APA Blog

Category : Addiction

A Presidential Initiative for Mental Health

The 2020 presidential election will be one of the most consequential in recent memory. Whoever is inaugurated the following January will have to contend with a growing health care crisis, particularly where mental health and substance use disorders are concerned.

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.