What About Brain Activity During Relapse?

Posted on July 30th, 2014

What About Brain Activity During Relapse?Patients entering treatment for substance abuse can struggle with a relapse after completing a recovery program. In some cases, the patient will enter a cycle of recovery and relapse, leading to frustration and feelings of hopelessness.

In treatment programs, patients are taught new tools for responding to cues that they associate with the addictive substance. A patient may learn new ways to respond to stress or to make adjustments in social plans to avoid being around friends who are still using the substance.

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Introduction to Self-Guided Mindful Relaxation

Posted on July 28th, 2014

Introduction to Self-Guided Mindful RelaxationMindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), first pioneered by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, is quickly becoming standard practice in addiction recovery programs across the U.S. Initially adapted from Buddhist and yogic meditation and relaxation techniques to support standard psychotherapy as a way to combat and control stress, it’s not hard to connect the dots and understand why MBSR is an effective complement to any addiction recovery program. The equation: stress leads people to addiction; stress is a primary factor in addiction relapse; therefore, reducing stress helps people recover from addiction and helps prevent relapse. This is, on the surface, an over-simplification. It’s generally agreed that a complex web of factors leads to addiction, but when we parse all these factors out, the impulse toward substance abuse is often triggered by an inability to cope with powerful external stimuli—a.k.a., stress.

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Art Therapy for Addiction

Posted on July 27th, 2014

Art Therapy for AddictionArt is a powerful thing. It’s one aspect of humanity that separates us from other animals. We create and enjoy works of art for no concrete purpose. We simply find meaning and joy in viewing and making art. In fact, the act of creating can be therapeutic. Art therapy is a technique that has only been developed in the psychiatric world over the last century. For people addicted to drugs or alcohol, the act of creating art is therapeutic, as is the completion of a finished product. When combined with other aspects of addiction treatment, art can play an important role in healing.

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Study Calculates Life Improvement After Alcoholism Treatment

Posted on July 18th, 2014

Study Calculates Life Improvement  After Alcoholism TreatmentHealth-related quality of life is a measurement that doctors and public health officials use to define each person’s ability to enjoy a productive, satisfying day-to-day lifestyle. People affected by alcoholism, one of two related conditions known together as alcohol use disorder, typically experience a substantial decline in this measurement. In a study published in May/June 2014 in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, a team of researchers from Switzerland and France investigated how much the quality of life improves over a two-year period for people who receive alcoholism treatment.

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Researchers Give Topiramate Edge in Alcoholism Treatment

Posted on July 16th, 2014

Researchers Give Topiramate Edge in Alcoholism TreatmentAlcohol use disorder is a diagnosis for alcohol-related conditions that has replaced separate diagnoses for alcohol abuse and alcoholism in the U.S. Several medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of this disorder. In addition, doctors sometimes adapt a medication designed for other purposes, called topiramate, for use in an alcohol-related context. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a team of federal and university-based researchers conducted a detailed analysis designed to determine if the use of topiramate actually produces positive treatment results for people diagnosed with alcohol use disorder.

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