What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?: The Signs, Symptoms and Treatment of GAD

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) affects 4 to 6.8 million Americans, making GAD one of the most common anxiety disorders in the United States. While symptoms can be severe, with treatment generalized anxiety disorder can be successfully controlled.

Anxiety is a normal, and often helpful, response to stressful situations. Anxiety motivates people to drive safely, get to work on time, and be extra vigilant in dangerous circumstances.

People with generalized anxiety disorder, however, live in a state of constant worry and anxiety even when no cause for anxiety exists. Anxiety associated with GAD interferes with daily life on multiple levels. Signs of anxiety disorders can make day-to-day functioning almost impossible.

GAD and Symptoms of Anxiety Attacks

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms are chronic: while there may be days when symptoms worsen or lessen, symptoms are almost always present. The sudden onset of anxiety that many people associate with symptoms of anxiety attacks bear more resemblance to panic attacks than GAD.

GAD is characterized by constant worry, tension and anxiety. People with generalized anxiety disorder are often aware that their anxiety is unwarranted or out of proportion to stressful events, but this knowledge does little to diminish the effect of the anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder causes a range of mental and physical symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Frequent urination
  • Headaches
  • Hyperalert startle reflexes
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Sleep disturbances.

Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Exactly what triggers generalized anxiety disorder is unclear. Gender certainly increases the risk of GAD: twice as many women as men are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.

Genetics , chemical imbalances in the brain and lifestyle / environmental factors have all been suggested as possible causes of generalized anxiety disorder. Onset of GAD can occur at any stage of life, but the disorder develops most often between childhood and middle age.

Depression, Anxiety Disorders and GAD

Generalized anxiety disorder is often seen in combination with depression, anxiety disorders other than GAD, and substance abuse. GAD may present with obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attack symptoms, social anxiety or phobias.

Cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana abuse have all been linked to generalized anxiety disorder. A diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder without accompanying depression, anxiety disorders or substance abuse is considered unusual.

Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Fortunately generalized anxiety disorder symptoms respond well to proper treatment. Generalized anxiety disorder treatment includes the use of anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants. Talk therapy for generalized anxiety disorder teaches people coping strategies for dealing with anxiety and reducing stress levels. if GAD presents with depression or other secondary conditions both disorders must be addressed for relied of anxiety disorder symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Tools for Managing Anxiety

There are a wide variety of mental health problems where research has suggested sufferers are likely to benefit from undertaking a course of therapy. Examples of commonly used therapy approaches include the following: Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT), Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT).

This article aims to explore the condition and treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder with key areas to be examined listed below.

  • What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
  • Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • CBT tools for anxiety management

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder, usually abbreviated to GAD, belongs under the umbrella of anxiety disorder which include conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder and different phobias. This disorder is widely regarded as the most common form of anxiety disorder and sufferers will often have immediately after one worry which gets resolved another to take its place and so the worry cycle continues.

At the core is the need for recognition that it is not the specific events or circumstances which cause the worry and anxiety but the way the sufferers actually perceives them to be threats or problematic.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The key difference between generalized anxiety disorder and other anxiety disorders is that while many disorders are about specific issues such as health, socialising, animals, GAD is not about any single fear. Sufferers of GAD will feel intense levels of anxiety and severe worry which continues to negatively impact their life over a long period of time.

Distress and interruption to the sufferer’s life is very common and may have impacts in terms of employment, maintaining relationships and achieving goals or aspirations. High levels of anxiety are also likely to have major impacts upon one’s ability to interact with others and limit the enjoyment one would otherwise have been able to gain through engaging in social activity. Eventually severe worry and anxiety will also take a heavy toll on one’s emotional, physical and psychological health and well-being.

