• Most Topular Stories

  • Tips For Dating a Person in 12 Step Recovery

    Addiction Inbox
    Dirk Hanson
    9 Apr 2014 | 12:59 pm
    Would you let your daughter go out with an addict?In the title of her book, Girlfriend of Bill, author Karen Nagy riffs on the time-honored public code for mutual AA recognition: “Are you a friend of [AA co-founder] Bill?” Nagy says she was unable to find any material written “specifically for someone who is new to such a relationship or who is thinking about dating someone in recovery.” So she wrote one, and the publishing arm of Hazelden brought it out. People in Hazelden-style recovery (Nagy calls them “PIRs”) can present challenges, since, as Nagy learned by dating several of…
  • Motivation to Get Clean

    Xanax Addiction Help
    13 Apr 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Sobriety will contribute to the happiness of friends and family Living free of drugs and alcohol is energizing and uplifting, but it is challenging as well. Finding the internal willpower to stay clean in recovery is possible with the right self-motivation skills. Ways to Stay Motivated and Sober It’s easy to want to get sober but much harder to do it. Addiction is a brain disease according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Once drugs or alcohol permanently alter pleasure pathways in the brain, the compulsion to take substances like Xanax will feel similar to the need to eat or…
  • Comic relief

    Addiction & Recovery News
    Jason Schwartz
    17 Apr 2014 | 8:41 am
    Company unveils first age-verifying, pot vending machine #9newsmornings — 9NEWS Denver (@9NEWS) April 13, 2014 Leave it to the Onion to make incisive commentary about the recently unveiled medical marijuana vending machines in Colorado: “Nothing legitimizes medicine like selling it from a vending machine.”Filed under: Uncategorized
  • The latest on Phillip Seymour Hoffman

    Addiction & Recovery News
    Jason Schwartz
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:59 am
    After all the speculation that Phillip Seymour Hoffman could have been saved if he had been placed on Suboxone, we have one more bit of information. Not only did he have the drug in his apartment, he had enough exposure to recommend it to a fellow addict. Sometime last year, he met Mr. Hoffman through mutual friends. They were kindred spirits, he said, both private people. He avoided questions about whether the two used drugs together. But he said they talked and exchanged text messages about their addictions, with Mr. Hoffman urging Mr. Aaron to try Suboxone, a controversial prescription…
  • APNewsBreak: Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead

    Yahoo Health News
    18 Apr 2014 | 3:43 pm
    CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Medicaid program paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people listed as deceased in other state records, according to an internal state government memo.
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    Yahoo Health News

  • APNewsBreak: Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead

    18 Apr 2014 | 3:43 pm
    CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Medicaid program paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people listed as deceased in other state records, according to an internal state government memo.
  • Yoga may help women ease PTSD symptoms

    Shereen Jegtvig
    18 Apr 2014 | 2:36 pm
    By Shereen Jegtvig NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women enrolled in a small study reported a reduction in symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a series of yoga classes. However, women in a comparison group that didn't take the...
  • Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury

    18 Apr 2014 | 2:29 pm
    NEW YORK (AP) — About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...
  • Second wave of milder flu hitting Northeast

    18 Apr 2014 | 2:16 pm
    NEW YORK (AP) — A second, milder wave of flu is hitting the Northeast.
  • Stress Tied to Worse Allergy Symptoms

    -- Robert Preidt
    18 Apr 2014 | 2:00 pm
    FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Stress may trigger symptom flare-ups in people with seasonal allergies, a new study suggests. Researchers followed 179 people with hay fever for 12 weeks, and found that 39 percent of...
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    Addiction News -- ScienceDaily

  • Teenagers who have had a concussion also have higher rates of suicide attempts

    15 Apr 2014 | 3:13 pm
    Teenagers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion are at 'significantly greater odds' of attempting suicide, being bullied and engaging in a variety of high-risk behaviors, a new study has found. They are also more likely to become bullies themselves, to have sought counseling through a crisis help-line or to have been prescribed medication for anxiety, depression or both.
  • Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults: More 'joints' equal more damage

    15 Apr 2014 | 3:11 pm
    The size and shape of two brain regions involved in emotion and motivation may differ in young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week, according to a new study. The findings suggest that recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes, and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain. 
  • Researchers search for earliest roots of psychiatric disorders

    10 Apr 2014 | 9:21 am
    A single molecular mechanism in the developing brain has been identified that sheds light on how cells may go awry when exposed to a variety of different environmental insults. The findings suggest that different types of stressors prenatally activate a single molecular trigger in brain cells that may make exposed individuals susceptible to late-onset neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder May Reflect a Propensity for Bad Habits

    10 Apr 2014 | 5:33 am
    Two new studies shed light on the propensity for habit formation in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). These studies suggest that a tendency to develop habits, i.e., the compulsive component of the disorder, may be a core feature of the disorder rather than a consequence of irrational beliefs. In other words, instead of washing one's hands because of the belief that they are contaminated, some people may develop concerns about hand contamination as a consequence of a recurring urge to wash their hands.
  • Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users

    8 Apr 2014 | 6:35 pm
    Small financial incentives, totaling as little as £30, can dramatically increase the likelihood of people who inject drugs completing a course of hepatitis B virus vaccination, according to new research. Researchers in the UK found that people undergoing treatment for heroin addiction who received a maximum total of £30 supermarket vouchers in equal or graduated installments in return for full compliance with a regimen of three HBV vaccine injections were at least 12 times as likely to complete the course within 28 days compared to those not receiving a financial incentive.
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    NIDA News

  • Targeting delta opioid receptor may reduce pain without causing addiction

    27 Mar 2014 | 12:00 am
    The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at NIH funded a new study researching the delta opioid receptor (DOR), a pain receptor located under the skin that regulates minor skin sensations like touch and warming.  For people with allodynia, a condition where minor sensations can cause severe pain...
  • NIDA's updated Heroin Research Report now available online

    27 Feb 2014 | 12:00 am
    Due to growing public concern about heroin and its potentially devastating effects, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has updated its online Heroin Research Report.  This Report offers the most current data on heroin use and its consequences as well as treatment options for heroin use...
  • Transition services for drug using, HIV-infected inmates leaving jail should be gender-specific

    26 Feb 2014 | 12:00 am
    A NIDA-funded study shows that HIV-infected women who are released from jail are more likely to abuse cocaine, have co-occurring psychiatric disorders, and to have worse HIV treatment outcomes compared to men, underscoring the need for gender-specific interventions and services. The findings...
  • Medication may help patients with severe mental illness stay smoke-free

    4 Feb 2014 | 12:00 am
    Smokers with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders are three times more likely to abstain from smoking over the course of a year if they take varenicline. Although varenicline is an FDA-approved smoking cessation medication, it had not been proven effective for smokers with severe mental illness. The...
  • NIDA’s Dr. Marilyn Huestis chosen for new National Commission on Forensic Science

    24 Jan 2014 | 12:00 am
    Dr. Marilyn Huestis, Chief of the Chemistry and Drug Metabolism Section in NIDA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP), has been selected as an ex-officio member of the newly-created National Commission on Forensic Science.  This commission, co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and...
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    Cliffside MalibuCliffside Malibu - Cliffside Malibu provides an exclusive, private, and comfortable setting for rehabilitation from drug and alcohol addiction.

  • 100,000-Person Study Shows Your Psych Meds Can Kill You

    Richard Taite
    15 Apr 2014 | 9:17 am
    Sleep aids are a more than $2 billion per year industry. Forecasts predict that global prescriptions for anti-anxiety medicines will reach $5.9 billion per year by 2017. But are these drugs safe? Studies show how easy it is to get hooked and a new study just published in the British Medical Journal shows that anti-anxiety and sleep drugs can kill you. Using data from the prescription records of primary care doctors, the study compared 34,727 patients prescribed anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) or hypnotic (sleep) drugs to 69,418 people not prescribed these drugs. Over 90 percent of the prescribed…
  • Can Alcoholics Ever Drink Moderately?

