Understanding the Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Life’s Normal Ups and Downs

Let’s face it: Everyone has good and bad days, and normal changes in mood are not only expected but a routine aspect of life. But bipolar disorder is something different altogether. When someone’s mood swings are so dramatic they interfere with his/her ability to maintain relationships, career or overall mental and physical health, untreated bipolar … Read more

Recognizing the Signs of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is a powerfully addictive depressant, causing an intense, rapid high in its users, but also exacting a terrible toll on their physical and mental well-being. Despite it being one of the deadliest drugs available, and despite the wealth of information provided by health care and law enforcement professionals, it still remains a tragically common … Read more

Is There a Cure for It?

A pervasive disease that is believed to affect as many as 18 million Americans, alcohol use disorders are the subject of thousands of studies every year. The primary goal of many of these studies is one thing: finding a cure for alcoholism. Unfortunately, as of yet, there is no cure for any substance abuse disorder. However, … Read more

Substance Abuse and the Risk of Suicidal Ideation

An estimated 34,000 Americans die each year due to suicide, making it the 11th leading cause of death in the US, according to Psychiatric Times. Some of the most prominent risk factors for suicide attempts and suicidal ideation are mental health problems – and bipolar disorder and drug and alcohol use disorders are the most commonly diagnosed … Read more

5 Signs Somebody Needs Help

It’s not always easy to tell when someone you care about is struggling with chronic drug abuse or drug addiction and needs drug rehab. Maybe you don’t see them often enough to know what else is going on in their lives that could be a potential cause for the changes you’re noticing. Maybe they’ve been going through … Read more

Better Behavioral Health Care for Remote Service Members

Three main priorities The primary goal of the military health system (MHS) is to ensure that soldiers suffering from behavioral disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and substance use disorders, receive effective treatment. Soldiers who live geographically far from a military treatment center may have particular difficulty accessing quality care, which can compromise … Read more

Protecting Your Children by Finding Healing for Yourself

Many parents recognize the need to children to have a stable environment to grow up in and know that their parents are safe and secure people to be with. However, sometimes these important aspects of a children’s life can be altered or threatened when mental illness is part of the family. When a parent suffers … Read more

Insomnia Disorder

Those who struggle with insomnia disorder have a hard time falling asleep at night, staying asleep for the duration of the night, or both. It is an issue for many in the United States and the disorder can cause a host of related problems that come with risks of their own. The National Institute on Neurological … Read more

Purchased Care Integration – Feasibility Assessment of DoD-VA

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) health systems are responsible for providing health care to more than 9 million beneficiaries, with some overlap in their populations. Both systems provide services through a combination of direct care, delivered in government-owned and operated facilities, and purchased care, delivered by the private sector, primarily … Read more

Geography Obstacles

When choosing an addiction treatment program for a patient, particularly for a patient who has a co-occurring disorder such as depression or schizophrenia, it’s common for providers to limit their searches by geographic boundaries. By keeping care close to home, they can follow the progression of the treatment program, and presumably, they can stay involved in … Read more

Treatment Guide by Financial Ability

scaWhen asked why they won’t accept help for an addiction, some patients might mention stigmatization or childcare concerns, while others might claim that their addictions simply aren’t serious enough to merit formal treatment. Among all of the reasons patients might cite, however, issues of cost can be paramount. While referring professionals might not be asked to … Read more

Marijuana and Paranoia

Marijuana is not the easy breezy, laidback substance that so many make it out to be. For many users, it can induce feelings of paranoia and have a negative effect on mood. It’s a problem, but it’s not one that is stopping too many people from indulging in the substance. According to the United Nations Office … Read more

Health Related Behavior Study 2018 – Health Promotion and Disease Prevention within the Reserve Components

The Health 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. The … 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

Problems Facing Adults who Struggled with Trauma as a Child

Experiencing trauma as a child can lead to a host of emotional and psychological issues that may not emerge until later in life. Adults who experienced trauma during childhood may experience difficulties in many aspects of their lives. They may not realize that these traumatic experiences are contributing factors to their current issues or even … Read more

Recovery Support Alternatives: When Should Someone Throw in the Towel on AA and What Other Recovery Programs Are Out There?

