Addiction/Substance Abuse

Recovery Month: A Time for Celebration and Hope

It’s easy to feel hopeless and defeated when you’ve struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for years. The addiction cycle keeps many people trapped for months, years, and even decades. One report from the National Institutes of Health revealed that 10% of U.S. adults have drug use disorder at some point during their life. The

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COVID-19 Sends Drug Overdose Deaths Skyrocketing

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an incredible number of unpredictable circumstances and situations. From increased time spent at home as a result of such factors including job loss, children and young adults being home from school or college, and businesses of all kinds closing, the pandemic created unexpected situations for everyone around the world.

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Understanding Alcoholism During Alcohol Awareness Month

Each April marks Alcohol Awareness Month, a campaign to spread the truth about those trapped in the grips of alcohol abuse. Alcohol Awareness Month is sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). NCADD encourages communities and organizations to put on events that raise public awareness and educate people on the prevention

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Alcohol Use on the Rise During COVID-19: What Are the Consequences?

As the United States settled into their residences amidst statewide stay-at-home orders, media outlets reported skyrocketing alcohol use during COVID-19. Headlines in major news publishers pointed to rising percentages of alcohol sales during March and April. Concern for the country’s consumption levels grew, too. Newsweek reported a 55 percent increase in alcohol sales over a

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Is Internet and Video Gaming Addiction real?

What does the word addiction mean? According to Merriam-Webster, it is the “compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal.” Many people view addiction being associated with substances like food, drugs, or alcohol, but we know that is

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Depressed Man

Suicide is on the rise. Is mental illness to blame?

Although global suicide rates have declined nearly a third since 1990, they are on the rise in the United States. According to data released in June 2019 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US suicide rates are at their highest level since World War II.  Rates have increased an average 1% a

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The Most Common Myths about Addiction

By: Michelle Quilter, PsyD, CASAC Frequently, individuals that struggle with substance use disorders battle societal stigma and array of misconceptions about addiction in general, often causing a barrier for seeking treatment. There is progress being made to reduce societal judgment and clarify the myths surrounding substance use disorders. Unfortunately, this progress is happening slowly while

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What should you know about Opioids?

We are recognizing National Prevention Week, an annual health observance dedicated to increasing the awareness of. and action around, mental health and substance use disorders. Each year different themes are included to focus on major substance use and mental health topics. One of them is Preventing Prescription and opioid misuse. Thinking about this theme, let’s

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Depressed man drinking beer at the bar

How can alcohol make anxiety worse?

Anxiety is a relatively common symptom of increased alcohol use, and for people who are prone to bouts of anxiety, it can exacerbate symptoms and impair functioning.  Everyday anxiety over stressful situations can be normal, but when anxiety becomes too intense and prolonged it can become a problem. Individuals with an anxiety disorder will often

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Tablet with the chemical formula of fentanyl.

Fentanyl: Everyday Life in America

Apache, China Girl, China Town, Jackpot, Murder 8 – these are just some of the many street names for fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. It is an FDA approved prescription drug that is typically used to treat long-term severe pain or pain after surgery. For this purpose, it is

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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 28, 2018, a day that addresses public safety and public health issue. Unused or expired prescriptions drugs can be safely, and responsibly disposed of at locations across the country. Just days after the first Take Back Day In 2010, Congress approved the Controlled Substances Act, which

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How do we recognize the issue and treat alcohol abuse?

Sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time set aside to increase awareness, understanding, reduce stigma, and encourage a focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. Alcoholism is not defined by what or when you drink, or how much you drink, but by what happens

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Intervention and the Trauma of Addiction: A Discussion with Heather Hayes

Lifeskills South Florida continues our discussion with Heather Hayes as she talks about intervention and trauma and the role they play in addiction. Heather discusses the complexity of interventions as they deal with impaired brain chemistry, family dynamics and the approach that must be taken to support someone with addiction. She also discusses how traumatic

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Stigma Surrounding Addiction: A discussion with Heather Hayes

Lifeskills South Florida has worked with Heather Hayes of Heather R. Hayes & Associates on numerous cases involving complex mental health issues and the role they play in addiction. Heather sat down with Klay Weaver, CEO of Lifeskills South Florida, to discuss how the stigma of addiction affects our families today.

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Erasing the Mental Illness and Addiction Stigma

Mental illness and substance use disorders often have a social stigma attached which sparks a lack of compassion from others. The stigma surrounding these illnesses can hinder people from seeking treatment. Those suffering often say the humiliation they feel discourages them from getting treatment and makes their difficulties worse.

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Opioid Addiction Crisis continues to strike Florida

As part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) did their part to help reduce the opioid crisis. The DEA joined with more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners to dispose of over 912,305 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs at 5,300 collection

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A Nation Held Hostage – An Interview with Interventionist Heather Hayes

Lifeskills South Florida has been fortunate to work with Heather Hayes on numerous cases involving mental health and trauma and the role they play in addiction. Heather is an International Certified Hostage Negotiator, and the founder of Heather R. Hayes & Associates, where she helps adolescents/young adults and individuals suffering from trauma, complex mental health

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Treating Chronic Pain after Battling an Opioid Addiction

Chronic pain affects a significant portion of the United States, with over 100 million Americans suffering, outpacing diabetes and heart disease, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Back pain is the most common pain condition, followed by severe headache and migraine pain.

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Dual Diagnosis: Treating Depression and Opioid Addiction

Dual diagnosis, also commonly known as co-occurring disorders, is used when individuals experience a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder simultaneously. The Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States noted that of the 10.4 million Americans suffering from a severe mental illness and the 19 million suffering from a

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