    Richard Taite
    8 Apr 2014 | 8:04 am
    When you’re sober, it’s so easy to tell yourself you’ll have just one drink. Or if you’re trying to be honest with yourself, you say you’ll stop at two; maybe two is enough to feel it, but not enough to have any consequences. But what happens when you finish that second drink? How do your sober intentions hold up against the reality of that buzz waiting just inside the fridge or on the shelf? In short, can you really stop at one or two or does that one drink wreck any willpower you had earlier in the evening until you finish the rest of the alcohol in the house…and go looking…
  • 4 Ways to Avoid Risky Sex or Rape While Drinking

    Richard Taite
    1 Apr 2014 | 8:56 am
    Imagine lying in bed the morning after a binge as you reconstruct the night. Oh right! Now you remember going from the first party to the second. You remember the drink that put you over the edge. And you barely remember ending up in a bedroom, your clothes falling away. What did you do? Some binge drinkers aren’t this lucky; they know even that night in the haze of many drinks that what’s happening in the bedroom isn’t right – what they’re doing or having done to them is forced or unsafe or not anything at all that they want.   Drinking leads to sexual consequences ranging…
  • Real Stories: Recovering from Addiction

    Richard Taite
    25 Mar 2014 | 8:24 am
    Addiction is not a lifestyle. It is an experience that shapes the internal story you tell about yourself. It can define your self-understanding. From inside this perspective of addiction, we tell ourselves that the physical challenge of quitting keeps us trapped. But it is more than that. Addiction is defining. Who would you be without addiction? Who would you be, stripped of this way of understanding yourself?
  • Chris Brown Arrested in Malibu After Reportedly Getting Kicked out of Rehab

    Richard Taite
    15 Mar 2014 | 1:55 pm
    It’s difficult when a place holds itself out as a top-notch, high-end, luxury facility that is capable of setting healthy boundaries in a respectful, empathetic way for personalities such as Mr. Brown, then throw him out with the trash, causing him to violate his probation. Mr. Brown was duped by yet another treatment center pretending to have the sophisticated staff necessary to treat this caliber of clientele. I am not saying that Mr. Brown has no culpability; but what I am saying is that Cliffside has treated the most difficult, prominent people on the planet for the last decade and we…
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    Suboxone Talk Zone

  • Benzodiazepines can Kill You

    J T Junig
    28 Mar 2014 | 2:33 pm
    I’ve written about the dangers of Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and other drugs in a class of drugs called ‘benzodiazepines’.  The drugs are grossly over-used by patients, and over-prescribed by psychiatrists, usually for patient complaints of anxiety. My primary concern over use of benzodiazepines is that when used to treat anxiety, they are more likely […]
  • Blame Suboxone!

    J T Junig
    24 Mar 2014 | 5:37 pm
    I recently came across the blog of a person who has dedicated his life to trashing buprenorphine treatment.  I won’t provide the name or link, as I don’t want to waste my own ‘page rank’ on supporting his misplaced anger.  But I suspect many readers of my blog have stumbled across that one as well, […]
  • Subutex vs. Generic Buprenorphine: French Smell a Rat

    J T Junig
    20 Mar 2014 | 10:10 pm
    An article in Google’s Newsfeed for buprenorphine caught my eye today, for a couple reasons.  The article described a decision by the French Competition Authority (FCA) to fine Schering-Plough 15.3 million EUR, for unfair business practices related to Subutex back in 2006.  The article used the term ‘HDB’ for ‘high dose buprenorphine’, a phrase that […]
  • QA Video: Ceilings, Half-Lives, Brands of Buprenorphine

    J T Junig
    17 Mar 2014 | 9:21 pm
    Below is the latest video from the questions/answers series at SuboxForum.  Comments welcome.
  • Suboxone Talk Zone Gets One Right

    J T Junig
    12 Mar 2014 | 9:30 pm
    Working on my own in private practice, it is hard to know for certain whether I’m always on track with my thoughts about treating addiction, or whether, sometimes, my isolation has caused me to drift out of the mainstream– sort of like the ladies with blue hair who have nobody around to tell them, “YOUR […]
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  • Sexual orientation and alcohol problem use among UK adolescents: an indirect link through depressed mood

    Francesca Pesola, Katherine H. Shelton, Marianne B. M. Bree
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:08 pm
    Abstract Background and AimsSexual minority adolescents are more likely to engage in alcohol use than their heterosexual counterparts; however, the underlying reasons remain unclear and longitudinal research is limited. Owing to evidence that this group also experiences greater depressive symptoms than their peers, we aimed to (i) assess to what extent depressed mood explains the increased likelihood of engaging in alcohol use among sexual minority adolescents, and (ii) explore potential gender-specific patterns. DesignStructural equation modelling was used to test the indirect relationship…
  • Is preoccupation an oversimplification? A call to examine cognitive factors underlying internet gaming disorder

    Daniel L. King, Paul H. Delfabbro
    15 Apr 2014 | 4:28 am
  • The impact of opioid substitution therapy on mortality post-release from prison: retrospective data linkage study

    Louisa Degenhardt, Sarah Larney, Jo Kimber, Natasa Gisev, Michael Farrell, Timothy Dobbins, Don J. Weatherburn, Amy Gibson, Richard Mattick, Tony Butler, Lucy Burns
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:26 am
    Abstract AimsRelease from prison is a high-risk period for mortality. We examined the impact of opioid substitution therapy (OST), for opioid dependence during and after incarceration, upon mortality post-release. DesignA cohort was formed of all opioid-dependent people who entered OST between 1985 and 2010 and who, following first OST entry, were released from prison at least once between 2000 and 2012. We linked data on OST history, court and prison records and deaths. SettingNew South Wales (NSW), Australia. ParticipantsA total of 16 453 people released from prison 60 161 times.
  • Internet gaming and addiction: a reply to King & Delfabbro

    Nancy M. Petry, Florian Rehbein, Douglas A. Gentile, Jeroen S. Lemmens, Hans-Jürgen Rumpf, Thomas Mößle, Gallus Bischof, Ran Tao, Daniel S. S. Fung, Guilherme Borges, Marc Auriacombe, Angels GonzálezIbáñez, Philip Tam, Charles P. O'Brien
    14 Apr 2014 | 2:03 am
  • Betel-quid dependence domains and syndrome associated with betel-quid ingredients among chewers: an Asian multi-country evidence

    Chien-Hung Lee, Shang-Lun Chiang, Albert Min-Shan Ko, Chun-Hung Hua, Ming-Hsui Tsai, Saman Warnakulasuriya, Salah Osman Ibrahim, Sunarjo, Rosnah Binti Zain, Tian-You Ling, Chieh-Liang Huang, Hsien-Yuan Lane, Cheng-Chieh Lin, Ying-Chin Ko
    14 Apr 2014 | 2:03 am
    Abstract AimsBetel-quid (BQ) contains biologically psychoactive ingredients; however, data are limited concerning the symptoms and syndrome of BQ dependence among chewers. The aims of this study were to evaluate the ingredients-associated BQ dependence syndrome and country-specific chewing features and behaviour for BQ dependence among chewers from six Asian communities. DesignAn intercountry Asian Betel-quid Consortium study. SettingSix Asian general communities in Taiwan, Mainland China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Nepal. ParticipantsSix multi-stage random samples of BQ chewers in…
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  • Psychological Crutches: Ten Myths and Three Tips

    Dr. Jeremy E. Sherman
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:22 pm
    We assume psychological crutches are bad, and yet we all use them. The question isn't whether to depend on them but which ones to depend upon. This article ends with three guidelines we intuit matter to sorting good from bad more
  • Acute Care for Addiction

    Dr. Joseph Troncale, M.D.
    17 Apr 2014 | 8:58 am
    The difficulties encountered by both the patient and practitioners related to early recovery and detoxification more
  • The Most Important Homework Assignment

    Rachel Pruchno, Ph.D.
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    I hope the opportunity my son had to witness an AA meeting gives him pause when alcohol becomes widely available to him next year. But I also hope that if he, or someone he cares about, develops an alcohol problem, he will know that help is available. read more
  • Addicted to Potato Chips

    Peg O'Connor, Ph.D.
    15 Apr 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Some foods are intentionally designed to be not just irresistible but addictiveread more
  • Sleep Aids and Anti-Anxiety Meds Can Kill: A New Study

    Richard Taite
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:06 am
    A new study following 100,000 people shows the dangers of sleep aids and anti-anxiety medications. read more
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    Addiction Inbox

  • Marijuana Dependence and Legalization

    Dirk Hanson
    15 Apr 2014 | 9:50 am
    Making best guesses about pot. One essential question about state marijuana legalization continues to dog the debate:  Namely, as marijuana becomes gradually legal, how do we estimate how many people will become dependent? How can we estimate the number of cannabis users who will become addicted under legalization, and who otherwise would not have succumbed?Back in 2011, neuroscientist Michael Taffe of the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, writing on the blog TL neuro, referenced this common question, noting that “the specific estimate of dependence rate will quite likely vary…
  • Tips For Dating a Person in 12 Step Recovery

    Dirk Hanson
    9 Apr 2014 | 12:59 pm
    Would you let your daughter go out with an addict?In the title of her book, Girlfriend of Bill, author Karen Nagy riffs on the time-honored public code for mutual AA recognition: “Are you a friend of [AA co-founder] Bill?” Nagy says she was unable to find any material written “specifically for someone who is new to such a relationship or who is thinking about dating someone in recovery.” So she wrote one, and the publishing arm of Hazelden brought it out. People in Hazelden-style recovery (Nagy calls them “PIRs”) can present challenges, since, as Nagy learned by dating several of…
  • Does Strong Marijuana Cause Addiction?

