Psychiatric Comorbidities May Increase Risk for Polysubstance Use Disorder.

Every day, almost 200 Americans die of a drug overdose, often involving opioids. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “more than 30 percent of overdoses involving opioids also involve benzodiazepines, a type of prescription sedative commonly prescribed for anxiety or to help with insomnia.” Benzodiazepines (also called “benzos”) include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam…

Cannabis Use During Pregnancy Linked to Elevated Risk of Autism

In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers from The Ottawa Hospital, BORN Ontario, and the University of Ottawa found “an association between maternal cannabis use in pregnancy and the incidence of autism spectrum disorder in the offspring” and “the incidence of intellectual disability and learning disorders was higher among offspring of mothers…

Impaired Impulse Control and Addiction

Impaired impulse control is a hallmark of substance use disorder (SUD). The first nine of the 11 criteria for SUD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V)—the diagnostic manual American clinicians use to classify mental disorders— describe various clinical aspects of compromised impulse control.  Compulsive behavior is included in the new definition of…

dr pham staff member at recovery ways

How Comprehensive Mental Health Interventions Reduce the Risk of Relapse

The National  Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describes addiction as “a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, [with] continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.” “The chronic nature of addiction means that relapsing to drug use is not only possible but also likely,” explains NIDA. “Relapse rates are similar…

Methamphetamine Addiction Remains Large Problem in Utah

For years, the national focus has been on the opioid epidemic—the escalating addiction and overdose death crisis driven by prescription painkillers, heroin, and illicit fentanyl.  Meanwhile,  methamphetamine  has made a dramatic comeback.   In December, the Salt Lake Tribune reported, “the number of methamphetamine-related fatal overdoses in Utah more than doubled in the past five years…

Trauma and Addiction of Military Personnel and First Responders

First responders and members of the military are frequently exposed to traumatic events in the course of their duties. They suffer intense stress caused by what’s known as vicarious trauma, the emotional residue resulting from witnessing life-threatening injuries caused by fires, traffic accidents, violent crimes, or combat. And of course, law enforcement officers and military…