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How Common Is Addiction?

January 31, 2020

We hear heartbreaking stories of addiction, overdose and relapse virtually every day. In most cases, these stories relate to celebrities or otherwise well-known people that have succumbed to the disease. Alternately, we hear of truly shocking behaviors that happened under the influence. Sadly, the day-to-day stories about addiction are too many to cover and have, for most people, become normal and expected. Overdose deaths often become the norm, in many people’s eyes, with the overwhelming statistics we see on drug use and addiction. This is not totally surprising. Indeed, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that almost everyone has been affected by addiction or knows someone who has battled substance abuse or addiction – either alcohol or drugs.

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When Does Substance Abuse Become Addiction?

December 17, 2019

When evaluating the statistics on substance use, whether it be alcohol, drugs or any other illicit or legal substance that has addictive properties, it can be shocking to see how many people use on a regular basis. And while substance use is certainly a precursor to substance abuse, not everybody who uses, ends up abusing.

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Does Evidence-Based Therapy Work?

September 27, 2016

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…

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The Evolution of Addiction and Treatment Through the Ages

September 15, 2016

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. The consumption of alcohol, opioids, cannabis and cocaine have roots in ancient history. Addiction has a long, sordid history in the world and in our country.…

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Parents with Substance Abuse Problems: Effects on Children

August 25, 2016

Drug addiction doesn’t just affect individuals; it affects the entire family unit. Children can experience a variety of impairments as a result of their parent's addiction, some of which can last for a lifetime. Getting these children back on a track of normal development often requires a multi-disciplined approach to their welfare. Parents who are well-established on the road to recovery can help these children to overcome issues related to the substance abuse and return to a normal development pattern. Financial Deficits Children of individuals with drug addiction often live in circumstances of want that make it difficult for them…

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Is Suboxone Addictive?

May 6, 2016

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a combination of medication and behavioral therapy is the most effective way to treat an addiction, and this is particularly true with opioid addictions. The cravings and other withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate addiction can be excruciating, and the cravings in particular can linger long after the physical dependence has been broken through medical detox. Maintenance medications like methadone and Suboxone stave off cravings and withdrawal symptoms so that those with an opiate addiction can focus on restoring their lives while slowly being weaned from these medications over weeks, months or even…

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Is Technology Addiction a Scientific Condition?

January 11, 2016

It's probably safe to say that we all know at a visceral level that too much time spent on our electronic devices isn't particularly good for our brains or our health. We have trouble sleeping, we get headaches, our collective attention span grows shorter and the lines between real life and "Fallout" become alarmingly blurred. We know technology affects the brain, and sometimes it's in ways that aren't all bad. The real problem comes from developing an addiction to our electronic devices or the features they offer, like social media, games, or other apps, and neglecting our well-being in other…

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Is Addiction Genetic?

January 4, 2016

Is addiction genetic? Whether you develop an addiction as the result of abusing drugs or alcohol is determined partly by genetics and partly by environmental factors. Having a family history of addiction doesn't automatically mean that you will develop one, just as having no family history isn't enough to guarantee you won't. The roles of genes and environment in addiction are inextricably linked. To understand how each affects your risk for addiction, it's important to have a clear understanding of the mechanics of addiction and dependence. Addiction and Dependence Addiction and dependence aren't the same thing, and each can occur…

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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Meth Use?

October 22, 2015

Methamphetamine, widely known on the street as meth, chalk, ice, and crystal, is a highly addictive stimulant drug. It's sold as a white, crystalline powder that's bitter-tasting and odorless. Methamphetamine abuse is a widespread problem in the U.S., and although it's not the most popular illicit drug of abuse, it's certainly one of the most destructive. If you suspect that your loved one is using meth but are unsure, there are a number of tell-tale signs that are indicative of the abuse of this drug. The more you know about how meth is used and its effects on the body…

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Understanding Addiction as a Chronic Disease

September 8, 2015

While many people have been told that substance addiction is a chronic disease, they may not know precisely what that means. After all, conditions like heart disease and diabetes are chronic in nature, but these diseases involve sick people who are treated in hospitals, people who never chose to take a substance that could lead to their own harm. Or did they? Addiction: A Chronic Disease One of the most important things that those suffering from addiction and their caregivers must learn at the onset of treatment is that addiction is a chronic disease. Like many people who suffer from…

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