Showing posts with label Addiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Addiction. Show all posts

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Smart phone addiction alters brain chemistry

From Health Day on 11/30/17:

THURSDAY, Nov. 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Teens fixated on their smartphones experience changes to their brain chemistry that mirror those prompted by addiction, a new study suggests.

For more click here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

183,000 Americans have died from prescription opioid drug overdoses in the last 16 years.

Between 1999 and 2015, more than 183,000 people in the United States died from prescription opioid overdoses such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone).

For more click here.

I provide clinical supervision for some substance abuse counselors working towards their licensure at a substance abuse agency in Western New York State. Last week on 09/21/17, in our meeting, one of the counselors shared with the group that two of her clients have died of overdoses in the last 10 days and another counselor shared that one of her former clients had died recently as well.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

7-Fold Spike Seen in Opioid-Linked Fatal Car Crashes

From Med Line Health Day on 07/31/17:

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In yet another sign of just how deadly the U.S. opioid epidemic has become, researchers report a sevenfold increase in the number of drivers killed in car crashes while under the influence of prescription painkillers.
Prescriptions for drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicoprofen) and morphine have quadrupled, from 76 million in 1991 to nearly 300 million in 2014, so it's no surprise these medications are playing a growing role in highway deaths, the Columbia University researchers said.
"The significant increase in proportion of drivers who test positive for prescription pain medications is an urgent public health concern," said lead researcher Stanford Chihuri.
Prescription drugs can cause drowsiness, impaired thinking and slowed reaction times, which can interfere with driving skills, Chihuri said.
For more click here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Families pay a key role in the treatment of addiction

Sociologist, Robert Ackerman, spreads the message that families play a key role in the treatment of addiction. Here is part of his message:

"Relatives need to understand the disease of addiction, learn skills for living with addiction, learn how to discourage excessive alcohol or drug use, and understand how to communicate with an abuser in a positive manner.Family counseling sessions should help addicted people and their relatives to lay out long-term plans and goals for recovery. Families also should learn that the recovery techniques don’t work the same way for everyone, Ackerman said. Some may take longer than others to respond, some will respond in different ways, and not all will reach the same level of recovery — a factor called recovery lag."

My experience has been that families struggle with four primary emotions when a family member is addicted: anger, fear, confusion, and love.

The confusion comes from a lack of understanding about what they are dealing with and the conflicted messages that our society sends about addiction. Even professionals and the health care system is conflicted.

The anger comes from being stolen from, injured, lied to, and mistreated and, of course, the underlying fears of being hurt again or our loved being harmed or harming someone else.

Because of these emotions of anger, fear, confusion, and love there is a tendency to enable, punish, or cut off. These managements strategies usually not only don't help, but make the situation worse in the long run. And so what does help?

What helps is detach with love, that is creating appropriate boundaries of what you can do and can't do to help. Providing appropriate help, but not rescuing. Helping means supporting the person's well being and ability to help him or herself by providing information, coaching for better life skill management, and providing opportunities for using that information and skills. Rescuing means bailing people out, covering things up, minimizing and denying so that the using person doesn't have to experience the consequences of their own use.

Getting help from a professional coach that can guide the family's development, implementation, and evaluation of their management strategy often is the best way to engage with the addicted family member in a consistently helpful way. While every person struggling with addiction and every family is different there are some basic principles that can be helpful for all families. These principles will be described in future articles.

For more about the article about Robert Ackerman click here.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Social workers impacted by the opioid epidemic

From News 5 Cleveland on July 3, 2017
AKRON, Ohio - Heroin overdoses are skyrocketing across the U.S., especially here in Ohio.
Nearly half a dozen people are likely to die from the drug. And now, kids are getting their hands on it, with dangerous consequences.
Already this year, at least four Ohio children have overdosed. Three of them live in Northeast Ohio.
The first people often called when that happens? The county social worker.
"The most difficult is managing everything that is thrown at you, it's a pretty unpredictable job," said Lauren Brown, an Intake Case Worker at Summit County Child and Family Health Services.
Brown is constantly putting out fires and working with families in some of their most traumatic and vulnerable stages.
Already there this year, a two-year-old overdosed in Akron, and a one-year-old died after getting his hands on heroin.
For more click here.
Editor's note:
As people locally struggle with opiate addiction in various ways, the Republicans have considered cutting substance abuse and mental health services from their health care bill through the health insurance plan itself and through cuts to Medicaid. Instead, they propose to give further tax cuts to the very rich. Ohio is a red state that has consistently elected Republicans to office except in their cities.

Opiod addiction is a family problem

Opioid addiction contributes to increase in children in the foster care system. For more click here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

GOP health-care bill would drop addiction treatment mandate covering 1.3 million Americans

From the Washington Post on 03/09/17
The Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would strip away what advocates say is essential coverage for drug addiction treatment as the number of people dying from opiate overdoses is skyrocketing nationwide.
Beginning in 2020, the plan would eliminate an Affordable Care Act requirement that Medicaid cover basic mental-health and addiction services in states that expanded it, allowing them to decide whether to include those benefits in Medicaid plans.
The proposal would also roll back the Medicaid expansion under the act — commonly known as Obamacare — which would affect many states bearing the brunt of the opiate crisis, including Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid under the ACA.
For more click here.