Once considered heresy in rehab circles, it’s now OK to say, “AA just isn’t for me.” A wealth of scientific research, both longstanding and emerging, offers examples of why Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-Step groups may not be an effective path to sobriety for everyone. Seeking professional help from licensed providers should be first and foremost … Read more

Researcher Says Studies Are Clear: Alcohol Use Causes Several Types of Cancer

In a commentary published July 21 in the journal Addiction, a leading addiction researcher in New Zealand drives home a simple message: Make no mistake, there is plenty of solid research that shows alcohol causes several types of cancer, including cancers of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast.1 In the commentary, she says … 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

Assessment and Treatment of Patients with Coexisting Mental Illness and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse

This publication is part of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant technical assistance program. All material appearing in this volume except quoted passages from copyrighted sources is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) or the authors. Citation of the … Read more

Signs of a Heroin Overdose

Heroin overdose is becoming a larger and larger problem in the United States every year. Since the year 2000, the rate of heroin overdose has quadrupled. Specifically, 0.7 of 100,000 deaths were caused by heroin overdose in 2000, but in 2013, 2.7 of every 100,000 deaths were caused by overdose on the drug. No longer a … Read more

Cocaine Detox

Derived from the coca plant, cocaine is a powerful, addictive and dangerous stimulant drug that has been around for centuries. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that around 14 million people worldwide abuse cocaine annually. Stimulant drugs work on the central nervous system and increase energy levels and pleasure, and decrease appetite. Cocaine raises blood … Read more

What Every Family Doctor Needs to Know About Opioids

When it comes to our country’s opioid epidemic, much is resting in the hands of the nation’s family doctors. And at the American College of Physicians’ Annual Internal Medicine Meeting in April 2017 in San Diego, the painkiller addiction issue indeed took center stage. A freelance journalist for Foundations Recovery Network attended the conference this … Read more

Signs of Cocaine Abuse

There are numerous different physical and psychiatric signs that can indicate the use of cocaine in someone you love. Because the drug is deadly and its use can contribute to the development of a number of acute medical emergencies and chronic deadly illnesses, it is recommended that no amount of cocaine abuse be ignored. Early intervention and … Read more

Guide to Living With an Alcoholic

“When it’s good, it’s good. But when it’s bad…” If you’ve been living with an alcoholic for any length of time, you’re well acquainted with extreme moods swings. You love this person wholeheartedly, but you can’t stand their often-erratic behavior. You’ve tried everything to help them quit drinking, from dumping their stash to threatening to … 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


What makes a depression disorder atypical? When the patient experiences all the symptoms of a specific depression disorder (e.g., bipolar disorder, dysthymia, major depression, etc.) but also exhibits one symptom or multiple symptoms that are not typical of that disorder. For example, according to a study published in the journal Psychiatry, the following are signs of atypical … Read more

Self-Harm and Addiction

A buildup of emotions like frustration, anger, self-loathing, depression and anxiety can cause someone to seek an outlet through self-mutilation. A common misconception is to lump suicidal behavior with this deliberate self-harm, sometimes referred to as DSH and other times as NSSI, non-suicidal self-injury. They are, however, not the same and should be considered separately. … Read more

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is an opioid narcotic that acts as an analgesic, or painkiller. The drug binds to opiate receptors in the brain, and often decreases physical feelings of pain while producing feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Buprenorphine is also used in addiction treatment programs for more powerful opiates such as heroin, oxycodone, Percocet, Demerol, Fentanyl, or … Read more

Bipolar II

Unlike bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar I, bipolar II disorder is not characterized by manic episodes but by depressive episodes as well as hypomanic episodes that occur in cycles. It’s one of the more commonly diagnosed types of bipolar disorder, and it can be disruptive for patients, making it difficult for them to have positive and … 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

How Drug Abuse Destroys Your Skin and Complexion

Drug addiction affects your body, causing serious and long-lasting health problems. The condition of your skin and the health of your complexion may be an indicator of more serious problems. Your Skin Affects Your Self Confidence When your health is poor, it shows. Drug use may not make much difference in your appearance in the early … Read more

Are Heavy Drinkers Alcoholics?

The term “alcohol use disorders” refers to a spectrum of disorders, and it’s rare that two people’s drinking behaviors and the harms caused by their drinking will be defined in exactly the same way. “Heavy drinking” is an especially ambiguous term because it can refer to binge drinking, or it can reference a chronic drinking … Read more

Reintegration as a Citizen After Service

Support for Soldiers and Their Families in Civil Life Since 2001, an unprecedented number of National Guardsmen and Reservists have been deployed to key missions in foreign operations. More than 800,000 Reservists have been called to active duty since September 11, 2001. These increased requirements have resulted in an increasing number of recruits and reservists … Read more

Family Therapy and Substance Abuse

Family therapy can play an important role in an individual’s recovery from substance abuse. The addict is not the only person damaged when substance abuse is in play. Rather, every person the addict deals with intimately or on a regular basis can be affected by the addiction. As a result, family therapy is often needed to repair … Read more

Treatment for Members of the LGBT Community

One of the most common reasons that people use drugs and alcohol is to cope with stress. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people are likely to experience more stress than their heterosexual counterparts. Stressful circumstances might include: The decision of whether to come out, and if so, how Rejection or punishment from family members … Read more

Chapter 8 — Psychotic Disorders

Chapter 8 — Psychotic Disorders Dual-Focus Perspective This chapter is an overview of current assessment and treatment principles for patients with alcohol and other drug (AOD) use disorders and psychosis. Along with an increased awareness of the treatment needs of patients with these dual disorders, an increased emphasis on service systems has evolved. These and other … Read more

Guide to Outpatient Rehab

What Is Outpatient Care? Outpatient care is a form of treatment in which the client lives at home and comes in to a clinic or treatment center for therapy and/or medication. One nationwide data set found that outpatient care made up roughly 60 percent of substance abuse treatment admissions.[1] A subset of 12 percent received intensive … Read more

Can You Abuse Antidepressants?

