Sample Intervention Letter

There are a number of reasons why writing out your thoughts and feelings in the form of a letter prior to an intervention may be effective in helping your addicted loved one to really hear what you are trying to share with her. It can help you to organize your thoughts, and stop you from … Read more

Sharing the Costs of War – Military Caregivers

They are wives, husbands, mothers and fathers, good neighbors who check in, best friends who help. They sacrifice their time, their work and even their health to provide a multi-billion dollar service to America, often without any recognition. These are caregivers of active and retired military: not paid professionals, but loved ones struggling with panic … Read more

Co-occurring Disorders Treatment

At one time, treatment for drug or alcohol addiction was considered to be separate from treatment for mental health disorders, and care was delivered at different facilities using radically different therapeutic approaches. As a result, many people who suffered from depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder or other serious psychiatric conditions never received treatment for their substance abuse. By the same … Read more

Xanax

We live in a stressful world that expects more and more of us seemingly every day. More than 49.2 million Americans turn to Xanax – or its generic form alprazolam – as the answer, IMS Health statistics reported in 2012. Xanax, or alprazolam, is the most prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States, per Fox News, and the … Read more

Chronic Depression (Dysthymia)

Ongoing depression that is defined by low mood for a long period of time may be diagnosed as dysthymia or chronic depression, a moderate form of depression. Often, the disorder coexists with other mental health or medical conditions, including: Anxiety Chronic pain Alcoholism Drug abuse or addiction According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about … Read more

Treatment Accreditations

Addiction is a powerful enemy, and the weapon to fight it – namely, treatment – is similarly potent. When wielded improperly, carelessly or unprofessionally, treatment can be as damaging and destructive as the addiction it is supposed to combat. That is why treatment accreditation exists: to promote healthy rehabilitative institutions and practices, and to protect … Read more

Dual Disorders Recovery Counseling

Approaches to Drug Abuse Counseling U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health Dennis C. Daley 1. OVERVIEW, DESCRIPTION, AND RATIONALE 1.1 General Description of Approach Dual disorders recovery counseling (DDRC) is an integrated approach to treatment of patients with drug use disorders and comorbid psychiatric disorders. The DDRC model, which integrates individual and group … Read more

Common Mental Health Issues Among Women

Mental health disorders can affect anyone of any gender, race or age. There are over 50 million Americans who suffer from mental illness, and if you’re one of them, you’re not alone. Of both genders, women are often most likely to suffer from certain mental illnesses. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) … Read more

Explaining the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

People who are struggling with mental health might be quite capable of describing their symptoms. They might be able to describe how they’re feeling using metaphors, stories or examples, and they might be quite capable of describing how they felt before the troubles began and how things seem different now. But they might not be able … Read more

Effects of Steroid Abuse on the Immune System

Abusing steroids has many effects on a user, from the risk of steroid addiction and steroid overdose to the effects it has on a user’s career and relationships. Abusing anabolic steroids either for the high or to build muscle will weaken your immune system, leading to more sickness and an increased risk of serious health problems. There is … Read more

Fentanyl Withdrawal

Prescription drug abuse is a massive health care concern in America: 16,235 people died as a result of overdoses of prescription opioids in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control (and quoted by Forbes magazine). There are many reasons why patients misuse prescription drugs, but a desperate relief from pain ranks very highly on the list, … Read more

Opinions from the Homefront

The way how young soldiers and their spouses cope with deployment The mental and emotional problems of U.S. soldiers deployed to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are well documented (see for example The Invisible Wounds of War). However, there is evidence that military families suffer as well, particularly from the stress of multiple and … Read more

What’s the Cost of Rehab with Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance?

The first place that most patients and their families turn when they are ready to pay for treatment for drug and alcohol abuse or addiction is health insurance. The Affordable Care Act has determined that treatment services for addiction are among the 10 essential services that all health insurance policies should provide to patrons. For customers of … Read more

Dry Drunk Syndrome

Anyone who has ever gone through recovery knows that coming back from the depths of a substance abuse problem is a long process. HBO’s Addiction Project estimates that recovery can only be considered fully successful after four or five years of support. More often than not, it can be very frustrating and arduous, especially when … Read more

