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The Top 10 Warning Signs of Becoming Addicted to Medication

Substance abuse and addiction isn’t just limited to alcohol and street drugs. It can also be very easy to become addicted to medication. This can be very confusing and dangerous all at the same time, because medication has been prescribed to help treat something that might be wrong. While taking medication prescribed by a doctor […]

Can I Become Addicted To My Depression Medication?

What is depression medication? Depression medication, also known as antidepressants, are prescription medications used to treat moderate to severe depression. When taken under the supervision of a medical professional and according to their prescribed dosage, depression medication can work well to help people manage their symptoms and lead happy, healthy lives. Depression is more than […]

Can I Become Addicted to My Anxiety Medication?

What is Anxiety? Having anxiety is a difficult issue suffered by millions. It is much more than just butterflies in your stomach before going on stage or before an important event – it can be crippling and can cause severe impacts on one’s life, and you may need to be on anxiety medication to help […]

Co-Occurring Mental Health and Addiction

What is a Co-Occuring disorder? The coexistence of both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse use disorder is referred to as a co-occurring disorder. Any combination of mental health and addiction can be referred to as having a co-occuring disorder. The combinations can be seemingly endless, and can even include more than one […]

Is Addiction Hereditary?

Looking at Your Family History It can be widely speculated that addiction can be hereditary. If there are addicts in your family, it could be possible that their behaviors can be passed on to you, as well. When considering this, it is important to look at your family history, especially your parent’s. Numerous studies show […]

What Support You Should Have After Treatment

What happens after treatment? When you leave a treatment facility, you will be entering an entirely new life. For many people, entering treatment means completely changing one’s life in order to maintain sobriety once they leave. While this is an exciting time, it can also be a little scary for some. But with the right […]

Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders Anxiety is a complex condition that affects millions of people all over the world. It is a broad term in itself and can look different on everybody. It is literally defined as: “a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.” […]

Why Involving Family is Key to Success

Substance abuse is a family disease A little known fact that families of addiction tend to overlook is that addiction is a family disease, in which each member is affected. If a family member is going through addiction, it is important for everyone to rally together in support. It may not always be possible to […]

Depression and Addiction

How does depression cause addiction? Addiction is a common place issue amongst people who are experiencing a depressive disorder. Alcohol is classified as a central nervous system depressant. This means it will actually trigger typical symptoms of depression like sadness, lethargy and hopelessness. Many people who are depressed reach for alcohol and drugs as a […]

ADHD and Addiction

What is ADHD? ADHD is a behavioral disorder, which stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a condition that either makes it difficult to keep mental focus on a single topic, control the impulse to act out, or both. While it can be diagnosed as an adult, people with ADHD are usually diagnosed in […]

What Makes Cliffside Better

Our Approach Cliffside Malibu is a world class luxury drug and alcohol treatment center. We want you to recover for good, and we do that with seven major factors. 1. We Stand By Our Commitment To Your Success. Our main goal is: We only want you to come to treatment once. 2. We Recognize The […]

Medically-Assisted Detox with an Onsite Addictionologist

What is Medicated-Assisted Detox? Medicated-Assisted Detox is the use of medications under supervision of an addictionologist to help treat the symptoms of detoxification from substance use disorders including opioids, alcohol abuse and more. Detoxification is often the most uncomfortable and most feared process of recovery. Cliffside Malibu takes great care in ensuring that this process […]

Cliffside Malibu Approach vs AA Approach

What is the Cliffside Malibu approach? Cliffside Malibu has a evidence-based, well thought out three-fold approach to addiction treatment that creates the foundation for lasting recovery that is different from AA. When all three are used together, the outcomes are more effective than any individual part on its own. Those three approaches are: Intensive one-on-one […]

What is Continuum of Care?

What does Continuum of Care mean? Continuum of Care is a concept involving guiding and tracking patients over a period of time through a comprehensive array of health services and spanning all levels and intensity of care. Depending on the need, Continuum of Care can be from birth to end of life for all levels […]

Holistic therapy and how they help fight addiction

What is holistic therapy? Holistic therapy is defined as non-medicinal recovery methods. At Cliffside, we use holistic therapy to complement traditional treatment practices. Holistic therapy aims to bring the mind, body and spirit into alignment. It focuses on the patient’s overall well-being while also treating physical symptoms of addiction and withdrawal. They can be very […]

Behavioral Therapy: DBT and CBT and How They Help Fight Addiction

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBD) is a short-term behavioral psychotherapy used as a hands-on approach to re-teach patients problem-solving as well as changing the patterns of behavior and thinking that lead to a patient’s difficulties. It can be used to treat a wide variety of issues from problems sleeping, to […]

Stages of Change

What are the Stages of Change? At the University of Rhode Island, two researchers named Prochaska and DiClemente deciphered that there are 6 stages individuals go through and experience while seeking addiction, going through recovery and ultimately maintaining sobriety. These stages became a model known as “The Stages of Change”, which we base our individualized […]

What is the Difference between Residential/PHP/IOP treatment?

What is Residential Rehab? Rehabilitation in a residential setting is referred to as Residential Rehab. In residential rehab, patients reside in a facility more reminiscent of a home for the length of their treatment. Treatments can vary anywhere in length from 30, 60 to 90 days or more. (Duration of stay can be shorter or […]

Luxury Alcohol Treatment Center

Americans are drinking more than ever. In fact, a 2017 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that 1 out of every 8 Americans struggles with alcohol abuse. The number is rising at a steady amount, and the study suggests the importance of “destigmatizing these conditions and encouraging those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on […]

Nine Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rehab

Nine Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rehab This year, the USA is on pace for 50,000+ overdose deaths as we saw in 2016 and 88,000 deaths from alcohol misuse. There is no indication that the Federal government will follow through on past initiatives to stem the opioid abuse epidemic. Plans to cut Medicaid and […]

Pre-Existing Conditions: How the New Proposed Healthcare Plan Could Deny You Coverage

Pre-Existing Conditions: How the New Proposed Healthcare Plan Could Deny You Coverage Congressional Republicans are dead-set on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, seemingly without regard for making improvements to the system. The President’s promise was more people covered with better care at less cost. That is not what the new GOP proposal would […]

Why Can’t People Get Healthcare in Rural America?

Why Can’t People Get Healthcare in Rural America? There is a medical crisis in rural America. There aren’t enough physicians to meet the needs of small towns, and the problem is only getting worse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than 6,600 primary care health professional shortage areas […]

To Overcome Addiction, You Must Address Underlying Trauma

To Overcome Addiction, You Must Address Underlying Trauma One of the most widely known addiction treatment groups, Alcoholics Anonymous, famously lists twelve steps the addict must take to overcome their addiction. While these steps include everything from admitting you’re powerlessness over the substances you abuse to seeking out people you’ve wronged in the past to […]

Medical Marijuana Saves Lives

Medical Marijuana Saves Lives With so many political crises to attend to daily, it’s hard not to let important issues fall by the wayside. However, with the unveiling of the Republican plan to reform the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the powerful opposition to that plan, nothing is being done to address the opioid abuse […]

The Impact of the Proposed Republican Reforms to the Affordable Care Act

The Impact of the Proposed Republican Reforms to the Affordable Care Act Americans have gotten their first glimpse of proposed Republican reforms to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the news is not good for those who suffer from addiction and other vulnerable populations. The changes could make it impossible for many who currently have […]

Prescription Lies: Five Myths about Prescription Pain Killers

Prescription Lies: Five Myths about Prescription Pain Killers When you’re in pain, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to feel better. For Americans diagnosed with chronic pain, getting a prescription for an opioid-based pain killer can seem like the only way to regain day-to-day function. But in desperation to find a treatment that effectively […]

State Autonomy or Federal Negligence? Medicaid Cuts in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction

State Autonomy or Federal Negligence? Medicaid Cuts in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction State and federal governments pay deeply for addiction. One study conducted by researchers at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control estimates that the opioid addiction crisis has cost the United States more than $78 billion. The cost is staggering. As […]

The United States’ Greatest Barriers to Improved Mental Health Care Services and What Advocates Can Do to Enhance Care

The United States’ Greatest Barriers to Improved Mental Health Care Services and What Advocates Can Do to Enhance Care What stops people who need mental health treatment from getting the support they need? While on average one in five American adults experiences some form of mental illness every year, just over 40% of people living […]

Getting Better With Time: Engage Your Brain for Mental Fitness Later in Life

Getting Better With Time: Engage Your Brain for Mental Fitness Later in Life What can you do to keep mentally fit as you age? Here are a few tips to consider. Play: Play is not just for children. It is also a great work out for the brain. A recent study published in Frontiers in […]

How Medicaid’s Addiction Treatment Services Will Change as a Block-Grant Program

How Medicaid’s Addiction Treatment Services Will Change as a Block-Grant Program Last weekend Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, said in an interview that replacing the Affordable Care Act could include a shift in Medicaid’s financing to block grants. Since it was created in 1965, Medicaid has been a open-ended federal entitlement program, meaning that […]

Hit the Hay: Three Reasons Why Good Sleep is Crucial for Mental Health

Hit the Hay: Three Reasons Why Good Sleep is Crucial for Mental Health One in three American adults don’t get enough sleep. Though Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that as many as ninety percent of North Americans respond to this chronic lack of sleep with a regular dose of caffeine, that little pick-me-up doesn’t cut it. […]

Opioid Addiction is Predictable and Potentially Avoidable if Physicians Change Screening Habits

Opioid Addiction is Predictable and Potentially Avoidable if Physicians Change Screening Habits Most people only use prescription opioids for a short period of time. According to a new study published in PAIN, The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, less than two percent of people prescribed opioid-based pain killers are still […]

How the Federal Government’s Opposition to Medical Marijuana Research Keeps Patients in the Dark

How the Federal Government’s Opposition to Medical Marijuana Research Keeps Patients in the Dark Last week the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report surveying over 10,000 scientific studies to determine conclusively how marijuana interacts with the body. The review was especially concerned with marijuana’s efficacy as a medicine as well as […]

We Need Leadership: Here’s How President Trump and Incoming HHS Secretary Tom Price Can End the Nation’s Addiction Crisis

We Need Leadership: Here’s How President Trump and Incoming HHS Secretary Tom Price Can End the Nation’s Addiction Crisis With the fate of the Affordable Care Act still up in the air, it’s not clear what health care will look like under President-elect Donald Trump. But as the opioid crisis rages on, Trump’s administration can’t […]

What You Need to Know about Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

What You Need to Know about Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is one of the most under-utilized tools we have to fight our country’s ongoing addiction crisis. Ideally, this intervention employs specific pharmaceutical drugs combined with counseling and behavioral therapies, but its true power is often obscured by misunderstanding. Effective use of […]

Deadlier than Heroin: How Fentanyl is Becoming Public Health Enemy No. 1

Deadlier than Heroin: How Fentanyl is Becoming Public Health Enemy No. 1 For the first time in the city’s recorded history, more than 1,000 New Yorkers are expected to die from a fatal drug overdose in 2017. Key to this record-breaking statistic is the increased abuse of fentanyl, a cheap synthetic opioid up to 100 […]

Changing the Brain: The Case for Incorporating Mind-Body Therapies into Addiction Treatment Programs

Changing the Brain: The Case for Incorporating Mind-Body Therapies into Addiction Treatment Programs Mind-body therapies like meditation, acupuncture, and yoga have been practiced for thousands of years and offer practical methods to decrease stress levels and improve mood. But there’s more to mind-body therapies than meets the eye. While traditional medicine is slow to acknowledge […]

Making New Year’s Resolutions that Work in 2017

Making New Year’s Resolutions that Work in 2017 The key to making and keeping New Year’s resolutions is that they have to involve complete lifestyle change. Throwing money at a gym membership without a solid plan to change your lifestyle results in squandered money and disappointment. Here are six tips to help you create New […]

How to Talk to Your Family about Drinking this New Year’s Eve

How to Talk to Your Family about Drinking this New Year’s Eve Talking with friends or loved ones about being more careful when they drink alcohol can feel uncomfortable. But for thousands of Americans who die from alcohol poisoning every year or are killed by a drunk driver on New Year’s Eve, one uncomfortable conversation […]

Exporting Pain: Here’s Why Some Doctors are Labeled ‘Opioiphobic’

Exporting Pain: Here’s Why Some Doctors are Labeled ‘Opioiphobic’ While patients and medical professionals in the United States have wised up to the potential harm of prescription opioids like OxyContin, its manufacturers aren’t willing to sell any less, instead choosing to pursue an aggressive marketing campaign internationally rather than give up on potential profits. This […]

Another Stepping Stone to Recovery: What You Need to Know about the 21st Century Cures Act

Another Stepping Stone to Recovery: What You Need to Know about the 21st Century Cures Act This December, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act. The legislation is one of several bills passed by Congress this session taking aim at the nation’s ongoing opioid abuse epidemic. Here’s what you need to know about this […]

Celebrate Your Nice List: Here’s Your Holiday Shopping Guide for Loved Ones in Recovery from Addiction

Celebrate Your Nice List: Here’s Your Holiday Shopping Guide for Loved Ones in Recovery from Addiction Holiday shopping season is in full swing. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a loved one new to recovery, here are a few classic gift ideas you can be sure will make them smile and support their […]

Elephant Sedative Carfentanyl is the Latest and Deadliest Heroin Additive

Elephant Sedative Carfentanyl is the Latest and Deadliest Heroin Additive One of the biggest risks associated with illegal drug use is that there’s no way to know for sure exactly what’s in the substance you’re consuming. Many drug cartels dilute their products with nearly indistinguishable substances, for example mixing powdered milk into a batch of […]

How Can You Know if You’re Depressed?

How Can You Know if You’re Depressed? Though we’ve come a long way in the treatment of mental illness, there still is not consensus on the diagnosis and treatment of even the most common metal illnesses, including depression. In a recent review of diagnostic tools conducted by Universiteit van Amsterdam, researchers revealed that there is […]

Here’s How Stress Recalibrates Your Brain, Driving Alcohol Consumption

Here’s How Stress Recalibrates Your Brain, Driving Alcohol Consumption Stress creates feelings that we sometimes deal with in maladaptive ways. A long wait at the post office might stress you so much that you choose to stay home with pizza and a movie instead of going to the gym. Caring for an ailing parent might […]

Getting Medical Treatment Shouldn’t Limit Second Amendment Rights

Getting Medical Treatment Shouldn’t Limit Second Amendment Rights The 2016 election was one of the biggest political upsets in recent memory. While people across the country cried tears of joy or disappointment over the prospect of President-elect Donald Trump, many overlooked another major turn of events: the advance of marijuana legalization efforts. What was once […]

Benzodiazepines: What You Should Know Before Filling Your Prescription

Benzodiazepines: What You Should Know Before Filling Your Prescription The opioid crisis is still in full swing, but that doesn’t mean opioids are the only class of drugs hurting people. Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, Versed, Ativan, or Valium, are a class of drugs that are prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders. Prescriptions for and overdoses caused […]

Looking Forward: Obstacles and Opportunities for Trump’s Fight Against Opioid Addiction

Looking Forward: Obstacles and Opportunities for Trump’s Fight Against Opioid Addiction What will the fight against opioid addiction look like under President Trump? Although the president-elect has yet to appoint the Secretary of Health and Human Services who will inherit this public health crisis, Trump and his transition team have been discussing possible strategies since […]

Staying Sober on “Trumps-Giving”

Staying Sober on “Trumps-Giving” I wasn’t surprised, but I was heartbroken by the number of calls I received in the week following Trump’s election. Every day, usually in the late evening or dead of night, I heard from all sorts of scared souls, reasonably new to addiction recovery, who wanted to drink or use and […]

States Aren’t Enough: Here’s Why the DEA Should Change Marijuana’s Schedule I Classification

More than half the states in the nation and Washington DC have legalized medical marijuana. While people managing pain or living with extremely painful forms of cancer in those states are grateful, some researchers and addiction treatment providers are arguing that just changing the drug’s status at a state level doesn’t go far enough. Here’s […]

Trump is Backpedaling on Obamacare: Here’s Why That’s Good

One thing Trump voters say they love about him is his propensity to “tell it like it is.” But just days after becoming the next president-elect of the United States, Donald Trump is already backpedaling on his campaign promise to immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) once he’s in office. Here’s why Trump’s pivot […]

Cutting Off the Supply: The Good and Bad of Opioid Prescription Limits

Cutting Off the Supply: The Good and Bad of Opioid Prescription Limits In October 2016, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin proposed regulations that would limit the number of opioid-based prescriptions a patient can receive based on certain criteria. At face value this seems like a simple, no-nonsense way to curb the state’s raging opioid epidemic, but some […]

Legalizing Marijuana: Separating Fact from Fiction

Legalizing Marijuana: Separating Fact from Fiction In addition to choosing a president this November 8th nine states have marijuana legalization on the ballot this election day. Just like the presidential election, misinformation abounds when it comes to marijuana and the effects its legalization would have on the states considering it. Here are a few of […]

More than an Rx: How Can Doctors End the Opioid Epidemic?