CBT Tools for Anxiety Management

There are several key tools and techniques within the framework of CBT that may provide valuable support and help to those affected by GAD. Wilding & Milne have identified the following main approaches for anxiety management: distraction exercises, overcoming avoidance through graded exposure therapy and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

Mindfulness meditation is another skill that may provide an additional tool to overcoming anxiety.

let go of the addict

Let Go of the Addict in Your Life

An addict has no reason to change his or her destructive ways if they never have to suffer the consequences of their own behavior. By enabling an addict, you are not only allowing them to further practice their addiction, but you are holding them back from getting the help that they need. Enabling is not helping and it is not a way of showing someone love. You are simply allowing the addict to live irresponsibly because they depend on you to take care of them and get them out of tough situations.

Don’t Blame Love

When you truly love someone, you want what is best for them. It takes time and dedication to break away from a codependent relationship, whether it be with a significant other, a family member or a close friend. It is especially difficult when you know that the person you are trying to separate from has an addiction and you are the person who has been watching out for them and trying to keep them safe.

By holding the hand of an addict, you are only helping them to progress even further into self destructive behaviors. It is crucial that you detach yourself from the addict, leaving him or her vulnerable and on their own to deal with the consequences of their decisions. Fight through the difficult times by realizing that this is what is best for them and if they ever find wellness and recovery, they will appreciate you for letting them go.

Enabling Hurts You

By enabling an addict, you are not only hurting them but you are hurting yourself. Caring for an addict can control your life in a physical sense, and can cause severe emotional damage and trauma to those around who love, care for, and worry about them twenty four hours a day. You can easily justify all of the reasons why you are helping an addict. ( You love them, you don’t want them to loose their job, you would never let them live on the streets, you need to protect them….) But in the end, you will be the one who has to live with the stress and guilt of knowing that you helped the addict to use again.

Stop Lending Money

Addicts are professional swindlers. When they need money to get their fix, they will come up with any story they can and make you believe it. If an addict tells you that they need milk or groceries, offer to purchase them for him or her. If an addict tells you that they need gas money right away or else they won’t be able to get to work, offer to go with them to the gas station or offer them a ride.

You can still be reasonable without handing out your money and chances are, they will deny your alternative kind gesture because that is not what they actually intended on using the money for.

Guilt Trip

An addict will often make you feel guilty if you refuse to help them or give them money. They will say things like “You never believe me…“ “You are always accusing me…“ “You don’t trust me…“ to try and get you to buckle. Do your best not to fall for this technique. It is okay for the addict to get upset and angry with you because, even if they don’t like it, you are doing what is best for them. If you are finding it difficult to simply say no, try and find alternate turn down methods. Tell the addict that you need the money for an unexpected car repair or that you already loaned the money to someone else.

Finding Help

There are many ways for you to try and find help for your loved one. You can bring them to groups where they can talk to other addicts, you can read pamphlets and buy self help books, but if the addict in your life does not want the help, these methods are usually unsuccessful. These groups can often introduce the addict to other people with the same weakness and it is possible that their friendships could bring them both back to using.

Let go of the addict. Stop enabling them, stop covering for them and let them hit “Rock Bottom”. It is the only way that they will accept the help that they need into their lives. We would all love to think that there is something we can do to fix this, but the addict has to do this on their own. You can still be there to support them on their way to wellness when the time comes.

Chatroulette

Chatroulette – What is it and Why is it Addictive?

Chatroulette is an online activity which brings together two random people face to face via webcam. It derives its name from Russian roulette which is a game of chance. In chatroulette, the “players” never know who they’re going to meet online next, which is part of the allure and addictiveness of chatroulette.

According to comScore, more than 4 million people accessed the website of chatroulette in February 2016 alone. And that number is growing daily. But is chatroulette just the latest internet fad or a service that provides some value to its users?

Chatroulette History and Growth

The website was developed in November 2009 by a 17 year old Russian student, Andrey Ternovskiy who wanted to chat with interesting people using Skype-like video and audio. He coded chatroulette in 2 days and within a month the site had a few hundred visitors without any marketing whatsoever. By January 2010 it had 944,000 visitors and in February 2010, just 3 months after its launch, it drew in 3.9 million unique visitors. Today approximately 500,000 people access the site on a daily basis. These numbers put chatroulette firmly on the map of the latest trend to strike the internet.

