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'Crack baby' study ends with unexpected but clear result

'Crack baby' study ends with unexpected but clear result | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Ever since her birth 23 years ago, a team of researchers has been tracking every aspect of her development - gauging her progress as an infant, measuring her IQ as a prechooler, even peering into her adolescent brain using an MRI machine. Now, after nearly a quarter century, the federally funded study was ending, and the question the researchers had been asking was answered. Did cocaine harm the long-term development of children like Jaimee, who were exposed to the drug in their mother's womb? The researchers had expected the answer would be a resounding yes. But it wasn't. Another factor would prove far more critical....

 


Via Julian Buchanan
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Poverty is a more powerful influencer on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine". The social context is crucial!

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, July 22, 2013 5:51 PM

A great example of policy driven by punitive populist ideology rather than rooted in scientific evidence and specialist experience ... and with terrible consequences for the children and their parents.

Interesting use of science technology (IQ & MRI Scans) as evidence. Currently being used in USA and beyond as evidence that 'addiction' is a brain disease.

 

see also:

http://articles.philly.com/2013-07-22/news/40709969_1_hallam-hurt-so-called-crack-babies-funded-study

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MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD causes long-lasting changes in personality, study finds

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD causes long-lasting changes in personality, study finds | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Mental health professionals have long struggled to find more effective for post-traumatic stress disorder. Scientists are currently investigating whether the illegal party drug known “ecstasy” or “molly” could help those suffering from the disorder.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

As part of that investigation, researchers have now published evidence showing that the combination of psychotherapy and MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) not only reduces PTSD symptoms but also causes long-lasting changes in key personality traits.

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Alcohol Is Worse for Mental Health than Psychedelics

Alcohol Is Worse for Mental Health than Psychedelics | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Funded by the Research Council of Norway, scientists found that people often reported experiencing deep and meaningful events while under the influence of substances like LSD or psychedelic mushrooms. While those reports were subjective, the study also looked at clinical conditions like serious psychological distress, mental health treatment, suicidal thoughts and plans, depression, and anxiety.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

In a study of 130,000 American adults, including 19,299 psychedelics users, researchers failed to find evidence that taking psychotropic substances results in serious mental health problems. Alcohol, on the other hand, continues to drive rates of depression and suicide higher because it easily aggravates smaller mental health issues into something larger.

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Study finds mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

Study finds mushrooms are the safest recreational drug | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Mushrooms are the safest of all the drugs people take recreationally, according to this year’s Global Drug Survey. Of the more than 12,000 people who reported taking psilocybin hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2016, just 0.2% of them said they needed emergency medical treatment – a rate at least five times lower than that for MDMA, LSD and cocaine.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

People taking mushrooms in 2016 needed medical treatment less than for MDMA, LSD and cocaine, while one of the riskiest drugs was synthetic cannabis.

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'Unnecessary' painkillers could leave thousands addicted, doctors warn

'Unnecessary' painkillers could leave thousands addicted, doctors warn | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Powerful and potentially addictive opiate painkillers are being handed out too readily, leading doctors have warned after it emerged that the number of times the drugs are being prescribed in the UK has doubled in the past decade.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Prescriptions for powerful opioid painkillers have doubled from 12m to 24m in past decade, NHS Digital figures reveal.

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Spend a Dollar on Drug Treatment, and Save More on Crime Reduction

Spend a Dollar on Drug Treatment, and Save More on Crime Reduction | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
The burden of substance abuse disorders can fall heavily on the families and friends of those who battle addictions. But society also pays a great deal through increased crime. Treatment programs can reduce those costs.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

For a dollar spent on addiction treatment, up to three dollars are saved in crime reduction.

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Risk of psychosis from cannabis use lower than originally thought, say scientists

Risk of psychosis from cannabis use lower than originally thought, say scientists | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

At a population level, an increased risk of psychosis from cannabis use is low, and those vulnerable to developing serious mental health problems is relatively rare. The research highlights, however, that more reviews on the impact of high potency cannabis is needed in order to make a full assessment of the risks.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Scientists have shown that the risk of developing psychosis, such as hallucinations, from cannabis use is small compared to the number of total users. In order to prevent just one case of psychosis, more than 20,000 people would have to stop using cannabis. Only in the case of diagnosed schizophrenia, there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that cannabis makes symptoms worse. Ultimately, the greatest risk to health comes from combining cannabis with tobacco.

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The dangerous behaviors of teens who use fake weed

The dangerous behaviors of teens who use fake weed | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
The synthetic cannabinoids often called "fake weed" are a mix of chemicals sprinkled on what looks like incense and sold in shiny packages, often to teens and young adults. It produces sensations similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant, yet many users report more powerful, often dangerous effects. New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says young people who use fake weed are also more likely to use other drugs or alcohol, to behave violently and to have high-risk sex, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Yet more reason to legalize weed. Prohibition will always have the effect of driving the drug market underground, making it impossible to control and regulate. The end result is always the same: Corrupted drugs that pose significant risk and harm to the most vulnerable segments of society, while illegal drug lords make a ton of money, rather than the government through revenue and taxation.