Depression is one of the most frequently detected mental health issues in the United States, and antidepressants are one of the most common prescriptions. There are a few different types of antidepressant medications, each one designed to improve the function of neurotransmitters in the brain and increase the accessibility of feel good chemicals. However, despite the fact … Read more

Better Sleep Quality for U.S. Military Servicemembers

Policies, programs, obstacles to implementation and recommendations for the future Sleep problems are a major complaint of military personnel returning from deployment. Sleep disorders, such as insufficient sleep time, poor sleep quality, nightmares, and daytime sleepiness, may be caused by physical (e.g., pain, brain injury), behavioral (use of stimulants or electronic devices before bedtime), or … Read more

The Risk of Suicide

Though everyone experiences depression from time to time, the experience of moderate to severe depression and the serious contemplation of suicide are serious mental health issues that require immediate intervention and treatment. If you believe that your loved one is at risk of taking his or her own life, don’t wait to intervene. Emergency medical … Read more

Diabetes and Substance Abuse

Managing a diabetes problem means paying close attention to each and every molecule of food and drink that enters the body. Strict control like this can keep blood sugar levels in check, and sometimes a proper diet can reduce a person’s need for diabetes medications. Unfortunately, some people add drugs or alcohol into their dietary … Read more

Stimulant Use

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health disorder, one that is defined by extreme mood swings. Those who live with bipolar disorder often fight madly to escape the deep depressive episodes they experience – and strive just as hard to achieve and maintain the ebullient manic episodes that also characterize the disorder. Many bipolar patients report that they feel … Read more

Can Private Providers Help Care For Veterans?

New York State Example The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for the government’s obligation to provide health care to U.S. veterans. However, not all veterans are eligible for VA care. In addition, veterans who are eligible for veterans’ care often rely on multiple sources, including veterans’ care paid for by the VA … Read more

Health Related Behavior Study 2018 – Experiences During Deployment and Health of the Reserve Members

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

Alcoholism and Anxiety Disorder

When someone is struggling with both alcoholism and an anxiety disorder of any kind, it is termed a “Dual Diagnosis.” Their experience in addiction, as well as their experience in treatment, will be different as compared to someone who suffers from alcoholism alone. Alcohol significantly impacts a patient’s experience with anxiety disorder symptoms, and anxiety disorder symptoms often drive alcoholic … Read more

American Cities with the Highest Addiction Rates

Drug abuse has been called the single biggest public health issue in America. However, to solve the problem of addiction requires a closer look at the communities where substance abuse reigns supreme. Whether due to a thriving prescription painkiller black market or abject poverty, getting to the heart of the problem in cities and towns across America … Read more

Problem Gaming: Player One Continue?

Video games may have once been the domain of the stereotypical introverted young male gamer, but today they’ve become one of America’s most popular forms of entertainment. Fifty-nine percent of Americans now play video games.[1] Almost half of them are girls and women – in fact, adult female gamers (36 percent) now substantially outnumber male gamers … Read more

Issues of Treatment by Profession

Addictions are often equated with unemployment and low economic status. While it’s true that some people do lose everything to their addictions, including their jobs and their savings, it’s also true that some people continue to work and achieve the outer trappings of success, all while dealing with very serious cases of addiction that threaten both … Read more

The Stages of Recovery: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Overcoming an addiction isn’t a simple process. In fact, it may be more accurate to think of it like a journey in which you venture through uncharted territories before finally reaching your destination. The concept of recovery as a process or journey is not often conveyed in recovery literature, but understanding this concept can be … Read more

Johnson Model of Intervention

Interventions are coordinated efforts among family members, friends and treatment professionals to get an addicted loved one into rehabilitation for substance abuse problems. Approximately 22.7 million people were addicted to an illicit substance in 2013, and only a mere 2.5 million of that number got any form of professional help, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health … Read more

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Professionals

Money and power are often linked with health and prestige. It’s assumed that professionals who have achieved some level of success just have less to worry about, when compared with the average person, and they might not develop addictions or substance abuse problems as a result. It’s assumed that their high status in their communities will protect … Read more

