Alcohol has got such a social acceptance that it is hardly a forbidden substance. Though it’s legal for adult consumption, alcohol is available to teenagers almost as easily as to others with hardly any legal consequences. This makes alcohol one of the most commonly abused substances. Alcohol dependence and addiction has thus become a major health threat not just in the United States of America, but all over the world. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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