Help for Percocet Abuse

Percocet is designed to deliver a one-two punch to pain. Each dose contains acetaminophen (a painkiller) and oxycodone (a narcotic), so people who take Percocet in response to pain should feel their discomfort ease and their sense of contentedness rise. That’s vital help for people dealing with pain. Typically, this medication is only provided in … Read more

Causes of PTSD

In any given year, about 5.2 million adults have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Each person with PTSD is different. They are of different ages, different races, different backgrounds, and different belief systems. They all may have come to mental illness via different routes, too, but they all share … Read more

Approaches to Drug Abuse Counseling

The consequences of drug and alcohol abuse in the United States are enormously costly. Although the costs can be evaluated in dollars, they are more readily understood in human terms: family discord, neglect of children, personal misery, financial straits, medical problems, fetal alcohol syndrome, HIV infection, legal problems, incarceration, automobile accidents, lower work productivity, and … Read more

5 Most Common Disorders with Addictions

Some conditions seem destined to come in pairs. Heart disease often follows a diagnosis of diabetes, for example, and allergies often come hand in hand with asthma. The same sort of joining effect sometimes takes hold when an addiction is in play. In fact, it’s quite common for certain drugs of abuse to be entangled … Read more

Testing and Assessments for Comorbidity

Dual Diagnosis occurs when a person has an alcohol or substance abuse problem and a mental health disorder. Also called comorbidity, the instances of having two or more co-occurring disorders is far more common than one might believe. It’s estimated that nearly 50 percent of all persons diagnosed with mental health disorders have a substance abuse problem. … Read more

Disorganized Type

Disorganized type schizophrenia is defined by scattered behaviors that are nonsensical and have no purpose. Also called hebephrenic schizophrenia or just disorganized schizophrenia, patients who are diagnosed with this disorder often have a difficult time having functional relationships with others or being able to manage their day-to-day affairs. Too often, rather than seek medical and psychiatric … Read more

Alcohol, Drugs and Aggression

Cardwell C. Nuckols, Ph.D.Anger, aggression and addiction are intertwined in many ways, Anger has been implicated in relapse as stated in the language of Alcoholics Anonymous. For decades the self-help programs have warned those in recovery from addiction to avoid becoming hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. These emotions are also a confounding factor in situations … Read more

Medications for Depression Treatment

Antidepressant medications are not just the most commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of depression, but among certain groups in the United States, antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed class of drugs on the market. Though antidepressant medications can be extremely effective in helping patients to manage the symptoms of depression, it is important to … Read more

Anxiety and Alcoholism

Anxiety can take many forms. For some, it’s a feeling of nervousness sparked by a person, a place or a thing. For others, it’s an undertow of worry caused by an unresolved event from the past. For still others, it’s a constant presence brought about by something they just can’t name. All of these people … Read more

Xanax Street Names

When you abuse a drug, it doesn’t matter what you call it. You are putting yourself at risk, but you are also in a great position to reach out for help and find health and recovery. If you misuse Xanax, you are misusing a powerful drug normally prescribed to treat anxiety, panic and stress disorders. You … Read more

Getting Help for Kratom Addiction

Kratom is an old drug that’s now being put to new use. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that Kratom has been used as a drug in Thailand and Southeast Asia for decades. Kratom trees were prevalent in this area, until they were banned in 1943, so it was relatively easy for people who live there to … Read more

Chapter 3 — Mental Health And Addiction Treatment Systems: Philosophical and Treatment Approach Issues

Chapter 3 — Mental Health And Addiction Treatment Systems: Philosophical and Treatment Approach Issues Introduction For people with dual disorders, the attempt to obtain professional help can be bewildering and confusing. They may have problems arising within themselves as a result of their psychiatric and AOD use disorders as well as problems of external origin that … Read more

Military Caregivers at Work

In the United States, 5.5 million men and women care for a current or former soldier with a disability or illness. We call these people military caregivers. Of these, 4.4 million care for veterans who served before September 11, 2001 (pre-9/11 caregivers) and 1.1 million care for veterans who served after September 11, 2001 (post-9/11 … Read more

Asperger’s and Addiction

The world is a social place. Tiny babies are expected to connect with their parents, share their toys, and otherwise relate to the people who care for them. Young children are asked to form friendships, work with teachers, and respect their elders. Adults, in turn, might be asked to collaborate, connect and share with their … Read more