More than an Rx: How Can Doctors End the Opioid Epidemic? How can we combat addiction? While nearly 20,000 people died from a prescription opioid-related overdose in 2014, community leaders and elected officials are still scrambling to answer this question. Some advocates point to physicians in their role as key suppliers of prescription opioids as the group […]

Pharmaceutical Lobbyists Are Gearing Up to Fight Pricing Regulations

Pharmaceutical Lobbyists Are Gearing Up to Fight Pricing Regulations In a republic like that in the USA, elected officials are appointed by the people to represent their interests at all levels throughout the government. Sizable campaign donations from big businesses with specific policy interests have a way of distorting this relationship between elected representatives and […]

Voting Yes for Medical or Recreational Marijuana Legalization Will Probably Save Lives: Your Vote Matters

Voting Yes for Medical or Recreational Marijuana Legalization Will Probably Save Lives: Your Vote Matters This year’s election is already underway and while most of us are paying attention to the presidential candidates, there are a lot of other elected positions and ballot measures that are important to consider. One issue, being voted on in […]

How and Why You Should Keep Your Temper in Check

How and Why You Should Keep Your Temper in Check It never feels good to lose your temper. Nothing can end a conversation or hurt a relationship as quickly and deeply as a few angry words uttered in the heat of the moment. You may feel like these outbursts are out of your control, or […]

3 Weeks Out: Here’s How Our Next President Could Fight the Opioid Epidemic

3 Weeks Out: Here’s How Our Next President Could Fight the Opioid Epidemic Seedy scandals and unsavory sound bites have stolen headlines this election season. But for nearly two million Americans grappling with an addiction to opioid-based medications or heroin, our country’s most important issues have never been clearer. Less than one month away from […]

The DEA is Lowering Opioid Production in the U.S.: Here’s How that Might Affect the Opioid Epidemic

The DEA is Lowering Opioid Production in the U.S.: Here’s How that Might Affect the Opioid Epidemic In the latest federal policy meant to curtail the ongoing opioid epidemic, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced earlier this week that the overall volume of opioid prescriptions permitted in the nation’s pharmaceutical market would decrease […]

Kratom Needs to be Researched Before It’s Listed as a Schedule 1 Drug

Kratom Needs to be Researched Before It’s Listed as a Schedule 1 Drug In August of this year, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced that kratom, an herbal supplement sold in headshops and mixed into drinks at trendy bars, would be reclassified as a Schedule I substance, making its use or possession illegal […]

Legalizing Marijuana in California: Information for Parents

Legalizing Marijuana in California: Information for Parents It is likely that Proposition 64, which will legalize the use of recreational marijuana in California, will pass in November. At least, that is what most people expect. As an addiction treatment provider, it matters little to me whether or not marijuana is legal or illegal. The drugs […]

Apples and Honey, but No Wine: Here’s How the High Holidays Can Support Your Recovery

Apples and Honey, but No Wine: Here’s How the High Holidays Can Support Your Recovery A plane ticket home can burn a hole in your heart. Just thinking about how you’ll handle your family’s controversial politics or misaligned values can make even the calmest among us look around desperately for some way to make it […]

Challenge is Inevitable, Stress is Not: The Case for Including Mental Health Care in the Workplace

Challenge is Inevitable, Stress is Not: The Case for Including Mental Health Care in the Workplace Workplace stress comes from a wide variety of circumstances and situations. It’s easy to see how an attorney speaking on the record or a surgeon making that first incision could feel a twinge of anxiety or a rush of […]

How Will You Handle Loss? Here’s How Substance Abuse Makes Grieving Harder

How Will You Handle Loss? Here’s How Substance Abuse Makes Grieving Harder Tragedies are frequently unexpected. When we think about worst case scenarios, we assume our planning is all hypothetical, but tragedy in one form or another hits all of us sooner or later. How can you make sure you’re ready for the emergency or […]

Not Everyone Wants to Ban Kratom: Here Are Some Issues to Consider

Not Everyone Wants to Ban Kratom: Here Are Some Issues to Consider Never heard of kratom? The media has been so focused on the ongoing opioid epidemic that it’s easy to miss a less frequently used or abused substance, like kratom. But a movement to ban or restrict the sale of kratom in cafes, at […]

Words Matter: How the Words You Use Can Decrease Anxiety

Words Matter: How the Words You Use Can Decrease Anxiety A healthy concern for your well-being can make you more likely to anticipate and effectively head-off possible threats. But taken to excess, worrying too much can make your days filled with anxiety and stress. What is a person to do? One of the most effective […]

You Can Change Your Mood Without Drugs: Understanding and Choosing Better Coping Skills

You Can Change Your Mood Without Drugs: Understanding and Choosing Better Coping Skills When it comes to better understanding and treating addiction, we can learn a lot by looking at a person’s coping mechanisms. Conventional wisdom tells us that a certain number of negative experiences are just part of life. Things don’t always turn out […]

Neuroscience Made Easy: Here’s Why Your Brain Makes Quitting Drugs/Alcohol So Hard

Neuroscience Made Easy: Here’s Why Your Brain Makes Quitting Drugs/Alcohol So Hard There’s little more tempting than a quick and easy solution to our problems. That’s one of the ways addiction begins to take hold of us. Initially, drugs and alcohol ease difficult feelings about intractable problems. But this evolves over time as the drugs […]

How Drum Circles Can Improve, if not Cure, Your Depression

How Drum Circles Can Improve, if not Cure, Your Depression Have you ever wondered how people used to treat depression before prescription medications were invented? Even today many developing countries do not have the medical infrastructure or cultural norms in place to connect depressed individuals with medically indicated anti-depressant medications. Although historical interpretations of and […]

Working Out in Recovery: How Exercise Can Help Keep You Drug-Free

Working Out in Recovery: How Exercise Can Help Keep You Drug-Free Eating, sleeping and feeling healthy may seem like normal parts of life, but being able to function effectively on a day-to-day basis should not be taken for granted. Like so many other medical problems, addiction interferes with an individual’s normal physical functioning. Instead of […]

How the Role of Doctors is Changing in the Wake of the Opioid Abuse Epidemic

How the Role of Doctors is Changing in the Wake of the Opioid Abuse Epidemic Pushed and pulled by many competing interests, doctors are ultimately and unfortunately an important gateway to opioid-based prescriptions – and their abuse. Although providing medication to patients they see is a key part of their job, at this point an […]

The Case for Recognizing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a Purple Heart Injury

The Case for Recognizing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a Purple Heart Injury Receiving a Purple Heart in recognition of a veteran’s bravery and sacrifice is a cherished honor among military families. Traditionally given out by the Pentagon in the name of the sitting president, Purple Hearts formally recognize the physical injuries and sacrifices an […]

Deadlier than Ever Before: Here’s How the Federal Government is Fighting Back Against the Opioid Epidemic

Deadlier than Ever Before: Here’s How the Federal Government is Fighting Back Against the Opioid Epidemic One of the federal government’s important roles is to take on our county’s most pressing issues and respond with solutions on a national scale. Responsible for killing nearly 50,000 people in 2014 alone, the opioid epidemic is clearly a […]

Not Your Grandmother’s Joint: Here’s How Marijuana Use is Changing

Not Your Grandmother’s Joint: Here’s How Marijuana Use is Changing It’s not hard to see how some parts of American culture are light years ahead of where they were just a few decades ago. While our grandparents couldn’t text, call, or email one another, today there are dozens of social media apps that find almost […]

As Research Advances, Treatment for Depression Keeps Getting Better

As Research Advances, Treatment for Depression Keeps Getting Better Have you ever felt like you were at the bottom of a deep hole with no way out? One of the most characteristic effects of depression, a mental health condition that affects some 22% of Americans, is a feeling of exhausted sadness towards the present and […]

Here’s How Creative Arts Can Diminish Stress

Here’s How Creative Arts Can Diminish Stress Everyone gets stressed sometimes. Dealing with disappointments or unforeseen difficulties is a natural part of life that we handle by developing coping mechanisms, like calling a friend after a bad day at work or journaling to consolidate and review a hectic week. But too much stress without adequate […]

Why Some Therapists Want to Treat Patients with LSD, Explained

Why Some Therapists Want to Treat Patients with LSD, Explained When someone tells you they’re in therapy, their taking LSD as part of that psychotherapy is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. While most of the time your instincts would be spot on, small but meaningful studies being conducted around the globe […]

Texas Just Made Naloxone Available Over the Counter: Here’s Why Your State Should Too

Texas Just Made Naloxone Available Over the Counter: Here’s Why Your State Should Too If you don’t live in the Lone Star state, you may have missed some big news about opioid overdose prevention happening now. According to a press release issued by CVS Pharmacy in late July, Naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug, is […]

Looking to Get out of a Rut? Here are Three Ways to Refresh Your Perspective on Life.

Looking to Get out of a Rut? Here are Three Ways to Refresh Your Perspective on Life. It’s easy to wake up one day to find yourself in a rut, when your life’s momentum has stalled and you’re not sure what will come next. That’s what addiction is, in a manner of speaking, a king-sized […]

Unhealthy Items at the Health Store: Four Reasons to Be Wary of Supplements

Unhealthy Items at the Health Store: Four Reasons to Be Wary of Supplements Who doesn’t want an extra boost to their health that’s as easy as taking one little pill? Although herbal supplements are often touted as a relatively easy way to support your body’s healthy functioning, in reality many of the products that are […]

Don’t Bother Me: Four Things You Should Know about Adolescent Anxiety Disorders

Don’t Bother Me: Four Things You Should Know about Adolescent Anxiety Disorders My children are still quite small, but I know the day is coming fast when they will be teens. That means while raising my kids to be competent, engaged adults, I am at the same time looking out for potential problems, including anxiety. […]

You Can Do It! Four Ways to Help Your Kids Avoid Depression and Addiction

You Can Do It! Four Ways to Help Your Kids Avoid Depression and Addiction Giving our kids the best is relatively easy when it means choosing between premium products, setting a bedtime schedule or picking out new clothes for their first day of school. However, giving them the best also entails emotional and intellectual support, […]

On the Fast Track: Three Ways Stimulants Negatively Change Your Life

On the Fast Track: Three Ways Stimulants Negatively Change Your Life It’s easy to see the relationship between drug abuse and deteriorating physical health. It’s not a total surprise when an alcoholic experiences liver failure or a meth addict’s teeth fall out; these drugs are known to damage the body if routinely used to excess. […]

Cross-Aisle Issue: Three Things You Should Know About Congress’ Opioid Bill

Last week Congress passed a landmark bill authorizing a significant increase in the level of support to addicts and addiction treatment providers throughout the country. However, like all political events there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Whether you’re the loved one of an addict, an addiction treatment provider, or an emergency medical […]

Think Before You Fill: Four Reasons to Reconsider Using Opioid Prescription Medications

Think Before You Fill: Four Reasons to Reconsider Using Opioid Prescription Medications Getting a prescription from your doctor after an injury, illness or surgery seems like a no brainier. Why turn down medications that will ease any aches or pains you’re feeling? But there’s another side to many common opioid-based prescription medications you should know […]

Words do Hurt: Five Forms of Abuse that Aren’t Physical

Words do Hurt: Five Forms of Abuse that Aren’t Physical While domestic violence is often thought of in its physical forms, emotional and psychological abuse can be just as devastating, with a much longer timeline for recovery. Experiencing trauma also draws on our most intensive coping mechanisms, sometimes causing survivors to turn to substance abuse […]

Healthy Pets are Happiest: Four Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe from Drugs

Healthy Pets are Happiest: Four Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe from Drugs You’ve probably thought about how drug use impacts your own health or that of family members, but have you considered how it affects your pets? No one wants to hurt their companion animal, but careless use or storage of drugs can easily […]

Do Your Research! Three Ways to Approach Addiction Treatment that Change Outcomes

Do Your Research! Three Ways to Approach Addiction Treatment that Change Outcomes Did you know that people spend more time looking for a new car than they do researching the addiction treatment center they intend to send their loved on to? This is a terrible mistake, because not all treatment centers or their programs are […]

Punch Drunk: Six Factors That Influence Your Buzz

Punch Drunk: Six Factors That Influence Your Buzz Why is it that some people take one drink and get drunk, but others drink a lot more and don’t even seem buzzed? Many factors, including your age and how frequently you drink, can make a big difference in how alcohol uniquely affects you. And it’s important […]

Three Reasons to Reconsider Medication Assisted (Addiction) Treatment

Three Reasons to Reconsider Medication Assisted (Addiction) Treatment If someone you love is considering entering recovery from opioid addiction, know that their first few months without using their drug of choice will be a time of serious transition. As they begin to re-imagine and create a life for themselves outside of addiction, identifying effective support […]

Four Ways to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

In 2014, more people died of a drug overdose than ever before in our country’s history. It’s clear that we are experiencing a public health crisis on a national scale, but with differing views on how to create a healthier future for ourselves and our communities. Educating the public about opioid abuse and heightened awareness […]

One Résumé at a Time: Five Tips for Job Hunting in Recovery

One Résumé at a Time: Five Tips for Job Hunting in Recovery Going to a job interview can be daunting in the best of circumstances. Now that you’re in recovery from addiction, you may bring a whole host of other concerns to the interview, like how to discuss the lapses in your résumé. As you […]

Three Reasons to Talk about Alcohol with your Doctor

Three Reasons to Talk about Alcohol with your Doctor Seeing your doctor for an annual check-up can trigger deep fears of the unknown. You might be so preoccupied worrying about your family’s medical history and that rash you can’t get rid of that you forget to talk about something you do on a regular basis. […]

Five Tips for Using Opioid Prescriptions Safely

Five Tips for Using Opioid Prescriptions Safely If you’ve recently been prescribed an opioid-based medication following an injury or surgery, one issue that should be on the forefront of your mind is safety. In 2015, nearly two million people struggled with an addiction or abuse of an opioid-based medication. While there are times when it […]

A Whole New World: Five Ways to Strengthen Your Recovery

Maintaining your recovery from substance abuse or addiction can be both deeply rewarding and challenging. Your first year in recovery is often the most volatile as you begin to undo the neural wiring your brain has grown to link using your drug of choice with all of your day-to-day activities. Here are five ways you […]

Kinder is Stronger: The Case for Self-Compassion

Kinder is Stronger: The Case for Self-Compassion When you have experienced a traumatic event or developed post-traumatic stress disorder, it is difficult to have self-compassion. The wounds and untreated symptoms from living with trauma are frustrating, making it hard to go easy on yourself. Yet, developing self-compassion is an important part of overcoming the past […]

Don’t Fear the Unknown: Three Things You Should Know about Teens and Marijuana

Don’t Fear the Unknown: Three Things You Should Know about Teens and Marijuana   All the buzz around marijuana, especially it’s abuse, visibility in popular culture, and decriminalization, can make it difficult to find cut and dry information on it. Marijuana use among teens can be particularly hairy as parents feel desperate for information and […]

After Five Years Clean, What Next: Seven Ways to Improve Your Life in Long-Term Addiction Recovery

After Five Years Clean, What Next: Seven Ways to Improve Your Life in Long-Term Addiction Recovery At lunch, I met a lovely waitress who asked me what kind of work I do. I shared that I work for an addiction treatment facility as the Director of Addiction Research. Thrilled, she confided, “I will be clean […]

While We’re Focused on Opioids, Alcohol Abuse Remains a Leading Cause of Death

While We’re Focused on Opioids, Alcohol Abuse Remains a Leading Cause of Death Did you know that according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), nearly 88,000 people “die from alcohol-related causes annually, making it the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States”? In fact, recent statistics show that […]

Not on the News: Four Under-Reported Facts about the Opioid Epidemic

Not on the News: Four Under-Reported Facts about the Opioid Epidemic   If you’ve been paying attention to the news recently, you know that the United States is currently facing an epidemic of opioid abuse like it’s never seen before. While any news station will tell you how bad the situation is getting, it can […]

Three Meditation Myths that Keep You from a Healthier Life

Three Meditation Myths that Keep You from a Healthier Life   Meditative practices offer a simple, intuitive approach to improving your life and mental well being, yet many who could benefit from meditation are quickly deterred by misinformation. Meditation is not difficult, it has a huge positive impact on the brain, and anyone can make […]

What to Look for in an Addiction Treatment Center

What to Look for in an Addiction Treatment Center   I very often get letters from frustrated, frightened parents of grown children who are addicts. These family members are desperate for help because they have sent their loved ones to countless treatment facilities to no good end. The addicts are still using and the family […]

Six Things You Should Know About Seniors and Substance Abuse

Six Things You Should Know About Seniors and Substance Abuse   As the baby boomer generation ages, health officials are looking ahead, preparing for their most significant challenges. Certainly there are many health issues that we know seniors face, but many will also face other issues we may not have expected, like substance abuse and […]

You couldn’t put a price tag on recovery

Luxury addiction treatment is worth the cost. That might sound crass, but it’s the truth. There are some things that you simply can’t put a price tag on. Successful addiction recovery is one of them. Luxury addiction treatment facilitates the healing process, first and foremost by ensuring that an addict gets all the support he […]

How to Treat an Addict: Respond as if the Addict is Your Beloved Mother

How to Treat an Addict: Respond as if the Addict is Your Beloved Mother One of the things that amazes me about owning an addiction treatment center is that every day, I am approached by people who say they want their loved one to recover, but ask how they can get them better on the […]

It’s Not Your Fault: 3 Challenges Obesity and Drug Addiction Share

It’s Not Your Fault: 3 Challenges Obesity and Drug Addiction Share   People who struggle to control their weight are often blamed for their own condition. “Why would you do that to yourself?” the uninformed bystander thinks, wondering why someone who begins to gain weight wouldn’t just start eating more vegetables. In reality, each person’s […]

Three Ways Drug Possession Decriminalization Fights Addiction

Three Ways Drug Possession Decriminalization Fights Addiction From crack in the 1980 and 90s to the opioid epidemic currently ripping across the nation, the United States has struggled to effectively deal with drug abuse on a national scale. Other nations have fared better. Portugal has led the way in decreasing overall substance abuse by decriminalizing […]

Be Here Now: Five Reasons to Practice Mindfulness

Be Here Now: Five Reasons to Practice Mindfulness Mental illness can distort your perspective of the world around you as well as how you see yourself.  Treatment for some of the more common mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety, include creative therapies, psychotherapy, and physical activities like yoga and exercise. One important practice is mindfulness, […]

Three Ways Parenting can Improve Your Addiction Recovery

It’s easy to think of the values you want to pass on to your child, like patience, respect and compassion, but it can be difficult to know how to incorporate them into your own day to day life. If you are both a parent and an addict in recovery, it might be good to know […]

Skeletons in the Closet: Three Health Conditions We Need to Talk About

Skeletons in the Closet: Three Health Conditions We Need to Talk About Not every topic is considered “polite.” There are some subjects people are encouraged to avoid in general conversation, like religion and politics. But certain health conditions are too often swept under the rug to avoid perceived embarrassment, and as a result people are […]

Seven Things to Expect When You Go to Rehab

Seven Things to Expect When You Go to Rehab Many people don’t know what to expect from addiction treatment and this lack of knowledge can make them apprehensive about going to a residential treatment center. Addiction treatment centers vary, but if you are going someplace that is quality, there are a few things that you […]

More than Emojis: Three Reasons Why Psychotherapy by Mobile App Might be the Wave of the Future

More than Emojis: Three Reasons Why Psychotherapy by Mobile App Might be the Wave of the Future When you think of mobile apps you probably think of millennials or hipsters, young people in glasses drinking coffee and communicating by texting a series of emojis. But the mobile world is so much more than a specific […]

It’s Not Inevitable: Four Reasons You Should Pay More Attention to Alcohol Abuse

It’s Not Inevitable: Four Reasons You Should Pay More Attention to Alcohol Abuse Alcohol may be one of the most commonly abused drugs in the world, and Alcohol Awareness Month is the perfect time to delve into the nitty-gritty of alcohol abuse and the way it impacts our communities. Here are four reasons you should […]

Don’t Give Up: How to Maintain Hope for the Addict in Your Life

Don’t Give Up: How to Maintain Hope for the Addict in Your Life I frequently receive late night calls, especially on the weekend, asking for help for an addict in need. Last weekend, a colleague needed a placement for a long time alcoholic. The alcoholic had previously “failed” at two facilities, but it was clear […]

What Parents Need to Know about Underage Drinking this Alcohol Awareness Month

What Parents Need to Know about Underage Drinking this Alcohol Awareness Month I am an alcoholic. Seventeen years and nine-ish months ago, I quit a 2-liter of hard liquor a day habit. I started drinking when I was 11 and spent the years up until I decided to quit getting drunk every opportunity I got. […]

How to Protect Yourself from Fentanyl Overdose

How to Protect Yourself from Fentanyl Overdose After a recent cluster of more than forty overdoses and ten fatalities in the Sacramento area, officials are scrambling to find solutions for addicts that will save their lives. These overdoses and deaths were caused by the drug fentanyl, an opioid that is among the strongest available. Usually […]

The Road is Long: Three Ways Officials are Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

The Road is Long: Three Ways Officials are Fighting the Opioid Epidemic   Elected officials are no longer ignoring the growing opioid abuse epidemic in our country, finally introducing and reviewing legislation in the House and Senate meant to address the immediate needs of those currently addicted to opioids, as well as to prevent future […]

The Price of Life: Are Human Lives Worth less than Profit to Big Pharma?

The Price of Life: Are Human Lives Worth less than Profit to Big Pharma?   I am beside myself this week with news that Amphastar, one of the major producers of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, has been raising prices of the life-saving medication as its use has increased. Last week, the House Committee on […]

Four Reasons to Get Sober this Easter

Four Reasons to Get Sober this Easter   Spring is a time of incredible transformations. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that freezes over the winter, the ground is usually just thawing out around this annual holiday that marks the end of winter and the long lead up to summer. Finding the “right” time […]

Fewer Opioid Prescriptions: Three of the Newest CDC Guidelines for Opioid Use

Fewer Opioid Prescriptions: Three of the Newest CDC Guidelines for Opioid Use   Anyone tuned into substance abuse issues in the United States knows there’s been a growing epidemic of opioid-based prescription medication abuse. But what, if any, role should the government take in addressing this national health crisis? This month the Centers for Disease […]

Om More: 3 Signs You Need to Start Meditating

Om More: 3 Signs You Need to Start Meditating    It’s natural to do what’s pressing and put off activities that give longer term results. But that may not be what’s best for us. A group of neuroscientists from Harvard recently published a study that shows you don’t have to wait forever for “long-term benefits.” […]

Marijuana: Yes, There are Medicinal Uses

Marijuana: Yes, There are Medicinal Uses Although marijuana is often touted as a sort of cure all, which it is not, there are proving to be medical uses for the drug. Recently, a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Britain that specializes in research related to cannabis, has shown that cannabinoids are effective in the treatment of intractable […]

Children and Horses: Equine Activities Improve Lives

Children and Horses: Equine Activities Improve Lives My research is in the field of addiction, but a lot of the therapies and activities that bring health and healing to those who suffer from addiction also have applications to many other groups. Equine programs, from horseback riding to equine assisted therapy, have long been known to […]

Don’t Ask the Internet: 3 Mental Health Myths

Don’t Ask the Internet: 3 Mental Health Myths   The internet allows us to answer any question, anytime of the day or night. Or does it? Anyone who’s perused the web’s medical pages knows that sometimes too much information can be worse than none at all, unduly causing stress and anxiety. Medical information is great, […]

Yoga: Good for Addicts and the Rest of Us

Yoga: Good for Addicts and the Rest of Us There has been a lot of debate about yoga. Is it just good exercise or does it have an impact on the brain that can be used as part of a therapeutic program for treating disorders like addiction? Recent research suggests that yoga acts on the […]

Snake Oil or Cure All? Three Common Misconceptions about Marijuana

Snake Oil or Cure All? Three Common Misconceptions about Marijuana   As more states decriminalize or legalize marijuana possession and use, marijuana is in the public eye like never before. While some have been quick to embrace a substance hailed by many as a modern day magic elixir, others have condemned it for its connection […]

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: 3 Reasons You Can’t Ignore Trauma

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: 3 Reasons You Can’t Ignore Trauma   When you face difficult times, you have two options: work through the difficulty you’ve encountered or try to avoid it. For many who have lived through a traumatic experience, going around or burying traumatic memories can feel like the only feasible […]

Baby Blues: Three Invisible Risks of Giving Birth

Baby Blues: Three Invisible Risks of Giving Birth   Giving birth to a child is one of the most magical experiences of life, right? While many mothers do experience feelings of euphoria following the birth of a child, it’s not uncommon for some to have trouble recovering from the delivery or adjusting to their new […]

Money Talks: Three Ways Heroin Addiction Hurts the Economy

Money Talks: Three Ways Heroin Addiction Hurts the Economy   Ensuring economic prosperity is one of the most important things we can do to secure a bright future for our country; but although most people have no trouble understanding how heroin addiction hurts the people who abuse it and their family members, pinpointing exactly how […]

Yes, You Can: Four Ways to Strengthen Your Resilience

Yes, You Can: Four Ways to Strengthen Your Resilience   Everyone knows someone who’s been through a horrifying experience, yet somehow manages to keep smiling. People like that usually come to mind when we lose it over small things, like having trouble finding a parking spot or unloading the groceries only to realize we forgot […]

Protect Your Heart: Three Things You Should Know about Women’s Cardiovascular Health

Protect Your Heart: Three Things You Should Know about Women’s Cardiovascular Health   February is heart health awareness month, so I’m going to take a short break from writing about addiction and mental health to talk about women and our hearts. Heart disease is the number one cause of death among women worldwide, and in […]

It’s Not Always Violence that Harms: Three Reasons Veterans Need Access to Trauma-Informed Care

It’s Not Always Violence that Harms: Three Reasons Veterans Need Access to Trauma-Informed Care   Even if a veteran comes home without developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), s/he will likely know someone who did. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that more than 13% of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans have developed PTSD. […]

Why Me? Four Ways Spirituality Can Help You Cope with Difficult Experiences

Why Me? Four Ways Spirituality Can Help You Cope with Difficult Experiences   People have always sought answers to the unexplained. From our earliest days humanity has searched for a deeper meaning to existence, especially in the face of unbearable conditions and experiences. Despite the long-running rift between science and spirituality, new research suggests that […]

Four Things You Need to Know about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Four Things You Need to Know about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder   Is someone you know a little different in a way you can’t quite put your finger on, or perhaps a lot different in ways you find frightening or dangerous? Although it’s normal for everyone to change over time, the experiences we have throughout life […]

Therapy and Horseplay: Four Things You Need to Know about Equine Therapy

Therapy and Horseplay: Four Things You Need to Know about Equine Therapy   When it comes to equine therapy, I’ll be the first one to advocate for its use. I’ve been an avid rider all my life, and there were many times I walked away from the barn feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated, and emotionally […]

Stop, It Hurts! Three Reasons to Avoid Prescription Pain Medications

Stop, It Hurts! Three Reasons to Avoid Prescription Pain Medications   When your body hurts, you want the pain to stop as soon as possible. Opioid-based pain killer medications are now a commonly prescribed antidote to meet patients’ chronic pain needs, and as the number of prescriptions have increased there has been a parallel rise […]

High at the Office: Four Things You Should Know about Workplace Opioid Abuse

High at the Office: Four Things You Should Know about Workplace Opioid Abuse   If a close friend or family member became addicted to their opioid medication, changes in their behavior would likely tip you off that something was wrong. But what about another group of people you see every day: your employees? Although addiction […]

Parents, be Wary of “Innocent” Drug Experimentation

Parents, be Wary of “Innocent” Drug Experimentation   Young people test the waters. It’s part of learning about the world. However, just like we don’t allow a baby to put just anything in its mouth, there are dangers to trying drugs that young people need to be aware of.  The world of illicit substance use […]

Recovering from Opioid Addiction: Addressing the Brain

Recovering from Opioid Addiction: Addressing the Brain   This country is facing an unprecedented epidemic of opioid addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) now estimates that as many as 2.5 million Americans are addicted to either heroin, prescription pain killers, or some combination of the two. Why are so many people addicted substances […]

Trying to get an Easy A: 3 Myths about Study-Aid Drugs You & Your Student Should Know

Trying to get an Easy A: 3 Myths about Study-Aid Drugs You & Your Student Should Know   It’s no secret that some young adults misuse prescription medications in order to study for a big exam or pull an all-nighter. But data compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicates that study drugs […]

America’s Substance Abuse Crisis: We Can Do Better

America’s Substance Abuse Crisis: We Can Do Better Former Governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush is unveiling a new plan to address the nation’s staggering substance abuse problem. Unfortunately, this plan offers a lot more of the same failed policies of the past, like strengthening the border and focusing on criminal justice, actions that do […]

Four Reasons Your Child Probably Doesn’t Need ADHD Meds

Four Reasons Your Child Probably Doesn’t Need ADHD Meds   There is enormous pressure on parents to ensure that their children do well in school. I know; as a father, I was overwhelmed by the pressure to get my daughter into the “right” pre-school to give her the best opportunities to have a happy, successful […]

Drink to Your Misfortune: 4 Reasons to Avoid Kratom

Drink to Your Misfortune: 4 Reasons to Avoid Kratom   Anything legal can’t be that harmful, right? So goes the thinking of many who have begun casual use of a substance relatively new to the United States, kratom. Used for centuries in Thailand as a medicinal herb, over the last few years there has been […]

Reflections on the New Year: 2016 as a Time of Hope

Reflections on the New Year: 2016 as a Time of Hope Generally, I am asked to comment before New Year’s Eve, to tell you all the things about going out to celebrate that you already know. Don’t drink and drive. If you are going to drink, alternate between alcoholic beverages and alcohol. Make a plan […]

3 Reasons Addiction Treatment Researchers Should Look Closer at LSD

  3 Reasons Addiction Treatment Researchers Should Look Closer at LSD   What does it take to end an addiction? The loss of a job, a home, even relationships with close friends or loved ones is often not enough to break the cycle of drug-seeking behavior and abuse. A new study from Imperial College London […]

How to Recognize Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is a growing problem, especially in young adults. Although an occasional session of heavy drinking is not necessarily an issue for concern, a pattern of binge drinking could mean that you are a problem drinker. People often do not recognize binge drinking as a problem because it is not a daily habit, more […]

How to Spot Depression in Children, Teens and Aging Family Members

How to Spot Depression in Children, Teens and Aging Family Members Soon, the whole family will be gathered at your house for presents, laughter, and we hope, good cheer. This is a great time of year to be watchful and observe how your loved ones are doing. If anyone is irritable or sad, how do […]

How to Survive Your Office Holiday Party without Becoming the Topic of Water Cooler Gossip

How to Survive Your Office Holiday Party without Becoming the Topic of Water Cooler Gossip It’s the holidays and that means that it’s time for end-of-the-year office parties. These events can range anywhere from a quiet potluck lunch on site to wildly outrageous gatherings where drinking (and sometimes the use of other drugs) can lead […]

Four Things You Should Know about the Changing Face of Heroin Use

Four Things You Should Know about the Changing Face of Heroin Use   Heroin use is not going away. In fact, it’s becoming more prevalent in the United States. The CDC released a comprehensive study of shifting demographics among heroin users over the last thirteen years, including some trends that might challenge your pre-conceived notions […]

How to Talk to Someone Recovering from Addiction

How to Talk to Someone Recovering from Addiction   It can be hard to know what to say when someone we care for is in crisis. It can feel safer to simply do nothing in order to avoid the messy feelings and uncomfortable communication many associate with difficult events in their lives. But what your […]

Coping with Traumatic Events without Turning to Alcohol or Drugs

Coping with Traumatic Events without Turning to Alcohol or Drugs The world is in a state of chaos. Whether it’s mass-shootings, terrorist activities, social injustice, or natural disaster, those who have substance abuse problems can find plenty of reasons to increase their use and those who have not had issues yet, may start using. How […]

Learning from Scott Weiland’s Death: How to Support Someone Recovering from Addiction and Protect Yourself

Learning from Scott Weiland’s Death: How to Support Someone Recovering from Addiction and Protect Yourself Scott Weiland’s recent death hit me hard. I had met him a few times, always when he was sober, and in those moments he seemed a warm and delightful person to be around. I’m not surprised by his death. I […]

Grandma’s Drunk on Spiked Egg Nog: The Elderly and Substance Abuse During the Holidays

Grandma’s Drunk on Spiked Egg Nog: The Elderly and Substance Abuse During the Holidays It’s that time of year when family gets together, maybe at grandma’s house or the family brings older relatives from an assisted living center – and you start to realize that maybe the older folks in the family are having some […]

Six Ways to Maintain Your Sobriety at a Thanksgiving Celebration

Six Ways to Maintain Your Sobriety at a Thanksgiving Celebration I first tried to quit drinking on November 11, 1995. By Thanksgiving of that year, I was clean, but I was scared to death of facing a holiday dinner without a drink. I remember standing by the bar in my grandmother’s house, downing Diet Coke […]

Three Ways to Manage Worry This Thanksgiving

Three Ways to Manage Worry This Thanksgiving It’s the start of the holiday season. Thanksgiving is later this week and that means lots of different things to different people – family, travel, feasting, and with all of those experiences: worry.  Worry is a form of anxiety, a fear or nervousness about the future, generally future […]

Signs of Overdependence on the Internet and Social Media

Signs of Overdependence on the Internet and Social Media The Internet provides a constant, ever-changing source of information and entertainment. It is accessible from most smartphones, tablets, laptops, many gaming systems and desktop computers. Email, blogs, social networks, instant messaging, and message boards allow for both public and anonymous communication about any topic. Young children […]

The Truth about HIV Transmission among Addicts and Alcoholics: Charlie Sheen’s HIV Announcement on the Today Show

The Truth about HIV Transmission among Addicts and Alcoholics: Charlie Sheen’s HIV Announcement on the Today Show   After watching the Today Show[i] interview with Charlie Sheen, I felt a profound sense of sadness. I should be desensitized to this by now, witnessing firsthand the wreckage that comes with drug addiction and alcoholism, but I’m not. […]

Six Effective Psychotherapy Models for Addiction Treatment

Six Effective Psychotherapy Models for Addiction Treatment Quality treatment for addiction is two-fold. The first part involves intensive one-on-one psychotherapy to address the reasons why a person needed to abuse substances in the first place. We have found that an eclectic type of treatment works best for almost all addicts. That means, instead of trying […]

Four Addiction Facts that May Surprise You

Four Addiction Facts that May Surprise You Addiction is characterized by three qualities: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing its use despite the consequences. This applies not only to substance abuse, but also activities, such as gambling. All types of addiction can completely disrupt your life and […]

Suboxone and Methadone Maintenance Therapy: Don’t Our Children Deserve Better?

Suboxone and Methadone Maintenance Therapy: Don’t Our Children Deserve Better?   As a father, my heart belongs to my children. As the owner of an addiction treatment center, my thoughts are with my clients and how to help them return to their families. I recognize in these two roles, that my feelings toward children, mine […]

The Dangers of Opioid-Replacement Therapies: Continuing a Half-Baked Life

The Dangers of Opioid-Replacement Therapies: Continuing a Half-Baked Life Life on opioids is a cruel existence in which drug seeking, withdrawal sickness, and the constant specter of overdose are ever present. It is estimated that in the US, 2.1 million people are addicted to opioid painkillers and just under a half-million more are addicted to […]

How to Address Using Adderall and Ritalin as Study Aids in High School and College

It is estimated that about a quarter of college students use Adderall or Ritalin as study aids in college. These and similar amphetamine based drugs are “cognitive enhancers.” About thirty minutes after a pill is taken, students find that they are better able to focus on their school work without tiring. Adderall and Ritalin are […]

Seven Warning Signs of Serious Alcohol Dependency

Binge or daily drinking increases your risks of developing alcohol dependency, the clinical term for alcoholism. Eventually, if you keep up these behaviors, you will develop noticeable mental and physical changes indicating that you need to consider finding professional help. If you have any of these symptoms, you should consider seeking medical assistance: 1. Tolerance: […]

Six Things Not to Ask or Say to Someone in Recovery

Six Things Not to Ask or Say to Someone in Recovery Words are powerful and can motivate a person to work hard. Yet with addicts in recovery, especially those in early recovery, well-meaning friends and family don’t always know what to say. The words you use hold power, the power to encourage or send someone […]

Five Things to Know About Recovery from Alcohol or Drugs

Five Things to Know About Recovery from Alcohol or Drugs When someone is struggling with substance abuse, sobriety can seem like an impossible goal. Here is a list of five things to keep in mind when you or someone you know is in early in recovery: Educate yourself and stay involved. You and close friends […]

Five Indications of Heroin Abuse among People You Know

Five Indications of Heroin Abuse among People You Know Opioids are prescribed to help individuals cope with severe pain. However, since opioids have both pain relieving and psychological properties, they are among the most abused types of prescription drugs. Unfortunately, regular use of opioid prescriptions can also lead to addiction, and potentially to heroin use. […]

Four Reasons to Consider Making a Psychotherapy Appointment

Four Reasons to Consider Making a Psychotherapy Appointment Have you ever wondered if psychotherapy is really worth your time, money and effort? The short answer is, “Yes. It is.” Psychotherapy aims at helping an individual with issues related to mental health, interpersonal communication, and problematic behaviors, make positive life changes. The main objective is to […]

How to Identify Someone at Risk for Suicide

How to Identify Someone at Risk for Suicide It’s splashed all over social and mainstream media. Another person in the public eye has passed away from suicide. Tomorrow, it will be someone else, perhaps less famous, but no less loved. Yet suicide is an entirely preventable form of death. There is good treatment available for […]

Five Simple Steps to Start Learning Mindfulness

Five Simple Steps to Start Learning Mindfulness Mindfulness is a practice that can help you in all aspects of your daily life. Practiced since ancient times, modern science is now recognizing its importance in building psychological health. Mindfulness is the intentional focus of your attention on your thoughts and feelings, observing the moment with a […]

How to Get the Most Out Of Your Acupuncture Experience

How to Get the Most Out Of Your Acupuncture Experience Acupuncture has been proven effective in a number of health areas, particularly as a method for managing pain and as an alternative to opioid painkillers. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your sessions. Have a realistic expectation of your […]

How to Maintain Mental Health

How to Maintain Mental Health   Mental illness sounds negative and a little scary. But the opposite of mental illness is mental health, so let’s think about how we can focus on improving our mental health instead of focusing always on what’s wrong. Express Your Emotions: Some people need to learn how to laugh and cry, […]

How to Know When It is Time to Find Help for Substance Abuse

How to Know When It is Time to Find Help for Substance Abuse Do you ever feel strange when your prescription wears off? Perhaps you wake up shaky, sick to your stomach, or have a headache. In a more severe case, you could experience periods of confusion. Maybe you are starting to suspect that you […]

How to Deal with Addiction when you have a Demanding Job

How to Deal with Addiction when you have a Demanding Job I understand demanding jobs. I’m the founder and CEO of a well-respected private addiction treatment center. To keep the company afloat and growing, I work round-the-clock. I eat, sleep, and breathe my work. Even when I’m not “on the clock,” I am bound to […]

How to Tell if Someone Is Hiding a Drinking Problem

How to Tell if Someone Is Hiding a Drinking Problem   Your friend, colleague, partner, or child doesn’t seem quite right. You wonder if drinking is to blame. You have some cause for concern, some lingering suspicions – an empty vodka bottle found in the closet four months ago or liquor missing from the cabinet […]

Seven Signs You Need to Find a New Therapist

Seven Signs You Need to Find a New Therapist I am always sad to hear of an individual or couple giving up on important help after one or two bad sessions with a therapist. If you are in therapy now or considering it in the future, it is important to not only choose a professional […]

Obama’s Heroin Response Strategy: When You Don’t Go Far Enough, You Throw Good Money after Bad

Obama’s Heroin Response Strategy: When You Don’t Go Far Enough, You Throw Good Money after Bad The good news is that the Obama administration is making at least some effort to address the horrific accidental death rate from heroin and prescription opioid overdose. This effort brings attention to a scourge that is killing thousands upon […]

How to Tell Which Therapist is Right for You

How to Tell Which Therapist is Right for You One of the most important aspects of addiction recovery is intensive one-on-one psychotherapy. There is a reason that a person uses to excess. That underlying issue must be acknowledged and worked through if recovery is going to be long lasting. Additionally, many addicts have co-occurring psychological […]

How are the Needs of Executives Seeking Addiction Treatment Unique?

