Friday, June 27, 2008

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.

Signs & Symptoms
People with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. They may experience sleep problems, feel detached or numb, or be easily startled. More about

Effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with PTSD and other anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives. More about Treatment »
Getting Help: Locate Services

Locate mental health services in your area, affordable healthcare, NIMH clinical trials, and listings of professionals and organizations. More about Locating Services »

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Is Addiction? Know About Its Causes and Rehabilitation

What is addiction?
Addiction is commonly referred as the attachment or dedication or devotion. But nowadays this is used for attachment for any illegal activities like drug addiction or alcohol addiction. It is a complex behaviour. There are many factors such as genetic, biological and social that influence in addiction.

What are the causes of addiction?
Addiction is caused due to many reasons. For instance, when a person uses a drug like heroin for the first time, he/she will experience a feeling like he/she has never experienced before. This usually drives the person to use it again and again. So, eventually the person will get addicted to the drug. The person will develop a physical and psychological dependence. The human nervous system plays a vital role in
addiction. This will produce the physical dependence. Now the brain produces withdrawal symptoms which are usually strong. This leads to heavy addiction and frequently leads to depression.

Addiction can happen in different forms and activities like gambling, drug, computers, pornography, exercise and religion. The real reason for a person to get addicted is that he/she has a moral weakness, but this definition is no longer accepted by professionals.

What are the problems associated with addiction?
Addiction can be blamed for a number of problems such as health, financial and many more. Moreover it causes discomfort not only to the addict but also to the people and society around him. The financial and health problems will be far more than affordable. The health problems might go beyond repair. Addiction might lead the person to become unstable psychologically and sometimes physically. It becomes so difficult even for holding a job. Addictions are usually very expensive and it may lead the addicts to do illegal things for the money. Addictions can cause lots of problem in terms of financial and psychological to his/her families and the people around that person.

What are the ways to recover from addiction?
The best choice is to consult a good doctor to seek advice. Nowadays there are many counseling centres and treatments available to treat addiction. The usual treatment is by the use of thyroid hormones. Opiates are also used in treating the withdrawal symptoms which creates acute pain. The addict person can attend counseling and rehabilitation programs. These programs are nowadays arranged by the government itself. It has a good scope and widely accepted among people. Moreover, the real addiction lies within the person’s psychology apart from the physical dependence.

Above all the method such as counseling and treatment, the most important thing is the deepest and strongest desire of the addict to quit addiction. It can be achieved only by hard work and purest determination.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wellness: The Missing Dimension in Recovery

As you may be aware, you are not the only one who has ever hidden empty wine bottles from your spouse, missed out on a good job due to failing a drug screening or fallen into a pattern of constantly covering up for the irresponsible behavior of an alcoholic spouse or partner. An estimated 5 to 10 percent of Americans are addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs, and patterns of multiple substance abuse are now the norm. Untreated chemical dependency is a major contributing factor to child and spousal abuse, family breakups, unemployment and traffic fatalities-the leading cause of death for people under age twenty-five.

Unfortunately, alcoholics and addicts whose diseases go untreated also eventually suffer major health consequences-including severe damage to their livers, hearts and other vital organs-and often die decades before their time. What you may not be aware of is the fact that millions of people in recovery-perhaps the majority-also shortchange themselves of years of joyful living as a direct result of nicotine addiction, compulsive overeating, junk food addiction and/or other self-destructive behaviors they carry with them into recovery. If you are currently suffering from these or other toxic behavior patterns, you may have acquired these habits as a substitute for your primary addiction to drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, you can free yourself from this vicious cycle-and this book will show you how.

Like most people recovering from addictive disorders, you will need to focus your energy and be disciplined about repairing the damage that years of excessive drinking and drugging have done to your body. As part of a holistic approach to recovery, you must also work on releasing the “baggage” associated with self-defeating mind-sets and behaviors. Instead, you will need to replace that baggage with a life-affirming belief system and a health-conducive lifestyle that fully support your goals in recovery. The good news is that embracing a wellness-oriented lifestyle and working your recovery program go hand in hand.