Marijuana Rehab

WHEN THE STATES OF WASHINGTON AND COLORADO DECRIMINALIZED THE SALE AND USE OF MARIJUANA, IT THRUST THE DRUG INTO THE FOREFRONT OF PUBLIC DEBATE. While marijuana is known for not being as addictive, powerful, or harmful as other illicit substances (hence the push to legalize it), it can still cause addictions and have negative physical, … Read more

Medications for Mental Health Treatment

In 2013, almost one in five American adults, or 18.5 percent of the population over the age of 18, had a mental illness in the past year, and 4.2 percent had a serious mental illness, according to the most current National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Mental illness affects a person’s mood, thinking, feelings, and … Read more

7 Benefits of Seeking Professional Alcohol Treatment

Whether the problem is binge drinking, chronic drinking, heavy drinking, or alcoholism, the drinker who is seeking to find balance in his life will more swiftly and safely meet his goals by choosing professional alcohol treatment. Dependent upon the specific obstacles facing the person as he stops drinking, a unique treatment plan can be developed that will … Read more

Bulimia and Alcoholism

Suffering from a dual diagnosis of bulimia and alcoholism is a growing problem among women in the United States. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that women with bulimia nervosa were more likely than their peers to have an alcohol use disorder of some kind despite the fact that binge drinking, … Read more

Alcohol Abuse and Pregnancy

The placenta that connects a mother with her gestating baby is remarkably permeable, meaning that almost everything a woman puts into her body moves directly into the body of the fetus. As a result, most doctors warn their patients to limit their exposure to any kind of dangerous substance, including alcohol. Even so, the U.S. Centers … Read more

Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression

The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) is one of a number of diagnostic tools that may be useful in helping to evaluate patients effectively when depression is an issue. Depression is not only a spectrum disorder but also a symptom caused by other mental health issues. Therefore, effective treatment starts with a thorough understanding of … Read more

Binge Drinking and Depression

Binge drinking and depression often go hand in hand, one disorder continually worsening the symptoms of the other as the negative consequences begin to pile up. Either one can cause significant issues in the person’s life, making it more difficult for him to function at work or in relationships with others. But when both disorders are … Read more

Managing Medications: Antidepressants

Trying to sort through all the different medications available to treat depression can be overwhelming. Here, we’ve got a cheat sheet that covers some of the most widely used medications, how they work, their side effects and some patient anecdotes. Remember, side effects may go away within a few weeks of starting treatment, and it … Read more

The Costs of Bipolar Treatment Services

This year, bipolar disorder will affect approximately 2.8 percent of the United States population, while up to 4.4% of all Americans have experienced bipolar disorder at some point in their lives.1 If you suspect this disorder in yourself or someone you love, you might be concerned about the costs of bipolar treatment. It’s true, the … Read more

Treatment for Hydrocodone Abuse

Today, prescription painkillers are a well-known threat to public health and safety. A contributing factor to the painkiller epidemic is a public perception that these drugs are safer than street drugs because they are manufactured by regulated pharmaceutical companies and prescribed by doctors – but this is not the case. Prescription painkiller abuse arises either … Read more

Dual Diagnosis, Integrated Treatment or Co-occurring: What’s the Difference?

Neuroscience and psychology are rapidly changing fields. Every day, new research helps us understand more about the processes and biology behind mental health and addiction, so it is only natural that the terms we use to diagnose and treat them evolve as well. “Dual diagnosis” and “co-occurring disorder” are two terms that are relatively new … Read more

The Matrix Model

The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides six definitions for the word “matrix,” including: “something from within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form.” In this definition, a matrix is used as a sort of scaffolding, allowing something to take shape in a structured and controlled way. People with addictions may need a matrix like this, allowing them to … Read more

Tourette Syndrome

(TS) is a disorder of the nervous system that causes involuntary and repetitive movements or vocalizations called tics. These tics can be hugely disruptive in the life of the patient, making it difficult to maintain relationships in some cases or take on certain types of employment or activities. A spectrum disorder, not all who are … Read more

Vicoprofen Abuse and Treatment

Each Vicroprofen pill contains two active ingredients: hydrocodone and ibuprofen. When these two elements work together, they can bring about a great deal of pain relief. But the pills are designed to deliver that relief for a very short period of time. According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors shouldn’t provide Vicoprofen pills for longer than 10 … Read more

