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Ask the LifeQuake Doctor

Dear Dr. Toni, I know dating apps are the primary way people meet these days if they’re over forty and don’t want to go to bars, but is it possible to become addicted to Internet dating? I’m a fifty-two-year-old woman who’s been single for three years and is self-employed. I don’t meet men at social [...]

Progress Notes: From Misery to Mindfulness

I hate writing progress notes. You probably do too. They are often the most unpleasant part of our jobs, but also one of the most critical, particularly in the world of addictive disorder treatment. We work in an industry that is becoming increasingly riskier as the years pass, given that the national suicide and overdose [...]

Recovery Needs More Spirituality

I believe cultivating spirituality is critical for those in recovery from addiction, and Buddhism and Twelve Step recovery programs are two powerful spiritual pathways to end suffering. I define spirituality as “nondualistic bonding in love”—whatever our spiritual practice may be, secular or otherwise, cultivating love is essential to our physical, mental, and emotional health. My [...]

Is it Time?

“The faith community has unique opportunities to provide information and a supportive environment that welcomes and supports children and families suffering from the effects of addiction in the family. Trust can be rebuilt and healthy relating can be reinforced as those from troubled families learn to reach out for help and take responsibility for accepting [...]

Breaking the Cycle of Bias in Opioid Recovery Treatment

The medical community has been working to end the opioid crisis for years, but with 130 opioid overdose deaths every day (NIDA, 2019), it is clear that members of the treatment world and government need to break some bad habits. We have serious problems with the way we treat opioid addiction, medically known as opioid [...]

Pathways to Recovery from SUDs

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are associated with heavy costs to affected individuals, their families, and society. Engaging in recovery provides affected individuals with opportunities to manage their problems and make changes to support their recovery. There are many pathways to recovery from SUDs, including professional treatments; medications for opioid, alcohol, or nicotine addiction; mutual-support programs [...]

The Application of Wellness Principles in Combating Opioid Abuse

As readers are well aware, over the past decade the abuse of opiates has become the major public health crisis facing our nation. Drug overdose has become the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of fifty, and in 2017 opioids were responsible for over 47,000 of the nation’s total 70,237 drug overdose [...]

The Opioid Crisis and the Disease Model of Addiction: Is Science Sufficient for Public Support?

Globally, opioids accounted for 55 percent of drug-related deaths in 2010 (Wakeman & Rich, 2018) and in the United States 116 people die from opioid overdoses every day (Seth, Scholl, Rudd, & Bacon, 2018). In a single year the death rate from heroin alone increased by 21 percent, and deaths due to synthetic opioids (e.g., [...]

Opioids and the Evolving Epidemic of Addiction in America

The current opioid crisis in the US is a social and public health nightmare. Both the inherent and new challenges are vexing, formidable, and overwhelming our social, health care, and legal systems. Questions surrounding legitimate opioid use, pain management, so called “recreational abuse,” and life-threatening opioid addiction is an ever-evolving and moving target. The unprecedented [...]

The Opioid Epidemic in Older Adults: One of America’s Greatest Health Challenges

Originating from the noble desire to ease the physical pain of our fellow human beings, the use of opioids has evolved into a catastrophic epidemic: billions of dollars in lost productivity; unprecedented health care costs; crime; the destruction of lives, families, and communities; and a death toll that far exceeds that seen in world wars. [...]

Implementing Fatherhood-Focused Interventions in SUD Treatment

Within residential treatment programs for substance use disorders (SUDs), there are many men who are fathers. Programs often do not focus on fatherhood or parenting as part of residential treatment programs, though there have been some successful outcomes for residential programs for women that incorporate motherhood-focused services (Niccols et al., 2012), including parenting interventions and [...]

Letter from the Publisher

I recently read The United States of Opioids: A Prescription for Liberating a Nation in Pain (2019) by Harry Nelson, which describes our nation’s opioid crisis, its origins, and hope for resolving it. Nelson is the founder of the Behavioral Health Association of Providers (BHAP), a national membership organization that is leading and unifying the [...]

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