how to master the tools that will help you live a happy, fulfilling life.

Please call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline today to speak with an admissions coordinators who can answer all your questions concerning rehab, including the cost. We can check your insurance coverage too in order to see what financial help is available to you. Please call now.

[i] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states/types-treatment-programs

[ii] https://psychcentral.com/lib/differences-between-outpatient-and-inpatient-treatment-programs/

[iii] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction

8 Dangerous Side Effects of Cocaine Addiction You Might Not Know

Despite all the research that speaks to the contrary, there are still a large number of people who are unaware of the many potential dangers of cocaine addiction. Cocaine is a stimulant that changes the pathways inside the brain and speeds up the body. The user feels happy, energetic and excited. Later, users often feel angry, nervous and afraid.

In 2013, cocaine accounted for almost 6 percent of all admissions to drug abuse treatment programs. The majority of individuals (68 percent in 2013) who seek treatment for cocaine use smoke crack.1 Users often take cocaine in binges. This happens when cocaine is repeatedly used and at increasingly higher doses. With regular drug use, tolerance may develop. When this happens, the individual takes higher doses or uses cocaine more frequently to produce the same level of pleasure and relief from the drug.

While many people know the “basic” symptoms and side effects of this addictive stimulant, such as talkativeness and nosebleeds, there are plenty of other reasons why those who are using this drug need to go to cocaine rehab as soon as possible.

Here are eight dangerous side effects of cocaine abuse.

  • 1. Irritability. Once the stimulant effects of cocaine begin to wear off, the user starts to feel quite irritable and agitated.
  • 2. No sense of smell. Cocaine damages the nasal membranes and surrounding areas which can cause the individual to lose their sense of smell entirely
  • 3. Prenatal and post-natal problems. Cocaine has been found to cause premature birth, low birth weight and other related disorders.
  • 4. HIV and Hepatitis. Shooting cocaine using dirty needles can advance the spread of these deadly viruses.
  • 5. Lung disease. Smoking crack has been found to cause significant damage to the lungs.
  • 6. Bowel gangrene. Ingesting cocaine can also cause this painful internal condition.
  • 7. Decreased appetite. Individuals on long cocaine “benders” have been known to go days without eating.
  • 8. Sleeplessness. Even when not using the drug, many cocaine addicts report a restlessness that keeps them from sleeping through the night.2

Statistics show that over 200,000 Americans aged 12 or older have used cocaine in the last month.3 In many cases, drug abuse starts with marijuana and then moves to other drugs such as cocaine.

No matter if you struggle with cocaine abuse, marijuana abuse or some other form of drug, a drug rehab facility can help you. You need to break the cycle of drug addiction. If you see your loved one acting differently or demonstrating the side effects listed above, please seek help immediately.

If you need help for yourself, please call Michael’s House now at 760-548-4032. We are ready to serve you with the best quality care available. If you have insurance, please have that information ready when you call. We will gladly check to see what forms of treatment are covered by your insurance. Don’t delay, take this important step to get sober and rebuild your life.

Start the Journey Today!



1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-treatments-are-effective-cocaine-abusers How is cocaine addiction treated?

2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine What is cocaine?

3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends Nationwide Trends.

The pros and cons of Breaking Bad and its portrayal of crystal meth addiction and dealing

AMC’s hit show Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston as Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher with a mountain of bills, a pregnant wife, and a cancer diagnosis that says he has less than two years to live. In order to make ends meet, and breathe some excitement into his mundane life, he uses his chemistry knowledge to produce crystal meth.

Brian Cranston as Walter WhiteAs the story moves on, Walter finds himself engaged in gunplay, drug running and even murder. As Walter has success with meth production, he becomes a drug dealer who makes millions of dollars. Eventually, Walter becomes a drug kingpin who builds an empire.

The show pulls few punches and is extremely graphic in its subject matter. But how realistic is the portrayal of drug addiction—specifically crystal meth addiction—on Breaking Bad? Does the show glamorize the use and sale of the drug? Or does the show provide a proper deterrent for young people who are considering taking crystal meth?

