6 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Opioid Addiction

reduce-risk-opioid-addiction

The number of prescription opioids sold to doctors’ offices, pharmacies and hospitals nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, and in 2010, 1 in 20 Americans ages 12 and older reported using prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons, according to the CDC. The United States is grappling with an opioid crisis that was declared a national public health emergency, and many people are understandably worried about the risk of addiction these prescription painkillers pose. Prescription opioids are effective in relieving pain, but they’re also highly addictive. However, there are a few steps you can take to avoid the risk of developing an […]

Genetics can increase or decrease your risk of opioid addiction

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We know genetics can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a number of other conditions, and the same goes for opioid addiction. Over the last decade, a growing body of research has focused on minute differences in a person’s DNA, called single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, which can indicate your risk of addiction. Some people have an opioid receptor gene that protects them specifically from opioid dependence, and substance dependence in general. There are also gene variations for three dopamine receptors in the brain–the molecules that signal pleasure–that are linked to a heightened risk of opioid […]

How the Family System Informs Individualized Treatment

family system

Addiction is a family disease, and in fact, research shows that long-term recovery success rates increase when the entire family is involved in the addiction recovery process. Addiction places family members under a great deal of stress and, as a result, the family system becomes fragile and dysfunctional. By addressing the family system while exploring your own journey, you can heal the family dynamics and work on issues like codependency and enabling, which often drive individuals to substance abuse in the first place. Here’s a look at a few ways dealing with family issues will help your recovery: You’ll learn […]

Preventing Opioid Addiction Through Prediction

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Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have found that computer mapping could be a powerful tool in preventing opioid addiction before it even begins. USC Viterbi researchers in the interdisciplinary USC Machine Learning Center used computer mapping to study opioid addiction, adverse effects and patient profiles. By programming computer-learning models, similar to iPhone X facial recognition software and self-driving cars, researchers filtered through patient medical history and identified patterns that could predict opioid dependency and addiction. These patterns included a patient’s prescription history and whether they had been diagnosed with other disorders that could signify a heightened risk […]

Do You Need to Hit Rock Bottom Before Entering Treatment?

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We often hear about the concept of “hitting rock bottom” within the recovery community. While some people are motivated to finally seek treatment for addiction once they’ve reached the end of their rope, “rock bottom” is a dangerous misconception. In its most basic sense, hitting rock bottom means that before you can recover from addiction, you have to reach the lowest point of your life due to substance abuse. It’s often associated with the loss of relationships with friends and family, a job, housing and good health. But thinking about addiction and addiction treatment in such an extreme way carries […]

Women, Addiction and Recovery

There is a range of biological, social and environmental factors that denote risk of addiction, including gender. Although men and women are at an equal risk of developing a substance use disorder, women who have an addiction are also dealing with an entirely different set of circumstances than men. The differences between genders can be hugely influential in the development of addiction and warrant a gender-specific approach to treatment. How Does Addiction in Women Begin? Men typically begin using drugs or alcohol earlier in life and more frequently than women, but both genders, once introduced to substances, are equally likely […]

My Daughter Showed Me What It Means To Be Humble

What a journey we have taken over the past 7 years.  My firstborn daughter celebrated her 4th year of sobriety last April.  I can still remember the shock and total disbelief I felt when I was finally able to admit to myself that she was addicted to heroin.  I did not know what this looked like and worse I was in total denial for a long time.  At least I was.  My wife told me time and time again that something was wrong but I refused to see it, always thinking she was getting better and that she no longer […]

Anything is Possible

anything-is-possible

BRC Recovery I had a dream once of going to Penn State and getting a Ph.D. Instead, I ended up at the State Pen getting a GED. After dropping out of high school in the 12th grade, because I thought I knew it all, I started to follow my feet wherever my self-will led me. At this time in my life, drugs and alcohol played an important role, and it seemed the world was out to get me. My family was always there to offer support and advice, and I would nod my head in agreement but I never followed […]