Alcohol Abuse

The Not-So-Funny Side of YouTube Drinking Videos

If a person knew nothing about alcohol and turned to YouTube for enlightenment, this is what they’d likely come away with: Drinking is something young and attractive people do, it has little long-term downside beyond a hangover, and it’s hilarious.

That’s the conclusion of a University of Pittsburgh study that examined how alcohol is portrayed on the 70 most popular YouTube videos that depict intoxication. These...
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Mental Health

3 Ways to Guard Against Abusive Love

One of the most heartbreaking things about abusive relationships is how much they can look like love in the beginning to their victims. They are often swept off their feet, passionately courted, and made to feel more special than they have ever felt before.

Then comes the crash: The desire to be near becomes a desire to control; talk of love becomes suspicion, sarcasm and hostility; behavior seems aimed at demeaning rather than revering. And to this emotional abuse is often added physical abuse as well.
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Alcohol Abuse

DUI: A Sign of Addiction?

If you have ever been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), or in some jurisdictions driving while intoxicated (DWI), you quickly learned the legal and financial consequences of driving while impaired, but you may have been left wondering what the DUI means for your personal well-being. Did you make a one-time mistake, or could a DUI be a sign of a bigger problem?

The question, to a degree, will be decided...
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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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Dispelling Myths About Naltrexone: Is It Right for You?

Naltrexone has been around for decades as a treatment for those struggling with opioid or alcohol dependence, first in pill form and now as a once-a-month injection marketed under the name Vivitrol.

Despite its long-term presence on the scene, confusion about naltrexone’s efficacy and appropriateness abound. Here’s a look at a few myths surrounding this increasingly popular addiction medication to help you determine if it might be right for you:

Myth 1: It’s not that effective.

Historically, it has been hard to judge how well naltrexone worked because patients needed to take it every day. If they missed even a few doses, its benefit was lost. It is now clear that when the pills are taken as directed or the intramuscular injections are received monthly, naltrexone offers significant relief for many who struggle with addictions to alcohol or opioids.
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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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Obamacare’s First Act: Why I’m Optimistic

The dust has begun to settle ever so slightly on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known popularly as Obamacare, giving us a glimpse at what might be and what has already begun to change in terms of helping some of the most vulnerable among us - people struggling with addictions and mental illness.

As someone who works directly with this population, I am optimistic. It’s still early in the process, but the ACA’s mandated health coverage is having important practical and philosophical effects. In practical terms, more people are getting on the insurance rolls; philosophically, there’s increased recognition that those dealing with mental health issues or substance abuse need and deserve help, and that it benefits all of us when they get it.
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