It Is a Disease and Needs to Be Treated as Such

In this piece on the New York Times Opinion Pages, Dr. Sack writes

Addiction has three main characteristics that cause it to be considered a disease. First, it has a lifelong course characterized by frequent relapses, cross addiction and a common set of behavioral changes. Second, like other chronic medical disorders, genetics plays an important role is determining who is at risk to become addicted. Finally, there are effective medications that treat drug addiction by blocking the rewarding effects of drugs and decreasing drug cravings.

Read the entire article here.

How to Isolate and Treat Protracted Withdrawal Symptoms

In an article on thefix.com, Dr. Sack talks about protracted withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS is the name of the condition that leaves recovering addicts and alcoholics feeling the worse for wear. PAWS is a series of post-acute symptoms of recovery from dependence on drugs including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and opiates. Dr. Sack is quoted saying, “the brain has tremendous capacity to heal, but it doesn’t heal quickly. In general, PAWS symptoms peak around four to eight weeks after quitting.” Read the entire article here.

Do You Have a Harmless Addiction?

In this HER Radio segment with Dr. Pamela Peeke, Dr. Sack explains that everyday activities that you may find to be therapeutic (like shopping, tanning, or exercising) have the potential to become just as addictive and destructive as drugs and alcohol. Dr. Sack then talks about how your gender, genes, family upbringing, and mental health issues all increase your risk of developing a dependency. He also shares how you can seek proper treatment. Listen to the entire show below:

Dr. Sack Discusses Equine Therapy on CBS 2 News, Los Angeles

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