Heroin Addiction and Anxiety Disorder

Mental health disorders and addiction very often go hand in hand, and heroin addiction is commonly diagnosed as co-occurring with an anxiety disorder. Whether panic disorder, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or another type of anxiety disorder, many patients find solace in the use of illicit substances that are sedative in their effect, like heroin. Unfortunately, the existence of … Read more

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The power of the human mind is pretty amazing, when you think about it. This one part of our bodies controls everything in our bodies, from the breaths we take to the conscious movement of our muscles. Our heart beats because of our brain. We feel emotions because of our brain. We have the ability … 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

The Role of Genetics

When one person in a family struggles with addiction, the likelihood that another family member will also struggle with drug or alcohol dependence increases. Though it has long been known that genetics can play a role in the development of a substance abuse problem, little attention has been paid to the fact that genetics and … Read more

Dangers of Drug Overdose

When individuals consume more of a drug (whether the drug is lawfully prescribed to them or illicit) than their metabolism can effectively detoxify, the toxicity in their system can lead to an overdose. An overdose may be accidental or intentional, and anyone who uses drugs – lawfully or unlawfully – can be at risk. Although many … Read more

Ideas for More and Better Outcome of Behavioral Health Treatment for Army Personnel

View on treatment outcomes The Army strives to provide the highest quality behavioral health care possible to ensure the psychological readiness of every Soldier. To support this effort, the Army asked RAND researchers to identify factors associated with changes in outcomes for soldiers receiving Army behavioral health care. The Army is monitoring military behavioral health … Read more

Common Mental Health Disorders in Young Adults

The life of a young adult is a like a rollercoaster that last for years. With emotional ups and downs and ins and outs, a young person can feel on the verge of something – anything – long after puberty sets in. Early adulthood is a period marked by changes and growth physically, mentally, and … Read more

Study Drugs (Adderall) and Stress

The target of prescription medications like Adderall is a serious mental illness known as attention deficient disorder (ADD). People with this particular mental illness feel sped up, distracted and unable to concentrate almost every single day of every single week. Not surprisingly, people who experience this face extra challenges as students. They may hop up … Read more

Delusional Disorder and Alcohol Abuse

Delusional disorder, previously referred to as paranoid disorder, is a rare condition. Sufferers of delusional disorder experience delusions, but they do not hallucinate nor do they experience thought or mood disorders or other key symptoms of psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia. These delusions are a form of psychosis, and they typically involve a conviction that something … Read more

Individual Counseling

Psychotherapy, or individual counseling, has become one of the cornerstones of drug treatment services. Most rehab programs feature two key treatment elements: detox and medication therapy (where applicable) and counseling (individual and group programs often based on the 12-Step model). Some centers also offer complementary services, such as acupuncture, massage and yoga. The important role psychotherapy … Read more

Club Drug Experimentation and Trauma

Clubs are hot, sweaty, crowded places full of loud music and flashing lights. They can be wonderfully exciting for young people, who might find the idea of dancing all night with complete strangers to be incredibly liberating. But some teens might be intimidated by the idea of cutting loose in a club, and they might … 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

Medicine for Anxiety Treatment

There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders, the most common of which include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Depending upon the type and severity of symptoms, different medications may be more or less appropriate. Any other issues, like substance abuse, may also play a role in … Read more

Depression and Addiction

Everyone has bad days. Whether it’s because of problems at home, at work or in our relationships, we all experience down periods in our lives. For most people, the down periods come and go in a reasonable, ordinary fashion and can be remedied by things that make us happy. But for those who suffer from … Read more

Seroquel Abuse

Seroquel is a prescription atypical antipsychotic medication used in the treatment of disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Over a one-year period of time, American doctors wrote more than 54 million prescriptions for antipsychotics like Seroquel, IMS Health states. The base chemical in this drug is fumaric acid salt. It is intended to treat these disorders … Read more

Using a Breathalyzer at Home

Alcohol breathalyzers used by individuals are becoming more and more common as people take responsibility for their health. It’s no secret that alcohol is a toxin; moderate drinking is defined as one drink of alcohol per day for women and two drinks per day for men, and those who drink more than this may be putting their … Read more

Lower Costs, Better Performance

A New Strategy for Supporting Combat Hospitals The U.S. Army uses CSHs – mobile hospitals built in tents and extendable containers – to provide surgical and trauma care close to the battlefield. The CSH unit includes a 248-bed hospital, about 500 personnel and $26 million worth of medical equipment. There are 26 CSH units in … 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

How to Recognize an Enabler

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and, sadly, the road of addiction often is as well. Many concerned family members make choices when their loved one is struggling with drug dependence that inadvertently support his ability to continue drinking and getting high while being shielded from the repercussions of his addiction. … 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

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