Chatroulette Playing Interface

Chatroulette’s user interface is simple, even sparse. Visitors who access chatroulette don’t require a login or any other kind of verification. Once they’re on the site, the service prompts them to enable their webcam. Once their webcam is enabled, the user is able to see other users of the service in a completely random order. If the user doesn’t like what is being shown on their partner’s web stream, they simply click “Next” and move on to another chat partner. This phenomenon is called “being nexted”.

Chatroulette’s Addictiveness

The lure of chatroulette is the same as the lure of gambling – to see what the next roll of dice will bring, or in chatroulette’s case, who it will bring. Part of chatroulette’s attraction is to see who else is using the site and what they’re doing. Participants often try to outdo each other in an attempt to see who can be the most entertaining personality on the Web and avoid getting “nexted” the longest. Another lure is the chance to peek into a complete stranger’s life and see what happens. The thrill of the unknown and the unpredictable are a huge factor in chatroulette’s success and addictiveness.

Chatroulette Demographics

Chatroulette has been criticized as being a haven for perverts and depraved people due to its incentive for voyeurism. One study describes the chatroulette demographic as 89% male, 9% female, and 13% perverts. Parents should be advised that if their child is using chatroulette they have a good chance of coming across inappropriate content.

Is chatroulette a passing fad or can it be used for more useful pursuits, like social networking or dating? Even terminologies about it differ – some call it a game, some a service, while others dub it a cultural phenomenon. Only time will tell if this website will evolve or fade out, but experts agree that the service will explore future benefits that may be extracted from it. One thing’s for sure – chatroulette is not for the faint of heart!

how to face addiction

Facing the Habit – An Addict’s Tale: Magnolia Martin Documents the Struggle of a Heroin Addict

This is not a flattering story, but one that is brutal, raw, and honest. Using interviews with friends, family, and other addicts, Martin weaves together a very rough fabric that will capture the viewer. How does a handsome, successful, young millionaire stockbroker watch his life circle the drain as his out-of-control addiction overtakes his life? Called a Kiefer Sutherland look-alike, he would seem to have everything: a high paying job, a handsome look and pleasant demeanor, citizenship in one of the world’s wealthiest nations – why would he become addicted? Once addicted, though, the drug becomes a leveling force and all users are taken down. His habit requires him to “boost” or steal due to the enormous cost of maintaining a habit that only grows worse as he becomes more resistant to the effects of the drug he craves.

Magnolia Martin Captures the Tragedy of Addiction in Her Film

Even for 50 minutes, it is difficult to witness the world of this one young heroin addict, as he turns himself into an angry, demanding, dysfunctional human being. Nodding off after shooting up or injecting the drug, Dave begins to slur his words and slowly leaves the world of feeling, functioning adults. He becomes an organism who needs a chemical to avoid pain and suffering, and that pursuit is all that matters and motivates him. This organism even harrasses his aging mother in order to steal fresh needles from her – she, a diabetic woman struggling with her own daily injections–although hers are for her very survival, rather than self-destructive. She shares early photos and memories of her handsome son and the viewer can only imagine the nightmare in which she, too, has been plunged due to his ugly habit.

Facing the Habit Puts a Very Human Face on Addiction

Profiling a controversial new treatment modality using Ibogaine, a drug from West Africa, several former addicts are interviewed for their perspective on the treatment. While not a polished film, this film appears to be deliberately spontaneous and raw, brutal in parts, in showing the reality of some of the ugly side of addiction. Perhaps most poignant of all is the final few moments of the film, when the viewer learns the fate of all those people interviewed. Magnolia Martin should be congratulated for this short documentary about an issue that extracts a huge human toil; it is an amazing short documentary about a painful topic. Most remarkable of all is that this film was ever made.

  • Oppenhunter Films
  • 50 minutes
  • Movie site
  • San Francisco Frozen Film Festival, Best Documentary Short
heroin

The Effects and Dangers of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is a widely-used, fast-acting and highly addictive illegal substance. Heroin is classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule I drug, meaning this drug possesses extremely addictive qualities and is highly dangerous when used regularly. Heroin is derived from opium, a natural juice extracted from the seed of the poppy plant.

