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Tag Archives: Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Why Overdose Awareness Matters More Than Ever

Why Overdose Awareness Matters More Than Ever

International Overdose Awareness Day, August 31st, began in Australia 20 years ago to raise awareness of overdoses, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and remind us of the grief felt by the families and friends of those who have died due to substance use disorders (SUD). Today, International Overdose Awareness Day is recognized in more than 40 countries.

Isolation individuals have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health and SUD challenges, and reduced access to supportive communities and behavioral health care. Substance use and overdose deaths have increased during the pandemic.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and others have developed approaches, tips, and guidance for managing your mental health during this time, as well as links for locating treatment for substance use disorders. Anton C. Bizzell, MD, President/CEO of The Bizzell Group, has dedicated his career to improving access to quality substance abuse, mental health, and medical treatment and prevention services, and writes about timely behavioral health solutions in his monthly Psychology Today column, Mind Your Health. You can make a difference too, by accessing these resources and promoting behavioral health in your community.

Read more: Why Overdose Awareness Matters More Than Ever

Codeine Addiction: 5 Signs You May Have a Problem

Dr. Anton C. Bizzell was interviewed for a recent WebMD article on codeine addiction. Codeine is an opioid—a type of medication with similar effects as morphine—that is often prescribed to treat pain or coughing. In this interview, Dr. Bizzell speaks about how an increasing dependency on codeine can cause you to lose your desire to interact with others and spend your time instead trying to get back the feeling you had when using codeine. This type of behavior is an early sign that you may be developing an addiction. Sudden weight loss, lack of focus, and drowsiness are also signs you may have a problem, Dr. Bizzell notes. Seek help right away for a possible codeine addiction.

READ MORE: WebMD article

4 Signs of Codeine Addiction You Probably Didn’t Know

In a recent WebMD article, Dr. Anton C. Bizzell discusses the fact that having an addiction to codeine is a severe disorder that can have adverse health and interpersonal problems. Codeine, often prescribed by doctors to ease symptoms such as pain and cough, has a similar effect on the body as other opioids. Many individuals who misuse or abuse codeine become tolerant to the mild effects of the opiate and begin to abuse stronger opiates to achieve greater highs, Dr. Bizzell says. A dual approach of medical intervention and behavioral counseling is recommended to treat a codeine addiction.

READ MORE: WebMD article

Cocaine Use and Stroke: Everything You Need to Know

In a recent WebMD article on cocaine use and stroke, Dr. Anton C. Bizzell highlights studies that show a strong correlation between stroke and cocaine use. Moreover, the stroke risk is often highest in the first few hours after cocaine use. According to Dr. Bizzell, that’s mostly because cocaine is a fast-acting drug, and blood vessel receptors are unprepared for its effects. The risk of a stroke can happen with any amount of cocaine used, so it is vital to seek treatment right away, Dr. Bizzell notes.

READ MORE: WebMD article on cocaine use