Articles

5 Key Elements of Recovery from Depression and Substance Abuse

5 Key Elements of Recovery from Depression and Substance Abuse

Posted on July 30th, 2014

For 20 years, I battled with a cycle of depression that went from manageable low moods to periods of isolation and despair. Yet it wasn’t until I had a complete breakdown that I started to challenge my mental health status. When I did, it turned out to be the first step to overcoming depression and the foundation to learning how to keep emotionally well.

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‘Higher’ Education: Going Back to School Sober

‘Higher’ Education: Going Back to School Sober

Posted on July 29th, 2014

For many young people, going away to college is a rite of passage that involves monumental changes and freedom to make choices for perhaps the first time in their lives. Most parents and students take for granted that substances, while not on the curriculum, are an anticipated part of the campus experience. Since many parents of today’s college students grew up in the 1960s and 70s – a time when drug culture thrived – parents may “normalize” drug use and overlook the importance of having a conversation with their children about making responsible decisions regarding drugs and alcohol.

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The Shame Game

The Shame Game

Posted on July 24th, 2014

Are you playing the shame game? Keeping secrets, hiding a drug problem or disguising alcohol abuse are all warning signs that you could be. And feeling embarrassed, guilty or remorseful will ensure you keep playing.

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How Does Meth Damage the Brain?

How Does Meth Damage the Brain?

Posted on July 23rd, 2014

Methamphetamine is one of several drugs of abuse classified as central nervous system stimulants. However, the drug produces more powerful effects than other stimulants and its repeated use can easily trigger the brain changes that foster drug dependence and drug addiction. In a study published in May 2014 in the journal Addiction Biology, a team of Taiwanese researchers investigated the underlying mechanisms of methamphetamine-related brain damage. These researchers found that chronic meth users may experience a sharp decline in normal levels of a specific protein that helps protect the brain’s nerve cells.

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Who Benefits Most From Drug Counseling?

Who Benefits Most From Drug Counseling?

Posted on July 22nd, 2014

Treatment programs for opioid addiction sometimes include group or individual counseling sessions in addition to medication and other forms of care. According to the results of a large-scale, federally sponsored project called the Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study (POATS), this counseling does not seem to do much good. In a study published in April 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of U.S. researchers reexamined POATS in order to clarify these findings. The researchers concluded that drug counseling does work for some opioid-addicted patients/clients when these individuals actively stick to their overall program regimen.

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Which People Have Highest Odds of Quitting Drinking?

Which People Have Highest Odds of Quitting Drinking?

Posted on July 18th, 2014

People with serious drinking problems may have overlapping symptoms of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, symptoms related only to non-addicted abuse or symptoms related only to alcoholism. After trying to quit, many of these individuals experience a short- or long-term relapse back into active alcohol consumption. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of American and Spanish researchers used data gathered from a large-scale U.S. project called the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) to determine if it’s possible to predict which people affected by alcohol abuse and/or alcoholism have the highest chances of trying to quit drinking and successfully establishing drinking abstinence.

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Ways to Help a Loved One Avoid Relapsing

Ways to Help a Loved One Avoid Relapsing

Posted on July 17th, 2014

After the hard work of addiction recovery your loved one is ready to come home. You are looking forward to having them back and putting life on a forward trajectory. However, at the same time, there may be a concern in the back of your mind. Fear of potential relapse could be casting a shadow over your bright hopes for the future.

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How To Treat Doctors With Addiction

How To Treat Doctors With Addiction

Posted on July 16th, 2014

Addiction is a problem for many people, but for doctors struggling with addiction, the issue is multiplied. Doctors have many risk factors for addiction and for many reasons are less likely to admit to having a problem or to ask for help. The consequences for a doctor treating patients while intoxicated or going through withdrawal could be disastrous. A doctor with an addiction is a unique situation. He or she requires special attention and care to help both the addict and to prevent harm to patients.

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What Is The Link Between an Empty Nest and Depression?

What Is The Link Between an Empty Nest and Depression?

Posted on July 15th, 2014

Middle-age is a time of life that brings change for many parents. One of those changes happens when a young adult moves out of the family home. Some parents experience what’s been dubbed “empty nest syndrome,” an informal term for the sadness, grief and loneliness felt after a child leaves home. For some, these negative feelings can persist and make them vulnerable to developing depression.

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Working Toward a Successful Recovery From Addiction

Working Toward a Successful Recovery From Addiction

Posted on July 14th, 2014

Even with all of the right tools in place, individuals with addiction often find themselves relapsing soon after completing a treatment program for substance abuse. Relapse is a common occurrence, and those attempting to cease using drugs or alcohol can become discouraged as they find themselves in a seemingly endless cycle of recovery and relapse.

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Sexual Shame and Its Impact on Addiction

Sexual Shame and Its Impact on Addiction

Posted on July 12th, 2014

Shame is the feeling of being inherently flawed, defective, and unworthy of love. Sexual shame occurs when this belief is fostered by traumatic sexual experience, usually in either childhood or adolescence (but also in adulthood). This trauma can be overt, covert, or even societal in nature. In other words, people who are sexually abused nearly always carry around a great deal of sexual shame, as do people who feel icky about too much trust and affection (even when that doesn’t turn overtly sexual), as do kids who are societally denigrated because they are gay, bisexual, gender dysphoric, etc.

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How Addiction Impacts the Family

How Addiction Impacts the Family

Posted on July 11th, 2014

When it comes to addiction, we often think most about the addict. He is struggling with a chronic illness that is incredibly difficult to treat. He has likely suffered in many ways, including health consequences, financial problems, job loss and/or other impacts on his life. But what about his family? How does addiction impact parents, children, siblings and everyone else close to the addict?

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Don’t Let Children Moving Back Home Derail Your Recovery

Don’t Let Children Moving Back Home Derail Your Recovery

Posted on July 10th, 2014

After finishing college or graduate school, many young adults find themselves unable to get a job in their field of expertise. Stuck with low-paying internships or waiting tables while they figure out their next move, it is common for these young adults to move back home to save on rent. A clash of cultures is inevitable, but what happens when you’re in recovery and your adult child is actively using? Worse yet, what if you can see the tell-tale signs of addiction in your own home, in your own child?

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Aerobic Exercise Boosts Alcoholism Treatment

Aerobic Exercise Boosts Alcoholism Treatment

Posted on July 9th, 2014

Doctors and public health officials have long noted the benefits of aerobic exercise for the average person’s mental and physical well-being. In a study published in July 2014 in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, researchers from five U.S. universities explored the benefits of aerobic exercise for people affected by alcoholism. These researchers concluded that aerobic exercise can substantially improve the drinking behaviors of such individuals and also increase the effectiveness of primary alcoholism treatment.

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