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Minimum alcohol pricing gets backing of UK government's health advisers

Minimum alcohol pricing gets backing of UK government's health advisers | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
New evidence commissioned by the government from its own health advisers has concluded that ministers should introduce minimum unit pricing of alcohol to tackle the grim medical, economic and social toll of drink-related harm.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

UK study has found that alcohol is now the biggest killer of people aged between 15 and 49 in England. It accounts for 167,000 years of lost productivity every year and is a factor in more than 200 different illnesses. It leads to such huge harm that the lost economic activity it produces, through early death and disability among workers, is more than that for the 10 most common cancers combined. Governments would do well to introduce minimum unit pricing.

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Quitting Smoking Leads To Better Sobriety Outcomes For Teens In Treatment

Quitting Smoking Leads To Better Sobriety Outcomes For Teens In Treatment | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
New findings suggest it's time for addiction treatment programs to make smoking cessation a priority.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Quitting smoking improves the prognosis in various ways for people with substance use disorders. Addiction treatment services should always actively encourage smoking cessation as an integral part of care.

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25 Odd Facts About Marijuana

25 Odd Facts About Marijuana | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Marijuana, the most commonly used illegal drug in America, is going mainstream. It's now legal to use marijuana recreationally in eight states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Washington — and the District of Columbia. Pot seems poised for wider use, too: There are 21 states that now allow the possession and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Just how much do you know about the wacky weed and its odd effects? How exactly does marijuana provide its high, and who discovered the effects of smoking the plant in the first place? Read on for some of the stranger facts about cannabis consumption.

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Should Marijuana Be Legal Nationwide? President Obama Says Pot Should Be Regulated Like Cigarettes, Alcohol

Should Marijuana Be Legal Nationwide? President Obama Says Pot Should Be Regulated Like Cigarettes, Alcohol | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Obama says expecting the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency to enforce a "patchwork of laws" is "untenable."
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

It's time to rethink marijuana laws.

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Huge Study On Internet Gaming Addiction Turns Up Controversial Results

Huge Study On Internet Gaming Addiction Turns Up Controversial Results | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Does internet gaming have the makings of a debilitating addiction like gambling? Most likely not, according to the biggest study to date seeking a link between internet gaming and addictive behavior. I doubt it’s exactly what the originators of the term “internet gaming disorder” hoped to find, but in a minute I’ll discuss why it’s probably what they should have expected.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

New study fails to finds significant distress associated with internet gaming addiction.

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Here's Some Holiday Advice About Drinking And Stress, Gifted By Science

Here's Some Holiday Advice About Drinking And Stress, Gifted By Science | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Here’s something to keep in mind as the holidays unfold: if you drink alcohol when you’re stressed, you may be flipping a brain switch that makes heavier drinking all the more likely. That’s the finding of a new animal study on the neural effects of drinking, and stressed humans should take note of the results.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Our brain’s reward center is prone to subtle hijacking. The stress response evolved to protect us, but addictive drugs use those mechanisms and trick our brains to keep us coming back for more. The slow roll of addiction likely begins just this way for many people, with stress playing a key part in triggering the process.

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Global Drug Survey 2017

Global Drug Survey 2017 | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Why use GDS? GDS is an efficient approach to gain content rich data that explores diverse health outcomes associated with the use of drugs and alcohol across the population of your country. GDS can help you add numbers and depth to the findings of more rigorous, though less detailed and smaller, survey findings. Using anonymous on-line research tools, designed and analysed by leading experts in the fields of epidemiology, addiction, criminology, toxicology and sociology GDS has access to drug use data from over 500,000 people from over 50 countries. The GDS sampling frame allows you to effectively compare population segments - young, old, males, females, gay, straight, clubbers, thin people, obese people, vegetarians, those with a current psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses, students, northerners, southerners. GDS helps you better understand the quantitative dynamics of personal decision-making about drug use, detects regional differences in patterns of drug use and related harm, and informs novel interventions. GDS creates beautiful data reports, digital health assessment tools and free harm reduction resources that aim to make drug use safer regardless of the legal status of the drug GDS reaches hidden, sentinel and hard to reach populations and puts you on top of emerging drug trends in your country and major cities.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Don't forget to participate in this year's Global Drug Survey. Whether you use drugs / alcohol or not, your contribution matters.

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Young Adults’ Odds of Prescription Opioid Abuse Doubled in a Decade

Young Adults’ Odds of Prescription Opioid Abuse Doubled in a Decade | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

The study, published online in the journal Addictive Behaviors, is the first to investigate time trends and increases over the last decade (2002 to 2014) in prescription opioid use disorder, defined as meeting the criteria for DSM (clinical) abuse and dependence and needing treatment. Study participants included adolescents (12 to 17 years), emerging adults (18 to 25 years), and young adults (26 to 34 years) who used prescription opioids for nonmedical purposes. Emerging adults had a 37 percent increase in the odds of having prescription opioid use disorder, and young adults doubled their odds from 11 percent to 24 percent. Among adolescents, the prevalence of prescription opioid use disorder remained relatively stable during the same period. Data originated from the 2002 to 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Young adults are twice as likely to have a prescription opioid use disorder compared to a decade ago.