Treatment for Methadone Abuse

Methadone is well known in the mainstream as a treatment for opioid addiction (such as addiction to heroin) or a treatment for severe pain. Its origins go back to Germany, during World War II, when this opioid was created to serve as a long-acting pain reliever for surgeries and cancer treatment. After 1950, methadone was used … Read more

Pharmacy Advantages for Military Retirees

Managing costs without compromising health care Like the private health care sector, the military health care system has seen its costs rise rapidly over the past decade. As health care costs in the private sector have risen over the past decade, so have the costs of treating active duty soldiers, their families, and retirees, due … Read more

Hoarding and Substance Abuse

Hoarding and substance abuse may seem unrelated. However the two often accompany each other, reinforce each other and reduce overall quality of life. When you learn more about hoarding and treatment options, you give yourself and your loved ones the chance to heal. What Is Hoarding, and How Does It Affect Daily Life? Some people … Read more

New Innovative Ideas for Veterans’ Mental Health Care

How the “Welcome Back Veterans” campaign makes a difference Welcome Back Veterans (WBV) is a unique program created in 2008 with funding from Major League Baseball Charities and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. WBV has awarded grants to medical schools across the United States to implement programs that address the mental health needs of soldiers, … Read more

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Addiction

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is an anxiety disorder in which an individual experiences recurring thoughts that cause irrational fears and anxiety. Individuals with OCD engage in repeated, compulsive rituals, such as counting items, hand washing and organizing. Executing these rituals provides temporary relief while they are being performed, but the anxiety returns soon after they stop. OCD … Read more

Modified Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Services within an Integrated Treatment Program

Highlights Integrated treatment targeting co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems were delivered through modified ACT services to improve housing stability, clinical outcomes, and quality of life for persons who were homeless or living in temporary and unstable housing (e.g., doubled up with friends). From March 2002 to December 2003, 560 persons with co-occurring mental … Read more

What Medications Are Used During Detox?

Illicit drug use is a common issue in this country. The CDC estimated that in 2012, 9.2 percent of people over age 12 abused drugs in the previous month. There is also a massive treatment gap with only 2.3 million of the 21.6 million people over age 12 in 2011 needing treatment for substance abuse actually receiving … Read more

What Obamacare Means for the Future of Mental Health

Much attention has been paid to the possible effects that the Affordable Care Act will have on health insurance and access to treatment, especially access to mental health treatment for those who previously may have been unable to afford therapeutic care. Though no one can say for sure how everything will shake out in the end, what … Read more

Topic of Treatment by Age

Research suggests that the most effective forms of addiction care tend to be the most customized. When the approaches used and the techniques incorporated tend to be sensitive to a patient’s specific attributes, patients tend to stay enrolled for longer periods of time, and they tend to stay sober as a result. Often, when discussing … Read more

Major Depression (Clinical)

Everyone gets sad from time to time. Either due to mood swings, hormonal changes, or upsetting life events like divorce or the loss of a loved one, depression is a normal part of life. However, when depression symptoms continue for weeks or months at a time, it can be a sign that major depression – also known … Read more

Treatment for Suboxone Abuse

Opiate abuse and addiction (including addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers) present complications when use is discontinued or if the familiar amount is reduced. For this reason, withdrawal symptoms are often treated and managed with other medications. A few years after its initial introduction in the US in 1947, methadone was adapted from its traditional use as … Read more

Mixed Bipolar Disorder

In most types of bipolar disorder, a patient struggles with episodes of depression and episodes of mania, or high energy, in a cyclical pattern, but mixed bipolar disorder is defined by the experience of episodes characterized by both mania and depression simultaneously or in quick sequence. Those who experience mixed episodes are often diagnosed with bipolar … Read more

Spotting the Signs of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe illness that affects nearly 2.4 million people over the age of 18. You might know the movie versions (John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, Donnie of Donnie Darko, or Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Edward Daniels in Shutter Island) but in real life, the illness isn’t masked as a suspense, thriller or dramatic film. Schizophrenia … Read more

12-Step Support Groups

When talking about recovery from drugs and alcohol abuse, the phrase “12-Step support groups” is used a lot. Because you only ever hear them in the context of treatment and rehabilitation, there’s a lot of misconception and mystery over what these groups are, what happens in these groups, what their goals are, and how they help … Read more

Will Blue Cross Blue Shield Pay for Rehab?

