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'Crack baby' study ends with unexpected but clear result

'Crack baby' study ends with unexpected but clear result | Addiction and Substance Use | 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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Alcohol blamed for 40% rise in liver disease deaths in 12 years

Alcohol blamed for 40% rise in liver disease deaths in 12 years | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

A startling jump in the number of people dying of liver disease has been triggered by an increase in alcohol consumption, Public Health England (PHE) has warned. The first regional study into the preventable disease revealed a 40% rise in deaths over the past 12 years, with men twice as likely to be diagnosed as women. The changes in pub opening hours and higher levels of alcohol consumption are directly linked to the “rapid and shocking” increase in death rates.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

“Liver disease is a public health priority because young lives are being needlessly lost. All the preventable causes are on the rise, but alcohol accounts for 37% of liver disease deaths. We must do more to raise awareness, nationally and locally.”

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Boys and Porn: A Moving Target

Boys and Porn: A Moving Target | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

It's a given that young males find images of people having sex captivating. But today, instead of masturbating to still photos, as their fathers may have done, boys can watch limitless streaming videos of real people having so-called real sex. Unlike stills, videos replace the imagination; the boys are strictly voyeurs. By the time they find real partners, perhaps as much as a decade later, some guys discover they have trained intensely... for the wrong sport. For example, this young man and this one weren't addicts; they had simply conditioned their sexual response to screens, isolation, constant novelty, shock/surprise, fetish porn and watching other people have sex. Their erection problems with real partners resolved only months after they quit porn.


Read more: http://sco.lt/5W7M5R

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"No young guy should ever have to cope with such fears without being warned, but it looks like many are. A 2014 study of Canadian teens found that 54 percent of sexually active male adolescents 16-21 reported sexual problems: erectile dysfunction (27 percent), low desire (24 percent) and problems with orgasm (11 percent)... Many of the those experiencing problems are not only young but virgins. They grew up thinking porn and masturbation are synonymous. Many give no indication of struggling with childhood trauma or other issues and fire up impressively after giving up porn use."

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Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It: Why Is This Widely Denied?

Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It: Why Is This Widely Denied? | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

According to large epidemiological studies, most people who have diagnosable addiction problems do so—without treatment. The early to mid-20s is also the period when the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain responsible for good judgment and self-restraint—finally reaches maturity. The idea that addiction is typically a chronic, progressive disease that requires treatment is false, the evidence shows. Yet the "aging out" experience of the majority is ignored by treatment providers and journalists.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” However, that’s not what the epidemiology of the disorder suggests. By age 35, half of all people who qualified for active alcoholism or addiction diagnoses during their teens and 20s no longer do, according to a study of over 42,000 Americans in a sample designed to represent the adult population. Only a quarter of people who recover have ever sought assistance in doing so (including via 12-step programs). This actually makes addictions the psychiatric disorder with the highest odds of recovery."

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Teens Who Feel Less Favored By Parents More Likely to Use Drugs or Alcohol

Teens Who Feel Less Favored By Parents More Likely to Use Drugs or Alcohol | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

Teens who feel their parents favor their siblings over them are more likely to use alcohol, drugs and tobacco, a new study finds.

“There’s this cultural perception that you need to treat your children the same, or at least fairly,” lead researcher Alex Jensen of Brigham Young University told NPR. “But if kids perceive that it’s not fair, that’s when issues start to arise.” The researchers studied 282 teenage sibling pairs, ages 12 to 17. He asked each participant how their parents treated their children overall, whether any sibling was favored, and how the family functioned. They found an association between feeling less favored and substance abuse. Teens were more likely to abuse substances if they felt less favored and were in a family that was not particularly close. The more they felt slighted, the more likely they were to use alcohol, drugs or tobacco.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

“It’s not just how you treat them differently, but how your kids perceive it.”

