Data is a valuable asset, but it doesn’t necessarily give a complete picture of the national drug epidemic. Every year, SAMHSA releases its annual National Survey On Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The study tracks substance use, mental health issues, and negative health outcomes in the populations it surveys. However, an Oregon advocacy group is suggesting that we need to be tracking more than just overdoses. NSDUH has …
My son Jaron was a person with substance use disorder and now he is an angel. I will not let his addiction define him! He was so much more. He was a brother, an uncle, nephew, cousin, best friend, and son! He was my only son. My baby, my Scooby. Jaron was like a shooting star that burned out too fast. He could walk …

Life Binder

Life Binder is a film about friendship, forgiveness, and recovery. Over the past five years, I have grown increasingly interested in neuroscience, and how the balance of chemicals in the brain affect our view of the world. What emotions cause which chemicals to be released? How is the brain affected by drugs? How does the brain create memories? After the overdose death of my best friend from adolescence, …
  I am a person in recovery from alcohol. I will always live with this. This is me. It took me plenty of hospital stays, detoxes, jails, and treatment centers to realize the severity of my addiction. It cost me my job, house, and cars. I even lost custody of my son for nine months. My life was consumed by the alcohol I was drinking. Nothing …
I am the mother of three fabulous sons. My oldest chose to join the Army and served in the 82nd Airborne as Intelligence Analyst for the 7th Special Forces Group based out of Fort Bragg. He was the 2009 7th Special Forces Group Soldier of the Year and served for 8 years, deploying to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Upon returning from his second deployment, …

I Am Positive Our Veterans Deserve Better

I am the mother of three fabulous sons. My oldest chose to join the Army and served in the 82nd Airborne as Intelligence Analyst for the 7th Special Forces Group based out of Fort Bragg. He was the 2009 7th Special Forces Group Soldier of the Year and served for 8 years, deploying to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Upon returning from his second deployment, it …
I was given narcotics by a medical doctor after my stroke. I had experienced pain in my lower back and right leg. This was after I fell many times. I was chair-bound and rarely active. I took one pill four times a day and kept getting refills. During this time I fell again. Falling wasn’t usually a big problem, except I fell in the bathroom. It is a very small …

Choose Your Reward

Stress related cravings for alcohol may predict addictive patterns. How do you unwind at the end of a long, difficult day? Do you grab a bowl of ice cream, shoot hoops at the park, or meditate your stress away? Or do you reach for an alcoholic drink? The way you reward yourself could mean you’re more likely to develop substance use disorder, according to a new study from Sweden …
Understanding how our brains work provides valuable insights into how addiction works, and how to treat it. A new study, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggests an interesting connection between opioid use and a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep. By manipulating hypocretin-producing cells in the brain. Although the paper focused on narcolepsy, it actually studied two neurotransmitters related to the sleep and satisfaction systems of the …
My name is Amber and I’m a person in recovery. I was 13 years old when I became addicted. I’ve always been the black sheep of my family. I felt like an outcast growing up and still sometimes do, when it comes to the way certain family members treat me. They don’t understand that addiction is not a choice. Nobody wants to be an “addict.” Addiction runs deep in my family.