The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)[i] produced by the American Psychiatric Association is often referred to as the “doctor’s bible,” because it provides an authoritative list of symptoms medical professionals can use in order to diagnose disease in their patients. In the past, the DSM defined substance abuse and dependence (or addiction) as…

An autoimmune disorder is a disease in which antibodies in the blood attack normal, healthy tissue in the body as if it posed a threat.1 Many of these autoimmune diseases are marked by pain in areas, such as the joints, nerves and muscles. Many times, prescription medication is required to manage these symptoms. However, some…

Know someone who seems completely wrapped up in their own greatness and mystique? Then you might consider them to be narcissistic. It’s one thing if a person gets a little too proud of themselves from time to time. It’s another problem entirely if they have narcissistic personality disorder. They do anything and everything to protect…

Who are you? If you are addicted to drugs, you may not really know how to answer that question. Even when you are newly sober, you may not entirely be sure. Drug treatment helps you awaken your personality, character, spirituality, and more. But let’s take a look at how a person’s identity can be lost…

Genes play a vital role in the development of any addiction, but they are not the only factor. To differing degrees, genes work in concert with outside factors to influence a person’s response to substances along with his behavior. How Genes Influence Disease Development The human body contains an estimated 20,000 to 21,000 genes.[1] The genetic…

One of the most stunning things about recovery is the similarities between your story of addiction and that of the next addict. Heroin addiction, especially, seems to provide its captives with a gut wrenching path from which few escape. Though the details—location, names, amounts, dates—change with each story, one thread remains the same: heroin addiction…

Whether it’s your decidedly adventurous spirit, a seemingly constant chocolate craving or your unique shade of blue-green eyes, it’s no secret that so many of your traits can be traced back directly to your family roots. Of course, not all genetic markers necessarily work out in someone’s favor. For instance, did you know that more…

While it’s often during one’s college years that a person really gains a sense of identity, we’ve come to associate the college experience with partying, drinking and doing drugs. In many cases, experimentation with substance abuse is a passing interest, but there are other times when it becomes a coping mechanism and leads to addiction….

Although we face many cultural issues today, addiction is surely among the most pressing. It’s a destructive, deadly disease that affects all sections of the population to some degree, which is why combating addiction remains a top priority of public officials and researchers alike. Lately, there’s been much discussion about risk factors for addiction. Through…