Man dressed in business attire as example for how to help a high-functioning alcoholic

How to Help a High-Functioning Alcoholic

High-functioning alcoholism is as serious as other types of alcoholism, and sometimes even more so. It’s challenging to convince a high-functioning alcoholic to get help because they usually don’t think they have a problem. A classic alcoholic sees the physical and situational impact of alcohol abuse. Their problems are more obvious. There are clear-cut reasons…

marijuana and bipolar

How Marijuana Use Complicates Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder abuse marijuana more than any other drug. Some are trying to self-medicate their bipolar symptoms. Medical marijuana isn’t an approved method for treating bipolar disorder in states where medical cannabis is legal. The combination of marijuana and bipolar disorder can make an already difficult mental illness worse. Research shows about 70%…

can a marriage survive drug addiction

Can My Marriage Survive Drug Addiction?

Allison came to a support group meeting desperately seeking insight into how to save her marriage. Her husband of 10 years had developed a drug addiction after extended use of opioid pain medicine. She knew his behavior had changed, but she was in denial for many months. Her husband was becoming more moody and withdrawn,…

woman experiencing back pain and holding her back

Pain Management Treatment – Then and Now

Pain management treatment has come a long way over the last couple decades. When I first started practicing medicine in the late 1990s, if a patient had a back injury, you’d write them a prescription for 30-40 tabs of Vicodin or Percocet and have them take it every six hours. It was all about relieving…

girl standing lonely outside group of other girls talking

Is Dissociation Healthy for People With Addiction?

People who experience unbearable trauma as children often dissociate from the experience―both in the moment and as they grow―because the pain of the experience runs deep. Unless they have therapeutic help or a supportive caregiver who can guide them through it, they tend to store trauma away and may even pretend it never happened.

psychiatrist with notepad talking to patient

Guide to 12-Step Alternatives

Twelve-step alternatives are just as effective as the 12 Steps, according to a recent study by the Alcohol Research Group. The study looked at over 600 people’s support group involvement and substance use over 12 months. We need more research to make any definitive claims about alternatives to AA and similar groups. But I’m not…