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Addictions: What we can do

Bear Psychology Podcast

Release Date: 10/12/2019

Elevating Despair - Suicide Prevention, Grief and Healing with Barbara Rubel & Dr. Baranowsky show art Elevating Despair - Suicide Prevention, Grief and Healing with Barbara Rubel & Dr. Baranowsky

Bear Psychology Podcast

Every year on September 10th, individuals and organizations in over 50 countries connect and work together to prevent suicide, by supporting those who are struggling and to help those who are grieving. This year we will address this topic with Barbara Rubel the author of the fictional novel "But I Didn't Say Goodbye – Helping Families after a Suicide".  In her reader-friendly and well researched book, she addresses the loss of her father through suicide in a meaningful and thought provoking read, and discusses WHAT she learned in the process of grieving and...

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COVID Tired|Quarantine Fatigue show art COVID Tired|Quarantine Fatigue

Bear Psychology Podcast

Feeling TIRED during the COVID-19 Pandemic?  Well, there are good reasons why you feel this way. We will start by acknowledging what is happening, learn about reasons why COVID Tired is occurring for so many of us and include ideas of how to deal with the fatigue in meaningful ways. From parents working full-time while educating, cleaning, cooking and entertaining a family; medical professionals who spend time donning PPE to keep themselves and staff safe; or grocery store staff left with the task of ensuring carts are wiped down and shoppers...

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#BlackLivesMatter: The Courage to Speak Out show art #BlackLivesMatter: The Courage to Speak Out

Bear Psychology Podcast

In this episode we pay attention to the deep and traumatic roots of Black Lives Matter and unpack the layers of how to respond effectively as individuals and within communities. I dialogue with mental health professional, Ornge trauma team lead and anti-racism trainer, Tom Walker. After the murder of George Floyd the public outcry continues to be a powerful voice that is awakening the world to the injustice of systemic racism that so many have turned their backs on for too long.   At this critical moment while witnessing continued acts of social...

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Our Shadow and the Unconscious Mind show art Our Shadow and the Unconscious Mind

Bear Psychology Podcast

"The most terrifying thing is to accept yourself fully" – Carl Jung We'll start by recognizing that we are much more than the surface image we present to others while at the same time exploring why for many, we guard our interior world so very carefully, in fear that others will see us for who we really are. It begs the question – Who and what are we really guarding from others, and why? We will discuss what happens when these facades break down, and what we can see more clearly. By breaking down barriers within ourselves we...

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Pain, Power & the Purpose of Lies show art Pain, Power & the Purpose of Lies

Bear Psychology Podcast

We have all lied at some point, and have likely been hurt by others lying to us. Wonder why do we all do it? Why do some people lie compulsively? Have you ever felt a need to lie to pretend things are better than they are or even to gain power or protection? Have you ever felt ashamed of believing a liar or have been badly injured as a result? We have all been there! Let's talk about this complex issue and explore the Pain, Power and Purposes of Lies. We will discuss the motivation and consequences of lying; how to...

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Frontline Heroes in the COVID Pandemic show art Frontline Heroes in the COVID Pandemic

Bear Psychology Podcast

We addressed the impact on first responders/front line workers everywhere with two experts Dr. Brad Lindell of NC-CM and AAETS (  ) and Daniel McGuire of CISM Perspectives ().   These include emergency room staff, doctors, nurses, clinicians, mental health practitioners, pharmacy staff, grocery staff, those still serving food/drinks, maintenance people, construction workers, and all the people out there showing up to help us continue to function, live, and deal with the demands of this world right now. This is an incredibly demanding time, those on the front line are...

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Your Life in this new COVID World show art Your Life in this new COVID World

Bear Psychology Podcast

How are you managing in this new COVID World? "the hope that something good can come out of this collective state of "together, apart."– , Mar 19, 2020 Things have changed so rapidly that everyday life seems like "a surreal life". I walk to work and the streets are empty, I enter my building and no one is in the elevator. I arrive at my floor, open my file cabinet and begin to see clients – although now, every interaction I have is online or by phone. I cancelled all my social plans and now I have Video Zoom dinner parties, visit with friends and family by phone and email, text and...

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What is loneliness: Why is it so bad now? show art What is loneliness: Why is it so bad now?

Bear Psychology Podcast

What is loneliness: Why is it so bad now? In the age of technology, we are more connected than ever, so why do many people still struggle with loneliness? First, let’s define loneliness. Loneliness is need of human connection but not being able to have it. It is a subjective experience and is not the consequence of being physically alone. If you feel lonely, you are lonely. Loneliness occurs when someone perceives their relationships as not fulfilling their social needs. Dr. Andrew Wister from Simon Fraser University believes social media may be partly fueling...

