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.
In “Caffeine Concerns: How Much is Too Much?” Dr. Sack discusses how consuming too much caffeine can lead to caffeine dependence. Dr. Sack explains that “there is no set amount of caffeine that will definitively cause dependence.” He also attributes chronic sleep deprivation to caffeine’s popularity. Additionally, Dr. Sack notes, “We are a sleep-deprived nation trying to caffeinate our problem away rather than change our lifestyles.” Read the full article here.
In an article titled, “Sugar Is a “Drug” and Here’s How We’re Hooked” on Healthline.com Dr. Sack discusses how sugar works like many addictive drugs and that the “prevalence and promotion of sugary foods and beverages, coupled with how it affects our brains, make addiction an issue.” Dr. Sack also talks about how not enough parents are educating their children about healthy nutrition, and that the parents may be reinforcing bad eating habits. Dr. Sack also states that “the biggest problem we’ve seen is that parents who are overweight or obese themselves feed these food to their kids and don’t see it as abnormal.” Read the full article here.
In the interview, Dr. Sack talks about how many athletes can be vulnerable to drug and alcohol addiction due to a number of reasons such as how it’s hard to adjust to normal life when involved in such intense games and matches and how many athletes struggle when they are not around their families for long periods of time and have no support.
He also talks about how injuries are a huge factor because athletes can become addicted to pain medications which can ultimately spin out of control. Dr. Sack mentions how sports organizations have a responsibility to educate the younger athletes about the risks and offer early intervention and treatment for those who are struggling. Listen to the interview here.
Dr. Sack is currently featured in the September Issue of SHAPE in an article titled, “‘Harmless’ Addictions?” The piece discusses how activities such as shopping, tanning, and exercise have the potential to become just as addictive and destructive as drugs and alcohol. Dr. Sack is quoted in the opening paragraph discussing how “for the brain, pleasure is pleasure” and how it can come from a substance or any enjoyable activity. Dr. Sack also talks about how genes, family upbringing, and underlying mental health issues all increase a person’s risk of getting hooked- as well as gender, stating “while men are more susceptible to substance abuse, women are more apt to become addicted to a behavior.” (more…)
Dr. Sack is featured in Bisous Magazine in an article titled, ”Bronze It. “ In the piece, Dr. Sack shares his insight on how tanning can be a dangerous and deadly addiction. Dr. Sack explains, “The appeal [of tanning] can be explained in part by research showing that tanning, like some opiate drugs, releases pleasure-inducing chemicals in the brain as such as endorphins.” Dr. Sack also offers a few signs of tanning addiction. (more…)
In this article on Loans.org, Dr. Sack discusses how financial strain can lead to depression and how debt, depression and addiction work hand-in-hand. Additionally, money is essential for living and when debt piles up it can affect your overall health.
“Each problem reinforces the other and creates a cycle that can be difficult to break,” he said.
Some consumers are drawn into debt because of addiction, whereas others that are strapped with debt become more depressed as the bills pile up.
“These individuals are visibly weighed down by shame and guilt surrounding their drug use and its consequences, which leads to further drug and alcohol use,” Sack said. “It can become a self-perpetuating cycle.
Last week, 30-year-old rapper Lil Wayne was hospitalized after suffering seizures. While details are still unconfirmed, it is suspected that his condition resulted from an overdose of a drug called “sizzurp.” Dr. David Sack recently appeared on Fox News to discuss sizzurp. Dr. David Sack recently appeared on Fox News to discuss sizzurp.
Dr. Sack’s article about nicotine addiction and ways to quit smoking is featured on ExpertBeacon.com. 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 ExpertBeacon.com.
A sought-after media expert, Dr. Sack has appeared on Dateline NBC, Good Morning America, The Early Show, E! News, The Doctors, and many other outlets. He blogs for Huffington Post, PsychCentral and Psychology Today and has also been interviewed and quoted by the major print media, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Time Magazine. View Media Reel >