Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA, DFAPA, was eleven years old when he first realized he wanted to enter the field of addiction medicine. On the night of the realization, he was accompanying his father, a past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), to Salt Lake City for a conference and tagging along at a dinner for colleagues. While listening to his father’s peers speak about addiction, he began to develop his own voice.
Persons with either a mental disorder or substance abuse disorder (SUD) are twice as likely to smoke as those without (Lasser et al., 2000). Smokers with other drug addictions are heavier smokers (Hughes, 2002; Sobell, 2002), less successful in their attempts to quit smoking (Drobes, 2002; Joseph, Nichol, & Anderson, 1993), and experience greater tobacco-related mortality than the general population (SRNT Subcommittee on Biochemical Verification, 2002).
Insomnia is among the most common complaints that veterans voice to their providers, and the most common sleep disorder. While common in the general population, a high proportion of veterans suffer from insomnia, and it is known to have multiple medical and psychiatric comorbidities.
More than two million US veterans have served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) since 2001 (Sayer, 2011). Approximately two-fifths of these veterans received some kind of health care and social services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA, 2009).
The treatments for schizophrenia and/or organic brain disorders may be totally different; therefore, it is important that a method of differentiating between the two be utilized (Chapman, 1976; Klein & Davis, 1969). Historically, it has been difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of organic brain disorder and schizophrenia (Lezak, 1976).
Since 2001, about two million US troops have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq alone (US Department of Veterans Affairs, 2010). They have and are still returning with the “invisible wounds of war.” Sadly, among veterans and veteran families, we see higher rates of addiction, depression, suicide, interpersonal violence, and child abuse statistics that highlight the critical and difficult transition back to civilian life.
Dear Dr. Toni
Occasionally I get asked the question, “Leo, what do you believe?” If these people had read Counselor magazine the past few months, they’d know what I believe.
This column discusses how family members cope with the intense pain and sorrow caused by the loss of their loved ones. Over time, many individuals show resilience and use their experiences to help others deal with losing their loved one.
This is the second and final installment in a series focusing on cultivating the quality of deep-seated contentment, which constitutes an integral component in enhancing our recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction, other addictive disorders. This installment focuses on practical steps we can take to manifest the qualities of contentment and equanimity in our lives.
On February 6, 1968, actor Nick Adams was found dead in his Coldwater Canyon home in Los Angeles, California. He had hitchhiked to Hollywood boasting, “Some men bet on horses or dogs. I gambled on myself” (Donnelley, 2003). Adams was thirty-six years old at the time of his mysterious death.
Mutuality of need can bring positive collaboration and mutual benefits. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) and the National Association for Children of Addiction (NACoA) have collectively about 120 affiliate organizations in the United States filled with intelligent, committed volunteers who supplement and support the work of professional staff.
Late last month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that, “in partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies,” it cracked down on over five hundred illegal online pharmacies marketing opioids and other prescription drugs (FDA, 2017).
Researchers from Surrey University in England worked with the Netherlands Forensic Institute and Intelligent Fingerprinting to design a fingerprint test capable of detecting cocaine and other drug use (Burch, 2017; Johnston, 2017).
The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is adding a unique measure to its orientations for all incoming transfer and freshman students: mental health screenings.
An ongoing study by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has preliminary results showing that a quarter of first responders struggle with mental health issues such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Burch, 2017; UAMS, 2017).
Last month, federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in New York City seized forty pounds of fentanyl from a man in a Bronx hotel—the largest bust of fentanyl in the state’s history (Greene, 2017). New York’s DEA agents are citing fentanyl as a major problem.
A study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and carried out by researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park, determined that “college students who regularly consume energy drinks are at a greater risk for future alcohol use disorder, cocaine use or nonmedical (misuse) of prescription stimulants” (NIDA, 2017).
U.S. Journal Training
If you had an account on the old Counselor website, you will need to Register for a new account.
Please Sign In:
If you had an account on the old CounselorMagazine.com website, you will need to register for a new account. We will look up your subscription information during the registration process.
Sign me up for my free account!