Archives for Addiction

Addiction

3 Things an Addiction Expert Wishes Every Parent Knew

Each day you can keep your child away from alcohol or other drugs, the better.

If there’s a common thread among the people we treat for addiction, it’s this — many started young. Multiple studies confirm it: The sooner a person experiments with drugs or alcohol, the more likely it is to become a problem for them.

For example, researchers have found that about 40% of those who started drinking at age 14 or...
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Addiction

Drugs and Alcohol: These Looks Can Kill

Drug and alcohol abuse do ugly things, not only to our insides but to our outsides. And the effects on our appearance can have the power to move us. Tell us that alcohol damages our liver and brain, and we nod. Tell us that it may make us fat, well, now you have our attention.

Call us vain or call us visual, too-tight pants can hit home more than all the dire medical warnings...
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Addiction

5 Truths About the Addict in Your Life

Most families have been touched by addiction. Many have been forever altered by it. And though most people are affected by it, few understand it. This is because addiction is not a logical disease. The selfishness, the repeated mistakes despite devastating consequences - none of it makes sense, not even to the person living it.

The recurring tumult - ER runs, bail requests, evictions - can lead the addict’s family members to make sweeping assumptions: “He doesn’t love me anymore.” “We’ve lost him forever.” While this may turn out to be true, it’s a story that is being written and the ending is far from certain. The hopelessness that sets in makes the entire family sick and makes it more difficult for the addict to seek the help they need.
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Addiction

Are Stressed Out Moms the New Prescription Pill Poppers?

One of the most fundamental components of a healthy childhood is a child’s attachment to their parents. But children whose moms struggle with prescription drug addiction get a less than idyllic start. They learn that Mommy’s too sick to drive or too tired to play. Or Mommy goes through long periods when she’s “just not herself.”

Growing up in a home where fighting and instability are the norm can be devastating for children. Studies show that children of addicts are more likely to be neglected, abused or placed in foster care. The
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Addiction

Addicts Will Always Find a Way to Get High

When the makers of OxyContin reformulated the drug to minimize abuse in 2010, the sudden unattractiveness of one of the most widely abused painkillers prompted a dramatic surge in heroin abuse. Onlookers expected OxyContin to lose its huge following, but few expected such a widespread shift to heroin. Yet studies show that’s exactly what happened.

From 2010 to 2012, researchers from Washington University and Nova Southeastern University surveyed over 2,500 people seeking treatment for opiate addiction at 150 treatment centers throughout the country. They further interviewed 103 people who filled out anonymous surveys in an effort to assess how their drug habits had changed over time.
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Addiction

Why Drug Addicts Will Always Choose Drugs Over Love

A relationship with an active drug addict is inherently dysfunctional. They love you but then steal from you, lie at every turn and trick you into believing their lies. When they continue to use drugs even though their children are being neglected and the love of their life is threatening to leave, loved ones ask, “Why is he/she choosing drugs over me?” The natural, albeit faulty, conclusion is that the love is no longer there, or at least it isn’t strong enough to overcome addiction.

The Illusion of Choice

Although understandable, the question misinterprets the nature of addiction. In truth, the addict isn’t choosing anything. Their behavior is reflexive and automatic, based on a physical and psychological need for a substance. Drugs flood the brain with dopamine, training the brain to rely on the relief they provide and to assign greater value to drugs than other things needed for happiness and survival. Over time, addiction changes the chemistry and function of the brain, robbing the user of control and thus taking away the possibility of choice.
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Addiction

6 Surprising Traits You May Have in Common with a Drug Addict

In this age of political correctness, even the most tolerant among us looks at criminals, homeless people, addicts and other “outsiders” with an air of consternation. It’s “them” versus “us,” and somehow it feels safer that way. But if you take a closer look behind the stigma, you may be surprised to find that you have more in common with a drug addict than...
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Addiction

The 4 Degrees of Drug Use

We all know someone who drinks every night and swears they can stop any time they want. Is it just an excuse, or is the person truly in control of their drug use? Not everyone who uses drugs or alcohol needs rehab; at the same time, not everyone who needs treatment recognizes the seriousness of their problem. How can you differentiate controlled, moderate use from out-of-control drug use?

Here are four degrees of drug use and what to do if you or someone you know falls into each:

#1 Experimentation

People experiment with drugs for all kinds of reasons. Some are curious about a particular drug’s effects, others are pressured by someone else. Most people who experiment with drugs or alcohol do not become addicted. Still, just one use can cause harm (especially if the individual makes poor decisions such as drinking and driving) and, in someone who is predisposed to addiction, can set in motion a pattern of drug abuse and dependency.
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