In his classic bestseller Positive Addiction, psychiatrist William Glasser expounds on the benefits associated with replacing negative addictions, or ingrained self-destructive behaviors, with “positive addictions.” Examples of positive addictions include regular physical exercise, yoga or meditation, developing an artistic talent, or pursuing a fulfilling hobby. In contrast to negative addictions, such as alcohol or drug addiction, which tend to foster unhealthy dependencies and decreased self-esteem, positive addictions contribute to improved quality of life, heightened self-esteem and increased feelings of independence. One of Glasser's key points is that positive addictions are very effective tools for freeing ourselves from the grips of our negative addictions.

In this book, you will learn about the numerous positive addictions associated with a wellness-oriented lifestyle and how to embrace them as integral components of a truly holistic approach to recovery. Equally important, you will learn to appreciate how a healthy lifestyle can help you successfully navigate the various stages of recovery and safeguard against relapse.

The Importance of Wellness to Your Recovery

If you completed a chemical dependency treatment program, you most likely learned about the benefits of physical exercise and sound nutrition in repairing the damage done to your body by excessive use of alcohol and drugs. You probably also received an introduction to the importance of basic stress management skills in maintaining day-to-day sobriety and guarding against relapse.

Primary treatment, or the initial phase of treatment, generally focuses some attention on basic wellness concepts. Unfortunately, these concepts often receive less than adequate attention during the critically important, yet oft-neglected continuing care phase of treatment. This sad state of affairs is a reflection of what I call the neglected stepchild syndrome. In today's health-care environment, with its overriding emphasis on cost containment, mental health services have become the neglected stepchild of medical care. Chemical dependency treatment has become the neglected stepchild of mental health, and continuing care, which should form the cornerstone of ongoing recovery maintenance, tends to be severely shortchanged.

Another reason wellness lifestyles often receive less than adequate emphasis in treatment stems from the failure of many treatment professionals to take good care of themselves. Far too many treatment professionals suffer from a variety of lifestyle imbalances, including nicotine and caffeine addiction, obesity, lack of exercise and compulsive workaholism. As such, they are in a poor position to serve as role models in motivating their clients to adopt wellness-oriented lifestyles.

Yet another obstacle to living well stems from the conflicting demands and time pressures that all of us experience in today's fast-paced society. In recovery, we often feel overwhelmed by the overlapping demands of earning a living, engaging in family life, going to meetings, studying the steps and doing the million and one other things that creep into our overly crowded lives. In the context of such a pressure-cooker environment, our well-intentioned plans to launch an exercise program, bring our diet into balance, give up smoking or take up meditation all too often fail to materialize.

As you can see, many influences conspire to work against our devoting appropriate attention to living healthy during recovery. The net result is that millions of people in recovery neglect this critically important area. Predictably, they end up paying the price in terms of unwittingly setting themselves up for relapse, as well as for heart disease, emphysema, various forms of cancer and a host of other devastating illnesses that can often be prevented.

The good news is that you have a choice. In many respects, by virtue of demonstrating the courage and commitment that has taken you this far in working your recovery program, you have a leg up on most Americans in terms of embracing a healthy lifestyle. Just as you have learned to work your core recovery program step by step, you can likewise learn to embrace a wellness-oriented lifestyle and effectively integrate it into your recovery program-simply by taking “one step at a time.”

Wellness Defined

Wellness can be defined as the dynamic process of taking charge of your health and programming yourself to attain optimal health and well-being. As this book demonstrates, you are in the driver's seat. You set your own goals and priorities, design and implement your wellness program, and determine how far you want to go toward claiming your birthright to optimal health, longevity and self-fulfillment.

You are about to embark on an exciting journey that will truly transform your life. In a nutshell, this book will show you how to:

• Supercharge your recovery by integrating a wellness-oriented lifestyle into your 12-step program.

• Inventory your strengths and weaknesses regarding health and wellness, with particular reference to lifestyle influences.

• Identify the wellness goals that are most important to you-including your optimum life expectancy and the immediate wellness benefits you would like to enjoy-and implement an action plan for achieving these goals.

• Launch your personal quest for uncovering and expressing your unique sense of purpose in life-zeroing in on those core values and goals that are truly important to you-and channeling your focused energy into transforming your dreams into reality.

• Gain increased self-esteem, energy, alertness and confidence as you pursue your pathway to greater health.

• Learn how taking care of yourself will enable you to give much more to your friends, family and other people in recovery!

