How to Recognize and Treat Opioid Addiction

(DGIwire) – Is a friend or family member abusing opioids? It may not be easy to tell, especially in the early stages of addiction. As the Mayo Clinic reports, studies suggest that up to one-third of people who take opioids for chronic pain abuse them and more than 10 percent become addicted over time. Here […]

5 Tips for Tapering Off of Opioids

(DGIwire) —  In light of recent reports surrounding some of the dangers of opioid addiction, anyone who has been prescribed opioids to treat their pain may be concerned. As the Mayo Clinic reports, although a patient may be eager to stop opioids altogether, the body needs time to adjust to lower levels of opioids and […]

Coping with Chronic Pain? 4 Tips for Relief

(DGIwire) – Those experiencing chronic pain have an array of sources of information at their disposal. One such resource is WebMD’s Chronic Pain Assessment tool. Although its specific recommendations depend on the exact nature and duration of the pain being felt, the tool provides several general tips to get started on the road to improved […]

Bulimia Nervosa: 4 Questions to Ask

(DGIwire) – At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S., according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). Among the most prominent of these disorders is Bulimia Nervosa, which, ANAD notes, can originate from a combination of genetic, social and environmental […]

What Do These Addictions Possibly Have in Common?

(DGIwire) – Bulimia Nervosa, drug abuse, alcohol abuse: what, if anything, do these conditions have in common? Increasingly, researchers are coming to believe the answer may lie in how the brain’s reward center responds to food, opioids and alcohol. And some believe that learning more about what is going on inside the brains of those […]

Sleep and Emotional Trauma: The PTSD Connection

(DGIwire) – To what extent does sleep help people process stress and trauma? A recent study by researchers in the Department of Psychology at the University of Zurich set out to address this question. As reported by PsychCentral, the investigators discovered that sleep—especially during the first 24 hours after a trauma—appears to play a key […]

Alcohol Use Disorder: 4 Questions to Ask

(DGIwire) – For most adults, moderate alcohol use—no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women and older people—is relatively harmless, the American Psychological Association reports. But heavier drinking quickly gets risky. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), problem drinking that becomes severe is given the […]

Opioid Antagonists: A Key to Many Disorders

(DGIwire) – Illegal drug use in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions. According to data published by Quest Diagnostics, the share of workers testing positive for illicit drug use has reached the highest level in a decade, driven by increases in detection of amphetamines, cocaine and heroin. Meanwhile, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services […]

Substance Use Disorder and Bipolar Disorder: Potential Links

(DGIwire) – Teenagers suffering from bipolar disorder are especially at risk of developing later drug problems by the time they reach adulthood, according to research published in August 2016 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. For the study, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a follow-up investigation of more than 100 teenagers diagnosed with bipolar […]

7 Signs of a Substance Use Disorder

(DGIwire) – What is substance abuse disorder? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) uses this term to combine substance abuse and substance dependence into a single category. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), substance abuse disorders occur when the recurrent use of drugs and/or alcohol causes clinically and functionally […]

An Urgent Letter on the Opioid Epidemic

(DGIwire) – About half of opioid overdose deaths involve prescription drugs, reports The New York Times. With this fact in mind, the Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Vivek Murthy, sent an unusually direct plea in August 2016 to 2.3 million doctors and other healthcare workers to help fight the opioid epidemic by treating […]

6 Types of Substance Use Disorders

(DGIwire) – In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) published the latest version of its standard reference—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). In doing so, the APA replaced the categories of substance abuse and substance dependence with a single category: substance use disorder. Here are six of the most common […]

Opioid Abuse, Gambling, Binge Eating: Could a Nasal Spray Help?

(DGIwire) – What do opioid abuse, addictive behaviors like gambling, and binge eating have in common? Each is a chronic relapsing brain disease, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and million of Americans experience at least one of them. Here is a snapshot of each type of these destructive behaviors: Substance abuse disorders: […]

Macklemore, a White House Visit & the Opioid Crisis

(DGIwire) – Rap artist Macklemore has entertained millions with his catchy songs. But back on May 14, 2016, the hip-hop star had a more serious topic in mind: he appeared alongside the President during the weekly White House address to discuss addiction to opioids and those who overdose on prescription painkillers, according to a report […]

Treatment Options Needed in Wake of President’s Heroin Initiative

(DGIwire) — In response to a national rise in fatal heroin overdoses, this past August the White House announced a new Heroin Response Strategy. The program would initially be funded for $2.5 million by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy through five “high-intensity drug trafficking areas” and cover 15 states, administration officials said […]

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