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Studies show Australians rarely have sex while they’re sober

Studies show Australians rarely have sex while they’re sober | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

FOR most Australians, dating and drinking go hand-in-hand. Pubs and clubs set the scene for hook-ups, and first dates tend to be at bars where we turn to a glass — or bottle — of wine to take the edge off our nerves. But what starts out as social lubricant can lead to sexual dysfunction. Sex therapist Jacqueline Hellyer told news.com.au that she’s seen a rise in the number of couples who have never had sober sex. “It’s not unusual for me to meet couples who only ever have sex in substance-induced states,” she said. “When they meet, they’re on alcohol or drugs, and when they first have sex they’re drinking or doing drugs. It develops into a relationship but they are still only having sex when they go out and drink or get on drugs.” Desiree Spierings, sex therapist from Sexual Health Australia, said it’s been an increasing problem in the past two years. “We’re seeing an increase in couples who have only had sex with each other while using drugs or alcohol and cannot get aroused without it,” she said. While drinking on dates is hardly a new trend, Spierings said these days many people find it difficult to move from casual substance-induced sex to a relationship.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

What starts out as social lubricant can lead to sexual dysfunction. We are probably not much different in many parts of Europe..

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3 Things You NEED To Know About Mandatory Prison Sentencing For Drug Offences

3 Things You NEED To Know About Mandatory Prison Sentencing For Drug Offences | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

Our three most recent presidents have admitted to committing drug offenses in their youth, though they didn’t pay for their indiscretions with jail time. But most people caught up in our criminal justice system aren’t so lucky. Perhaps the worst aspect of the flawed system is mandatory minimum sentences. Consider Weldon Angelos, one victim — a former record producer who won’t get out of jail until he’s eighty and has served a sentence of more than twice what the hijacker of a plane would face. His crime? Selling marijuana twice. Alex Kreit, criminal law professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, explains three reasons why mandatory minimums are really, really, really bad. For one thing, the sentences can be longer than those for more serious crimes. Second, they get the wrong people, despite the intentions of lawmakers. Third, if the goal is to reduce drug use, they fail on their own terms. Among their targets in practice are people who have been convicted of such minor offenses as possession for personal use. Drugs are as plentiful as ever.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Things to consider..

 

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People Dying Due to Lack of Harm Reduction and Access to Naloxone

People Dying Due to Lack of Harm Reduction and Access to Naloxone | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

Lack of focus on harm reduction and shameful failure to roll out naloxone in England is leading to needless deaths. I feel deeply sad and ashamed to be part of a system that is letting this happen.

I believe the failure of Government to roll out naloxone in England and a lack of focus on and dis-investment in harm reduction and drugs services is a factor in the 32% increase in heroin/morphine related deaths. Many people I suspect are now being encouraged to leave treatment before they are ready. There were 765 deaths involving heroin/morphine in 2013; a sharp rise of 32% from 579 deaths in 2012. Many of these fatalities could have been prevented by the use of naloxone as an intervention. Naloxone is a medicine that is a safe, effective, with no dependence-forming potential. Its only action is to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, and it is already used by emergency services personnel in the UK for this purpose. Naloxone provision reduces rates of drug-related death particularly when combined with training in all aspects of overdose response.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

 - Naloxone should be made more widely available, to tackle high numbers of fatal opioid overdoses.

 - Governments should ease the restrictions on who can be supplied with naloxone.

 - Governments should investigate how people supplied with naloxone can be suitably trained to administer it in an emergency and respond to overdoses.

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INFOGRAPHIC: How Big Is the Drug Trade?

INFOGRAPHIC: How Big Is the Drug Trade? | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it
With the recent capture of "El Chapo," the richest drug cartel leader in the world, let's take a look at what he was known for -- a global drug trade.

Via Julian Buchanan
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

The cannabis industry in Europe is a 29.6 million dollar industry. This is the money European governments miss out on because the drug is not legalized (almost everywhere in Europe). Then there are the added HUGE expenses wasted on criminal justice procedures relating to the cannabis drug trade.

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Addiction 'rife' among classical musicians

Addiction 'rife' among classical musicians | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

ADDICTION is blighting the lives of many classical musicians as they grapple with performance anxiety and anti-social hours, a cellist has said. The cellist, who was addicted to alcohol and prescription pills, said the problem was rife in the classical music world. "There is the lifestyle, the odd hours, working weekends, post-concert socialising. "Many players use alcohol and beta-blockers to control their performance anxiety and then, after the 'high' of a performance, musicians can struggle to 'come down' and therefore drink to relax - which becomes habitual."


