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Risk of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder higher in people with substance-induced psychosis, says study

Risk of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder higher in people with substance-induced psychosis, says study

Many people commonly abuse drugs – some for relief from pain and some to get a high, both often leading to dependence and addiction. However, there could be even more severe consequences due to drug abuse, such as substance-induced psychosis. Also known as toxic psychosis, it is a form of substance use disorder (SUD) that leads to the development of psychosis in an individual. Continue reading

Frequent flyer syndrome more common in patients with dual diagnosis

Frequent flyer syndrome more common in patients with dual diagnosis

In the annals of mental health and substance use disorders, there is a term for those who are in and out of emergency rooms (ERs) and jails – frequent flyers (FFs). Unlike hypochondriacs who believe they are always sick and visit an emergency department to be diagnosed for non-existent illness, FFs might visit hospitals for genuine concerns. Unfortunately, medical personnel exhibit lack of concern and contempt while dealing with patients with the frequent flyer syndrome. Statistically, patients with comorbid disorders such as mental illness and substance abuse are more likely to visit ERs multiple times in a year and exhibit the FF syndrome as opposed to someone who has either a mental illness nor a substance use disorder.  Continue reading

Dangers of social drinking

Dangers of social drinking

Drinking is widely considered one of the easiest ways to break the ice with people and overcome any kind of stress. As a result, alcohol has become one of the essential elements of all social events and celebrations. During such occasions, people usually get carried away due to peer pressure and the general mood of festivity to overindulge in unregulated and irresponsible drinking. Continue reading

Big blow for Purdue Pharma as Cigna ends OxyContin coverage

Big blow for Purdue Pharma as Cigna ends OxyContin coverage

The past has a way of catching up. That certainly seems to be the case with Purdue Pharma. Accused of deceptive marketing practices, the pharma giant had to face the wrath of several state and local governments, which have sued it for fueling the opioid epidemic. A lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in September 2017 implicated the drug major for convincing doctors and public that their signature medication OxyContin has low risks of addiction. Continue reading

Genetic link discovered between depression and alcohol dependence

Genetic link discovered between depression and alcohol dependence

Despite the well documentation of the affinity between alcohol dependence and depression, scientists and clinicians alike have been baffled about the co-occurrence of these diseases.

Contemporary researches suggest a close relationship between drinking and depression. While drinking alcohol is a risk factor for depression due to its ability to make adverse changes in the brain, a range of depressive symptoms make a person seek refuge in alcohol. Continue reading

Cultural and faith-based stigma affecting minorities in America

Cultural and faith-based stigma affecting minorities in America

The stigma associated with addiction and mental health disorders continue to be one of the most influential factors contributing to the high rates of untreated substance use disorders and mental illnesses affecting the lives of millions in the country. Stigma is also an outcome of cultural and faith-based factors that often leads to marginalization of people suppressing their voices and creating barriers to treatment.

People from the minority communities, refugees and immigrant populations fear backlash from the mainstream society and their own perceptions borne out of beliefs in their faith and culture impact their access to treatment services. Other factors like poverty, insurance coverage and language barriers add to their woes. Continue reading

Mental disorders and substance abuse increase combined comorbidity risk by 2 times

Mental disorders and substance abuse increase combined comorbidity risk by 2 times

The symptoms of mental disorders are often witnessed among individuals who abuse drugs and vice versa. Numerous surveys have reflected and documented the comorbidity of substance addiction and mental disorders across the United States.

To grasp the nature of this comorbidity, it is important to understand that addiction is also a mental disorder. It is a complex brain disease characterized by compulsive and uncontrollable cravings for the substance of abuse. Continue reading

Double-action drug: ADHD medication can also treat substance abuse

Double-action drug: ADHD medication can also treat substance abuse

Certain medications remain the mainstay to treat some mental disorders. Whether it is for depression, anxiety, psychosis or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety pills works in most cases. Besides medication, psychotherapies and brain stimulation approaches also play a major role in treating mental disorders. Continue reading

People with mental disorders twice as likely to suffer from SUD

People with mental disorders twice as likely to suffer from SUD

Mental disorders and associated symptoms are often diagnosed in individuals who abuse drugs and vice versa. The coexistence of two different diseases is popularly known as co-occurring diseases or dual diagnosis. Various national surveys since the 1980s have reflected and documented the comorbidity of substance abuse and mental disorders across the United States.   Continue reading

Insights into alcohol-induced anxiety

Insights into alcohol-induced anxiety

A night out with friends after a grueling week of back-to-back travel and intense work pressure seems like a brilliant idea. Unrestrained chatting, dancing on Jim Morrison songs and doing back-to-back vodka shots give a rare kind of a high, and an escape from the drudgery of life. However, the same high turns into a horrid experience the following morning when one gets a hangover. Continue reading