The Relationship Between Opioid Use and Binge Drinking

Opioid Use and Binge Drinking

Binge Drinkers More Likely to Misuse Opioids Prescription opioid misuse is more common among binge drinkers, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. In their analysis, researchers discovered that the prevalence of prescription opioid misuse increased significantly with binge drinking frequency; put simply, those who drank more were more likely to misuse their opioid medications. This is of particular concern because of the dangerous interaction between the two depressants – previous studies show that about one in five opioid overdose deaths also involved alcohol. Today we will explore this study and its implications for […]

Fighting Meth: America’s Other Drug Problem

Meth Epidemic

We’ve discussed America’s opioid epidemic before – an estimated 11.4 million people have misused these highly addictive medications. Unfortunately, the well-funded fight against prescription painkillers has overshadowed another American drug problem. Meth use is on the rise, but the government has yet to provide adequate funding to address this new public health concern.   What is Meth? Methamphetamine is a powerful, extremely addictive stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system, particularly dopamine receptors, to produce a euphoric effect. Dopamine is involved in the body’s movement, motivation, and reward system, meaning that drug use is robustly self-reinforcing. Meth is a […]

How to Help an Addicted Friend or Family Member in Treatment

Help an Addict in Treatment

Watching a loved one battle addiction is one of the most upsetting experiences that you can go through. It’s not unusual to feel powerless in the face of drugs and alcohol, especially as you watch someone lose control of their life. Your friend or family member may have dramatically shifted in both personality and behavior, which may spark feelings of disorientation, fear, and even resentment. When the situation becomes worse, it’s more important than ever to focus on helping your loved one work through their addiction and treatment. With the right support, recovery is possible.   Signs of a Substance […]

The Link Between Alcohol Use and Early-Onset Dementia

Alcohol and Early Onset Dementia

Alcohol is one of the most abused substances in America. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the U.S. averages 88,000 deaths each year caused by heavy drinking, binge drinking, and other issues related to alcohol use disorder. In addition to causing these deaths, alcohol is a key factor in thousands of car accidents, is responsible for damage to internal organs (especially the kidneys and liver), and increases health risks including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. As if all of this wasn’t enough, studies show that alcohol can also increase the risk of dementia.   […]

The Dangers of Fentanyl and Synthetic Opioids

Fentanyl

Synthetic Opioids and Their Addictive Properties Synthetic opioids are a class of pain-relieving drugs that mimic naturally-occurring opiates, such as morphine and codeine. Their high levels of potency mean that they are intended to be used in small amounts. These substances, such as oxycodone and fentanyl, are produced by pharmaceutical companies, who initially misled doctors and other medical professionals about the dangers of synthetic opioid medications. They claimed that these medications were not addictive in a clinical setting, and that they were safe for management of chronic and acute pain. Today, we know that our country is in the midst […]

When Getting Sober Reveals Another Illness

Health in Addiction Recovery

While getting sober is often touted as the solution to all your problems, it’s not a magic bullet. As you grow accustomed to repairing relationships and waking up hangover-free, you may think that nothing could ever go wrong. In spite of the numerous benefits of recovery, everyone will eventually experience some sort of difficulty with their physical and emotional health. As your body recovers from prolonged drug and alcohol misuse, it’s not uncommon to start noticing some issues. Below, we explain what to be on the lookout for, as well as what to do when you uncover maladies associated with […]

Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery

What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is more complex that its simple name would lead you to believe. It’s defined as the ability to be fully present in the moment, aware of what we’re doing and where we are, without being overwhelmed by the things happening around us. While this state is natural, some people struggle more than others with maintaining it in their day-to-day lives. Luckily, it’s fully possible to cultivate mindfulness through dedicated practice. Mindfulness can be practiced through a variety of proven techniques. Perhaps the most well-known of these is meditation. What you may not have heard is that […]

Dual Diagnosis: Treating Addiction and Mental Illness

Mental Illness and Addiction

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Mental illness and addiction are diseases that affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Unfortunately, they often combine to create a complicated mix of issues. In 2014, over 20 million American adults had a substance use disorder – of these, roughly half also had a mental illness. Experiencing these two issues at the same time is referred to as dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. This can make treating addiction more difficult, but if handled correctly, addressing both of these concerns simultaneously will result in better quality of life and improved outcomes over time. […]