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The BMJ medical journal is calling for the legalisation of drugs

The BMJ medical journal is calling for the legalisation of drugs | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

The British Medical Journal has called for the legalisation of illicit drugs for the first time. Prohibition laws have failed to curb either supply or demand, reduce addiction, cut violence or reduce profits for organised crime, the journal argued, saying the so-called 'War on Drugs' had been a failure. It said the ban on the production, supply, possession and use of some drugs for non-medical purposes was causing huge harm.  “There is an imperative to investigate more effective alternatives to criminalisation of drug use and supply," the BMJ said in an editorial.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

The idealized notion of a “society without drugs” is an unattainable fantasy. Reforms must prioritize issues of public health, social integration and security, while respecting human rights and judicial process. Decriminalization can and must go further.

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Frequent vaping by teens linked to heavy smoking later

Frequent vaping by teens linked to heavy smoking later | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Adolescents with a regular vaping habit aren’t just more likely to take up smoking; they also have higher odds of developing a heavy cigarette habit, a U.S. study suggests.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

E-cigarettes do not prevent teens from advancing to smoking and may possibly do the opposite. New study is the first to show that teenagers who vape not only experiment with cigarettes, but are more likely to become regular smokers. It is also the first time teenage vaping has been linked to heavier smoking patterns involving use of multiple cigarettes per day.

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Strong alcohol policies can help prevent suicide

Strong alcohol policies can help prevent suicide | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States in 2013. There is clear evidence that intoxication and chronic, heavy drinking are often associated with suicide. While alcohol policies are known to be effective in reducing excessive drinking, this review undertakes a critical look at the literature on the relationship between alcohol policies and suicide.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Restrictive alcohol policies have a protective effect on reducing suicide at a general population level.

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DNA study lays bare devastating damage caused by smoking

DNA study lays bare devastating damage caused by smoking | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

The devastating impact of cigarette smoke on the body’s DNA has been laid bare by the first comprehensive study into the damage tobacco inflicts on human cells. People who smoke a pack of cigarettes each day for a year develop on average 150 extra mutations in every lung cell, and nearly 100 more mutations than usual in each cell of the voice box, researchers found. More still build up in the mouth, bladder, liver and other organs.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Major investigation into root causes of cancer reveals how tobacco smoke mutates DNA and gives rise to more than a dozen types of tumour.

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Opioids: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

John Oliver discusses the extent and root of America’s epidemic of opioid addiction. 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

How opioid use became a national epidemic...

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Drug Addiction is 'Slavery,' Says Pope Francis

Drug Addiction is 'Slavery,' Says Pope Francis | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
At a recent workshop, the Pope addressed the failure of the War on Drugs and the need for more addiction treatment programs. 
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Pope cautions against punitive measures and attitudes towards addicts, citing that each person struggling with substance abuse has "a different personal history which must be heard, understood, loved and, as soon as possible, healed and purified."

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Study finds abnormally low blood flow in the brain of marijuana users

Study finds abnormally low blood flow in the brain of marijuana users | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Hippocampus, the brain's key memory and learning center, has the lowest blood flow in marijuana users suggesting higher vulnerability to Alzheimer's. As the U.S. races to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, a new, large scale brain imaging study gives reason for caution. Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), a sophisticated imaging study that evaluates blood flow and activity patterns, demonstrated abnormally low blood flow in virtually every area of the brain studies in nearly 1,000 marijuana compared to healthy controls, including areas known to be affected by Alzheimer's pathology such as the hippocampus.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Marijuana use has damaging influences in the brain - particularly regions important in memory and learning and known to be affected by Alzheimer's.

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Quitting smoking in your 60s can still boost life expectancy

Quitting smoking in your 60s can still boost life expectancy | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

A new study confirms that it is never too late to stop smoking – and the earlier you give up, the longer you are likely to live. Scientists found that current smokers aged 70 and over were three times more likely to die over a period of six years than never smokers.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Smokers can extend their lives by quitting even if they wait until their 60s to kick the habit, research has shown.

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Does weed help you sleep? Probably not

Does weed help you sleep? Probably not | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Marijuana users may believe that frequent use helps them sleep, but that perception has been challenged by a new study. It found that daily marijuana users actually scored higher on the Insomnia Severity Index and on sleep-disturbance measures than those who did not use it daily.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Marijuana users are often convinced that frequent use helps them sleep, but marijuana users score higher on insomnia.