How are the Needs of Executives Seeking Addiction Treatment Unique? Fighting an addiction can be difficult for anyone, but when the individual is a business executive, the difficulties increase. This can be particularly true if the person is frequently in the spotlight and works or socializes with those who are public figures, star athletes, powerful […]

Six Signs of Addiction Potential in Adult Children of Alcoholics

Six Signs of Addiction Potential in Adult Children of Alcoholics The fallout of drug and alcohol addiction in the family can carry on for a lifetime. If either or both of your parents (or your spouse’s parents) used, the odds are that you (or your spouse) will too. Why? Because human beings have a tendency […]

These 8 Holistic Therapies Will Literally Change Your Life

These 8 Holistic Therapies Will Literally Change Your Life   How can we each live a happier, healthier, more productive life? It’s a question I get all the time not only from addicts, but others who simply want to be healthier. The good news is that there are many activities we can participate in that […]

Three Early Warning Signs of Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Three Early Warning Signs of Prescription Painkiller Addiction I can’t think of one instance in which preventing a disorder is harder than managing or recovering from it. Therefore, learning to recognize the early warning signs of prescription medication abuse can help indicate the need to take action before dependency or addiction. There are all sorts […]

For the Love of Dogs: Three Ways Companion Animals Improve Your Health

For the Love of Dogs: Three Ways Companion Animals Improve Your Health I love my dog, Joey. I’m no different than most other people who also love animals, especially their pets. According to a Gallop Poll, sixty percent of Americans have a pet. Most of those who have a companion animal have a dog. There […]

Ten Ways to Refresh without Taking a Vacation

Ten Ways to Refresh without Taking a Vacation   Sometimes, it’s just not possible to get away for a week or two to relax and rejuvenate. You may not have the time or money, or you may simply have too many obligations to get away. Here are ten things you can do to refresh without […]

The Six Best Strategies for Successful Therapy

The Six Best Strategies for Successful Therapy Intensive one-on-one psychotherapy is an important part of addiction recovery, not just in a treatment center, but for at least the first year of the recovery process. How can you find a good psychotherapist and get the most out of your psychotherapeutic experience? Here are a few strategies […]

How to Stop Yourself Before You Relapse

How to Stop Yourself Before You Relapse Perhaps the most frightening thing for a person in addiction recovery to go through is a relapse. It feels in the moment that all your hard work has been for nothing. Once drugs or alcohol have hold of you again, there is fear of going through detox once […]

How to Tell If Someone Has Unhealed Trauma

How to Tell If Someone Has Unhealed Trauma People come into our lives at many different times. For those with whom we haven’t shared nearly every waking moment, there is a personal history that we haven’t been party to. Our friends and loved ones may keep secrets from us about painful times in the past. […]

Four Signs Your College Student Could Be Abusing Drugs or Alcohol

Four Signs Your College Student Could Be Abusing Drugs or Alcohol It’s difficult to send your child off to college. If they’re not living at home, you no longer have any control over what they do with their days. For young adults, the first time away from parental control can be quite a transition, a […]

If You Want To Save Your Marriage, These Are the Four People You Should Never Be

If You Want To Save Your Marriage, These Are the Four People You Should Never Be   I’ve had my fair share of unsuccessful relationships. Now, in a wonderful relationship with the mother of my children, a woman who inspires me to be the best man I can be, I can look back and see […]

A Stroll in Nature Improves Mental Health

A Stroll in Nature Improves Mental Health Before I earned my graduate degrees and changed my career to focus on addiction treatment and recovery, I worked for the Girl Scouts. I absolutely loved my work, especially in my last years with the organization, during which among other things, I oversaw Girl Scout camp. As a […]

How to Fall Asleep Sober when You’re Used to Passing Out Trashed

How to Fall Asleep Sober when You’re Used to Passing Out Trashed   Appropriate, deep, uninterrupted sleep is something too few people get. It’s impossible for addicts. The alcohol and drugs substance abusers take interrupt a person’s normal sleep cycle and it is difficult to regulate it again…yet it can be done. Here are a […]

The Eight Best Ways to Make It through Rehab (And Never Come Back)

The Eight Best Ways to Make It through Rehab (And Never Come Back) People wonder what can be done to maximize their chances of only going to rehab once. Relapse does not necessarily need to be part of the recovery experience. Here are eight things you can do to make it through rehab successfully and […]

The Rich and Otherwise Healthy May Drink Too Much

The Rich and Otherwise Healthy May Drink Too Much In an interesting study of 9,000 people in the UK, researchers found that otherwise healthy and affluent individuals drink too much, which can cause negative impacts to health. The study concludes: Several socioeconomic factors are associated with high-risk alcohol consumption behaviour among older people, which must […]

Pill or Talk Therapy?

Pill or Talk Therapy? While it is important to continue research into the brain, its chemistry, structure and function, it is also critical to recognize that the complex issues that addicts and others with co-occurring disorders deal with are not generally subject to improvement with pharmaceutical interventions alone. Talk therapies, whether in conjunction with pharmaceuticals […]

Keep Your Anxiety from Harming Your Kids

Keep Your Anxiety from Harming Your Kids Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, worry or unease about the future or an event. It is a normal part of life that affects us all. But the regular stresses we experience every day can pile up and cause acute anxiety and anxiety disorders. These affect not only […]

Heroin Abuse is on our Doorstep

Heroin Abuse is on our Doorstep Of course, I see it every day because I work in the addiction treatment field, but increasingly, families that never thought they’d be touched by substance abuse or addiction are having just that experience. Heroin abuse, once considered an inner-city scourge, is now widely used by white, insured, middle-class […]

Listening to Your Body

Listening to Your Body I have always had a difficult time listening to the messages I get from my body. This is common among addicts. We use whether we feel good or not. We use more when we feel bad, sick, lethargic, or stressed out. We use the most when detox starts to hit us […]

Heroin: A Growing Problem

Heroin: A Growing Problem The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released troubling new statistics about heroin abuse in the United States. This trend should be of concern to all. The CDC reports: Heroin use has increased across the US among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of […]

Yoga and Lifestyle Change: It’s all about the Breath

We know that breathing changes in response to emotion and that emotion changes in response to breathing. Someone who is anxious will take in quick and shallow breaths. To calm that individual, we’ll encourage him/her to focus on their breath and try to breathe more deeply and slowly. Could a more regular and continuous focus […]

How the Brain Changes in Response to PTSD

PTSD is an ongoing problem, not only with survivors of child sexual abuse, rape, violent crime and other traumas, but also with our veterans. Neuroscientists are working to understand how the brain responds to trauma, so that it can be better treated and overcome. The research they being done is on the connection between PTSD […]

Psychotherapy Isn’t Only for the “Sick”

Often, people have the misconception that psychotherapy is for those with severe mental illness or other debilitating problems. “Why go to a therapist when I have good friends?” they wonder. Or they say to themselves, “I should be able to handle my own issues.” In actual fact, good psychotherapists are individuals with a great deal […]

Child Abuse Prepares the Brain for a Lifetime of Mental Health Issues

Child Abuse Prepares the Brain for a Lifetime of Mental Health Issues We can see the aftermath of childhood trauma on brain scans. Children who are abused, physically, emotionally, sexually or neglected, have different adult brains than their counterparts who were not abused. Current research suggests that those who were abused are left vulnerable to […]

Meditation: It’s So Easy Even Mice Can Do It

Meditation: It’s So Easy Even Mice Can Do It OK, that might be an overstatement, but in this case, animated lab mice teach us the benefits of meditation and how to get started on a meditation practice. In this delightful video from mindful.org, Dan Harris and Happify give us the directions needed to begin a […]

How Much Exercise Reduces Your Risk of Premature Death?

How Much Exercise Reduces Your Risk of Premature Death? We all know that exercise is good for our health, yet too few people meet the recommended minimum amount of exercise suggested by doctors, 2.5 hours a week of moderate exercise. That’s only 30 minutes of moderate movement five times a week. However, new research tells […]

“Be Courteous with Fireworks” Signs for Combat Vets: Do They Help?

“Be Courteous with Fireworks” Signs for Combat Vets: Do They Help? We’re coming up on the Fourth of July, the day on which we celebrate our nation’s independence from England. Fireworks, both at community shows and outside private homes, are a long-standing traditional way of marking this important day in our nation’s history. However, not […]

The Need for Service and Volunteerism

The Need for Service and Volunteerism Helping others inspires each of us to be more empathetic and think about people others than ourselves. Recently a teen in Hawaii worked with local politicians to create an edible garden, so that those who are hungry can pull food right from a public place and be satisfied with […]

You’re More Creative When You Walk

You’re More Creative When You Walk It’s true. According to Stanford University researchers, a new study indicates that walking increases creative ideation by 60%. That boring meeting may be much more fruitful if you hold it on your feet, on the move. The Stanford report begins: People have noted that walking seems to have a […]

7 Things Parents Should Know about Substance Abuse

7 Things Parents Should Know about Substance Abuse Though I think sometimes reporters state facts in a strong tone to get your attention, this information compiled by KSL.com in Salt Lake City, Utah has some great information for parents. We don’t like to think of kids using, but if you consider that a lot of […]

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy May Cure Your Insomnia

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy May Cure Your Insomnia I’m in Helsinki. It’s 3 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Normally, I’d say it’s jet-lag, but I’ve been traveling for two weeks now, all of it in time zones I’m not used to. I should be able to sleep by now, but my jet lag has become insomnia. […]

Does Addiction Recovery Require a Change in Consciousness?

Does Addiction Recovery Require a Change in Consciousness? The last ten days, I’ve been at conferences hosted by Yale University and the University of Helsinki. With my colleagues in the field of consciousness studies, we’ve been discussing change – in particular, how much change one can expect from addicts. Is addiction recovery a change of […]

Female Veterans Killing Themselves in Unprecedented Numbers

Female Veterans Killing Themselves in Unprecedented Numbers “Staggering” and “obscenely high” were the terms one expert used to describe the rate of female veterans completing suicide, in a recent LA Times article. This is a trend my treatment center and I have been following for some time and are glad to find that researchers are […]

Is Addiction Recovery Created by a Change in Consciousness?

Is Addiction Recovery Created by a Change in Consciousness? Consciousness is more than rudimentary awareness of our surroundings. It is a deep and ingrained idea of who we are that shapes the way we see and move in the world. It has been suggested by many thinkers that addiction recovery requires a radical shift in […]

Yoga Improves Brain Response to Chronic Pain

Yoga Improves Brain Response to Chronic Pain There are many health benefits to yoga practice. Some poses ease anxiety or depression while others reduce overall stress levels. Studies have shown that yoga practice can stave off stress-related diseases, such as some forms of heart disease. Now, it is being reported that yoga can reverse some […]

Alcohol Abuse and the Elderly: The Problem Continues to Worsen

Alcohol Abuse and the Elderly: The Problem Continues to Worsen It will come as no surprise that a considerable number of the older people in our nation drink. A drink after work or a couple of glasses of wine with dinner is a habit that can be picked up over a lifetime. However, once the […]

Four Tips for Loving Someone with Depression

Four Tips for Loving Someone with Depression People don’t often want to talk about depression. It’s one of those taboo subjects, which is a tragedy, because nearly 10% of Americans suffer from depression at any given time and almost 4% from major depression. Why don’t we talk about depression? I think it’s because we don’t […]

Pain Management May be in Your Head – And That’s a Good Thing

Pain Management May be in Your Head – And That’s a Good Thing If you’ve ever whacked your thumb or stubbed your toe, you know that the pain you experience with those events feels like it is in your extremities. But in truth, pain is experienced in your brain and it is your brain that […]

Pot’s Evolution: How the Drug Has changed Over the Years

Pot’s Evolution: How the Drug Has changed Over the Years It’s a topic of near-constant conversation in our communities; “Should marijuana be legalized?” In an increasing number of states, the answer is yes. But the debates are clouded by a great deal of misinformation. What matters to me as an addiction treatment professional is that […]

Relationship Killers: What you’re Doing to Damage your Intimate Relationships beyond Repair

Relationship Killers: What you’re Doing to Damage your Intimate Relationships beyond Repair There’s an old saying that we most hurt the ones we love. Ever wonder why? Not only are the ones we love the most invested in us, but they are also those with whom we act out our hurt. What are the ways […]

Stop Eating Mindlessly

Stop Eating Mindlessly Sometimes, like everyone else, I’m a statistic. I’m one of the millions of Americans who are overweight or obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 69% of Americans are overweight or obese. Small comfort knowing that I am not alone. How does it happen? How do so many […]

The Cure for Headaches is a Change of Lifestyle

The Cure for Headaches is a Change of Lifestyle Headaches are a common and recurring problem for many Americans. They are also a form of pain for which there is often no easy explanation. One way to be rid of the pain is to reach for a pill, but there may be alternative solutions that […]

How Smoking Weed Harms Memory and Why that’s a Problem

How Smoking Weed Harms Memory and Why that’s a Problem A great deal of research is being done on the effects of marijuana on the brain and its development. We have known for some time that the human brain does not finish developing until around the age of twenty-five, so there was little doubt that […]

Developing Resilience

Developing Resilience Why do some people have a similar experience and one develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the other doesn’t? Part of the difference between the two may have to do with resilience, or the ability to bounce back in difficult situations. But can resilience be learned? Research says yes, but it’s a complicated […]

Youthful Binge Drinking Damages the Adult Brain

Youthful Binge Drinking Damages the Adult Brain When I was a teenager, from the age of 11 till 22, I drank a lot, whenever I could get my hands on alcohol. Although I was fortunate to get sober when I was still in my twenties, I have always suspected that the early drinking that I […]

The Social Impact of Drinking Can Lead to an Early Death

The Social Impact of Drinking Can Lead to an Early Death We have all heard that drinking impairs judgment and can lead to poor decision making. These poor decisions, such as driving while intoxicated, can cause premature death. But what of the social impact, things like losing a job or spouse, of drinking? A new […]

The Importance of Naps

The Importance of Naps When I saw the topic of this latest study, my first response was, “Hooray!” I love naps. After a satisfying lunch, on a beautiful afternoon or in that “low-energy” spot at about three, nothing revitalizes me like a good, short nap. Now, a new study out of Germany suggests that short […]

Learning to Decline the Call to Sugar

Learning to Decline the Call to Sugar There are some issues that can remain a struggle well into recovery. Though I have been clean from drugs and alcohol for nearly 17 years, staying off the sugar – or at least trying to consume it in reasonable amounts – is an ongoing challenge. Sugar abuse, misuse, […]

People Who Spend on Experiences are Happier than Those Who Buy Stuff

People Who Spend on Experiences are Happier than Those Who Buy Stuff Research in the Journal of Positive Psychology shows that people who spend money on “things” are less happy than people who spend their money on “experiences.” Those new shoes that you’ve been coveting aren’t going to make you happy in the long term, […]

How Bullying Changes your Life’s Course, Especially if You’re LGBTQ

How Bullying Changes your Life’s Course, Especially if You’re LGBTQ Far too often, bullying is disregarded as kids being kids. Yet bullying is pervasive in our communities and is a leading factor that can contribute to the development of addiction. This happens across the board in many different socio-economic groups, but it particularly pronounced among […]

Managing Student Expectations in the Transition from High School to College

Managing Student Expectations in the Transition from High School to College High school seniors have a lot of expectations about what life will be like once they move on from their parents’ homes. When I prepared to leave for college, I hunkered down in my room to make a list of all the things I’d […]

Antidote for Opioid Overdose Now Available without Prescription in California

Antidote for Opioid Overdose Now Available without Prescription in California California leads the way in helping curb the number of deaths from accidental overdose of prescription painkillers and heroin by making the life-saving antidote available without a prescription. The Los Angeles Times reports: California pharmacists can hand out an overdose antidote to patients on powerful […]

Your Depression May Have Roots in Childhood Experience

Your Depression May Have Roots in Childhood Experience We see it all the time in addiction treatment – some sort of pain or trauma is a trigger for addiction and co-occurring disorders, such as depression. Now researchers have indicated in a breakthrough study that children who suffer abuse are at significant risk of suffering from […]

Workers Abusing ADHD Drugs to Get Ahead

Workers Abusing ADHD Drugs to Get Ahead We’ve long seen it among college students – the abuse of medications that treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to help improve study habits. Most ADHD medications, when taken by those who do not have ADHD, act like speed in the body. They focus attention and stave off […]

Meditation Improves Brain Function

Meditation Improves Brain Function There is a great deal of evidence that meditation, in particular mindfulness meditation, improves the brain, and the research is teaching us a lot about how and why that happens. Let’s look at some of the research. In one recent study: “…the researchers examined participants aged 55 to 90 years old […]

