Thilo Beck at WEF Roundtable - A Roadmap to Sustainable Health and Better Well-being in the Workforce and Society

Goals House Roundtable, World Economic Forum, Davos – Thilo Beck

A Roadmap to Sustainable Health and Better Well-being in the Workforce and Society: Elaborating on Key Points.   We are living through a historical period defined by uncertainty, which is having a profound impact on our mental health. Research shows that – on average, 15% of working-age adults live with a mental health condition globally,…

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Affluent Neglect

Society expresses great concern for poor, underserved children and the increased likelihood they may lack access to health care and education, or that they may turn to drugs or crime in adulthood. Less attention is paid to children of affluent parents who have their own set of problems. Emotional neglect often goes unnoticed or unreported, which may…

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What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph. in the 1980s, is a type of talk therapy originally designed for high-risk, suicidal people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Today, DBT is used to treat people struggling with a range of complex and intense emotions, including substance abuse and addiction, PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders,…

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The Pandemic-Push: Why are so Many People Suddenly Buying Prescription Drugs Online?

Prescription-med sales skyrocket due to the pandemic, but when does use become abuse? Paracelsus Recovery’s experts weigh in. More and more people are illegally purchasing prescription medication such as anxiety or sleeping pills online as the pandemic takes its toll on our wellbeing. The pandemic has left a mental health crisis in its wake. Rates…

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Is Medicine for Alcohol Addiction a Myth?

For CEOS and busy executives who struggle with
long-term alcoholism, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), may sound a
little too good to be true. However, there’s no doubt that certain
medications can help when used hand-in-hand with quality addiction
treatment or rehab. 

Newer medications such as Naltrexone (ReVia)  can actually decrease cravings for alcohol.  Acamprosate (Campral) also
minimizes the urge to drink, but is used for people who have managed to
stop drinking for a few days. It is often prescribed following
successful completion of detox. 

Antabuse (Disulfiram) is an older medication that
works as a deterrent because even a small amount of alcohol turns toxic,
resulting in nausea, vomiting and other extremely unpleasant results. 

Medications are also available to minimize the risk of unpleasant or
dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, tremor, elevated heart
rate, agitation, anxiety or insomnia. 

As an added benefit, some medications do double-duty, and are also effective against opioid or cocaine addiction. 

What are the Cons of Medication for Alcoholism

Medications for treatment of alcoholism
aren’t without certain problems. Some may cause side effects such as
headache, nausea, dizziness, constipation or rash, although side effects
are often minor and may moderate after a few days.

Prescribing medications for treatment of alcoholism requires
knowledge on the part of the medical provider, as some medications
interact negatively with other drugs. Some anti-addiction meds, on the
other hand, are highly effective when used in conjunction with other

One very basic problem with medications for alcoholism is that people
can simply choose not to continue taking the medicine. Not
surprisingly, medication-assisted treatment is most effective for
alcoholics who are highly motivated to stop.

Medications and Co-Occurring Disorders

Many alcoholics also struggle with at least one mental health problem such as anxiety or depression, referred to as co-occurring disorders. 

Research indicates that people who struggle with co-occurring disorders benefit most from a multi-pronged approach that addresses both problems simultaneously, using a complementary program consisting of medication and counseling or other forms of traditional addiction treatment.

Treatment for co-occurring disorders is highly specialized and isn’t adequately offered by many treatment centers, although many providers claim to be experts in the field of dual diagnosis. 

Medication isn’t a Quick Fix: Why Integrated Treatment is Necessary 

Alcoholism is a complex disorder that isn’t cured by taking a pill, and there are no magic answers. However, medication is an important piece of the puzzle for many alcoholics. Sadly, few physicians are knowledgeable about anti-addiction medications and how they can help. 

Treatment professionals believe that anti-alcoholism medications are woefully underused.

If you’re interested in medication-assisted treatment, it’s critical to do some serious homework and select a treatment center that understands how to use the medications effectively in conjunction with therapy, education and other treatment modalities. 

Ensure the treatment center offers a physical examination and screening that can determine your overall health, as well as your level of alcohol dependence and alcohol-related damage. 

Screening should also include a thorough history and evaluation of both medical and psychiatric history, prescription drug use, and level of family support. 

Before treatment begins, you should be provided with a thorough understanding of how medication works and the potential benefits and risks. 

Be sure the treatment provider offers medically managed detoxification, as unsupervised withdrawal can be dangerous.

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