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Facts about Prescription Opiate Abuse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 100 people in the United States die from drug overdoses every day, and death rates as a result of drug overdoses have more than tripled since 1990. The CDC also reports that nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by opiates.

Opiates are commonly referred to as painkillers. They are derived from opium or synthetic versions of it and used in pain relief. Common opiates include Vicodin (hydrocodone), Percocet, OxyContin, oxycodone, Fentanyl, and codeine. They work by binding to the receptors in the brain to decrease the perception of pain. Side effects include sedation, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, and respiratory depression.

In addition to decreasing the perception of pain, opiates can create a feeling of euphoria that some people find pleasing.

This pleasant feeling can often lead to addiction and cause physiological dependence.

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Nuvigil: Not Better Than Placebo for Depression Symptoms in Bipolar

Millions of people around the world rely on antidepressants in the treatment of clinical depression and, to a lesser extent, bipolar disorder. Over a dozen such medications exist, and many are also available in generic form.

But for reasons that scientists can't yet adequately explain, some people don't respond to many antidepressant drugs. And the drugs they do respond to may carry unwanted side effects that make taking the drug for any length of time downright challenging.

So drug companies are constantly looking for new drugs, new uses for old drugs, and new formulations of old drugs to help improve their batting average. Sadly for this effort, though, we can cross off another potential drug -- Nuvigil (armodafinil).

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: August 30, 2013

We talked a lot about interaction here at Psych Central this week.

Interaction between families, interaction between romantic partners, interaction between humans and animals...

... Interaction between Miley Cyrus and the rest of the world...

How we react to and interact with others doesn't just affect our relationships with others and the world. It also affects our relationships with ourselves.
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How Couples Can Manage Clashes Over Money

Money tends to be a dicey issue in romantic relationships. It’s a topic that most couples don’t want to talk about. In fact, it’s a topic we’re taught not to bring up, because it’s bad manners.

And it can easily lead to conflict or become an overwhelming obstacle.

For instance, couples often clash when one likes to spend and the other likes to save. It’s a common financial conflict psychotherapist Christina Steinorth, MFT, sees at her office.

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A Fresh Start: Walking Away From Your Past

I have spent the majority of my life in various states of anger. For the first 30 years, this anger was mainly turned inward because I didn’t have permission to express anger in my home. The retaliation might have killed me. In addition, society had taught me that it was inappropriate for girls to outwardly express anger.

Instead, I just let my anger eat away at me from the inside.

This anger manifested in physical diseases. I was sick most of my childhood and early adulthood.

But it also caused me to hate myself. I had a deep self-hatred which triggered chronic anxiety. There was no way for me to relax and enjoy myself, or even better, create a life of joy and meaning.

There was always an inner voice telling me I wasn’t good enough.

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A Mental Illness Epidemic? Or Hype Masquerading as Journalism?

Are we in the midst of an epidemic of mental illness?

My dictionary would suggest the word "epidemic" is appropriate when discussing some that is "excessively prevalent" or "characterized by very widespread growth." Is mental illness really growing as much as some critics claim?

It's with some interest to examine the claims of those who say we're in some sort of "epidemic" of mental illness. But owing to their sloppy premise, loose research efforts, and illogically connecting dots that have little to do with one another, I find it a hard claim to swallow.

In fact, research shows that prevalence rates for mental illness have actually declined somewhat from 1994, making it hard to understand where some are coming from about this "epidemic" nonsense.

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5 Ways to Help Guarantee Success

Question: Once upon a time, there were three frogs on a log. One day one of them made a decision to jump into the pool below. How many frogs were left on the log?

Answer: There are still three frogs on a log! One had only made a decision to jump in, but took no action!

I've written about taking action before when it comes to making change in our lives, but I think this subject warrants a little more attention. 

Action is really at the heart of active change. Without action we're only thinking about change. As much as thinking is a necessary step, it won't lead us to the goals that we are aiming for.

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10 Small Ways You Can Improve Your Life

You don’t need to make sweeping, dramatic changes to make your days happier and more meaningful. Improving your life can happen one small step at a time.

Here are 10 fulfilling tips you can try.

1. Begin the day with meditation or prayer.

Meditating or praying in the morning helps to set the tone for your day and connects you to your higher power, said Angela Bisignano, Ph.D, a psychotherapist, leadership consultant, and author of the book Beautifully Gifted. “Reading the Bible or another inspirational book can help to center you and keep you grounded.”

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The Reciprocity Ring: A New Take On Giving

When Irvin Yalom did his pioneering work in the 1970s on group therapy he included altruism, vicarious learning and hope among the original therapeutic factors. Forty years later a new application of group dynamics has emerged with renewed vitality: Welcome to the Reciprocity Ring®.

In Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Adam Grant has awakened a method for engaging the act of giving and receiving. He is a gifted storyteller and a consummate teacher and researcher. As the youngest tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, he has put forth a precisely organized and exceptionally well-crafted book.

He uses several methods to make his point. Among them he includes expertly constructed true stories, case studies, research and a very rich chapter on resources for information. Make no mistake: This is not another business book with some ideas about doing more and better business.

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Children and Teens

Stacey Rambold Gets 31 Days for Raping a 14 Year Old in Montana Thanks to Judge Baugh

Wow. Just wow.

Thanks to Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh, Stacey Dean Rambold just got a slap on the wrist for raping a 14-year-old girl -- who took her own life because of the trauma.

As you might suspect, nowhere in the United States -- including Montana -- is it permissible to have forcible sex without consent with a 14-year-old.

But somehow, Judge Baugh used exemplary -- if not totally twisted logic -- to excuse the actions of Rambold, 54, and said he could go free after serving just 31 days in jail.

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5 Keys to a More Intimate Relationship

Unless you’re one of the few lucky couples in the world, it’s likely that you’ve found yourself in a romantic slump at some time or another. Let’s face it, life happens.

We get busy, we get comfortable, we get stuck in our respective roles, we become complacent, and we get a little bored.

Before you start evaluating whether your relationship can find a little spark, perhaps you should consider how to add a little intimacy.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: August 27, 2013

Today's "Best of Our Blogs" shows you how perfectionism can sabotage your recovery efforts, why saying "no" is beneficial to your health, how college essays can benefit our students' mental health, and why every rich kid is not a spoiled troublemaker.

Oh, and if you're trying to get healthy but hate healthy foods, well, we've got something for you, too!
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