    Dirk Hanson
    24 Mar 2014 | 8:46 am
    Strong pot matters, but maybe not the way we think. Colorado, Washington, and some 20 additional states have now made various provisions for legal transactions involving marijuana. And since time immemorial, there has been an illegal market for marijuana. But try getting your hands on some marijuana straightforwardly, through appropriate channels, for purposes of medical research, and, well, most researchers have just said forget it. Because in the U.S., a bizarre system of drug classification has led to the ludicrous situation of a virtual government monopoly on cannabis for experimental…
  • The Escalating Debate Over E-Cigarettes

    Dirk Hanson
    14 Mar 2014 | 9:19 am
    Follow the bouncing ping-pong ball. “E-cigarettes are likely to be gateway devices for nicotine addiction among youth, opening up a whole new market for tobacco.”—Lauren Dutra, postdoctoral fellow at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. “You’ve got two camps here: an abstinence-only camp that thinks anything related to tobacco should be outlawed, and those of us who say abstinence has failed, and that we have to take advantage of every opportunity with a reasonable prospect for harm reduction.”—Richard Carmona, former U.S. Surgeon General, now board member…
  • Hey, Wake Up, It’s Brain Awareness Week

    Dirk Hanson
    9 Mar 2014 | 10:10 am
    Your brain doesn’t come with an instruction manual.The Dana Foundation’s annual Brain Awareness Week (BAW), March 10-16, seems particularly appropriate and useful this time around, after a year in which brain-based disease models of human behaviors came under fire from social scientists and neuroscientists alike.A recent analysis of the coverage of neuroscience in the popular press showed that the number of news articles using the terms "neuroscience" or "neuroscientist" had increased by a factor of 30 between 1985 and 2009. Moreover, the NIH's massive Brain Research through Advancing…
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    Stepping Stone Center For Recovery

  • Who Taught You to Drink?

    3 Apr 2014 | 10:44 am
    Who’s Watching You? A new study by researchers at Sam Houston State University shows that children pick up the alcohol and drug use habits they see at home. The old ad was right: I learned it from watching you! The study compared parents who did not use substances like alcohol, marijuana or other illicit drugs and those who did.  The odds for drug use (marijuana or other drugs) were twice as high for the children if the parents used them. For alcohol, the odds that children would use alcohol were five times higher if their parents drank. The study was based on analyzing results from the…
  • Trying to Stop Zohydro

    27 Feb 2014 | 8:07 am
    Can Zohydro Approval Be Rescinded? A new opioid painkiller is set to hit the market, despite objections from doctors, addiction treatment centers and even the advisory panel that tried to stop it. The drug, Zohydro ER, is a pure form of hydrocodone, an opioid that had previously only been available in combination with other drugs like acetaminophen, as it is with Vicodin and Lortab. Critics say the pure drug is not needed and is just another prescription painkiller that is too easy to abuse. Industry leaders have taken the unprecedented step of writing to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of…
  • From Chronic Pain to Heroin to Mindfulness

    12 Feb 2014 | 11:19 am
    Knowing the Difference Heroin has been in the news a lot lately—bad heroin, heroin overdoses, heroin epidemic. But how did it go from being the ‘I’d never go there’ drug to the drug du jour? For people working in addiction treatment, there’s a pretty straight line. The road starts with prescription painkillers. Prescribing opiates like oxycodone for pain got out of control in the past decade. Some people with legitimate chronic pain conditions started getting long-term opiate prescriptions, but people just looking for a fix did, too. Pain management clinics and pill mills catered to…
  • Vermont, We’ve Got a Problem

    16 Jan 2014 | 8:53 am
    Vermont: Admitting There’s a Problem Just how bad is prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction? How about a governor devoting his entire state of the state speech to the subject? Last week, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin devoted his entire state of the state address to discussing heroin, opiates, overdoses and what it means for people in his state. Granted, Vermont is a small state, but the drug problems it is facing are just a smaller version of those faced across the country. When you are concerned about opiates and heroin, you see news of it everywhere.  You know the stories of…
  • Drawing the Line on Stimulants

    12 Dec 2013 | 12:17 pm
    Fair or Foul? The rise in Adderall and Ritalin stimulant prescriptions among teenagers has a mirror and maybe even a magnifying glass in Major League Baseball.  The league reports on drug use among players as part of its efforts to reduce the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).  For the most part, these prescription stimulants are forbidden, unless players have a ‘therapeutic use exemption,’ with a diagnosis that requires the drug, usually for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The MLB report for 2012-2013 covered players on the 40-man rosters for all 30 teams, so…
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  • Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus Creates Stereotypes

    7 Apr 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Film presents an unrivaled opportunity to portray the inner visual experience of a drug trip, as well as to explore the complex issues that underlie a person's choice to use drugs. Although focused on the topic of mescaline use, Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus missed both opportunities, instead creating a cluster of superficial stereotypes that could worsen stigma about drug users....Read Full Post
  • Sex Addiction 101

    29 Mar 2014 | 2:49 pm
    Whether you are some struggling with sex addiction, love addiction, or a compulsive sexual behavior, the partner or loved one of someone with a sex or love addiction, or someone who cares, it is important to know the basics about sex addiction. Sex Addiction 101 will give you a background on sex and love addictions. With links to more information on sex addiction, such as cybersex, you can increase your general knowledge about these stigmatized conditions. You'll also find information on appropriate steps to receiving treatment.
  • Drugs 101

    23 Feb 2014 | 5:30 am
    Whether you are a drug user, the relative of someone who uses drugs, or someone who cares, it is important to know the basics about drugs. Drugs 101 will give you a background on drugs, their legal status, and an overview of the most popular classes of drug....Read Full Post
  • New Year Resolutions for the Addicted and Almost Addicted

    18 Jan 2014 | 8:21 am
    New Year Resolutions are one of the most commonly used strategies for people who have an addiction, or are almost addicted, to change their habits and addictive behaviors. What gets in the way? For many people, it is the perception that they aren't really addicted, and don't really have a problem. Yet addiction is not all-or-nothing -- many of the behaviors people get addicted to can be healthy, or simply recreational, when taken in moderation. Accepting that you have an addictive personality can be the first step in letting go of the dilemma of whether or not there is a "problem" to be…
  • Evidence-Based Therapies to Treat Addiction

    3 Dec 2013 | 12:54 pm
    People who have addictions often think about getting help, but rarely know how substance use disorders and behavioral addictions are treated. Here are some of the most effective treatments:...Read Full Post
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    Sara Bellum Blog

  • Reflecting on Experiences as a NIDA Fall Intern

    Carl M. Letamendi, M.B.A., Ph.D. (ABD)
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    I am finishing my Ph.D. in May 2014 in a field housed under the umbrella of social sciences, called conflict analysis and resolution. The field provides the foundation and skills necessary to identify areas of conflict and resolve them without the need for taking legal action. The goal is to ensure that there is a win-win outcome for the parties in dispute. I have always been interested in conducting research in the field of health sciences as well and had planned to attend medical school after my Ph.D. program is complete. Last fall, I had a chance to intern with NIDA, where I had a…
  • Video Game Addiction—Is it Real?

    Sara Bellum
    9 Apr 2014 | 5:54 am
    Doodle Jump. Candy Crush. FarmVille. Angry Birds. Cut the Rope. Fruit Ninja. Words With Friends. Nearly everyone with a smartphone or tablet has played one of these video games. It’s easy to get swept up in the bright colors, cutesy characters—and the satisfaction you feel when you finally complete a difficult level. So you keep playing, and playing, and playing. Lots of people say games like these are “addictive.” But, are they, really? Maybe. Addiction Science Award Winner Ethan Guinn definitely thought so. Dopamine: Sweet Rewards for the Brain Rewards in video games, such as…
  • The Connection Between Pain Medications and Heroin

    Sara Bellum
    2 Apr 2014 | 6:32 am
    More and more young people are using heroin these days, and sometimes they start using it because they’ve gotten addicted to prescription painkillers. One study showed that people who abuse painkillers like OxyContin are 19 times more likely to start using heroin. The study also found that 8 out of 10 people who started using heroin abused painkillers first. Heroin and painkillers belong to the same class of drugs: Opioids. Opioids attach to specific molecules called opioid receptors, which are found on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, intestines, and other organs. When painkillers or…
  • Legal Marijuana and Driving: A Public Safety Problem

