A few days ago, Cory Monteith, a rising star in television, died from the deadly combination of alcohol and heroin. Monteith is not the first person to die from an addiction to alcohol or drugs, and sadly, he won’t be the last. In this post, I’ll be talking about why alcohol and heroin are so lethal when taken together. Why alcohol and opiates are such a deadly mix Both alcohol and heroin (an opiate) are depressant d
When we hear the word “relapse,” most of us think of addiction. However, it can also refer to a relapse of moods, such as depression and anxiety, and problem behaviours. For example, you can be in a good mood but suddenly relapse back into a state of unexplained sadness or depression. Or, you may have stopped an unhealthy behaviour, like smoking, but then relapsed after a few months of success. It’s important to reme
Over the past few days, the mayor of Toronto has been receiving some unwanted attention. It’s alleged that he smoked crack cocaine with known drug dealers and criminals. Since one of my specializations is in addictions counselling, I couldn’t help but use this opportunity to do a little bit of education on the power of drugs, and in particular, of crack cocaine. Cocaine comes from the coca leaf, which has been
A couple of losses in the entertainment world this past week has made me think a little more deeply about addiction. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about the element of choice in the development and treatment of addiction. The power of addiction Gill Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was seen as a pioneer amongst hip hop artists, and an active voice in the fight for social justice amongst blacks in th
One of the things that I’ve been working on changing has been daily exercise. Since childhood, I have always enjoyed physical activity. From playing organized sports to individual activities such as walking, the physical and mental benefits of exercise have been rewarding. However, I also go through days (ok, weeks…) of inactivity. In fact, I would like to exercise more regularly, but something always seems to
We’ve all tried to change something about ourselves – perhaps it’s an addiction to something (e.g., smoking, drugs, video gaming), or simply a behaviour that we no longer wish to have in our lives. Change happens in stages The Stages of Change model was first created by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente in the late 1970’s and early ‘80’s. Initially, they wanted to understand the process that smokers went through a
Before moving on, I wanted to quickly review the content from previous blogs. I’ve been discussing the different elements of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual integrative model used for understanding and treating addictions. The bio portion of the word refers to the physiological or biological factors involved in the development of an addiction. This is also known as the Disease or Medical Model. The psycho portion of
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