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Our Mental Health Blogs

Prescription Opioids and Heroin: The US Opioid Epidemic

Prescription Opioids and Heroin: The US Opioid Epidemic

Opioid and heroin use spread rapidly through the US in recent years. Why? The fine line between misuse of opioids and heroin addiction plays a part. Read this.

Addiction to prescription opioids can lead to heroin use. Many who misuse prescribed opioid pain medication turn to heroin as a substitute (Over-prescription of Opioid Painkillers: A Deadly Problem). 12.5 million people misused prescription medication in 2015 and 15,281 people overdosed on commonly prescribed medication, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Do you still think the United States opioid epidemic includes only street people shooting up heroin? Do you know the real connection between opioids and heroin?

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Safe Injection Sites: What Are They?

Safe Injection Sites: What Are They?

Safe injection sites are becoming more popular across the world (Heroin Abuse, Heroin Overdose). But only two exist in North America, both in Vancouver, British Columbia. So what are safe injections sites and what benefits and concerns do they bring?

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Are You Addicted to Your Phone?

Are You Addicted to Your Phone?

How do you know if you’re addicted to your phone? Phones and tablet devices are rapidly becoming the most addictive substances in Western culture (What Is Addiction? Addiction Definition). The extent to which we use and rely upon our phones is staggering. We are rapidly becoming a society full of cell phone and social media addicts, thanks to fantastic developments in cell phone technology intended to improve our lives. The first step to abating the rise of phone addiction is to spread awareness about what it means to be addicted to your phone. 

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Dehumanizing Addicts: A Stigma Leading To Deaths

Dehumanizing Addicts: A Stigma Leading To Deaths

Too often American society dehumanizes and devalues the lives of drug users, particularly drug addicts (Changing Addiction Stigmas to Fight Substance Abuse). Not recognizing and responding to the humanity of drug addicts is a dangerous moral and societal failing.

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Naloxone, Narcan Saves Lives from Opioid Overdose

Naloxone, Narcan Saves Lives from Opioid Overdose

Naloxone (brand name Narcan)  saves lives from opioid overdose by reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. America’s problem–some say epidemic— with heroin and prescription opioids is big news, so why is naloxone, which saves lives from opioid overdose, controversial?

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Alcohol-Induced Behavior: Learning from Bad Choices

Alcohol-Induced Behavior: Learning from Bad Choices

Alcohol is well-known for its disinhibiting effect on people, and many people believe a drunken person’s behavior can quickly change from being a bad choice to alcohol-induced behavior (Short-Term, Long-Term Effects of Alcohol). A video of a Miami doctor raging against an Uber driver over the weekend has gone viral. Dr. Anjali Ramkissoon, suspended from her job due to the video, implores other people to learn from her actions. She has accepted responsibility, acknowledged that she acted inappropriately, and now begs for forgiveness, stating that her behavior was grossly out of character. Dr. Ramkissoon does not, however, seem to acknowledge the role that alcohol may have played in the incident, which appears to be the teachable lesson in this situation (What Is Alcoholism?). Learn how to determine when a person’s behavior goes from simply being a bad choice to alcohol-induced behavior, and what can be done to prevent similar incidents in the future. 

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Why Charlie Sheen Needs to Take More Responsibility for His Behavior

Why Charlie Sheen Needs to Take More Responsibility for His Behavior

I believe that Charlie Sheen needs to take more responsibility for his behavior of 2011. Almost two weeks ago, actor Charlie Sheen announced that he is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) -positive, and paired the announcement with his plans to work for increased education about HIV. This is a commendable goal and he is in a unique position to educate and inform the public. But I believe Sheen also needs to take responsibility for his behavior and the harm he may have caused during his public meltdown in 2011.

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Over-Prescription of Opioid Painkillers: A Deadly Problem

Over-Prescription of Opioid Painkillers: A Deadly Problem

Is the over-prescription of opioid painkillers to blame for America's heroin epidemic? The CDC thinks so. What can we do about it? Find out here.

Over-prescription of opioid painkillers is contributing to America’s increasing abuse of opiate prescription drugs and heroin. A 2013 report by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)1 found that people who abuse or are dependent on prescription opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to abuse or be dependent on heroin. So what can we do about opioid painkiller over-prescription?

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Combined or Mixed Drug Intoxication: What Is It?

Combined or Mixed Drug Intoxication: What Is It?

Combined drug intoxication, also known as mixed drug intoxication, is a potentially fatal condition characterized by simultaneous action of more than one psychoactive drug, including alcohol. Combined drug intoxication differs from overdose, in that overdose generally refers to a lethal amount of a specific drug, whereas combined drug intoxication often involves smaller amounts of multiple drugs. Often, the amount of any given drug present in a person who dies from mixed drug intoxication is not lethal by itself, but the combination of multiple drugs leads to fatality.

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Are E-cigarettes and Vaping Harmful?

Are E-cigarettes and Vaping Harmful?

With use of e-cigarettes and vaping on the rise, many people are beginning to wonder, just how safe are e-cigarettes and vaping? I recently attended a lecture by three professors at Portland State University that addressed the science of e-cigarettes. The neuroscience presented was complex but at least one point was clear–vaping and other forms of electronic nicotine delivery are not harmless. 

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