Woman discussing the benefits of behavioral therapy

5 Benefits of Behavioral Therapy

Since the first behavioral therapies were developed early in the last century, psychologists have understood that negative, unhealthy, or destructive behaviors can be changed by shifting the thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that underlie human behavior. Behavioral therapy was originally developed for mental health diagnoses, but it has been established as being highly effective for addiction…

Man wondering, "How long does cocaine stay in your system?"

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

Cocaine — or at least the coca leaves from which this drug is derived — has been in use since 3,000 BCE in Central and South America when the stimulant and euphoric qualities were valued, often in ceremonial uses. Eventually, cocaine’s effectiveness was discovered — as a topical anesthetic and also as a vasoconstrictor during…

When drinking becomes a problem

When Drinking Becomes a Problem

There are moments in life that we don’t really notice when they happen. For example, when drinking stops being an occasional indulgence and becomes a problem. It’s often not until much later, when the problem has become a life-altering disease known as addiction, that we realize what has happened. At Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge…

Effects of heroin on the brain

Effects of Heroin on the Brain

In the US, heroin was originally used in pain relief, along with morphine which is, like heroin, also derived from the opium poppy. However, heroin became illegal in 1924 when its highly addictive qualities were realized. Morphine, much less potent, is still in use today for medical purposes. Heroin and other opiates, like all recreational…

Binge drinking in teens

Binge Drinking in Teens

Teenagers aren’t of legal age to drink alcohol. Unfortunately, consuming alcohol is portrayed in the media as being cool, fun, and even thrilling. Teens believe alcohol will make them more interesting and fun to be with, freer, happier, and less scared. And they aren’t wrong. Alcohol can loosen them up and, for a short time,…

Alcohol and trauma

Alcohol and Trauma

About seven out of 10 people will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetimes. No one is unaffected by trauma and some experience severe emotional and psychological fallout. It is estimated that about 12 million Americans have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, trauma-induced mental health challenges, including PTSD, are treatable. Unfortunately, it often…

Two people discussing polysubstance abuse

What Is Polysubstance Abuse?

Addiction does not always fit into neat categories. In fact, most people who suffer from a substance use disorder regularly take more than one substance. Polysubstance abuse refers to the misuse of two or more substances taken in combination. There are several underlying risk factors for polysubstance abuse, but one of them is the presence…