Pure heroin is a white powder that can be smoked, snorted or injected intravenously. Heroin purchased on the street may vary in color from white to dark brown, depending on the purity. The drug has a sedative effect and is sometimes used following the use of other drugs, such as Ecstasy or speed, in order to relieve the comedown from an invigorating high. Heroin in classified in the same drug family as codeine and morphine and has the same “chill-out” effects.

The Side Effects of Heroin Abuse

The human body is filled with receptors for endorphins, the natural pain-killing substance produced by the body to alleviate shock or physical pain. Heroin is a natural painkiller that can attach to endorphin receptors and provide a pleasurable sensation and sense of well-being. Heroin amplifies the receptors’ painkilling effects, so the sense of pleasure is much stronger than the body is typically accustomed to.

Intravenous injection is the best method for providing a quick onset of pleasure. The peak of euphoria can be reached in seven or eight seconds. Smoking or snorting heroin will produce a peak in approximately ten minutes. Users may experience the following symptoms at peak onset:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • dry mouth
  • warm, flushed skin
  • heavy feeling in the extremities
  • drowsiness
  • clouded or impaired mental functioning
  • severe itching
  • difficulty breathing

Once the peak has subsided, the user will feel very relaxed and comfortable, since the central nervous system has been sedated. The individual will also be left feeling drowsy for several hours and may have an appearance of being asleep while actually awake.

The Dangers of Heroin Abuse

Frequent use of heroin can lead to dependence on the drug. Research estimates that 23 percent of regular heroin users become dependent. A regular user can experience withdrawal symptoms in as little as two or three days after a use. As an individual becomes dependent, tolerance is established, and each use requires an increased amount of the substance to reach an acceptable peak. Tolerance increases the risk of overdose. Most users buy heroin that is mixed with other substances. At times, heroin is sold on the street in a pure form. If a dependent user with a high tolerance uses a pure form, overdose will occur and will most likely be fatal. Chronic users can also develop the following complications:

  • collapsed veins
  • infection of the heart lining
  • abcesses
  • liver, kidney or pulmonary failure
  • clogged blood vessels causing permanent organ damage

Since heroin is most commonly injected intravenously, the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis B or C is extremely high. Many individuals share the needles used to inject the drug, so contagious diseases are often spread on the needles. Substances that heroin is often mixed with, such as talcum powder, starch or chalk, may contain bacteria. The bacteria will then spread throughout the user’s body and cause infections.

Treatment for Heroin Abuse

Heroin addicts who seek treatment will begin with detoxification. The user may be treated with medications like methadone or buprenorphine to ease withdrawal symptoms and allow the addict to feel the same sense of pleasure produced by heroin without the dangerous side effects. Typically, users are treated with a combination of drugs and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Therapy helps modify an addict’s behavior and build coping skills. Treatment can help reduce cravings, eliminate the focus on the drug and improve the addict’s overall physical health. Heroin is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs distributed in the United States. With proper assistance, addicts can overcome dependence and help remove the “chill-out drug” from the streets of America.

cocaine abuse

The Effects and Dangers of Cocaine Abuse: Cocaine is Harmful, Dangerous and Comes with Serious Side Effects

Cocaine is a well known stimulant drug that comes with intense euphoric and addictive potential. It is classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as schedule two, meaning it has high potential for abuse but may be distributed by a doctor for legitimate medical uses.

Cocaine is not a new drug. Pure cocaine is one of the world’s oldest known drugs and was first extracted from the leaves of the coca bush in the mid-19th century in areas of Peru, Colombia and Bolivia. In the early 1900s, cocaine was widely used to treat a variety of illnesses. Cocaine is a white powder that is typically snorted through the nose. However, the “high” can be achieved more quickly if the powder is dissolved in water and injected intravenously. Crack, a well known form of cocaine, is created by heating a mixture of cocaine and baking soda. Crack vapors are smoked, and euphoria can be reached within five minutes.

