Prescription opioid addiction is slashing and burning its way across the American landscape. Since the late 1990s, the rate of narcotic painkiller addiction (and overdose) has soared, and addiction treatment centers are now overflowing with men and women dependent on drugs like OxyContin, fentanyl, Vicodin and Percocet.
The arrival of the 21st century has also been accompanied by a sudden rise in heroin use, and this is directly related to the narcotic painkiller addiction problem. Even though heroin is an illicit drug, it binds with the same receptors in the brain as its prescription opioid cousins, meaning it can be used interchangeably with these drugs. Read More
A number of scientific studies have revealed the complex workings of our brain’s motivation and reward center and how neurotransmitters, often referred to as the brain’s “feel-good chemicals,” are released when we desire something or experience pleasure.
Our brains produce numerous natural neurotransmitters that play critical roles in our health and how we feel. The brain also changes its production of these neurotransmitters in response to certain substances or stimuli, and this is why many experts now recognize the role neurotransmitters play in addiction. They explain that we become addicted as chemically induced alterations in neurotransmitter levels confuse the brain’s pleasure and reward mechanisms, driving addiction and, ultimately, challenging recovery. Read More
Relapse is more the rule than the exception in addiction recovery. In fact, relapse is considered a component of addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which says, “Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” Instead of viewing relapse as a failure, NIDA recommends that people in recovery should interpret it as a sign that their treatment may need to be reinitiated or adjusted.
According to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly 60% of recovering addicts relapse within one year of completing treatment for substance abuse. But in addiction recovery we often get second chances, and more, to move past relapse and onward with our sobriety. Read More
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, long-lasting chemical substance that affects the central nervous system and creates a feeling of intense euphoria in the user. Meth works by causing the brain to release very high levels of the chemical dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that affects attention, alertness, motivation and motor function. The harmful effects of methamphetamine on the brain, such as meth paranoia, are believed to be caused by the elevated dopamine release. Chronic use of meth can cause depression, fatigue, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions and violent behavior. Read More
Everyone overeats at some point. It could be an extra helping at dinner or sampling every dessert at a wedding or eating for comfort after a tough day. Others set a New Year’s resolution to lose weight but they start, stop and never really let a new eating program take hold. All of these behaviors fall within the realm of “normal.”
Many people are uncomfortable talking about pornography use and addiction in general, let alone as a problem that affects young teenagers and pre-teens. Unfortunately, regular pornography exposure is a real concern for adolescents and may put young people at risk for delinquent behavior and even teen porn addiction.
When the holiday season arrives, workplace parties are a common form of celebration. Some amount of alcohol consumption is expected during these events, and most who attend will drink responsibly and in moderation.
For many young people, college means finding themselves in a new environment, freed from parental oversight, making their own decisions, and struggling to keep up academically and fit in socially. It’s pretty much a recipe for alcohol and drug use.
Employee assistance programs (EAPs) have the potential to be powerful ammunition on the frontlines of addiction and mental health issues in the workforce. As more companies begin to rely on EAPs to help alleviate barriers to timely, affordable behavioral healthcare services, it’s important that EAP professionals are up to speed on some key facts about substance abuse.
Ask the rock ’n’ rollers — sex and drugs seem made for each other. But the relationship between sexual activity and drug use is a complicated one, and each has the power to influence the other in profound ways.
Health insurance plans have traditionally offered little in the way of addiction treatment coverage, so many cheered when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) declared that such benefits should be an essential part of the policies sold through state marketplaces.