Getting to the bottom of what Blue Cross Blue Shield will cover when it comes to substance abuse treatment can be tricky. Different states have different parameters for what must be covered by insurance and in what amount, plus they offer a range of policies that vary from state to state as well. Consider, for example, Blue Shield … Read more

What Are Street Names for Painkillers?

No one starts using painkillers with the intention of becoming addicted. Yet many people find themselves struggling with abuse and addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine explains, “Of the 20.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2015, 2 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers.”1 … Read more

Description of an Addiction Counseling Approach

Approaches to Drug Abuse Counseling U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health Delinda Mercer 1. OVERVIEW, DESCRIPTION, AND RATIONALE 1.1 General Description of Approach Addiction counseling addresses the symptoms of drug addiction and related areas of impaired functioning and the content and structure of the client’s ongoing recovery program. This model of addiction counseling is … Read more

Health Related Behavior Study 2018 – Emotional and Mental Health in the Army Reserve

The Health Behavior and Behavior Survey (HRBS) is the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) primary survey of the health, health behaviors and well-being of military personnel. The HRBS, which has been conducted regularly for more than 30 years, covers areas that may affect military readiness or the ability to meet the demands of military life. … Read more

Getting a Loved One into Treatment

Drug abuse is itself a clear signal that a loved one needs help. Drug abuse never has a positive association, and with continued use, it is always only a matter time before the signs and symptoms of abuse grow more severe. The signs of substance abuse can vary, depending on the drug abused, but changes … Read more

Outpatient Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

Benzodiazepines (benzos) are a class of drugs that are used to treat anxiety, and in some cases, seizures and convulsions. When introduced in the 1960s, benzodiazepines were hailed as a safe substitute for barbiturates, which, at the time, were claiming an alarming number of lives. Unfortunately, while benzodiazepines were safer for use than their predecessors, … Read more

The Concerns of Prolonged Drug use

No one starts using drugs with the intention of developing serious long-term problems. But the fact is, prolonged drug abuse has a harmful effect on every aspect of your health: physical, mental and emotional. Addiction undermines intimate relationships, breaks up families, destroys careers and ravages financial resources. If you’re chemically dependent on drugs, getting clean … Read more

New Study: Women Abused as Children More Likely to Die Young, Substance Abuse May Be Partly to Blame

Women abused as children are at increased risk of dying young, a new study in JAMA Psychiatry shows, and part of the reason may be trauma-induced drug and alcohol use.1 Edith Chen of Northwestern University in Chicago and colleagues analyzed data from 6,285 adults who participated in the national survey of Midlife Development in the United States … Read more

Costs of Outpatient Treatment

Treatment services for drug abuse and addiction can get expensive, even if the patient opts for outpatient care. The good news is that this cost is extremely modifiable, determined based on the combination of services chosen and whether or not health insurance will cover all or part of the cost. What treatment services will best help … Read more

When It’s More Than Just an Alcohol Problem

Meeting new people or stepping into new situations can be stressful. Our apprehension at saying or doing the wrong thing can be overwhelming, and often we’re quick to reach for the quickest solution to ease our tension. Often called a “social lubricant,” many people use alcohol to take the edge off anxious situations and make … Read more

Military Technicians for Behavioral Health

Understand and optimize the System Behavioral health technicians (BHTs) are military personnel who are expected to provide clinical support services alongside independent, licensed behavioral health providers. When optimally integrated, BHTs can enhance the mental health capacity of military personnel and ensure that military members have access to high-quality, effective services. BHTs are trained to conduct … Read more

Health Risks of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a common drug of abuse and has been for decades. Popular with people who frequent late night clubs and those who need assistance managing at work the next morning, cocaine is referred to as an “upper” that provides users with both a high and a little boost of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, … Read more

Options for Those Afraid of Doctors

It sounds like a cruel joke. People who have phobias can benefit from therapy, but some people have phobias involving doctors and medical care. These people need help, but the help they need comes from the very thing that fills them with anxiety. While treating people like this can certainly be challenging, there are some … Read more

Withdrawal from Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are arguably some of the most gripping and life-threatening addictive drugs on the market. Prescribed to treat panic disorders and anxiety, benzos may first seem like a saving grace but for patients who don’t use them as prescribed and for those who abuse the pills without a prescription, they can quickly create a deadly … Read more

