Addiction

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.

Opioids in the household: “Sharing” pain pills is too common

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Many people have taken a friend’s or family member’s pain medication on occasion, but the ongoing opioid crisis has drawn attention to such behavior, forcing doctors, hospice workers, and other care providers to tighten their procedures and track quantities and dosages of pills more carefully.

How to welcome back a colleague who is in recovery

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

If a colleague has been absent from work for treatment of a substance use disorder, that person’s return to work may be awkward or uncomfortable, and coworkers may feel similarly. Empathy, understanding, and a willingness to listen will help returning workers feel welcomed back.

When gambling might be a problem

Excessive gambling is now recognized as an addictive disorder by the American Psychological Association. Asking yourself if gambling has adversely affected your life is a good way to determine whether it’s a problem that needs treatment.