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Teen’s Death at Internet Addiction Rehab

What This Teen’s Death Tells Us About the State of Rehab in Asia

The tragic and brutal death of a Chinese teen at an internet addiction treatment ‘boot camp’ has rekindled a growing sense of outrage at how addiction is treated at some rehabs in Asia. As headlines like this continue to emerge, how can parents separate the good operators from the bad?

Teen’s Death at Internet Addiction Rehab

A Chinese teenager has died after spending a mere 48 hours at an internet addiction treatment centre in China’s Anhui province. This is one of a string of shocking incidents related to ‘boot camp’ rehab centres and has ignited fury across the nation regarding what many consider to be unacceptably harsh practices at these centres.

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Is Japan’s Love for Pachinko Fuelling Gambling Addiction?

Japan’s love of pachinko is no secret, but the role it plays in fuelling gambling addiction is often overlooked. As the country prepares to legalise casinos, many Japanese people are asking whether a permissive stance on gambling is really what the country needs.

Pachinko machines have become a fixture of modern-day Japanese society. Similar to pinball, pachinko is a self-contained, arcade-style game that sees players firing little silver balls through a gauntlet of moving obstacles, flashing lights and digital displays. But unlike pinball, pachinko often rewards players in cash. Read More

The 5 Most Addictive Foods, and Why We Crave Them

Scientists recently identified the most addictive foods in the world. Here we look at the five most addictive, and just why we want to eat them so much.

Have you ever wondered why the foods you know are bad for you are the most tempting? Why does that slice of pizza look better than that salad, or why do you find yourself always ordering the burger instead of the healthier options on the menu? Read More

The 5 Best Sober Cities in Asia

Relocating can vastly improve your chances of making a full and successful recovery from drug or alcohol dependence. If you’re looking for a fresh start, here are five of the best sober cities in Asia.

Changing location while in recovery, or “pulling a geographic” as it is often known, is a hot topic among addiction counsellors and recovering addicts. While many advise against it in the early stages of recovery, relocating has helped many stay free of drugs and alcohol. Read More

6 Best Meditation Apps Reviewed

Mindfulness practice is hugely beneficial to recovery – meditation should be a part of any comprehensive treatment plan.  Don’t know where to start?  These six apps have you covered.

Mindfulness meditation offers the following benefits to people recovering from addiction:

  • Reduced stress
  • Strengthened immune system function
  • Improved, balanced energy levels
  • Aids in flushing out toxins

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Study: Early Intervention Drastically Reduces Risk of Young People Injecting Drugs

While intravenous drugs use is on the rise among teens and young adults, a new study has found that a supportive environment and early treatment can significantly reduce the risk of young people injecting drugs.

Once someone starts injecting drugs intravenously, what may have begun as experimentation or casual use turns into something much more serious. Not only does it signal the user’s need for a more intense high, it opens a whole new range of risks, including increased risk of overdose and exposure to HIV, hepatitis and other potentially fatal diseases.

Rising Rates of Intravenous Drug Use Among Youth

Watching a teenager or young adult turn to intravenous drug use is a nightmare for family and friends, but it’s a situation more and more people are facing. There’s strong evidence that more people are injecting drugs at an earlier age. In 2009, more than a quarter of people admitted to hospital for injection drug-related issues in the U.S. were aged 18-25, up dramatically from 10 years earlier. Young people are significantly more susceptible to addiction than older people, so getting drug addiction treatment early can significantly reduce the chances of them turning to IV drug use.

The importance of early intervention cannot be overstated. Statistical evidence in the U.S. shows many young people begin taking drugs as early as 12-14 years old. The Treatment Episode Data Set reveals that the average age of an adolescent’s first experience with heroin is 14.8 years old, but average for admission to a treatment facility is 16.3 years. In short, the average teen heroin user goes 18 months without receiving any treatment whatsoever.

Barriers to Drug Addiction Treatment

A recent study in Canada found that young drug users (aged 14-26) are twice as likely to start injecting drugs if they are unable to access treatment. The study, which was carried out over a 10-year period in Vancouver, found 21 percent of participants were unable to access addiction treatment, with long waiting lists and logistical issues the chief obstacles.

While this study was specific to Canada, it’s safe to say that the barriers to treatment experienced by these young people is reflected worldwide. Very often, health systems don’t have the resources to give young drug users the treatment they need, with intervention and support from family and friends often the best chance of getting them into rehab.

Heroin 3

Signs of Drug Use

Catching drug use early and getting the proper treatment is key to reducing the risks of intravenous drug use among young people. And while the warning signs vary between the most commonly injected drugs — heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine — there are common signs you can look out for:

Behavioral Changes

Be aware of any changes in behavior or mannerisms. While teenagers are naturally predisposed to mood swings, teens who are abusing drugs will often isolate themselves from their family almost completely. Be on the look out also for aggressive behavior, irritability, lethargy and slurring of speech.

Drug Paraphernalia

Young drug users will often smoke or “chase” drugs before moving onto intravenous use. Being aware of associated paraphernalia such as pipes, tubes or burnt tinfoil can help you catch the problem early.


The drugs that lead to injecting are highly addictive with most teens unable to finance their habit should they become dependent. If you suspect a teen in your home may have developed a drug problem, be on the lookout for theft of cash and valuables around the home.


Secretive behavior is often a tell-tale sign that a teen or young person is using drugs. They may suddenly start lying to cover their tracks or be vague about who they are associating with.

Physical Signs

There are also a number of tell-tale physical signs that may indicate drug use. These include sudden weight loss or gain, poor hygiene, shakes or tremors, red eyes, and dilated or pin-point pupils.

Confronting a Young Person About Their Drug Use

One of the greatest challenges faced by family and loved ones of a young person who is abusing drugs is facing the issue head-on.  While there may be some fear and mistrust on both sides, the importance of clear, open and positive communication cannot be overstated.

How you will approach the problem will depend very much on your relationship with the person who is at risk. Helping a friend or partner will, of course, be very different to helping a teenage son or daughter who is in danger of injecting drugs. Whatever your relationship, helping them get the right treatment and supporting them in recovery can drastically reduce the risk of intravenous drug use and the associated dangers.

Getting a young person into rehab does not only significantly reduce the chance of them injecting drugs, it provides the treatment they need to deal with dependencies that will be much more difficult to treat in later life.

Treatment programs tailored towards young people give them the very best chance of a complete and successful recovery through a holistic approach using the latest methods from medicine, counselling and peer involvement. Very often a few weeks in rehab can nip a potentially life-threatening addiction in the bud, helping young people go on to be productive and responsible members of society.

The teenage years and young adulthood can be a trying time and our loved ones will inevitably make some poor decisions as they find their place in the world. Supporting them through these turbulent times and helping them get the treatment they need can truly change their lives for the better.

‘Positive Addiction’ Campaign Takes on Youth Drug Addiction in Meghalaya

New statistics from India Drugs & AIDS Care show that the number of drug users in India’s Meghalaya State is dramatically on the rise, especially among youth.

The number of drug users in the region increased 33-fold within the past decade, from 556 in 1999 to a whopping 20,000 today.  Many of these people are youth who are in need of drug addiction treatment; some as young as 12 years old.

Jowai’s Anti-Narcotics Cell has started their own Positive Addiction Campaign, which aims to prevent drug abuse and addiction among youth through positive activities like sporting events and community barbeques.

Read the full article here: Meghalaya Is Turning ‘Addiction Positive’ To Tackle Rising Drug Abuse Among Youth.