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Tag: addiction

Carl Hart Changes Thinking About Addiction

Posted on May 10, 2015 in Research & News

The more researchers tackle the disease of addiction, the more complex it turns out to be. The important thing we have discovered in recent years is that it is a disease of the brain. Drugs and alcohol change the brain in chemical and physical ways, making it extremely difficult to stop using these substances. But we haven’t completely figured this disease out, and a researcher and professor at Columbia University, Carl Hart, is changing the story in a significant way.

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Drug Abuse Guide Offers Principles of Effective Treatment

Posted on January 22, 2015 in Research & News

Drug Abuse Guide Offers Principles of Effective TreatmentWondering whether a loved one is addicted to a drug? The National Institute on Drug Abuse has developed Principles for Effective Treatment, a guide that provides patients, family members, and health care providers with information about addiction.

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Acculturation Issues, Family Conflicts Increase Odds for Substance Abuse Among Asian Americans, Latinos

Posted on August 12, 2014 in Research & News

Substance use disorders are the group of mental health conditions used to identify people affected by various forms of substance addiction, or by various forms of dysfunctional, non-addicted substance abuse. Specific segments of the population may have unique risks for developing any one of these disorders. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University used information from a nationwide project called the National Latino and Asian American Study to determine if people of Asian American and Hispanic/Latino descent have particular risks for developing diagnosable problems related to the use of drugs or alcohol

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How Do Addicted Newborns Fare as Adults?

Posted on May 25, 2014 in Research & News

How Do Addicted Newborns Fare as Adults?Researchers estimate that a baby is born every hour in the United States to a mother who abused prescription painkillers like oxycodone during her pregnancy. Many of these infants became physically dependent on painkillers while in utero, and experience severe withdrawal symptoms once they are born and the drug begins to leave their systems.

Withdrawal is a painful experience for anyone recovering from drug dependency, but it can be life threatening for newborns. The symptoms that may appear in infants born with drug dependencies are collectively known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). There are many possible symptoms that may appear in these circumstances, but some of the most worrisome are fever, vomiting, slow weight gain and seizures. NAS is also associated with higher rates of sudden infant death syndrome. 

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Personality Is Key to Chances of Developing Addiction

Posted on December 7, 2013 in Research & News

Personality Is Key to Chances of Developing AddictionSubstance addiction occurs when a substance user develops a chemical dependence on the effects of drugs or alcohol, experiences constant cravings for drugs or alcohol, and arranges his or her life around the satisfaction of those cravings. Experts in the field know that men and women are typically affected by addiction in clearly differing ways. According to the results of a study published in November 2013 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the effects of certain gender-specific personality traits may help explain why substance addiction has such characteristic effects.

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No One Chooses to Become an Addict

Posted on July 2, 2013 in Research & News

No One Chooses to Become an AddictJust how does the general public understand addiction? The disease model—the understanding that addiction is a medical condition not unlike diabetes or heart disease—has been around for decades. The competing theory—that addiction is a choice or a “bad behavior”—flies in the face of medical research. The idea that addiction is somehow a moral failing, a result of laziness, or just plain evil has been disproved thoroughly enough that you’d think this notion would have died a natural death long ago. Yet it lives on. Why won’t this idea go away?

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Stress of Parenting an Autistic Child Can Lead to Addiction

Posted on June 12, 2013 in Research & News

Stress of Parenting an Autistic Child Can Lead to AddictionCaring for a child with special needs is never easy. Caring for the needs of a child with autism can be especially tough for parents and other constant caregivers. In fact, the intense stress of caring for an autistic child can lead parents to substance abuse—and the need for addiction treatment.

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How to Help an Addicted Parent Get Into Treatment

Posted on April 17, 2013 in Recovery

How to Help an Addicted Parent Get Into TreatmentWe often hear advice for parents who want to get a child into alcohol or drug rehab, but what happens when the situation is reversed and it’s the parent who needs treatment? It’s not as uncommon as you might think.  Many adult children find themselves dealing with a parent who abuses substances or has a serious addiction. In one study, more than 4 million adults over the age of 50 had used illicit drugs in the previous year.

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Women Get Addicted More Easily Than Men

Posted on April 13, 2013 in Research & News

Women Get Addicted More Easily Than MenAddiction is a terrible disease. It is one that is both mental and physiological. Like other diseases, it has its roots in genetics and environmental factors. Many people are susceptible to becoming addicted to drugs, nicotine, or alcohol because of a combination of these factors along with their own unique circumstances. When a person becomes addicted to a substance, the brain literally changes its chemistry, making it extremely difficult to give it up.

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How Cocaine-Related Brain Changes May Increase Risks for Addiction

Posted on April 8, 2013 in Cocaine

How Cocaine-Related Brain Changes May Increase Risks for AddictionLike essentially all substances of abuse, cocaine alters normal function in the brain’s pleasure/reward circuitry, commonly known as the limbic system. According to findings reported in 2011 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people who habitually use cocaine distort the function of more than 1,000 limbic system proteins. Alteration of at least some of these proteins apparently accounts for much of the transition from voluntary to involuntary drug use that marks the onset of cocaine addiction.

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