When addiction treatment professionals ask their clients what drug they are using, they often get more than one answer. A significant number of people with addiction misuse more than one substance. They may take different drugs on separate occasions or combine them for a stronger high or a specific effect. Polydrug use poses a higher risk than use of a single illicit drug alone, due to an increase in side effects, and drug synergy.
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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. It's normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. If symptoms last more than a few months, though, it may be PTSD.
In 1943, American psychologist Abraham Maslow published a paper entitled “A Theory of Human Motivation,” which described a set of five basic needs driving human beings. “People are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others.” Maslow wrote. “Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behavior.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. Everyone is at risk for a TBI, especially children, and older adults. It’s also a common injury in the military.
Recovery Month celebrates the achievements of people in recovery from addiction, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.
Members of the military face an elevated risk of developing a substance use disorder (SUD). Soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors are often exposed to particular stresses unfamiliar to civilians. Multiple deployments, witnessing extreme violence, combat exposure, and related injuries can function as powerful stressors, increasing the risk of self-medication with drugs and alcohol. Like their civilian counterparts, they may become addicted because of inappropriate attempts at controlling their emotional pain.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress and anguish for a lot of people. Public health actions, such as stay-at-home orders and social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely, increasing stress and anxiety. More than 160,000 Americans have died of the disease. Since February, most of the attention in the United States has understandably been focused on the pandemic.
Despite the devastation caused by America's addiction crisis, an NPR investigation found in July that doctors and other healthcare providers still prescribe addictive pain medications at rates widely considered unsafe. Despite the implementation of various laws and regulations to end the opioid crisis, patients still receive more than twice the volume of opioids considered normal before the prescribing boom began in the late 1990s.
While the coronavirus epidemic continues to impact the United States, the addiction epidemic is silently following it.
Virginia entered Phase Three of Governor Northam’s reopening plan earlier this month. Northam said he will be keeping a close eye on health metrics. If the numbers start to trend upward then state restrictions could be tightened again.