Addiction

Kratom: Fear-worthy foliage or beneficial botanical?

Kratom has been used for hundreds of years for various conditions, and today many people are using it to treat chronic pain and mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms. But there is no control or regulation of the product, and it can have serious side effects.

Undoing the harm: Tapering down from high-dose opioids

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

The CDC’s 2016 Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain was created to help providers and patients manage medication treatment at safe levels and avoid dependence. Any plan to taper medication dosage should be personalized to the patient’s needs.

Creating recovery-friendly workplaces

Nearly three-quarters of employers say they have been affected by prescription drug misuse among their employees, resulting in lost productivity. Ideas like bringing treatment, counseling, and peer support groups to worksites can help employees feel more valued and invested in their own recovery efforts.

Small study suggests benefits of computer-guided CBT for substance abuse

James Cartreine, PhD

Contributing Editor

As the need for substance use treatment continues to grow, a small study showed that a computer-guided CBT program for substance abuse was slightly more effective than the same type of therapy delivered in person by a therapist, and resulted in a higher percentage of days abstinent from drug use.

Teens and drugs: 5 tips for talking with your kids

If you are a parent concerned about teens and drugs, these tips can help you engage in a productive and positive conversation with your child about substance misuse and help you know when to intervene.

Adolescence: A high-risk time for substance use disorders

The prefrontal cortex does not fully develop until the mid-20s, which makes teenagers’ brains excellent at learning and absorbing new information, but it also makes them vulnerable to experimentation and the potential for substance use disorders.

CPR: A neglected but important part of fighting the opioid crisis

Naloxone is an important tool in treating someone who has overdosed on opioids, but equally important is knowing CPR, which can keep blood flowing in a person who isn’t breathing until naloxone takes effect.

“What ifs”: An underappreciated side effect of addiction

Bill Williams

Guest Contributor

The pain of losing a loved one to an overdose never goes away completely, and it’s tempting (if not inevitable) for survivors to look back at places where the outcome could have changed. But sharing the truth about addiction, regardless of how painful, may help others.

Prescription monitoring programs: Helpful or harmful?

Prescription monitoring programs are databases that keep track of prescriptions issued to individuals. While their intent is to identify drug misuse, a PMP may incorrectly flag certain people as misusing medications that they legitimately need.

Should you carry the opioid overdose rescue drug naloxone?

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

The Surgeon General has issued an advisory recommending that people carry and know how to use naloxone, and although it is an effective treatment for overdose, it does not address the larger issues around the opioid crisis.