Addiction

Substance Abuse and the Holidays

Family celebrations tend to take center stage during the holidays. Unfortunately, many a holiday get-together is marred by disruptive, rude or antagonistic behavior on the part of one or more guests. Whether it’s a family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker, when disturbing behavior takes place, it’s tough to know the reason. Here are 10 signs drugs or alcohol might be the culprit.

Nodding off at the table.
If you spot someone at the table who's struggling to stay awake, this is a telltale sign of alcohol or drug involvement. Alcohol is a known depressant, as are certain drugs. These cause a slowdown in the body’s central nervous system and can put you to sleep. Too much alcohol or drugs, however, can quickly escalate to a critical point, causing unconsciousness, a blackout, or worse.

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Addiction

My Public Apology to Everyone Hurt by Alcoholics Like Me


I'm deeply ashamed about these things I did.

Just a couple of short weeks ago, I celebrated being clean and sober for 31 years. Yes, it's been a long time, which can make it very easy to dissociate with the addiction-riddled man I was all those years ago.

Don't get me wrong, that's not entirely a bad thing. I don't want to live in the constant memory of who I was then and the things I did in my addicted years. I got sober to save my life, and I stay sober to have a life. My present is very good, so I don't live in the past.

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Addiction

6 Surprising Myths of Inpatient Residential Rehab

We've all seen the commercials: gentle, soothing music playing over a reassuring voice that tells you that this specific rehab center is going to change your life. Because, after all, it's changed his.

Inpatient rehab centers offer treatment for people with substance abuse or alcohol disorders. Most are intensive, requiring patients to live in their facility 24 hours a day for 30 days. And it is a gold mine for those who run such addiction recovery centers.

The Carlat Report: Addiction Treatment's July/August 2015 issue is devoted to the topic of understanding treatment for alcoholism and substance abuse. It also offers an eye-opening interview with the former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Here we run down some of the myths we gleaned from the issue about residential rehab.

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Alcoholism

I Am My Own Bipolar

Hi there. If you are reading this, please know everything written is coming from my brain -- which means these thoughts are all real to me, but likely unrealistic or potentially disturbing to “normal” people. I consider a “normal” person anyone that advises me not to act on everything I think and feel. How annoying is that? They must be the crazy ones, not me!

Everything my mind conjures up seems so brilliant in that moment. My feelings seem appropriate and valid in my head. How dare someone else tell me otherwise? But, alas, these nut jobs do deserve credit as they have kept me alive, stood by my side, taught me to be strong, and there is a special place in my heart and mind that loves and appreciates them more than words can say. So, thank you crazy people -- stay nuts.

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Addiction

The Loopholes Used to Justify Drinking

Because of my interest in habits, I read a lot of memoirs of addiction. I don’t tackle addiction in Better Than Before, but still, I find that I get a lot of insights from these accounts.

I recently finished an excellent new memoir, Sarah Hepola’s Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget.

I was particularly  interested to see how she used loopholes to justify her drinking.
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Alcoholism

Why Kids Shouldn’t Be Incarcerated for Giving Dad the Silent Treatment

My husband's parents divorced when he was in middle school. When I asked how they shared custody of him and his younger sister, he said, "We got to choose who we wanted to live with." I marveled at that statement.

I wasn't allowed to make any decisions. I wasn't asked where I wanted to vacation or what movie I wanted to see. I wasn't allowed to give the silent treatment or to sulk after being punished. I wasn't allowed to be angry, loud, energetic, silly or moody. I had no right to anything.

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Addiction

Older Americans Are More Prone to Substance Abuse

In 1998, government officials warned of a dire trend that we’ve only recently began to take note of. It wasn't an asteroid hurtling toward earth or the ever-growing impact of humans on the climate. It was elder substance abuse.

In the late 1990s, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) already was predicting the drastic increase in alcohol and drug abuse among adults 60 years old and up.

Close to twenty years later, we don’t know much more than we did in 1998.
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Addiction

4 Ways to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Your Teen

There are many stresses that come with raising teenagers, but one of the biggest is worrying about drug and alcohol abuse. There are many outside influences enticing teenagers to get involved with alcohol and drugs, and it’s often hard for teens to understand the ramifications of such decisions. As a parent, it’s important to be an inside influence helping them to avoid these dangers.

There are preventative steps you can take to keep your children safe and healthy, such as the following:

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Alcoholism

Psychology Around the Net: June 13, 2015


Learn about the summer version of seasonal affective disorder, how creative people might carry genes for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the importance of proper nutrition regarding mental health, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Does Summer Make You Depressed? Although we often associate seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with the winter months, it actually affects some people during the summer months, with symptoms such as decreased appetites and insomnia.

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Addiction

Addicts Need Rehab, not Jail

It’s a story almost as old as addiction itself. It’s a question with an obvious answer, but one still lingering. It’s a debate over helping vs. punishing. It’s a political pitfall, but one that may finally be addressed.

I’m talking, of course, about offering addicts treatment instead of punishing them with jail or prison. Now that’s a vast oversimplification of the personal, political, and socioeconomic debate raging across the country at this very moment. Still, I believe it should be that simple.

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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: March 14, 2015


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Despite losing an extra hour this week, we hope you'll make some time for today's Psychology Around the Net, which takes a look at how daylight-saving time can affect your relationships, what teen depression really looks like, how your psychologist feels about dating apps, and more.

Daylight-Saving Time Is Bad for Your Relationships: We already know that poor sleep leads to a wealth of mental and physical health problems, but losing that extra hour during daylight-saving time (or any time) could lead to relationship problems, too.

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Addiction

Transforming Failure


My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them.

- Bono
I agree with Bono. Surviving a mistake or a perceived failure and transforming it into wisdom or a life lesson is inspiring. If you do an Internet search for quotes or articles on failure, there seems to be a never-ending supply. Like love, heartbreak, or jealousy, failure is a natural and challenging part of the human experience that none of us is exempt from.

Failure can be bitter and hard to swallow. We often cannot accept it very easily. It is a strong and intense experience that we may hide from, or refuse to admit to others because we are embarrassed, shamed, or defeated. However, like other bitter things found in nature, such as the coffee or cocoa bean, we have to process it to extract its rich gifts and reframe it into an insight, strength, or life lesson.

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