Female-Specific Treatment Options

As the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed, there is a gender dimension to drug use. With an eye on male versus female patterns of drug use, the survey found: Similar to prior years, there were more men aged 12 and older who were current illicit drug users compared to women of the same … Read more

Signs of Inhalant Abuse

Some of the top substances of abuse among young people are inhalants – a group of chemicals that are often easily found around the house and abused by “huffing” the fumes they create. Though markers, hygiene products, cleaners, and other common household products may seem innocuous enough, when used for the purposes of getting high, they can … Read more

New Study: People with Depression Aren’t Seeking Treatment and Here’s Why That’s Dangerous

More people than ever are being treated for depression. Unfortunately, they may not be the people who actually need treatment. A new study published August 29, 2016, in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that of 46,417 adults, 8.4 percent of them screened positive for depression. Yet of those 3,899 people, only 28.7 percent received any treatment.1 That means … Read more

Evaluation of the Needs of Service Members and their Families

New Ideas Since the creation of the all-volunteer military in the 1970s, military support programs have grown and continue to grow. A 1988 Department of Defense (DoD) directive requires that these programs meet the needs of service members and their families. Unfortunately, DoD does not have a systematic method for determining these needs. Traditional program … Read more

Muscle Dysmorphia and Substance Abuse

A regular weightlifting routine can be remarkably healthy. Pumping iron can help to obliterate excess body fat, and using muscles to resist the force of gravity can help the bones to thicken and become resistant to breakage. Weightlifting can even help to produce a bit of a high, as muscles that are in use tend … Read more

ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, affects more children than any other behavioral disorder. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, up to 5 percent of kids meet the criteria for ADHD, yet many go undiagnosed until they are teens or adults. Impulsive behavior, inability to pay attention and excessive physical activity are the hallmark … Read more

The Facts About Alcohol Treatment

For all the popularity of alcohol, everyone knows at least one person who has struggled with alcoholism. And there have been hundreds of cases of celebrities, politicians, and other public figures getting treatment for an alcohol habit that got out of hand. We hear a lot about words like “rehab,” “detox,” and “therapy” when it … Read more

Medicine for Schizophrenia Treatment

A serious mental health disorder characterized by a range of different intrusive symptoms, patients who are diagnosed with schizophrenia are usually prescribed medication to assist them in managing these symptoms. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), antipsychotic medications are the first line of pharmacological defense against symptoms of schizophrenia and similar disorders. The original … Read more

Subject of Treatment by Specific Co-occurring Disorders

An article published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse suggests that about one-third of people admitted to psychiatric programs have concurrent substance abuse concerns. Studies like this suggest that many people who head to their doctors for assistance with a mental health concern may have a substance abuse problem lurking in the background. Healing is possible, … Read more

The Origins of Drugs

We hear so much about drugs – their negative effects, how much they cost, all the myriad and bizarre names they have – that sometimes, the most basic questions get lost in the shuffle. What are the origins of drugs? Where do they come from? Who is responsible for the many layers of production and … Read more

Stimulants and ADD/ADHD

People who have difficulty focusing on mundane tasks, following through on projects, or keeping still and quiet when it’s socially appropriate to do so may be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are a number of different treatment options for these disorders, and medications very often play a … Read more

How Is It Discovered?

When a Dual Diagnosis is problematic, the symptoms of two separate disorders are in evidence. Mental health symptoms that indicate an untreated mental health disorder and substance abuse problem or addiction are generally the two co-occurring issues. But how can you tell if the mental health issues your loved one is experiencing are due to drug use alone or … Read more

A Vouchers Approach to Addiction Treatment

The rewards of a sober lifestyle are many and might include improved physical health, enhanced relationships and a better economic outlook. In fact, people who are sober after years of addiction often report that their lives are happier now than they ever were when drugs played a role,and they might claim that they’ll never be tempted … Read more

Treatment Outcomes

Although understanding of the science of addiction is still evolving, there is a general consensus that addiction includes physical dependence (the body habituates to a drug) and mental dependence (drug-seeking behavior and taking the drugs despite knowing they are dangerous). Although different treatment programs may employ different methodologies, most include the following programs: Detox. In some … Read more

10 Things You Should Know About Treatment

1. Dual diagnosis is not a rare phenomenon Some studies indicate that as many as half of those with a drug or alcohol addiction also have some form of mental illness 2. Dual diagnosis comes in many forms Any combination of mental illness (including anxiety disorder, depression, etc.) and addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, etc.) … Read more

