Addiction

Does Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Work?

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (AA), celebrating its 76th anniversary this year, counts two million members who participate in some 115,000 groups worldwide, about half of them in the U.S. How well does it work? William Madsen was an anthropologist who worked at University of California Santa Barbara in 1974. He claimed it had a "nearly miracle" success rate. Others, however, are skeptical. After reviewing the literature, we found that AA may help some people overcome alcoholism, ...

Fentanyl Addiction: here are The Facts

Fentanyl, a prescription opioid that is used to treat severe pain, can be purchased over the counter. Fentanyl can also be misused as it is a stimulant that produces euphoria. It can cause serious and even fatal side effects if it is misused over a long period of time. Read on for vital information about this potentially addictive drug. Does Fentanyl Have Addictive Properties? Fentanyl, a strong synthetic opioid, is almost 50 times stronger then heroin...

Prevent Binge Drinking: a Talk May do The Trick

Many parents feel frustrated that they have no control over their teens' college plans while away from home. But one researcher says that proactive communication between a parent and teenager before leaving the nest could prevent a very dangerous and prevalent behavior: binge drinking. Last year, a survey by Harvard University reported that 44% of college students binge drink. Bingeing is defined as consuming five or mor...

Rehab's Role In Treating Addiction

Rehab clinics are explained by experts -- both for celebrities as well for the common man. It seems like there is a new celebrity actor or singer every week who visits a rehab center for a substance abuse or addiction problem. Celebrities often go to rehabilitation in exclusive facilities with ocean views and marble baths. It's enough to give addiction treatment a bad name. A 30-day stay in a rehab clinic used to be a comm...

What Causes Alcohol Addiction (Alcoholism)?

What is the root cause of alcohol addiction? There's no simple answer. However, certain risk factors may increase your chances. Like other addictions, alcoholism-also called alcohol use disorder (AUD)-appeals to the pleasure centers of the brain. When you drink alcohol regularly, your brain begins to associate the drinks with sensations like euphoria, relaxation, and loss of inhibitions. This can cause cravings and dependence, as well as other risk f...

Addiction: what to Expect From Recovery Groups

There are many recovery groups that can help you reach your goals. Perhaps you have just finished treatment for your substance abuse and are looking to get clean again. Or you could just want to cut back on problem drinking. You're sure to find the right group. You can also choose where you want to meet, since more groups are meeting online. Before you decide on a group to join, here are some things that you should know and the ex...

Gene Increases Risk For Pot Addiction

Danish researchers discovered a new gene which increases risk of cannabis addiction disorder. People who consume cannabis, which is the most widely used illegal substance, experience cravings and withdrawals. The combination of genetic and environment factors is what causes substance abuse. But, so far, no genetic factor has been found. The Danish researchers identified a single variant of the gene CHRNA2 (cholinergic receptor nicotinic a2 subunit), which affec...

How Opioid Addiction Occurs

Opioid use - even short term - can lead to addiction and, too often, overdose. Learn how temporary pain relief can lead to serious health problems. Anyone who takes opioids is at risk of developing addiction. While your personal history and how long you have used opioids can play an important role in developing addiction, it is impossible to know who will be most vulnerable to dependence and abuse. These drugs account for most ove...

What Is Binge Drinking?

Heavy alcohol use among Americans has been on the rise over the last decade. This is not about drinking more wine than you normally would at dinner. One dangerous aspect of the trend: Binge drinking. A 2015 study shows that more than 37 million Americans reported binge drinking in a year's time. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), looked at more than 400,000 Americans' survey data for the purpose of the study. T...

Telemedicine and Telehealth for Addiction And Recovery

Before the pandemic, it was very hit or miss whether a local psychiatry or mental health clinic offered telemedicine, but now almost every practice has made the transition, in some cases literally overnight, says Anna Lembke, MD, an associate professor and medical director of addiction medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. According to Dr. Lembke, "Many HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of1996) and prescribing ...

The Factors of Drug Addiction, Genes, and Your Environment

Many things play into drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder. Why will some people become addicted to substances, while others won't? There is no one answer. Your likelihood for addiction depends on both your genes and your overall environment. What Factors Lead to Drug Addiction? In order for you to develop an addiction, you first have to experiment with drugs. Once you have tried th...

Tolerance, Physical Dependence, And Addiction Explained

The words "addiction," "tolerance," and "physical dependence" are often used interchangeably when it comes to drug or alcohol use. They don't necessarily mean the exact same thing. What we say can impact how we view ourselves. These words can have an impact on how we seek help from our health care providers. So what is the difference between addiction, tolerance, and physical dependence? Defining Addiction Addiction is a long-term brain disease. When addictio...