Helping Veterans with PTSD Using Yoga

Helping Veterans with PTSD Using Yoga We have come a long way in our efforts to treat PTSD and other psychological disorders. Some of the best information has come from veterans themselves. For example, after suffering from the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, Army veteran John Thurman used his experience with yoga to help others, […]

Designer Drugs Make Users Human Guinea Pigs

Designer Drugs Make Users Human Guinea Pigs Designer drugs are synthetic chemicals that are created to be “legal” (at least temporarily) alternatives to popular drugs like cocaine or MDMA. The very questionable content of most of these “party” drugs is a growing danger. Due to the frequently changing chemical makeup and unknown substances used by […]

Flakka: The Latest Drug to Hit the Streets

Flakka: The Latest Drug to Hit the Streets Flakka, also called gravel because it looks like the gravel in the bottom of fish tanks, is one of the latest synthetic drugs to hit the streets. Similar to bath salts, meth or cocaine, this is a very dangerous drug. Yahoo repots: Use of the drug, which […]

Acupuncture for Pain Relief

Acupuncture for Pain Relief I was first introduced to acupuncture by my friend and colleague Dr. William Morris one of the nation’s leading acupuncturists. Although my grandfather and one of his friends had many years of acupuncture for arthritis pain relief, and claimed good enough results that they both went regularly to acupuncture until their […]

The Film You Don’t Want to Miss: “Prescription Thugs” at the Tribeca Film Festival

The Film You Don’t Want to Miss: “Prescription Thugs” at the Tribeca Film Festival This weekend is the start of the Tribeca Film Festival. At the festival, the movie, “Prescription Thugs” will be screened. I am honored to be featured in this film and to help educate the public about the grave danger that is […]

Why Kids and Teens Abuse Prescription Drugs

Why Kids and Teens Abuse Prescription Drugs All segments of the population abuse prescription drugs, but prescription drug abuse among young people is of particular concern. Deaths from prescription drug abuse have skyrocketed in the last two decades. This begs the question: Why are so many young people abusing prescription drugs? This problem is not […]

Yoga as Medicine for Depression

Yoga as Medicine for Depression More than 15 million Americans practice yoga. It is a twenty-seven billion dollar a year industry in the US. Why is yoga so popular? According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 58% of those who practice yoga do so for mental and physical well-being and 16% use […]

The Health Benefits of Having a Pet

The Health Benefits of Having a Pet Companion animals make us feel better. It isn’t just that your cat, dog, gerbil or horse loves you unconditionally, whether you made a mistake or are sick or depressed. Companion animals actually improve our health in measurable ways. Prevention shares some of the research on pets and improved […]

Make Meditation a Habit to Improve your Life

Make Meditation a Habit to Improve your Life I wasn’t really into it at first. Meditation was hard. It required sitting and quieting my mind, neither of which I was very good at when I first got sober. Honestly, a thirty minute meditation session felt like some sort of torture for someone with a mind […]

The Food Additive that’s Making You Fatter

The Food Additive that’s Making You Fatter Struggling with your weight? Us too. It seems like even when we eat the proper amount of calories, good nutrients and exercise vigorously and regularly, the weight still wants to stick around. It’s frustrating. However, recent research suggests that some of the additives in our foods, particularly emulsifiers, […]

Creating Narcissism: How Your Parenting Could Lead Your Child to Addiction

Creating Narcissism: How Your Parenting Could Lead Your Child to Addiction It’s a complaint that many people make about the younger generation(s) – that they are self-obsessed and entitled to the point of being narcissistic. Certainly it is not true of every young person, but it is a troubling trend. However, recent research has suggested […]

The Germanwings Discussion Is Worsening the Stigma of Mental Illness

The Germanwings Discussion Is Worsening the Stigma of Mental Illness When a plane goes down, we all want to know why. When a plane is purposefully crashed by its pilot, the only answer that makes sense is that “He must have been crazy.” How does someone kill themselves and 150 other people? The problem is […]

Will Love Conquer Addiction?

Will Love Conquer Addiction? If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen it – an article suggesting that it is love that addicts need and lack of love and connection that causes addiction. The case made seems compelling. There are some things we know to be true. We know, for example, that addiction is not just […]

Changing the Shape of the Brain Helps Addicts Recover

Changing the Shape of the Brain Helps Addicts Recover One field that is radically changing addiction treatment is neuroscience. Learning that the brain is highly plastic, that is that it can change both in form and function, has revolutionized addiction treatment, giving us more and encouraging therapies to help addicts recover. The brain is not […]

Psychedelics May Improve Mental Health: Let’s Do the Research to Find Out

Psychedelics May Improve Mental Health: Let’s Do the Research to Find Out If there was a low cost drug that could make a major improvement in the symptoms of addiction, depression, and/or PTSD, had no known side-effects (when used in a clinical setting at approved doses) and was needed only once or twice to improve […]

Depression Worsens Memory

Depression Worsens Memory When you’re depressed, it’s hard to think about anything but feeling depressed or situations that reinforce your depression. Negative thoughts take hold and spiral out of control. Depressed individuals ruminate on negative thoughts seemingly without end. All of this focus on negativity can cause loss of short-term memory. After all, if you’re […]

Why AA is Bad Science…and What It Means for Your Addiction Treatment Options

Why AA is Bad Science…and What It Means for Your Addiction Treatment Options In an excellent piece in The Atlantic, writer Gabrielle Glaser gives an exposé on the lack of scientific evidence on the efficacy of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the preponderance of evidence that shows that not only does the lauded program fail to […]

Consciousness and Addiction Recovery

Consciousness and Addiction Recovery For thousands of years, philosophers, theologians, and even more recently, scientists, have theorized about consciousness, particularly, where it exists in the body. Recent research suggests that at least part of the phenomenon of consciousness may be a cooperative activity in several parts of the brain. However, consciousness is likely more than […]

Changing Our Perspectives on Mental Illness and Mental Health

Changing Our Perspectives on Mental Illness and Mental Health The First Lady recently spoke at the launch of The Campaign to Change Direction, “a nation-wide effort to raise awareness around mental health in America.” This effort, sponsored in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is “designed to change the story […]

Can the Poor Really get their Addiction and Mental Health Needs Met?

Can the Poor Really get their Addiction and Mental Health Needs Met? An article in the UK’s The Guardian shares Steve’s story, the story of a homeless, alcoholic man who cannot gain access to England’s bureaucratic healthcare system and ultimately, instead of getting help, ends up in jail. Sadly, much the same thing happens in […]

Powdered Alcohol: What Good Can Come of This?

Powdered Alcohol: What Good Can Come of This? Powdered alcohol, dubbed “palcohol” is now legal. According to Forbes magazine: “The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has just approved the sale of the powdered alcohol product, cleverly dubbed Palcohol. The idea is that you just add water to the powdered-alcohol-containing metallic pouch that looks […]

Repairing Broken Women and Men

Repairing Broken Women and Men Frederick Douglass is reported to have said, “It is easier to build strong children than to fix broken men.” It is something I think about often in my work as an addiction researcher. When I hear the life stories of those who seek treatment for their addictions, if I am […]

What’s Killing White Women in the USA?

What’s Killing White Women in the USA? Historically, white women in the United States have enjoyed relatively low mortality rates, but that is quickly changing. According to a report in Bloomberg Business, research by the Urban Institute indicates a sharp spike in mortality for white women, while other ethnic/gender groups have shown overall mortality declines. […]

How OxyContin Was Allowed to Kill so Many

How OxyContin Was Allowed to Kill so Many In a well-written article in The Week, reprinted from the Pacific Standard, Mike Mariani outlines how OxyContin, which was allegedly known to be addictive by its manufacturers, was pawned off on the public as a safe and effective, and decidedly non-addictive, painkiller. Now, the State of Kentucky […]

A History of Drinking in America

A History of Drinking in America Alcohol has had quite a history in the United States and now a new exhibition at the US National Archives in Washington DC gives us a glimpse of that history. According to BBC News, this exhibition gives visitors a fascinating view of the history of alcohol use in America […]

The Risks of College Age Drinking

The Risks of College Age Drinking Intervention for binge drinking in college has shown to be successful, but only for a limited time according to research published in the APA Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. A total 1,040 college students participated in a twelve-month study by James Henson, PhD, a psychology professor at Old […]

Is there a Connection between Intelligence, Creativity and Mental Illness?

Is there a Connection between Intelligence, Creativity and Mental Illness? Plagued by mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar polar disorder, and schizophrenia, are a host of artists, writers and famous people throughout history. In fact, many times the eccentric tendencies of genius are associated with mental illness. An article in Medical Daily titled “Why […]

Working through Childhood Trauma

Working through Childhood Trauma Trauma affects the developing brains of children much differently than it does the adult brain. If a child is confronted with constant feelings of danger and fear, their brains can become stuck in a protection mode in an effort to survive. This results in the child growing into an adult who […]

The Addictive Nature of Processed Foods

The Addictive Nature of Processed Foods A University of Michigan study is one of the first studies to examine specifically which foods may be addictive and why. This is important in helping to identify additional causes of eating disorders and the increasing number of people suffering from obesity. While behavioral addictions have been controversial, new […]

The Truth about Pain Relief

The Truth about Pain Relief At addiction treatment centers across the nation, more and more individuals are being seen for opioid addiction. Opioids are pain medications including morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl or hydrocodone. These pain-killing drugs are addictive and even when prescribed correctly, can be dangerous. It is recommended that opioid therapy should be […]

Better Understanding PTSD

Better Understanding PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually associated with veterans returning from tours in Iraq, Afghanistan or other highly volatile areas. However, more people suffer from PTSD than just military veterans. It can affect anyone at any age regardless of sex or racial background. Unfortunately, this is a largely unrecognized condition in a large […]

Understanding Why You Can’t Get to Sleep

Understanding Why You Can’t Get to Sleep Everyone has an occasional bad night’s sleep, but some people struggle more than others do, often for a variety of reasons. Scientists tell us that stress or trauma are a frequent cause, but depression, bad habits before bedtime and even being too tired to sleep can prevent the […]

Alcohol Abuse may be Related to Personal Activity Levels

Alcohol Abuse may be Related to Personal Activity Levels There is some evidence that physical activity may benefit individuals who are attempting to reduce their alcohol consumption. A study published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism found an association between physical activity and a lower risk of alcohol problems. Sedentary people had a higher risk […]

Alcohol Benefits to Health Not Accurate, Especially for the Elderly

Alcohol Benefits to Health Not Accurate, Especially for the Elderly For years, many people have argued about the benefits of drinking small amounts of alcohol for health, arguing that moderate consumption may protect against cardiovascular disease. The association has been a contentious one, since study results may have been exaggerated or possibly skewed due to […]

New Sleep Guidelines to Keep Youth Healthy

New Sleep Guidelines to Keep Youth Healthy Sleep is essential for overall health. Without regular age appropriate amounts of sleep, adolescents are at risk for developing a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, weight change, and sometimes insomnia. There may be noticeable behavioral changes when teens don’t sleep well, such as moodiness, experimentation with […]

Being Mindful of Health

Being Mindful of Health There is evidence that mindfulness can have profound healing benefits to the mind and body. Neuroscientists are now discovering more about how being mindful changes the brain, while medical researchers are analyzing the overall health benefits. A Huffington Post article discussed a growing body of published studies with compelling evidence that […]

Can a Psychedelic Trip Improve Your Mental Health?

Can a Psychedelic Trip Improve Your Mental Health? For thousands of years, shamans have used hallucinogenic plants to help individuals overcome trauma and other difficulties. In the West, research into the potential healing power of entheogens, substances believed to elicit mystical experience, were halted in the middle of the last century. Now, the government is […]

Stress Intensifies Pain Response

Stress Intensifies Pain Response A new study confirms that acute psychosocial stress has a dramatically negative effect on the body’s ability to modulate pain. Researchers found that although pain thresholds and pain tolerance seemed unaffected by stress, there was a significant increase in pain intensification and a decrease in pain inhibition capabilities in stressed individuals. […]

Developing New Treatments for Depression

Developing New Treatments for Depression A new study by the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found that the measure of brain inflammation in people who were experiencing clinical depression increased by 30 per cent over those without depression. The finding has important implications for understanding and developing new treatments for depression. Senior author […]

The Teenage Brain on Drugs

The Teenage Brain on Drugs One way to look at addiction is to consider it a form of learning, a type of learning that is extremely effective in its ability to affect the adolescent brain, report researchers working under an NIH grant. The maturation process of the brain may cause teens and young adults to […]

Prescription Painkiller Crisis

Prescription Painkiller Crisis According to researchers at Brandeis University, the University of North Florida and Johns Hopkins University, policymakers should focus on preventing new cases of opioid addiction caused by both medical and non-medical use and expand access to opioid addiction treatment. In a comprehensive investigation, the scientists show that since 2002, new cases of […]

Addicts Never Really Graduate

Addicts Never Really Graduate Over past decades, graduation ceremonies have become a prominent, long-standing, traditional centerpiece of substance abuse treatment programs and settings. Graduations provide clients with a platform to look back at their time in treatment, consider the things they will take away from that experience and what they will leave behind. However, do […]

Could Drug Abuse be Influencing the War(s) in the Middle East?

Could Drug Abuse be Influencing the War(s) in the Middle East? The Middle East is dealing with an epidemic of methamphetamine use. Could this be a factor in the growing tension in the region and offer at least a partial explanation for the lack of willingness to attempt negotiated resolutions? Consider a few facts: Meth […]

Danger to Gay Men Huffing Poppers

Danger to Gay Men Huffing Poppers Participants in a new study have reported a small but growing and worrisome trend among some gay American men. Often described as a new way to use poppers or as huffing poppers, in fact, the practice is simply inhaling organic solvents or propellants. This practice appears to have been […]

The Powerful Influence of Music on Health

The Powerful Influence of Music on Health Scientists have found some the strongest evidence yet that musical training in younger years can prevent the decay in speech listening skills in later life. Musicianship in early life is associated with pervasive changes in brain function and enhanced speech-language skills. Recent research results indicate these neuroplastic benefits […]

I look forward to my future

I have been to several rehabs over the years, but Cliffside Malibu will gratefully be my last. From the moment I was greeted at the airport I was treated with complete professionalism. In my experience, no other rehab blends practical and spiritual principles so effectively. I look forward to my future with great enthusiasm largely […]

Get Outside for Health Benefits

Get Outside for Health Benefits Exposure to nature has been shown to improve psychological well-being, relieve stress, increase positive mood, enhance life skills, reduce mental fatigue, increase concentration, and reduce aggression. There is growing evidence that contact with nature and physical activity in nature have considerable benefits for human health. One study sought to identify […]

Opioid Use in Older People Increases Risk of Overdose, Suicide and Homicide

Opioid Use in Older People Increases Risk of Overdose, Suicide and Homicide Opioid drug misuse is an important cause of premature death. In many countries, opioid using populations are aging; older people frequently have more aches and pains than the young, which increases both the prescription of opioid painkillers and the risk for painkiller misuse […]

Alcohol, Marijuana, and Motor Vehicle Accidents: A Lethal Combination for Young People

Alcohol, Marijuana, and Motor Vehicle Accidents: A Lethal Combination for Young People Alcohol and marijuana are among the drugs most commonly used by adolescents and young adults. Use is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality for young people, especially motor vehicle crash fatality, which is a leading cause of death among those 18 to 25 […]

Alcohol Advertising Affecting Adolescents

Alcohol Advertising Affecting Adolescents Remember all those great Super Bowl ads for beer? According to a study by researchers at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) and Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD), seeing and liking alcohol advertising on television among underage youth was associated with the onset of drinking, binge drinking and hazardous drinking. Alcohol […]

What’s the Difference between Addiction and Obsession?

What’s the Difference between Addiction and Obsession? When the average person thinks about addiction, most think about drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and maybe shopping or gambling. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are chemically dependent on the drug. People who suffer from addiction many times also have other co-occurring disorders, such as […]

Super Bowl Party Warning: Designate a Driver

Super Bowl Party Warning: Designate a Driver It is that time again; February 1 is Super Bowl Sunday this year. Drivers and passengers should be aware of the high crash risk from drinking and driving associated with Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest one-day sporting event in the United States and unfortunately one of the most […]

The Danger of Alcohol-Interactive Prescription Medications

The Danger of Alcohol-Interactive Prescription Medications Alcohol interacts negatively with numerous commonly prescribed medications. Yet, most drinkers do not understood about use of alcohol-interactive (AI) prescription medications. This is concerning since the majority of Americans consume alcoholic beverages, never knowing the potential danger they are in. A new study has found that almost 42 percent […]

The ability to find true life purpose

Treatment is one small part of life, but a memorable one. I will never forget my time at Cliffside for as long as I live. I now feel empowered by learning the fundamentals essential to full recovery and a long and prosperous life. Those basics included dealing with specific personal feelings and cravings, 24 hours […]

Potential of Psilocybin in Mental Health Therapy

Potential of Psilocybin in Mental Health Therapy Over the past 50 years, tens of millions of people have used entheogens, yet there just is not much scientific evidence on either positive or negative long-term effects of these substances. The classical psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, etc.) are not known to cause brain damage and are regarded as […]

Write Your Story, Improve Your Health

Write Your Story, Improve Your Health Studies have shown that writing about yourself and your personal experiences can improve mood disorders, improve health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory. Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness. Some […]

Update on Pain Medication Epidemic

Update on Pain Medication Epidemic An NIH white paper found little to no evidence for the effectiveness of opioid drugs in the treatment of long-term chronic pain. The paper, which constitutes the final report of a seven-member panel convened last September, finds that many of the studies used to justify the prescription of these drugs […]

Alcohol Risks Rise with Long Work Hours

Alcohol Risks Rise with Long Work Hours Individuals whose working hours exceed standard recommendations are more likely to increase their alcohol use to levels that pose a health risk. This is the conclusion from a newly published report of the systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies and unpublished data. Risky alcohol consumption is more […]

The Connection between PTSD, Food and Women

The Connection between PTSD, Food and Women According to researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at the Columbia and Harvard Schools of Public Health, women with post-traumatic stress disorder are nearly twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with women who do not have PTSD. The longitudinal cohort study provides the […]

Recovery and Resilience Connection

Recovery and Resilience Connection Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity. Learning to become more resilient can offer individuals the opportunity to improve their life, maximizing potential and success. As Diane Coutu so eloquently explains in How Resilience Works: “Resilient […]

It’s Harder for Women to Quit Smoking than It Is for Men

It’s Harder for Women to Quit Smoking than It Is for Men Women are at an increased risk of relapse after a smoking cessation attempt. Research indicates that both the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle and the negative symptomatology experienced while quitting play a role during smoking cessation and can influence outcomes. Although more […]

Alcohol Warnings by Parents Make a Difference

Alcohol Warnings by Parents Make a Difference Parenting style strongly and directly affects teens when it comes to heavy drinking, defined as having five or more drinks in a row, according to a study by Brigham Young University. Unlike previous research, this study distinguished between any alcohol consumption and heavy drinking. Researchers found the following […]

Preventing a Future Generation of Addicts: Curtail Teen Prescriptions for Sleep Aids and Anti-Anxiety Meds

Preventing a Future Generation of Addicts: Curtail Teen Prescriptions for Sleep Aids and Anti-Anxiety Meds Researchers have completed the first longitudinal study to determine whether teens’ recent medical use of anxiety or sleep medications is associated with later taking somebody else’s prescription medication illegally, either for self-treatment or recreational use. Examples of anti-anxiety medications include […]

Understanding How the Brain Reacts to Addictive Substances: It’s a Dopamine Thing

Understanding How the Brain Reacts to Addictive Substances: It’s a Dopamine Thing Brigham Young University professor Scott Steffensen and his collaborators have published three scientific papers that detail the brain mechanisms involved with addictive substances. One study found that the process of a brain becoming addicted is an overcorrecting reaction to an abused substance. When […]

The Neurological Differences in Men and Women Smokers

The Neurological Differences in Men and Women Smokers Yale researchers have pinpointed a different brain response between male and female smokers by analyzing dynamic brain scans. This study marks the first time that PET (positron emission tomography) scans were used to create “movies” of how smoking affects dopamine, the neurotransmitter that triggers feelings of pleasure […]

Athletes and Drug Use

Athletes and Drug Use Whether legal or illegal, drug use can occur at all levels of sports, from high school or college student athletes, to international Olympic competitors, to professional athlete celebrities. At the professional and Olympic level, each athlete is responsible for the drugs they consume and knowing if any of these substances are […]

Alcohol and Cigarettes Use in Teens Declines

Alcohol and Cigarettes Use in Teens Declines A national survey of students in U.S. middle schools and high schools shows some important improvements in levels of substance use. The University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study tracks trends in substance use among students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades. Each year the national study surveys […]

Can Meditation Change Your Gene Expression?

