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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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Which Costs More: Treatment or Addiction?

August 27, 2015

Cost is a major factor when it comes to deciding whether to seek treatment for a loved one who has a drug or alcohol addiction. But the cost of maintaining drug or alcohol dependence is far greater in terms of the negative financial, social, legal, and health consequences that result from abusing drugs. Arming yourself with reliable information about addiction, treatment, and the pros and cons of getting help will help you make the most informed decision concerning what's best for your addicted loved one, your family, and society in general. The Cost of Drug Addiction in the U.S. Aside from…

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Why Treatment (Not Jail) is the Solution to Addiction

August 24, 2015

For decades, the war on drugs may have seriously undermined the battle that could have been waged against addiction. Unfortunately for many addicts, the best place to battle addiction is in treatment--not jail. According to the Pew Research Centers, "A national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 67% of Americans say that the government should focus more on providing treatment for those who use illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Meanwhile, 26% of Americans think the government's focus should be on prosecuting users of such hard drugs. Increasing numbers of Americans have come to believe that treatment…

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Am I Addicted, and Do I Really Need Treatment?

August 17, 2015

You've always thought of drug addiction as something that affects other people. Your drug use is a conscious and fairly careful choice, something you're pretty sure you can stop doing if you decide you want to. And maybe you can stop on your own, if you decide you want to. You don't really know, though, because your attempts have mostly been half-hearted, or maybe you haven't really seen a pressing need to try. After all, your drug use isn't interfering with your job or your relationships for the most part, and you take it pretty easy on the substances, compared…

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What Is the Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

August 3, 2015

Following the end of World War II, health professionals and scientists postulated the mechanisms behind alcoholism. Today, their findings and models have been refined and adapted into the Disease Theory of Alcoholism, which is widely used to educate people on how addiction affects the brain. Definition & History The Disease Theory of Alcoholism states that alcohol addiction is a brain disease that alters the way a person thinks, feels, and makes decisions. A healthcare professional can diagnose, observe, and uncover the causes of alcoholism as they would any other medical illness. In 1956, the American Medical Association (AMA) categorized alcohol…

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How the Complex Nature of the Brain Affects Addiction

July 31, 2015

The brain is a unique organ for many reasons. It controls all of the important functions of our body and mind including the function of many organs, physical movement of our arms and legs, how we think, speak and remember things. Its complexity continues to mystify and confound scientists and physicians. However, what we do know is that the health of the brain affects the proper functioning of the human body and damage to the brain can be quite devastating. Researchers continue to learn more to find better ways to treat Alzheimer's disease, brain injury and epilepsy among other ailments.…

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Substance Abuse and Unemployment: Beyond Statistics

December 2, 2013

Substance abuse and unemployment have long been associated with each other, but how accurate is this connection? The National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2012 found that 17 percent of unemployed people had a substance abuse disorder, compared to 9 percent of full-time workers. What do these statistics tell us and what can we do? The Link Between Substance Abuse and Unemployment The question at stake is a classic one: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In other words, do people wind up unemployed because of their substance abuse, or does unemployment eventually lead to substance…

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The Role of Genetics in Alcohol Addiction

March 20, 2012

Alcohol addiction and an individual’s propensity towards addiction has several contributing factors. One of the most controversial of them has been genetics. Is there an addiction gene? Can the disease of addiction be passed down genetically from one generation to the next? Can it skip a generation like other diseases? In this post we go into the role of genetics in alcohol addiction. Genetics in Alcohol Addiction If you do have the so called addiction gene, is that pretty much a life sentence that you are going to develop a chemical dependency at some point in your life? These are…

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