Addiction

9 Things We Must Do Now to Stop the Opioid Epidemic


Over the past few years, media reports have sounded the alarm that an opioid epidemic is sweeping the country, killing thousands of our citizens. And now new research findings reveal that the problem may be even more widespread than we had thought.

In 2015 it was reported that 33,000 people died from an opioid overdose — a historic high. However, researchers now tell us that number should have been even higher, as it is likely that thousands...
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Addiction

Profile of a Drug Overdose Victim


When you think of a drug overdose victim, chances are you think of someone inexperienced with drug use who takes more than they can handle, or a person who unknowingly takes a purer strain of drug than they’re used to. Those assumptions, however, aren’t reflected in current statistics. So what is an accurate profile of a drug overdose victim?

WHO: Statistics show that the people most at risk of drug overdose are people you...
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Addiction

Glimpses of Hope in a Year of Troubling Addiction News

Are We Finally Getting Serious About Our Deadly Drug Trends?


Is there anyone left in our nation who can say they personally know no one touched by problem drug or alcohol use?

Judging by a flurry of studies released in 2016, including the first-ever report on alcohol, drugs and health by the Surgeon General, the answer is a resounding no. The new data makes clear that more and more Americans are using drugs and alcohol in ways...
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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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General

Spotting & Responding to Severe, Potentially Violent Mental Illness

The Questions We’re Asking in the Orlando Aftermath…

In the wake of extreme violence in Orlando, FL, along with numerous other relatively recent mass shootings, one wonders if someone should have intervened with these troubled individuals before the violence occurred. But who is that someone, how would that person have known that intervention was needed, and what if anything could that person have done to help the troubled individual and potentially prevent tragedy?

A...
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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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General

3 Things You Should Know If You’re Struggling With Anxiety

There’s no easy fix but you can take steps to get your life back
We can’t erase all anxiety from our lives, and we shouldn’t want to. A little anxiety spurs us to prepare and act, and keeps us alert to potential threats. But sometimes anxiety persists and deepens, becoming a dark cloud that dampens our pleasures and causes our world to shrink. Instead of helping us live life, it interferes with it.

When this happens, it’s time...
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General

10 Ways of Thinking That Drag You Down

Cognitive distortions hurt mood and behavior, but they can be overcome
Here’s a troubling truth about the human mind: It loves to be negative — it’s nature’s way of keeping us alert to danger — and those negative thoughts are often automatic and full of distortions.

That means you may find yourself being dragged down by thoughts that have little basis in reality, without even being fully aware what’s to blame. Such distorted negativity has consequences, sometimes...
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