About the Author

John Newport, Ph.D., is a wellness counselor and freelance writer based in Santa Ana, California.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Suboxone for Opiate Dependency

When you hear the word drug abuse or opiate dependency, pot sessions in dimly lit rooms and drug dealers illicitly selling their merchandise from half closed doors would immediately come to mind. You would never think that these drug addicts can and are getting their daily fix from the neighborhood pharmacy.

Percodan, Oxycontin, Lortab and Vicodin are opium based pain killers. These medications are usually prescribed to patients after undergoing a surgery. These pain killers are also given to patients suffering from arthritis and any other ordinary aches and pains. But after the surgical wound have healed… after the pains is gone, the patients find themselves with a new problem. They have become dependent to the
drug that is supposed to heal them. Any attempt to break away from the dependency would cause cravings for the drug and severe discomfort. These accidental addicts would find it very hard to break free from the dependency.

This opiate dependency may be treated with detoxification. However, severe withdrawal symptoms associated with this treatment have caused many patients to give up. The success rate of detoxification is very discouraging. 85% to 90% of drug addicts who have tried detoxification as a means of breaking free from addiction have relapsed.
If you have been a pain pill addict for years, most probably you have tried drug dependency treatments. You may have detoxified several times to no avail. Suboxone is another treatment for your drug dependency. Why is suboxone dubbed as miracle pill by medical doctors and by drug addicts? Chiefly because of the agonist effect-meaning this drug sets off a response by combining to specific cell receptors that result in a ceiling effect. A higher dose will still have the same 4 mg opiate effect. Suboxone will also eliminate the drug cravings.

When a craving for the drug hits a drug addict, he or she will do anything and everything to get a fix not withstanding the effect it will have on his/her personality. Suboxone is well tolerated by those that are drug dependent. After a few days of treatment the patient will feel normal. This is the reason for the high success rate of this treatment. Without the drug cravings and the withdrawal symptoms, the drug dependent will have no reason to long for the addicting pain pills.

If your dad, your mom, a family member or a friend is an opiate dependent and you know that all the other drug dependency treatment have failed to eliminate the remission, don’t you think it is high time to find a doctor with a Suboxone treatment program? This may be the ultimate treatment that will finally enable you to say “He/She is back”!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Brain on (Lots of) Marijuana

By Sarah Baldauf
Posted June 2, 2008

Marijuana's effect on the brain is far from understood, but Australian research published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that very heavy long-term smoking might be associated with structural changes in two areas of the brain rich in receptors to the drug. The hippocampus, believed to regulate emotion and memory, and the amygdala, which plays a role in aggression and fear, were smaller—12 percent and 7 percent, respectively—in a group that smoked at least five joints daily for at least the past 10 years (and, on average, 20 years) when compared to a nonsmoking group.

Users also showed more signs of sub-threshold psychotic symptoms compared with those in the group that abstained. And on tests of memory and verbal ability, they performed more poorly. "Our findings suggest that everyone is vulnerable to potential changes in the brain, some memory problems, and psychiatric symptoms if they use heavily enough and for long enough," says lead author Murat Yucel of the ORYGEN Research Centre and Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne. Pot has been in the news lately for other reasons, too: a government report on a possible connection between pot smoking and depression and also the possible link between heart disease risk and marijuana use.

But it's way too early for parents to conclude that pot deteriorates the brain, cautions Scott Swartzwelder, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University whose own research focuses on substance abuse and the adolescent brain. "Scientifically, it's a very limited set of data," he says. The study was tiny—it covered only 15 pot smokers and 16 abstainers—and looked at extreme behavior, so "I'm not sure how relevant it is to the general public," says Swartzwelder, who is coauthor of Just Say Know: Talking to Kids About Drugs and Alcohol and Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs From Alcohol to Ecstasy (an updated third edition is being released in August). An earlier U.S. News story looked at some of the science on pot and how it relates to the developing brain.

Yucel acknowledges that the size of the group is an issue, noting the difficulty of finding subjects who smoked a lot of pot but didn't also do other drugs or have medical or psychological issues. Another unanswered question, says Swartzwelder, is the importance of the size of a person's hippocampus and amygdala. "It's tempting to say smaller is worse, but that's a trap. You don't know with any degree of certainty that these pot smokers didn't have smaller brain structures to begin with—maybe they have smaller hippocampus and amygdala, and that's what motivates them to smoke pot in the first place."