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The Hidden Link Between Autism and Addiction

The Hidden Link Between Autism and Addiction | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
It’s believed that people on the spectrum don’t get hooked on alcohol or other drugs. New evidence suggests they do.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

A new study suggests that people with autism who have average or above-average intelligence are more than twice as likely to become addicted to alcohol or other drugs as their peers are. The risk is even higher for people who also have ADHD. The study is the first to look at the general risk for addiction among people with autism.

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Scientists genetically engineer a mouse that’s immune to cocaine addiction

Scientists genetically engineer a mouse that’s immune to cocaine addiction | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

“The purpose of [our] study was to understand a little bit more about the addicted brain — and specifically to understand a little more about what’s going on at the cellular and molecular level,” Dr. Shernaz Bamji, a professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, who worked on the project, told Digital Trends. “Researchers are pretty confident now that addiction is a form of learning that goes a bit haywire in a particular circuit in the brain. To learn you have to strengthen synaptic connections, and this involves adding more ‘glue’ — a protein called cadherin, which holds brain cells together — to the synapse.” The researchers figured that adding more cadherin to synapses found within the brain circuit involved in addiction would lead to higher levels of addiction, since more glue should mean stronger synapses and more learned behavior, including pathological addiction.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Scientists have genetically engineered a mouse incapable of becoming addicted to cocaine.

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E-cigarettes ‘far safer’ than smoking, say health experts

E-cigarettes ‘far safer’ than smoking, say health experts | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Vaping has been given an emphatic thumbs up by health experts after the first long-term study of its effects in ex-smokers. After six months, people who switched from real to e-cigarettes had far fewer toxins and cancer-causing substances in their bodies than continual smokers, scientists found. Nicotine patches also appeared to be far safer than tobacco products, according to the analysis of saliva and urine samples. Experts hope the findings will reassure would-be quitters who have been confused by mixed messages about the safety of e-cigarettes.

 

See related:

E-cigarettes act as gateway to smoking for teens, scientists warn  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/02/07/e-cigarettes-act-gateway-smoking-teens-scientists-warn/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

First long-term study of vaping effects show fewer toxins compared to normal cigarettes.

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Health Benefits Of Alcohol Are Exaggerated And Likely Non-Existent, Suggests Study

Health Benefits Of Alcohol Are Exaggerated And Likely Non-Existent, Suggests Study | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
New research challenges the idea that alcohol consumption can be healthy in moderation, and instead suggests that these findings are based on skewed data.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

New research suggests that the relationship between health  and alcohol intake doesn't reflect 'how much' people are drinking, as much as  'who is drinking'.

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Radical ketamine therapy could treat alcohol addiction

Radical ketamine therapy could treat alcohol addiction | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Scientists believe that a radical treatment involving the tranquilliser ketamine could help overcome alcohol addiction by “erasing” drink-related memories.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

A one-off dose of the drug could help alcohol addicts reduce their intake by ‘erasing’ drink-related memories, say psychologists testing treatment.

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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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High-Risk Drinking, Alcohol Use Disorder Rises Significantly Over Past Decade

High-Risk Drinking, Alcohol Use Disorder Rises Significantly Over Past Decade | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
“Increases in all of these outcomes were greatest among women, older adults, racial/ethnic minorities, and individuals with lower educational level and family income,” Bridget F. Grant, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and colleagues wrote.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013, the percentage of U.S. adults who engaged in regular high-risk drinking increased by almost 30%, and the percentage of people meeting criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD) grew by 49.4%, according to a report published today in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Even moderate drinking can damage the brain, claim researchers

Even moderate drinking can damage the brain, claim researchers | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol can damage the brain and impair cognitive function over time, researchers have claimed. While heavy drinking has previously been linked to memory problems and dementia, previous studies have suggested low levels of drinking could help protect the brain. But the new study pushes back against the notion of such benefits.  “We knew that drinking heavily for long periods of time was bad for brain health, but we didn’t know at these levels,” said Anya Topiwala, a clinical lecturer in old age psychiatry at the University of Oxford and co-author of the research.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Moderate alcohol consumption can impair cognitive function, says study, countering suggestions that low levels of drinking can help protect the brain

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Where you live may impact how much you drink

Where you live may impact how much you drink | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Neighborhoods with greater poverty and disorganization may play a greater role in problem drinking than the availability of bars and stores that sell hard liquor, a University of Washington-led study has found.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Socioeconomics are more powerful environmental factors in predicting problem drinking than access to psychoactive substances.

