Previous generations had their widely publicized epidemics of addiction to opium, heroin and crack cocaine. Today, prescription opiates are the media’s favorite drug-addiction demon (which is hardly to say that illegal drugs, and non-opiate prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, don’t continue to cause problems). Although doctors have gotten smarter about prescribing with discretion,
The old adage “feed a cold, starve a fever” is only half correct: medical science says that whatever the exact symptoms, regular intake of proper nutrition will aid recovery from any illness. With a fever, the “starving” approach is a particularly bad idea, since high temperature is already driving increased loss of water and calories.
Benzodiazepines are among the easiest drugs to become addicted to and among the most dangerous drugs to withdraw from. The safest bet is to use prescribed “benzos” only in extreme cases—as with severe anxiety disorders or seizures—and only long enough to clear the head for planning longer-term coping strategies. Think very long and hard before using benzos in any circumstances,
If you suspect you may have alcoholism—as opposed to simply a bad habit of “drinking too much”—look into professional alcohol detox treatment before you even think about trying to stop drinking cold. Alcohol withdrawal can trigger all sorts of dangerous physical effects including seizures, stoppage of breathing and potentially lethal delirium tremens: prescribed alcohol detox drugs may be necessary to minimize the risks.
It’s a bit misleading to speak of the prescription-drug addiction epidemic, because not all addictive prescription drugs are created equal. The top two offenders—opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines—belong to different “depressant” families, and doctors still occasionally prescribe potentially addictive stimulants as well. Even when officially categorized together—even when using the identical chemical formula—prescription drugs go under different names,
the founder of The Leadership Practice and its affiliate Sexual Health of Orange County, CA. As a certified sex therapist, certified sex addiction therapist, certified clinical partner specialist and certified EMDR therapist, Sibylle is treating teens and adults experiencing sexual difficulties and compulsions. She is also an Assistant Faculty of Vanguard University of Southern California where she teaches and oversees the graduate research projects of Vanguard’s Master’s of Organizational Psychology students.
If you have alcoholism, prescription drug addiction, cocaine dependence or any other chemical habit that’s taken over your life, you’ve probably heard hints that you’d do well to get help at a professional drug detox center. In your more sober moments, you likely agree. Still, the prospect can be unnerving,
Millions of Americans struggle with drug addiction. While there are thousands of medical detox centers to treat such disorders—and that’s certainly a blessing—the best way to escape the damage addiction does to health and to everyday functioning is to avoid developing addiction in the first place. That isn’t as simple as it sounds: in an age when many addictive drugs are easily obtained,