Thursday, July 10, 2014

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Table of Contents

Ten Ways Addiction Is Different in America
SUBSTANCE.COM (7/2) - We Americans like to think of ourselves as exceptional, the land of the free and the home of the brave, the City on the Hill and all that. When it comes to the politics and culture of drugs, we are indeed special—or at least dramatically different from the rest of the Western world. Too often, however, we are special for the wrong reasons. Read more

5 Reasons Substance Abuse is Even More Dangerous for Young People
PSYCH CENTRAL (6/24) - The person you shape while growing up can be the person you’re stuck with. So allowing drugs or alcohol to influence this young person can affect not just who you are today, but who you can be and will become. Here are five reasons why substance abuse is especially dangerous for young people. Read more

Cocaine Addiction: Phase-Specific Biology and Treatment?
MEDICAL XPRESS (6/30) - Current pharmacotherapies for addiction follow the dictum "one size fits all". Medications are prescribed in the same way for all patients, regardless of whether they have just started experimenting with a drug or have an established drug habit. Even more troubling, there are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for some addictions, such as compulsive cocaine use. Perhaps testing drugs in ways that focus on particular phases of addiction or particular clinical features of addiction, such as a patient's level of impulsivity, might advance the development of drug treatments for cocaine addiction. Read more

Bipolar Substance Abusers Twice As Likely to Attempt Suicide
THE FIX (6/18) - A new study has suggested that individuals who suffer from both bipolar disorder and alcohol or substance abuse issues are twice as likely to attempt suicide than patients who do not have a similar combination of problems. The results of the study, published in the June 7, 2014 online edition of the Journal of Affective Disorders, were a compilation of data taken from 29 studies conducted with more than 30,000 individuals, all of whom had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Six thousand participants in those test groups, or 20.1% of all subjects, had also attempted suicide. Read more

A Different Path to Fighting Addiction
NEW YORK TIMES (7/3) - When their son had to take a medical leave from college, Jack and Wendy knew they — and he — needed help with his binge drinking...[T]hey turned to a group of psychologists who specialize in treating substance use and other compulsive behaviors at the Center for Motivation and Change. The center, known as the C.M.C., operates out of two floors of a 19th-century building on 30th Street and Fifth Avenue. It is part of a growing wing of addiction treatment that rejects the A.A. model of strict abstinence as the sole form of recovery for alcohol and drug users. Read more

Food, Addiction and Obesity: Why We Are All at Risk
HUFFINGTON POST (6/23) - In their new documentary Fed Up, Katie Couric and Laurie David draw attention to the important issues surrounding the food we are eating and why it is making us so sick. With estimates that approximately 75 percent of Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020, no one needs persuading that obesity is a grave public health threat. However, for some people, considerable convincing is still required surrounding one likely cause of this rampant obesity: food addiction. Read more

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Medical Implant Helps Addicts Recover Without Withdrawals
NBC LOS ANGELES (6/23) - Child star Jeremy Miller was an addict until he discovered a new implantable drug that promised to put an end to his alcohol addiction...On the verge of losing his family, Miller knew he couldn’t live that way, so he turned to Start Fresh Recovery for help. Start Fresh Recovery uses an implantable form of the drug Naltrexone to reduce and eliminate cravings for drugs or alcohol. Although a pill form of the drug has been available for 20 years, it hasn’t been as effective. Read more

It’s Covered: Financing for Tobacco Cessation Services
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (6/26) - [T]he increased attention on preventive services under the Affordable Care Act has made tobacco cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy among the more clear-cut insurance benefits, at least at the federal policy level: they are required for all Essential Health Benefit-covered plans including Medicaid expansion plans, small group and individual health plans, and all Marketplace/Exchange plans. Read more

Cocaine Laced With Veterinary Drug Levamisole Eats Away at Flesh
ABC NEWS (6/23) - Cocaine cut with the veterinary drug levamisole could be the culprit in a flurry of flesh-eating disease in New York and Los Angeles. The drug, used to deworm cattle, pigs and sheep, can rot the skin off noses, ears and cheeks. And over 80 percent of the country's coke supply contains it...In a case study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Craft describes six cocaine users recently plagued by the dark purple patches of dying flesh. And while they happened to hail from the country's coastlines, the problem is national. Read more

Common Prescription Drugs Alter Blood’s Flow
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (6/12) - Many drugs can alter vascular tone, or the degree of constriction in blood vessels. When the blood vessels tighten, blood pressure increases, and when it is too high it can lead to heart attack or stroke. Conversely, when blood pressure is too low people may experience lethargy, sexual dysfunction and other problems. Some drugs designed to affect vascular tone can also have cascading effects in the brain. Whether these unintended outcomes are helpful or harmful remains an open question. Read more

BLOG POST: A Hepatitis C Story Worth Telling
PUBLIC HEALTH MATTERS (6/30) - At the Academy Awards earlier this year, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for their respective portrayals of people living with HIV. I’m a scientist, not a film critic, but I couldn’t help but compare the Dallas Buyers Club with the lack of similarly insightful stories about people living with hepatitis C. It’s a minor complaint, but it’s also symptomatic of the lack of understanding and awareness of hepatitis C infection. The World Health Organization estimates 35.3 million people were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide in 2012, but up to 150 million people globally have chronic hepatitis C infection. Read more

Teen Smoking Is Way Down. But What About E-cigs?
TIME (6/12) - Rates of cigarette smoking among high school students has dropped to lowest level in 22 years, the CDC reports. In 2013, the smoking rate among high school students hit 15.7%, which means the U.S. government has already reached its goal of lowing the teen smoking rate to 16% of less by 2020.Read more

Marijuana Tied to Addiction, Long-term Cognitive Dysfunction
MEDSCAPE (6/11) - Marijuana use is associated with substantial adverse events, including addiction and long-term cognitive dysfunction, new research suggests. A review article by investigators from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows that during intoxication, marijuana can interfere with memory, perception of time, and motor function, which can lead to serious consequences, including motor vehicle accidents. In addition, repeated use during adolescence can result in long-term brain function changes. Read more

Is Food Addiction Real?
PSYCH CENTRAL (6/14) - A new study has found that women with weight problems were more impulsive than average in a food-related psychology test. According to researchers, this suggests they are more instinctively stimulated by images of food, as well as lacking will power. Read more

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