Can Meditation Change Your Gene Expression? The benefits of mindfulness meditation seem to be never-ending; it decreases stress and helps you focus. It can even rewire your mental circuitry. But it’s not just your synapses that see the benefits. As it turns out, meditating may change the ways in which your genes express themselves. Mindfulness […]

The Relationship between Substance Abuse, Insomnia, and Suicidal Thoughts

The Relationship between Substance Abuse, Insomnia, and Suicidal Thoughts Accruing evidence indicates that insomnia is prevalent and persistent in early recovery from substance use disorders and may predict relapse. As such, insomnia treatment after abstinence represents an important area for intervention and treatment. According to Dr. Nicholas Rosenlicht of University of San Francisco: “Treating sleep […]

The Health Risks of Binge Drinking

The Health Risks of Binge Drinking Drinkers generally understand how binge drinking alters behavior. However, more than behavior changes with intoxication. Binge drinking is a significant cause of accidents. It increases the risk of falls, burns, gunshot wounds, car accidents, arguments and poisoning. Consider these sobering facts about how we drink: About 90% of the […]

Treating Depression and Co-occurring Disorders in Teens

Treating Depression and Co-occurring Disorders in Teens Among adolescents seen in primary care with depression, a collaborative care intervention that included patient and parent engagement and education resulted in greater improvement in depressive symptoms according to a recent study. The overall rate of depression remission at 12 months was 50.4 percent for youth in the […]

A Dangerous Trend: The Move Away from Abstinence Based Addiction Treatment

A Dangerous Trend: The Move Away from Abstinence Based Addiction Treatment The face of addiction treatment is changing, and not for the better. Betty Ford and Hazelden have long been beacons of hope in the addiction treatment community, two well-known and respected centers that used 12-step treatment and abstinence based recovery to help thousands of […]

The Amazing Benefit of Animals on Health

The Amazing Benefit of Animals on Health       Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy and other animal-assisted activities. Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders. Animal-assisted activities, […]

New Year’s Celebrations

New Year’s Celebrations More people are likely to drink beyond their limits during this season than at other times of the year. Some of them will suffer consequences that range from fights to falls to traffic crashes or death. Last December, 733 people died in drunk driving crashes. Be aware that drunk driving crashes claim […]

Think Before You Drink

Think Before You Drink Even though many of us are aware of the higher rates of alcohol-related traffic fatalities on New Year’s Eve, myths about drinking and driving persist. These myths are related to how quickly alcohol affects the body and how long these effects can last. Scientific studies supported by the National Institute on […]

Changing Rules for Reporting Clinical Trial Results

Changing Rules for Reporting Clinical Trial Results With ongoing criticism that public health may be harmed because too many trial results remain hidden away, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed new rules that require researchers in industry and academia to post findings of all studies funded by the federal government on […]

Defining Behavioral Addictions

Defining Behavioral Addictions Traditionally, the term addiction has been used to describe dependence on substances, such as alcohol and other drugs. More recently, addiction has been applied to a range of behaviors. Behavioral addictions are patterns of behavior that follow a cycle similar to that of substance dependence. Whether or not behavioral addictions are “real” […]

Antidepressant Response Danger

  Antidepressant Response Danger New research helps explain a paradoxical effect of certain antidepressants; they may actually worsen symptoms before helping patients feel better. Many people do not tolerate antidepressants and suffer side effects including extreme mood swings, agitation and suicidal thoughts. This can make these medications dangerous for some individuals. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors […]

Why You Should Learn and Practice Yoga

Why You Should Learn and Practice Yoga Yoga is a balanced practice of physical exercise, breathing control and meditation that can reduce psychosocial distress as well as improve cardiovascular and cognitive function. Yoga may prove to be a practical adjunct to a healthy lifestyle, according to research.   There is a need for simple, easy […]

The War on Weed is Over

The War on Weed is Over Congress provided a historic victory for the legal marijuana industry with the massive government-funding bill passed Saturday night, December 13. The bill will end the federal government’s ban on selling or using pot for health reasons in states where it’s legalized. Within the $1.1 trillion spending measure are protections […]

How Alcohol Affects Blood Chemistry and Diabetes

How Alcohol Affects Blood Chemistry and Diabetes Alcohol affects the body in many ways resulting in changes that can negatively impact some chronic conditions more than others. Not only can an alcoholic drink be a bad idea to mix with certain medications, but it can also change the blood chemistry. This can be life threatening […]

Not So Affordable ACA

Not So Affordable ACA Affordable health insurance for all Americans was one of the cornerstones and selling points of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the law has helped reduce the proportion of uninsured Americans from 20 to 15 percent, according to data, millions are still without coverage. Consider the numbers: Health insurance enrollment data […]

The Danger of Drinking to Blackout

The Danger of Drinking to Blackout Someone who has had a blackout while drinking cannot remember part of their drinking episode. Unfortunately, most people do not understand how dangerous blackouts are, yet up to 50% of drinkers may have an alcohol-related blackout (ARB). A new study identifying different trajectories of ARBs of drinkers between the […]

Adderall Abuse Among Students

Adderall Abuse among Students Alcohol and substance misuse and abuse affect a large percentage of US high school and college students. Alcohol abuse and illicit drug use often receive more attention, but a growing US health concern is centered on the misuse of prescription stimulant medications often prescribed for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). […]

NFL Injuries Leading to Medication Abuse

NFL Injuries Leading to Medication Abuse Many people addicted to prescription medications do not think that they have a problem. These addictions often begin as an injury. Few realize how quickly dependency can spiral out of control. NFL injuries are treated with pain medications by team doctors. Are the players being responsibly medicated? Are they […]

Smokers are Less Likely to Respond to Alcoholism Treatment

Smokers are Less Likely to Respond to Alcoholism Treatment In a recent study by researchers at the University of Buffalo, smokers were found to respond less positively to alcoholism treatment than nonsmokers. With 21,128 participants receiving alcohol abuse treatment in 253 outpatient rehabs in New York (state), 66.4% of nonsmoking males “successfully met the goals […]

Treating Depression with Ketamine

Treating Depression with Ketamine Small studies at prestigious medical centers like Yale, Mount Sinai and the National Institute of Mental Health suggest that a drug called ketamine can relieve depression in many people not helped by widely used conventional antidepressants like Prozac or Lexapro. At this time, there is little support for this treatment model, […]

Addiction and Mental Health Treatment under the Affordable Care Act

Addiction and Mental Health Treatment under the Affordable Care Act Part of addiction recovery is dealing appropriately and concurrently with any co-occurring mental illnesses that may be present. Yet, estimates suggest that more than 23 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol, but only 10 percent of them are seeking treatment. Why is that? […]

Can You Thrive After Childhood Trauma?

Can You Thrive After Childhood Trauma? Recovery from traumatic events is never easy. However, humans are amazingly adaptable. Unfortunately, survival does not mean thriving. A person can survive traumatic events and be scarred for the rest of their life. Trauma affects children particularly profoundly. Children do not just get over trauma; they live with the […]

Medicating When It Is not Needed

Medicating When It Is not Needed                       Creativity is a complex and vast construct that has been vital to the progress of human civilization and the development of human reasoning processes. Indeed, the immense array of creative endeavors encompasses the works of such disparate activities as those undertaken by painters, sculptors, nuclear engineers, landscape architects, graphic […]

Drugging Kids with Legal Medications

Drugging Kids with Legal Medications The number of children who have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States has climbed at an astonishing rate over a relatively short time span. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control released data revealing that 11 percent of American schoolchildren had been diagnosed with ADHD, […]

Talking Helps Lower Suicide Risk

Talking Helps Lower Suicide Risk The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collect data about mortality in the U.S., including deaths by suicide. In 2012 (the most recent year for which full data is available), 40,600 suicide deaths were reported by Emergency Departments, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. Sadly, […]

How to Get Off the Sleeping Pills

How to Get Off the Sleeping Pills Insomnia is a vicious cycle affecting many people and their quality of life. You cannot fall asleep. This in turn causes you to worry about not falling asleep. Then all this anxiety makes it even more difficult to fall asleep. Eventually, this scenario leads many people to try […]

Alcohol Abuse during the Holidays

Alcohol Abuse during the Holidays The holiday season is upon us and alcohol is frequently more visible and free flowing during this time.  Exactly where the line is between heavy drinking and clinical alcoholism can be vague. A new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found a distinction between drinking […]

Proving the Benefits of Meditation

Proving the Benefits of Meditation Mindful meditation is a type of meditation (which is an exercise of deep, prolonged concentration) during which any feelings, emotions or thoughts are experienced as and when they arise during the exercise, opposed to after the meditation finishes. This practice teaches us about our unresolved issues that prick us when […]

Who’s Smoking Marijuana and How Much?

Who’s Smoking Marijuana and How Much? Statistics on cannabis users skew perceptions of cannabis use. Most statistical surveys of marijuana focus on a single quantitative measurement, “How many people are using?” However, there is a problem; more marijuana use does not necessarily translate into more marijuana users. The greatest amount of marijuana consumption comes from […]

The Risky Use of Stimulants by Students

The Risky Use of Stimulants by Students Prescription ADHD medications like Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse are becoming increasingly popular for overworked and overscheduled college students. ADHD stimulants strengthen the brain’s inhibitory capacities, by increasing the amount of certain neurotransmitters, like dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Students like these drugs because they enhance their study efforts. Prescription […]

“Magic Mushrooms” Might Be More Magic than We First Thought

“Magic Mushrooms” Might Be More Magic than We First Thought In 1960, two promising young psychologists at Harvard, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, began to explore the effects of psychotropic substances on the human mind. They believed that psilocybin, the active chemical in “magic” mushrooms, had the power to change people’s brains for the better. They […]

End the Stigma Associated with Mental Illness

End the Stigma Associated with Mental Illness No one knows exactly how many people with severe mental illness live what appear to be normal, successful lives, because such people are not in the habit of announcing themselves. These individuals are busy juggling responsibilities along with hiding dark, emotional feelings that threaten to burst forth unexpectedly […]

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Helps Suicidal Individuals and Addicts Recover

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Helps Suicidal Individuals and Addicts Recover Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a research-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment. It was originally developed by Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington, to help clients with the suicidal and self-harm behaviors often seen in Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT has since been modified as a treatment for other complex […]

Regular Pot Use Changes the Brain

Regular Pot Use Changes the Brain The existing literature on the long-term effects of marijuana on the brain is confusing, mostly due to methodological differences across studies. However, in a new study of cannabis users, scientists investigated the drug’s long term impact through brain scans, hoping to overcome methodological problems in previous studies. They found […]

On the Cutting Edge of Addiction Treatment: The Global Addiction Conference

On the Cutting Edge of Addiction Treatment: The Global Addiction Conference   I have spent the past week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the Global Addiction Conference. There were presentations over several days on all sorts of topics, from country reports on incarceration of addicts and drug use statistics to research studies on co-occurring […]

Depression in the Workforce

Depression in the Workforce Nearly a quarter of American workers have been diagnosed with depression in their lifetime and more than one third needed time off from work because of depression. This is a significant number of people. The Impact of Depression at Work Audit survey results were recently released. The survey evaluated the social […]

Understanding How Alcohol Uniquely Affects Women

Understanding How Alcohol Uniquely Affects Women When it comes to processing alcohol, men and women are quite different. Contrary to common belief, men and women of almost the same height and weight do not experience similar effects after consuming equal amounts of alcohol. Studies prove that women on the whole are more adversely affected than […]

Risks of Teen Alcohol Use

Risks of Teen Alcohol Use Why do teens abuse alcohol? There are a lot of issues in play when coming up with an answer to that question. Now, new imaging studies have identified the neuronal networks involved in the development of alcohol dependence. Structural and neuronal changes, including their transmitter systems, have been noted due […]

Acupuncture May Be an Alternative to Opioid Drugs for Pain Relief

Acupuncture May Be an Alternative to Opioid Drugs for Pain Relief Many people are addicted to opioid drugs and need alternative pain relief therapies. The use of opioids for chronic pain has increased dramatically and has been accompanied by a major increase in opioid addiction and overdose deaths. An estimated 2.1 million people in the […]

Are You “Addicted” to Staying Connected?

Are You “Addicted” to Staying Connected? Can people be addicted to playing computer games or checking Facebook or email? Almost all universally recognized addictions are for substances such as drugs, alcohol and tobacco, because non-substance addictions, called “process disorders,” are so difficult to pin down. Now scientists are investigating addiction to the internet, cell phones […]

Veteran’s Day Message from Cliffside Malibu

Veteran’s Day Message from Cliffside Malibu   There are many things I’m proud of in this world. One is that I live in a nation with a volunteer military. Men and women from across our great land give their time, leave their families, and put themselves in harm’s way all so that we can live […]

Better Treatment for Veterans with PTSD

Better Treatment for Veterans with PTSD Many American veterans and their families must deal with mental health disorders associated with serving in the military. After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have psychological reactions, such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go […]

Get a Good Night’s Sleep without Medication

Get a Good Night’s Sleep without Medication Sleeping well is a crucial factor contributing to our physical and mental well-being. During periods of deep sleep, cell repair is promoted, the immune system is stimulated and memory function is positively impacted. Lack of good sleep is a serious health issue for many individuals who suffer from […]

America is Voting on Marijuana

America is Voting on Marijuana A recent poll from The Huffington Post and YouGov claimed that more respondents were in favor of legalizing marijuana than were opposed to it. Results showed a favorable public bias, with 70% of respondents supporting the legalization of medical marijuana compared to 17% that opposed it. Legalizing marijuana as a whole saw […]

Prescription Opioid Abuse: A Gateway to Heroin and Overdose

Prescription Opioid Abuse: A Gateway to Heroin and Overdose Opioid-involved overdoses in the United States have dramatically increased in the last 15 years, largely due to a rise in prescription opioid (PO) use. Emerging evidence suggests the increase is linked to unintentional PO misuse that easily turns into addiction. Individuals who regularly use opioid analgesic […]

Men and Depression

Men and Depression More than six million American men will have an episode of major depression this year, which is seven percent of the male population. Depression in men is not at all rare, yet it is most often ignored and untreated. Unfortunately, the lingering image of depression as a “female condition” may keep men […]

Alcoholism in Hispanic Communities

Alcoholism in Hispanic Communities Culture is a more important indicator than race when it comes to the potential of developing a drinking problem, according to a recently published study. The distinction between race and culture is an important one. Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group in the USA. Hispanics also comprise a heterogeneous group. […]

A Healthy Habits for a Healthy Life

A Healthy Habits for a Healthy Life Physical and mental health are both required for total overall well-being. These aspects of our lives influence our brain, and we can positively maximize our chances of staying mentally alert by maintaining a healthy brain and body. When individuals do not sleep or eat well, they increasingly become […]

What Influences Teen Addiction

What Influences Teen Addiction  Drug use is common among teenagers. By late adolescence, one study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry showed that as many as 78 percent of teens have abused alcohol and over 40 percent have used other drugs. No teenager is immune to the possibility of becoming an addict at this […]

Mindfulness and Meditation: Two Steps Toward Better Health

Mindfulness and Meditation: Two Steps Toward Better Health Regular meditation along with a mindful lifestyle path can help individuals control and recover from many mental health disorders. Meditation is a practice of training the mind to induce another state of consciousness or bring attention to a particular point. Mindfulness refers to a psychological quality that […]

Society’s Perception of Addiction: Addicts Have a Moral Failing

Society’s Perception of Addiction: Addicts Have a Moral Failing A new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study suggests that people are significantly more likely to have negative attitudes toward those dealing with drug addiction than those with mental illness. In addition, people generally do not support insurance, housing, and employment policies that benefit […]

Why Treatment Works: Developing a Positive Attitude, Motivation and Commitment

Why Treatment Works: Developing a Positive Attitude, Motivation and Commitment The first step in recovery is recognizing that a problem exists, but that in and of itself isn’t enough to make your recovery successful. Many people also need some form of motivation to begin and maintain the process of recovery. Motivation – having a reason […]

Stemming the Rising Tide of Heroin Abuse

Stemming the Rising Tide of Heroin Abuse Why has heroin abuse skyrocketed, who is using it, and what can be done about the problem? Prescription opioids abuse data suggests the reason for a resurgence of heroin use in America.  According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): “Today’s typical heroin addict starts using […]

Suicide and Mental Health

Suicide and Mental Health Suicide is a major public health concern. Estimates indicate that around 38,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States. Knowing what the risk factors are can help reduce the suicide rate. A combination of individual, relational, community and societal factors influence and contribute to the problem of suicide. […]

