Substance Abuse

Post

Browsing posts in Substance Abuse

2 comments   |   Blog, Substance Abuse

The “Use it or lose it” Model

In the context of pruning and the “use it or lose it” model, addiction is like a pathway.  It may start out as a mere amble through the woods, a poorly defined trail, but can end up like a super highway with few exits.  Drugs are the vehicles that drive that road, and every new […]

Comments   |   Blog, Substance Abuse
The Complicated Case of Adolescent Drug Abuse: Implications of Brain Plasticity

The Complicated Case of Adolescent Drug Abuse: Implications of Brain Plasticity

Erich Engelhardt M.A. Joseph Shrand, MD However, this process of change leaves the adolescent brain particularly vulnerable to the toxic influence of drugs and alcohol.  Already in a major state of flux, the addition of drugs and alcohol that artificially induce dramatic and brutal changes in it’s neurochemistry, (especially the increase of dopamine, the molecule […]

Comments   |   Blog, Substance Abuse
Implications of Brain Plasticity Part 2

Implications of Brain Plasticity Part 2

Erich Engelhardt M.A. Joseph Shrand, MD The Oxford English dictionary defines plasticity as the ability to be easily molded or to undergo a permanent change in shape.  The biological definition describes plasticity as the adaptability of an organism to changes in its environment; specifically the ability to alter the neural connections of the brain as […]

Comments   |   Blog, Substance Abuse
The Complicated Case of Adolescent Drug Abuse: Implications of Brain Plasticity

The Complicated Case of Adolescent Drug Abuse: Implications of Brain Plasticity

by Erich Engelhardt M.A. and Joseph Shrand, MD It never made sense what my teachers in medical school were telling me back in the late 1980′s about the brain: that brain cells did not replicate and once dead were therefore not replaced.  Practically all other parts of the body have some way of reproducing.  From […]

Comments   |   Blog, Substance Abuse
Medical Marijuana Misleads Kids Into Thinking It’s Safe

Medical Marijuana Misleads Kids Into Thinking It’s Safe

I was at a meeting for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Canadian Academy of child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Toronto today, and went to the open meeting of the Committee on Substance Abuse and Addiction. A lively discussion ensued about “Medical Marijuana”. While there are many people who feel MJ […]

1 comment   |   Blog, Substance Abuse
Paris

Paris

The vast majority of the time I get to report the amazing successes of our kids. Heroic, valiant, they struggle with their addictions, determined to survive. This young woman was no different. Her peers at CASTLE say she was one of the most determined to be sober. She would chide the kids less committed to […]

Comments   |   Blog, Substance Abuse
The influence of and on epigenetics

The influence of and on epigenetics

On a daily basis I am astonished by the resilience of the kids at CASTLE.  One remarkable story follows another.  Some kids are ready for sobriety, others are in a pre-contemplative state.  One boy overdosed on heroin and needed Narcan to live.  But in his current state of denial he has tried to convince himself […]

Comments   |   Blog, Substance Abuse
What’s a safe age to let kids drink?

What’s a safe age to let kids drink?

I was recently asked at what age is it safe for a parent to offer their teenager alcohol?  The question was innocent enough, from a parent who believed that if they were the one to introduce their kid to drinking, at least it could be in a controlled setting. My answer: there is no safe […]

1 comment   |   Blog, Substance Abuse
Signs of a Substance Abuser: A to Z

Signs of a Substance Abuser: A to Z

Treating drug and alcohol abuse cannot be done by one person alone.  At CASTLE I am joined by nurses and social workers, recovery specialists, people with different degrees of training, but all with the shared vision of helping our kids find ways to stay clean and sober.  But if a kid does not progress to […]

1 comment   |   Blog, Substance Abuse
Much Appreciated

Much Appreciated

Mr. B. believed he had made billions of dollars creating an entertainment park in Saudi Arabia.  With the money he had bought the hospital where he now resided on the inpatient psychiatric unit.  He was very distressed that we had dismantled his stem-cell research lab in the hospital cafeteria, and routinely reported to me how […]