This blog focuses on reader-friendly articles that may make an impact in your life, or, for clinicians, the lives of your patients.

CeDAR Development and Podcast

For the past 6 years I have maintained a faculty position at CeDAR, the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation.  This role involves managing a residential treatment team through the University of Colorado Hospital, with an emphasis on teaching...

Doppel – The Wellness Chatbot

I've been busy!  If you are new to visiting my site and interested in something high-tech using artificial intelligence, strike up a conversation with my robot, Doppel.  Doppel is a conversation bot who runs through Facebook Messenger and chats with you daily about...

RecoveryArc

If you're looking for weekly, useful addiction treatment that comes right to you, check out my online platform - RecoveryArc.  This website includes a subscription feature in which you will receive my educational courses lasting for a whole year on addiction and...

Treatment Matching

Each week, we make an effort at the University of Colorado - CeDAR, to align patients with appropriate follow-up care.  Over the years, we have found it quite difficult to search for available and appropriate treatment options.  The search approaches were through...

Time is Everything

I've always been fascinated with the concept of time.  It seemed to be an enemy, as there were so many things that needed completion and only so many hours in the day.  On the other hand, I would have to wait for time to pass to move onto the next stage of a...

Up and Down the Ladder – Treatment Matching

Over this weekend, I spent a fair amount of time moving up and down the ladder, arranging lights on our trees.  I managed to stay focused enough to avoid any terrible falls, but the thought did cross my mind that the concept of a 'ladder' is useful to my patients. ...

In the News!

As many of my patients have seen, I've been featured on a few different local and national news networks. All of these interviews happened in a very quick window of time and involved three different topic areas: heavy alcohol consumption linked to deaths,...

The Power of ‘No’

A few months ago, I was at the airport awaiting a flight and needed something to page through.  I had never been a regular reader of Psychology Today, but stumbled upon an issue that I found interesting: The Power of No.  It discusses how confident people set...

Ordered-Level Thinking and Mentalization

My favorite way to teach medical students involves using analogies from "the real world" to explain mental health topics.  One of these involves the application of a principle from game theory called "ordered-level thinking" and its psychological term,...

Street Life

My primary goal of this post was to connect readers to a nice collection of Denver Post articles published this past week discussing heroin addiction and street life.  These articles follow a young woman over many months in Denver as she struggles with poverty,...

Rio Cartels Avoiding Crack

I was recently forwarded the following article from the Denver Post discussing how crack-cocaine is less appealing for drug dealers in Rio De Janeiro due to its associated societal costs.  While an interesting read, it also reminds us of the reinforcing and...

Smoking Cessation

Smoking cessation remains a core clinical goal of this practice.  Most of my patients have smoked at some time in their lives.  Many continue to smoke and struggle with the cost, image, and health drain it causes.  In 2008, 18.1 percent of adults in Colorado...

12-Step: Young Adults

This series of posts will explore the ongoing nature of 12-step group therapy and its application in the recovery process.  The following are the 12-steps as originally published from the 1935 development of Alcoholics Anonymous: We admitted we were powerless over...

Intro to Group Therapy

Quality psychotherapy is traditionally done between a single patient and a single therapist.  This therapy is most effective through the fostering of a relationship built on trust and a sense of common goals.  Different psychotherapy techniques have been developed...

Bath Salts – Part 1

Because many of my patients have been asking about bath salts, I thought it would be useful to start a series discussing issues concerning these, and other, designer drugs. “Bath Salts,” not to be confused with scented crystals used in bathing, form a group of...

Lethal Dose – For Half

When a new medication is developed for human consumption (or sometimes not for human consumption), it is determined to have a certain dose that, when given, will cause half of those ingesting it to die.  This dose marker is called the LD50 (lethal dose for 50% of...

Intent versus Motivation

I met with a patient some time ago who described to me the extent of her motivation to never drink again.  She was strong in her intention, there was no doubt in my mind.  The question I had for her was “Why do you place so much weight on your intention to stop...

Overdose and the 911 Good Samaritan Law

From 2008 statistics through the Center for Disease Control, overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990.  Colorado residents accounted for 14.6 deaths by drug overdose per 100,000 people.  This data was monumental in that it marked the first time drug...

Youth Recovery in the News

Youth recovery services are necessary for the overall health of the Denver community.  Many young patients struggle with legal and psychiatric issues, in addition to substance abuse.  One of the centers available to provide youth recovery in Denver is called...

“I Still Can’t Sleep”

Poor sleep is a common struggle of many of my patients.  Chronic insomnia seems to be the bane of the initial weeks of recovery.  Many patients ask me questions such as “When will I be sleeping like normal?” and “Can I get meds to help me?”  Part of the...

“The Replacements”

In 1937, scientists in Germany developed the synthetic medication, methadone, to help fight against the opium shortage brought on by the Allied nations against Germany in World War II.  After the war, any patents for this compound were confiscated by the United...
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