Articles

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome: What You Should Know

Posted on September 12th, 2017

Withdrawal symptoms that occur when you stop using an addictive substance — whether it is alcohol, a prescription medication or an illicit drug — can range from being uncomfortable to excruciatingly painful and debilitating, or even deadly.

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a category of drugs that can lead to particularly troublesome and potentially serious symptoms during the withdrawal process. Benzodiazepines are a type of medication typically prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia or seizures, and are sold as generics and also under the brand names Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Restoril and Klonopin.

Withdrawal from this type of medication can be so difficult and potentially dangerous that the process has its own name: benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, or benzo withdrawal syndrome.

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Pregnant Woman Dies of Heroin Overdose

Posted on September 6th, 2017

“You suffer the rest of your life, you fight the rest of your life, and there’s only a few ways out of it: jails, institutions or death.”

This is what Isaac Brello says about how heroin addiction overtakes you and rules your life at the cost of everything else — and he should know. His partner, Samantha Neuhoff, a pregnant heroin addict, died of an overdose on May 12, 2017, just a couple of months shy of giving birth to their child.

It’s overstating the obvious to say that pregnancy and heroin don’t mix, and Neuhoff knew this. She had been struggling to stay clean throughout her pregnancy, and had finally decided to seek professional help and undergo addiction treatment. She succumbed to the power of her heroin addiction just a few days before she was scheduled to enter rehab.

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‘Wet Brain’: Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Posted on September 5th, 2017

One of the saddest sights for any of us to see is someone who is staggering along the street, apparently drunk and out of control.  We worry that person might fall and injure themselves and we fear for our own safety because, clearly, this person has had a lot to drink.

What many people do not realize is that the behavior of this individual is not from just a few drinks at the pub. It could be a sign of an acute alcohol-related condition known as “wet brain,” also identified as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

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10 Ways to Thank Your Loved Ones for Supporting Your Addiction Recovery

Posted on September 1st, 2017

When lost to addiction, you often hurt the ones you love. In recovery and aftercare programs, you will have the chance to show thanks to those who stood by you. Not only can it bolster your relationships with others, but it can also improve your relationship with yourself.

“Addiction, at its core, is a constant perception of unmet needs, so being appreciative or grateful is a foundational shift that opens the door to new, positive emotional experiences,” says Kenneth England, LMFT, primary therapist at Promises drug and alcohol rehab. “The process of thanking people who care can help in their healing and yours.”

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Penn State Fraternity Hazing & Binge Drinking

Posted on August 31st, 2017

Was it murder, or a tragic accident?

A judge and grand jury have to determine the answer to this question after 19-year-old college student Timothy Piazza died in February 2017 following a night of binge drinking as part of a ritual in a Penn State fraternity hazing. Binge drinking at the Beta Theta Pi frat house involved a ritual called “the gauntlet,” in which Piazza and other fraternity pledges had to guzzle large amounts of alcohol — wine, vodka and beer — at a series of stations.

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Dependent Personality Disorder in Men

Posted on August 30th, 2017

By Cynthia Sass (byline)

Dependent Personality Disorder is characterized as an excessive reliance on another person to satisfy one’s own emotional and physical needs. There is an overwhelming desire to be taken care of and, essentially, to be told what to do and how to feel about even the simplest things.

Making everyday decisions are extremely difficult for people with Dependent Personality Disorder, unless they get vast amounts of reassurance and guidance from a partner. However, simply being submissive and needy in a relationship is not enough to mean that an individual suffers from Dependent Personality Disorder. The behavior is not considered a disorder unless it is pervasive, has persisted for a long duration (since adolescence or young adulthood), and causes impairment in important areas of life, such as relationships, work or school.

The onset of Dependent Personality Disorder tends to happen in young adulthood and can affect both men and women. Although a men’s treatment center could provide needed assistance, many men with Dependent Personality Disorder do not seek help. Additionally, Dependent Personality Disorder in men might be underdiagnosed.

Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder

To be diagnosed with Dependent Personality Disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition, an individual must exhibit a persistent and excessive need to be taken care of, resulting in submissiveness and clinging, as seen through five or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of guidance and reassurance from someone else
  • Requiring someone else to be responsible for important aspects of life
  • Trouble disagreeing with others, fearing alienation
  • Problems initiating projects due to lack of confidence in judgment and abilities
  • Willingness to go to great lengths, even doing extremely unpleasant tasks or making great sacrifices, to get support and approval from someone else
  • Feeling helpless and uneasy when alone, fearing an inability to care for self
  • Intense desire to replace a relationship that has ended with a new relationship and someone who will provide care and support
  • Obsessive fear of being left alone to take care of self

Does Dependent Personality Disorder Affect Men and Women Differently?

Dependent Personality Disorder does not appear to affect men and women differently, but it is diagnosed in women more than men. Men also are less likely to seek help from a men’s treatment center for Dependent Personality Disorder. Some researchers believe that gender bias may account for the disparity in diagnoses and treatment. The idea is that social roles have conditioned men and women to manifest personality traits in different ways. And, society tends to view those manifestations as either feminine or masculine. Thus, while men and women may both exhibit dependent behaviors, women tend to express dependence as submissiveness and neediness.

On the other hand, men tend to be more self-effacing and clingy in ways that could be perceived as aggressive, simply because they are male. Studies have shown that doctors may assign personality disorders, where symptoms are typically viewed as socially feminine, to females while overlooking the same symptoms in males. The result is that men generally are not diagnosed with conditions like Dependent Personality Disorder unless the symptoms are unusually pronounced.

In a nutshell, because symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder are considered feminine by definition, they are attributed more often to women than to men.

Treatment

Men who suffer from Dependent Personality Disorder can find help at a men’s treatment center that deals with personality disorders. Treatment for Dependent Personality Disorder generally includes cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, psychodynamic therapy and, in some cases, medication.

Sources

http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1052&context=wupjThe Existence, Causes and Solutions of Gender Bias in the Diagnosis of Personality Disorders

https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/dependent-personality-disorder – Dependent Personality Disorder

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364134/pdf/nihms670459.pdfGENDER ROLE AND PERSONALITY DISORDERS

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144297/ – 4Working With Specific Populations of Men in Behavioral Health Settings

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Lessons From Celebs You May Not Know Battled Addiction

Posted on August 29th, 2017

“Addiction is a brutal, cunning, shapeshifting enemy, but I’ve seen people from every walk of life kick it in the ****ing mouth.

— Comedian Rob Delaney

Celebrities have no special powers when it comes to battling drug addiction. But those with star power like writer and comedian Rob Delaney, who got sober 15 years ago, have a platform we mere mortals will never be able to leverage to help individuals who are struggling with addiction.

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What’s Really in Cocaine? Dangerous Cutting Agents Used to Extend Profit

Posted on August 28th, 2017

Did you know that cocaine is sometimes used for legitimate medical purposes, primarily as a topical anesthetic? Most people don’t know this, because cocaine is mostly used as a recreational drug. When sold to people for recreational purposes, cocaine can be very dangerous.

The dangers of using cocaine can include impaired judgement, engaging in risky behaviors like needle sharing, unsafe sex and drugged driving, as well as experiencing unexpected side effects. Unexpected effects from cocaine can be caused by negative interactions that occur when it is mixed with alcohol or medications, as well as by hidden ingredients that drug dealers use as cutting agents to dilute or extend the amount of the cocaine they sell with the aim of garnering greater profits.

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Coping with Chronic Pain: Safe Pain Management

Posted on August 25th, 2017

Many people with addiction to drugs and alcohol started using substances to get relief from chronic pain — physical, emotional and psychological pain.

Pain does funny things to your brain — it is very difficult to focus on anything else when you are coping with pain. Our instinct is to make the pain go away as quickly as possible so we can function. That approach often leads to an over-reliance on pain medications, such as opioid painkillers, which cause a host of side effects and can lead to physical tolerance (requiring increasing doses to get relief) and addiction.

