Encouragement is a Key Part of Prevention

Encouragement is key to building confidence and a strong sense of self and helps parents promote cooperation and reduce conflict. Many successful people remember the encouragement of a parent, teacher, or other adults. Consistent encouragement helps youth feel good about themselves and gives them the confidence to try new activities, tackle different tasks, explore creativity, and make new friends. […]

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Parenting Programs Lead to Healthier Behaviors

A study conducted among 517 youth in the rural areas of the southeastern United States demonstrates the effectiveness of a parenting enhancement program in both preventing substance use and obesity, two potentially life-threatening conditions for which people living in disadvantaged communities are at an elevated risk. […]

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If I Seek Treatment, I’m Worried Other People Will Find Out

You can tell your employer or friends you need to go on medical leave. If you talk to your doctor or another medical expert, privacy laws prevent them from sharing your medical information with anyone outside of the healthcare system without your permission. In addition, most health care providers who specialize in addiction treatment can’t share your information with anyone (even other providers) without your written permission. […]

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If I Seek Treatment, What Will the Doctor Ask Me?

The doctor will ask you a series of questions about your use of alcohol and substances and other risky behaviors like driving under the influence or riding with other people who have been using substances or alcohol. Your doctor can help you the best if you tell the truth. The doctor might also ask for a urine and/or blood test. This will provide important information about your substance use and how it is affecting your health. […]

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Do I Need a 12-step or Self-help Program?

Though all treatment is unique to the individual, self-help groups can complement and extend the effects of professional treatment. The most prominent self-help groups are those affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Cocaine Anonymous (CA), all of which are based on the 12-step model. […]

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What Should I Look for in a Treatment Center?

Treatment approaches must be tailored to address each patient’s substance use patterns and also other medical, psychiatric, and social problems. Some treatment centers offer outpatient treatment programs, which allow patients to continue to perform some daily responsibilities. However, many people do better in inpatient (residential) treatment. […]

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My Friend has Considered Treatment but is Afraid of What Others Will Think. What Can I Tell My Friend?

Many employers, friends, and family members will be compassionate if they see a person is making a sincere effort to recover from a substance use problem. But you can also reassure your friend that laws protect the privacy of a person seeking drug treatment—or in fact, any medical treatment. […]

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If My Teen or Young Adult Confides in Their Doctor, Will I be Able to Find Out What’s Going on?

If your child talks to a doctor or other medical expert, privacy laws might prevent that expert from sharing the information with you. However, you can speak to the doctor before your child’s appointment and express your concerns, so the doctor knows the importance of a substance use screening in your child’s situation. In addition, most health care providers that specialize in substance treatment can’t share your information with anyone (even other providers) without your written permission. […]

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What Helps People Stay in Treatment?

Because successful outcomes often depend on a person’s staying in treatment long enough to reap its full benefits, strategies for keeping people in treatment are critical. Whether a patient stays in treatment depends on factors associated with both the individual and the program. Individual factors related to engagement and retention typically include motivation to change drug-using behavior; degree of support from family and friends; and, frequently, pressure from the criminal justice system, child protection services, employers, or family. […]

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Managing Patients’ Pain: Insights From a Primary Care Provider

Pain interference is a measure of a person’s difficulty with performing daily, social, or work-related tasks that is due to pain. Pain self-efficacy is a person’s confidence in his or her ability to manage pain. A study with participants with high pain intensity aimed to determine characteristics associated with high pain interference. […]

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