Let’s Not Forget Alcohol

Let’s Not Forget Alcohol

Communities across the United States are striving to combat opioid misuse and addiction. They can’t ignore, for example, the 47,000 opioid overdose deaths per year, which have lowered overall life expectancy and boosted the number of children in need of foster care. Continue reading

Have You Ever Stepped on a Nail?

Ask people if they’ve ever stepped on a nail and most will say yes. It can happen to anyone, although the odds go up when lots of boards with nails in them are lying around and people are not paying attention. No one wants or expects to step on a nail. It’s a no-fault wound.
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All About Medications for Opioid Use Disorder—In One Place

All About Medications for Opioid Use Disorder—In One Place

In the face of our national opioid crisis communities across the United States are taking notice and taking action. They’re proactively addressing opioid misuse, opioid addiction, and overdose deaths by distributing naloxone nasal injectors to counteract overdoses, contriving ways to move individuals treated for overdoses directly into treatment, and making treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) more accessible.
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NCADDThe National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) is an educational, support, and advocacy organization with headquarters in New York City and more than 90 affiliates across America. You may download a history of the first 60 years of NCADD by clicking here.

Frank Seixas, Medical Director of NCADD (then the National Council on Alcoholism) in the 1970s, was one of my early mentors in addiction medicine. I have served on the Medical-Scientific Committee of NCADD since 2008 and was named Chair in 2014.

In 2011, I was invited to initiate and edit NCADD Addiction Medicine Update, a web column on www.ncadd.org, with the Medical-Scientific Committee as the Editorial Board. I became not only Editor but also principal writer for the column, posting about ten articles a year. You may read the Updates here or by visiting the NCADD website.

“It all comes down to your choices.”

“It all comes down to your choices.”

“It all comes down to your choices,” said a man in his fifties as he completed treatment following a brief return to drinking lots of alcohol.

In the company of supportive peers and an empathic treatment team, this man had immersed himself for three weeks in mindfulness practices structured by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). He also maintained connections with his sponsor and Alcoholics Anonymous.
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Prescription for the Nation

Most healthcare professionals promote the well-being of one individual at a time. Those who work in public health, however, promote the well-being of groups of individuals. The U.S. Public Health Service and the rest of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) promote the well-being of overlapping groups that taken altogether represent the entire population of the United States.
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ADHD—Focus on Adults

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition characterized by inattention, disorganization, and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that consistently disrupt a person’s activities and relationships. According to DSM-5 (p 32), “Inattention and disorganization entail inabil­ity to stay on task, seeming not to listen, and losing materials, at levels that are inconsistent with age or developmental level. Hyperactivity-impulsivity entails overactivity, fidgeting, in­ability to stay seated, intruding into other people’s activities, and inability to wait—symptoms that are excessive for age or developmental level.”
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Nicotine Vapor Now Regulated with Tobacco

Efforts to create electronic cigarettes date from the 1930s. The first commercially successful devices were produced in China in 2003. Electronic cigarettes were introduced to Europe in 2006 and America in 2007. In the United States, regulation of these and similar products became much more stringent in 2016.
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Unnecessary Debate: Is Addiction a Disease?

Imagine two stalwart fans of professional wrestling locked in debate. One holds that the wrestlers are athletes. The other argues that they are not athletes but entertainers, performing in a variety of theater. Both fans are thoughtful and persuasive. Notice that their disagreement is not about the physical attributes of professional wrestlers, or about what they do inside and outside the ring. Their disagreement is about how to name, or classify, the group of people who engage in professional wrestling.
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There’s No Such Thing as a Disease

Healthcare providers are charged with helping individuals who come to them with physical, emotional, and behavioral problems. As they prepare to help, providers usually follow a routine—they get to know the person and their problem(s), examine the person, and, frequently, obtain additional information such as blood tests or x-rays. Prior to recommending specific treatment, providers “make a diagnosis,” which then guides providers and patients to treatment options relevant to the problem at hand.
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From Bar to Bars: Links between Alcohol and Crime

(Mark Publicker MD coauthor)
Crimes related to illegal drugs often make headlines—seizures of substances, arrests of drug lords and dealers, and laws broken to support habits. Crimes related to alcohol are also in the news, but we may have to turn to police logs to find them. Yet alcohol is implicated in 56.6 percent of incarcerations in America, which includes 57.7 percent of inmates who committed a violent crime such as murder, forcible rape, robbery, or aggravated assault. Alcohol has more links to crime than any other single drug. (Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population).
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