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The Science Behind Addiction. Why Does It Affect Some People More Than Others?

September 1, 2020

The truth is anyone can become an addict whether they are a hero working on the front lines or a teen who succumbs to peer pressure. Risk factors make addiction more likely to take place in some people. It is a combination of biology and environment that make some people more susceptible to addiction.

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Why Mindfulness Mediation Works for Recovery

August 17, 2020

Woman Meditating in Nature

When caught in the midst of addiction, it can often feel like you are on a roller coaster. The ups and downs are extremely disruptive and difficult to control. For many trapped in the addictive cycle, it can seem nearly impossible to exercise real self-control. Intense emotions in response to any number of situations quickly lead to using again, regardless of how much you may want to stop. It is often this cycle of using, trying to quit, failing, and using again that leads people to seek out professional help in the form of rehabilitation.

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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.

Substance abuse and addiction are often lumped into one category but are, in fact, quite distinct. Both cause adverse effects but are separated primarily by how the brain and body react to the substance and how the individual continues to use despite negative consequences. Once the user develops a compulsive or uncontrollable need for the substance of abuse, they have started the path to addiction.

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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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