Side Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine is a nervous system stimulant which causes users to feel alert and energized. Effects of snorted cocaine can be felt immediately and fully wear off within 20 to 30 minutes. A cocaine user feels excited, sociable, talkative and possibly sexually aroused. Physically, the blood pressure and body temperature rise as the cocaine causes an excess of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, to be released in the brain. The comedown from cocaine is unpleasant, leaving the user feeling restless with dulled senses. Common after effects of cocaine use include:

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • depression
  • lethargy

The after-effects are typically minimal at first and worsen with continued cocaine use. Regular users may eventually experience tremors, vertigo, paranoia, seizures or cardiac arrest, which can lead to sudden death. As an individual uses cocaine regularly, he or she will build a tolerance. This will cause the user to need a greater amount of the substance with each use to reach a typical high. Developing a tolerance to the drug creates dependence, which provides more opportunities for cocaine-related deaths.

Dangers of Cocaine

The most common physical danger of regular cocaine use is septum damage due to snorting. The nasal septum is the partition of bone and cartilage that separates the nasal cavities at the top of the nose. At first, regular users suffer constant nosebleeds, bloodied mucus and chronic nasal congestion. After continuous, long-term use, cocaine will begin to have a corrosive effect and may dissolve the septum completely.

The greatest danger of regular cocaine use is the potential for overdose. Most deaths associated with cocaine use are caused by accidental overdosing, usually when cocaine powder has been dissolved in drinks. Mixing the powder in liquid can cause the user to lose a sense of the amount of cocaine being consumed. An overdose is painful and traumatic. The victim suffers convulsions, heart failure or respiratory failure due to the depression of centers in the brain that control vital bodily functions such as breathing. Failure of these functions most often leads to death.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine use does not result in addiction for every individual. Personalities and lifestyles often determine the responses to the drug among different people. However, cocaine is an extremely addictive drug. Cocaine causes a sense of pleasure and self-confidence that users often cannot find through other resources. When the euphoria wears off, the user craves that feeling again, and the compulsion to use the drug continuously is reinforced. For some individuals, occasional use may be completely harmless. For others, occasional use can turn into regular, long-term abuse as the cravings intensify. Regular abuse may then result in cocaine psychosis. The psychosis is a perpetual state of cocaine cravings, insomnia, paranoia, and mood swings. A drug treatment program may help an individual relieve the effects of psychosis and end long-term cocaine abuse.

Coke: Good Feeling, Bad Result

Approximately 2.4% of the American population uses cocaine on a regular basis. Users span a wide range of ages and are found among all ethnicities and levels of socioeconomic status. Every year, hundreds of those users are arrested on drug-related charges. Some users are not so lucky, experiencing physical damage from continued use or suffering painful deaths from overdosing. Individuals become addicted to cocaine due to the euphoria and feelings of pleasure the drug induces. When not high on cocaine, individuals exist in a world of misery with fatigue, headaches and depression. Cocaine is a trap. The drug lures users in with the promise of happiness, and then always leaves them wanting more.

tobacco use

Harmful Toxins Present in Tobacco: Harmful Effects of Smoking

Smoking can be rightfully acknowledged as one of the most popular yet dangerous habits prevailing in the modern world. Smoking is known to cause cancer, respiratory and breathing problems among other severe complications. Other than nicotine, the cigarette smoke consists of 4000 toxic chemicals.

