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How Will the SUPPORT Act Affect Addiction Treatment?
How Will the SUPPORT Act Affect Addiction Treatment?

Congress recently passed the Substance Use-disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities, or SUPPORT, Act as a multifaceted way of addressing the opioid crisis. The bill passed both houses with overwhelming bipartisan support, an alarming indication of how bad the opioid crisis has become in recent years. In fact, the…

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What is Post-traumatic Growth?
What is Post-traumatic Growth?

You are probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This is when you have a traumatic experience, but instead of recovering over the following weeks and months, you are plagued by symptoms related to the trauma. These symptoms typically include avoiding anything associated with the trauma, re-experiencing the trauma in the form of flashbacks…

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When Are the 12 Steps Not Enough?
When Are the 12 Steps Not Enough?

12-step programs can be a valuable resource for addiction recovery. There are several advantages of attending 12-step meetings as a way of managing addiction. First, meetings are easy to find. Unless you live in a remote area, there are probably several meetings nearby. They are also an easy way to start building a sober network.…

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What are the Most Dangerous Drug Combinations?
What are the Most Dangerous Drug Combinations?

From reading the headlines, it’s easy to get the impression that fatal overdoses are almost always caused by opioids, especially heroin and potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil. While opioids are responsible for a large share of opioid deaths, they are rarely the only drug involved and a significant number of fatal overdoses don’t…

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How Does Psychotherapy Affect the Brain?
How Does Psychotherapy Affect the Brain?

Depression is the number one cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 300 million people, according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms include prolonged sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, anxiety, aches, pessimism, lack of motivation, and thoughts of death or suicide. Depression is typically treated with some combination of medication and psychotherapy. Studies have already found…

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Can You Die from Opioid Withdrawal?
Can You Die from Opioid Withdrawal?

Opioid withdrawal can be difficult and painful. It is often described as a terrible flu. Symptoms include irritability, anxiety, insomnia, goosebumps, yawning, runny nose, muscle and bone aches, tearing up, fever, sweating, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms typically peak after a few days then begin to decline. For most people, acute withdrawal…

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Is Relapse Part of Recovery?
Is Relapse Part of Recovery?

It’s often said that relapse is part of recovery, that, far from being a catastrophe, it’s a necessary step in overcoming addiction. Others say this message is unnecessarily pessimistic and creates an expectation of failure. Which way of thinking about relapse is most helpful for people trying to recover from a substance use disorder? First,…

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What Does it Mean to Recover From Addiction?
What Does it Mean to Recover From Addiction?

The question seems like it has an obvious answer: Recovery means you no longer manifest addictive behavior. On closer inspection, though, the answer is not so obvious, and in fact, there are probably many valid answers. Everyone is different, with a different history, a different pattern of substance use, and different goals for recovery. If…

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How Are Depression and Obesity Related?
How Are Depression and Obesity Related?

Depression and obesity often occur together and they are a terrible combination. Both are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and shorter life expectancy. There appears to be a chicken-and-egg relationship between the two conditions and each can make the other worse. Here’s how obesity is related to depression. How obesity leads to depression.…

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