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David Sack, M.D.
David Sack, M.D. currently serves as CEO of Elements Behavioral Health, a network of addiction treatment programs that includes Promises Treatment Centers in Malibu and Los Angeles; The Ranch outside Nashville; The Recovery Place in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and The Sexual Recovery Institute in Beverly Hills. Prior to joining Elements, Dr. Sack enjoyed successful careers in clinical, research, and administrative psychiatry. After receiving his medical degree from Rush Medical College, he completed his residency in psychiatry at the UCLA-Neuropsychiatric Institute. Dr. Sack served as a senior clinical scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), where his research interests included affective disorders, seasonal and circadian rhythms, and neuroendocrinology. More recently, Dr. Sack served as Senior Vice President for Clinical Research for Comprehensive Neurosciences, where his research included investigations in schizophrenia, depression, insomnia, cognitive disorders, and alcohol dependency. Dr. Sack is board-certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, and addiction medicine, and is a certified Medical Review Officer. His experience in substance abuse treatment includes implementing comprehensive ambulatory detoxification within general medical settings, substance abuse treatment of adjudicated youth and adults, and developing specialized residential and outpatient treatment programs of dually diagnosed clients in both rural and urban settings.

Entries by David Sack, M.D.

Bicycling Under the Influence: What's the Harm?

(14) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 9:53 AM

Bicyclists are taking to the streets and roadways in cities across America in growing numbers. Whether the decision to use two wheels instead of four is driven by a desire to help clean up the environment, have fun, save money or get healthier, the fact is that bicycles, cars and...

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Destined to Stereotype? How the Mind's Gift for Grouping Gets Us Into Trouble

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 11:49 AM

With each encounter in our lives, we categorize. It's a survival skill that allows our brains to make sense of an endless flow of data. Without it, we would have to puzzle out the meaning of each person and object individually rather than, say, assigning that speeding car to the...

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Do Parents Really Know Best When Disciplining Their Children?

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 4:02 PM

If parents were to base their disciplinary decisions solely on scientific research, spanking would be a strategy of the past. More than 100 studies document the negative effects of spanking, while positive associations with physical discipline are nearly non-existent.

Still, two-thirds of Americans approve of...

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Heroin Overdose Can Be Prevented, But It Requires a Plan

(3) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 9:46 AM

Heroin is widely recognized as one of the most dangerous and highly-addictive illicit drugs. Yet most users don't fully understand the risks when they start using, particularly the threat of overdose.

Overdose deaths are frequently the result of using heroin after a period of sobriety. People who use...

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5 Important Reasons to Stop Ignoring Your Mental Health

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 4:46 PM

When we come down with a cold, most of us don't hesitate to pop a pill or visit the doctor. But if we can't seem to shake our endless worries or that nagging sense of hopelessness, we plug along as though nothing is wrong. Hence the dire state of mental...

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Six façons de planer (sans drogues ni alcool)

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 4:55 PM

Quand vous souhaitez vous sentir bien, drogue et alcool sont des solutions tentantes, un soulagement rapide demandant relativement peu d'efforts. Mais le problème quand on monte très rapidement, c'est qu'on redescend tout aussi vite, sans parler des problèmes de santé à long terme, d'éventuelles conséquences légales et de la menace...

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6 Healthy Highs (That Don't Involve Drugs or Alcohol)

(2) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 3:36 PM

When you want to feel good, drugs and alcohol are a tempting solution -- quick relief with relatively little effort. But the thing about the big highs is that they are inevitably followed by the big lows, not to mention long-term health problems, potential legal consequences and the ever-present threat...

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Kids on Sweets: Are We Raising a Generation of Sugar Addicts?

(10) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 6:02 PM

There are few joys in life as sweet as seeing our children smile. Thus, it is with the best of intentions that we cave to pleas for candy and tantrums over French fries in hopes of glimpsing those (rapidly decaying) pearly whites. After all, there are bigger threats to our...

