Psychiatrists Approve New Manual of Mental Disorders

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The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has just finalized the new version of its Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the most important reference for mental health disorders. The changes included in this new version of the manual have the potential to impact anyone who is diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

The manual of disorders, which is commonly referred to as the DSM, defines and categorizes more than 300 mental health issues. The APA spent 13 years on the fifth revision of the DSM (also known as DSM-5), with more than 1,500 mental health experts contributing to the revision process. This is the most significant revision of the manual since 1994.…

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Ritalin – Considered Legalized Study Cocaine By Many

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Ritalin (the brand name for methylphenidate) is widely known and used as a treatment for ADHD in children.

For many years, Ritalin was seen as relatively harmless until abuse of the drug started appearing in schools and colleges about a decade ago.
In 2002 the effects of Ritalin abuse made the news when three students at Antelope Valley High School, near Los Angeles, were hospitalized because of overdosing from the drug. Ten other students were also treated after becoming groggy or incoherent.

Today, many illicit drug users are getting their hands on Ritalin pills and using them along with drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines. The Drug Enforcement Administration lists Ritalin in the top ten of prescription drugs that are stolen today.…

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Substance Abuse Counselors Change View on Abstinence

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According to a study recently published by the American Psychological Association, about 50 percent of substance abuse counselors believe that it’s acceptable for some alcohol abusers* to have an occasional drink as an intermediate or final treatment goal. When it comes to drug abusers, about half of counselors accept moderate drug use as an intermediate treatment goal, while only one-third of counselors accept it as a final goal.

*It should be noted that this survey question referred to “alcohol abusers” not “alcohol dependent individuals (fully addicted).
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Chris Herrin’s Journey from Basketball Star to Junkie to Mentor

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For a young man from Massachusetts who grew up dreaming about playing professional basketball, signing with the Boston Celtics would seem to be a dream come true. Instead, basketball legend Chris Herren saw his dream vanish due to a 14-year addiction to prescription pain pills, cocaine and heroin.

In the early 1990s, Herren was one of the most talented high school basketball players in the nation. His decision to attend Boston College University was covered by Sports Illustrated and other national magazines. Even before the college basketball season officially started, Herren failed a drug due to marijuana and cocaine use. In the first game of the season he suffered a broken wrist that benched him for the rest of the season. After failing two more drug tests, he was kicked off the team and expelled from the university.…

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Study Says Sex Addiction is Real

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Hypersexual disorder first grabbed media attention after celebrities like Jesse James, David Duchovny and Tiger Woods engaged in numerous affairs and were treated for “sex addiction.”

In the mental health field, sex addiction is known as hypersexual disorder. Although the idea that someone can be addicted to sex has been controversial, a new study supports treatment of hypersexual disorder as a legitimate mental health condition.

The American Psychiatric Association will consider hypersexual disorder a diagnosable mental health condition if scientists can identify criteria that accurately describe the behavior. It also must be shown that individuals who fit the criteria can benefit from diagnosis and treatment. A group of scientists have proposed a set of hypersexual disorder criteria and recently completed a study to test the criteria’s accuracy.…

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2012 Opiate Babies

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Similar to the cocaine-exposed babies of the 1980s, many children in today’s world are born dependent on prescription opiates.

Very little is known about the effects opiates have on their development, but obviously it does not affect them for the better.

A very small percentage of licensed professionals are even willing to care for and treat pregnant women that are addicted to opiates.…

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Some States Pass Involuntary Commitment Laws for Addiction Treatment, but Face Challenges

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What do you do if someone you love is abusing drugs or alcohol and refuses to seek treatment? This was the situation Sharon Blair (pictured, far left) found herself in when she spent 13 years trying to get her daughter, Jennifer Reynolds (pictured, far right), treatment for prescription medication abuse. Unfortunately, Blair was not able to get her daughter the help she needed, and Reynolds died from a drug overdose in 2009. 

Blair lives in Florida, where a person who is abusing drugs or alcohol may be involuntarily committed to a detox program. Florida’s involuntary commitment law for addiction treatment requires that a relative or loved file a petition, pay a fee, and demonstrate the addict’s need for treatment. After meeting all of these requirements, the court may only order involuntary commitment for a maximum period of 72 hours.…

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2C-I or “Smiles” Linked to Recent Deaths

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Authorities are investigating whether a new designer drug played a role in a gruesome Los Angeles homicide that involved a young actor.

Johnny Lewis, who appeared in the series “Sons of Anarchy,” is suspected of being under the influence of 2C -I (also known as “Smiles”) when he allegedly beat his 81-year-old landlady to death and then attacked a neighbor. The neighbor managed to escape and Lewis was later found dead by police after he apparently fell from a wall at the neighbor’s house.…

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For Teens – Marijuana Can Have Lasting Effects on the Brain

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The majority of marijuana users believe the myth that it’s a harmless, non-addictive drug. They may even extol the medicinal value of the drug, despite the fact that the FDA has never approved its use for the treatment of any medical conditions. They may not be aware that recent research indicates that marijuana use can have a lasting effect on the brain.

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, recently highlighted current marijuana research on the NIDA website. One of the most important research projects is a major new study that indicates that heavy marijuana use by teenagers can lead to a drop in IQ in adulthood.…

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Rural vs. Urban Substance Abuse Differences

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There are many differences between city dwellers and their country counterparts, from type of employment to entertainment choices. According to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), people who live in rural settings are more likely to seek treatment for different patterns of substance abuse when compared to city dwellers. In rural areas, those seeking treatment are most likely to have problems with alcohol and non-heroin opiates like OxyContin, while urban populations are more likely to seek treatment for addiction to heroin and cocaine.…

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