Category Archives for Addiction

Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana has shown benefits such as functional improvements in autism and severe pain conditions. Marijuana is an herb that has been used for thousands of years in traditional, ancient medicine such as malaria, rheumatism, gout, and absent-mindedness. Chinese medicine has used the plant for its medicinal value, versus the intoxicating properties we generally tend to associate it with. medical marijuana

Ayurvedic texts references to cannabis by one of its chief founders of Ayurveda, Dhanvantari. Cannabis is used medicinally only in very small quantities in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda believes marijuana to be an addictive drug, advising it to be used in combination with other herbs, based on the toxic affect it may have on the mind and body. Herbs and plants, like any medicine, may be beneficial for some things, yet still presenting some negative side effects.

The endocannabinoid system is a delicate and complex system of the body, responsible for vital brain functions like appetite, mood, pain sensation, and memory. Endocannabinoids are the naturally occurring chemicals found in our nervous and immune systems. The endocannabinoids then act on various cells and attach to endocannabinoid receptors. While cannabis can work naturally with our endocannabinoid system, cannabanoid misuse can be harmful to our bodies and brain functions.

The Difference Between THC and CBD

Long-term use of cannabis with the active compound of THC has shown to affect the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for intellectual ability and decision making skills. THC is the psychoactive component found in marijuana known for creating the “high” feeling typically associated with its use. Immediate and long-term cognitive side-effects include, impaired thinking and reasoning, reduced ability to plan and organize, altered decision-making, and reduced control over impulses. Therefore it should be used with caution under the care of a doctor. CBD has the same chemical constituents as THC, but doesn’t produce the “high” feeling, making it a safer option for children since it doesn’t have the potential harmful cognitive effects of THC. CBD is used to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, reduce psychotic symptoms in Schizophrenia, and increase appetite while decreasing pain and nausea in cancer patients. Read more at: www.sepalika.com/living-well/pros-and-cons-of-medical-marijuana. medical marijuana

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Medical ailments that have shown to respond well to medical marijuana include mood disorders, degenerative neurological disorders such as Dystonia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and seizures. Medical marijuana also has the potential to ease pain associated with multiple sclerosis, assist in symptoms of autism, ease tremors in patients with Parkinson’s Disease, and aid with sleep issues. People with nausea from chemotherapy, chronic pain, or those depending on harmful pain-relieving opiods can also benefit a great deal from medical marijuana. medical marijuana

Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of Drug Policy Alliance, notes, “New evidence now indicates that the proliferation of medical marijuana laws and dispensaries around the United States is strongly associated with fewer people dying from overdoses involving heroin and pharmaceutical opiods. the most likely reason is that people are finding marijuana more helpful than opiods in managing different types of pain. Doctors are recommended to us cannabis with caution in patients with a history of tobacco or other substance use, at increased risk for heart disease, or have a history of mood or anxiety disorders. Dr. Michael Dworkind recommends using no THC under the age of 24. CBD is a healthier alternative and has shown particularly beneficial in children with seizures. Dr. Dworkind believes it to be a myth that marijuana is a gateway drug, as it is much safer than other addictive drugs. The reason being, a person cannot die from overdose.

Medical marijuana is separated from the recreational use of it as there are not large amounts of THC. Different strains produce different effects and your doctor can decide with is best for your condition. It is safer since the dosage and kind of strain is regulated by the doctor and licensed producer. The doctor follows up every three months and makes any necessary modifications based on a risk/benefit questionnaire. Vaporizing is encouraged as a way of taking medical marijuana since it is a healthier option. Oils and edibles are also available. medical marijuana

More information about the pros and cons of medical marijuana can be found at medicalmarijuana.procon.org.

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling .pittsburgh addiction

Our Open Letter to Pittsburgh About Addiction

Recovery is not easy. It is something that requires effort and energy every day. Recovery is a journey, and the trajectory of that journey depends entirely upon the individual’s level of belief within themselves combined with the efficacy of the treatment they are participating in.pittsburgh addiction

Against popular belief, money, success, fans and living your dream do NOT increase your likelihood of abstaining from harsh drugs or your demons.