How to Ask for help With Addiction

If you're thinking about asking for help with drug or alcohol addiction, congratulations! You can take a big step to get your life back on track after a chronic illness. Addiction is a long-term brain disorder. Experts also refer to it as a serious "substance abuse disorder" and it is a problem millions of Americans have. It can cause serious health problems, harm relationships and even death. Treatment can help you recover from addiction, though. You can start the...

The Truth About Melatonin Addiction

Melatonin is a drug that can help you drift off to a fantasy world. If so, then you may be curious as to how and why it affects you. You may have read about grogginess and bad dreams as side effects - but can you become physically addicted to it? Marri Horvat MD, sleep specialist and psychiatrist says that Melatonin (a hormone made naturally by the brain when it detects darkness) is one of these side effects. "When someone takes melat...

Drug Addiction (Substance Use Disorder)

Diagnosing drug addiction (substance use disorder) requires a thorough evaluation and often includes an assessment by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Blood, urine or other lab tests are used to assess drug use, but they're not a diagnostic test for addiction. These tests can be used to monitor treatment or recovery. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5) is the standard for diagnosing a substance-use disorder....

4 Signs of An Opioid Addiction

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 16,000 people were killed by prescription opioid overdoses in 2020. Opioids can be used effectively to relieve pain but they are also dangerous and can cause dependence. If you're concerned by your own opioid use or that of a loved one, read on to learn more about important signs of addiction to look for, and how to get help. 1. Extreme cravings "While signs of opioid addiction can vary fr...

How Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Works

Getting treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) doesn't always mean you have to abandon your obligations at home, work, or school while you recover. You can receive the support and guidance you require on a schedule that suits your needs by enrolling in an outpatient program for alcohol abuse treatment. Learn more to see if outpatient treatment can help you attain long-lasting sobriety. What is outpatient alcohol treatme...

Managing Pain when you have An Addiction

You are dealing with pain from an injury or surgery. The pain is a problem and you need to get it treated. But you also have a history of opioid or narcotic addiction and aren't sure how you'll handle pain medication. Opioids can be used to relax the brain and reduce pain. They're also highly addictive. They are still an option for pain management, even though doctors have stopped prescribing them as often as they did in the past. The U.S. issued more ...

What to Know about Opioid Addiction And Pregnancy

You and your baby can become addicted to any opioid, even legal prescriptions from your doctor. You can get opioids from your doctor, such as codeine, Vicodin (Lorcet), Vicodin), Percocet (OxyContin), or codeine. You will feel happy when you take these drugs. Once you have used them for some time, your body will become dependent. You may find it difficult to quit using them. It's known as opioid addiction disorder. It...

What is An Addiction Psychiatrist?

Successfully treating drug addiction requires a flexible and multifaceted approach. A variety of treatment options include counseling and medication. Psychiatrists often play an essential role in the process, and the American Psychiatric Association recognizes Addiction Psychiatry as a distinct field. Read on to learn how an addiction psychiatrist could help you achieve long-term recovery. 1. Are Addictions a Mental Health Problem? According to the...

How does Harm Reduction Work?

You might be familiar with harm reduction if you have a loved one who has a substance abuse disorder. Evidence-based approaches are designed to decrease the harmful effects of substance misuse on individuals as well as the communities. The goal of various strategies and programs is to lessen the suffering that people with addiction disorders experience. "It means meeting people where they're at in a nonjudgmental way," says addiction spe...

Addiction: what to Know About Detox

If you are addicted to alcohol, pills, or illegal drugs, the first step toward recovery is detox. The process of getting rid of the substance is known as detoxification. You can detox in two ways: tapering or cold turkey. You can often combine either one of these methods with prescribed medicine to reduce withdrawal symptoms or prevent relapse. Tapering vs. Cold Turkey Sudden stops can pose a danger to some substances. Most addiction experts caution against the cold t...

Science of Addiction: Lost in A Labyrinth

What is addiction? Despite my many years studying the mesolimbic system, one of the key players in many drug-dependent behaviors, I still struggle to define addiction. Erickson's efforts are admirable because it's not easy to answer. The main purpose of this book is to raise a series of important, yet often overlooked, questions about addiction and make them interesting and stimulating to a wide audience. Erickson must discuss some difficult topics, but h...

Seniors: the new Face Of Addiction

Jerry. He's 75. He is a happy retired grandfather. He is still married to his wife after fifty years. And he's an alcoholic. After a lifetime of working, a stint in rehab and daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings weren't part of his retirement plans. Sure, he drank, but so do lots of people, and he never found himself drinking to the point of dire consequence. It took an entire storm of crisis -- his involuntary resi...