Article: Understanding and Coping with Substance Use and Mental Health

Article: Understanding and Coping with Substance Use and Mental Health

Substance use problems, including alcohol and drug misuse, are much more common in people with mental health challenges than in the general population. For example, about 50% of people with serious mental health challenges experience problematic substance use at some point in their lives, compared to only about 15% of people without a mental health condition. Why are the rates of substance use problems so much higher in people with a mental health condition?…

Article: What is a Recovery Coach?

Article: What is a Recovery Coach?

You’ve been hearing about them. You’ve seen them hanging out at the Recovery Center and your friend’s sister’s partner is one! That’s right! Recovery Coaches are more and more common. In Massachusetts, they are everywhere. It’s a beautiful thing! Yet, some amount of mystery remains…What is a Recovery Coach and what do they REALLY do?…

Research Review: Let’s Study the Risks and Benefits of Medical Cannabis

Research Review: Let’s Study the Risks and Benefits of Medical Cannabis

Policy regarding the medical use of cannabis in the US is changing rapidly and differs dramatically depending on region. To date, thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use, and many other states are working on legalization. Medical marijuana is the use of the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. Medical marijuana consists of the same chemical components as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes. Thousands of adults in the US are using cannabis to treat mental health issues such as…

A Social, Activity, Nutritional, and Emotional (SANE) Approach to Coping with Alcohol and Mental Health Risks During COVID

A Social, Activity, Nutritional, and Emotional (SANE) Approach to Coping with Alcohol and Mental Health Risks During COVID

Few things in life have effects that are as immediate, potent, and predictable as the effects from psychoactive drugs. Of all commonly used drugs, alcohol is the world’s favorite. This is because it is legal in most societies, socially accepted and less stigmatized than other drugs, and when the alcohol molecule reaches the human brain, it is generally perceived as good news. In addition to producing…

Research Review: Psychological Adjustment During COVID-19

Research Review:  Psychological Adjustment During COVID-19

As we surpass the 6-month mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, some people’s lives are affected to a small degree while others are facing serious social, emotional, and/or health challenges. For all of us, there is uncertainty with no clear “end date.” A key task during the pandemic has been, and will continue to be, minimizing distress and maximizing resilience. Resilience refers to the ability to mentally and emotionally cope with a crisis, such as COVID-19. With this in mind, people have started to ask: “What can we do to build and maintain resilience over the long-term?”…

The Wisdom of a Greek Slave and a Roman Emperor: Borrowing from Stoic Philosophy to Make it Through a Pandemic.

The Wisdom of a Greek Slave and a Roman Emperor: Borrowing from Stoic Philosophy to Make it Through a Pandemic.

Living through a pandemic has forced me to take a new look at coping, particularly since my life has been spared many of the things fate can throw at you: wars, loss of a career, severe illness. I was not really prepared mentally for living through a pandemic, but I have always looked at philosophy to help me live better – by reading and extracting interesting ideas that I can try out. Let me introduce you to a few practical points that I gleaned from Stoicism as a way of coping with our current pandemic…