The passing of Pittsburgh’s very own Mac Miller illustrates this point. Malcom has been struggling with substance abuse and he just passed away today, September 7th, 2018, as a result of an overdose.pittsburgh addiction

He was only 26 years old.

This touches all of us at Makin Wellness so deeply. I myself have a hard time accepting Mac Miller’s death . In 2012, he mentioned in an interview :

“I’d rather be the corny white rapper than the drugged-out mess who can’t even get out of his house. Overdosing is just not cool. You don’t go down history because you overdose. You just die”

If you are struggling with addiction, PLEASE get help. We can help you get the help you or your loved one is looking for.pittsburgh addiction

We offer medical marijuana assisted opioid outpatient treatment that is backed by research to be effective. Our addiction treatment programs are also holistic , come with secure texting to your therapist and have the option of meeting virtually.

If you need help, we can provide it at Makin Wellness or provide you with a referral to another treatment program that is in network with your insurance (if money or location is an issue). If you need a high or higher level of care than what we can provide, we have powerful connections with the best holistic rehabs , such as White Deer Run  , and can help you get treatment FAST… same day if need be.

If you have any questions or need to talk please call us at (412)-532-1249 or send us an email at info@makinwellness.com . You can book a session here or call this substance abuse hotline 24/7 here : (724) 602-2755 pittsburgh addiction

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC,LPC

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling .pittsburgh addiction

 

 

 

 

 




 

Medical Marijuana & Opiod Addiction

In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis as a public health emergency. The opioid epidemic, which kills more than 100 people every day, is considered “the worst drug crisis in American history” as Trump noted. According to CNN, opioid addiction leads to more deaths than breast cancer. Worse still, access to special medications for people with drug use disorder is very limited—only 10 percent of them get specialty treatments. opiod addiction
https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/29/health/medical-marijuana-opioids/index.html

https://www.solevowellness.com/help-end-opioid-addiction/

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/4/30/17302692/opioid-epidemic-medical-marijuana-painkiller

 

A lot of anecdotes have given hope to the use of medical marijuana in treating opioid addiction. Most anecdotes show that compared to opioids, medical marijuana needs less doses and is more effective with less side effects (especially overdose and over reliance potential). Some also claim that by mixing medical marijuana with opioids, less opioids are needed because medical marijuana can strengthen the effects of opioids. While there is some evidence that medical marijuana can ease pain for chronic pain, little research has been done in this regard. Therefore, we still lack objective data to prove its effectiveness. opiod addiction

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/29/health/medical-marijuana-opioids/index.html

 

While most studies have pointed that medical marijuana is a non-addictive replacement for opioids, some studies do not find similar outcomes. A study done by Shalev and his research team in 2006 showed that opioids have little influence over rats’ cocaine consumption (While in another study, it showed that opioids have effect on rats’ heroin consumption).

https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19607404/marijuana-drug-addiction-cbd-opioid-cocaine-use/

 

Medical marijuana is not the only non-opioid pain treatment as well; there are more than 200 non-opioid medications according to Stanford University pain specialist Sean Mackey. Also, most researches show correlation instead of causation between medical marijuana and opioid abuse. However, correlation is very different from causation. For example, the consumption of ice cream and drowning are positively correlated. However, does this mean eating ice cream leads to more drowning? Absolutely not. So why they are correlated? Because people are more likely to eat ice cream in summer when people are also more likely to go swimming. The same principle can be applied to medical marijuana and opioids as well. The editors of the scientific journal Addiction concluded as follows: Given these limitations of the evidence, it is premature to recommend the expansion of access to medical cannabis as a policy to reduce opioid overdose risks in the United States and Canada. The research funding is also limited due to federal regulation. Therefore, we still have a long way to go before medical marijuana officially become a treatment for opioid addiction. opiod addiction

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/4/30/17302692/opioid-epidemic-medical-marijuana-painkiller

https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19607404/marijuana-drug-addiction-cbd-opioid-cocaine-use/

 

However, the future is still majorly promising as more people are finding research evidence to support it. Researchers from University of California Irvine wrote that: “In short, our findings that legally protected and operating medical marijuana dispensaries reduce opioid-related harms suggests that some individuals may be substituting with marijuana, reducing the quantity of opioids they consume or forgoing initiation of opiates altogether.”

https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19607404/marijuana-drug-addiction-cbd-opioid-cocaine-use/

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/4/30/17302692/opioid-epidemic-medical-marijuana-painkiller

About Makin Wellness :

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .

Contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn highly effective stress relieving techniques!

opiod addiction

Xinyu Lu (Lydia)

 

 

 

Women With Addiction

Women tend to be thought of as less likely than men to develop addiction. The gender gap is closing though, with statistics showing 4.5 million women having issues with substance abuse, 3.5 million misusing prescription drugs, and 3.1 million regularly using illicit drugs. According to the CDC, women are more likely to have chronic pain and be prescribed painkillers at higher doses, becoming more dependent than men. Why is there an increase in addiction in women? Consider some of the triggers.addiction

Triggers

Triggers of addiction in women include chronic inflammatory pain like fibromyalgia, stress, exposure to trauma, interpersonal violence, low self-esteem, and social pressures. Women are at high risk for developing PTSD due to traumatic life events, such as sexual abuse and physical attacks, and unfortunately may turn to drugs in seeking relief from this emotional trauma.

Previous blog posts on depression and mental health noted the way women process emotions differently, partly due to brain chemistry. Women are more likely than men to revisit negative emotions and replay events in their mind. In efforts to manage intolerable emotions, women may try to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Consider another factor related to addiction in women and the important role of hormones. addiction

Hormonal Influence

Hormone imbalance affects motivation, energy, and stress levels. According to drugabuse.com, a study done at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai showed higher estrogen intensifies the brains dopamine reward pathway, creating increased pleasurable feelings. When a woman has higher estrogen and takes a drug, more enjoyment is experienced. Thus, the high is associated with greater enjoyment.

Progesterone – the hormone that prepares the body for pregnancy and regulates the monthly menstrual cycle – has shown to lower drug seeking behaviors. When progesterone levels fall estrogen becomes the dominant hormone, making a woman more susceptible to drug abuse. Researchers noted when people struggling with addiction are given progesterone, the hormone plays a therapeutic role in reducing smoking and cocaine use. addiction

Oxytocin, otherwise known as the “love hormone” is a powerful hormone known to promote maternal and stress reducing behaviors. Oxytocin is released as a nursing mother bonds with her baby and during intercourse. It has also been shown to be released during hugging, helping to decrease stress hormones. In healthy relationships, oxytocin promotes bonding and trust. Therefore, in efforts to recover from addiction, healthy loving relationships are essential. Studies suggest oxytocin therapy may be helpful in reducing drug-seeking behavior and preventing relapse.

Social Pressures

Women are encouraged to be maternal, professional, in control, feminine, and conform to idealized beauty standards. Influences of social media, with terms like “mommy needs wine” or “mommy juice” is celebrated as a way to cope with the stress of motherhood.

Instead of turning to alcohol for relief, choosing nutritious meals, making time for exercise, and spending quality time with loved ones will boost mental health, help to balance hormones, and improve overall wellness. The comparison trap social media presents is dangerous for anyone battling addiction. In seeking to find ways to cope, it is vital for women to feel loved through a positive support system.

Steps to Recovery

Acknowledgement – Recognizing and acknowledging there is a problem is the first important step to recovery.

Consideration – Considering the impact addiction has on your life, friends, and family is necessary in taking action.

Exploring Recovery Options – Consulting with friends and family can help provide needed support to move in the direction best suited to your individual needs.

Early Recovery – Learning coping skills and making changes are essential in this stage. Having a support group and other resources will help prevent relapse.

Long-term Recovery – In this stage of recovery, addicts have overcome a great deal. It is important to keep in mind that it takes a continuous life long effort to guard against relapse. Keeping a strong support system and being alert to triggers is paramount. It is a journey that requires a total transformation of mind, body, and spirit.

addiction

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation and get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists. We can help you find the resources and support you need in your journey to recovery!

About Makin Wellness :

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .

 

 

Entrepreneurial Addiction

The mental and emotional hardships that accompany entrepreneurship can be hard to imagine from the outside. We see entrepreneurs as creatives, innovators, and go-getters, but sometimes we neglect to recognize the other side of the coin – the long hours, self-doubt, isolation, and increased rates of mental health struggles. Researchers sampled 242 entrepreneurs and found that of them 49% (compared to 32% of the comparison group) reported having one or more mental health conditions (Freeman, Johnson, Staudenmaier, & Zisser, 2015). Further, the entrepreneurs of the sample had higher rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Entrepreneurial Addiction

Frighteningly, researchers have drawn parallels between the behaviors of entrepreneurs and addicts, suggesting that “workaholism” is not just a word to be thrown around. This has led to the coinage of the term entrepreneurship addiction, which can be defined as “excessive or compulsive engagement in entrepreneurial activities that results in a variety of social, emotional, and/or physiological problems,” that increases in intensity (Spivack & McKelvie, 2017).  Entrepreneurial Addiction

Criteria:Entrepreneurial Addiction

Entrepreneurship addiction manifests itself in six behaviors:

    1. Obsessive thoughts – This is when thoughts surrounding your entrepreneurial activities seep into the other aspects of your life and you cannot shut them off. Obsessive thoughts may be good for results and productivity, but they can hamper attention and growth to other areas, such as hobbies, relationships, sleep, diet & exercise, and setting time aside to relax and recharge for the next day
    2. Withdrawal/engagement cycles – You may be in a state of withdrawal if being away from work causes you negative feelings. A good businessperson worries about their ventures, naturally, as there is so much on the line, but if you find yourself feeling angry, anxious, or depressed when away from your work or wishing you were doing entrepreneurial activities while participating in other things, you may be experiencing this symptom.
    3. Self-worth – Many people feel satisfaction and validation through accomplishments in their work, but it becomes problematic when your sense of self-worth is completely hinged upon entrepreneurial activities. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and poor self-image, particularly when facing the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
    4. Tolerance – Dramatic increases in time or resources spent in entrepreneurial ventures are strong indicators of tolerance. Sometimes, this means having more responsibility in the projects you are taking on; other times it involves embarking on more new projects as a whole. The essence of this trait is that it takes more and more for you to feel satisfied with your business and how much you put into it.
    5. Neglect – When your entrepreneurship consumes your thoughts and energy, you are likely to begin neglecting other areas of life. Specifically, disengaging with friends and activities you formerly enjoyed can hint at a possible addiction to work. This, like the other symptoms, is commonly seen in people with substance abuse and is one of the first indicators of an addiction.Entrepreneurial Addiction
    6. Negative outcomes – Consequently, an unhealthy amount of work-involvement can lead to deleterious mental, emotional, relational, and physical effects. Common ones include less time spent with loved ones, stress-related damage to the immune system, decreased amounts of sleep, poor nutritional habits, and feelings of guilt or anxiety.

How Does This Happen?Entrepreneurial Addiction

The demanding hours required to work full-time as an entrepreneur can lead to overwhelming amounts of pressure and neglect of the self and others. There is so much being asked of you, and at times it can feel as if you are doing everything alone. The amount of work that must be done, the unique difficulties you face in doing it, and the risks involved can be a toll-taking combination, leading to high levels of stress, overwhelming workloads, and, subsequently, feelings of being burnt out.Entrepreneurial Addiction

How Can We Fix It?

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is paramount. This means making a conscious effort to provide yourself with what you need, such as adequate sleep, nutritious meals, and time for loved ones and recreational passions. Be reasonable in your goal-setting and try to keep work restrained to certain hours, buildings, or rooms of the house if you work from home. It is easy to commit to what feels like a thousand different things and realize afterwards you have stretched yourself too thin. To combat this, be organized, honest, and decisive. Keeping a planner is a great way to stay on top of all the things you are responsible for and being honest with yourself and your colleagues about your capabilities is the only way to keep that list from growing too long. Further, learn to say no when that is the best thing for you.Entrepreneurial Addiction

If your work responsibilities are taking a toll on your mental health, causing you significant distress, or interfering with other aspects of your life, please schedule a free consultation now to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!Entrepreneurial addiction

About Makin Wellness :

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling . MStress Management Pittsburgh

Sara Makin Makin Wellness

Sara Makin, M.S.Ed, LPC, NCC