    Sara Bellum
    26 Mar 2014 | 7:59 am
    When you’re driving down the highway at 60 miles per hour, you need a clear head. Driving while distracted by your phone or driving under the influence of alcohol both can lead to crashes and tragedy. Driving under the influence of marijuana is also dangerous, because of the way the drug affects the brain and body. Recent news reports have talked about how drugged driving crashes and deaths have surged since medical marijuana has become legal in more states. Now that marijuana is legal for those over age 21 in Colorado and Washington, the rates of drugged driving are likely to increase even…
  • High School Seniors Are Taking Up the Hookah

    Sara Bellum
    19 Mar 2014 | 6:31 am
    NIDA’s 2013 Monitoring the Future study reported that more than 20%—that’s 1 in 5—high school seniors have used a hookah to smoke tobacco. A hookah is a pipe that burns flavored tobacco and passes the smoke through water before it is inhaled. It can have one stem to smoke from, or several stems so multiple people can smoke from the same pipe. Hookah bars, frequently found near college campuses, are gaining popularity with young adults. The exotic flavors of “shisha” (a mixture of tobacco, molasses, and fruit used in hookahs) appeal to teens. There are dozens of flavors, including…
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    Addiction Treatment Magazine

  • Even Casual Use of Marijuana Damages Teen Brain

    18 Apr 2014 | 2:08 pm
    The areas of the brain damaged by recreational use of marijuana control motivation. Researchers worry about the long-terms effects on adolescents. A new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience finds that even casual use of marijuana, once-a-week use, can lead to critical changes in the brains of 18- to 25-year-olds. A collaboration between Northwestern University Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School, the study is the first to show that recreational use of marijuana is related to major brain changes.  The more joints a person smoked, the more abnormal…
  • Teen Seizures And Deaths Linked To Dangerous Designer Drug “N-Bomb” – Part 1

    Addiction Treatment
    18 Apr 2014 | 6:53 am
    It’s not often that Sherwood, Oregon – a small, quiet suburb located southwest of Portland – makes the front page news – especially for stories related to drugs.  But it did the first weekend of February 2014, when two teenage girls ended up in the hospital after using a dangerous and relatively new designer drug.  The drug – officially known as 25i-NBOMe – is most commonly referred to as simply “25I” or “N-Bomb”.  “Smiles” is another nickname for N-Bomb and other closely related substances. Fortunately for the Oregon teens, an off-duty deputy sheriff spotted…
  • A Basic Understanding Of Behavioral Addictions

    Addiction Treatment
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:18 am
    Almost everyone understands to some degree what addiction is when it comes to substances like alcohol, nicotine, illicit drugs, and prescription medications. In fact, most people have encountered at least one or two substance addicts at home, in school, at work, or at least in the media. These addicted individuals are people driven by a “need” to escape life’s challenges by getting high. In other words, for substance addicts, drinking and drugging are not about partying and having a good time with friends. Rather, these individuals are just trying to “cope” and “make it through…
  • Are Hangovers A Deterrent For Future Drinking?

    Addiction Treatment
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:29 am
    Authority figures thinking that a bad hangover will discourage a young person from overdrinking in the future should think again. New research found that experiencing a nasty hangover had practically zero impact on whether or not a young person would decide to drink again – even the very next day. The study, led by Thomas M. Piasecki, a professor in the department of psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri, and Damaris J. Rohsenow, a professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University School of Public Health, recruited 386 confessed drinkers and asked them to…
  • How Is Mobile Gaming Similar To Gambling Addiction?

    Addiction Treatment
    14 Apr 2014 | 8:49 pm
    The preponderance of handheld devices makes it easy to do just about anything on the go – including developing a gaming addiction. According to a recent report 0.15 percent of mobile game players are responsible for 50 percent of mobile gaming revenue. The report by app marketing company Swrve shows that most of the spending and activity on mobile games comes from college youth and middle-aged women. The games are offered at no charge, but there are myriad ways to spend money on them. And a select number of people are spending rather hefty amounts. With traditional video games a player who…
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    Hydrocodone Help

  • Spotting Concealed Use of Hydrocodone in Schools

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    A school is a community unto itself, with its own rules, leaders, set of morals, guidelines for acceptable behavior, and punishments for failure to follow the rules. Each school is also comprised of several subcultures formed by students’ gender, socioeconomic status, social standing, and shared interest. Every school will have its athletes, geeks, mean girls, scholars, cliques and any number of other groups. One other sub-group in a school is comprised of students who use drugs like hydrocodone. Students in this category think they can hide their addiction from teachers, classmates and…
  • Lasting Financial Effects of Hydrocodone Abuse

    12 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Drug abuse is a disease that ravages people’s minds, bodies and souls, but it also causes users to lose another aspect they may not consider, their finances. Drugs are not free, and drug dealers are not charity workers, so drug abuse is incredibly expensive. A quickly growing addiction is to hydrocodone, and it is often acquired through both legal and illegal means. Both legal and illegal means of obtaining drugs are expensive, so users need help to get clean and to recover their finances. Addiction to a prescription drug means that a person must go to extra-legal means to get it. Many…
  • Is It Bad to Mix Hydrocodone with Other Drugs?

    7 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opiate narcotic that is rarely prescribed in its pure form. Hydrocodone acts as a pain reliever, attaching itself to opiate receptors in the brain. The drug has addictive potential and is frequently prescribed as a different formulation such as Vicodin which contains both hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone abuse often stems from a person’s legitimate, medical need to manage pain. When an individual builds up a tolerance to the drug’s pain relieving effects, he may begin to need more of the drug, or more frequent doses of the drug to achieve the same…
  • Four Common Treatment Methods for Hydrocodone

    3 Apr 2014 | 3:47 pm
    Hydrocodone is prescribed by doctors for treating pain and as a cough suppressant. It is an analgesic that can affect the central nervous system (brain response) and internal organs structured from smooth muscles. While it does have therapeutic qualities, it should never be used over a prolonged time period because it can lead to dependence, tolerance and addiction. Professional opiate addiction treatment can help people who are addicted to this drug. Common Treatments Used for Treating Hydrocodone Addiction Because it is not recommended to quit hydrocodone suddenly, one of the most common…
  • Playing Sports and Hydrocodone Abuse

    20 Mar 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Managing sports injuries and wanting to perform at peak levels may compel athletes to abuse prescription drugs. For instance, hydrocodone helps people that suffer from severe pain due to injury, surgery or from a chronic condition, because it helps them continue daily activity. It works by changing how the body perceives pain, which means it is highly addictive. Using larger amounts of the drug for longer than prescribed by a physician can lead to addiction. Furthermore, using hydrocodone to mask a sports injury or to play through pain is dangerous, as this act can lead to a greater injury…
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    Valium Addiction Help

  • Lasting Financial Effects of Valium Abuse

    16 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Valium is a narcotic drug prescribed by physicians to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It can also be prescribed to prevent seizures and is sometimes used to calm patients before surgery. Valium slows down the central nervous system (CNS), which means that you will feel relaxed and even euphoric while taking it. This feeling makes Valium very popular among drug users. Unfortunately, Valium addicts often do not consider the financial costs of their addiction. These costs are not only related to the price of the drug, but also to the other ways addiction effects their lives. Some of the…
  • How Valium Affects Your Eating Habits and Appetite

    11 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Valium treats many issues, as it is a benzodiazepine that causes sedation, relieves anxiety and relaxes muscles. This drug works by acting on brain receptors, which releases the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that transmit messages between the nerve cells. GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as a nerve-calming agent, which means it keeps nerve activity in the brain balanced. Using Valium as prescribed by your physician can help reduce anxiety and other symptoms, but using this drug in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed can…
  • 4 Surprising Facts About Valium Addiction

    6 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Valium was the first benzodiazepine (benzo) psychotropic, and it made its debut in the 1960s. Though many more refined benzos psychotropics have joined it, Valium, known generically as diazepam, remains extremely popular as an anti-anxiety medication. It is also more popular than ever as a recreational drug—whether taken alone or combined with other drugs—as it is a famous and deadly party drug. If you are considering using Valium for either psychological or recreational purposes, then first consider the following 4 surprising facts about it. Valium Was Used For Everything When introduced…
  • 3 Dangerous Complications of Valium Abuse

    1 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Valium, also known as diazepam, is a benzodiazepine that treats many conditions, like anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures, alcohol withdrawal and several more. This drug is also used as a relaxant before dental surgeries, such as a wisdom tooth extraction. While Valium is certainly beneficial for medical use, it is often abused for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the reason people abuse Valium, its potential complications are very dangerous. Three dangerous complications of abusing this drug include respiratory depression, impaired judgment and addiction. Respiratory Depression…
  • What Makes Prescription Drugs So Addicting?

