Although his father had severe alcohol use disorder and both his grandfather and his uncle had died as a result of their alcohol misuse, Borchert succumbed to social pressure when people told him drinking liquor will “make a man out of you.”
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Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat certain substance use disorders and prevent opioid overdose. MAT is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers. Because the FDA-approved medications are themselves opioids, MAT is controversial in the addiction treatment community. Many people in recovery do not regard MAT patients as “clean and sober” if they are still taking opioids, even as a prescription.
While public health officials have focused on the opioid crisis in recent years, and states have pursued litigations against the makers of prescription opioid pain relievers, another epidemic has received far less attention. Methamphetamine abuse has been surging in the United States, leaving first responders and addiction treatment providers struggling to handle the escalating crisis.
Approximately 7.6 percent of the U.S. population are military veterans. The total number of veterans is expected to decrease from currently about 20 million to fewer than 14 million in the next two decades, “mainly because of the passing of the World War II generation and the transition to an all-volunteer military,” explained Nicholas Buchli in his recent presentation as part of the Williamsburg Place Lecture Series. Buchli is a mental health specialist and a U.S.
September is Recovery Month and this year the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) celebrates the 30th anniversary of this addiction awareness campaign. It marks three decades of spreading the message that treatment is available, and people can and do recover—every day.
Generally, medical doctors struggle with drug or alcohol addiction at similar or possibly slightly higher rates than the US population as a whole. It’s hard to get at the real numbers as physicians certainly have strong reasons not to be open about any substance use disorder (SUD) they may have.
“In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid,” the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in January. “That same year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 652,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder.”
Timmy Brooks had many things going for him as a kid. Before 2014, he was a young, square-jawed lacrosse talent from a leafy Philadelphia suburb. Timmy seemed to be the perfect student with a bright future, but secretly he was plagued by anxiety and episodes of depression. Instead of seeking help, he did what many others have tried before him. He started to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
A former Louisiana State University student was recently found guilty of negligent homicide in the death of an 18-year-old fellow student. Maxwell Gruver was pronounced dead on September 14, 2017, after an alcohol-related hazing ritual while pledging at a fraternity the day before. Four students were indicted in 2018 on charges stemming from the incident.