How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol?

There’s no easy, one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long detox will continue when a drinker attempts to stop drinking alcohol. A number of factors will play a part in determining the length of detox as well as the type and severity of withdrawal symptoms. How long has the person been drinking (e.g., months, … Read more

Drug Abuse and Skin Picking

Drug abuse affects every organ in your body — including your body’s largest organ, the skin. Skin picking and hair pulling are two common reactions to the physical and psychological effects of illicit drug use. Heroin and meth use can cause direct damage to the skin in the form of needle marks and abscesses. Many users … Read more

What Is Opana Used to Treat?

Opana is the brand name for oxymorphone, a highly potent and addictive opioid painkiller. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006, Opana slowly grew in popularity among drug abusers as a sufficient replacement for OxyContin. This was after OxyContin’s manufacturer announced plans to formulate a new and more tamper-resistant version of the drug. Soaring … Read more

Can Oxycodone Cause Anxiety?

Oxycodone is an opioid that is typically prescribed for the treatment of pain. Taking oxycodone according to a doctor’s instructions should only lead to minimal side effects, but even this comes with risks. Recreational or non-prescription use of oxycodone can lead to a number of serious physical and mental health issues including moderate to severe … Read more

Dangers of Cold Turkey Detox

Getting into a drinking or drug problem can be insidiously easy: just one drink to celebrate a happy occasion, or a puff of a joint or a line of coke at a party, and a few months later you’ve lost everything. Getting out of a drinking or drug problem isn’t often easy, but that doesn’t … Read more

What Is Naltrexone?

Most experts agree that therapy is the key to dealing with an addiction, but sometimes it’s hard for people with addictions to handle the demands of therapy sessions. They may be so distracted by cravings that they can’t concentrate on the lessons in each class. Or, they may be unable to fight off cravings at … Read more

Smart Drugs & Nootropics the Next Drugs of Abuse

As technology advances, making things like our phone “smarter,” the inevitable question is whether human brain function can also be improved through technology. Non-prescription nootropics are consumer-level supplements that promise to do just that – make us smarter. These supplements are sold in brick-and-mortar stores and online. According to vendors selling nootropics online, consumers use … Read more

What Is Wet Brain?

“Wet brain” is a term used to describe Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome – a type of brain damage that is caused by alcohol abuse. Wet brain is linked to excessive alcohol abuse and an incredibly serious condition. Alcohol Abuse and Its Connection to Wet Brain The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) published in 2013 that 86.8 … Read more

Antisocial Behavior and Drug Addiction

Succeeding in the modern world often means putting the needs of others ahead of the needs of the self. Those who are considered good might hold open doors for the elderly, listen to others without interrupting, give generously to charitable organizations, and otherwise behave as if serving others is the primary measure of a life … 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

Appendixes B, C, D

Appendix B — Treatment of Patients With Dual Disorders: Sample Cost Data To provide readers with illustrative data on the costs of running programs for patients with dual disorders, the consensus panel Chair obtained data on actual costs during fiscal year 1991-1992 from three programs in urban areas. One program, on the West Coast, provided … Read more

What Is Acamprosate?

Why is alcohol such a hard drug to kick? Researchers think it’s due to the chemical changes each sip can cause deep inside the cells of the brain. In a study in Science Translational Medicine, researchers discovered that alcohol touches parts of the brain called the nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex, which are both involved in a … Read more

Science and Addiction

Human ingenuity is a double-edged sword. Weapons made for protection can be used for murder, and technology developed for sharing information can steal privacy. Similarly, advancements in the fields of chemistry and medicine – ostensibly for healing and improving physical health – can also be turned around and used to poison and corrupt a mind … 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

What Are the Physical Effects of Cocaine Use?

Cocaine may be a recreational drug for many, but it is a highly potent substance that can trigger addiction, medical emergencies and a number of long-term health problems – some of which are fatal. The physical harm caused by chronic cocaine abuse can continue long after the cessation of use; almost no system in the … Read more

Dangerous Drug Combinations

Blending one drug with another is a common technique medical professionals use in order to treat very serious medical and physical illnesses. By using different medications that work on different receptors, they hope to provide people with the kind of relief they might not get if they only used one medication at a time. For … Read more

Synthetic Drug Abuse

Synthetic, or man-made, designer drug abuse has exploded since first appearing on the scene in the United States around 2009. Products are marked as “herbal incense,” “potpourri,” “bath salts,” “jewelry cleaner,” or “plant food,” and they are sold in head shops, gas stations and on the Internet. CNN estimates that over 200 of these drug compounds have … Read more