As Seen on TV: Advertising’s Influence on Alcohol Abuse

As Seen on TV: Advertising’s Influence on Alcohol Abuse Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. and responsible for one in every 10 deaths. The statistics that describe the ways in which we drink ourselves to death are staggering. A study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease found […]

Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) In recent years, the mental health profession has refined its diagnosis and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop as a reaction to traumatic events, including: experience in military combat, imprisonment, natural disasters, human-caused accidents, domestic violence and child abuse. Unfortunately, many […]

Understanding the Relationship between Depression and Exercise

Understanding the Relationship between Depression and Exercise The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that globally, more than 350 million people of all ages are affected by depression. Suicide results in an estimated 1 million deaths every year. Depression is a serious mental illness in every nation. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived […]

Grandparents in Need of Help: Addiction and the Elderly

Grandparents in Need of Help: Addiction and the Elderly We often ignore troubling behavior in older people, letting these behaviors slide as signs of aging. Forgetfulness, falls or an inability to live alone may come with age, but they don’t have to. They can also be symptoms of substance abuse. Many, many of our aging […]

Thirty Year High on Campus Pot Use

Thirty Year High on Campus Pot Use Compared to twenty years ago, the number of college students smoking pot has more than doubled. Thirty nine percent of college students reported using marijuana in the past year and fifty one percent used an illicit drug at some time in their lives. That is the highest rate […]

The Ineffectiveness of Opioids for Chronic Pain

The Ineffectiveness of Opioids for Chronic Pain                                                                                       Let me first say that I am not a medical doctor. However, as the founder and CEO of a leading addiction treatment center, I sit on the front-lines of the prescription painkiller epidemic. From this vantage point, by working with addicts and their families and the physicians […]

Neuroscience of Addiction

Neuroscience of Addiction Drug addiction is a chronic disorder in which the addict experiences an uncontrollable compulsion to take drugs. Simultaneously the repertoire of behaviors not related to drug seeking and taking decline dramatically in addicts who are actively using. However, new research in the field of neuroscience is helping us to understand how addiction […]

The Psychoactive Drug Revolution: Developing New Treatments for Addiction and Other Disorders

The Psychoactive Drug Revolution: Developing New Treatments for Addiction and Other Disorders The resurgence of research into the therapeutic potential of psychoactive entheogenic substances is helping scientists develop new treatments for post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and addiction. Recent clinical examinations of psilocybin have indicated that it is helpful treating these […]

Addiction Changes the Way We Learn

Addiction Changes the Way We Learn When I look at my children at play, I am fascinated by the ways in which they learn. Learning is a brain event and there are times I imagine I can almost see my kids’ brains working and developing as they play and learn. Everything that we do, whether […]

The Potential of Ibogaine in the Treatment of Substance Abuse

The Potential of Ibogaine in the Treatment of Substance Abuse   I have a very specific agenda when it comes to addiction treatment research. I believe that any therapy or medication which shows promise in treating addiction should be tested for efficacy and safety. At present, many such treatments are not tested because they do […]

Complementary Therapies: Proven to Give Addiction Treatment a Kick-Start

Complementary Therapies: Proven to Give Addiction Treatment a Kick-Start Individuals seeking treatment for addiction are often dissatisfied with conventional addiction treatment because it has been ineffective, has produced adverse effects, or is seen as impersonal. “Alternative” addiction treatments, in this case evidence-based, whole health, complementary therapies, are gaining in popularity and acceptance as useful tools […]

In the Violence Among NFL Players Related to Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD?

In the Violence Among NFL Players Related to Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD? The NFL has been working with the Armed Forces to share information about concussion issues. Up to a fifth of those in the U.S. military who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have come home with a blast-related concussion, post-traumatic stress disorder or […]

Addiction among Medical Professionals

Addiction among Medical Professionals As seen in the general population, a significant portion of healthcare professionals are impacted by addiction. Yet, it can be hard to spot those struggling with drug addiction, particularly in professional situations. Further, those in recovery from addiction often face discrimination in a number of ways, so getting ongoing support to […]

Struggling with Substance Abuse or Addiction during Pregnancy

Struggling with Substance Abuse or Addiction during Pregnancy Friends of mine who are mothers and addicts in recovery say that one of the most horrifying experiences of their lives was using during pregnancy. They knew what they were doing might hurt their unborn children, but they could not stop. Addicts are who and what they […]

Waiting for God’s Judgment

Zechariah is the father of John the Baptist in the Bible. My papa wanted me to be like him, anointed in the spirit and the father of important men. That’s how I got my name. My papa is a preacher at a big church in Texas. His work is sharing the word of God. His […]

The Dangers of E-Cigarette Exposure to Children

The Dangers of E-Cigarette Exposure to Children Highly unregulated, the sale of toxic nicotine concoctions for e-cigarette refills pose a serious threat to young children. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution, converting it into a vapor users are able to inhale. The solution may contain varying amounts of nicotine and come […]

How long until the California Legislature Gets It: What’s Wrong with SB1283

How long until the California Legislature Gets It: What’s Wrong with SB1283 Yet again, the California legislature makes a terrific blunder with SB1283, showing the electorate that they have no idea how to deal with the dangerous problem of synthetic drugs, in this case, synthetic marijuana and speed. Known as Spice, K2, or by a […]

Sleeping Medication Addiction

Sleeping Medication Addiction Sleeping pills are a type of prescription or over the counter medicine usually used to treat the symptoms of insomnia. This sleep disorder occurs when a person has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the entire night. Problems with waking up too early or feeling extremely tired upon waking are common […]

Alzheimer’s May Be Linked to Benzodiazepine Use

Alzheimer’s May Be Linked to Benzodiazepine Use A study by French and Canadian scientists has found evidence that people who take benzodiazepines have a significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease currently affects about 36 million people worldwide and this number is expected to double every 20 years, reaching 115 million by 2015. The […]

The Upcoming Revised NFL Drug Use Policy

The Upcoming Revised NFL Drug Use Policy The NFL is putting the final touches on a new drug policy. This new policy, which is the first major update since the last policy in 2010, is between the NFL Players Association and the NFL. The significant changes are with regard to HGH (Human Growth Hormone) testing […]

Please Don’t Try to Rescue Me

Please Don’t Try to Rescue Me I am going to take a break from my regular blog posts about the latest research and developments in addiction treatment to write about something personal. If you have read the book, “Ending Addiction for Good,” a book that quickly became a #1 Amazon bestseller, you know that I […]

Safety of Alcohol vs Marijuana Consumption

Safety of Alcohol vs Marijuana Consumption The debate about whether marijuana is “safer” than other substances, such as alcohol, has growing public interest. President Obama publically stated that he is not convinced that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol. This illustrates the recent shift toward the acceptance of marijuana legalization or decriminalization as public opinion […]

Do You Really Know What MDMA IS

Do You Really Know What MDMA IS MDMA is potentially much more than just a popular drug on the party scene. When it initially hit the club scene, it was a pure drug, Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). It was also called “ecstasy” due to the ecstatic feeling it gives the user. However, as years have passed, particularly […]

Overcoming Addiction through Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

Overcoming Addiction through Mindfulness and Psychotherapy It’s not just the drugs you take, but what you experience too that can rewire your brain, causing your brain to crave an experience in the same way it can be taught to crave a drug. These ‘non-substance’ addictions are called process disorders and they can be very difficult […]

Does MDMA Have Psychotherapeutic Potential?

Does MDMA Have Psychotherapeutic Potential? Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is also known as “ecstasy” because of the ecstatic feelings it produces in those who use it. While many dismiss the drug as a dangerous substance, some scientists claim it may have positive therapeutic uses with little risk of harm when used under proper supervision. According to researchers, […]

As Sports Fans, Let’s Look at Performance-Enhancing Drugs

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame] The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, recently published a review discussing drug abuse in athletes. Drug abuse occurs in almost all sports and at most levels of teen and adult competition. Doping, defined as use of drugs or other substances for performance […]

Medical Marijuana Helps Curb Pain, but at a Cost

Medical Marijuana Helps Curb Pain, but at a Cost Medical marijuana is available in 21 states and the District of Columbia. The results of medical marijuana use are mixed, with some important positive and negative outcomes that should be examined. New research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, finds that deaths associated with the […]

Effects of Depression on the Brain

Effects of Depression on the Brain Rumination occurs when an individual thinks about a problem repeatedly, with too much self-reflection and without coming to a solution. A recent study from the University of Illinois at Chicago plainly reveals the startling effects of rumination on the brain, a risk factor of depression and reoccurring depression. Functional […]

Alcohol’s Link to Partner Violence

Alcohol’s Link to Partner Violence Alcohol use, especially heavy regular or binge drinking, has been linked to male-to-female partner violence. Across different cultures, violence is more severe when one or both partners has been drinking. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a significant global public health issue according to the World Health Organization. When both partners […]

Losing Your Memory: It May be the Drugs You’re Taking

Losing Your Memory: It May be the Drugs You’re Taking Is memory loss interfering with your daily life? Most people are familiar with some of the things that can impair memory, including alcohol and drug abuse, head injuries, stroke, sleep deprivation, severe stress, aging or a symptom of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. What many do […]

Carefully Designed Drug Monitoring Programs Help Keep Addiction in Check

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]Despite challenges, prescription drug monitoring programs are essential tools in ensuring opioids and other addictive medicines are prescribed and used appropriately. The field of medicine is being pulled in two directions. On one hand, doctors are becoming more aware of the consequences of pain, leading to the prescription of more and more aggressive […]

September is Recovery Month

September is Recovery Month Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, substance abuse prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. The national September observance of Recovery Month has evolved since its original conception in 1989. The purpose is to highlight individuals who have reclaimed […]

Avoiding Sleeping Pill Addiction

Avoiding Sleeping Pill Addiction Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. If you have it, you may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. As a result, you may get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep. You may not feel refreshed when you wake up. Roughly, one-fifth of adults in the US experience insomnia, […]

Research Results on Food Addiction

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]Recent evidence suggests that palatable, high-calorie foods, think comfort foods like mac & cheese or burgers with fries or steaks cut half the size of your head, may have an addictive potential that can contribute to overeating. Impulsivity, obesity and overconsumption of such foods have been associated with addiction-like eating behavior. (I say […]

Update on Methamphetamine Addiction

Update on Methamphetamine Addiction The chemical methamphetamine hydrochloride is generally simply known as methamphetamine. Common street names for methamphetamine include crank, speed, meth, crystal meth, ice and crystal tea. It has been a popular drug of abuse for many years in its conventional, powdered form, which is usually snorted or injected. Methamphetamine differs from amphetamine […]

Internet Addiction in Adolescents

Internet Addiction in Adolescents Problematic Internet use, which has become a global social issue, can be broadly conceptualized as an inability to control one’s use of the Internet and which leads to negative consequences in daily life. Though not considered by experts to be classed as an addiction at this point, there is evidence to […]

Effective Depression Treatment Using CBT

Effective Depression Treatment Using CBT Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has proven to be an effective treatment in minor depression, and a superior treatment when used as a supporting therapy for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Depression is a mental illness that can be costly and debilitating to sufferers, adversely affecting the course and outcome of common chronic […]

Ineffectiveness of Brief Intervention for Drug Use

Ineffectiveness of Brief Intervention for Drug Use There is little question that brief interventions, consisting of 1 or 2 sessions, for reducing drug use have little to no impact on using behavior. Two recent studies illustrate the futility of brief interventions in reducing illicit drug use or prescription drug misuse, known collectively as “problem drug […]

On Being a “Teacher”: Thoughts as I Prepare to Depart from South Africa

I first answered Africa’s siren song in 1992, when I spent half of my junior year in college in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2008, I returned to Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia, where I started writing my doctoral dissertation in a tent on quiet afternoons. This year, I was invited to South Africa, to Cape Town […]

5 Myths about Healthcare Data Privacy from an Addiction Center CEO

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]It happened to Target and recently we learned it happened to UPS stores, too. It went on for a year at the Montana Health Department and it happened to millions of customers of Kaiser Permanente Northern California. It’s the theft of customer or patient data, and it can take place in many ways […]

A Summer BBQ

My family is pretty normal. My father works hard in management at a Fortune 500 company and my mother is an elementary school teacher. I have a brother and two sisters, none of whom are drug addicts like me. I started using drugs when I was seventeen. I was raped by the father of one […]

Alcohol Causes Difficulty in Later Life

Alcohol Causes Difficulty in Later Life According to a new study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, people with a history of alcohol use disorder, which can include those drinking within recommended limits, are twice as likely to have severe memory problems in subsequent years. The study adds to the growing body of […]

The Evidence Proving Acupuncture Points

The Evidence Proving Acupuncture Points  Acupuncture is a method of treating medical and psychological issues based on influencing the body by inserting needles in specific points of human body, called acupoints. It appears that science may finally be able to verify the existence of acupuncture points, meridians (vessels within the body that conduct Qi, or […]

Drinking is Safer in Groups

Drinking is Safer in Groups Research led by psychologists from the University of Kent and the University of East Anglia (England) indicates that individuals who drink moderate amounts of alcohol in social situations are more likely to view risk-taking behaviors with greater caution when considering them as part of a group. This is the first […]

Improve Addiction Recovery with Mindfulness

Improve Addiction Recovery with Mindfulness Addiction has generally been characterized as a chronic relapsing condition, causing physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, such as alcohol, or compulsive involvement in an activity, such as gambling. Current research data suggests that the lack of mindfulness may reinforce addictive behavior and furthermore, teaching mindfulness skills or […]

Synthetic Marijuana Facts

Synthetic Marijuana Facts Synthetic marijuana is very different from marijuana. Called by names like Spice, K2, No More Mr. Nice Guy, and hundreds of others, the drugs contain powerful chemicals that can cause dangerous health problems. Often sold at small retail stores or via the Internet, synthetic marijuana use is risky, with unknown long-term effects. […]

Ecstasy at College Parties: Statistics and Experiences

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 16 million people have used ecstasy at some point in their life, and during the 2012 year, 869,000 people used ecstasy for the first time, far higher than the number of new LSD and PCP users combined.  The number of new […]

Improving Chronic Pain Control with Home Monitoring

Improving Chronic Pain Control with Home Monitoring Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent, costly, and disabling medical disorders of modern times. While many studies have focused on causes and treatment options to improve chronic pain, few trials have examined interventions by primary care physicians. Promising research was recently published in The Journal of […]

Screening for Substance Abuse in Emergency Departments

Screening for Substance Abuse in Emergency Departments Drug-related emergency department (ED) visits have steadily increased, with substance users relying heavily on the ED for medical care. This is a very expensive practice and a drain on medical resources. In a recently completed study, researchers gathered data from 15,224 adult ED patients across six academic institutions […]

College Binge Drinking for Social Satisfaction

College Binge Drinking for Social Satisfaction Binge drinking is defined as consuming at least four drinks for women and five drinks for men in a single drinking session, at least once every 14 days on average. New research suggests that binge drinking at college is associated with high status and these drinkers are happier with […]

The Problem of Prescription Painkillers

The Problem of Prescription Painkillers Opioids have proven efficacy and relative safety for treating acute pain and pain during terminal illness, but do not have proven efficacy or safety for treating chronic pain long-term. These highly addictive medicines are being prescribed for what were once considered minor aches and pains and much of the time, […]

Robin Williams: A Devastating Loss

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]In Patch Adams, he made me cry. In Mork and Mindy, he made me laugh. In Good Will Hunting he made be believe. In absolutely everything he ever did, Robin Williams was a wizard and a trickster and about four steps ahead and beyond everyone else on the screen. I am personally devastated […]

Study Shows Addicts are Lower in Mindfulness

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]Studies have shown the benefit of mindfulness training added to substance abuse treatment. Now a study from the National Institutes of Health shows that lack of mindfulness may be one of the causes of substance abuse, in the first place. The study calls mindfulness, a “way of being that is focused on the […]

Edible Pot: One Problem of Marijuana Legalization

Edible Pot: One Problem of Marijuana Legalization   The Colorado marijuana industry has produced marijuana-infused edible products that are so tasty, people often cannot tell the difference between a brownie laced with THC and one without the psychoactive chemical. This is a growing concern as new reports show a rise in the incidence of accidental […]

Does “Medical” Marijuana Work?

Does “Medical” Marijuana Work? Getting federal approval to research marijuana is a laborious and long process. While the federal government approves and funds many studies that look into the negative effects of cannabis, it has been reluctant to approve those that consider the positive effects. This has created controversy over medical research by creating a […]

The difference between “partying” and “alcoholism.”

My name is Cami and I am an alcoholic. I mean a serious alcoholic. I D.R.I.N.K. At first, I was a fun drinker. I was a sorority girl and liked to party. I liked people doing body shots off me. I liked dancing when I was drunk. I liked a lot of sex when I […]

Four Factors that Increase Suicide Risk in Addicts

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]Substance abuse doesn’t sit in a neat little package, tied up with a bow, waiting for treatment. Instead, imagine this little box…with octopus tentacles coming out of it. That’s addiction: it may start as overuse of a substance, but then it spreads to all areas of an addict’s life – family, career, and […]

Tragic Reality of Substance Abuse in South Africa

Tragic Reality of Substance Abuse in South Africa South Africa, a giant in the global drug trade, is at breaking point with the number of child addicts reaching an all-time high. Research has found that substance abuse in South Africa is double that of the global average and ranked in the top 10 countries concerning […]

PTSD and the Children of Veterans

PTSD and the Children of Veterans  PTSD not only affects veterans, but the families of veterans also can feel its “aftershocks” and suffer. Children first must cope with the stress of a military parent’s deployment, then a prolonged absence, and finally with their return. Studies of returning service members and veterans have found the following […]

Recognizing Alcoholism

Recognizing Alcoholism Although there are numerous hallmarks of alcoholism, because many people enjoy drinking recreationally, it can sometimes be difficult to discern between an occasional indiscretion and a genuine health problem. Although a person can drink heavily and regularly without necessarily suffering from alcoholism, one should never dismiss the potential signs that someone may be […]

Is the New Opioid Approved by the FDA Dangerous?

