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Pros and Cons of Decriminalizing Drug Addiction

Several US states have recently decided to legalize medical and recreational marijuana.Along the same path,the general population consciousness is moving toward being in favor of decriminalizing drug use in general. Therefore, many people are considering the impact these changes might have on individuals, communities and our the overall culture.

Some compare the change in perception of drug addiction to the end of prohibition in the 1930s. However, many warn that decriminalizing drug use will lead to rampant addiction much worse than the epidemic is now. Because of these polarizing views, discerning the true pros and cons of these changes can be quite challenging.
 

Is Decriminalization the Same as Legalization?

Decriminalization is not the same as legalization. In Portugal, for instance, virtually all drug use was decriminalized in 2001.1 That does not, however, mean that drug use is legal. The distribution and sale of controlled substances is still a criminal offense in Portugal, but possession and use of drugs is handled as a public health problem and not criminal activity. Cases of substance abuse and addiction are handled by counselors, psychologists and social workers instead of police and prison wardens.

This allows people who are addicted to drugs to get […]

April 23rd, 2018|Drug Abuse

Substance Abuse Treatment Options

People and their problems are complex. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that there are various rehabilitation program types, styles and treatment philosophies. What works for one person may not be as effective for another person. Part of that relates to the relatively new concepts of holistic treatment.

Those concepts take into account other mental and physical ailments that need to be addressed and treated in order for rehabilitation to be successful not just in the present but also over the long term.

For example, successful rehab for alcoholism may require treating Dual Diagnosis conditions, such as addiction that occurs alongside depression or another mental health disorder. Treatment philosophies can differ between rehabilitation programs, with some stressing cognitive therapies over pharmaceutical treatments, whereas others may weight their treatment plans more towards behavioral modification in highly structured circumstances. Some rehab programs utilize multiple approaches, adjusting the balance and focus of these approaches as treatment progresses.
 

Types of Rehab Programs

While rehabilitation programs are typically thought of in relation to substance abuse, there are other types of rehab programs as well. Sometimes courts order rehabilitation for some types of offenders, including those who may need assistance in reintegrating into society. These sorts of […]

April 23rd, 2018|Treatment
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    FAQs: Answering Your Biggest Questions About the Opioid Epidemic

FAQs: Answering Your Biggest Questions About the Opioid Epidemic

Here’s a riddle for you: What is killing more Americans each year than either car accidents or firearms? The answer is opioids.

Although opioid addiction is a prominent talking point in all corners of the country, there are still many people who have a number of questions and misconceptions about this deadly class of drug. For instance, some are uncertain of what actually characterizes an opioid and how to differentiate an opioid from other types of painkillers or mind-altering substances. Then there are those who find the term “opioid epidemic” to be confusing and misleading. While there are constantly new reports about the dismaying status of the crisis, there are few resources that address even the most basic questions that a number of people have.
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February 2nd, 2018|Addiction, Drug Abuse
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    How has the ‘Quick Fix’ Mentality Made Us Vulnerable to Addiction?

How has the ‘Quick Fix’ Mentality Made Us Vulnerable to Addiction?

By Dane O’Leary

Life has become more fast-paced than ever before. We’re constantly looking for ways to squeeze just a bit more time out of the day, whether it means juggling far too many simultaneous tasks at work, inserting lots of superfluous adjectives to achieve the required length for a college term paper, or driving way too fast on those morning and evening commutes. This compulsion to do things faster and make things easier actually puts us under more stress, making us feel an even greater need to condense our schedules by utilizing any shortcuts available to us.

Whether it’s to save time or energy, living our lives in fast-forward mode has had a momentous effect on our psychology, resulting in what we might call a “quick-fix mentality.” While there have been parallels drawn between this cognitive phenomenon and things like the increase in our average minimum stress levels,1 some have pointed out that this mindset could be contributing to addiction rates that are higher than ever and remain on the rise.

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October 10th, 2017|Mental Health, Treatment

Why Do I Have to Go to Therapy During Rehab?

Drug abuse and addiction come in as many forms as the people who struggle with them. When a person realizes that he has a drug use problem, he may decide to get help from other people. Admitting that a problem exists and seeking out professional help are two of the most crucial steps a person can take towards beginning a new life in recovery. The next step for a person to take is to begin a rehabilitation program. While most people realize the importance of going through a drug rehabilitation program, not many understand how all of the components of rehabilitation work together to help the person achieve long-term sobriety. One essential but sometimes overlooked aspect of drug rehabilitation is therapy. Nearly every rehabilitation program incorporates therapy in some form, so it’s beneficial to know both how rehabilitation therapy works and why it is so important.
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How Self-Awareness Aids Recovery

Millions of people struggle with substance abuse and addiction each year. SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that in 2012, around 22.2 million people ages 12 and over were dealing with some form of substance abuse or addiction. Most of these people didn’t receive any form of treatment for their abuse or addiction. In fact, the NSDUH reports that only 2.5 million people ages 12 and over received any kind of substance abuse treatment at a specialty center in 2012. The reasons behind deciding to get help with substance abuse and addiction are complex, but one major factor is self-awareness. This state of mind helps a person not only in his decision to begin treatment, but also throughout the entire recovery process.
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May 11th, 2017|Recovery
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    The Dangerous Combination of Drug Addiction and Eating Disorders

The Dangerous Combination of Drug Addiction and Eating Disorders

A lot of people that struggle with drug addiction feel like their lives are spiraling out of control. In order to regain a sense of stability, some people try to manipulate the parts of their lives that they can control, or they turn to what makes them feel most comfortable in the moment. The desire to feel in control or to engage in a comforting activity sometimes manifests itself in an eating disorder, in which people eat in extremely unhealthy patterns. These disorders rarely give patients any sense of relief from their problems, but they frequently intensify any feelings of powerlessness. Since using drugs and eating food in specific ways only offer temporary relief to someone’s underlying issues, and since both problems can be life-threatening if left untreated, it’s essential for people with both conditions to seek out professional help immediately.
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February 5th, 2017|Addiction, Drug Abuse

What Is It Like to Live in Recovery?

Each year, millions of people who struggle with drug addictions get professional help and receive addiction rehabilitation treatment. For many people, the idea of rehabilitation can be intimidating, as it can involve an intense detoxification process, multiple therapy sessions and many educational programs. Additionally, life after rehabilitation can also be scary, as many people don’t know what to expect with recovery. But rehabilitation and recovery don’t have to be frightening as long as the person knows what to expect. It’s therefore essential for someone beginning the rehabilitation and recovery processes to understand what occurs throughout the various stages of both processes. (more…)

January 29th, 2017|Recovery

How the Stigma of Addiction Interferes with Rehab

Many Americans struggle with addiction every year. SAMHSA’s 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that over 22 million Americans aged 12 and older, or 8.5 percent of this population, had struggled with either substance abuse or dependence. Substance abuse and dependence are both distinct from substance addiction, but the three often go together, and millions of people who abuse drugs become addicted to them. But while millions of people struggle with substance abuse, dependence and addiction, only a small percentage actually seek out professional help. (more…)

January 23rd, 2017|Addiction, Treatment

Persistence and Its Importance in Overcoming Addiction

When a person decides to get professional help with an addiction, he may be unsure of what to expect during rehabilitation and recovery. Most people know that addiction treatment can last for extended periods of time, but what they may not realize is how difficult it can be at times to continue treatment. In these situations, and even later on when a person has entered the long-term recovery phase of managing his addiction, it is necessary for the person to develop and exhibit persistence. This will greatly increase his likelihood of staying sober long-term.
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December 27th, 2016|Addiction, Mental Health