Are Addiction and Mental Illness Decreasing America’s Life Expectancy?

Addiction and Life Expectancy

By Michael Desjardins, APRN

The steady flow of clients visiting me and my colleagues’ offices and treatment centers for “diseases of despair” like depression and addiction seems to mirror trends in a recently released report by the National Center for Health Statistics. The report shows that U.S. life expectancy rates have decreased for the first time since 1993, and some data analysts are pointing the finger at a rise in substance abuse and mental illness.
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Finding Joy in Sobriety Through Friendship

Does it seem to you that giving up drugs and alcohol means that you will never feel upbeat or euphoric again? Getting sober is the first step in a journey of learning to live life without relying on mind-altering chemicals, but there are a lot more lessons to learn once you are able to stop using alcohol and other drugs. While you may experience a lot of extreme emotions in early sobriety, feeling joy while you are sober is probably not as hard as you think
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How ‘The Four Agreements’ Fit With Your Addiction Recovery

Don Miguel Ruiz, Author

You’ve come a long way in your quest to live clean and sober. You know — because you’ve learned — many ways to cope with difficult situations, deal with recurring cravings and triggers, manage tough emotions and find a way to navigate and streamline your life so that stress doesn’t do you in. Still, having many tools at your disposal, keeping “The Four Agreements” in mind and using them to aid in your recovery will make life in sobriety a lot more enjoyable.
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Fatal Crashes in Colorado Linked to Pot Up Sharply, New Data Show

Marijuana and Stoned Driving

A new government-funded study of Colorado’s experience with marijuana legalization has revealed some startling truths. In the three years since marijuana became commercially available, traffic fatalities in Colorado linked to consumption of the drug have increased substantially. In addition, the number of adolescents and college-age adults who have used marijuana products in the previous month has risen by a significant percentage.
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Is There Such Thing as a Drug-Free/Unmedicated Addiction Recovery?

Detoxing Drug Free

For many people considering going into treatment, what scares them off is the fear that they’ll be overmedicated during rehab or given drugs that make their addiction worse. They might desperately want to get clean and sober — they just don’t want to take any drugs in the process. What about drug rehab that doesn’t use drugs or medications? Is there such a thing as a drug-free/unmedicated addiction recovery?
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6 Professionals Who Can Help Identify a Drug Problem

Medical Signs of Drug Abuse

With prescription drug abuse rampant in the U.S. and many people turning to heroin as a quick and easy substitute, what early warning systems are in place to help spot a potential or existing problem with drugs or alcohol? Equally important as the ability to detect a looming substance abuse problem is the opportunity for intervention or referral to professionals who can provide assistance to overcome the addiction, dependence or abuse. Here are six professionals who can help identify a drug problem.
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Do You Know These 3 Medical Reasons for Drug Relapse?

Medical Reasons for Drug Relapse

Specialists trained with a psychosocial framework provide the bulk of substance abuse treatment in the U.S. These clinicians do a great job of addressing many of the major threats to sobriety such as stress, relationships and reminders of past drug use. But without a diverse interdisciplinary team that not only includes therapists and counselors but also doctors, nurses and other medical specialists, underlying medical concerns may go overlooked and undertreated, often to the detriment of the patient’s recovery. Here are a few of the medical reasons for relapse.
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Alternatives to 12-Step Addiction Recovery

12 Step Alternative Programs

While many drug and alcohol rehab centers have a focus on the 12 steps in the overall healing process, there are alternative programs that you should be aware of. This is perhaps of particular importance to those who want to overcome addiction to toxic substances but don’t like the idea of or don’t feel comfortable with any program that emphasizes a higher power.
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My Way or Yours? Different Paths to Healing From Addiction All Count

Healing and Recovering from AddictionWhen you hear about a path to healing from addiction, the tendency is to think that there’s only one way to heal. Nothing could be further from the truth, for there are many paths to healing and no single one is the be-all and end-all. In addition, what works for me may not be appropriate for you. By the same token, just because you have a program you’ve put together that’s effective and seems to produce beneficial results, while you can recommend your strategies and tips to another, that doesn’t mean that they’ll have the same outcomes.
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How Methamphetamine Devastates Your Health

bad teeth

Methamphetamine, commonly called meth, is a terribly addictive drug that wreaks havoc on the body and the brain. Signs of meth use in women and men are scary and indicative of just how seriously this drug impacts the health of users. From open sores to rotting teeth, the signs and symptoms of regular meth use are frightening and serious.

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