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Toxic Stress: Difficult Childhoods Impact Body & Brain

It was the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study in 1997 that made the link between early trauma and illness later in life official. The results overwhelmingly showed that the more significant hardships a person goes through in childhood, the greater…
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Building Healthy Brains: There is Life After Trauma

As we learned in our June Mental Health Moment segment, adverse childhood experiences (ACES) can result in toxic levels of stress, which can harm our physical and mental health later in life. This month, we focus on helping children to…
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Be a Prevention Hero: Help Kids Learn to Thrive

In every community, there are people working to prevent addiction disorders and mental health issues from happening in the first place. In Pennsylvania, advocacy for that work comes from the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance. Their message? That anyone can make a…
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Now is the Time: Support Student Mental Health

The mental health of young people has been negatively impacted by the stresses of modern life. Today’s youth juggle classes, extracurriculars, family & friends. They may have part-time jobs or help look after younger siblings. In addition, they are faced…
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Supporting Loved Ones with Addiction Disorders

Family and friends may acknowledge that addiction is an illness and yet try to communicate their concerns in ways that don’t end up helping the person who is drinking, using drugs, or gambling. Addiction changes the way the brain works—in…
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Addiction Recovery- A Process of Change

We don’t change in an instant. Think back to a change you made in your life—big or small. Did you make that change the moment you realized there was a problem? Possibly. But more likely, you went through a process…
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Stressed Out? Pause, Notice, and Find Support

Photo credit: Lynn Johnson For me, stress plays out like this – poor sleep, an eye twitch, a hot ear, and blotchy skin. What do I do for a living? I teach stress management and mindful practices and have for…
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An Active Role in a Bright Future: The Science of Hope

Protective factors strengthen a person or community and improve the chances of avoiding an illness such as a substance use disorder. These positive factors range from the personal—not having addiction in your family and therefore your genes—to much broader—such as…
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Talk Early. Talk Often. Prevent Youth Substance Use

Addiction to opioids makes the news on a regular basis, but the number one misused substance in the U.S. is still alcohol. Around 10% of adults develop and alcohol use disorder, and many of those started drinking before they reached…
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