    27 Mar 2014 | 5:00 pm
    With over 7 million people nationwide abusing prescription drugs on a regular basis, it is safe to say that these substances are some of the most addictive substances in the world. From antidepressants to painkillers, the use of prescription drugs has led to millions of addictions. It might seem like a simple concept to just stop using prescription drugs when use becomes problematic, however it is quite the opposite. Why Are Prescription Drugs Addicting? People often utilize prescription drugs for a number of reasons. While some might be prescribed pills by a professional for a physical or…
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    Heroin Detox Rehab

  • Lasting Financial Effects of Heroin Abuse

    11 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Heroin abuse can ruin your finances Heroin abuse takes its toll on users physically, emotionally and even financially. Buying enough heroin to feed a drug addiction can be expensive. Combined with fact that heroin addiction can make it difficult to hold down a job, the results of this disease can be financially devastating. Heroin addicts and their families can experience escalating debt issues, bankruptcy and poverty in order to feed the habit. The Financial Cost of Drug Addiction Abusing drugs costs a great deal of money. Those who are addicted to heroin must find ways to feed their habit.
  • Is It Bad to Mix Heroin with Other Drugs?

    5 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Heroin and other drugs Currently heroin is making a troubling comeback in the US. With the street price of prescription narcotics spiking, suddenly this once marginalized drug is becoming more and more popular due to its low price. A new generation of users are experimenting with this drug and finding out just how powerful and addictive it is. Many people recklessly abuse heroin alongside other drugs, such as benzodiazepines, stimulants or alcohol, but such drug habits are dangerous, so seek help to get and stay clean from any substance abuse. Drug Combination Risks Heroin is a central…
  • 4 Surprising Facts About Heroin Addiction

    30 Mar 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Heroin addicts come from different backgrounds Through the media, we often see stereotypes of people who struggle with addiction. On the one hand, addicts are sometimes represented as hollow-cheeked, malnourished people who are homeless and desperate for their next fix. On the other hand, some shows portray heroin addicts as glamorous superstars who don’t have a care in the world. However, in reality you can’t stereotype heroin addicts because every person who uses drugs reacts differently. While we may think we know what heroin addiction looks like, there are some facts that might…
  • 4 Common Treatment Methods for Heroin

    25 Mar 2014 | 11:24 am
    Support groups are a common heroin treatment method Heroin addiction is a complex condition that affects a person’s physical and mental wellbeing, so treatment for this condition must involve a variety of therapies. Four common treatment methods for heroin abuse include detox, methadone treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy and attending support groups; using these treatment methods simultaneously can help addicts recover. Heroin Detox Programs When addicts decide to stop using heroin, they must first seek medically-supervised detox, which is a program that helps addicts break physical…
  • How Family History Affects Your Predisposition to Heroin Addiction

    11 Mar 2014 | 11:53 am
    Does your family history make you vulnerable to heroin addiction? While many factors contribute to addiction development, genetics play a powerful role in decisions to abuse and continue using drugs such as heroin. Genetics influence a range of personality and biochemical factors. According to The Guardian, self-control is comprised of “factors such as novelty-seeking and harm avoidance that may influence general vulnerability to drug abuse” (“What are the implications of new scientific findings for effective drugs treatment?” May 2002). Further studies have linked these personality…
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    Xanax Addiction Help

  • Motivation to Get Clean

    13 Apr 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Sobriety will contribute to the happiness of friends and family Living free of drugs and alcohol is energizing and uplifting, but it is challenging as well. Finding the internal willpower to stay clean in recovery is possible with the right self-motivation skills. Ways to Stay Motivated and Sober It’s easy to want to get sober but much harder to do it. Addiction is a brain disease according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Once drugs or alcohol permanently alter pleasure pathways in the brain, the compulsion to take substances like Xanax will feel similar to the need to eat or…
  • Can a Thyroid Disorder Lead to Addiction?

    7 Apr 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Thyroid disorders may lead to addiction Thyroid disorders often go undiagnosed, which is unfortunate because thyroid malfunctions affect nearly every system in the body causing mental and physical problems. Thyroid Disorders Thyroid disease produces many complications including major disruptions to the body’s hormone balance that affect mood and physical functioning. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of a person’s throat. Thyroid conditions affect more women than men and involve the thyroid producing either too much or too little thyroid hormone according to WebMD.
  • A Loved One’s Death and Addiction

    1 Apr 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Untreated grief can lead to addiction There are many personal factors and life circumstances, including the death of a loved one, which can lead to substance abuse and addiction. The death of a loved one invariably brings grief, and sometimes people cope with their grief in unhealthy ways. For those who have become addicted to a substance like Xanax after a loved one’s death, addressing the grief is often an important part of the addiction recovery journey. Common Components of Grief A 2012 Psychology Today article notes that grief is highly individualized. There is no specific correct or…
  • What Role Does Insurance Play in Alcohol Rehab?

    26 Mar 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Does insurance play a role in alcohol rehab? Getting appropriate treatment for substance addictions to alcohol and Xanax is crucial to recovery, and many times health insurance coverage is an important part of getting needed services. Health Insurance and Addiction Recovery Health insurance coverage for addiction treatments, also known as substance use disorder, is at higher levels than ever before due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law requires a majority of health insurers, including insurers offering individual policies on the private market, to cover treatments for substance use…
  • What Prescription Drugs were Abused the Most in 2013?

    20 Mar 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Oxycontin was one of the most abused prescription drugs in 2013 Prescription drug abuse is a significant and growing worldwide problem. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy notes that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classifies prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. They report that because prescription drugs are sometimes thought to be safer than street drugs, many people who begin abusing drugs for the first time do so by using a prescription drug non-medically. A PBS report notes that the prescription drugs most often abused can be classified as opioids,…
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    Prescription Drug Abuse Help | Treatment & Recovery Information

  • How Does Fame Influence Drug Use?

    14 Apr 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Phillip Seymour Hoffman Fame and drug abuse often occur together for many celebrities, athletes, musicians, and other people in the spotlight. The pressures and demands of fame are often the most common reasons behind drug abuse and addiction. There is a wide variety of reasons and influences behind the decision to initially abuse drugs and the development of a more serious addiction to drugs and alcohol among famous people. Some of the different influences that can push famous people to abuse drugs include the following: Careers that lead to fame typically coincide with a culture that is…
  • What is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

    9 Apr 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Intermittent explosive disorder is a disorder where individuals fly off the handle over minute situations. These outbursts can be violent and frightening, and can happen at a moment’s notice. In most cases, individuals develop intermittent explosive disorder in response to growing up in a negative environment (primarily where abuse was present). In addition, intermittent explosive disorder can also be caused by genetics. Symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder Prior to an explosive episode, those with this disorder will often begin to experience racing thoughts that precede their…
  • Does Substance Abuse Have Permanent Side Effects?

    4 Apr 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Drug abuse is not harmless. Even short-term use can have long-term effects, and these effects can harm the user and those closest to him or her. The Effects of Alcohol Abuse Abusing alcohol in your teen or young adult years can have a permanent effect on bone development. According to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “chronic heavy drinking, particularly during adolescence and the young adult years, can dramatically compromise bone quality and may increase osteoporosis risk…the effects of heavy alcohol use on bone cannot be reversed, even if alcohol consumption…
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder and Addiction

    30 Mar 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a condition characterized by “switching” to alternate identities during periods of stress. It is the result of disruptions in the normal integrative processes of consciousness, perception, memory, and identity. Individuals who suffer from DID feel the presence of one or more people living inside their heads. Each alternate identity has a name, personal history and characteristics such as gender, voice, mannerisms, and preferences. Other symptoms of DID include the following: Mood swings Suicidal tendencies Sleep disorders Anxiety, panic attacks, and…
  • Digestive Issues and Drug Abuse

    25 Mar 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Drug abuse can lead to a number of problems, including digestive issues. According to the National Institutes of Health, digestive system damage caused by substance abuse is increasing among drug addicts throughout the United States and the world. Studies show that long-term substance abuse causes cancer in all parts of the digestive system, including colon cancer and rectal cancer. Synthetic drugs were linked to digestive, liver, and vascular problems in the stomach. Certain types of colitis are also associated with drug abuse, as well as the damage done to the digestive system by smuggling…
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    All about Drugs and Alcohol Addiction

  • Inspirational Message of the Week

    18 Apr 2014 | 8:44 am
      For information on addiction treatment programs and rehab services, you can speak to one of consultants at 800-570-4562
  • Challenges Addicts Face in Recovery

    17 Apr 2014 | 1:07 pm
    There are many questions recovering addicts ask about their future. They may range from as simple as understanding what recovery is, to grasping the concept of whether you recover from addiction or are recovered. They may ask how one in recovery avoids relapse? Perhaps they want to know what someone has to do to keep themselves sober. Recovery, hell, life itself, isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. That’s why you don’t just recover, even if you are in recovery, because you are rarely more than one short step from a relapse. Recovery is about committing, to yourself and others, your…
  • How Does It Feel To Get High On Cocaine