Know the Toxins

Even though most of the 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke are dangerous, some bring about significant and undesirable changes in the body. Other than nicotine, which is a highly addictive and dangerous chemical, these following chemicals constitute the major part of the inhaled tobacco smoke:

  1. Tar – This chemical is a mixture of toxic chemicals and is responsible for lung cancer and respiratory problems.
  2. Carbon Monoxide – This is a poisonous gas which reduces the oxygen carrying capabilities of red blood corpuscles.
  3. Arsenic – This chemical is generally used in wood preservatives and is one of the most toxic chemicals present in the inhaled cigarette smoke. It causes cancer and damages the heart and the blood vessels.
  4. Benzene – It is made from crude oil and is used as an industrial solvent. It has been well established that it causes leukemia.
  5. Cadmium – This is a metal which is used to make batteries. When inhaled, it causes cancer and can damage kidneys and the linings of the arteries.
  6. Formaldehyde – This chemical is used to preserve dead bodies and is an effective chemical used for killing bacteria. This chemical causes severe complications in the lungs and airway passages.
  7. Polonium – 210 – This is a radioactive element which emits a harmful radiation known as alpha radiation. When polonium gets deposited inside the body of smokers, it gives out radiation which directs affects the cells.
  8. Hexavalent Chromium – This is one of the many forms of chromium. It causes lung cancer and plays a major part in damaging the DNA.
  9. BDE or 1, 3- butadiene – This chemical is used in the manufacture of rubber. It is present in huge quantities in the smoke of tobacco and is responsible for casing cancer.
  10. Acrolien – This chemical is found in huge quantities in tobacco smoke. It has a strong irritating smell and is known for causing cancer and damaging the DNA.
  11. Hydrogen Cyanide – This is a highly toxic gas which can cause great damage to heart and blood vessels. It also adversely affects the lungs and the airways.

Smoking adversely affects unborn babies as well. It reduces the passage of oxygen to the fetus due to the presence of cyanide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons of aromatic nature. It causes a reduction in placental flow of blood, thereby reducing the delivery of oxygen to the unborn baby.

The Government Wants You to Stop

With the constant airing of anti-smoking commercials and pictorial warning messages on tobacco products, more and more people have decided to stop smoking. Besides levying heavier taxes on tobacco based products, smoking has been banned in public places. The ban on advertising tobacco products has been a welcome step by the government and a steep contributor to the decline of smoking.

Smoking Cessation for Better Health

Quitting smoking will be the biggest and most rewarding change one can bring to his life. Smoking cessation will bring lasting and wonderful changes in one’s lifestyle and would put him on the path to a healthy and fulfilling life.

ecstasy drug

5-HTP Helps with Ecstasy Addiction Withdrawals

Replenishing Serotonin Helps Ecstasy Abuse Symptoms

Ecstasy addiction leads to depression and insomnia. This alternative medication helps with the drug withdrawal symptoms.

Ecstasy has been a popular drug for decades. Drug abusers use the pill to gain euphoria and a strong sense of well-being. Unfortunately, the comedowns from ecstasy use are severe depression, anxiety, and insomnia. The symptoms from ecstasy addiction are mainly from the body’s depletion of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain. The depression from excessive ecstasy use leads to suicidal thoughts and self harm. It’s imperative that ecstasy users replenish levels of serotonin for their mental safety and health.

What Causes Ecstasy Addiction?

Ecstasy is the street name for MDMA. The chemical name of the drug is 3,4 Methlynedioxymethamphetamine. The drug works on three neurotransmitters, increasing their production in the brain. These three neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine give ecstasy addicts the euphoric feelings for hours. Ecstasy is generally harmless unless there is an underlying condition or polydrug use. Ecstasy may also be cut with other substances that cause overdose situations, and some users experience hyperthermia or water intoxication. Proper harm reduction with ecstasy keeps drug use safe, but side effects from unknown substances in pills are what lead to emergency situations.

Ecstasy Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

The first few times an ecstasy user takes a pill, he feels euphoric, tingly, and empathetic. The high from ecstasy lasts for a few days until the withdrawals start to kick in. Withdrawals from ecstasy addiction are mainly depression. While serotonin floods the brain during ecstasy drug activity, it’s depleted after a couple of days. The lack of serotonin creates depressed activity, and the drug user may feel insomnia and restlessness.

5-HTP Replenishes Serotonin after Ecstasy Addiction

5-HTP is a natural supplement that replenishes serotonin for the depression during ecstasy withdrawal. 5-HTP is actually a precursor for serotonin. 5-HTP is an essential amino acid that is converted to tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan is then converted in the brain to serotonin. Tryptophan is also found naturally in protein rich foods like beef, poultry, and fish. However, quick replenishment is found in 5-HTP supplements which are available at vitamin stores.