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Discovery of alcohol-regulating hormone could lead to pill which prevents cravings

Discovery of alcohol-regulating hormone could lead to pill which prevents cravings | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Researchers have shown for the first time how the liver hormone FGF21 plays a crucial role in setting a person’s drinking limits. They say the discovery lead to new treatments for people unable to control their drinking.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

A pill with the power to stop people craving a drink may be on the horizon after scientists discovered a hormone that regulates desire for alcohol.

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Born addicts: The babies starting life in rehab

Born addicts: The babies starting life in rehab | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Hundreds of babies in the UK are born suffering the effects of drug withdrawal because of their mother's addiction, but one unique facility is working to keep the newborns together with their parent while they detox.

 

See also:

How drug laws aimed at pregnant women penalize their children http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/25/11301898/prenatal-drug-testing-custody-laws-child-welfare?

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

In what universe will we see improved recovery and detox by separating a mother from her child?!

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Dozens of health professionals fatally overdosing on drugs every year

Dozens of health professionals fatally overdosing on drugs every year | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
There were 404 fatal drug overdoses among health professionals between 2003 and 2013, with an average of 37 each year, a study of coronial investigations has found.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

People getting 'high on their own supply' is not a phenomenon exclusive to the drug cartels and the illegal drug trade. Study from Australia finds dozens of health professionals, including doctors, nurses and paramedics, are dying of fatal drug overdoses every year, and some of them are using drugs found in their workplaces.

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Surgeon general: 1 in 7 in USA will face substance addiction

Surgeon general: 1 in 7 in USA will face substance addiction | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

A federal report released Thursday calls for a shift in the way America addresses substance addictions, finding one in seven Americans will face such disorders. Only 10% of those addicted receive treatment, the study said. "Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health" marks the first report from a U.S. surgeon general dedicated to substance addiction, raising the profile of the widespread epidemic and advocating proven treatment options.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

An American dies every 19 minutes from opioid or heroin overdose. The economic impact of drug and alcohol misuse and addiction amounts to USD $442 billion each year — topping diabetes at USD $245 billion.

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Marijuana wins big on election night

Marijuana wins big on election night | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational marijuana initiatives Tuesday night, and several other states passed medical marijuana provisions, in what is turning out to be the biggest electoral victory for marijuana reform since 2012, when Colorado and Washington first approved the drug's recreational use. Of the five recreational marijuana initiatives on the ballot, three passed and one more — in Maine — was leading early Wednesday in preliminary vote totals. A similar measure in Arizona was trailing with 68 percent of votes counted. On the medical side, voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas have approved medical marijuana initiatives. A separate measure in Montana that would loosen restrictions on an existing medical pot law was leading early Wednesday with only 30 percent of votes counted. Reformers were jubilant. “This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.

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Prescription Opioid Poisonings Nearly Double Among Toddlers and Teens

Prescription Opioid Poisonings Nearly Double Among Toddlers and Teens | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Prescription opioids include common painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. In adults, the growing use and abuse of these drugs are linked to a rise in hospitalizations for opioid poisonings. To gauge the impact of these trends on children, the Yale team conducted a comprehensive analysis of hospitalizations attributed to opioid poisonings in children and adolescents. First author Julie Gaither and the Yale team analyzed data from the Kids’ Inpatient Database, a national source that compiles data on children admitted to U.S. hospitals. The researchers examined discharge records for patients aged 1 to 19 who were hospitalized for opioid poisonings. Using data from 1997 to 2012, they identified more than 13,000 such records.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Thousands of children are hospitalized annually for prescription opioid poisonings, and in recent years, hospitalization rates have nearly doubled among children of all ages, according to a new Yale study that shows toddlers and older teens are particularly at risk.

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Costs of US prescription opioid epidemic estimated at $78. 5 billion

Costs of US prescription opioid epidemic estimated at $78. 5 billion | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Health care accounts for about one-third of costs attributable to the prescription opioid epidemic, while one-fourth of costs are borne by the public sector, according to the analysis by Curtis Florence, PhD, and colleagues of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. They hope their findings will help in understanding the economic impact of opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence, and in guiding strategies aimed at reducing the burden of the epidemic.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Prescription opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence carries high costs for American society, with an estimated total economic burden of $78.5 billion, according to a new study.

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The drug industry’s answer to opioid addiction: More pills

The drug industry’s answer to opioid addiction: More pills | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Opioid prescriptions alone have skyrocketed from 112 million in 1992 to nearly 249 million in 2015, the latest year for which numbers are available, and America’s dependence on the drugs has reached crisis levels. Millions are addicted to or abusing prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, from 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people died in the United States from prescription-opioid overdoses, which have contributed to a startling increase in early mortality among whites, particularly women — a devastating toll that has hit hardest in small towns and rural areas. The pharmaceutical industry’s response has been more drugs. The opioid market — now worth nearly $10 billion a year in sales in the United States — has expanded to include a growing universe of medications aimed at treating secondary effects rather than controlling pain.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them ~ Albert Einstein.

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