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Ask the LifeQuake Doctor

Dear Dr. Toni, I’m a college-educated woman in her mid-thirties—I guess I’m considered a millennial. I live by myself in the Bay area and the cost of living is extremely expensive, but the nature here is so amazing and I enjoy it. My parents are both professionals with jobs, so they have steady paychecks coming [...]


Disaster Planning: Being Prepared for California’s New Normal

Every year as the summer sun dries the fields and bakes the forests surrounding our residential treatment center, my fire awareness is triggered. So starts the months-long fire season in California. In the past three years, we have been impacted by fire in a variety of ways. In 2017 we were on high alert as [...]


“Patient” Versus “Client”: What is the Best Way to Identify Those We Treat?

Recently my organization found itself making the decision on whether to use the term “client” or “patient” in identifying the people we treat. Instinctively I gravitate toward “patient,” but I researched several articles to compare my opinion to others. The preference of the behavioral health treatment community seems to be to use “client” over “patient.” [...]


Parental Cannabis Addiction Impacts Children

As a cofounder of NACoA, I had my own childhood experiences with an alcoholic father. Times have changed; today, opiates, methamphetamine, and cannabis are more common and polysubstance use is the norm. Despite these vicissitudes, the impact of parental addiction on children remains pretty much the same. From children’s perspectives, addiction is simply addiction—different drugs [...]


Children of Parents with SUDs

Nearly 8 percent of the US population met criteria for a substance use disorder (SUD) according to a recent survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA; SAMHSA, 2019). SUDs are associated with increased risk of problems for affected individuals and their family systems and members, including children (Daley & Douaihy, 2019; [...]


Enhancing Our Serenity: The Distinction Between Remorse and Guilt

I recently read an article concerning a dialogue between Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg and Rosanne Cash (Johnny Cash’s daughter) that I am sure will profoundly change my life. In this dialogue, Salzberg makes an important distinction between remorse and guilt. In her words, “In Buddhist psychology, there’s a difference between remorse and guilt. Remorse is [...]


Tobacco-Free Recovery: Vital for Behavioral Health

It may come as a surprise to some that the major threat to the health of clients with behavioral health issues is not the underlying mental health condition or the use of substances such as alcohol, cocaine, or heroin. As serious as those problems are, they are not the chief killer of persons with behavioral [...]


Video Game Addiction, or How the World Health Organization Stumbled into a Diagnostic Quagmire

In 2018 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced plans to include “gaming disorder” in the future International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Far from solidifying a consensus on whether this disorder is “real” or not, the WHO touched off the tinder of an ongoing debate about gaming overuse that had been simmering for decades. This controversy [...]


Do Personality Traits Influence Addiction to Online Social Networks?

In recent years, the public has noted the negative consequences of online social network (OSN) use. Multiple research studies across different disciplines have also noted the considerable negative effects that some patterns of OSN use, most notably OSN addiction, may bring to users. OSN addiction refers to a maladaptive dependency on OSN use to the [...]


Letter from the Publisher

Peer Coaches and Sponsors As treatment for addiction becomes more mainstream and acceptable to society, professionals, clients, and the public are facing an increasing variety of options for one-on-one support during and after treatment of substance use disorder (SUD). Likewise, good-meaning people are stepping up to the plate to obtain education and training to provide [...]


Examining Antisocial Personality and Opioid Use Disorders from a Psychodynamic Perspective

Many crimes are committed by individuals with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), and ASPD and substance use disorders (SUDs) can be a deadly combination. As one often accompanies the other, differential diagnosis is an essential precursor to the treatment process. Differential diagnosis is particularly difficult for two reasons: first, the abuse of substances (legal or illegal) [...]


Smoking Cessation Treatments: What Are Young Adult Smokers Thinking?

Quitting smoking is hard. That is why smoking cessation rates among US adult smokers have remained low over the years: in 2017 only 7 percent of smokers succeeded in quitting smoking (Babb, Malarcher, Schauer, Asman, & Jamal, 2017). Additionally, success in quitting smoking varies by race/ethnicity—only 5 percent of non-Hispanic black smokers succeeded in quitting [...]


Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Questionnaire Intake Questions Related to E-Cigarette Use (Tobacco-Free Recovery Sidebar)

Have you ever used an e-cigarette even one time? How old were you when you first tried an e-cigarette? Have you ever used an e-cigarette daily for a month or more? What e-cigarette product(s) have you tried? Select all that apply. A disposable e-cigarette (nonrechargeable) An e-cigarette device that uses replaceable and prefilled cartridges/pods (rechargeable) [...]

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