Heroin Detox

Heroin, an opioid drug derived from the opium poppy plant, is a highly addictive illicit drug. Classified as a Schedule I drug by the DEA, heroin is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no governmentally accepted medicinal properties. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 23 percent of people who use heroin develop … Read more

Dyslexia and Substance Abuse Issues

Have you always struggled with tasks that required reading? Do you have trouble pronouncing written words or interpreting numbers? Did you grow up hating school because your teachers criticized the quality of your handwriting? Did you excel in certain classes, but consistently do poorly in subjects like spelling or grammar? If you meet these criteria, … Read more

What Is Ketamine?

Also known as Special K and Vitamin K, Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic drug. Primarily used in veterinary medicine today, ketamine was used for surgical procedures and to treat pain in humans in recent decades. While is does provide pain relief, it doesn’t work in the same way that most analgesics do — by shutting … Read more

Hepatitis and Steroid Abuse

Anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs are becoming increasingly common in the world of athletics. Their use has become so commonplace that some athletes may fear that they won’t be competitive without using them. However, use of steroids poses serious health risks, including the risk of contracting a chronic and potentially fatal case of hepatitis. … Read more

How Alcohol Affects PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a stress and anxiety condition that is caused by exposure to intensely stressful circumstances and experiences such as the following: Natural disasters Violent crimes Domestic Violence Battlefield or military violence Physical or sexual abuse The sudden loss of a loved one Intense economic hardship Proximity to explosions Long-term bullying Shocking or … Read more

The History of Drug Abuse and How It’s Changed

The history of drug abuse extends much further back in time than many people think. For instance, alcoholic beverages were being produced as early as 7000 B.C., according to research published by the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, hallucinogens have been found in caves in Peru that date back between 8600 and 5600 B.C. One of the best ways … 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

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

Etizolam Abuse and Anxiety Disorder

Etizolam is a benzodiazepine analogue similar to diazepam or Valium. It works like other benzodiazepines, although it has a slightly different chemical makeup. Where benzos have a benzene ring, etizolam has a thiophene ring. Etizolam depresses the central nervous system and animal testing seems to point toward its effectiveness as a muscle relaxer, anti-convulsion medication, … Read more

Spotting the Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol may be the most popular drug in the world, but the misery and anguish of an alcohol problem can be as devastating as that of hard narcotics. The signs of alcoholism are sometimes easily missed or not taken seriously because of the popularity of alcohol and drinking culture. Nonetheless, spotting the signs of alcohol … Read more

Restoril Addiction

While about 10-18 percent of the overall American population deals with sleep disorders, 50-80 percent of those with psychiatric disorders struggle with sleep each night, according to Harvard Medical School. While those with sleep disorders might feel physically exhausted, they might be unable to drift off to dreamland when their heads hit their pillows. They might … Read more

Can Steroid Abuse Affect Sleep Quality?

Healthy sleep is a critical element of health. Poor sleep or inconsistent sleep slows us all down, can damage emotional health, work performance, appetite, memory and immune systems. We simply cannot function without good sleep. The ability to fall and stay asleep and to wake up are largely controlled by chemical systems in the brain, … Read more

The Health Dangers of IV Drug Use

Substance abuse is perpetuated in many ways. Drugs are ingested, snorted, smoked, or injected. Injected drugs are liquids put into the body with a needle and syringe. The drugs are either injected into a vein (intravenous or IV), the muscle (intramuscular) or just under the skin (subcutaneous). The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that as many as … Read more

Sudden Personality Changes in Adults

What do you do if you or someone you love undergoes a big personality change? A sudden personality change in an adult may be a warning sign of a number of problems. If a loved one has been acting strangely or is suddenly concerning you with unusual behavior, it may be time to seek help. … Read more

Dual Diagnosis and Alcohol Abuse

Those individuals with a dual diagnosis can slip into any number of addictive behaviors; drugs, gambling, sex, etc. But few addictions are more prevalent in the dual diagnosis world than alcohol. For those suffering from mental issues such as bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety, alcohol can be used like a crutch to deal with the … Read more

Are There Medications to Stop Addiction?

