APA Blog

Category : Addiction

Twelve-Step-Based Programs Effective for Substance Use Problems

Spiritual or religious based programs, such as those based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, are effective for treating people with substance use disorders, according to the first systematic review of such programs. In the U.S., more than 20 million people 12 years and older (about 7.4%) have a substance use disorder and among 18-to-25-year-olds, 15% have a substance use disorder, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

U.S. Surgeon General’s Warning on Marijuana Use and the Developing Brain

On August 29, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a new advisory on marijuana use and the developing brain. The advisory focuses on the dangers of marijuana for adolescents and for pregnant women. The statement from Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome Adams emphasized “the importance of protecting our Nation from the health risks of marijuana use in adolescence and during pregnancy. Recent increases in access to marijuana and in its potency, along with misperceptions of safety of marijuana endanger our most precious resource, our nation’s youth.”

For Women, Quitting Alcohol Can Lead to Improved Mental Well-Being

Completely abstaining from alcohol may be beneficial for mental well-being, especially for women, according to a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. These benefits were seen in women who were lifetime abstainers and in women who quit drinking alcohol.

Kleptomania

Most people are familiar with the term kleptomania, a real, but rare, mental health condition. The key feature of kleptomania is the repeatedly acting on impulses to steal items even though the items are not needed. A person with kleptomania does not usually preplan the theft and does not work with others. The stolen objects typically have little value and the person often gives or throws them away.  Kleptomania is different from ordinary theft or shoplifting.

Problem Gambling and Online Access

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and most Americans support increased public awareness and investment in treatment, according to a new survey commissioned by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG).