How Mass Incarceration Harms U.S. Health, in 5 Charts

Prisons and jails harm the health not only of those who are incarcerated, but also their family members waiting at home and those who work in correctional settings.

Solitary Confinement: Torture, Pure and Simple

Placing individuals in solitary confinement is both inhumane and unethical.

Our Youth Deserve Better

Transition-age youth (age 18-25) are at high risk for mental health, physical health, and substance use problems, yet they are falling through the cracks due to the lack of service

Doctors Write a Letter to Their Patients in the Trump Era

In this new and uncertain time in American history, we physicians feel a special responsibility to reaffirm basic principles of health and human rights

It's Time to Legalize Marijuana: A Public Health Perspective

Whether it's legal or not, kids are going to use cannabis. Do we really want them to see the police as the enemy and throw them in jail?

Who Controls the APA? Hint: Not the Majority of Members

Despite APA members voting to get psychologists out of Guantanamo in 2008, the APA stalled, delayed, and even denied that it could do so. Today, the bobbing and weaving continues.

The Dangers of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Programs

The New Cointel-pro? Although well intended, countering violent extremism programs violate basic rights and threaten to disrupt communities and turn care providers into spies

Insurers Make It Hard for Kids to Obtain Needed Psych Care

Four million U.S. children and adolescents suffer from a serious mental disorder, and health insurers make it difficult for them to get the psychiatric care they need.

How Psychologists and the APA Colluded in Torture

The APA colluded with the Dept of Defense and CIA to support enhanced interrogations against every international code.

Will Legalizing Marijuana Increase its Use? Probably Not

The writing is on the wall that cannabis will increasingly be legalized in various ways and that access will become easier and easier. In the face of this reality, two big questions arise: will cannabis usage skyrocket? Will addiction rates go through the roof? The answer to both is probably not.

Why Is It So Hard to See a Psychiatrist?

Getting psychiatric care is a lot harder than it should be. Patients around the country are having a hard time booking appointments for outpatient care, and both patients and their caregivers face significant hurdles when it comes to receiving inpatient psychiatric care.

Failing Ethics: Psychologists, Torture, and the US Military

US psychologists designed and oversaw the unethical, brutal interrogations used on detainees in military custody during the war on terror with approval from the American Psychological Association. Psychology graduate students appear to receive little instruction about these matters and thus seem vulnerable to violating international law again in the future.

Is Marijuana Addictive? Part 2

Marijuana is absolutely addictive for some vulnerable individuals.

Help for Doctors With Substance Use Disorders

Doctors who are unsafe to practice medicine ought to be prevented from doing so, but every doctor who seeks evaluation and/or help--whether voluntarily or otherwise--should be treated respectfully and fairly, monitored appropriately, and have legitimate avenues of appealing decisions about their care.

Legalize Marijuana? Yes.

Although marijuana can and does destroy some lives, most who use cannabis do so without jeopardizing any aspect of their existence, and I support legalizing marijuana throughout the US.

Five Must-Do Things if a Family Member Is Abusing Drugs

It is all too common to have a family member who is misusing drugs in some way, and if they haven’t been there themselves—and sometimes even if they have—many folks are at a loss about what to do in a loved one is abusing drugs. Here I offer 5 essential things you should do if someone in your family is abusing drugs.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Even though the physiological effects of cannabis withdrawal are usually mild, it is incorrect to conclude that marijuana is not addictive. Being addicted to something is more than simply being physically dependent on it and experiencing physiological effects when abruptly stopped.

Should You Drug-Test Your Kid?

Drug testing your adolescent at home might seem like a good idea. But think twice.

Synthetic Marijuana: It’s Synthetic, But Not Marijuana

Although it stimulates the same brain receptors that marijuana does, synthetic marijuana (also known as K2 or Spice, among other names) is dramatically more potent than marijuana itself and also carries far greater risks than marijuana. Manufacturers are often trying to stay one step ahead of the law, so who knows what chemicals will turn up next in synthetic marijuana.

The Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is rampant. Because they are prescribed by physicians and helpful when used appropriately, many believe that these drugs are safer than they actually are and they also generally carry less stigma than “street” drugs like heroin. Nonetheless, the dangers of misusing them are huge and potentially life threatening.

Health Care Blues: Health Insurance Offers Little Assurance

Having health insurance does not guarantee access to needed care. In efforts to generate the biggest profits possible, insurance companies often deny payment or set up roadblocks to accessing care. Americans deserve better and a single payer national health insurance would cure many of these woes.

Psychiatrists Waste Millions of Hours Obtaining Prior Auths

Psychiatric clinicians spend over a million hours annually in the US obtaining prior authorizations from health insurance companies to ensure that needed services will be paid for.

Mental Health, ADHD, and Drug Abuse

The overlap between mental health issues and substance abuse is large, and sorting out which one causes the other can be difficult at times if not simply impossible. Regardless, proper treatment of the mental health condition--even using stimulants to treat ADHD--improves outcomes and, in the case of ADHD and probably other conditions, leads to less substance abuse later.

Adolescent Abusing Drugs?: The 7 C’s of Leverage

The seven C's of leverage. What you can do to try to leverage your child into better decisions about drugs and alcohol.

I’m Not Using “Hard” Drugs, So What’s the Big Deal?

Some think that because marijuana isn't a "hard" drug it doesn't cause problems. The reality is that although drugs like methamphetamine and the opiates can be devastating and even a single use might be too much, regular use of marijuana can also exact a high price and wreak havoc on lives in various ways.

Marijuana is All Natural, so What’s the Problem?

Marijuana might be natural and even legal in many places, but those facts do not mean that it is safe or harmless. It can cause depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals who use it.

What Exactly Went Into My Psychiatric Diagnosis?

The folks who are rewriting the diagnostic manual in psychiatry have often built their careers on the diagnosis in question and/or have received money from Big Pharma, so that the diagnoses they craft are potentially fraught with conflicts of interest and bias. Even though those rewriting the diagnostic manual tried to rectify matters, their efforts fall short.

Almost Addicted

Almost addicted to drugs.