Utilize Drug Testing to Spot Abuse

When fighting against a loved one’s abuse of drugs and alcohol, it’s important to take advantage of all resources at your disposal to swiftly guide your family member into a treatment program that will help them heal. Unfortunately, denial that there is a problem at all may be an obstacle to drug rehab, but drug testing … Read more

Withdrawal from Vicodin

Between 2008 and 2011, the number of Caucasian people admitting to a heroin habit rose 75 percent, according to researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. This jump is due, in part, to the rise of prescription painkiller abuse. If you’re taking a drug like Vicodin regularly, you’re priming your brain cells to respond … Read more

Cognitive Analytic Therapy

Some changes are incredibly easy to bring about. People who want to switch from coffee to tea, for example, might toss out their old coffee pots and filters, ensuring that only teabags line the cupboards of their homes. Similarly, those who want to switch from one language to another might move to a location in … Read more

More Support for U.S. Militaries Hidden Heroes

Military Caregiver Curriculum The Elizabeth Dole Foundation asked the RAND Corporation to develop a research agenda to guide future efforts to improve support for military caregivers and veterans. To develop the plan, researchers mapped currently available research on caregiving for adults, children, and older adults with disabilities and gathered stakeholder input through a survey and … Read more

Becoming Addicted to Your Treatment Medication

Psychotherapeutic medication can be one of the most effective ways to treat the symptoms of a mental health disorder. Some of the drugs used to relieve anxiety, panic attacks, behavioral disorders and other conditions can cause physical or psychological dependence. But if you take the medication as part of a professional treatment program, the chances of becoming … Read more

Alcoholics Anonymous: Helping in Recovery

Some people stop drinking because they’re forced to do so. They’re arrested, they are forced to submit to breath tests, or they move to a place in which they can’t get alcohol. People like this may be sober, but they didn’t get there due to an overwhelming desire for a healthy life. Sobriety was thrust … Read more

Elderly Addicts

Elderly is defined as being past middle age, and it is generally accepted to mean at or over the age of 65. Substance abuse and dependency rates among the elderly population may be higher than statistics show, as it can be sometimes difficult to diagnose or recognize in this population. An article in Today’s Geriatric Medicine estimates … Read more

Addiction & Mental Illness: Does One Cause the Other?

Not very long ago, addiction was considered a moral affliction. Addicts were seen as bad people, willfully selfish and hedonistic, rather than individuals suffering from a mental and physical affliction. After years of research, we now have a more enlightened understanding of addiction with the current model revealing that addiction is a chronic, progressive disease … Read more

The Classification of Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders and the symptoms associated with them make up a subject of intensive study and ongoing debate within the medical and psychiatric communities. An accurate diagnosis can mean the difference between effective mental health treatment and treatment that does little to aid in improving the patient’s quality of life and the patient’s ability to … Read more

How Seasonal Changes Affect Bipolar Disorder

Our brains manage a wide range of emotional and psychological functions. They use a sensitive and intricate system of chemical signals and responses sent via the central nervous system. A number of environmental and congenital factors can affect this system. Changes in brain chemistry can cause significant changes in a person’s mood. The Environment’s Impact … Read more

How Long Should You Stay in Sober Living?

The amount of time you should stay in a sober living home – like the amount of time you should stay in treatment – should be determined based on your individual needs. As a general rule, as long as you are benefitting from the support provided by sober living and can afford to stay, then it’s a … Read more

How to Treat Pain Without Opioids

Chronic pain is one of the leading health issues in the nation, as it affects the quality of life of more than 100 million Americans — more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined.1 To combat this issue, more than 200 million opioid prescriptions are written in the US each year, according to the Centers for … Read more

Disease Theory of Alcoholism

Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in America today. It is legal for adults over age 21, easy to obtain and fairly inexpensive. Alcohol consumption is socially accepted and even promoted widely by the media. In 2012, as many as 87.6 percent of American adults over age 18 were reported in a SAHMSA study … Read more

Intervention for Manic Episodes

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 4 percent of all adults in America experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.1 While all of these people might share the same diagnosis, their symptoms might be radically different. For example, some people with bipolar disorder feel depressed much of the time. Others have episodes … Read more