Archives for Addictive Drugs

Addiction

For Former Addicts, Grief and Loss Can Haunt the Holidays


The holidays are a time to get together with loved ones, to reminisce about old times, and to anticipate the future — all things designed to bring joy. But if you have addiction in your past, these activities carry the potential to prompt different feelings: grief and loss.

That’s because addiction leaves so much damage in its wake, and the nostalgia and sentiment of the holidays seems to shine a spotlight on...
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Addiction

The Intersection of Sex, Drugs and Impulsivity


Humans are determined reward-seekers. It’s a built-in motivation that keeps us on the hunt for food, water, sex and nurturing — things that keep us alive and thriving.

We also universally prefer those rewards to come sooner rather than later. In some people, however, that preference is more pronounced than in others. And we have a word for it: impulsivity.

In large part, impulsivity is a reward deficiency — a tendency to value immediate gratification over future rewards,...
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Addictive Drugs

Using Medicine to Treat Alcoholism: Where We Are, Where We’re Going

A growing list of pharmacological options gives addiction recovery a boost
For as long as people have been drinking alcohol, there have attempts to use medicines to help them stop. Today, physicians who specialize in addiction treatment (American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Association of Addiction Psychiatry) use a variety of pharmacological approaches to help patients control their alcohol use, and the list of possibilities is growing rapidly. When used along with social support and psychological and...
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Addiction

Boomers: 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Light That Joint

If you were a teen in the 1960s or ’70s, odds are good that you know your way around marijuana, even if you didn’t inhale. So who can blame you for being intrigued now that the drug is being sold in a way once unimaginable - legally. Oregon and Alaska just approved recreational sales, and in Washington State and Colorado, anyone over 21 can already stroll into a retail pot shop and buy marijuana buds and cannabis-infused cookies, tinctures and sodas. A medical marijuana card gets you access to the same in close to half the states. And because the majority of us now back legalization, polls show, availability of the drug can only be expected to increase.
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Addictive Drugs

Painkillers for Pregnant Women: What We Don’t Know Might Hurt Us

Pregnant women are often scrupulous about what they put in their bodies, avoiding alcohol, caffeine, processed meats and mercury-laced fish in an effort to protect their developing child. But if they go to their doctor for pain, about one in five will leave with a prescription for a narcotic painkiller such as codeine, hydrocodone or oxycodone, according to a recent study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. That’s a record number. What’s wrong with this picture? Maybe nothing. Maybe a lot. The problem is we just don’t know for sure.
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Addictive Drugs

Three Unlikely Groups Hit Hard by the Prescription Drug Epidemic

The face of drug addiction has changed dramatically in the past decade. Gone are the days when the “typical” drug addict was a junkie shooting heroin on the street. The widespread abuse of prescription drugs, which are easily accessible and presumed “safe,” has meant that addiction is plaguing some unexpected populations. Three unsuspecting groups have been hit particularly hard: #1 Seniors A new generation of addicts is making its way into drug rehab centers. Many Baby Boomers, who grew up in the 60s and 70s in a culture that romanticized drug abuse as consciousness-raising, are now retiring. Free from the responsibilities of work and raising children, some are using their extra time and money to return to the drugs of their youth or to experiment with newer drugs, including prescription medications.
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Addictive Drugs

FDA Prescription Drug Abuse Plan Hits – and Misses – the Mark

As awareness grows about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, the government is following through on its promise to address the “nation’s fastest-growing drug problem.” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently revealed its risk evaluation and mitigation strategy for extended-release and long-acting opioids to prevent misuse and abuse, starting with education for...
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Addictive Drugs

4 Failed Attempts to Crack Down on Prescription Drug Abuse (and Their Unintended Consequences)

Prescription drug abuse is finally showing signs of stabilizing. Some believe this gradual decline is the result of government efforts to crack down on the abuse of prescribed medications. At first glance, this may seem to be so. It appears that the war against prescription drugs is heating up but so far, all it has done is punish those who legitimately need medication and drive addicts to riskier drugs like heroin. The following examples suggest that, as a nation, we still do not have the right attitude about addiction that will enable us to develop effective treatments and policies: #1 Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Most states have a prescription drug monitoring program, a registry of every individual prescribed a controlled substance, which generates reports of suspicious behavior when a patient obtains prescriptions from multiple doctors or multiple pharmacies in a given month. These efforts, while well-intentioned, may deter doctors from prescribing medications for legitimate uses to treat people with chronic or severe pain. Fearful of a time-consuming investigation that could jeopardize their professional license and reputation, many doctors are no longer willing to prescribe painkillers even when there is clear medical necessity.
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Addictive Drugs

The Top 3 Designer Drugs You Need to Know About Before Your Child Tries Them

Teenagers are natural experimenters, but there are some drugs that put them at grave risk even if they try them just once. Although grisly media reports of psychotic episodes and gruesome acts of violence have made it difficult to differentiate horror from hysteria, in the case of “designer drugs” much of the hype is worth heeding. What Are ‘Designer’ Drugs? Chemists are always engineering new drugs, some of which are used to save lives by treating cancer and other illnesses; others are designed for less savory purposes, namely to get high. In this context, so-called “designer drugs” are concocted in underground labs to mimic the effects of controlled substances. Consumers of these specially designed drugs are typically youth in their teens to early thirties, who purchase them at raves, clubs, head shops and convenience stores, as well as online.
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