Recent Blog Articles

Addiction Archive

Articles

Creating recovery-friendly workplaces

Published December 6, 2018

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.

Do hangovers damage the brain?

Updated December 1, 2018

Ask the doctor

Q. With the holidays coming, I may be tempted to drink more than usual — maybe enough to have a hangover the next morning. I'm wondering if a hangover could actually damage my brain.

A. There have been a few scientific studies of that question. Recently, a team of scientists examined those existing studies, involving over 1,100 people, and came to some tentative conclusions, published online August 25 by the journal Addiction.

Is it safe for women to drink alcohol?

Updated November 1, 2018

Ask the doctor


 Image: © DragonImages/Getty Images

Q. The Harvard Health Letter has often said that it is generally healthy for women to have one alcoholic drink per day. Yet I hear a recent study showed no benefit. What's the truth?

A. Before answering your question, let's define "one drink": it's 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. And it means having one drink each day of the week, not having seven drinks on Saturday night, sleeping it off Sunday, and begging off until next Saturday night. Now, despite the recent study, we stick with what we've said, which reflects the research of outstanding nutrition scientists at Harvard and elsewhere.

What new opioid laws mean for pain relief

Updated April 15, 2020

Dozens of states are cracking down on the amount of opioids doctors can prescribe.


 Image: © Darwin Brandis/Getty Images

Overdoses of powerful painkillers called opioids kill more than 115 people per day in the United States. More than 42,000 people died from opioids in 2016, five times more than in 1999. The reason? Since several of these powerful painkillers became available in pill form several decades ago, doctors have been prescribing more than patients need. "It is estimated that a large part of leftover opioids are diverted to the street, either deliberately or through theft," says Dr. Edgar Ross, senior clinician at the Pain Management Center at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The misuse of opioids is a risk many states are no longer willing to take. The rules limit the amounts that medical professionals can prescribe for temporary (acute) pain from surgery, injury, or illness.

Teens and drugs: 5 tips for talking with your kids

Published August 16, 2018

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

Published August 7, 2018

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.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.