Casual Marijuana Use Changes the Brain

Marijuana Treatment

New research into casual marijuana use during adolescence indicates that even limited usage can cause structural changes in the brain. The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, examined the long-term impact of low and moderate usage of marijuana on the brain. Researchers specifically identified two regions of the brain that differ in size and shape between those who do not use marijuana and those who smoke once a week. The areas of the brain impacted are involved in emotion and motivation.  While many studies have focused on the long-term Continue Reading »

Negative Body Image Linked to Social Media

emotional intelligence

Young adults spend much of their time sharing their lives on social media with friends and family members. With many using it as their primary form of communication, many see it as an enhancement to their relationships; however, recent research suggests that more time spent on social media could actually be damaging, leading to more negative feelings and comparisons of one’s body to others, especially in college-aged students. Primarily affecting women, negative body image and feelings towards oneself directly correlated to the amount of time spent on websites such as Continue Reading »

Limiting Media Usage Can Provide Multiple Benefits

computer addiction

Adolescents and young adults spend more time in front of computer monitors, playing games and watching television than engaging in many other activities. While many use technology as a means to connect with friends, complete work and entertain, too much time spent in front of a computer or television can cause a number of adverse effects to develop. Researchers from Iowa State University have examined the health benefits associated with decreased use of the computer and television, finding that many adolescents sleep better, perform better in school and exhibit better Continue Reading »

Occasional Drug Use in College-aged Youth Show Brain Differences

college drug abuse

Drug use in young adults has grown exponentially in recent years. While substance abuse continues to rise, drug use in those who classify themselves as occasional users of stimulants, such as cocaine, and certain prescription drugs, has proven to produce effects on the brain that may lead to deepening addiction later in life. The study published in the March 26 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, compared the reaction times of occasional stimulant users to those who had never tried these drugs. Early in the study, reaction times of those Continue Reading »

Social Connections Can Help in Reducing Depression

group therapy

Building community is a major component of treatment at Sober College. Sober College’s therapies encourage the building and strengthening of supportive networks throughout the treatment process. Even in completing treatment, Sober College enforces the power of community through aftercare services and our alumni program. Strong, supportive relationships play a vital role in treatment of addiction and lower the risk of relapse. New research supports Sober College’s practices in revealing that belonging to a social group can alleviate symptoms of depression and prevent relapse of mental health disorders.  In the paper Continue Reading »

Opioid Overdoses Raise Risk of Hospitalization, Respiratory Failure

opiate abuse

Opioid abuse is a growing problem among young adults. Available in some prescription drugs and as a component of heroin, opioids are incredibly dangerous substances that are highly addictive and potent. Opioid abuse has seen a dramatic increase in emergency room visits recently with a nearly 183% increase from 2004 to 2011. These staggering numbers are partly due to an increased availability through prescription medication for pain management, with sales nearly quadrupling over the past 11 years.    According to a report published in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Continue Reading »

Mentally Ill Are More Often Victims of Violence

side effects of drug abuse

A new study conducted by researchers from a variety of universities indicates that one-third of adults with a  mental illness are likely to be victims of violence. With a strong correlation between victims of violence committing a violent act themselves, those with mental illnesses are more likely commit these acts in residential settings. In this study, victims of violence were 11 times more likely to commit violence themselves.  The cycle of violence can be stopped through intervention. By providing education and focusing on protecting individuals who are at risk of Continue Reading »

Brain Activity in Alcohol Dependent Women

women's alcohol rehab

Alcohol dependency can physically change the structure of the brain and cause difficulty in processing information. Addiction in women varies from men and affects them differently due to biological reasons causing complications that can devastate their bodies more rapidly.  Liver damage, heart disease and breast cancer are often caused by alcohol abuse and can set in earlier in women than in men. With binge drinking on the rise in women, these risks are continuing to grow. Currently, it is estimated that 1 in 5 adolescent girls binge drink at least Continue Reading »

Teen Pregnancy More Likely in Those With Mental Illness

women's treatment

A study published in the journal of Pediatrics indicates that teenage girls with major mental health disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, are three times more likely to become teenage parents than those without a major mental health disorder. The study suggests that while only some of the risk factors associated with teen pregnancy and mental health disorders are known, many prevention programs do not consider mental health issues in addressing teen pregnancy.  Adolescence is a trying period of time accompanied by numerous biological changes that can influence the Continue Reading »

Quitting Smoking Improves Mental Health

side effects of smoking

Quitting smoking is beneficial not only for physical health, but also for mental health according to a new study from Washington University. The study provides significant insight into the treatment of mental health disorders and substance addictions. In many cases, clinicians may allow patients to “self-medicate” with cigarettes while receiving treatment for depression, anxiety or substance abuse issues because of the assumption that quitting smoking can interfere with other treatments. The results of this study, however, indicate that reducing usage or quitting smoking can actually lower the risk of mood Continue Reading »