The 10 Most Important Things Known About Addiction


If you were asked: ‘What are the most important things we know about addiction?’ what would you say? This paper brings together a body of knowledge across multiple domains and arranged as a list of 10 things known about addiction, as a response to such a question. The 10 things are: (1) addiction is fundamentally […]

Coping With Urges by Dr. Westermeyer


Habits and urges go hand in hand. In fact, many people in the throes of an addictive behavior problem, whether it is overeating, drug use or alcohol abuse, claim that they derive no pleasure from their habit–that it is nothing but the relentless craving that fuels ongoing addictive behavior. What is usually most difficult for […]

Mental Health Disorders


SCHIZOPHRENIA  Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that causes changes in the person’s thinking, perception, mood and behaviour. It  is a biochemical disorder of the brain and affects about 1% of the population. The onset occurs between age 17 and 29 in about three quarters of the people who have schizophrenia.   There are acute and chronic […]

Addiction Treatment


There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to addiction treatment. People’s needs vary. They depend on the severity and type of addiction problem, on the support available from family, friends and others, and on the person’s motivation to change. Just as people’s needs vary, so too does the help available.   Meeting with a trained counsellor for […]

Trends in Alcohol Consumption


In December 2012, the medical journal The Lancet released The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010).  Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this collection of groundbreaking research studies will help sharpen the global health and policy communities’ awareness of trends in disease, injury, and risk.  The consumption of alcohol is among the top three global […]

Look After Yourself


During my years in family practice, I often noticed that the death or illness of a person, especially among the elderly, was rapidly followed by the illness or even death of the spouse. Such “coincidences,” noted by many physicians, have now been documented by a large-scale medical study. The report, published in the New England […]

Effects on Family


Drug and alcohol abuse not only affects the abuser and his/her life, but also the lives of family members. When recovery begins, your whole family should be involved when possible. (…) Addictions often create interpersonal problems for all family members: Jealousy: You can grow jealous of your friends, your partner, other family members and other people in […]

Boundaries Protect


In the recovery language we continue to hear about shifting the focus from the addict to ourselves. We learn that to help another, we have to first help ourselves. The concept irritates most of us and discourages us from continuing to access help weather is by attending a group or individual counseling. When the counselor […]

Alcoholics & Their Family


Despite the common acceptance of drinking in our culture, the  destructiveness of alcohol cannot be ignored. In 1956 the American  Medical Association recognized alcoholism as a disease. Prior to this, in 1944, the U.S. Public Health Service labeled alcoholism the nation’s fourth largest public health problem. In 1952, E.M. Jellinek supported the view of alcoholism […]

Methods of Family Therapy by Pat Jones


Abstinence may be as hard or even harder than drinking for the alcoholic because it reveals so many problems that were obscured by the family’s focus on alcohol. Denial remains as strong as ever as the family has to face the harsh realities of delusion, illusion and collusion that have dominated its reality during drinking and […]

Addiction Prevention Begins in the Crib

gabor mate

Gabor Mate doesn’t believe in hope. After years working with drug addicts on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the Hungarian doctor doesn’t have time or patience for it. “Hope is all about the future; hope is all about getting away from the present,” said Mate from Vancouver early Thursday morning. “It’s not a question of maintaining hope; it’s a question […]

Legalizing of Marijuana Raises Health Concerns


In the ’60s, marijuana was a hallmark of the counterculture, along with free love, bell bottoms, long hair and bandannas. But marijuana has had the most staying power. This month, in a remarkable first, the recreational use of marijuana became legal (depending on your definition) in Colorado and Washington. Over a dozen other states have decriminalized possession of […]

Tobacco Myths & Facts


Every society has its own drugs. But what constitutes a drug? A drug is any substance that modifies bodily functions. A psychoactive drug is any substance that affects the central nervous system and alters consciousness and/or perceptions. Tobacco is a drug. Drug taking is “almost a universal phenomena and in the statistical sense of the […]

Prescription Drug Deaths And the Drug Industry


Terence Young, Member of Parliament for Oakville, Ontario, is the founder and Chair of Drug Safety Canada, a research and public advocacy organization based in Oakville. He has been active in issues related to prescription drug safety since March 2000, after losing his 15-year-old daughter Vanessa to the Johnson & Johnson manufactured drug Prepulsid, marketed […]

Toxic People. Toxic Relationships.


What They Are and Why to Avoid Them by Marcia Purse Long ago, before I was even diagnosed with depression (my first psychologist had said I was “highly neurotic”), I was a transcriptionist at an insurance company in Iowa. The woman who sat in front of me would sometimes become upset about something that happened and […]

Marijuana – Interesting Facts


 There are 2,500 to 3,500 species of flowering plants Various uses around the world and in history included: Medicinal value Poisons Psychoactive Religious ceremonies Magic Initiation into puberty Escape reality Fashionable Social pleasure  Psychoactive substances are found in various parts of the plant: Resin Fleshy fruit Stems Leaves Seeds Roots  Psychoactive substances can be introduced […]

Alcohol Abuse Revisited


People use alcohol to feel pleasure, decrease anxiety, decrease inhibitions, and  to relax. In the later stage of alcohol dependence, alcohol may be consumed to decrease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.  An intoxicated person will show certain signs and symptoms depending on the level of alcohol in their blood, which is measured as a percentage of alcohol […]



At some point, while trying to help an addict or alcoholic, we may begin to experience feelings of emotional exhaustion, or increased anxiety. These feelings may be associated with burnout – a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that’s often accompanied by a change in attitude. If you feel that you may be experiencing […]