Via ReGenUC
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

It's not just the stereotypical rock-stars, Hollywood actors, or porn celebrities that are affected by pressures to perform on camera or on stage. Addiction touches the lives of people across culture, race, age, gender, occupation, and social class.

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ReGenUC's curator insight, August 19, 7:52 PM

So, not just rock and roll then.  It's always good to see coverage that challenges common stereotypes about the 'type of person' who becomes drug dependent.

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Esteemed Study Identifies Sexual Addiction as Identifiable and Diagnosable

Esteemed Study Identifies Sexual Addiction as Identifiable and Diagnosable | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

Led by Dr. Valerie Voon, a group of researchers at the University of Cambridge (UK) recently published a detailed fMRI study showing that the brain activity in sex addicts, when they are shown pornography, mirrors the brain activity in drug addicts when they are exposed to drug-related imagery. This study strongly suggests that sexual addiction not only exists, but in fact manifests in profoundly similar ways to other more readily accepted forms of addiction like alcoholism, drug addiction, and Internet addiction.

 

See also: Neurobiological Basis for Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity Finally Gets Validation: http://sco.lt/591DFJ

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"The brains of sex addicts respond to sexual stimuli differently than the brains of non-sex addicts, and, just as importantly, the brains of sex addicts respond to sexual stimuli in the same way that the brains of drug addicts respond to drug-related stimuli."

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Effects of alcohol in young binge drinkers predict future alcoholism

Effects of alcohol in young binge drinkers predict future alcoholism | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it
Heavy social drinkers who report greater stimulation and reward from alcohol are more likely to develop alcohol use disorder over time, report researchers. The findings run counter to existing hypotheses that innate tolerance to alcohol drives alcoholism. "Heavy drinkers who felt alcohol's stimulant and pleasurable effects at the highest levels in their 20s were the ones with the riskiest drinking profiles in the future and most likely to go on and have alcohol problems in their 30s," the lead said, "In comparison, participants reporting fewer positive effects of alcohol were more likely to mature out of binge drinking as they aged."
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

There is a reason some people go for coke, some for alcohol, some for marijuana, and still others for sex or gambling. People don't generally get addicted to drugs that don't attract them. People will go for the drug that gives them the best high according to their own personal preference. It's a matter of choice.

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I was a heroin baby

I was a heroin baby | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

I’m told the first months of my life were torture. I screamed constantly, spat out milk, and vomited all the time. I was going through withdrawal. I was a heroin baby. My mother began using drugs as a teen. By the time I was born, she’d done several stints in prison. She even gave birth to me in prison, where I lived for the first year of my life. Eventually, though, my incarcerated mother lost custody of me. I wound up in foster care, later adoption. Most people see this as a success story — government gone right. But I know differently. Here's what it taught me about addiction and our criminalization obsession.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Babies born drug exposed are not drug-seeking addicts, and for the mothers, addiction isn’t a crime. It’s a public health and mental health concern, treatable through rehab, mental health services, and drug treatment."

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, July 26, 6:04 AM

Thankfully heroin unlike alcohol doesn't cause babies any permanent damage ... but we over react to the former and under react to the latter. 

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How Being An Alcoholic Has Made Me A Better Leader

How Being An Alcoholic Has Made Me A Better Leader | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

Hi. My name is Tanaya and I'm an alcoholic. Surprised? Don't be. We alcoholics are everywhere and our faces look more like yours and mine than they do the stereotypical "skid row drunk" image that might pop into your mind. We are successful, intelligent and wonderful people when we are at our best. When we're not, well, that's a different story all together and not one that I am here to share today. No I'm here to talk about how being an alcoholic has made me a better leader. Shocking. I know? Right. But true.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

How addiction and recovery from it can bring about the proper goggles for self-awareness and have tremendous results. Much to learn...

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Warning labels about cancer on alcohol: do we need them?

Warning labels about cancer on alcohol: do we need them? | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

How would you feel if your bottle of merlot or cider came with a health warning about the increased risk of cancer from drinking alcohol? Doesn't sound like an idea to be warmly embraced by those who like a drink but the findings of a recent West Australian survey of more than 2000 drinkers suggests we might be more receptive than you'd think.

