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Tag: substance abuse

Study Explores Window of Opportunity for Meds in Substance Treatment

Posted on September 3, 2014 in Research & News

Study Explores Window of Opportunity for Meds in Substance Treatment People affected by substance addiction experience lasting changes in the production of a pleasure-producing brain chemical called dopamine. However, the areas of the brain primarily impacted by these changes shift over time. In a study published in July 2014 in the journal Biological Psychiatry, a team of French and British researchers used laboratory experiments on rats to explore the relative effectiveness of substance treatment medications in different stages of addiction-related brain alteration. These researchers concluded that the effects of a medication can vary significantly when used at specific points in the addiction process.

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Brain Dysfunction Can Trigger Substance Abuse

Posted on April 10, 2014 in Research & News

Brain Dysfunction Can Trigger Substance AbuseDecision-making is part of a higher-level mental capacity called executive function. In a study review published in 2013 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from two U.S. institutions looked at the impact that unusually poor decision-making has on the chances that a person will develop a substance use disorder. The researchers concluded that people with substance use disorders clearly have problems with their ability to make decisions and that these problems may appear before any substance-related issues arise.

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Facebook’s Impact on Young Adult Substance Abuse Treatment

Posted on February 3, 2014 in Research & News

Facebook’s Impact on Young Adult Substance Abuse TreatmentA basic tenet of addiction treatment is to avoid friends who you used to party with lest temptation prove too great. But does this also go for socializing online? According to a study, Facebook and other social networks might actually hinder substance use disorder care for adolescents.

It is fairly well known that environmental factors, such as people and places, play into potential drug use and relapse. However, there wasn’t any research done in the area of social media providing those factors.

David Tran, a graduate student in the UCLA Program in Medical Education, decided that he wanted to study this question and see just how much Facebook and other social networking sites affected the adolescents who were currently receiving treatment. He sought out almost 40 participants aged 12 to 18 years old to participate in his survey. The majority were Latino, with an equal number of male and female participants, and 92 percent of these youth participated in some form of social networking, primarily Facebook. 

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Celebrity Chef Drug Scandal Sheds Light on Abuse

Posted on January 6, 2014 in Research & News

Shocking news came to light in the trial of two assistants to the celebrity chef and food writer Nigella Lawson. A British court released information recently that points to a decade of substance abuse by Lawson.
Lawson, a cast member of ABC’s cooking show The Taste, allegedly used cocaine, marijuana and illegally obtained prescription drugs on a daily basis for 10 years. Two assistants who were charged with defrauding Lawson and husband Charles Saatchi of a half million dollars made the drug claims. The accused said they were allowed to use Lawson and Saatchi’s credit cards as long as they kept Lawson’s drug abuse quiet. The trial ended in acquittal.

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Family Dinners Associated With Lower Risk of Substance Use

Posted on July 31, 2013 in Research & News

Family Dinners Associated With Lower Risk of Substance UseFamily dinners have been replaced with substitutes, like zipping into the drive-thru to grab a burger on the way to basketball practice. Parents may even provide a meal at home, where each family member loads up a plate before retreating to different corners of the house to watch television or peruse a magazine.

These efforts, while sometimes necessary for busy family schedules, may not be helping children in certain areas of life. Research has shown that family dinners can positively influence a range of child and teen experiences, from preventing eating disorders to boosting academic achievement.

A recent study reveals that family dinners can also lower a teen’s risk of engaging in substance abuse. When families eat dinner together, say the researchers, activities like alcohol consumption and drug use are less likely to occur.

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Impulse Control and Substance Abuse: It’s Never Too Late to Change Habits

Posted on April 16, 2013 in Research & News

Impulse Control and Substance Abuse: It’s Never Too Late to Change HabitsDrug abuse and alcoholism have their roots in many causes. Some people turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate the unrelenting pain of past abuse or trauma. Others may be more prone to substance abuse because they live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, there’s another group of people with behavior linked to increased addiction rates: those who have a difficult time controlling their impulses.

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Substance Use and Sleep Apnea

Posted on March 14, 2013 in Research & News

Substance Use and Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is a common breathing disorder that is characterized by abnormally shallow breathing during sleep or the presence of abnormal breathing pauses. Most people develop obstructive sleep apnea, which is a form of the disorder that occurs when a sleeper’s airway collapses shut or gets blocked off. Others develop a form of the disorder called central sleep apnea, which occurs when the brain fails to send the signals required for the maintenance of normal breathing. Use of alcohol or medications classified as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or opioids can potentially worsen existing cases of sleep apnea. In some cases, they can trigger death by completely disrupting normal breathing.

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Study Examines Whether Discrimination Leads to Substance Use

Posted on November 17, 2012 in Research & News

Discrimination against members of minority groups can increase stress levels. For some, this stress can be dealt with in a healthy way, using positive actions and attitudes to combat the potentially discouraging choices of others. For others, however, the stress that results from a situation involving discrimination can be damaging when there is a lack of tools to address the problem.

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Most Teenagers Deny Their Drug Use, Even When Undergoing Drug Testing

Posted on October 27, 2010 in Research & News

Most national reports on teenage drug use are based on data gathered from either self-reports or confidential reports conducted on high school students. Even though the latest studies on at-risk youth from urban areas have indicated a rise in substance abuse, teenagers still may not be admitting to the whole truth. A new study by researchers at the Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has found that teens grossly underreport their actual drug use in confidential self-reports, even when they are aware that they will undergo a subsequent drug test.

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Link Discovered Between Popularity and Substance Abuse

Posted on September 28, 2010 in Adolescent Drug Abuse

A new study has found a distinct link between popularity and substance abuse. Researchers from the Université de Montréal found that the more popular a child and their friends were, the greater their alcohol and drug consumption was.

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