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Women and Prescription Drugs: The Gender Gap Tightens

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 10:47 AM

Women are catching up to men and, for once, it's not good news. Decades ago, addiction was thought of as primarily a man's disease. Alcoholism, for example, affected roughly five men for every woman in the 1980s. Despite the fact that women are twice as likely...

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When Relapse Turns Deadly: What You Need to Know About Drug Overdose

(4) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 6:33 PM

Friends and fans are reeling in the wake of Glee actor Cory Monteith's overdose on a mixture of heroin and alcohol. Suffering a similar fate as Kriss Kross rapper Chris Kelly and others who have passed this year, his lengthy battle with drugs ended tragically on July 13 in his...

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The 'Stoner' Stereotype: Myth or Reality?

(76) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 4:56 PM

Most of us know at least one person who embodies the "stoner" stereotype: the unkempt hippie-type with a closet full of ragged Bob Marley T-shirts and a DVD library featuring movies like "Half Baked" and "Dazed and Confused," or the underachiever who loses their train of thought mid-sentence and chuckles...

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The Unlikely Force Driving Teen Prescription Drug Addiction: Parents?

(5) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 1:44 PM

So many issues in parenting are a matter of opinion. Work or stay home? Spank or don't spank? Parents argue passionately on both sides, but there will likely never be a clear resolution to these questions.

Luckily, a few issues are (or should be) cut and dry. None of us...

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When the Cameras Stop Rolling: What Is the Long-Term Prognosis for Trauma Survivors?

(1) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 11:30 AM

It has been one month since the Boston µarathon bombings, and the media frenzy has quieted to a dull rumble. Then last week, another headline: "Three Missing Girls Found Alive." And the process repeats. Media blitz and, shortly after, silence.

When the media spotlight dims and the public goes back...

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Protecting Home Turf in the Fight Against Processed Food

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 6:10 PM

No one likes being manipulated into making choices that are bad for them, but it's happening -- and if you're like most busy Americans, chances are you haven't given it much thought. We've long suspected that our nutrient-poor Western diet is contributing to a raging obesity epidemic, but a recent...

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5 Things Parents Do That May Encourage Teen Substance Abuse

(5) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 3:05 PM

When a teenager starts using drugs, the finger-pointing begins. The first to get blamed is usually a parent, followed perhaps by a bad influence at school, an older sibling or a high-pressure coach or teacher. While there's no place for blame -- it's counterproductive and in most cases, misplaced --...

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5 Things Standing Between You and a Healthy Relationship

(1) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 1:13 PM

Deborah's love life has always been rocky. First there was Mark, a successful businessman with a raging alcohol problem. Dan was loyal and intelligent, but his need for constant attention drove them apart. Then there was Doug, a kind-hearted Southern boy who seemed to break the mold, until she found...

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How to Talk to a Child About a Parent's Addiction

(3) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 1:52 PM

"Dad's an addict." "Mom's going to rehab." These are not easy conversations to have with a child, even one that has long been aware that there's a problem.

More than 28 million Americans are children of alcoholics, yet addiction isn't being talked about in most homes. Instead, children...

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Is Self-Control Overrated? (And Will It Help You Keep Those New Year's Resolutions?)

(39) Comments | Posted January 8, 2013 | 7:16 AM

Lack of self-control has been blamed for many of society's ills, from addiction and crime to obesity and debt. But with a large volume of research showing that self-control is a limited resource -- one that can be depleted as quickly as the money in your bank account -- is...

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From Entitled to Thankful: Raising Children with an Attitude of Gratitude

(4) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 1:10 PM

It isn't until later in life that most people discover one of the keys to happiness: gratitude. The concept of thankfulness can be difficult for adults to embrace, and even harder for children and teens who believe the world revolves around them.

There are so many valuable qualities we want...

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Compulsive Shopping: The Holiday Addiction

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 11:07 AM

The holidays are a time of overindulgence. We eat too much, we drink too much, and we also spend too much. Of course, overeaters, alcoholics, and most other addicts are well aware of the need to keep an eye on their consumption and behaviors. But what about compulsive...

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