 


Via Lives Lived Well
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

When considering all the resulting adverse health outcomes, accidents and violent injuries, alcohol is arguably more dangerous to society than tobacco and any other drug. Greater preventive efforts in this area has been needed for a long time.

 

See for example:

Alcohol blamed for 40% rise in liver disease deaths in 12 years

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/20/alcohol-rise-liver-disease-deaths

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Most of Us Still Don't Get It: Addiction Is a Learning Disorder

Most of Us Still Don't Get It: Addiction Is a Learning Disorder | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

Sex, food, shopping, the Internet, video games—all of these activities are being studied by neuroscientists, which frequently leads to headlines like “Oreos May Be As Addictive As Cocaine” and “Brain Activity of Sex Addicts Similar to That of Drug Addicts.” These stories carry the very strange implication that our brains have areas “for” drug addiction that can be “hijacked” by experiences like sex, junk food and MILF porn. Shockingly, kids today with their Tinder and Grindr and nomophobia are misusing the regions nature gave us to allow us to get hooked on wholesome pleasures like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. Of course, put that way, these claims sound completely absurd. Evolution didn’t provide us with brain circuitry dedicated to alcoholism and other drug addictions—it gave us brain networks that motivate us to seek pleasure and avoid pain in ways that promote survival and reproduction. To understand addiction, we’ve got to stop falling for arguments that obscure this truth and make unsound claims about brain changes that cannot tell us anything about its real nature.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Addiction isn’t simply a response to a drug or an experience—it is a learned pattern of behavior that involves the use of soothing or pleasant activities for a purpose like coping with stress. This is why simple exposure to a drug cannot cause addiction: The exposure must occur in a context where the person finds the experience pleasant and/or useful and must be deliberately repeated until the brain shifts its processing of the experience from deliberate and intentional to automatic and habitual."

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Overcriminalized #2: Substance Abuse - The War On People

It’s simple. Diversion programs work better than incarceration – for everyone. In cities like Seattle, San Antonio, and Salt Lake City, we see that successful solutions are a viable option to help end serious social problems. These services alter the course of people’s lives in a positive way and save taxpayers huge amounts of money. We cannot continue to isolate and imprison people who suffer from mental illness, substance abuse, or homelessness. We must treat them with compassion and care to better serve our communities and our pocketbooks. It's time we got serious about pulling our money out of incarceration and putting it into systems that foster healthy communities. Hundreds of thousands of people are locked up not because of any dangerous behavior, but because of problems like mental illness, substance use disorders, and homelessness, which should be dealt with outside the criminal justice system. Services like drug treatment and affordable housing cost less and can have a better record of success. This summer, news stories from around the nation provided the American people with a litany of issues about how police officers respond to community members. By highlighting programs like Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), and Housing First, OverCriminalized explores the possibility of ending incarceration for millions of Americans who, through successful intervention programs, can put their lives back on track. See also:

 

OverCriminalized #1: Why Are We Using Prisons to Treat the Mentally Ill?

http://sco.lt/4l3HXt

 

OverCriminalized #3: Homelessness - Nowhere To Go But Jail?

http://sco.lt/635tB3

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Drug use and abuse should primarily be treated as a public health issue, not a criminal justice issue. The "War on Drugs" has caused more problems than it has solved since 1971. Now police have alternatives to incarceration that actually help people -and save money for the taxpayers.

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Alcohol is by far the most dangerous 'date rape drug'

Alcohol is by far the most dangerous 'date rape drug' | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

The problem with products for detecting “date rape drugs” is that they are unreliable and will not prevent rape. While the idea of malicious drink spiking is understandably terrifying, the evidence suggests that it is exceptionally uncommon and that these products instil a false sense of security and a skewed perception of risk. The discomforting truth is that the overwhelming majority of rapes are committed not by the archetypal odious stranger but by a person known or even intimate with the victim.

While fears over exotic rape drugs might be unfounded, rape is all too common and alcohol frequently plays a role. Rather than fixating on unlikely scenarios of drink spiking, we might be better served by reexamining our collective relationship with alcohol and reinforcing the message that sex with someone incapable of giving consent is assault.


Via ReGenUC
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"These studies strongly suggest that the media fixation on covert drink spiking with a pill or powder is misplaced, and that such acts are vanishingly rare. They show that it is alcohol we should be wary of."