Once an addiction to opioid painkillers like oxycodone or hydrocodone takes hold, it is tough to break. People who also drink alcohol to take the edge off the pain raise their risk of combined drug toxicity when the substances in their system interact, which can be dangerous and life-threatening.

There has to be a better way to cope with chronic pain. Fortunately, there is! It takes a bit more effort than simply popping a pill, but can bring relief without addiction or side effects.

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Firefighters & Addiction: When the Heroes Need Help

Posted on August 24th, 2017

Firefighters are true heroes. They save others and risk their lives on a daily basis. They devote their lives to rescuing others.

They are the ones running toward the fire when everyone else is screaming and running away and they comfort those who have been traumatized.

That’s why it’s so hard for them to ask for help when they are struggling, especially when it comes to firefighters and alcohol abuse, substances and other addictions.

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Healthy Habits & Lifestyle Changes

Posted on August 23rd, 2017

Have you been overindulging in things — partying with alcohol and drugs or binging on food, shopping (or gambling) too much, or overdoing anything that feels unhealthy? If so, now might be the right time to make some lifestyle changes and get yourself back on track.

If you have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction, taking measures to get healthy and stay healthy are critical to your continued recovery. Experts in the addiction treatment field have found that people trying to maintain sobriety do best when they practice good self-care and make a healthy lifestyle the foundation of their recovery.

Developing healthy habits (and sticking to them) is easier said than done, of course! Here are a few healthy lifestyle tips to help motivate you to eat better, exercise more, drink less caffeine, rethink and revise destructive behaviors you have developed or make any other lifestyle changes that will improve your overall health and outlook.

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Age at First Drink Predicts Risk for Heavy Drinking

Posted on August 21st, 2017

In the U.S., some alcohol consumers don’t take their first drink until they reach the end of their teenage years or the beginning of their 20s. However, many consumers take their first drink of alcohol at a much younger age. Addiction specialists and public health officials know that the early use of alcohol can have a range of harmful short- and long-term effects. In a study published in July 2014 in the International Journal of Drug Policy, researchers from Australia’s National Drug Research Institute specifically looked at the impact that early alcohol use has on the odds that a young adult will become a heavy drinker.

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4 Daily Actions That Will Keep You Sober

Posted on August 18th, 2017

When you are actively addicted to drugs or alcohol, part of your problem is that relying on substances became a habit. A habit is a behavior that is done regularly, usually without thinking much about it. Most habits are pretty hard to break. By abusing alcohol or drugs, you have been in the habit of running away from reality and avoiding feelings that are unpleasant. These are habits that need to be replaced with healthier choices.

Good habits are developed by reminding yourself to repeat a certain behavior until it becomes something you do daily without thinking about it. Most likely you have already developed some healthy habits such as brushing your teeth or participating in physical exercise or meditation. The actions that it takes to lead a sober life can also become something that you don’t have to think about.

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Adderall Graduates From Study Drug to Workplace Drug

Posted on August 17th, 2017

Adderall is now finding its way into the hands of non-ADHD-suffering workers, who are using the ADHD drug as a “productivity-enhancer” to help them get ahead in their careers. The drug was previously known to be abused as a “study drug” by college students, but it only takes so long for those students to graduate and bring their habits to the workplace, and the attention the “study drug” phenomenon attracted undoubtedly tipped off many adult employees to its potential “benefits.” The use of quotation marks for “benefits” is no accident, though, because whether it actually improves mental performance is far from clear, and the risks Adderall abuse brings markedly outweigh any potential boosts to productivity.

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How Is Suboxone Different From Methadone?

Posted on August 16th, 2017

Suboxone, which combines the medications buprenorphine and naloxone, is a drug used in medication assisted treatment (MAT) for drug addiction to opiates (like heroin) or opioids (like prescription painkillers). Like suboxone, methadone helps diminish withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings and is used in MAT programs to treat opioid and opiate addiction. Suboxone is somewhat different from methadone due to its key added ingredient — naloxone.

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