Articles by David Sack Archives

Los Angeles Times Op-Ed

In ?We need to start child-proofing pot,? featured in the LA Times Op-Ed section, Dr. Sackÿdiscusses the dangers that the legalization of marijuana will have on children and that risks that children will grow up to believe that ?pot is no big deal,? when in reality, it?s the complete opposite.ÿRead the article online here or the PDF here.Los Angeles Times Op-Ed

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.

Protecting Home Turf in the Fight Against Processed Food

hpDr. Sack?s article titled, ?Protecting Home Turf in the Fight Against Processed Food?, is currently being featured in the Healthy Living section of The Huffington Post (32 Million UVPM). Dr. Sack discusses whether or not junk food is addictive, and offers tips families can follow to prevent themselves from junk food addiction, including to: Leverage Your Buying Power, Take Initiative, Be Health-Inspired, Read Labels and to Decode Marketing Messages.

Nicotine Patch Greatly Increases Your Chances of Quitting Smoking

eb_large (1)Dr. Sack?s article titled, ?The nicotine patch can greatly increase your chances of quitting cigarettes and chew?, is currently being featured on (40,000 UVPM). The article starts off by stating that Americans spend $1.5 billion per year on nicotine replacement products, and Dr. Sack offers Do?s and Don?ts when quitting smoking by using the patch. For ?Do?s?, he includes: take the proper dose, wear the patch most of the day, change locations, talk to your doctor about duration of use and address the underlying issues. For ?Don?ts?, he includes: don?t put off using the patch until you quit, don?t limit yourself to the patch alone, don?t ignore negative side effects, don?t wear the patch to bed if it disrupts sleep and don?t ignore smoking triggers.

5 Things Parents Do That May Encourage Teen Substance Abuse

In his latest HuffPost Parents blog, Dr. Sack writes, ?Well-meaning parents sometimes do things that unwittingly encourage their teens to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Is there room for improvement in your parenting practices??ÿ Read more in ?5 Things Parents Do That May Encourage Teen Substance Abuse.?

Quit smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco with the help of nicotine gum

Dr. Sack?s article about nicotine addiction and ways to quit smoking is featured on The article discusses that an addiction to nicotine is one of the most difficult to beat, and Dr. Sack offers Do?s and Don?ts when quitting smoking. For ?Do?s?, he includes: create a plan, choose the right strength, chew nicotine gum to fight cravings, buy non-nicotine gum and find healthy substitutes. For ?Don?ts?, he includes: use nicotine gum for more than three months, smoke while using nicotine gum, chew too many pieces per day, chew nicotine gum like regular chewing gum and to not let the aid become the addiction. Read the full article at

Recent Stories in the Media

In November Medscape published an article, ?Postelection Blues: Passing Reacting or Mental Health Threat?? in which I commented:

?I think many people identify with their candidate. It?s not just tha tthey?re rooting for them, but they feel a personal connection with that person. So when things don?t go as expected, the disappointment for the supporter can be as great as for the candidate?People have a profound attachment and a profound belief in what they are doing. So when things don?t work out, there isn?t just disappointment in what?s going to happen next year. They often feel like their hopes and core values have been abandoned.?

Also in November, my colleague, sex addiction expert Robert Weiss, MSW, C-SAT, was quoted in Prevention Magazine?s article ?Why Powerful Men Cheat?:

But this was hardly the first notable guy to be caught with his pants down. From Bill Clinton to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the list of powerful, married men guilty of illicit love affairs is only going to get longer, says Rob Weiss, LCSW, director of intimacy and sexual disorders for Elements Behavioral Health.

?Behind every one of these men are a thousand other men and women, too,? says Weiss. ?It?s a much more common problem than the isolated cases we see in the media.?

Also this month, my articles ?Yes, We Can Reduce Incidence of Suicide? and ?Acute Stress and PTSD: Sandy?s Longest-Lasting Devastation? ÿwere published in the Huffington Post.

Is Medical Marijuana Good Medicine?

Many claims about pot?s beneficial effects just don?t hold up. ÿRead Dr. Sack?s editorial in the LA Times, Is Medical Marijuana Good Medicine?


How to Assess Your Teen?s Risk Factors for Addiction

Drug use is common among teenagers. By late adolescence, a recent study published in theArchives of General Psychiatryÿshowed that as many asÿ78 percent of teens have abused alcoholÿand over 40 percent have used other drugs. Although these statistics are daunting, millions of teens are not using drugs. Which group does your teen belong to? How can you know? Continue reading Dr. Sack?s blog on Huffington Post >


Time Traveling in the Wrong Direction

In February of this year, the Georgia Department of Labor started encouraging businesses to report job applicants with ?dirty? urine. (So far, none have done so.) The reasoning behind this new policy is that federal law allows states to deny unemployment insurance benefits to workers who fail an employer?s ? or a potential employer?s ? drug test, because failing a drug test can be interpreted as being ?unavailable for employment.?

Frankly, Georgia?s policy returns the state to the drug and alcohol dark ages, when addiction was viewed as a moral failing as opposed to a treatable illness?

Continue reading Dr. Sack?s blog on Huffington Post