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ReGenUC's curator insight, September 23, 2:11 AM

This is a message we've often repeated, but it's important to remember that alcohol is (by far) the drug used most commonly in drink spiking.

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Dr. Carl Hart: Drug Hysteria & Science

Dr Carl Hart's talk at TEDMED2014. Highlights the impact of drug hysteria on drug laws, and why Science is critical to creating drug policy. The groundbreaking neuropsychopharmacologist Dr. Carl Hart is the first tenured African-American scientist at Columbia University, where he is an associate professor in the psychology and psychiatry departments. He’s also a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and a research scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. However, long before he entered the hallowed halls of the Ivy League, Carl Hart gained firsthand knowledge about drug usage while growing up in one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods. He recently published his memoir called High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society. In the book, he recalls his journey of self-discovery, how he escaped a life of crime and drugs and avoided becoming one of the crack addicts he now studies.


Via Julian Buchanan
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Steps to solve society’s drug problem: 1) Providing attractive alternative reinforcers, in particularly meaningful employment and viable economic opportunities, will go a long way in terms of decreasing drug abuse. 2) Drugs should be decriminalized. Possession of certain drugs may result in fines, but should NOT result in criminal prosecution. 3) Science should drive drug policy and education, even if it makes people (and politicians) uncomfortable."

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Coalition Urges Nations to Decriminalize Drugs and Drug Use

Coalition Urges Nations to Decriminalize Drugs and Drug Use | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

A coalition of political figures from around the world, including Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, and several former European and Latin American presidents, is urging governments to decriminalize a variety of illegal drugs and set up regulated drug markets within their own countries. The proposal by the group, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, goes beyond its previous call to abandon the nearly half-century-old American-led war on drugs. As part of a report scheduled to be released on Tuesday, the group goes much further than its 2011 recommendation to legalize cannabis.

 

See also:

The World Health Organization calls for the decriminalisation of drug use: http://sco.lt/5hEFrV

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

“Punitive drug law enforcement fuels crime and maximizes the health risks associated with drug use, especially among the most vulnerable."

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App distinguishes real from fake tremors in alcohol withdrawal patients

App distinguishes real from fake tremors in alcohol withdrawal patients | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

 

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a potentially life-threatening situation that can be easily treated with a class of sedatives called benzodiazepine drugs. However, such drugs are often abused and can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol and opiates, making doctors reluctant to prescribe them. Now, researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada have created a phone app that can predict whether a patient's alcohol tremors are authentic or fake. Because chronic alcohol abusers often claim to be in withdrawal in order to receive benzodiazepines, it is important for clinicians to accurately determine whether the patient is in withdrawal or faking it. Health care workers have had no means of objectively determining whether a patient is genuinely in withdrawal, so Narges Norouzi and Profs. Bjug Borgundvaag and Parham Aarabi worked to develop the first app to provide guidance on tremor strength. "The exciting thing about our app is that the implications are global," says Prof. Borgundvaag. "Alcohol-related illness is commonly encountered not only in the emergency room, but also elsewhere in the hospital, and this gives clinicians a much easier way to assess patients using real data."

Using data from an iPod's built-in accelerometer, the app measures tremor frequency for 20 seconds in both hands. Though the app was able to assess tremor strength with accuracy similar to that of junior physicians, Norouzi says more senior doctors were better able to judge the symptoms. She plans to continue to sharpen the app and compare its performance with subjective assessments of doctors.


Via Lives Lived Well
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

More progress in the area of addiction and modern technology!

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Racing For Recovery - Promoting A Lifestyle Of Health, Fitness And Sobriety For Recovering Addicts

After surviving his 13 year drug and alcohol addiction by becoming sober on April 15, 1993, Todd Crandell began competing in the Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 marathon run) as a healthy alternative and ultimately formed the non-profit organization, Racing for Recovery, to help others achieve and maintain sobriety.

 

Read more here: http://racingforrecovery.org/

 

Please donate to this great cause: https://fundly.com/racing-for-recovery-lifestyle-center?ft_pid=uuu3nk2w

 

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

From addict to inspiration!