    16 Apr 2014 | 7:20 am
    Anyone who snorts, smokes or injects cocaine gets high fast, and also gets addicted fast. Cocaine is one of the world’s most addictive and widespread drugs of abuse in the nation. It is a strong nervous system stimulant, and it interferes with the reabsorption process dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with control over pleasure and movement. In addition, cocaine interferes with the uptake of norepinephrine and serotonin. All this leads to the accumulation of neurotransmitters at postsynaptic receptors. The senses in other words, go wild. A rush of euphoria bursts here and there…
  • Governor Shumlin Focuses on Prescription Abuse in Vermont

    15 Apr 2014 | 9:55 am
    In January, Vermont governor Peter Shumlin dedicated the state address to the rapidly increasing opiate addiction problem in the state. According to the governor the state has witnessed more than 770% increase in opiate addiction since 2000, which was when the opiate painkiller oxycontin was approved by the FDA. It is believed that the release of similarly powerful opiate painkillers has opened the door to a wider drug market of prescription pills. Painkillers are not the only drugs hooking thousands into addiction annually however. Vermont has also suffered from a 250% increase in heroin…
  • Passover and Addiction

    14 Apr 2014 | 5:22 am
    One of the most popular questions that arise during the holidays is whether or not to include a loved one, who is an addict. This is an important consideration because holidays often bring out the “fun” in people, and everyone knows substances are what addicts use to get into their comfort level. This week, Passover brings the question back to the table. Let’s talk about it in the hope that something we discuss may help you to make the right decision. First, there are no absolute answers. Every situation is unique, but certain rules seem to work for almost everyone, so for this…
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    Family First Intervention

  • Judge Overrules Banning of Zohydro in Massachusetts

    Mike Loverde
    18 Apr 2014 | 7:06 am
    Massachusetts cannot ban the new hydrocodone medication Zohydro ER, according to U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel. Last month, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a ban on Zohydro due to a public health emergency stemming from opioid abuse. After the ban was announced, Zogenix, the company that manufactures the new drug, argued in a lawsuit that the ban was unconstitutional. Judge Zobel issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday that supported the claims of the drug’s maker. In the injunction, the judge notes that Zogenix is likely to be successful in pursuing a court order to…
  • Dawn of Addiction Treatment Program Ratings on the Horizon

    Mike Loverde
    11 Apr 2014 | 6:20 am
    Earlier this week NBC featured an interview with Thomas McLellan from the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) in Pennsylvania. It was part of a series focusing on the rising heroin epidemic in America. McLellan is a revered addiction treatment researcher, as he is responsible for the creation of the widely-used Addiction Severity Index assessment and also served as a deputy in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for a period of time. What many didn’t know, was that he also lost a son to a drug overdose. McLellan says in his interview that the rehab system is broken,…
  • FDA Approves First In-Home Opiate Overdose Reversal Injection

    Mike Loverde
    3 Apr 2014 | 10:59 am
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today that it has given approval for the first hand-held opiate overdose reversal injection to be made available for at-home use. Similar versions of the drug naloxone have been made available to medical and emergency personnel for years, and the increasing number of opiate-related deaths has led to a push for more first responders to be equipped with the injections. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, and when administered to someone overdosing on opiates such as heroin or prescription painkillers, it sends them into immediate withdrawal and can…
  • Changes in Brain Function Shown in Young Adults Who Occasionally Use Stimulants

    Mike Loverde
    31 Mar 2014 | 6:10 am
    According to researchers at the University of California, San Diego, young adults who occasionally use stimulants including cocaine, amphetamines or prescription drugs such as Adderall show brain changes on scans. In a controlled experiment, researchers tested reaction times of two groups of college students between the ages of 18 and 24. The students were divided into two groups. One group’s participants had never taken stimulants and the other group’s participants had taken stimulants on average 12 to 15 times. Both groups were screened for factors, such as alcohol dependency and mental…
  • Alcohol-Related Fatalities Are Fourth Leading Cause of Preventable Deaths in America

    Mike Loverde
    24 Mar 2014 | 7:59 am
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released findings from a recent study regarding the number of lives and years lost due to alcohol-related deaths in the country. Among the statistics shared, the report showed that roughly 88,000 people died each year because of alcohol, at a cost of a quarter of a trillion dollars. Stated another way, 2.5 million years of potential life are lost annually because of alcohol consumption. The causes range from alcohol poisoning to liver problems, as well as automobile accidents and many things in between. The CDC specifically examined 11…
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    Decision Point Center

  • SAMHSA Sponsors Town Hall Meetings to Coincide with Alcohol Awareness Month

    Decision Point Center
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:15 am
    In honor of Alcohol Awareness Month, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)is sponsoring its fifth round of Town Hall Meetings focusing on the prevention of underage drinking. The habits, trends, and effects of underage drinking are constantly changing. If you are interested in becoming more aware of the many ways underage drinking is affecting the future and health of today’s youth, attend a Town Hall meeting near you. Although these meetings are focused on spreading awareness and education the community, there are also ways to be proactive in underage drinking…
  • Zohydro Manufacturer to Assemble Oversight Board to Spot Misuse

    Decision Point Center
    9 Apr 2014 | 9:43 pm
    Since their recent approval of controversial pain medication, Zohydro ER, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been dealing with a great deal of criticism from legislators and health groups. In an attempt to ease concerns over misuse of the potent hydrocodone drug, Zohydro manufacturer, Zogenix, recently announced it will assemble an oversight board designed to spot misuse of the drug, the Associated Press reports. The team will consider data from sources including prescribing statistics, law enforcement records and addiction center reports. The panel will consist of seven medical,…
  • DEA Traveling Exhibit Also Focuses on Drug Treatment and Prevention

    Decision Point Center
    1 Apr 2014 | 7:51 am
    For more than a decade, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has had a traveling exhibit on display in various cities throughout the country called Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause. Currently in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area at the Maryland Science Center until September, more than 22 million students, teachers and parents have seen it in several cities around the country. Co-sponsors for the 10,000 sq. ft. exhibit include the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), the National Guard, The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), The Patnership at…
  • Patrick Kennedy To Release Memoir of Struggle With Addiction

    Decision Point Center
    25 Mar 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy is set to release his book next year entitled A Common Struggle: A Very Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction. A statement was issued this week from the book’s publisher, Penguin Group’s Blue Rider Press. As one member of a family deep with political roots, Patrick Kennedy served eight terms as a U.S. Congressman for Rhode Island. He is the son of the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. Before becoming a U.S. Representative, Patrick Kennedy became the youngest member of his family to hold elected…
  • Over-Prescribing of Stimulants a Big Problem

    Decision Point Center
    12 Mar 2014 | 12:03 pm
    With all the attention on painkillers and heroin lately, other rising drug problems have been overshadowed. One increasing situation is the number of people using prescription stimulants. These pharmaceuticals with amphetamine properties are both being over-prescribed and also heavily abused, especially by young adults, throughout the country. In fact, the latest news cites a report claiming an 85 percent increase in just five years, particularly among young women. Overall prescriptions have continued to increase, as well as the percentage of ADHD diagnoses. Part of this growth has been due…
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    Sober Nation

  • STUDY: Casual Pot Use Causes Brain Abnormalities in the Young

    Tim Stoddart
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:35 am
    The post STUDY: Casual Pot Use Causes Brain Abnormalities in the Young appeared first on Sober Nation. Young, casual marijuana smokers experience potentially harmful changes to their brains, with the drug altering regions of the mind related to motivation and emotion, researchers found. The study to be published on Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience differs from many other pot-related research projects that are focused on chronic, heavy users of cannabis. The collaborative effort between Northwestern University’s medical school, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical…
  • Why You Should Get A Sponsor

    Tim Stoddart
    15 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    The post Why You Should Get A Sponsor appeared first on Sober Nation. When first coming into recovery, it is very difficult to know and understand what direction to take in recovery and in life. Sober Nation makes a point to incorporate all forms of long term recovery into the content that we send out to the world. Out of all recovery programs, Alcoholics Anonymous is the most widely used and celebrated. AA, NA and the 12 steps have helped millions of suffering alcoholics and addicts get and stay clean. Part of the program of AA suggests that you get a sponsor. A sponsor essentially is…
  • Explanation to Bed Bugs Hoax – Straight from the Horses Mouth

    Tim Stoddart
    14 Apr 2014 | 7:24 am
    The post Explanation to Bed Bugs Hoax – Straight from the Horses Mouth appeared first on Sober Nation. As many of you know, we posted a humorous and ghastly article about kids smoking bed bugs. We quickly posted a disclaimer at the bottom of the video when we found out how completely fictitious it was. This weekend I was contacted by Shane Watson – who is the man seen on the video reporting the bed bugs story. He asked me to post a video he made in response to the feedback he has been getting. I won’t even give my two cents and just let the video speak for itself. The post…
  • Lower Sentences for Drug Offenses Could Come Into Effect Soon

    Tim Stoddart
    11 Apr 2014 | 8:53 am
    The post Lower Sentences for Drug Offenses Could Come Into Effect Soon appeared first on Sober Nation. Some progress and big changes were made on Thursday regarding prison sentences for low level drug offenders. As we have spoken about, there is much debate about the harsh and frequent prison sentences given to drug offenders, many of whom have never committed violent crime. The U.S. Sentencing Commission plans to cut the average prison sentence by almost a year to help deflate the surging population of federal prisons. Congress can still block the change, but the commission voted unanimously…
  • Kids are now smoking BED BUGS to get high.