Is the New Opioid Approved by the FDA Dangerous? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended-release tablets), an extended-release/long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesic to treat severe daily pain that is long-term and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. Targiniq ER contains Naloxone that blocks the euphoric effects […]

Mindfulness with CBT May Rewire the Brain Sensitized by Addiction

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]Why do addicts seek their drug? Why can’t they stop? The 21st century view is that an addict’s brain becomes literally hardwired to crave the drug. It’s called “incentive-sensitization” – the theory has been around since 1993 and was made mainstream by an article in the journal Addiction in 2000. Basically, the incentive-sensitization […]

Evidence Supports Mindfulness for Addiction Therapy

Evidence Supports Mindfulness for Addiction Therapy Paying attention to one’s inner and outer experiences in a non-judgmental manner from moment to moment defines the concept of mindful meditation. Learning to focus attention on all the thoughts, feelings, and sensations surrounding a person at a given time, helps the individual become mindful of themselves, their environment […]

Changing Cues that Encourage Addiction

Changing Cues that Encourage Addiction The brain controls not only the body, but also motivation and learning. New insight into neurodegenerative disorders such as addiction is providing hope for better understanding of brain processes during substance abuse. Previous research has shown that drug abuse and addiction physically alter the connections between neurons (synapses) that are […]

How I learned self-forgiveness

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]When I was sixteen, I was raped by a boyfriend. It was prom. We’d both had too much to drink. Things got out of control. He and I had only kissed a little before then. I never imagined I’d get pregnant. But I did. My parents convinced me to have an abortion. And then […]

Testing to Predict Binge Drinking in Teens

Testing to Predict Binge Drinking in Teens According to a recently published study, researchers have developed a test that may predict whether teenagers are likely to engage in binge drinking. If we can accurately predict who may become a binge drinker, we may be able to curb preventable deaths due to alcohol related accidents or […]

Children Who Experience Family Members’ Trauma at Twice the Risk for Substance Abuse as Adults

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]We know the effects of childhood traumas like abuse and neglect on later substance abuse. But what impact does second hand trauma have? A study published in the August issue of the journal Addiction shows that when a child under age 15 is exposed to a family member’s trauma (e.g. a parent or […]

Heroin Increases in Popularity

Heroin Increases in Popularity The popularity of heroin is rising in many areas of America that have not previously been the focus of or associated with the illegal narcotic drug. In the latest surveys, heroin abusers are likely to be suburban dwellers, white, with an average age in their late 20s; compared to a fifty […]

When I decided that my life was more important than my pride

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]I’m the kind of guy that makes you cringe when you walk past me on the street, at least I was. Though I came from a wealthy family and had the best of everything growing up, I pissed it all away. My father gave me everything I asked for, only it was never enough […]

Children Using Marijuana Rising in UK

Children Using Marijuana Rising in UK The UK has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world. The number of children receiving treatment for addiction to marijuana has hit a record high, with one expert warning that the age young people try the drug for the first time has fallen. Studies have […]

E-Cigarettes: What You Need to Know

E-Cigarettes: What You Need to Know The popularity and number of people using electronic nicotine delivery systems, or e-cigarettes, has surged in the last year. There is an emerging debate in the research community on whether e-cigarettes are just another way for Big Tobacco companies to market nicotine products, or a healthier alternative to cigarettes […]

Opioid Drug Deaths Cost Half a Million Years of Life in the U.S. Each Year

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]In 1991, the band Nirvana released the classic album Nevermind and Kurt Cobain was the face of the grunge scene that spread from Seattle across the United States. If you’re old enough, remember back: it was a gritty time that seemed defined by self-destructive heroin use. A new study on early view at […]

Trauma and Poverty Effects on Children

Trauma and Poverty Effects on Children One of the causal factors for developing addiction can be childhood trauma, abuse, or untreated mental health issues. To help children, 70 of the 2,116 schools in Los Angeles County have worked out deals with government-funded mental health providers to provide more counselors in their schools, according to Robert […]

Can I Use Marijuana to Help Me Taper Off Harder Drugs?

Can I Use Marijuana to Help Me Taper Off Harder Drugs? Many people who abuse alcohol and drugs also use marijuana. Some, when thinking about quitting, decide that “marijuana maintenance,” substituting marijuana for harder drugs, is a good way to be able to remain high without the negative consequences associated with drugs like heroin or […]

Alcohol Use in Women Is Increasing

Alcohol Use in Women Is Increasing Our culture shows its acceptance of alcohol use by its positive and widespread depiction in movies and advertising, which more often than not show young, happy people at celebrations, sporting events, or popular outdoor activities drinking some form of alcohol. More often than not, risky behavior is treated lightly […]

The Risk of Using Prescription Painkillers

The Risk of Using Prescription Painkillers The number of overdose deaths from popular prescription painkillers has surpassed deaths from heroin and cocaine combined. Yet the public seems either largely unaware or unconcerned about this startling shift in statistics. Accidental overdose deaths are a major public health problem that is growing and has the potential to […]

Does Food Addiction Really Exist?

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SAA – First Semester 2014 Winners

Thank you to all applicants for participating in our Students Against Addiction scholarship program. [divider style=”simple”] [one_third valign=”top” animation=”none”] VIDEO David Ramirez Shirley Shen Joseph Pensante [/one_third][one_third valign=”top” animation=”none”] DESIGN Sabina Subedi Juan Carlos Velasco Savannah McGee [/one_third][one_third_last valign=”top” animation=”none”] RESEACH Nneka Dean Sarah Bahmanyar Kharis Lund [/one_third_last] [divider style=”simple”] The Cliffside staff also wanted […]

Meditation Increases Brain Activity

Meditation Increases Brain Activity Meditation has been practiced for ages, but until now, little research has focused on the benefits of different kinds of techniques. Recently, a new study was published discussing how different forms of meditation affect the brain. All forms of meditation can be divided into two groups, concentrative meditation and non-directive meditation. […]

Alcohol: Are the Heart-Health Benefits Real?

Alcohol: Are the Heart-Health Benefits Real? Is moderate alcohol use generally safe? Are the purported health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption real? Or is all alcohol dangerous and to be avoided? These are questions with vague and controversial answers. There has been a great deal of contradictory information released about the pros and cons of […]

Addiction in the Workplace: The Canadian Experience

Addiction in the Workplace: The Canadian Experience Addiction and substance abuse is a big expense in the workplace, for employers and employees.   According to one source, “substance abuse costs Canada almost $40 billion a year in loss of productivity, increased health care and the cost of police and other government involvement.” This is felt by […]

People on Autism Spectrum at Increased Risk for Substance Abuse

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame] Generally, people on the autism spectrum tend to be personally cautious and socially withdrawn. As you would expect, previous research shows that people with autism tend to have low rates of substance abuse – the preference for low risk and avoidance of social situations means less drinking or drug use. But new […]

Naloxone Therapy Saving Lives

Naloxone Therapy Saving Lives Naloxone has been a miracle drug for many of the overdose survivors who were fortunate enough to receive the treatment in time. Used to treat narcotic drug overdose, Naloxone has received positive reviews by first responders and others who frequently see or deal with addicts who are likely to overdose from […]

Sugar Addiction in America

Sugar Addiction in America After years of doubt, a Harvard Study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, puts the question of sugar addiction to rest. Sugar is addictive. Yes, sugar addiction does exist. However, anything that will elevate blood sugar, such as high glycemic index foods, create the same response. These foods include: […]

SAA – Technology Drug

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”]

SAA – Break Free from Drugs

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”]

SAA – Reflect in Cinema

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”]

SAA – The First Step

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] [space value=”20″]

SAA – Where the Fault Lies

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”]

SAA – Drunk Driving Infographic

A submission by Students Against Addiction for Cliffside Malibu. 2013 Drunk Driving Statistics. [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] [frame linking=”new_window” align=”center” style=”simple” shape=”square” title=”2013 Drunk Driving Statistics”][/frame]

SAA – A Passion for Psychology

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] I am a 22 year old female transfer student and will be enrolling at University of San Francisco this fall year of 2014. I am a psychology major, and minoring in liberal arts.  I also have been studying french for twelve years and hope […]

SAA – Change of Mind: Impression on Tarot Cards Varies Due to Different Emotional State

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] Introduction             Tarot cards have been used as a fortune-telling tool since late eighteenth century. Up until today, it is fascinating how it still has an influence on people who believe them. The persuasive power of tarot cards can somehow psychologically implement some sort […]

SAA – What is Dual Diagnosis?

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] There are few subjects in American pop culture talked about so freely as recreational drug and alcohol use, however few subjects are met with more taboo than drug and alcohol treatment. In 2012 survey, 23.9 million Americans 12 and older used illicit drugs or […]

SAA – Addiction

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”]

SAA – Consequences of Alcoholism

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”]

SAA – Alcohol & Drug Abuse

A submission by Students Against Addiction Alcohol & Drug Abuse Infographic [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] [frame linking=”new_window” align=”center” style=”simple” shape=”square” title=”Alcohol & Drug Abuse Infographic”][/frame]

SAA – The Effects of Meth Abuse on the Human Body

A submission by Students Against Addiction – The Effects of Meth Abuse on the Human Body Infographic [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] [frame linking=”new_window” align=”center” style=”simple” shape=”square” title=”The Effects of Meth on the Body”][/frame]

SAA – Systematic Qualitative Review of Computerized Interventions for Adolescents: Implementation in Emergency Departments and Trauma Centers

A submission by Students Against Addiction Systematic Qualitative Review of Computerized Interventions for Adolescents: Implementation in Emergency Departments and Trauma Centers [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] Abstract Objective:  To evaluate the effectiveness of Computerized Alcohol Interventions for the adolescent population. A qualitative systematic review of randomized controlled trials was carried out to investigate the current […]

SAA – How Alcohol Addiction Affects Families

A submission by Students Against Addiction. A video about how Alcohol Addiction can affect family [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”]

SAA – Cocaine: The Avoidable Addiction

A submission by Students Against Addiction. Cocaine: The Avoidable Addiction. [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] Drug abuse is defined by Google as “the habitual taking of addictive or illegal drugs” (Google, 2014).  By definition, in order to engage in drug abuse you must take it on a regular basis, and the drug must have some […]

SAA – The Childhood behind the Shadow

A submission by Students Against Addiction. The Childhood behind the Shadow. [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] First off before I relay the information I have gathered from my research I would like to commend this scholarship program for granting me with this opportunity to expand my horizons to an addict’s reality. I am privileged to […]

SAA – The various options an addict has to get sober and how the options work

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] According to a national survey carried out in 2012 in the United States of America, there are 17.7 million people dependant on alcohol and 7.3 million are abusers or dependant on illicit drugs (samhsa, 2012). Alcoholism and drug dependency are issues that negatively affect […]

SAA – Language Acquisition: Inherent, Cognitive, or Sociocultural

A submission by Students Against Addiction. Language Acquisition: Inherent, Cognitive, or Sociocultural. Abstract             This essay investigates identifies the three aspects of language acquisition- cognitive, inherent, and sociocultural- and evaluates the utilization of each; it also evaluates which aspect is implemented in actual mental development. Language is not simply a tool for the communication of […]

SAA – ASL – “The Father’s Love and Sacrifice”

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”]

SAA – Cocaine Addiction

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] [frame linking=”new_window” align=”center” style=”simple” shape=”square” title=”Cocaine Addiction Calligraphy”][/frame]

SAA – In the name of the most compassionate

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] My name is Ali ,28 years old guy and I am Muslim.I haven’t drink alcohol during this 28 years.The main reason of that is not the fact that it is forbidden by Islam;but it is because I have wanted to live healthy. Although Islam […]

SAA – Cliffside Malibu Design Concepts

A submission by Students Against Addiction [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] [one_half valign=”top” animation=”none”] [/one_half][one_half_last valign=”top” animation=”none”] [/one_half_last] [one_half valign=”top” animation=”none”] [/one_half][one_half_last valign=”top” animation=”none”] [/one_half_last] [one_half valign=”top” animation=”none”] [/one_half][one_half_last valign=”top” animation=”none”] [/one_half_last] [one_half valign=”top” animation=”none”] [/one_half][one_half_last valign=”top” animation=”none”] [/one_half_last]

SAA – What Causes Teenagers to Abuse Drugs?

A submission by Students Against Addiction: What Causes Teenagers to Abuse Drugs?. [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] WHAT CAUSES TEENAGERS TO ABUSE DRUGS? According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) performed in 2006, over 2 million teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 met diagnostic criteria for abuse or addiction […]

SAA – Sexual Fluidity Among UCF Students

A submission by Students Against Addiction: Sexual Fluidity Among UCF Students. [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] Introduction             Alcohol and Substance abuse are synonymous with high-risk college behavior. For many students college is the first place alcohol and illegal drugs are introduced. Recent studies have shown an increase in alcohol and use among college students […]

SAA – Overcoming Addiction: Finding the Right Method and Being Intentional

A submission by Students Against Addiction: Overcoming Addiction: Finding the Right Method and Being Intentional. [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] Overcoming Addiction: Finding the Right Method and Being Intentional   Crystalyn Plake When attempting to overcome an alcohol addiction, one of the hardest things about it may be the trial-and-error nature of finding the right […]

SAA – Drug Prevention in Schools: A Review of What Works

A submission by Students Against Addiction: Drug Prevention in Schools: A Review of What Works. [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] Drug Prevention in Schools: A Review of What Works Schools have traditionally been a place where, more often than not, youth are first exposed to the world of drugs. Despite the exposure and availability of […]

SAA – The Good and the Bad: Examining Methods Rehabilitation Centers Use to Treat Substance Abuse in Patients

A submission by Students Against Addiction: Kharis Lund, The Good and the Bad: Examining Methods Rehabilitation Centers Use to Treat Substance Abuse in Patients. The Good and the Bad: Examining Methods Rehabilitation Centers Use to Treat Substance Abuse in Patients   “Here is the solution to the American drug problem suggested a couple years back […]

SAA – Forensic Mental Health Assessment

A submission by Students Against Addiction: Forensic Mental Health Assessment. [space value=”20″] [divider icon=”adjust” style=”none”] Over the last 10 years, search engines (e.g., Google), networking sites (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn) and commentary vehicles (e.g., Twitter) have been used by an increasing number and variety of people. These sites have prompted recent debate and legislation regarding privacy […]

Are You Dependent on Sleeping Pills?

Are You Dependent on Sleeping Pills? Despite the knowledge that sleeping pills are only of short-term benefit, many people continue to use such prescriptions long-term. Sleeping pills may help restore sleep in a crisis or during illness, but they were never intended to be used for months or years on end. Although many people take […]

5 Reasons Substance Abuse is Even More Dangerous for Young People

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame] When you are young, you shape your possibilities. Research in psychology and neuroscience shows us that your personality and your intelligence develop during childhood and teenage years until becoming fully developed by age 25. Likewise, during your younger years, you write the story you tell about yourself – who are you, how […]

Taking Prescription Pills While Avoiding Addiction

Taking Prescription Pills While Avoiding Addiction When prescription medications are used in any way other than as prescribed, they are being misused and abused. The consequences of this abuse have been steadily worsening, reflected in increased treatment admissions, emergency room visits, and overdose deaths related to opioid painkillers. Abuse can happen when patients self-medicate by […]

What We Have Learned about LSD

What We Have Learned about LSD Lysergic acid diethylamide, (LSD) is a hallucinogenic drug first synthesized in 1938. It is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless liquid, which is usually ingested orally. Often called “tripping,” the symptomatic hallucinogenic effects can last up to 12 hours producing psychedelic, mood changing experiences that have been described as enlightening […]

The Latest Advances in Addiction Treatment

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]The statistics on addiction treatment and recovery are grim. It is estimated that 10% of Americans, more than thirty million people in all, suffer from addiction, but only 13% of those will ever seek treatment. While they have helped millions to get sober, 12-step programs have a success rate estimated at 8-13%, though […]

The Benefit of Harm Reduction for Heroin Addicts

The Benefit of Harm Reduction for Heroin Addicts People have often heard of abstinence based addiction treatment, but are less familiar with the concept of harm reduction. Harm reduction abstinence. In the past, many people have not believed that harm reduction could work, that it would only encourage drug addiction and crime. This fear has not […]

This 4th of July, We Owe Our Veterans an Honest Look at PTSD and Addiction

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]Summer is the season we honor our veterans. There’s Memorial Day and the 4th of July, but even beyond these holidays, a summer filled with barbecues and Slip n’ Slides is a time to appreciate the life our country offers and remember the veterans who make it possible. This summer as we are […]

The Question of Marijuana Safety

The Question of Marijuana Safety With the move toward the decriminalization or legalization of marijuana in several parts of America, many people have the impression that recreational use or marijuana is safe. This is a dangerous assumption that can cause serious consequences for casual users and those people who think they can self-meditate with the […]

The Junkie Next Door

The Junkie Next Door When most people think of a heroin addict, they often mentally picture a poor, unkempt looking young man living on the streets of a large city. This imagined “junkie” is rarely white, usually black or Latino. In the 1960s this was close to the truth; 82% of first time heroin users […]

ADHD May Be Linked To Addiction

ADHD May Be Linked To Addiction The brain’s dopamine system, which anticipates reward, has been linked to addiction by researchers. Now a new study suggests a connection to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and addiction, because both are related to the brain’s reward system. Dr. Anders Nykjaer, a neuroscientist, believes recent animal studies centered on […]

This Father’s Day, For the First Time, I Am Terrified

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]This Father’s Day, for the first time in my life, I find myself nearly struck dumb with fear. I am the proud father of a one-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl whom I love more than the sun and the moon – more than I love my own being. I am also the […]

Hope For Better Mental Health Treatments

Hope For Better Mental Health Treatments No one should ever have to wait more than a few days for treatment. Finding treatment quickly literally can be the difference between life and death for addicts. Despite Obamacare, an outdated federal law continues to limit the number of beds available for drug and alcohol treatment via Medicaid […]

Addiction and Mental Disorders: Are They Related?

Addiction and Mental Disorders: Are They Related? Scientists have linked mental disorders to addiction, noting that addicts often have one or more co-occurring mental disorders. Consider these facts: Research has shown babies exposed to legal and illegal drugs in the womb, suffer slow intellectual development and affected behavior later in life, and have a higher […]

Genes Linked to Alcoholism

Genes Linked to Alcoholism New research, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, has pinpointed 11 gene variations linked to a higher risk of alcoholism. This could lead to a better understanding of the role that genes play in the development of alcoholism. While the results may not be immediately helpful, the hope is that someday […]

Painkiller and Heroin Addiction Threat

Painkiller and Heroin Addiction Threat Addiction is sometimes described as a growing loss of self-control regarding the abuse of substances. Abusing prescription pain medicines can result in opioid drug addiction and lead to heroin use, a more common problem than many people realize. With rising numbers of heroin users across the United State, drug addiction […]

Synthetic Drug Use Skyrocketing, Targeting Young Users

[frame style=”simple” align=”left”][/frame]Quick: in 15 seconds, name as many drugs as you can. What did you come up with? Does the list include heroin, marijuana, and meth? Maybe you also thought of cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, alcohol, or the wide variety of prescription drugs. But what about Spice, Molly, Bath Salts, Krokodil, and K2? A recent […]