As the U.S. faces the worst drug epidemic in history, veterans are statistically one of the most highly impacted groups when it comes to opioid addiction.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has entered the ring in the fight against opioid abuse. Recent mandates outlined in a new ADA policy urge dentists to limit, if not discontinue opioid prescriptions for dental pain and educate themselves on opioid abuse and the use of alternative pain medications.
Like other addictions, alcoholism is considered a chronic, relapsing brain disorder. Prolonged excessive alcohol consumption triggers an array of changes in the brain’s reward and stress system. Alcohol withdrawal causes a wide variety of troubling side effects that can lead to relapse if an individual is not in treatment.
People think about death differently. Some are so terrified of it they develop thanatophobia (death anxiety). Others experience debilitating grief over a loved one’s passing and become clinically depressed. Still, others find peace and happiness as death approaches.
By Tiffany Dzioba, PsyD, LMFT, Executive Director at Promises Malibu & Malibu Vista
For many people, spirituality is a loaded term. It’s a word that is often closely tied to religion, dogma and doctrines. Some people find the word intimidating. However, when it comes to addiction recovery and mental health treatment, one of the most important aspects of healing is integrating a spiritual element or addressing spirituality in a way that allows people to connect to something bigger than them.
So maybe you overdo it from time to time — okay, a lot of the time, but you only drink on the weekends and an occasional weekday, so it’s no problem, right? Just because you don’t drink everyday doesn’t mean you’re safe from alcohol dependence and addiction. In fact, if you’re over the recommendations for moderate drinking — no more than seven drinks a week for women and 14 drinks a week for men — you’ve crossed the line into heavy drinking or binge drinking. Of the 136 million Americans who use alcohol, more than 47% are binge drinkers according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Are you one of them? Here’s some warning signs.
We live in a time when we know the dangers of a highly addictive prescription drug entering into the mainstream. We’ve seen it before with amphetamines in the 1960s. And we see it now with opioid painkillers. With all this wisdom and knowledge, can we prevent it from happening again with Adderall?
One of the hardest parts about getting sober is learning how to cope with all the stress life throws at you without using drugs. In drug rehab, people learn to deal with this stress by developing new coping mechanisms.
Nicole drank until she blacked out every night, but managed to drag herself out of bed each morning and go to work. Because she continued to work and pay her bills, she spent years denying that she had a drinking problem.
There’s much to learn from the experiences of people who have faced similar battles as you and emerged victorious. We spoke with a group of Promises alumni who have been where you are now and come out on the other side of addiction.
Eyes: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for the marijuana high, lowers blood pressure, impacting cells in the eyes. Blood vessels in the eyes expand in response to low blood pressure, a normal response to maintain proper vision. Dilated capillaries and open blood vessels increase blood flow, leading to bloodshot eyes. Redness is more visible against the white part of the eye (sclera). The higher the THC content, the greater the likelihood of bloodshot eyes, therefore edibles can also cause this side effect. Marijuana smoke creates additional eye irritation in some people. This can result in itchy, dry and watery eyes in addition to a “bloodshot” appearance.
Despite heroin use impacting people of all socioeconomic strata, from Middle America to Hollywood, the stereotypical image of a heroin addict persists. Many people still think of heroin users as painfully thin individuals with track marks up and down their arms. Although opioid abuse comes with a host of serious short-and long-term side effects, some drug-related changes in appearance might be more accurately attributed to a reckless lifestyle. For example, some users forgo food to buy drugs.
Alcohol can have serious health effects, most notably alcohol addiction, liver cirrhosis, cancers and injuries. Signs of alcoholism can include changes in appearance, starting with the skin.
Of all the drugs that alter a person’s looks, methamphetamine (meth) causes the most overt visible signs of abuse. Meth abuse wreaks havoc on the entire body, destroying tissues and blood vessels and inhibiting the body’s ability to repair itself. The effects of meth include a decrease in appetite, resulting in muscle degradation, unhealthy loss of body mass, atrophy and a skeletal appearance. Meth abuse also causes the facial structure to undergo a horrific transformation due to serious skin issues and tooth loss.
By Meghan Vivo
Being kind to ourselves doesn’t come naturally to some of us. It can be an unfamiliar practice for those who have grown accustomed to mistreatment as a result of trauma early in life. And while self-compassion is essential for a life of sobriety, people with addiction more often feel deserving of punishment.