Drinking blocks a chemical that promotes attention

In a new paper, researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) report brain chemistry that may contribute to why drinkers have difficulty paying attention while under the influence. The work is funded by generous support from the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation and by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute of Mental Health. Findings were published Dec. 2 in Nature Communications. "When we want to focus on something, or [...]

Contingency management rewards drug users with money

Steven Kelty had been addicted to crack cocaine for 32 years when he tried a different kind of treatment last year, one so basic in concept that he was skeptical. He would come to a clinic twice a week to provide a urine sample, and if it was free of drugs, he would get to draw a slip of paper out of a fishbowl. Half contained encouraging messages — typically, “Good job!” — but the other half were vouchers for prizes worth between $1 and $100. Read more

CDC: New Mexico has highest rate for alcohol-related deaths

According to a recently published report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico continues to have the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in the country. New Mexico’s alcohol-related death rate of 52.3 per 100,000 population was almost twice the U.S. rate for the years 2011 through 2015. The average U.S. alcohol-related death rate per 100,000 population was 27.4 for the same period. The CDC report used data from the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) application. ARDI is a measure of total deaths associated with alcohol use, including [...]

Rehab Mogul Caught In $175M Scam – Sex Charges Pending

The founder of a Los Angeles sober-living facility is facing 20 years in prison for running a $175 million phony health care billing scheme. Christopher Bathum pleaded no contest Monday to 14 felony counts of grand theft, insurance fraud, identity theft and money laundering, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced. Bathum, who once described himself as “the rehab mogul,” ran 13 Community Recovery drug and alcohol treatment centers in Los Angeles and Orange counties and six in Colorado. He used patient information to obtain health insurance policies in [...]

Outpatient Rehab In Santa Clarita Encourages Those Struggling During The Holidays

“As we get into the holiday season here, that can be more prevalent in people’s lives,” said Program Director Bob Sharits. “A lot of people get depressed around the holidays. Please don’t sit in your uncomfortability and your mental health issues or substance abuse issues by yourself. Reach out to someone. Ask for help.” In addition to depression, anxiety is another common mental health issue people often struggle with around the holidays. “The more we get into the holidays, with family coming in and shopping to be done and schedules [...]

Ketamine and behavioral therapy may help alcoholics regain sobriety

Researchers found that the combination of ketamine – a dissociative anesthetic – and behavioral therapy helped patients with alcohol use disorder maintain abstinence and regain it faster after relapse, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. About 15 million U.S. adults suffer from alcohol use disorder, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The condition is characterized by various factors, including consuming alcohol in large amounts, the inability to reduce alcohol intake, alcohol cravings and continued use despite adverse social consequences. In the [...]

Substance abuse isn’t just ‘their’ problem

Substance abuse is a problem that the community should recognize a collective obligation to address, writes the author. In this September 2017 photo, Oregon Recovers, a coalition advocating for comprehensive prevention, treatment and recovery support services for substance addiction, holds its inaugural rally in Portland. Courtesy of Oregon Recovers Julie Dodge Dodge is interim dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Concordia University-Portland. I am what is known in the recovery community as a “normie.” This means that I am like most of you reading this. National [...]

Hawaii Has A Meth Problem That Needs Attention – Now

Opioid abuse is serious, but we can’t let it distract us from the need for new initiatives to combat by far the most tenacious drug problem in the islands. You wouldn’t think we’d ever lose track of a scourge as devastating and prevalent as methamphetamine abuse. After all, meth-related problems are still filling up our emergency rooms, and it’s the most common substance used in Hawaii by people admitted to substance abuse treatment centers. Meth use hasn’t diminished, but our awareness of it has. If we’re serious about addressing issues [...]

Addiction Is a Workforce Issue

Every day, an average of 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The economic impact of prescription opioid abuse alone was a staggering $179.4 billion in 2018, according to a recent report by the Society of Actuaries. That includes $72.6 billion in mortality costs, $60.4 billion in health care costs, $26.5 billion in lost productivity, and $10.9 billion in criminal justice system costs. Clearly, the opioid addiction crisis is too large for any one entity or sector to combat alone—it impacts every segment of society. So, [...]

We can’t punish addiction out of someone

  As the police chief of Newtown in Hamilton County, a police officer for over 20 years, and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, I’ve dedicated my life to serving my community and country. I know the addiction epidemic in our state is one of the most critical and complex public health and social issues of our time. After seeing an entire family die from addiction, an entire generation of brothers lost and grandparents raising the kids left behind, I have realized that what we have done in [...]

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