Addiction

Meditation Improves Brain Function

Meditation Improves Brain Function

There is a great deal of evidence that meditation, in particular mindfulness meditation, improves the brain, and the research is teaching us a lot about how and why that happens.

Let’s look at some of the research. In one recent study:

“…the researchers...
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Addiction

The Film You Don’t Want to Miss: “Prescription Thugs” at the Tribeca Film Festival

The Film You Don’t Want to Miss: “Prescription Thugs” at the Tribeca Film Festival

This weekend is the start of the Tribeca Film Festival. At the festival, the documentary film, “Prescription Thugs,” will be screened. I am honored to be featured in this film and to help educate the public about the grave danger that is posed by the abuse of prescription medications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions. The CDC states:

Since 1999,...
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Addiction

Will Love Conquer Addiction?

Will Love Conquer Addiction?

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen it – an article suggesting that it is love that addicts need and lack of love and connection that causes addiction. The case made seems compelling.

There are some things we know to be true. We know, for example, that addiction is not just a biochemical process. There are famous studies and heaps of anecdotal evidence that show us that some people can use like fiends for a...
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Addiction

Changing Our Perspectives on Mental Illness and Mental Health

Changing Our Perspectives on Mental Illness and Mental Health
The First Lady recently spoke at the launch of The Campaign to Change Direction, “a nation-wide effort to raise awareness around mental health in America.” This effort, sponsored in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is “designed to change the story of mental health across the nation by urging all Americans to learn the five signs that someone might be in distress.”
Shame of having...
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Addiction

How OxyContin Was Allowed to Kill so Many

How OxyContin Was Allowed to Kill so Many

In a well-written article in The Week, reprinted from the Pacific Standard, Mike Mariani outlines how OxyContin, which was allegedly known to be addictive by its manufacturers, was pawned off on the public as a safe and effective, and decidedly non-addictive, painkiller. Now, the State of Kentucky has brought civil action against Purdue Pharmaceuticals and while increasing use of OxyContin may be a thing of the past, America’s addiction to opioids is not.

As an addiction...
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Addiction

Is there a Connection between Intelligence, Creativity and Mental Illness?

Is there a Connection between Intelligence, Creativity and Mental Illness?

Plagued by mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar polar disorder, and schizophrenia, are a host of artists, writers and famous people throughout history. In fact, many times the eccentric tendencies of genius are associated with mental illness. t

An article in Medical Daily titled “Why Smarter People Are More Likely o Be Mentally Ill” claims over thirty studies have documented the connection, concluding:

“Affecting some percent of...
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Addiction

Understanding Why You Can’t Get to Sleep

Understanding Why You Can’t Get to Sleep

Everyone has an occasional bad night’s sleep, but some people struggle more than others do, often for a variety of reasons. Scientists tell us that stress or trauma are a frequent cause, but depression, bad habits before bedtime and even being too tired to sleep can prevent the brain from normal rest. Unfortunately, this can lead many people to begin using sleeping aids, which can be dangerous and are quite addictive.

A study led by Kai-Florian Storch, PhD,...
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Addiction

The Teenage Brain on Drugs

The Teenage Brain on Drugs

One way to look at addiction is to consider it a form of learning, a type of learning that is extremely effective in its ability to affect the adolescent brain, report researchers working under an NIH grant. The maturation process of the brain may cause teens and young adults to become addicted faster than older adults, because the impulse control centers of the brain are not fully developed in the younger cohort.

Drugs not only interfere with the normal processing...
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