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Understanding Addiction

Alcohol and Energy Drinks

  • Can

Alcohol energy drinks (AEDs) or Caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CABs) are premixed beverages containing not only alcohol but caffeine and other stimulants. Sold in tall, narrow cans similar to non-alcoholic energy drinks, they are very popular among young people and are regularly consumed by 31% of 12- to 17-year-olds and 34% of 18- to 24-year-olds. They carry teen-friendly names and contain a lot of sugar and flavoring. A typical can has about as much caffeine as […]

Everybody Knows Somebody Who Needs Help

  • Save A Life

Everybody knows somebody who needs help! After decades of working with folks who abuse alcohol and drugs, I’m still amazed at almost any conversation I am in where someone mentions a friend, relative or acquaintance who needs help. I think this is because they know I am in the “helping” business, but it demonstrates how vast the problem is. Recently a nurse in Texas watching an HGTV series noticed the builder had a lump in […]

The Fight is Up to Us

  • Father and Son

Drug overdose deaths in 2016 most likely exceeded 59,000, the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States, according to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times. The death count is the latest consequence of an escalating public health crisis: opioid addiction, now made more deadly by an influx of illicitly manufactured fentanyl and similar drugs. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50. Although the data is […]

Are Addiction and Mental Illness Really Brain Diseases?

The two primary (New York) intellectual organs, the New York Review of Books and The New York Times, have recently featured two powerful cultural icons saying exactly opposite things. Marcia Angell, the first woman editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and now at the Harvard Medical School, in an ongoing, two-part seriesin the New York Review of Books (part 1 of which is in the June 23 issue), argues against the firmly ensconced American view that mental illness can be (and […]