The result is a mixture of both options, which leaves us to consider the pros and cons of the show.

Pros of Breaking Bad

  • A gritty portrayal of the crystal meth production business
  • A hard look at the desperation of those addicted to crystal meth
  • Does not create any “saints” among those involved in the crystal meth distribution process.
  • The show portrays the damage between relationships—specifically with family and friends—through drug abuse.

Cons of Breaking Bad

  • Excuses drug sales as a way of supporting one’s family
  • Does not spend nearly enough time dealing with the individual fall out of crystal meth use.
  • Portrays teens and kids at risk using dark comedy that could distract from the seriousness of their real-life counterparts situations.

It is important to remember that Breaking Bad is a television show, not a documentary. With some characters, their drug abuse leads to bad decisions. In many ways, death plays a large character in the show. One character even dies from heroin use. However, there is not any television show that will give you an accurate portrayal of drug abuse. We only see what the screenwriters want us to see. There are not editors or writers cleaning up what happens in real life. Drug abuse leads to pain and broken lives. While Breaking Bad shows this to an extent, it cannot reflect real life.

If you struggle with crystal meth addiction, you likely have started to see the physical side effects: weight loss, hallucinations, mouth problems, erratic behavior, sores on your skin, and lack of sleep. Don’t wait any longer to seek help. Drug addiction is a chronic disease like cardiovascular disease.[1]

Please contact us now at Michael’s House at 760-548-4032 to speak with an admissions coordinator. The professionals at Michael’s House can help you break the cycle of addiction. If you have insurance, please have that information available as we can check to see what forms of treatment are covered. Please take the first step so you can get the help you need today.

[1] https://archives.drugabuse.gov/content-types/publication/drug-abuse-addiction-one-americas-most-challenging-public-health-problems/addiction-chronic-disease Addiction is a Chronic Disease.

7 Surprising Facts About Drug Addiction in Iran

Iran plays a large role in discussions about U.S. national security, but most Americans know very little about the isolationist Middle-Eastern country. One surprising thing to many people about Iran is the depth and seriousness of the drug problem within its borders. The country’s Islamist theocracy takes a hard line toward drug use, handing down capital punishments to many drug traffickers.

Drugs in IranIran’s border with Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opium, contributes to its drug problem. Other factors making addiction rates worse are the country’s tough economic situation due to trade sanctions and high unemployment rates. There also is a limited number of treatment centers and people go without care because of the stigma associated with drug use. Estimates show 2 to 3 million of the country’s population suffers with addiction and eight to 10 people die every day due to drug use. The average age of a drug user in Iran is 14 to 16 years old and addiction affects people from every social class.[1]

The number of Iranians addicted to drugs, primarily heroin and methamphetamine, continues to rise. As a way to combat drug use, Iran now executes more people in the drug trade, with drug smugglers accounting for 9 out of every 10 executions. The harsh penalties show no sign of stopping the growing epidemic, however.[2]

  1. Iran currently has one of the world’s highest rates of drug addiction. The United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime reports the country has the world’s second-highest rate of opium addiction and the highest rate of heroin and opium addiction per member of the population.1
  1. Opium use is culturally acceptable due to a literary tradition of famous poets using opium and calling it an antidote to every disease.3
  1. The country’s health ministry provides little treatment, so private charities offer programs to treat methamphetamine and opiate addiction. Camps are set up to offer harm-reduction services and treatments not previously sanctioned by the government. They offer services such as clean needles, condoms, medical care and a place to sleep.[3]
  1. Methamphetamine use is rising in Iran; some people believe the stimulant helps them control their dependence on opioids; other people use it to treat depression or improve relationships.[4]
  1. Rates of HIV/AIDS infections continue to grow in Iran. Around half of cases are due to intravenous drug use; as a way to reduce infections the government now offers oral drug substitution and a new needle-exchange program.[5]
  1. Due to the fundamentalist nature of the government in Iran, there are very few drug rehab facilities, needle exchanges or education opportunities to teach young people about the dangers of drug use.
  1. Iran is a major route for the drugs that move out of Afghanistan and into Europe for mass consumption. This is due to the small numbers of borders that need to be crossed in order to transport heroin and other illegal substances.4

Getting Help for Addiction

Addicted individuals in the United States are lucky enough to have outstanding drug rehab programs at their disposal. If you, or someone you love has developed a substance use problem, contact an addiction treatment facility in your area.


