Category: Medical

Buprenorphine Prescriptions Tripled to Fight Opioid Epidemic

The abuse of opioids has become a prevalent problem throughout the United States. In fact, many consider this form of substance abuse to be an epidemic, as it has caused devastation in the lives of countless individuals, and yet appears to be continuously growing in prevalence. It has been estimated that 80 people die from overdoses on opioid-based substances, which includes prescription painkillers and heroin, every day in the United... Read More

The Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana continues to be a hotly debated topic throughout the United States as more and more Americans are legally accessing the drug. As new states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, some have criticized these decisions, implying that the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes is merely a “back door” method of legalizing the drug for recreational use. However, research has shown that individuals are not just using the... Read More

How Proper Nutrition Can Aid Balance and Support Recovery

We all know that excessive consumption of alcohol is unhealthy, but what we may not know much about is how to counteract the effects of alcoholism to enjoy a healthy life in recovery. We recently talked with Maxime Zara Stadlen, MSHN, a celebrated local holistic nutritionist here in Northern California to learn more about how to find balance in sobriety through proper nutrition. Q. Individuals who have abused alcohol &... Read More

Should an Addict Use Opiate Painkillers?

Consider this: you are in long-term recovery for addiction and you have been progressing quite well. Suddenly, you are involved in an accident—a car wreck, a fall at work, or a sports injury—and you are in dire need of pain management. Your doctor prescribes you opiates to ease your suffering, but you and your family members have some concerns. Should you be taking opiate painkillers? To thoroughly answer that question,... Read More

Narcan for Heroin Overdose: Miracle Cure or a Last Resort?

Yesterday, the FDA has approved a drug called Evzio, a nasal spray version of Narcan, an antidote for heroin overdose. Narcan, also known by its generic name naloxone, is part of a growing public health campaign to reduce deaths from heroin and opioid overdose. With the recent tragic deaths of beloved celebrity stars such as Cory Monteith and Philip Seymour Hoffman still fresh in our minds, the Narcan movement has generated... Read More

Study Says Marijuana may Lower IQ

The million dollar question: does marijuana really have negative long-term effects? The Brain Drain For years, scientists have been debating whether marijuana use has negative long term effects on the brain. Over two decades and 1,037 participants later, we just might have the evidence to prove that marijuana does indeed cause cognitive decline. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in August 2012 asserts that... Read More

How Science Proves Addiction is a Brain Disease

Technology is Moving Quickly We are all aware of the explosion in social networking opportunities since the world rang in the 21st century just 13 years ago—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Smartphone, Instagram, Pinterest, to name the most obvious. I ask, “Who could have imagined?” But then it is obvious a lot of people had to have done just that, for without it, we would not have had the advances in technology,... Read More

Why Methadone Doesn’t Cure Addiction

Methadone maintenance treatment, often used for treating addiction to heroin and other opiates, is often criticized as an ineffective therapy that just replaces one addiction with another. Methadone is certainly a safer alternative to heroin or other street drugs, but using it without understanding its intended purpose can acutally perpetuate a cycle of abuse and addiction. What Methadone is not Methadone is not a cure for addiction. Methadone maintenance treatment itself... Read More

FDA approves Zohydro, first hydrocodone-only painkiller

It’s been a long ride for Zohydro ER and its California-based pharmaceutical firm Zogenix, but the journey is nearing an end. Zohydro ER will be the first extended-release, hydrocodone-only painkiller to reach the market, expected in approximately four months. On October 25, the FDA officially approved this highly controversial drug to treat severe chronic pain that is unresponsive to alternative therapies. The approval came as a surprise since the FDA’s own... Read More

Krokodil: Flesh-Eating Drug and the Power of Addiction

Last year, it was bath salts. This year, the trending, scary new drug is krokodil (pronounced “crocodile”), a cheap heroin-like drug known to rot the body from the inside out and turn skin green and scaly on the surface. Krokodil is the street version of the synthetic opioid desomorphine. Made from crude products like lighter fluid, crushed codeine tablets, acid and red phosphorous scraped from matchboxes, this toxic mixture ruptures... Read More

How Genetics Influence Addiction

Substance abuse affects everyone differently, which is what makes addiction an unpredictable disease. One person may become addicted after using a drug only one time, while another occasionally uses the drug for years without developing a dependence. Environmental and social factors play a big role in whether or not a person will form an addiction, but research shows that genetics are a big part of the equation as well. Many... Read More

Advances in Treatment: We Have Much to be Thankful For

Recovery month is a time to show our support for people in recovery, but it is also a time to reflect on the people and the facilities that have made recovery possible. Over the years, there have been many changes in the way we see and treat addiction and mental health illnesses. Rehabilitation centers have not always been what they are now; in fact, the creation of effective treatment programs... Read More

Synthetic Marijuana: An Unexpected Killer

Killer on the Loose With three people dead and many more sick, medical professionals and citizens of Colorado alike are baffled by the deaths linked to the legal drug-synthetic marijuana. Officials have reported approximately 75 cases of illness reported since the beginning of August potentially linked with synthetic marijuana usage in the Denver and Colorado Springs area. Popularly known as Spike, as well as many other catchy brand names, synthetic... Read More

Will Taking Vitamins Offset the Effects of Alcohol?

As you probably already know, chronic alcohol inhibits the absorption and usage of vital nutrients, including folic acid, zinc, vitamin B12 and vitamin B1, or thiamin. Your body cannot produce these chemicals but must obtain them through your diet. Nutrient Function Effect of Deficiency Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Converting carbohydrates into energy, especially for the brain and nervous system Memory loss Damage to the nervous system Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (Thiamine deficiency is... Read More

How Heroin and Alcohol Can Kill You in Five Minutes

When Cory Monteith, the Canadian lead actor on Glee, died this past weekend, we were brought face-to-face with the reality that an overdose is far too easy. How could this tragedy have happened? Is it really possible for heroin and alcohol to kill? Unfortunatley, this deadly mixture is far too common. Heroin and alcohol both depress the part of the brain that controls the basic functions of life—breathing, body temperature,... Read More