23 JAN

Constance Scharff, PhD
5:29 am
No Comments

Blocking the “Pleasure Circuit” May Help Addicts

Dopamine, a brain chemical, or neurotransmitter, is released whenever our brain’s reward system is stimulated. The problem is that this “pleasure circuit” does not recognize the difference between what is healthy and what is less healthy. Dopamine may be activated by exercise, relaxing after a long day, or a good meal with friends. Dopamine is […]

21 JAN

Constance Scharff, PhD
5:29 am
No Comments

Hope for Pain and Addiction Treatment Eclipsed By Side Effect of Depression

A pair of drugs that showed promise in the search for more effective treatments for pain, addictions and perhaps other disorders have not produced the hoped for results in a recent study.  The combined drugs target receptor nerve cells that are involved in the release of dopamine. This can cause positive effects, but may also […]

16 JAN

Constance Scharff, PhD
5:31 am
No Comments

Are You an Addict? What is Addiction Really?

How does a person know if they or someone they love is “addicted” to something?  This can be a fully loaded question with a spectrum of opinions. Addiction is often used loosely and incorrectly in our society such as when someone says that they are “addicted” to chocolate.  So what is an addiction really? Any […]

14 JAN

Constance Scharff, PhD
5:32 am
No Comments

ADHD and Substance Abuse

A highly attended session at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) was the “Adolescent Substance Use and Psychiatric Comorbidity: Real-World Clinical Practice Essentials” given by Timothy Wilens, M.D. The topic of discussion was the attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorder (SUD) association. Between 6 and […]

9 JAN

Constance Scharff, PhD
5:32 am
No Comments

Treatment Courts Work for Veterans

“Ask any emergency room doctor or nurse, ask any social worker, ask any police officer with more than five years on the force, ask any municipal or county judge: they see the same people. They get arrested… they’re locked up for 90 days, they’re let go, and 48 hours later they’re locked up,” said General […]

7 JAN

Constance Scharff, PhD
5:33 am
No Comments

Dads are Important in Preventing Addiction

“The behavioral deficits we observed (in mice) are consistent with human studies of children raised without a father,”   said Gabriella Gobbi, an associate medical professor. “These children have been shown to have an increased risk for deviant behavior and in particular, girls have been shown to be at risk for substance abuse. This suggests that […]

19 DEC

Constance Scharff, PhD
5:34 am
No Comments

Addiction Recovery Is Not About Willpower

Addiction can devastate families. Family members are often frustrated when individuals can’t “just stop” without help. Yet science has proven that overcoming addiction and a lasting addiction recovery is not a matter of willpower or a moral failing. It’s a matter of the brain. Scientists have been able to identify at least some of the […]

17 DEC

Constance Scharff, PhD
5:36 am
No Comments

Drink Together, Stay Together?

If one partner drinks heavily, we all probably thought that the marriage wouldn’t last for long. How do we know? Call it intuition or previous experience, but we didn’t really have any real evidence to go on until now. A recent study funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) tells us […]

3 DEC

Constance Scharff, PhD
5:39 am
No Comments

Resisting Temptation …How Do We Do It?

“When some desirable object is not actually present in our sense, exerting its pull on us directly, our motivation to strive to obtain it is driven by our awareness of its (memory or fantasy) image.” That quote is from the authors of a recent study released October 2013 on temptation. From it we learn that […]

7 NOV

Constance Scharff, PhD
2:48 pm
No Comments

Discovering Their Spiritual Side, Part 2

In part two of this blog, we continue to look at how different celebrities and successful world business leaders have found their spiritual side. Fewer and fewer Americans consider themselves to be religious, but still find their spiritual life to be important. Tina Turner was struggling to free herself from an abusive relationship with husband, […]

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