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BINGE DRINKING CONTINUES TO RISE — PARTICULARLY AMONG WOMEN AND SENIORS

MAR 26, 2018 / BY BEVERLY MERZ 

Women usually welcome news that the gender gap in pay or leadership positions is closing. But lately we’ve been learning that women are also gaining parity in another respect: alcohol consumption. A new study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health indicates that the rate of drinking in general, and binge drinking in particular, is rising faster among women ages 60 or older than among their male contemporaries.

When the researchers analyzed data from National Health Interview Surveys from 1997 through 2014, they found that the proportion of older women drinkers increased at a rate of 1.6% a year, compared with 0.7% for older men. Binge drinking (defined as imbibing four or more drinks within two hours) increased by 3.7% annually among older women, but held steady among older men. The results were reported online March 24, 2017, by Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Breaking Free From Addiction

COVER STORYBreaking free from addiction

For more than five years, David Sheff watched his son Nic battle methamphetamine addiction. By age 25, Nic had been in and out of rehab and tried half a dozen treatment programs. Some helped, temporarily. But always, he had relapsed, ending up back on the streets, terrifying himself and his parents.

By one of the later relapses, Sheff, a journalist, had already begun researching a book about addiction and had interviewed some of the world’s leading experts on the biology of addiction and treatment.

“I was frantic,” he says. “I called the guy who knows more about meth than anyone in the world, and I asked him ‘Where can I send my son?’ And he had no idea. He was stunned. He asked colleagues, other researchers, and they didn’t know either.”

Sheff did find a treatment program for his son, but not through his scientist contacts — he found it through a friend, another father with an addicted child.
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5 MYTHS ABOUT USING SUBOXONE TO TREAT OPIATE ADDICTION

MAR 20, 2018 / BY PETER GRINSPOON, MD 

What is Suboxone and how does it work?

big-bottle-suboxone-addiction-treatment-1140x640Suboxone, a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, is one of the main medications used for medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for opiate addiction. Use of MATs has been shown to lower the risk of fatal overdoses by approximately 50%. Suboxone works by tightly binding to the same receptors in the brain as other opiates, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. By doing so, it blunts intoxication with these other drugs, it prevents cravings, and it allows many people to transition back from a life of addiction to a life of relative normalcy and safety.

A key goal of many advocates is to make access to Suboxone much more widely available, so that people who are addicted to opiates can readily access it. Good places to start are in the emergency department and in the primary care doctor’s office. More doctors need to become “waivered” to prescribe this medication, which requires some training and a special license. The vast majority of physicians, addiction experts, and advocates agree: Suboxone saves lives.

Common myths about using Suboxone to treat addiction

Unfortunately, within the addiction community and among the public at large, certain myths about Suboxone persist, and these myths add a further barrier to treatment for people suffering from opiate addiction.

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INVOLUNTARY TREATMENT FOR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER: A MISGUIDED RESPONSE TO THE OPIOID CRISIS

JAN 24, 2018 / BY  / 1 COMMENT

 

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Recently, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker introduced “An Act Relative to Combatting Addiction, Accessing Treatment, Reducing Prescriptions, and Enhancing Prevention” (CARE Act) as part of a larger legislative package to tackle the state’s opioid crisis. The proposal would expand on the state’s existing involuntary commitment law, building on an already deeply-troubled system. Baker’s proposal is part of a misguided national trend to use involuntary commitment or other coercive treatment mechanisms to address the country’s opioid crisis.

The CARE Act and involuntary hold

Right now, Section 35 of Massachusetts General Law chapter 123 authorizes the state to involuntarily commit someone with an alcohol or substance use disorder for up to 90 days. The legal standards and procedures for commitment are broad; a police officer, physician, or family member of an individual whose substance use presents the “likelihood of serious harm” can petition the court.
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Self-Defeat

By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo, M.Ed., Ph.D.

Understanding The Self-Defeating Personality

Self-defeating personalities display consistent patterns of detrimental behavior resulting in problematic situations and failed relationships.

self destruct

Artist Unknown, saved from Google Images

These personalities create disappointing environments, become stagnant, and fail to accomplish important life goals. These individuals lack self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. They are riddled with guilt and shame, and according to the definition of personality disorder, do have maladaptive processing methods that create problematic patterns of relating, perceiving and behaving. Their behavior does create problems in their daily lives, in their personal relationships, (preferring to stay and suffer in a bad relationship, rather than move forward in a healthy one, or to be alone,) and their off-putting behavior does diminish their ability to function in society. Social interaction is a significant component of any healthy relationship and is imperative when trying to establish relationships at a deeper level. The self-defeating personality, the consummate victim will be a people pleaser, will attempt to be optimistic, will attempt to lovingly commit, and then will wholeheartedly invest in sabotage.  Their inability to love or even like themselves often leads to inappropriate choices and related conditions such as substance abuse, eating disorders, and gambling addictions, making any healthy relationship impossible.

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Really,, Your Genes Made You Do It?

By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo,  M.Ed., Ph.D.drunk

Genetic influences are those inherent traits that specific genes are credited for.  Behavioral genetics is the study of genetics that attempts to determine the connection between genes and patterns of behaviors and the environment (i).

I find most interesting the topic of alcoholism.  Scientific/biological research has suggested that there are specific genes that determine if one would be more prone to addiction than others.  For this particular issue the discussion suggests that if you possess the “addictive” gene and are exposed to environments that promote the use of alcohol then it is more than likely that this person will become an alcoholic.  This environmental factor coupled with the genetic makeup of the individual appears to be a combination of genetics and environment, influences, and learning choices. (more…)

The Destiny of Lesser Animals

By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo,  M.Ed., Ph.D.

Homeless in the winter

 Homeless in America

“Get a job, is the comment most often hurled at homeless individuals as they panhandle their way through the streets of our cities.  Some are addicts, some are mentally impaired, some are just temporarily down on their luck, some are veterans, and many are targeted.  By far the most painful to see are the veterans some with missing limbs.  So, the next time you see a homeless person and you start thinking, get a job, just stop and count your blessings that you have a roof over your head because it is only by the grace of god that you are not homeless.” National Homeless Organization (2009).

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How can an HIV diagnosis be a “catalyst for growth” or a chance to rearrange your priorities?

 

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