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Social smokers' risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol is identical to regular users, study finds

Social smokers' risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol is identical to regular users, study finds | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

This large, nationally representative study is the first to look at blood pressure and cholesterol in social smokers. More than 10 percent of 39,555 people surveyed said they were social smokers, meaning they didn't smoke every day. That's on top of the 17 percent who called themselves current smokers. Among current and social smokers (after researchers adjusted for differences in factors including demographics and obesity), about 75 percent had high blood pressure and roughly 54 percent had high cholesterol. "Not smoking at all is the best way to go. Even smoking in a social situation is detrimental to your cardiovascular health," said lead author Kate Gawlik, assistant professor of clinical nursing at The Ohio State University.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Social smokers' risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol is identical to those who light up every day, new research has found.

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Australian $18 mil./year alcohol rehab program 'has no long-term health impacts'

Australian $18 mil./year alcohol rehab program 'has no long-term health impacts' | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
An evaluation of the Northern Territory's contentious program of forcing alcoholics into treatment has found that for a program with no apparent long-term health impacts, the $18 million spent running it every year "seems high".
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Addiction rehab can easily cost society $18 million per year with no apparent returns on investment. Forced rehab, lack of proper harm-reduction principles, and the criminalization of health problems, is quite simply bound to be a pretty bad cocktail. And a very expensive one.

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Opioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix

Opioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
30 percent of fatal opioid overdoses involved both types of meds, but number of people prescribed both has spiked
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Mixing opioid painkillers with common anxiety and sleep medications is a prescription for a deadly overdose, a new U.S. study shows.

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America’s opioid epidemic is worsening

America’s opioid epidemic is worsening | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

On Tuesday February 28th, in an address to a joint session of Congress, Donald Trump vowed to end America’s “terrible drug epidemic”. When discussing America’s social ills, Mr Trump has a tendency to exaggerate. But on the subject of drugs, the president’s characteristically dark and apocalyptic tone may well have been warranted.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

In 2015 more than 52,000 Americans died of drug overdoses. That is an average of one death every ten minutes. Approximately 33,000 of these fatal overdoses—nearly two-thirds of them—were from opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin.

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Brian Chew's comment, March 9, 10:36 AM
I too hope that America's opioid abuse would start to decrease. It is tragic to see that medicine, which was created to help mankind, is getting abused. What is worse is that due to the abuse of consuming opioid, instead of actually getting the benefits of using opiods, those who abuse opiods instead die due to an overdose. I hope that this problem could be solved, as it is not a very complicated problem to solve like a disease. Instead precautions should be taken when prescribing medicine and we should adhere strictly to the prescription.
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If we want to save people from opioid overdoses, a new study shows naloxone works

If we want to save people from opioid overdoses, a new study shows naloxone works | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than car crashes, guns, and even HIV/AIDS at its peak in the 1990s — a startling result of the country’s opioid painkiller and heroin epidemic. The good news is new research shows there are some ways to combat the epidemic.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Improving access to naloxone is linked to a 9 to 11 percent reduction in opioid-related deaths, which would translate into 3,500 averted deaths in the US each year.

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Morgues Across US Struggle to Handle Growing Number of Fatal Overdoses; Opioids Blamed

Morgues Across US Struggle to Handle Growing Number of Fatal Overdoses; Opioids Blamed | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
As more Americans succumb to opioid addiction, the surge in drug overdose deaths has exhausted public resources—all the way to the morgue.Most recently, the New York Times spoke with Kenneth M. Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office in Ohio, about how the epidemic of heroin and painkiller addiction has affected his work.
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Ohio forced to use refrigerated trucks and even a local funeral home for extra storage space.

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Patients Are Ditching Opioid Pills for Weed

Patients Are Ditching Opioid Pills for Weed | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Can marijuana help solve the opioid epidemic?
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Marijuana might have a bigger role in curbing drug abuse than previously thought. Its potential uses are actually threefold: to treat chronic pain, to treat acute pain, and to alleviate the cravings from opioid withdrawal. And it has the advantages of being much less dangerous and addictive than opioids.

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Brain Pathways for Gambling Addiction Similar to Substance Abuse

Brain Pathways for Gambling Addiction Similar to Substance Abuse | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
A new study reveals that gambling addiction activates the same brain pathways as drug and alcohol cravings. The international study, led by researchers from Imperial College London, suggests targeting these brain pathways may lead to future treatments for the condition.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Behavioral addictions are always fascinating, essentially because people become hooked on a chemical that is not injected or consumed, but simply produced by the brain itself.

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Stopping smoking may ease symptoms of depression​

Stopping smoking may ease symptoms of depression​ | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Carried out by researchers at Kings College London and the Charles University in Prague, together the team looked at 3775 patients attending a stop smoking clinic in the Czech Republic. They found that smokers who received the clinic's specialist behavioral support and medication, 835 participants in total, were more likely to remain smoke-free for a year if they went back for repeat visits. In addition, successful quitters also showed a large improvement in their depression, with two-thirds (66.3 percent) of those who had moderate or severe depression when smoking describing no or minimal symptoms of the condition during a one-year follow up.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

New study finds that stopping smoking can help improve the symptoms of depression.

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