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Year: 2016

Eating Disorders Among Women

Eating disorders are not a fad. They’re not a phase or even a lifestyle choice. They are serious and complex illnesses that affect both physical and mental health, and they’re potentially life-threatening.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 20 million women suffer from an eating disorder, generally stemming from body dissatisfaction.1 NEDA points out that up to 60 percent of girls between the ages of six and 12 are concerned about their weight or worried about becoming too fat, and 46 percent of girls aged nine to 11 are “sometimes” or “very often” on a diet. Of elementary school girls who read magazines, 69 percent say that the pictures of models influence their idea of the ideal body, and 47 percent say that the pictures make them want to lose weight.

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Does Evidence-Based Therapy Work?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, evidence-based therapy approaches are treatment programs that have been scholarly or scientifically researched and replicated by more than one study for proven effectiveness.1 These types of therapy approaches are used to help make treatment work more effectively for patients, whether or not it’s used in conjunction with medication.
Measurements of Effectiveness
The criterion for the effectiveness of any psychological therapy for addiction treatment is that it leads to a reduction in the use of an addictive substance, plus the patient shows improvements across a range of areas of functioning, such as physical and psychological health, interpersonal relationships, employment and decreasing undesirable behavior.2
Types of Evidence-Based Therapy
Therapy based on scientific and academic research studies can be very effective for a variety of disorders, including addiction and mental health disorders. Behavioral therapies help people in recovery for drug or alcohol addiction.3 Just a few of the types of evidence-based therapy that are helpful in addiction recovery include:

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How Alcohol Affects Women

While men drink more than women and are addicted to alcohol at a higher rate, women tend to develop an addiction more quickly than men, and the physical and mental health problems associated with chronic alcohol abuse occur more quickly and intensely in women.

Women and men differ in a number of ways when it comes to developing an addiction, getting treatment, and recovering for the long-term.
How Alcohol Affects Women Differently Than Men
When it comes to drinking alcohol, men and women have crucial biological and behavioral differences that govern how they drink alcohol and respond to it, how quickly alcohol affects them and how alcohol affects their health.

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The 12 Step Program: A Beginner’s Guide

Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the best-known organizations in the world and is the originator of the now-famous and widely used 12-step model of recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous groups and other 12-step fellowships can be found in virtually every corner of the U.S. and in scores of other countries. In many high-quality addiction treatment programs, participating in AA is an integral and essential part of recovery.
The Twelve Steps: A Way of Life
The Twelve Steps are a group of spiritual principles that act as a clear, actionable guide for a way of life free of addiction. Moving through the steps ideally leads to long-term sobriety, a stronger sense of purpose in life, spiritual wholeness and overall happiness.

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Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Substance abuse during pregnancy puts the fetus at risk for a wide range of problems that can last a lifetime, including birth defects, behavioral problems and a variety of medical conditions. Different substances cause different problems for fetal development, and understanding how a particular substance can affect a child may be the impetus a mother needs to seek help for a substance use disorder.
Alcohol and Pregnancy
Almost 9 percent of pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 44 drank alcohol in the prior month in 2011, and 2.7 percent binge drank or consumed more than four drinks on one occasion.1 Among women in the same age group who were not pregnant, 55.5 percent drank alcohol in the past month, and 24.7 percent binge drank. These statistics show that women are getting the message about the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

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Alcoholism in Men: What You Need to Know

Men are more likely than women to drink excessively, and they’re more likely to develop alcoholism as well. Of the 16.3 million American adults who had an alcohol use disorder in 2014, 10.6 million were men, accounting for 9.2 percent of all men in that age group, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.1
Why Men Are More Susceptible to Alcoholism Than Women
Men are about twice as likely as women to develop alcoholism, according to a study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The research attributes the reason to a larger dopamine release in men when alcohol is consumed.2
Men are about twice as likely as women to develop alcoholism.
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The Evolution of Addiction and Treatment Through the Ages

The consumption of alcohol, opioids, cannabis and cocaine have roots in ancient history. The Bible references Noah’s drinking habits and intoxication, and the use of opium in Syria in the 7th century B.C. is well-documented in ancient medical texts. Ancient Incas living in the Andes three thousand years before Christ chewed coca leaves to counter the physical effects of thin mountain air, and the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung wrote about cannabis in 2727 B.C.

Addiction has a long, sordid history in the world and in our country. Tracing the history of addiction and treatment in America, it’s interesting to note the changing attitudes toward what is now considered to be a medical disease and the evolution of its treatment.

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Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Detox

No matter how long you’ve been struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, treatment can help you break free of your addiction and make a fresh start. The process of addiction treatment begins with detox, which allows your body to get rid of the toxins that result from ongoing substance abuse.

Detox has many effects and benefits—some are noticeable right away, while others don’t reveal themselves until later on in your recovery journey. In this article, we’ll look at both the short-term and long-term effects of detox.

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Societal Pressures Contribute to Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are a growing problem in today’s society. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia involve distortions in body image and self-esteem that drive women to use food to express a variety of inner conflicts. These disorders generally occur in women, but some men are affected, as well. A number of societal pressures can be linked to the development of eating and food issues.
The Psychology of High Achieving
Women often experience the pressure to achieve excellence on a number of levels. The family may have a strong internal scripting for achievement that can put tremendous pressure on individuals to do well in a variety of fields. In addition, these women may feel pressure from the society at large to “be the best they can be,” leaving them vulnerable to feelings of never quite measuring up and the inability to deal emotionally with feelings of inadequacy and disappointment.

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The Role of Trauma in Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and trauma are often closely linked, which is why high-quality addiction treatment programs offer integrated treatment to address both. Alcohol, as well as prescribed and illicit drugs, are commonly used to cope with negative emotions and symptoms associated with exposure to trauma.

Commonly seen symptoms include (1):

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