addiction

With 155 million Americans playing regularly, the video game industry has hit the big time. While modern gaming serves up plenty of mental puzzles, prizes, and even opportunities for social interaction, the danger is keeping a harmless hobby from becoming an addiction.

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A “mega-bill” containing several provisions related to licensure of medical professionals survived a rules dispute to pass just before the Kansas Legislature adjourned early Monday morning.

Unless Gov. Sam Brownback vetoes the bill, the conference committee report combined in House Bill 2615 will require acupuncturists to be licensed, enter Kansas into a compact that will license physicians to practice across state lines and expand the authority of nurse midwives.

A look at the Veterans Treatment Court programs in both Jackson County, Missouri and Johnson County, Kansas. 

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White, middle-aged Americans' death rates are on the rise, in Kansas City and beyond. How suicide, alcohol and drugs are contributing to the problem. Plus, gaps in mental healthcare services in and around Kansas City.

For immediate help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255. 

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Pat George opened a renovated substance abuse facility Monday in Overland Park as the president and CEO of Valley Hope addiction services and a recovering alcoholic himself.

George quit drinking decades ago and has since served in the Kansas Legislature and as Gov. Sam Brownback’s commerce secretary. But he said his addiction to alcohol almost killed him before he checked into a Valley Hope treatment center in 1991.

“Nearly 24 years later, I’m clean and sober here today, and I’m not bashful to say Valley Hope saved my life,” George said.

Susie Fagan / Heartland Health Monitor

Los Angeles-based actor David Dastmalchian returned to Kansas with a message he said should transcend politics: We can’t give up on people who struggle with substance abuse and mental illness.

Dastmalchian is now a budding Hollywood star, with roles in blockbusters like 2008’s “The Dark Knight” and 2015’s “Ant-Man.” But 15 years ago he was a self-proclaimed “full-time heroin addict” living out of a car near Shawnee Mission Parkway.

The path to wholeness for those whose lives have been touched by addiction is always different. But for at least one group of Kansas Citians, that road has been filled … with writing. Poetry and prose that chronicle and process and maybe even transform the struggle. 

On Friday's Up to Date,  guest host Brian Ellison talks two women taking part in an annual reading of work stemming from addiction.

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Addiction

Dec 2, 2012
Miles Cave / flickr

The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family in cheer.  The holidays also are a time of high stress and anxiety which can lead to addictive behaviors.