[1]Dehghani, R. &Amiri, M. (2016). Addiction: A big challenge of social security in Iran. International Journal of Epidemiologic Research. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from http://ijer.skums.ac.ir/article_21148_0.html.

[2]Dareini, A.A. (2015). Drug abuse in Iran on rise despite executions, police raids. The Times of Israel. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from http://www.timesofisrael.com/drug-abuse-in-iran-on-rise-despite-executions-police-raids/.

[3] Dareini, A.A. (2015). Drug abuse in Iran on rise despite executions, police raids. The Times of Israel. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from http://www.timesofisrael.com/drug-abuse-in-iran-on-rise-despite-executions-police-raids/.

[4] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2016). World Drug Report 2016. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from https://www.unodc.org/doc/wdr2016/WORLD_DRUG_REPORT_2016_web.pdf.

[5] Dehghan, S.K. (2013). Iran sees dramatic rise in HIV infections. The Guardian. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/02/iran-rise-hiv.

5 World Countries with the Worst Drug Problems

Many Americans believe the United States is home to the world’s worst drug problems, but other countries actually experience higher rates of addiction. Making matters worse, many of these countries offer fewer opportunities for addiction treatment leaving many drug users homeless and hopeless.

News reports in America focus on the U.S. drug problem, primarily centering on the opioid epidemic. With around 3.8 million people misusing prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin,1 and opioid overdoses killing around 33,000 people in 20152, there are many reasons to take immediate action.

Understanding the impact of addiction in other countries and how worldwide drug trafficking increases supply is also important. Countries with more severe addiction rates have an impact on bordering countries and make drug trafficking more profitable.

The following are five countries with severe drug problems:


Addiction rates in Iran are high compared to other countries, with a greater percentage of the country’s population using drugs like opium (including heroin) and crystal meth. The country does offer some methods for addressing the problems: methadone clinics, needle-exchange programs and charities that work to fight addiction.

But a combination of high youth unemployment and inflation along with cheap heroin from Afghanistan makes fighting addiction there particularly challenging.3 The country’s fundamental Islamic presence fights addiction with severe penalties, including putting some people with drug crimes to death. Recent movements are at work to end capital punishments for nonviolent drug offenders.4


The world’s number one producer of opium, Afghanistan is the center of the opium trade and now refines some of its opium into heroin. One news report estimates that 1 million people in the country are addicted to drugs out of a population of 35 million. Decades of violence and war may drive some people to drug use, while officials with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime point to a huge increase in cheap heroin as one reason behind the epidemic.

World surveys show 90 percent of all heroin used in Europe traces back to this tiny mountainous country. In addition to trafficking, the country lacks the ability to offer adequate treatment. People of all ages, including young children are addicted to heroin, but the country has a limited number of treatment centers, around 95 with beds for around 2,300 people.5


Intravenous drug use has become a huge problem in Russia – especially among teenagers and young adults. Russian officials say there are 1 million heroin users, although other experts believe the number is closer to 2 million. The country’s drug use rose dramatically after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

Government officials do not support harm reduction strategies, such as methadone clinics or needle-exchange programs, favoring a punitive approach to drug use that incarcerates drug users. As a result, Russia has one of the fastest-growing HIV/AIDS epidemics on the planet. Rates of these diseases (caused by sharing dirty needles) rose faster in Russia than anywhere outside of sub-Saharan Africa.6