An important unaddressed question from parents' point of view is whether the brain differences were a result of how long the men had smoked or how young they were when they began smoking regularly. "We know the younger brain is still maturing and therefore generally more susceptible to the harmful effects of drugs," Yucel says. Emerging research about marijuana, says Swartzwelder, suggests that the drug may have far more powerful effects on the teenage brain than on that of an adult.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Holistic Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment

G&G Holistic Addiction Treatment Program center is situated in the North Miami Beach. The gentle warmth of sun’s rays and the tropical winds help to keep the patients mentally prepared for the treatment. The center is nationally recognized for drug and alcohol rehab.

The mind and body are to be treated carefully with equal importance. Our mind plays an important role especially in the field of addition treatment programs. So, keeping this in our mind, we have developed mind- body – holistic health program for addiction rehabilitation programs.

The patient’s mind is corrected with positive mood using various cognitive approaches. The holistic addiction center offers diet that contains rich protein and low carb. Yoga classes help to relax your mind deeply. Whirlpool, steam, saunas and Karate are some other methods to relax and rebuild your body and mind.

People from allover the world and from most of the states of United States are being benefited by G&G Holistic Addiction Treatment Program treatment center.

For More Information on Holistic Addiction Treatment please visit

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Increased Risk Of Smoking, Substance Abuse In Bipolar Adolescents Confirmed

ScienceDaily (Jun. 4, 2008) — A study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) supports previous reports that adolescents with bipolar disorder are at increased risk for smoking and substance abuse. The article appearing in the June Drug and Alcohol Dependence -- describing the largest such investigation to date and the first to include a control group -- also indicates that bipolar-associated risk is independent of the risk conferred by other disorders affecting study participants.

"This work confirms that bipolar disorder (BPD) in adolescents is a huge risk factor for smoking and substance abuse, as big a risk factor as is juvenile delinquency," says Timothy Wilens, MD, director of Substance Abuse Services in MGH Pediatric Psychopharmacology, who led the study. "It indicates both that young people with BPD need to carefully be screened for smoking and for substance use and abuse and that adolescents known to abuse drugs and alcohol -- especially those who binge use -- should also be assessed for BPD."

It has been estimated that up to 20 percent of children and adolescents treated for psychiatric problems have bipolar disorder, and there is evidence that pediatric and adolescent BPD may have features, such as particularly frequent and dramatic mood swings, not found in the adult form of the disorder. While elevated levels of smoking and substance abuse previously have been reported in young and adult BPD patients, it has not been clear how the use and abuse of substances relates to the presence of BPD or whether any increased risk could be attributed to co-existing conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder or anxiety disorders.

The current study analyzes extensive data -- including family histories, information from primary care physicians, and a detailed psychiatric interview -- gathered at the outset of a continuing investigation following a group of young BPD patients into adulthood. In addition to 105 participants with diagnosed BPD, who enrolled at an average age of 14, the study includes 98 control participants of the same age, carefully screened to rule out mood disorders.

Incidence of each measure -- alcohol abuse or dependence, drug abuse or dependence, and smoking -- was significantly higher in participants with BPD than in the control group. Overall, rates of substance use/abuse were 34 percent in the bipolar group and 4 percent in controls. When adjusted to account for co-occurring behavioral and psychiatric conditions, the results still indicated significantly higher risk in the bipolar group. Analyzing how the onset of bipolar symptoms related to when substance abuse began, revealed that BPD came first in most study participants.

The data also indicated that bipolar youth whose symptoms began in adolescence were more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than were those whose symptoms began in childhood. "It could be that the onset of mood dysregulation in adolescence puts kids at even higher risk for poor judgement and self-medication of their symptoms," Wilens says. "It also could be that some genetic switch activated in adolescence turns on both BPD and substance abuse in these youngsters. That's something that we are currently investigating in genetic and neuroimaging studies of this group."