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Setting Yourself Up for Success show art Setting Yourself Up for Success

Bear Psychology Podcast

Setting Yourself Up for Success “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” – Will Durant The year 2020 is upon us and it marks the end of the decade. Millions of New Year’s resolutions will be made; however, the  success rate shows we just don’t know how to stick with them. We want to share with you the psychology behind starting new habits, changing old habits, and staying motivated. Think of this as your toolkit for setting yourself up for success – not just in January, but every day! Making behavioral changes: Habits are...

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Holiday Stress and Overspending show art Holiday Stress and Overspending

Bear Psychology Podcast

Holidays can be a stressful time of year. There is pressure to make the perfect dinner, give a great gift, spend time with family members you don’t see frequently, and plan fun family festivities. All of this can leave you feeling stressed, depressed, lonely, fatigued, and underappreciated. The holiday blues is a term that accurately describes the mixture of unpleasant emotions one feels over the course of a seemingly joyous time. Not only can the holidays leave you feeling depleted, you may also be left with an depleted bank account. All too often families feel the need to impress one...

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More Episodes
What is Addiction?
Did you know that in the United States alone, 40 million people ages 12 and older abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs? The percentage among the Canadian population is similar.

Addiction is a disease that’s usually chronic in nature. It affects how the brain and body function, and it’s characterized by compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug seeking and use even in the face of harmful consequences.

Addiction causes changes in the brain, which can be long-lasting and lead to harmful behaviours. Drug addiction is also characterised as a relapsing disease where people return to drug use after trying to stop.

What are the Symptoms and Causes of Addiction?
One of the leading causes of substance abuse stems from an unhealthy way to manage your emotions. Addiction can begin when you acquire the wrong tools to cope with the emotional and/or physical pain that you might feel during a particular moment in your life. Everyone needs to bond and connect, and often it’s a lack of genuine personal connections with others that creates a dependency on substances that bring relief.

The primary symptom of addiction is the recurrent use of a substance or engaging in an activity that leads to impairment or distress. Some symptoms include:
  • Using a substance or engaging in an activity for longer periods or in larger quantities than intended.
  • Wanting to stop but unable to do so.
  • Dedicating too much time to pursuing the substance or activity.
  • Strong cravings.
  • Disrupting your obligations at work, school, or home.
  • Continued use of the substance or activity despite problems.
For a full list of symptoms, click here.

Experts agree that you must show signs of at least two symptoms to be considered addicted. How severe your condition is depends on the number of symptoms you show. Two to three symptoms typically indicates a mild condition, while four to five symptoms mean a moderate disorder, and six or more symptoms is considered a severe case of addiction.
 
Can Addiction be Treated?
Fortunately, addiction can be treated. However, treating addiction is not simple. Since addiction is a chronic disease, it’s not possible to simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most people require long-term or repeated care to recover fully from addiction and stop using entirely.

Effective treatment for addiction will help you stop using drugs, stay off drugs for the rest of your life, and allow you to be productive at home, at work, and in society.

There are several ways to treat addiction including the use of medication, behavioural counseling, medical devices used to treat withdrawal symptoms or deliver skills training, and evaluation and treatment for mental health issues like depression and anxiety that can cause addiction.

For example, medical professionals have been prescribing drugs to treat addictions for many years. Buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone) are most commonly prescribed to treat opioid addiction as it helps alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings, without the same “high” or associated psychosocial effects of using illegal opioids.

However, some medical experts believe ancient plant medicines can treat addiction even better than pharmaceutical drugs. For instance, Ayahuasca is a psychotropic plant medicine blend that comes from the Amazon and has been used by native Amazonian tribes for centuries for a variety of medicinal and spiritual purposes.

Ibogaine is another plant-based medicine that some experts believe is very effective for treating addiction. Ibogaine is a psychoactive alkaloid that occurs naturally in the West African shrub iboga. In small doses, it’s a mild stimulant, but in larger doses, it induces a profound psychedelic state, which can be useful for interrupting addictions and even more efficient for breaking destructive habits and behaviour patterns.

Those who support the use of plant-based medicines to treat addictions believe it’s a better alternative because it frees the addict from drugs of all kinds instead of prescribing a legal drug to replace the illicit one.
 
Radio show was aired on Realityradio101.com on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 1 pm EDT