    Tim Stoddart
    10 Apr 2014 | 9:53 am
    The post Kids are now smoking BED BUGS to get high. appeared first on Sober Nation. In their latest effort to find a cheap high that doesn’t require the purchase of any actual drugs, teens have discovered a way to smoke bed bugs. Yes, BED BUGS. The things that normal people hate even thinking about. The little critters that plague hotels and give guests nasty rashes. Yes, those very same bed bugs. Apparently, the insects contain a hallucinogenic substance within them, except it’s impossible to isolate it, so the bugs have to be caught, killed and crushed into a powder, which is…
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    IRETA Blog

  • Why do we talk about a “Drug Czar?”

    Jessica Williams
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:46 am
    Jaffey, Bennett, Kerlikowske, Botticelli: Our official and unofficial czars Image: Wikimedia Commons The other day one of our interns asked me where we came up with the term “drug czar” and I shrugged and said I imagined it was a relic of the 70s when we first declared a national War on Drugs and needed some iron fists to fight it. It was silly to answer off the cuff because even as  I was answering, he was googling and explaining to me that actually, the use of “czar” to refer to executive branch officials goes back to Franklin Roosevelt and in fact, America has had…
  • Infographic: Benzodiazepine Use and Medication-Assisted Treatment

    10 Apr 2014 | 7:47 am
    Patient education about benzodiazepines is key Here at IRETA, we’ve been thinking about patient safety in medication-assisted treatment for a number of years, and have more recently zeroed in on the issue of benzodiazepine use among methadone and buprenorphine patients. We’ve heard from providers that their patients need educational materials about benzodiazepine use, so we put together a simple infographic that addresses immediate consequences, long-term effects, and the relationship between benzo use and recovery.  Please feel free to use and share it. Here are some ways to…
  • Updates on a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Pennsylvania

    1 Apr 2014 | 11:58 am
    Tracking progress on our home state’s efforts to modernize our PDMP Photo: Wikimedia Commons Editor’s note: As information related to PA’s PDMP becomes available, we are sharing it on the IRETA Blog.  This post will be updated frequently.  Feel free to email relevant news and information to   Recent news Prescription drug registry would help cut deaths from abuse: As I See It April 1, 2014 Op-ed tracing legislative inaction on this issue for years in PA and urging passage of a law this session Pa. drug abuse bill under review March 29, 2014 “The…
  • Tips for Enhancing a Brief Intervention: Talking about sleep, nutrition, stress and anger

    Jessica Williams
    20 Mar 2014 | 11:47 am
    A spring webinar series on Motivational Interviewing techniques It’s one thing to receive training in the evidence-based practice of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and quite another to actually do SBIRT. SBIRT sounds great.  Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders, as well as those who are at risk of developing these disorders. Primary care centers, hospital emergency…
  • Women Have Been Particularly Affected by the War on Drugs, Part II

    Claire Barbetti
    14 Mar 2014 | 7:49 am
    How can we use what we know about women and the War on Drugs to create real drug policy reform? In our first installment about women, addiction, and the criminal justice system, we shared some stark facts about the impact of “War on Drugs” policies on American women.  Here are two: The number of women in prison has grown by over 800% in the past three decades. The female prison population grew by 832% from 1977 to 2007. The male prison population grew 416% during the same time period. Two thirds of women in prison are there for non-violent offenses, many for drug-related…
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    Drug News and Information

  • New Opioid Approval: Zohydro

    Nate Stevens
    14 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
    What better time than the present? The question didn’t escape the FDA, which has formally issued approval of a new opioid prescription painkiller called Zohydro. This prescription-only opioid analgesic was approved as a Schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs are more tightly controlled than Schedule III drugs. Formerly, opioid painkillers were considered Schedule III with likely reclassification as Schedule II due to widespread abuse. Why the change? Zohydro is a trade name for a drug manufactured by Zogenix containing hydrocodone. Not just a small amount of hydrocodone either: Zohydro…
  • Tobacco Advertising Targets Youth

    Madison O'Connell
    7 Apr 2014 | 10:54 am
    One of the most serious threats to an adolescent is tobacco. More than $15 billion is spent per year on advertising through the media for this deadly substance. In the 21st century, digital media- like twitter and instagram- is becoming an open market for tobacco advertising. Research has also shown that tobacco use in PG-13 and R-rated movies influences youth into condoning the casual use of tobacco. Every year, the rate of deaths caused by the regular use of cigarettes increases. Roughly 400,000 Americans die from lung cancer, collapsed lungs and other illnesses directly related to tobacco…
  • Miracle Machine: Turning Water into Wine

    Madison O'Connell
    31 Mar 2014 | 10:50 am
    A new smart-phone operated device blew up on social media, causing potential buyers to question the legitimacy of the product. The “Miracle Machine” claims to turn water into wine, through the activation of a smartphone, of course. Readily available to set up at home, the Miracle Machine enables users to turn tap water into wine over a fermentation period of just three days. Easy to use steps include: selecting the type of wine you’d like to drink, adding the proper ingredients, activating the machine via smartphone and then letting the machine do it’s job. A free app is conveniently…
  • New Label Requirements on Generic Drugs

    Nate Stevens
    24 Mar 2014 | 5:39 pm
    A recent proposed federal regulation would establish new label requirements for generic drugs, and give patients greater rights in the event of rare drug-related complications. Generic drug companies have been fighting against the requirements, and a strange series of legal loopholes has made the issue controversial. The new proposal would require side effects to be listed on the bottle. Some of the facts surrounding generic drugs are startling. In the United States, 86 percent of prescription drugs are generic. Generic drugs are off-brand, off-patent versions of drugs that have been…
  • Warning Signs that Your Child May be Using Drugs

    Madison O'Connell
    17 Mar 2014 | 10:00 am
    There are many different reasons why a child may be acting out, making it difficult for a parent to decide if their child is acting out because of drug and alcohol use or not. Though nothing is certain, there are signs a worried parent can look for if they fear their child is using drugs. When a child begins using drugs, their life will change in four dominant areas; behavior, personal appearance/habits, home related issues and health problems. Identifying your child’s behavior in one of these areas is a huge step to knowing if they are drinking or abusing drugs. The most important thing to…
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    Rapid Detox

  • Waismann Method: Prescription painkiller/heroin overdose antidote approved by FDA

    8 Apr 2014 | 4:55 pm
    The auto-injector is designed to allow quick administration when drug overdose first occurs LOS ANGELES, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Family members and caregivers of individuals with opiate drug addiction problems heaved a sigh of relief earlier this month when the FDA announced it was issuing fast-track approval to Evzio (naloxone hydrochloride), an injectable medicationRead More >
  • Opiates in Your Medicine Chest: The Silent Drug Dealer

    4 Apr 2014 | 9:16 am
                        As the war on drugs continues to falter, as parents we can feel helpless at times trying to protect our children from teen drug addiction. However, there are things we can do. As responsible citizens, we should urge the FDA to conduct more research onRead More >
  • Opiate Detox: Compassion Over Judging

    2 Apr 2014 | 1:05 pm
                      Removing the stigma attached to drug addiction is a good first step. Many people who are addicted to prescription painkillers are not drug abusers – they are simply patients who took the medicines they were given for a medical condition or post op. Regardless of howRead More >
  • Rapid Detox First Step? Tolerance

    1 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
                Drug addiction and drug abuse are mutually exclusive terms and need to be used as such. Many people who are addicted to prescription painkillers are not drug abusers – they are simply patients who took the medicines they were given for a medical condition or post op. Reduce theRead More >
  • Applaud Zohydro’s Pro-Active Stance, but Let’s Add “Compassion” into the Mix.