He adds that clarifying whether bipolar disorder begins before substance abuse starts could have "a huge impact. If BPD usually precedes substance abuse, there may be intervention points where we could reduce its influence on drug and alcohol abuse. Aggressive treatment of BPD could cut the risk of substance abuse, just as we have shown it does in ADHD." Wilens is an associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The National Institute of Mental Health is supporting the long-term study of bipolar youth of which this report is one phase. Co-authors of the Drug and Alcohol Dependence article are Joseph Biederman, MD, Joel Adamson, Aude Henin, Stephanie Sgambati, Robert Sawtelle, Alison Santry and Michael Monuteaux, ScD, MGH Pediatric Psychopharmacology; and Martin Gignac, MD, University of Montreal.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Health Effects Of Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is a very big problem in many social groups, such as college age kids. If you don't drink than you are considered 'not cool', so most kids give in to drinking alcohol just so they can fit into the cool crowd. As the years go by, there are many other social circles to be a part of, each also pressuring you to drink alcohol.

While you may think the best thing to do is drink like everyone else, maybe knowing the health risks involved with alcohol will help you realize you are better off on the outside looking in.

The first thing to keep in mind as you read on is the longer that you indulge in this unhealthy drink the more it will effect your health.

There are a lot of ways that alcohol will affect your health.

The first health effect of alcohol is a hangover. When you have had too much alcohol then you can count on having a hangover. Drinking more than your limit of alcohol will cause you to experience things like headache, nausea, vomiting and body aches. These problems are normal conditions of a hangover. Contrary to popular belief no amount of coffee will cure a hangover. The only cure for a hangover is time and sleep, as your body tries to repair the damage you have done through impairment.

Weight gain is another side effect of alcohol. Have you ever heard the phrase 'beer belly'. This came about because beer has a lot of calories and when you drink a lot of beer you will gain weight. Weight gain can also cause other problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Can drinking cause you to get sick more? The answer is yes. This is because alcohol weakens your immune system. That makes you susceptible to getting sick more frequently. With a weak immune system you can catch whatever is going around, whether it is just a cold or whether it is the flu, Once you have it you will make the rest of your family more vulnerable since you are carrying a contagious infection.

Believe it or not, when you drink a lot of alcohol over your lifetime you are at a higher risk of developing cancer. It is believed that two to four percent of all cases of cancer have been caused by alcohol (directly or indirectly). You may be saying you have never heard of alcohol being a carcinogen, and you would be wrong. While it is lesser known carcinogen, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has found enough evidence to prove that alcohol can have a carcinogenic effect on humans.

Additionally, alcohol is being called a cocarcinogen. That means alcohol seems to boost the properties of other carcinogens, such as nicotine, that are in your system.

Liver disease is a commonly know side effect of alcohol. Alcohol can eat away at your liver over time, as it tries to break down all those drinks you have been taking in.

While you may just think about the short-term effect of alcohol on your body, the morning after, when you have a few drinks, you should think beyond that, and consider what life-altering, and possibly life-ending risks you are taking

Rahul Nag is the London, England based former problem drinker who was drinking too much but gave up and now found he has an even better time than before. He has developed a resource to help other people achieve the same. He has written a free report on 'The Effects of Alcohol' which are available for you to download for free at

Article Source:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Recovering From Addiction

The memory of the high when they use is the greatest hurdle for recovering addicts. This understanding may be the key to long-term recovery.

AT 30, Hafizi Harun can still remember in detail how he took heroin when he was in his teens.

“It is difficult to forget the art of taking drugs – the way you roll the foil, the way you light up, or the way you search for a vein to inject,” says Hafizi.

Listening to this without judgment, it occurred to me that he is just describing something that is most pleasurable to him at a point in his life. Just as my mother would describe, in detail, the way her dough rises in the oven when she bakes.

“You miss the ritualistic behaviour that comes with drugs,” says Hafizi. But spending a year in Pengasih rehabilitation centre had changed Hafizi’s life. Even though memories of his life as an addict come back, he has learnt the art of talking himself out of it.

“Overcoming the wanting or craving is the most difficult hurdle for drug addicts who want to stop their habits,” says Mohd Yunus Pathi, President of Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia – a non-profit organisation initiated by reformed drug users in 1987.

Even after stopping drugs for 10 years, it takes only one time of drug use to cause a relapse, says consultant in addiction medicine, Dr Mahmud Mazlan.

“No addict in the whole world wants to be addicted, but all addicts want to use drugs once in a while. That’s why they often experience relapses,” he continues.

But understanding and admitting the possibility of going into a relapse might be the key to Hafizi’s success in keeping clean for about 10 years now.

“I applied what I learnt in Pengasih and used the techniques to overcome my craving,” says the Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia training manager.