How Many Drinks Are Too Many? Crossing The Line Into Dependency

The question of “how many drinks are too many?” poses a problem because the answer has numerous variables. Consider this saying, popular among people in recovery: “One drink is too many; 10 drinks are not enough.” For one thing, the No. 1 symptom of alcoholism or drug addiction is denial. It’s easy to deny a…

New Painpill—Another Killer?

There’s nothing new about prescription pill abuse, except for the amount of people doing it and the increasing variety of pills available. The Rolling Stones song “Mother’s Little Helper” came out in 1966, riffing on the popularity of Librium and Valium among middle-class housewives. High-school kids in the 60s and 70s took barbiturates, which packed…

What Is the Connection between Drug Addiction and Mental Illness?

In one sense, asking about the connection between drug addiction and mental illness is like asking what is the connection between cancer and physical illness: one is a subset of the other. However, in the popular mind, alcoholism and drug addiction are viewed as strange beasts somehow outside of the category of mental illness. Addiction…

Can Alcohol Kill You?—Let’s Count the Ways

According to the World Health organization, alcohol kills more than 3 million people worldwide each year, which translates to one person every 10 seconds. That’s more than the amount of people lost to AIDS, tuberculosis, and violence. The statistic includes alcohol-related driving fatalities, violence, and health issues arising from excessive alcohol consumption. Because alcohol is legal…

What Not to Say to an Alcoholic

Nonalcoholics—“normies,” in recovery parlance—are often in the dark about the dynamics of alcohol and drug addiction: What does it mean to be an “alcoholic,” and what is recovery about? As a result, they sometimes tend to say things to people in recovery that can be inappropriate, hurtful, and can even cause harm. Here are a…

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