    27 Mar 2014 | 4:02 pm
    Zohydro continues to dominate the prescription painkiller news. Zogenix, makers of Zohydro told the Associated Press that “we will be monitoring patients, prescribers, pharmacists, supply chains and abusers, so all the populations that would potentially touch our product.” Though we applaud Zogenix for its pro-active monitoring of Zohydro’s distribution and potential misuse, the philosophy thatRead More >
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    Opioid Blog

  • Number of Ireland’s Methadone Patients Rose by 40 Percent in 10 Years

    7 Apr 2014 | 1:15 pm
    In a span of ten years, there was almost a forty percent rise in the number of people who received methadone from the treatment program in Ireland. Since it commenced on the year 2003, more than 9,500 drug abusers got treated with the said medication. Ireland’s Department of Health published just the other week the […]
  • Emergency Rules Restrict Zohydro Use in Vermont

    7 Apr 2014 | 1:13 pm
    The state of Vermont is limiting the access of the public to a new opiate pain reliever in the market. State officials and law enforcers fear that the said drug could make the drug abuse problem across the country worse. In a controversial decision last October 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved […]
  • Suboxone Withdrawal Part II: Day Eight/Nine

    7 Apr 2014 | 1:11 pm
  • Gov. Patrick’s Moves to Combat State’s Opiate Epidemic

    31 Mar 2014 | 7:33 pm
    Massachusetts‘ governor, Hon. Deval Patrick made a declaration last Thursday that the growing number of opiate abuse is a public health emergency. He said that heroin nowadays is not only cheap, it is also very potent. Thus the state, he believes, is facing an “epidemic”. He is calling upon equipping the state’s law enforcers, firefighters […]
  • Suboxone Withdrawal Part II: Day Seven

    31 Mar 2014 | 7:31 pm
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    Addiction & Recovery News

  • Should we lower the bar?

    Jason Schwartz
    18 Apr 2014 | 2:14 pm
    USA Today ran a story about problems in the monitoring of impaired physicians. Many states lack rules to ensure that medical facilities alert law enforcement or regulatory agencies if they catch employees abusing or diverting drugs, so those staffers often are turned loose to find new jobs without treatment or supervision. Disciplinary action for drug abuse by health care providers, such as suspension of a license to practice, is rare and often doesn’t occur until a practitioner has committed multiple transgressions. “We certainly see gaps in the system; the examples are…
  • Comic relief

    Jason Schwartz
    17 Apr 2014 | 8:41 am
    Company unveils first age-verifying, pot vending machine #9newsmornings — 9NEWS Denver (@9NEWS) April 13, 2014 Leave it to the Onion to make incisive commentary about the recently unveiled medical marijuana vending machines in Colorado: “Nothing legitimizes medicine like selling it from a vending machine.”Filed under: Uncategorized
  • The latest on Phillip Seymour Hoffman

    Jason Schwartz
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:59 am
    After all the speculation that Phillip Seymour Hoffman could have been saved if he had been placed on Suboxone, we have one more bit of information. Not only did he have the drug in his apartment, he had enough exposure to recommend it to a fellow addict. Sometime last year, he met Mr. Hoffman through mutual friends. They were kindred spirits, he said, both private people. He avoided questions about whether the two used drugs together. But he said they talked and exchanged text messages about their addictions, with Mr. Hoffman urging Mr. Aaron to try Suboxone, a controversial prescription…
  • Gratitude cultivates patience

    Jason Schwartz
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:43 am
    A recent study suggests that gratitude fosters longer term thinking and patience. Traits that are undoubtedly helpful in recovery. My colleagues Ye Li, Jennifer Lerner, Leah Dickens, and I decided to test how the experience of gratitude effects discounting and financial impatience. We designed an experiment (now in press at the journal Psychological Science) that presented participants with a set of 27 questions, which pit a desire for immediate cash against a willingness to wait for larger rewards at various times in the future. For example, one question required study subjects to…
  • Embrace harm reduction?

    Jason Schwartz
    14 Apr 2014 | 3:58 am
    DJ Mac challenges recovery-oriented providers to embrace harm reduction: Despite my focus on recovery I have a strong harm reduction ethos at my core. Sure, I challenge services to be recovery-orientated, but I firmly believe that the reverse needs to be true. Rehabs and other services with a recovery goal ought to have harm reduction practices woven into their fabric. If they don’t they could be short-changing clients. Read the rest here. Spend some time on his blog. His posts are consistently smart, challenging, concise and he avoids the simplistic and false binary arguments that plague…
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    Pathways Real Life

  • 5 Common Signs of a Possible Gambling Addiction

    Michelle Amerman
    8 Apr 2014 | 7:06 pm
    A gambling addiction is also known as pathological gambling, and refers to a person’s inability to resist the impulse to gamble. Pathological gambling can often lead to serious financial consequences and have negative social repercussions. If you or a loved one is struggling with gambling, read on for more information about these five common signs of a potential gambling addiction, and seek therapy immediately. 1. Borrowing Money One of the most telling signs of a person who’s struggling with a possible gambling addiction is his or her need to constantly borrow money. Usually,…
  • How to Enjoy St. Patty’s Day Sober

    Michelle Amerman
    13 Mar 2014 | 3:23 pm
    Being sober on St. Patrick’s Day is an anomaly that most people don’t consider to be true. So everyone ends up getting stinking drunk and not remembering what happened the night before. As important as it is to let our hair down, it is equally important to recognize the rich and colorful traditions of a uniquely gifted place like Ireland. We must thank the Irish for giving us more than just a poor drinking habit. We must celebrate their rich traditions before we drink green beer or pinch each other for not wearing green. People often tend to wrongly associate drinking with St.
  • Most Successful Post-Addiction Celebrity Careers

    Michelle Amerman
    3 Mar 2014 | 11:46 am
    Being a popular celebrity is not always about glamour and parties. This is especially true to Hollywood personalities who are courageous enough to admit that they were struggling with addiction in the past. Whether the addiction is related to alcohol or drugs, this mental illness is not to be taken lightly. When it comes to addiction and recovery issues, the patient needs the full support and unconditional love of family and friends. There are true-to-life stories of famous Hollywood celebrities who won their fight against addiction. The following stories prove that there is always hope for a…
  • How Self-Esteem And Confidence Impact Drug Addiction

    Michelle Amerman
    26 Feb 2014 | 11:21 am
    By definition, when someone has a low personal evaluation and a less than adequate assumption of their own self-worth, then that person has low self-esteem. How we feel about ourselves and the view of our own self-worth is formed in early childhood and stays with us throughout our life. The initial seeds of our self-esteem are planted by our parents. Our parents have the ability to either provide us with a stable and fortified sense of self-worth, or they can implant a negative and questionable belief in ourselves. Words Can Be Damaging Ideally, our parents are the initial source of strength…
  • Things not to Say or Do to a Recovering Addict

    Michelle Amerman
    19 Feb 2014 | 9:35 am
    According to a survey conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), eighty percent of the American population has positive feelings about addiction recovery. This public perception, albeit optimistic, should also go hand in hand with a high level of sensitivity and circumspection. The survey also shows that “one out of two Americans knows someone who is recovering from substance addiction.” If you happen to know a friend who is currently recovering from some form of addiction, please pay attention. To make sure you do not cause more harm than good, you…
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    Northbound Treatment Services

  • The Boston Marathon Bombings: Coping One Year Later

    Keenen Diamond
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:43 am
      The people of Boston will never forget where they were at 2:49PM on April 15, 2013. A city that is known for its resiliency, grit and sarcastic charm was rocked when a pair of brother terrorists set off homemade rice-cooker bombs at the finish line of one of the world’s most recognized and acclaimed... [Read More...]
  • Pointing the Finger

    Keenen Diamond
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:41 am
    “Honestly, I don’t think anybody I know romanticized it as much as they liked it. It’s got good qualities,” said Robert Aaron, 57. He is currently making headlines for his involvement with the death of acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman – and wrongfully so, in his opinion. Shortly after Hoffman’s death, law enforcement officials traced... [Read More...]
  • Busted: Ryan Malone

    Keenen Diamond
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:40 am
    All seemed to be going well in the world of hockey star Ryan Malone. In just a few short days, he was going to be hitting the ice with his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates to kick off The Stanley Cup Playoffs and make a play for the championship. The left wing of the Florida-based team,... [Read More...]
  • Addiction Treatment Coupled With Higher Education

    15 Apr 2014 | 11:57 am
    Addiction Treatment Coupled With Higher Education The Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions latest issues features an article entitled “Addiction Treatment Coupled With Higher Education,” featuring Northbound’s Executive Vice President and Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist, Paul Alexander, JD. Alexander was instrumental in developing the first program to couple addiction treatment with higher education.... [Read More...]
  • Dangerous and Deadly Obstacles Heroin Addicts Face Today

    Keenen Diamond
    11 Apr 2014 | 11:54 am
    They always say, “The hardest part is admitting that you need help.” In many respects, that is completely true. However, today, those who have admitted they have needed help with their heroin addiction are faced with greater obstacles once they try to do something positive about it. Since heroin addiction has dramatically risen over the... [Read More...]
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