The United States

The United States is not a big producer or trafficker of drugs, but it is among the world’s top users of illicit substances. Americans are at the greatest risk of drug-related deaths and currently have the most people with prescription painkiller addictions in the world. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in America with 22.2 million current users, while 3.8 million people misuse prescription painkillers. In addition, more Americans now report using heroin than in years past, while cocaine use remains steady.1

Great Britain

More than 15 million people in Great Britain report trying drugs, and around 3 million take them on a regular basis. The number of people using drugs, according to 2014 figures, is up compared to 2008. Most people in Great Britain do not report a problem with drug use, but 1 million do report current problems. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug, followed by amphetamines and cocaine.7


England is one of the number one users of illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin in Europe. Social mores in the United Kingdom make experimenting with drugs at an early age more acceptable. Teenagers and even pre-teens experiment with highly dangerous drugs at an early age.

Getting Treatment

No matter a person’s country of origin, it’s important for him or her to get help for an addiction. If you are looking for a reputable treatment center for yourself or a loved one give us a call today at 760-548-4032. Our admissions staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have about treatment for substance use issues.

Start the Journey Today!


1. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015.pdf.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Injury Prevention & Control: Opioid Overdose. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/.

3. The Economist reporters. (2013). The Other Religion: Drug Addiciton in Iran. The Economist. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21583717-why-so-many-young-iranians-are-hooked-hard-drugs-other-religion.

4. Mostaghim, Ramin & Bengali, Shashank. (2016). Iran’s growing drug problem: ‘No walk of society is immune.’ Los Angeles Times. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-iran-drug-addiction-2016-story.html.

5. Qadiry, Tahir. (2013). Afghanistan, the drug addiction capital. BBC News Magazine. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22091005.

6. Oakford, Samuel. (2016). How Russia Became the New Global Leader in the War on Drugs. Vice News. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from https://news.vice.com/article/how-russia-became-the-new-global-leader-in-the-war-on-drugs-ungass.

7. Mann, Jim. (2014). British drugs survey 2014: drug use is rising in the UK – but we’re not addicted. The Guardian. Retrieved Mar. 8, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/05/-sp-drug-use-is-rising-in-the-uk-but-were-not-addicted.

Methamphetamine Ads Need to Make an Impact

Crystal meth

Research shows crystal meth use is still a problem in the United States, although adolescent use peaked in the late 1990s.[1] Around 0.9 million Americans are current users of methamphetamines, including the drug’s most dangerous form: crystal meth.[2]

With strong, addictive and long-term effects, methamphetamine use destroys the health and well being of young people around the world. While surveys indicate fewer people are using the drug, risk groups need good information about why crystal meth is so dangerous. In response to years of growing meth use, several anti-drug agencies developed graphic ad campaigns to educate people about the drug’s harmful effects. More people age 26 and older reported using meth (757,000) in the past month vs. people age 18 to 25 (128,000). Around 13,000 adolescents reported past month use.2

Messages about drug use must walk a fine line between offering accurate information and making a drug seem so dangerous that some people see the ad as ridiculous. The anti-meth advertising campaigns produced by the Montana Meth Project (MMP) in 2005 emphasize the unique physical effects of crystal meth, and its role in turning a healthy individual into a shadow of his former self. Other states and organizations modeled ad programs on the MMP, but later research shows there may be a better use for drug education dollars.

Risk factors for crystal meth use align in some ways with other risk factors for drug use. Researchers who study drug use note addiction is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Young people are in the greatest danger because their developing brains are more sensitive to addictive substances, making them more likely to get addicted and giving the substances a greater effect on them. Maturing brains make adolescents more likely to take risks and make less complete judgments.[3]

Studies on crystal meth find young men who are white or Native American are most likely to use the drug. People, who live in the west or south, have also used other drugs (marijuana, cocaine).


[1] Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2017). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2016: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Retrieved Mar. 7, 2017 from http://www.monitoringthefuture.org//pubs/monographs/mtf-overview2016.pdf.

[2] Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved Mar. 7, 2017 from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015.pdf.

[3] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide. Retrieved Mar. 12, 2017, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-adolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide