Horses Help Addicts

Horses are a new partner in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Serenity Rehab in Chiang Rai is the first place in Thailand to offer this complementary evidence-based therapy. North of the Chiang Rai Airport, just before the town of Mae Chan, there are two very different, very special places. One is a sprawling horse ranch with a renowned expert in Equine-Assisted Therapy. The other, a few kilometers away, is a private inpatient substance addiction treatment center. Over the past few months, something special has emerged from their collaboration. Serenity Rehab Thailand, an addictions rehab treating substance dependence, now
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Marijuana Use Disorder

Marijuana, also referred to as cannabis, hashish, or hash, is considered to be the most common illegal psychoactive substance in the world. The psychoactive properties are a result of the Cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The strength of marijuana is typically measured by the amount of THC concentration. THC reaches the brain in minutes and binds to the Cannabinoid CB1 receptor in the brain. It activates these receptors in the mesolimbic dopamine system which is hypothesized to modulate positive rewarding effects. In the 60s and 70s, marijuana strains were found to have between 0.4 and 1 percent of THC. Today cultivators have
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Alcohol Use Disorder

According to The U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2015, approximately 15.1 million adults, or 6.2% of the population meet the criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder.1 A further 623,000 adolescents, boys and girls between 12 and 17, live with a person who has AUD. The survey makes use of the term Alcohol Use Disorder, which might cause confusion to a reader has no medical background. This is particularly true because previous surveys used the terms alcoholism, alcoholic, and alcohol abuse. To add to the confusion, popular support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous continue to use the term alcoholism
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ADHD, and Substance Dependence

This article featured in the September 2017 issue of Substance Dependence Treatment Review ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is commonly associated with high risk behaviours including substance abuse and dependency. Similar to a genetic predisposition, ADHD and addiction are thought to be connected, either causally or co-occurring. Typically emerging in childhood, ADHD affects between 3 and 5 percent of girls and boys under the age of 12 years. A further 2 to 4 percent of adults suffer from ADHD with up to 25 percent experiencing both ADHD and substance abuse or dependency. Such high statistical correlations has led medical professionals and
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Substance Use Disorder in the DSM5

This article featured in the September 2017 issue of Substance Dependence Treatment Review In 2013, the most recent version of the diagnostic manual for mental disorders, the DSM-5, was released. Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the manual is a guidebook for psychiatric diagnosis in the U.S., Australia, and Canada, as well as for some psychiatrists and clinics in Europe. It had been 15 years since the last major revision of the DSM. Reception of the revision was largely positive, though with some warranted criticisms, most notably for changes in terminology. One of these changes included the criteria used to
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The Three Circles of Addiction Recovery

This article featured in the September 2017 issue of Substance Dependence Treatment Review The three circles is a diagram, and tool, that is encouraged by addiction therapists to help recovering addicts identify and define various gateway behavior that can lead to a relapse. First described in a 1991 publication by Sex Addicts Anonymous, the three circles have been adapted and used by treatment programmes and 12 step groups who work with people with substance addiction, as well as process addictions.1 The Three Circles Diagram The three circles look like a concentric, two dimensional diagram with three concentric circles, with an
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Genetics and Addiction

This article featured in the September 2017 issue of Substance Dependence Treatment Review Addiction is highly complex that can be associated with environmental and genetic factors. Often, whether behavioral- or substance-driven, addictions are frequently chronic and have a common course which includes cycles of abstinence and relapse. Genetic researchers are making strides in trying to clarify the origins of addiction and whether or not a person's genes could lead to a predisposition to addiction, especially substance misuse and dependence. Researchers hope to be able to identify new therapeutic methods in addition to improved treatment response and overall prevention. Substance and
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Community Reinforcement Approach to Alcohol Dependency Treatment

This article is featured in the June 2017 issue of the Substance Dependence Treatment Review The Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) is backed by strong evidence for its effectiveness, and is listed amongst the top methods of treatment. Nevertheless, many clinicians who treat alcohol dependency are unfamiliar with the approach. This is despite the fact that CRA was put forth in its first clinical trials over 40 years ago. Since its introduction in 1973 by researchers Hunt and Azrin, CRA has evolved into a treatment approach that includes spouses, family members and drug dependent individuals.1 Community Reinforcement Hunt and Azrin created
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The Sinclair Method and Controlled Drinking

This article is featured in the June 2017 issue of the Substance Dependence Treatment Review Opiate Antagonists Block the Effects of the Alcohol Decades of research has led to a good understanding of the mechanics of addiction and how certain medications can counter the effects of the drug. For instance, the effects of opiates and opioids can be countered by opiate antagonist medications such as naltrexone. These bind with the brain’s receptors for opioids and block the desired effects, reducing or muffling the impulse that arises to take more of the drug. Although alcohol is not an opiate, opiate antagonists
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Selincro (Nalmefene) and Controlled Drinking

This article is featured in the June 2017 issue of the Substance Dependence Treatment Review Selincro is the brand name for Nalmefene, a drug used to help control drinking. It is clinically effective for some kinds of alcohol-dependent drinkers. Prior to Selincro being released to the general public, alcohol dependency treatment has largely relied on abstinence programs (no drinking whatsoever). In North America, abstinence is an integral, and predominent, part of most alcohol dependence treatment programs. In Europe however, abstinence is seen as one treatment avenue, but not the only one available. As more studies release their findings on controlled
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