Drug and alcohol treatment has traditionally primarily followed the 12-Step model of complete abstinence in order to maintain a successful recovery from a substance abuse disorder. Relapse rates can be high at around 40-60 percent, mirroring those of other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension, as reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). … Read more

Risks of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol is a legal, inexpensive and social drug often ingested in excess. A typical drink is defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as one 12-ounce beer (at five percent alcohol), one five-ounce glass of wine (at 12 percent alcohol), or one shot (1.5 ounces) of 80 proof distilled spirits (at 40 percent alcohol). The Centers for Disease … Read more

OxyContin Abuse and Withdrawal Timelines

OxyContin is a narcotic painkiller, one that is potent and commonly prescribed for patients who are struggling with moderate to severe pain. Also known as oxycodone, OxyContin is a highly addictive substance, and though most people will be able to take the drug as prescribed without incident, those who abuse the drug may struggle with increased … Read more

Difference Between Abuse and Addiction

What’s the difference between drug abuse and drug dependence, and are they connected? It’s a common question, and it may not always be easy to tell when someone you care about crosses the line from abuse of a substance into a full-blown addiction. The difference is in the number of diagnostic criteria as per the Diagnostic … Read more

Percocet Side Effects

Percocet is typically prescribed for conditions that can cause a moderate amount of pain. Broken teeth, torn muscles and bone bruises might all heal with the help of the painkillers and opioids inside each dose of Percocet. But oxycodone, the opioid inside Percocet, can also spark an addiction, and that process can happen quickly. In a … Read more

Managing Medications: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Living with obsessive compulsive disorder can create situations that range from mildly annoying to seriously debilitating. Patients may find themselves somewhere on the spectrum between washing their hands constantly to obsessively repeating behaviors that interfere with their daily lives and even their ability to go to a job. There are a handful of different medications … 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

Attitudes and Stereotypes Toward Types of Drugs

Not all drugs are created equal. Some nudge open the door to addiction, and others break that door down. Some have innocuous origins, and others were crafted for no other reason than to poison and corrupt. Similarly, the attitudes and stereotypes towards different types of drugs are not all equal. Some drugs are welcomed and celebrated; … Read more

Drug Policy in America

America’s drug policy incorporates federal laws that regulate the trade, distribution and use of illicit substances. Drug policy covers everything from the classification of drugs and which are illegal to legal punishment for drug activity and treatment and rehabilitative services. Federal drug policy is also involved in the development of campaigns for awareness, and the inhibition … Read more

Alcoholism Nature vs. Nurture

Families facing an addiction often become freelance detectives, inspecting the clues left behind by the substance abuse and trying to develop a narrative that encapsulates the problem. Often, families spend a significant amount of time wrestling with the concept of origin. Specifically, families often want to know if the problems they’re facing have their roots … Read more

Cocaine Abuse and Depression

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is derived from the coca plant that grows naturally in regions such as South America. Cocaine gives users a burst of energy and floods the pleasure centers in the brain, creating a temporary euphoric or happy feeling. The drug is usually snorted, injected or smoked. It acts … Read more

The Science of a Hangover

Chances are if you are one of the 136.9 million current American drinkers of alcohol, one-quarter of whom binge drank in the last month, as reported by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) of 2013, you have likely experienced a hangover at some point. Alcohol, particularly binge drinking, cost the United States approximately $224 … Read more

Alcohol Cardiomyopathy

What Is Alcohol Cardiomyopathy? Alcohol cardiomyopathy, a form of dilated cardiomyopathy, is a condition that leads to heart failure as a result of chronic alcohol abuse. Heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. People who suffer from heart failure often exhibit a shortness of breath, … Read more

Suboxone Detox: How Long?

You’ve heard of drugs like heroin and morphine. As narcotics, they are useful for, and infamous for, causing a brief burst of euphoria, followed by powerfully drowsy and lethargic feelings in their users. This can be very addictive, but simply discontinuing consumption of an addictive substance is much easier said than done. That’s why certain … Read more

Gambling Addiction and Substance Abuse

In 48 of the 50 states, a player can walk into a casino and plop down money on a game of chance. Dice, cards, wheels, machines and more are all put to good use here, creating the illusion that money can be easily won and that luck is right around the corner. And sometimes, it’s … Read more

Fentanyl Addiction Risks

Something that’s powerful is typically thought to be something that’s also good. People think high-octane gas is a little better than standard gas. A baseball pitcher who can throw a ball at 90 mph is often held in higher esteem than someone who can only throw a 70 mph ball. And people who make $70k … 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