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How can we manage alcohol use with medication?

Alcohol use disorder is a disease that is characterized by compulsive alcohol use and loss of control. The NIAAA estimates that 16 million people in the United States suffer from Alcohol use disorder, including adolescents age 12-17. To treat alcohol use disorder, clinicians often use medication management to decrease alcohol cravings, prevent relapse, and decrease… Read More

Substance Abuse and PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that occurs in some people after experiencing a terrifying, horrific, life-threatening event. Combat veterans are often victim to this mental illness, and may suffer from flashbacks and anxiety upon returning from war. Healing from PTSD can often be a long journey that requires a lot of… Read More

Substance Use and Suicide

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. For individuals between 15-25 years old and 25-34 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death. In 2014, 9.4 million adults 18 years or older thought seriously about trying to kill themselves in the past 12 months. Of this group, 2.7… Read More

How do depression and addiction intertwine?

The definition of addiction is a chronically relapsing disorder that is characterized by a compulsion to look for and take drugs. Loss of control and inability to limit intake is quite characteristic of addiction. Many times, the emergence of a negative emotional state like stress, dysphoria, anxiety, or irritability occurs when access to the substance… Read More

What should I know about methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, otherwise known as meth, crystal, speed, ice, uppers, or crosstops, tina, or glass, is a crystalline white powder that dissolves in water. The effects of methamphetamine are stimulating—upon consumption of meth, heart rate increases drastically and the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is activated. Often, this comes with elevated blood pressure, rapid… Read More

What to do when a loved one needs help

“My sister knows her alcohol use can be too much sometimes, but she still won’t cut back.” “My dad’s heroin use is ruining his life. He knows this, but he still can’t stop.” Often, those who suffer from substance addiction know that their drug use has negative consequences. Despite this, many still continue to use… Read More

When do I seek help?

Addiction is a growing problem in society, and with the growth of both prescription medicine and street drugs, it’s become an even more daunting problem in society. For those who use substances or alcohol frequently, it’s often hard to discern if you truly need to “get help.” Here are some important questions you should ask… Read More

How does detoxification work?

It seems counterintuitive to give drugs to people suffering from substance addiction, but this is often necessary to ensure the patient’s safety. Withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that it results in seizures, hyper-excitability, cessation of breathing, and sometimes death. Delirium tremens is said in the medical community to describe severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms that… Read More

What is a dual diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis, otherwise known as co-occurring disorders or concomitant disorders, occurs when there are two afflictions at once. For example, if a person has an alcohol use disorder and is also suffering from depression, they are said to have a dual diagnosis. A physician’s job is to figure out if substance use disorder is causing… Read More

An overview of synthetic cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids were first created as legal substrates to be used only in scientific research, not for human consumption. As such, this brings about problems of integrity of the drug, especially when sold and consumed in the streets. Synthetic cannabinoids actually do not bear similarity to THC (the psychoactive chemical present in marijuana), however, the… Read More

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