Although methadone (Dolophine, Methadose) is primarily thought of as treatment for opioid addiction, it is also an excellent and underused analgesic. This column discusses the issues to consider when deciding whether to prescribe methadone for pain relief.
Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogenic Substances as Treatments (2 volumes)November 1st 2007
The use of psychedelic plants and drugs in psychiatric medicine has been a promise for more than half a century, suppressed by a draconian legal response to the epidemic of drug abuse in the 1960s. This 2-volume work seeks to reverse the suppression of scientific inquiry in this field by bringing together a comprehensive airing of the topic.
LifeSkills Training Programs Combat Adolescent DelinquencyNovember 1st 2007
School-based drug abuse prevention programs do more than just effectively decrease drug use and misuse among children and adolescents, according to a study by Gilbert J. Botvin, PhD and associates, they may also reduce adolescent delinquency, verbal and physical aggression, and fighting.
Illinois to Implement New Mental Illness Treatment LawNovember 1st 2007
In September, Gov Rod Blagojevich (D, Ill) signed Senate Bill 234 into law, allowing early state intervention for persons with severe mental illnesses. Before this enactment, the state required that persons must be a danger to themselves or others before court-ordered treatment could take place.
Forensic Ethics and the Expert WitnessNovember 1st 2007
The role of the forensic psychiatrist frequently requires straddling a fence. On the one side lie the standard function and commensurate ethics of a physician; on the other are the needs of the legal system calling for objectivity, truth, and justice.
Adolescence is a time of great importance during which children make extraordinary developmental strides. According to Erik Erikson, adolescents consolidate a self-concept by struggling with essential questions such as Who am I? and What is my role in life?
Strategies Against Methamphetamine and Cocaine Described at ASAM MeetingNovember 1st 2007
Widespread media reports and billboard campaigns decrying a methamphetamine epidemic are drawing attention away from the greater and more entrenched use of cocaine, according to a National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) scientist speaking at the American Society of Addiction Medicine's (ASAM) 38th Annual Medical-Scientific Conference, held in Miami, April 26 to 29.
Gifts From Patients: Pragmatic Model Offers GuidanceNovember 1st 2007
When offered a gift by a patient or a patient's family, a psychiatrist faces a significant practical challenge to negotiate "the poles of rule-bound rigor and individually tailored flexibility," the McLean Hospital Ethics Committee wrote in a recent article.
Computer Gaming--When Virtual Violence Becomes RealNovember 1st 2007
Virtual games, such as World of Warcraft, The Sims, and Second Life, are played by thousands every day, allowing people, worldwide, to connect and share information. In fact, the virtual "worlds" that can be created in these games are now being used to make money (through buying and selling virtual objects), to form partnerships and friendships, and even to conduct business; it is easy to see how many become engrossed in this alternative life.
Psychiatric Emergencies in Bipolar and Related DisordersNovember 1st 2007
Part 1 of this article, discussed a general approach to treating psychiatric emergencies in patients with bipolar and related disorders, as well as the assessment and management of agitation and impulsive aggression. Part 2 focuses on psychosis, suicidality, and specific treatments relevant to patients in emergency settings who are agitated or have bipolar disorder.
Many of the things that we busy ourselves with have no apparent utility. Blogging, playing games, and collecting come to mind. To declare that we are compelled to do these things may be too strong, but we do pursue these activities with little deliberation and without concern as to their usefulness. The ubiquity of these pursuits suggests that these activities or their variants helped humans survive at some point and that they now rest on innate brain programs.
Marijuana Use, Withdrawal, and Craving in AdolescentsNovember 1st 2007
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States and worldwide. Initiation of use typically occurs during adolescence. The most recent epidemiological data indicate that in the United States, 42% of high school seniors have tried marijuana, 18% have used it in the past 30 days, and 5% use it daily.
Managing Late-Life Depression With Combined Medication and PsychotherapyNovember 1st 2007
There are hundreds of studies that show that pharmacotherapy is used to treat depression in adult and geriatric populations. There are far fewer studies that test the efficacy of psychotherapies and even fewer studies that focus on combined treatment for older patients.
The Intersection of Mental Health and Successful AgingNovember 1st 2007
One consequence of the "graying" of the world's population is that psychiatrists, along with all health care professionals, will increasingly be providing services to older adults. In the United States, the first set of people belonging to the baby boom generation turned 60 in 2005, and the number of people older than 60 will soonoutnumber children for the first time in recorded history.
The Collapse of Psychiatry in TajikistanNovember 1st 2007
Since April 2006, I have traveled 3 times to the Central Asian Republic of Tajikistan to work with migrants on the risk of HIV/AIDS. According to the United States Agency for International Development, Central Asia has the fastest growth rate of HIV/ AIDS in the world.