How to Isolate and Treat Protracted Withdrawal Symptoms

In an article on, Dr. Sack talks about protracted withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

PAWS is the name of the condition that leaves recovering addicts and alcoholics feeling the worse for wear.

PAWS is a series of post-acute symptoms of recovery from dependence on drugs including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and opiates.

Dr. Sack is quoted saying, “the brain has tremendous capacity to heal, but it doesn’t heal quickly. In general, PAWS symptoms peak around four to eight weeks after quitting.”

The High Risk of Relapse Leading to Accidental Overdose

In “The High Risk of Relapse Leading to Accidental Overdose” on, Dr. Sack explains that, for addicts who relapse, overdose is an all too frequent occurrence.

Dr. Sack says that it is this combination that proves fatal: “The greatest risk to a person who is in early treatment and who relapses is the threat of overdose because they have no tolerance but also they often have poor judgment in how much they should be using.”

Binge Spending: Why Money & Alcohol Don’t Mix

The article highlights a number of true stories where individuals have consumed large quantities of alcohol and have made the mistake of shopping while under the influence.

Dr. Sack explains that, “people who drink may be prone to other impulse-control problems because the part of the brain that’s involved—the reward center—is driven by both of those activities in slightly different ways.

We see a fair number of people who, in addition to drinking excessively, go through spending sprees where they literally buy up the store and have tremendous remorse and regret because they may not even remember having done it.”

Additionally, Dr. Sack notes that not everyone who has buyer’s remorse after an alcohol-fueled expenditure needs professional help, however, there are ways to protect yourself from this type of retail regret.

Read the full article on

Sugar Is a “Drug” and Here’s How We’re Hooked

In an article titled, “Sugar Is a “Drug” and Here’s How We’re Hooked” on Dr. Sack discusses how sugar works like many addictive drugs and that the “prevalence and promotion of sugary foods and beverages, coupled with how it affects our brains, make addiction an issue.”

Dr. Sack also talks about how not enough parents are educating their children about healthy nutrition, and that the parents may be reinforcing bad eating habits.

Dr. Sack also states that “the biggest problem we’ve seen is that parents who are overweight or obese themselves feed these food to their kids and don’t see it as abnormal.”

The Realities of Prescribing and Taking Meds for Alcohol Problems

Dr. Sack is featured in an article on about a study about prescribing medicine to treat alcoholism.

In “The Realities of Prescribing and Taking Meds for Alcohol Problems” Dr. Sack offers insight on acamprosate and naltrexone explaining that acamprosate is not effective for most clients and instead prefers to use naltrexone.

Additionally, Dr. Sack also notes that some Promises physicians use topiramate, which is typically prescribed for AUDs and other psychological problems.

Going to Rehab

In this article on WebMD, Dr. Sack discusses the types of addiction treatment programs, how these programs work, challenges faced by patients during and afterward, why these types of programs are the best option for some patients, and more.

Dr. Sack says, “Rehab shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. Treatment should be tailored to the person and take into account his or her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

The recovering addict needs help learning how to manage day-to-day life and its stresses, and to avoid triggers that may lead to relapse.”

Easier for your teen to score than beer

In this article about teen heroin use on, Dr. Sack explains to parents that the ease and ability to get heroin is much higher than it has ever been before making it one of today’s “mainstream” drugs.

Dr. Sack says this growing epidemic is something parents need to be aware of and education themselves about weight loss.

When asked to talk about the ways teens end up using heroin, Dr. Sack says,”many people are getting their first exposure to opiates through prescription narcotic medications.

They develop a sense of safety around these medications even though they are highly lethal and account for most of the increase in overdose deaths.

Adding that of the steady increase in heroin addicts he has seen, in most cases the heroin addiction follows prescription drug addiction or abuse.”

Dr. Sack Talks About Evzio with KCRW’s Madeleine Brand on Press Play

Dr. Sack recently spoke on-air with Madeleine Brand of NPR’s KCRW-FM during the ‘Press Play’ program.

The segment on “Personal Overdose Device” discussed the FDA’s recent approval of Evzio, the first hand-held auto-injector to reverse opioid overdose.

Evzio is specifically designed to be given by family members or caregivers instead of medical professionals.

Dr. Sack explains that Naloxone, a drug that has been around for 25 years and blocks the effects of opiate drugs, previously had to be administered by someone with medical training.

With Evzio, Naloxone can now be self-administrated, or can be quickly used by a non-professional, in time to save someone’s life during an overdose.

Dr. Sack also talks about the symptoms of an overdose and some of the reasons behind the rise of overdoses over the past decades.

One of the biggest points of conversation was whether or not this new drug will “allow” or “encourage” people to do more drugs. Dr. Sack explains that the first part is breaking through denial.

People are not choosing to use drugs based on “how safe the drugs are” and notes that we are in an overdose epidemic now.

There’s Nothing Weird About Being A Comic Con Geek For Fat Burning

In an article titled “There’s Nothing Weird About Being A Comic Con Geek” featured on The Huffington Post, Dr. Sack talks about why people are drawn to this type of event and explores whether or not it qualifies as an obsession.

“An interest in sci-fi characters can be a healthy thing if used as a way of mini-breaks from reality — ones that leave us more refreshed to return to it,” Dr. Sack says.

Dr. Sack also talks about how playing dress-up at Comic Con can provide key psychological benefits and even help some maintain their self-confidence.

“Play has been shown to lower stress and anxiety, improve problem-solving, and make out relationships better,” Dr. Sack says.

Read the entire article online.

The Power of Positive Thinking: How to Train Your Brain to Be Happier About Saving

In “The Power of Positive Thinking: How to Train Your Brain to Be Happier About Saving” on, Dr. Sack discusses whether you can rewire your brain to feel rewards from saving money rather than spending.

Dr. Sack explains that studies suggest about 30% of someone’s impulsivity may be attributed to genetics and that impulsivity goes hand-in-hand with addiction issues.

To Keep Your Job, Quit Trying to Be Perfect

The “To Keep Your Job, Quit Trying to Be Perfect” in The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Sack discusses the risks of being a perfectionist at work and that by setting high standards may actually not be best way to succeed.

The editor also notes that those who aim for perfection can risk an ‘imperfect’ career.

Dr. Sack explains that “Perfectionists can become better bosses if they stop assuming that “mine is the only solution or the best solution.

Nobody wants to be commanded to do things your way.” Download and read a PDF.