Genetics and Addiction: Am I Born This Way? – Lee Weber

Genetics can indicate addiction development, but it is not the only factor to determine susceptibility. What we know is that the presence or absence of some genes can increase the possibility of one to become dependent. Even though science try to find the biological differences that have effect on some people, it doesn’t mean that you are born as addict. What it actually means is that certain genes can affect your willingness to quit once you start using drugs, or cause more severe withdrawal symptoms while coping with addiction. On the other hand, genetics can also influence people to hardly become addicted by making them feel sick when using some substances. In this article we explain: How can the family history have influence on us to become addicted Are there possible ways to predict our addictive behavior by looking at our genes? What are our chances to prevent development of… Continue reading

The Opioid Epidemic; Are We Forgetting Our Senior Population? – By Jackie Stein

A recent column in The Washington Post began with this line:  “The face of the nation’s opioid epidemic increasingly is gray and wrinkled.”1  In the course of the rise in the opioid epidemic and its expansive media coverage, the face of the addict has been in the 18-25 year old range; even though the number of opioid users  in the 55-64 age range more than doubled during the same time.  Studies estimate that by 2020, as many as 5.7 million adults aged 50 and older will have a substance use disorder2. There are many issues involved in the graying of the opioid epidemic.  First, the  US insurance industry makes it easy to be a substance user, but does not make it easy to be a senior in recovery.  Second, prescription opioids are distributed to seniors by physicians but many are overreacting to new governmental regulation of those substances.  Third, there… Continue reading

Rigorous Honesty: The Key to Healing an Addiction-Damaged Relationship By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

As addicts, we damage our relationships. And sadly, the more important a relationship is to us, the more damage we tend to do. Once we enter recovery, beyond the work of staying sober and pulling our lives back together in a general way, a primary goal for many of us is healing our damaged connections—especially with our spouses and partners. Most of the time, the most significant and painful damage, in the minds of our loved ones, involves the loss of relationship trust. As addicts, we lie, we keep secrets, we manipulate, we gaslight, and we just plain violate every aspect of relationship trust. These behaviors are part of the denial of our addiction. We lie to and keep secrets from ourselves and everyone else as a way of protecting (and continuing) our addictive behavior. Much of the time, we’re not even aware that we’re doing this. Our lack of… Continue reading

Recovery Rising Excerpt: Treatment Works? Taking on A Sacred Slogan – William L. White.

Sloganeering has a long history in the alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems arena as a means of promoting or stigmatizing drug use, advocating particular cultural policies toward drug use, and conveying particular definitions of the nature of AOD problems. The ideological and financial backlash against addiction treatment through the late 1980s and 1990s left treatment advocates on the defensive. It was in this climate that the slogan, Treatment Works, became the central organizing slogan of the addiction treatment industry. There was much to commend the slogan. It was short and catchy, celebrated those whose lives had been transformed by professional treatment, and honored treatment practitioners and their organizations. Something bothered me about the slogan, and it took some time to sort out the source of that discomfort. In 2004 and early 2005, I posted and published a paper challenging the use of this slogan. I argued that the slogan 1) erroneously conveyed the… Continue reading

Attentional Bias in Addiction Recovery – William L White

People addicted to alcohol and other drugs see the world differently. They SEE the world differently as a result of neurocognitive changes in perception that accelerate in tandem with increased tissue tolerance, increased intensity of cellular hunger (craving), and the resulting obsession with maintaining the drug relationship at all costs. As drug seeking, drug procurement, and drug use rise to the top of one’s motivational priorities, one develops attentional bias toward words, symbols, and images linked to these substances. Perceptual preferences for drug-linked stimuli are an essential element within the neurobiology of addiction. In recovery, this perceptual preference is reframed, giving perceptual priority to words, symbols, and images that reinforce the recovery process. The journey from addiction to recovery is marked by extreme ambivalence, particularly during the early stages of recovery, and exposure to these contrasting sets of cues can tip the scales toward either addiction recurrence or the transition… Continue reading