Articles

Online Gamer Tells His Story of Addiction and Recovery

Online Gamer Tells His Story of Addiction and Recovery

Posted on November 27th, 2014

Video game addiction may not be an officially recognized condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM), but most addiction experts wouldn’t deny its existence. The DSM-5 lists Internet gaming addiction as a condition that warrants more evidence before it can be formally recognized, but it’s widely expected to be fully included in the future, and other countries (such as South Korea) have already begun taking the condition seriously.

This is a complex issue for psychologists, but much more so for the gamers: how are you supposed to know you’re struggling with an issue if there isn’t an official set of criteria? A Reddit user, posting on the League of Legends (an online game with over 27 million daily players) section of the website, tells his story of online gaming addiction in the hopes of helping others recognize when their playing is becoming a problem.

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10 Risks of Holiday Drinking

10 Risks of Holiday Drinking

Posted on November 25th, 2014

When the holiday season rolls around, there are many good reasons to avoid tipping a few too many back and no real good ones for getting tanked with alcohol. Some of the risks may be familiar, while others may not immediately come to mind. Still, it pays to be aware of these 10 risks of holiday drinking — and do something proactive about them:

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Give Thanks for the New Memories in Recovery

Give Thanks for the New Memories in Recovery

Posted on November 24th, 2014

By Suzanne Kane

If it sometimes seems like you can’t escape the memories of your addictive past, there is a good solution to this problem that many newcomers to recovery suffer from. The only real way to get past the past involves forgiving yourself for whatever you have done and then to get busy living life in the present – making new memories.

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Nutrition Can Aid Your Sobriety

Nutrition Can Aid Your Sobriety

Posted on November 23rd, 2014

Addicts in recovery are often let off the hook when it comes to bad habits. Why worry about cigarettes or sugary snacks when trying to focus on the main problem? There is a very good reason to worry about those bad habits. A bad diet can negatively impact your recovery, while eating well can help you feel better, help to restore nutritional imbalances and help resist the urge to relapse. 

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California’s Prop. 47 Brings Big Changes in Drug Crime Sentencing

California’s Prop. 47 Brings Big Changes in Drug Crime Sentencing

Posted on November 21st, 2014

The Nov. 4 decision by voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes has received much attention in the media. But in California, another ballot initiative (Proposition 47) that promises significant change in the area of drug policy also received a collective thumbs-up from the citizenry, and in the long run this type of change in the law could have just as big a societal impact as the adoption of less restrictive marijuana statutes.

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Can Internet Gaming Disorder Alter the Brain’s Structure?

Can Internet Gaming Disorder Alter the Brain’s Structure?

Posted on November 17th, 2014

Internet gaming disorder is the term used in the U.S. to describe an unofficially defined form of behavioral addiction centered on dysfunctional, impairing involvement in games played remotely through computers or other online devices. The American Psychiatric Association has created a list of possible symptoms of this disorder, which researchers throughout the world are currently testing in various types of studies. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, a team of Chinese researchers used advanced imaging technology to help determine if people potentially affected by Internet gaming disorder experience structural changes in their brains’ grey and white matter.

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The Many Triggers That Precede Relapse

Posted on November 15th, 2014

Staying sober requires constant vigilance and awareness of the many things that could trigger a relapse. Some relapse triggers are obvious, such as hanging around bars or wandering around neighborhoods known for high drug trafficking activity. Even continuing to hang around with friends or acquaintances who habitually use alcohol or drugs can be dangerous and asking for trouble.

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Food and Mood in Addiction Recovery

Posted on November 13th, 2014

Food has a powerful effect on both our bodies and our minds. Just how much food impacts our brains and our moods is coming to light with research. This information is important for addicts in recovery because a downswing in mood can lead right to a relapse. There are many reasons to eat well in recovery, like healing nutritional deficits caused by substance abuse, feeling better physically and creating a mental balance. One of the most important reasons may be the stabilization of your mood.

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Retraining-the-Brain-in-Recovery

Retraining the Brain in Recovery

Posted on November 11th, 2014

Much of the new research into addiction talks about how drugs change the brain. What does this mean? We know that whatever those changes are, they make a person dependent on the drug, but how does it work? It turns out that our brains have an amazing degree of plasticity, which means the brain can easily change and adapt in response to stimuli like drugs. This plasticity is responsible for getting us hooked on substances, but it may also help in the development of treatments.

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Overcoming Common Rehab Fears

Posted on November 7th, 2014

No one, it seems, wants to go to rehab. It is a necessity for many addicts, but not a choice that is easy to make. And it isn’t easy to follow through with that choice and go. One of the most important factors holding many people back from going to rehab is fear. Not all addicts will admit to it, but many of the worries, concerns, excuses and reasons for putting off rehab can be blamed on fear. Here are some of the most common fears about going to rehab and how to overcome them:

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Polysubstance Abuse Tied to Significant Decline in Mental Function

Posted on November 5th, 2014

Polysubstance abuse is a pattern of alcohol and/or drug intake that involves at least two types of mind-altering substances. People engaged in this form of abuse have known risks for a range of serious and potentially fatal health problems. In a study published in September/October 2014 in The American Journal on Addictions, researchers from several U.S. institutions investigated the impact that polysubstance abuse has on the average affected individual’s mental or cognitive function. In addition, these researchers identified the combinations of substances commonly consumed by polysubstance abusers.

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Long-Term-Cannabis-Use-Makes-Cocaine-Withdrawal-Worse-Study-Finds

Long-Term Cannabis Use Makes Cocaine Withdrawal Worse, Study Finds

Posted on November 3rd, 2014

Cannabis abuse is the term for a non-addicted pattern of marijuana/cannabis consumption that nevertheless interferes with the ability to maintain stable, productive daily routines. The condition forms part of a larger health problem called cannabis use disorder. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of Brazilian researchers looked at the negative influence that a well-established pattern of cannabis abuse has on the detoxification/withdrawal process that forms the beginning of any successful recovery from cocaine addiction. These researchers also looked at the negative influence of an early introduction to cannabis/marijuana intake on the same phase of the recovery process.

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Drug Cue Response Helps Predict Relapse in Heroin Addicts

Posted on October 30th, 2014

Drug cues are a range of internally and externally generated signals that support continued substance intake in a person with a history of substance use. In an individual affected by substance addiction, the presence of these cues helps foster the drug cravings that reinforce an ongoing pattern of uncontrolled substance use. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Addiction Biology, a team of Chinese and American researchers sought to determine if the intensity of the response to drug cues helps predict whether a person recovering from heroin addiction will relapse.

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Even One-Off Binge Drinking in Pregnancy Affects Child’s Mental Health

Posted on October 28th, 2014

Binge drinking is a form of excessive alcohol intake marked by rapid consumption that leads to legal intoxication. Current evidence indicates that pregnant women who participate in this form of drinking can seriously alter the brain development of their unborn children. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, a team of British and Australian researchers investigated the negative impact that even a single episode of binge drinking during pregnancy can have on the mental health outcomes of children 11 years later.

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Anxiety-Increases-Risk-for-Alcohol-Problems

Anxiety Increases Risk for Alcohol Problems

Posted on October 24th, 2014

Anxiety is a mental state characterized by a prominent sense of fear, dread or unease. Some people have an unusually high level of sensitivity to this state that can significantly increase the odds of developing a diagnosable mental health condition called an anxiety disorder. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Addiction, researchers from two U.S. universities explored the impact that heightened anxiety sensitivity and the motivation to use alcohol as a coping mechanism have on the chances that an adult will developing serious alcohol-related problems.

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