Exercise is also shown to improve levels of serotonin. Daily exercise regimens release endorphins, making the drug user happier from ecstasy addiction. Exercise has been shown to be one of the best ways to counteract the effects of drug withdrawal symptoms.

Contraindications

When increasing serotonin, care should be taken before taking supplements. Too much serotonin in the brain causes a condition called serotonin syndrome. This is a dangerous side effect of ecstasy addiction when using other medications. Increased serotonin is also the mode of action for some drugs such as antibiotics. When taking drugs like antibiotics, St. John’s Wort, or 5-HTP supplements, never take ecstasy.

marijuana addiction

Treatment for Weed Addiction: Behavioral Techniques to Treat Marijuana Addiction

Weed (marijuana) is the most abused drug in America. This article examines the different behavioral treatments available for weed addiction.

Weed, also known as marijuana or cannabis, is the most commonly used illegal drug in the world. Smoking weed results in the perceptions and sensations being altered. Smoking weed can be very addictive and harmful. Exerting willpower is an admirable step one can take toward quitting marijuana use. However, it often takes more than that. There are no medications currently available to treat marijuana addiction. Still, behavioral treatments can be an effective alternative.

Treatment for Weed Addiction in Adolescents

In a study called Monitoring the Future (conducted by the University of Michigan), it was discovered that during the mid to late 1990s marijuana use increased significantly among adolescents. Thereafter, use among middle school and high school students decreased slightly. Nearly 50 percent of high school students admitted to using marijuana at least once and nearly 6 percent use it daily.

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) was initially implemented for adult use; however, the Cannabis Youth Treatment Study later adapted it for adolescent use. In MET, with the assistance of an empathetic therapist, the patient feels as though she is understood. The MET therapist takes an assertive stance, reviewing the patient’s goals and behaviors, pinpointing any inconsistencies. The therapist uses this information to better motivate the patient into taking responsibility for her actions and changing them.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that was adapted in the Cannabis Youth Treatment Study. CBT focuses on the patient’s thinking patterns as the source of his addiction. In changing his negative thought processes, he exhibits positive thoughts and behaviors. He also learns the skills needed to avoid drug environments and to minimize his chances of a relapse.

Family-based Treatment for Weed Addiction

Since adolescents are at a stage where they are still closely tied with their families, the Family Support Network (FSN) was implemented solely for the Cannabis Youth Treatment Study. It is designed to improve family communication, parents’ behavioral management abilities and to increase their engagement to the recovery process.

Multidimensional family therapy (MFT) studies how the adolescent and her parents communicate with each other and the involvement of the school systems. It focuses on establishing a therapeutic connection among the members of the families and on enforcing activities to promote healthy changes in the adolescent, her family and social systems.

Adult Treatment for Weed Addiction

There are several treatments that have been developed and created for adults suffering from marijuana addiction. Among the most successful are cognitive behavioral, motivational enhancement, reward-based treatment and support groups. However, it is found that a combination of treatments is more effective than a single one.

Reward-based treatment involves using monetary vouchers to reward patients who have completed positive steps towards their treatment goal (e.g. refraining from drug use or attending sessions). The vouchers can be redeemed for goods or services, such as educational classes or recreational equipment.

Brief marijuana dependence counseling (BMDC) focuses on the social and psychological needs of the adult addicted to cannabis. By combining intervention, case management and cognitive behavioral skills, the patient can receive increased motivation, help for problems outside of his drug abuse, and the necessary skills to abstain from marijuana.

Twelve-step Program for Weed Addiction

An individual suffering from marijuana addiction can also benefit from a twelve-step program, such as Marijuana Anonymous. It offers an effective method of bonding with others similar to him, while helping him to triumph over his addiction.

By coupling a support system with behavioral techniques, overcoming marijuana addiction is possible.