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We Are Drug Users - Voices From The Global Movement Of People Who Use Drugs!

We Are Drug Users - Voices From The Global Movement Of People Who use Drugs was launched at "Through the Eye of the Needle - A Celebration of Drug User Activism" event at the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. "The drug users’ movement has been in existence for more than 30 years and in 2014 it continues to grow stronger in the face of urgent health, legal and human rights issues threatening our community. This film offers only a glimpse of the scale, diversity and achievement of the global drug user movement - working for progress towards a better world for us all. Drug user organisations have been developed in response to a war against our community – against us as people. We have been hit hard by the (otherwise preventable) consequences of the war - overdose, Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, imprisonment, violence, torture, sexual assault and rape and the death penalty. You are about to meet people in our global community who are dealing with the consequences of the war on drugs. Some of the background many can identify with: the difficulties, prejudices, and often violence attached to failed drug policy...They will move you, they will impress you, you will remember."


Via ReGenUC
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Have a look at some of the people, in some of the places around the world who have come together to talk about drug user activism, their incredible achievements, the massive obstacles they constantly tackle, bravely, beautifully and often with very little but their deeply felt belief that by saving each other, we are saving ourselves from the damage the war on drugs inflicts on our communities every day."

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ReGenUC's curator insight, August 18, 9:17 PM

Great video on the impacts of international advocacy by people who use drugs, launched at #AIDS2014.  It features some of the good folk from Aus organisations AIVL, CAHMA and HRV.

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The case for decriminalizing heroin, cocaine, and all other drugs

The case for decriminalizing heroin, cocaine, and all other drugs | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

Given the failures of the war on drugs and the spread of marijuana legalization, many drug policy experts are now thinking about what's next. What should happen with other illicit drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, if the war on drugs isn't working? Should illicit drugs even be considered illegal in the first place? I reached out to drug policy experts for answers. They agreed that the criminalization of drugs has clearly failed, but where drug policy should go next remains a matter of debate.


Via Julian Buchanan
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"The criminalization of drugs comes with substantial costs — mass incarceration, an illicit drug market that finances violent criminal organizations, and a disproportionate effect on minorities — with no substantial benefit. It might be better, then, to look at decriminalizing these substances and going after drug abuse outside the criminal justice system."

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, July 27, 8:30 PM

The challenging question isn't 'Would you decriminalise all drugs?' it's 'How can you justify criminalising drugs?'

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Single episode of binge drinking can adversely affect health

Single episode of binge drinking can adversely affect health | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it
A single episode of binge drinking can have significant negative health effects resulting in bacteria leaking from the gut, leading to increased levels of endotoxins in the blood, clinical scientists have found. Greater gut permeability and increased endotoxin levels have been linked to many of the health issues related to chronic drinking, including alcoholic liver disease.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

It's also called poisoning...

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Fusing Sexual Addiction and Stimulant Drug Abuse

Fusing Sexual Addiction and Stimulant Drug Abuse | Addiction and Substance Use | Scoop.it

Approximately half of all self-identified sex addicts also have a history of substance abuse/addiction – usually alcohol, marijuana, cocaine or meth, or “party drugs” like Ecstasy, Ketamine, and GHB. While some sex addicts abuse substances as a way to tolerate or manage the emotional discomfort they experience related to their sexual acting out, others abuse substances in combination with their sexual acting out, taking drugs as a way to enhance, extend, and reinforce the intensity of their addictive sexual activity.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

“Co-occurring abuse of stimulant drugs (like cocaine and methamphetamine) is particularly common among sex addicts. Sometimes these dual sex/stimulant abusers disappear into multi-day sex/drug binges. Males with this issue also tend to abuse erection-enhancing medications like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. And both genders can get hooked on benzodiazepines or off-the-shelf cold remedies, used as a way to “come down” when the binge finally ends… Much of the time, men and women with this fused sex/stimulant addiction present in treatment with lengthy drug relapse histories. Usually they’ve expended significant financial and other resources seeking chemical sobriety, only to relapse when the perpetually untreated sexual half of their addiction pops up. In other words, these addicts enter drug abuse rehab and do their best, truly hoping for lasting sobriety, but the link between their sexual behaviors and their drug abuse is neither recognized nor addressed.”

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