Drug Trends

Annual surveys of drug use and abuse among adolescents show both encouraging and discouraging trends. Cigarette smoking is at its lowest level ever recorded, although the use of smokeless tobacco is increasing among youth. Alcohol use has declined since 2004. Use of amphetamines and cocaine is dropping.

Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers in increasing among young people. Nearly one in 10 high school seniors reports use of Vicodin and one in 20 uses OxyContin. A majority of students reports being given the drug by or buying it from a friend or relative.

Recent Posts on Addiction

When Eating Disorders and Drug Addiction Collide

Eating disorders and drug and alcohol addiction have many characteristics in common.

What Video Gaming Tells Us

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on November 29, 2015 A Swim in Denial
Humans everywhere use culture to turn fear into play. Video games turn paranoia into survival ecstasy and fertility—more life. These deep creaturely motives are symptomatic of many concerns today, from terrorism to virtual identity.

High Potency Marijuana Damages Cerebral Brain Connections

A new study reports that smoking marijuana with high levels of THC damages brain connections between the left and right hemispheres of the cerebrum.

The Six Cs of Recovery

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on November 27, 2015 A Family Affair
Courage, compassion, and community can help loved ones overcome co-dependency.

If It Ain’t One Thing

By Mark Borigini M.D. on November 26, 2015 Overcoming Pain
The results of a Kaiser Family Foundation poll was made public a couple of days ago, and it shows that 27 percent of Americans report that they either have been addicted to prescription painkillers, or have a family member or close friend who has dealt with this issue.

Loving The Alien

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on November 26, 2015 In Excess
Exophilia refers those individuals who derive sexual arousal from extraterrestrial, robotic, supernatural, or otherwise non-human life forms. These types of sexual preferences could be described as totally impractical as the chances of making love to such entities are arguably negligible. However, some might just be aroused by the fantasy - so does exophilia really exist?

Darth Vader: The Value of Redemptive Sacrifice

The Star Wars character of Darth Vader is a mythic “traveler,” as we each make choices we regret and must bear the consequences. The tragedy of noble cause corruption through the story of Luke Skywalker’s father is a cautionary tale and his redemption can be an inspiration for all of us to rise above our challenges.

Forget Willpower: A Smarter Strategy to Resist Temptation

Just in time for the Holidays, with the endless parade of treats and snacks, a positive and appropriate method to fight temptation.

Chronic Pain and the Risk of Suicide

By Judy Foreman on November 24, 2015 A Nation in Pain
Chronic pain significantly increases the danger.

Three Ways to Manage Worry This Thanksgiving

Whatever the reason, millions of us have to deal with worry during the holidays. Here are three easy things ways to manage your worries.

Six Ways to Maintain Your Sobriety at Thanksgiving

Here are some helpful tips for having a happy Thanksgiving celebration while remaining drug/alcohol free.

The Void Social Media Fills

The average American spends 7.6 hours a month on social media. Social media sites enable people to connect with each other no matter on which continent or in which time zone they reside. Although it allows people to stay in touch with loved ones around the world, can social media become an addiction?

Why Exercise Isn't Always a Panacea

Just because some exercise is great for us doesn’t mean these benefits extend indefinitely. It turns out that yes, you can exercise too much: Beyond a certain point of exertion, our bodies—and our minds—start to break down.

My Husband Is an Ineffective Father

"I can't take it anymore. I want to walk away."

Why I Am No Longer a Sex-Addiction Therapist

Our evolving understanding of the complexities of human sexuality have revealed an increasing number of cracks in the foundational models of sex-addiction therapy.

What Does Black Friday Do to Your Brain?

By Eva Ritvo M.D. on November 21, 2015 On Vitality
Did you know that Black Friday is bad for your brain? Based on neuroscience, we've got the perfect way to turn Black Friday into Bright Friday.

Why We’re Addicted to Our Smartphones, But Not Our Tablets

As mobile technology has become integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, our smartphones are shifting from device to dependency.

Lifting the Covers: Sex with the Undercover Police

Has reporting over-simplified the predicament of undercover agents and their relationships?

5 Key Elements Of Sustainable Change

If you want to know whether someone will stick to a given goal (resolution) you will need to know how specific/realistic the goal, about his motivation, his level of confidence, and the strength of his willpower.

Gambling Advertising And Marketing

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 In Excess
Over the last few years there has been a great deal of speculation over the role of advertising as a possible stimulus to increased gambling, and as a contributor to problem gambling (including underage gambling). But can gambling advertising and marketing be done in a more socially responsible way?

Treatment Is Essential to Fight US Heroin, Opioid Epidemic

National and local governments alike have discussed rethinking opioid prescribing practices and preventing misuse. While these efforts are proposed with good intentions, it is essential that they also incorporate access to medically managed detoxification and comprehensive addiction treatment.

Signs of Overdependence on the Internet and Social Media

The Internet provides a constant, ever-changing source of information and entertainment.

Truth about HIV Transmission among Addicts and Alcoholics

I should be desensitized to this by now, witnessing firsthand the wreckage that comes with drug addiction and alcoholism, but I’m not. I wish I was, but I am not.

You Can Beat Your Shopping Habit

By Temma Ehrenfeld on November 18, 2015 Open Gently
Resist the urge to buy stuff.

Understanding Addiction With Electronic Registries

We want rigorous science that can guide treatment in substance abuse, but Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) are very expensive. Can we uber-fy clinical trials to make research, implementation and quality assessment a seamless process?

How Athletes Can Address the Psychology of Injury

By Laura M Miele Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 The Whole Athlete
What we can learn from Lamar Odom.

How to Stop Kids From Binge Drinking

By Temma Ehrenfeld on November 17, 2015 Open Gently
We can use our success in reducing cigarette smoking as a model to cut down binge drinking.

Even Sober, I Was the World’s Worst Employee

By Anna David on November 17, 2015 After Party Chat
I used to talk back to my bosses and screw up important tasks. Then I got sober and into recovery—but my behavior didn't.

Why It's Great to Ask 'What If' (Except When It Isn't)

Imagining how we could act can be simultaneously terrifying and liberating

Why Your Brain Wanted Coffee and Donuts This Morning

By Gary L. Wenk Ph. D. on November 14, 2015 Your Brain on Food
If coffee and donuts did not exist, our brains would force us to invent them.