Alcoholism and the Family
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Rescooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home from Addictions and Mental Health
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Teen drug abuse: 14 mistakes parents make

Teen drug abuse: 14 mistakes parents make | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
Mom and dad can do a lot to help their kids steer clear of drugs and alcohol
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


Addiction specialist Dr. Joseph Lee, a spokesman for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and medical director of the Hazelden Center for Youth and Family provided CBS News with 14 ideas about ways in which parents can act to either prevent adolescent substance abuse or effectively address it an early, more treatable stage.  Several of his observations concern the need to have direct and open conversations with teens about expectations, substance use, mental health issues and family history.  All of his points are apt and significant and this is a useful slideshow to share with parents.  It  could be a way to help them begin to think about whether they have had substantive conversations with their kids about these matters, and if they haven't, to identify the  fears that may be blocking them.

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, April 29, 2014 9:17 AM


Addiction specialist Dr. Joseph Lee, a spokesman for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and medical director of the Hazelden Center for Youth and Family provided CBS News with 14 ideas about ways in which parents can act to either prevent adolescent substance abuse or effectively address it an early, more treatable stage.  Several of his observations concern the need to have direct and open conversations with teens about expectations, substance use, mental health issues and family history.  All of his points are apt and significant and this is a useful slideshow to share with parents.  It  could be a way to help them begin to think about whether they have had substantive conversations with their kids about these matters, and if they haven't, to identify the  fears that may be blocking them.

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, April 29, 2014 9:20 AM


Addiction specialist Dr. Joseph Lee, a spokesman for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and medical director of the Hazelden Center for Youth and Family provided CBS News with 14 ideas about ways in which parents can act to either prevent adolescent substance abuse or effectively address it an early, more treatable stage.  Several of his observations concern the need to have direct and open conversations with teens about expectations, substance use, mental health issues and family history.  All of his points are apt and significant and this is a useful slideshow to share with parents.  It  could be a way to help them begin to think about whether they have had substantive conversations with their kids about these matters, and if they haven't, to identify the  fears that may be blocking them.

Scooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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Study: Childhood trauma more prevalent and more severe in alcohol-dependent subjects.

Study: Childhood trauma more prevalent and more severe in alcohol-dependent subjects. | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

"Childhood trauma is highly prevalent in treatment-seeking alcoholics and may play a significant role in the development and severity of AD through an internalizing pathway involving negative affect. Our findings suggest that alcoholics with a history of childhood emotional abuse may be particularly vulnerable to severe dependence"

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


Important screening and treatment issue:


Investigators examined the prevalence of 5 types of childhood trauma-emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional neglect, and physical neglect-was assessed in treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent patients (n = 280) and healthy controls (n = 137) using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. 


Childhood trauma was significantly more prevalent and more severe in the alcohol-dependent subjects. In addition, childhood trauma was found to influence alcohol dependence severity, Emotional abuse was found to be the primary predictor of alcohol dependence.


 June 2013 edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (Schwandt, M. L., Heilig, M., Hommer, D. W., George, D. T. and Ramchandani, V. A. (2013), 

 

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, February 26, 2014 9:05 AM



Important screening and treatment issue:


Investigators examined the prevalence of 5 types of childhood trauma-emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional neglect, and physical neglect-was assessed in treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent patients (n = 280) and healthy controls (n = 137) using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. 


Childhood trauma was significantly more prevalent and more severe in the alcohol-dependent subjects. In addition, childhood trauma was found to influence alcohol dependence severity, Emotional abuse was found to be the primary predictor of alcohol dependence.


 June 2013 edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (Schwandt, M. L., Heilig, M., Hommer, D. W., George, D. T. and Ramchandani, V. A. (2013), 

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, February 26, 2014 9:07 AM



Important screening and treatment issue:


Investigators examined the prevalence of 5 types of childhood trauma-emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional neglect, and physical neglect-was assessed in treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent patients (n = 280) and healthy controls (n = 137) using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. 


Childhood trauma was significantly more prevalent and more severe in the alcohol-dependent subjects. In addition, childhood trauma was found to influence alcohol dependence severity, Emotional abuse was found to be the primary predictor of alcohol dependence.


 June 2013 edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (Schwandt, M. L., Heilig, M., Hommer, D. W., George, D. T. and Ramchandani, V. A. (2013), 

Scooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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Are Electronic Cigarettes a New Pathway to Smoking Addiction For Adolescents? New UCSF Study.

Are Electronic Cigarettes a  New Pathway to Smoking Addiction For Adolescents? New UCSF Study. | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

"...in the first study of its kind, UC San Francisco researchers are reporting that, at the point in time they studied, youth using e-cigarettes were more likely to be trying to quit, but also were less likely to have stopped smoking and were smoking more, not less."

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


This was a very large study conducted by UC San Francisco researchers of smoking among adolescents in Korea, where e-cigarettes are marketed much as they are in the US. It led the authors to conclude that,“We are witnessing the beginning of a new phase of the nicotine epidemic and a new route to nicotine addiction for kids,”  They noted that while it appeared that some young people may be using the devices to try and stop smoking" their use is actually  associated with heavier use of conventional cigarettes.  

The article posted on the UCF website notes that the  researchers have great concern that e-cigarettes may cause harm  "by creating a new pathway for youth to become addicted to nicotine and by reducing the odds that an adolescent will stop smoking conventional cigarettes.” This study is available online in the current issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 22, 2014 9:31 AM


This was a very large study conducted by UC San Francisco researchers of smoking among adolescents in Korea, where e-cigarettes are marketed much as they are in the US. It led the authors to conclude that,“We are witnessing the beginning of a new phase of the nicotine epidemic and a new route to nicotine addiction for kids,”  They noted that while it appeared that some young people may be using the devices to try and stop smoking" their use is actually  associated with heavier use of conventional cigarettes.  

The article posted on the UCF website notes that the  researchers have great concern that e-cigarettes may cause harm  "by creating a new pathway for youth to become addicted to nicotine and by reducing the odds that an adolescent will stop smoking conventional cigarettes.” This study is available online in the current issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Scooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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Is It Possible to Leave Addiction Behind?

Is It Possible to Leave Addiction Behind? | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

"The knowledge that some neural changes associated with addiction persist despite long periods of abstinence is important because it supports clinical wisdom that recovery from addiction is a lifelong process," says Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. "Further, it is the start of a deeper question: How do these persisting changes develop and how can they be reversed?"


Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


There's been a surprisingly lengthy disussion of this question in a LinkedIn discussion by addiction specialists recently, based on some not-so-recent survey research by NIDA that suggests that some alcoholics spontaneously remit later in life.  I find the survey research somewhat suspect in that substance abusers are not always the most reliable reporters of their psychiatric symptoms and patterns of drug and alcohol abuse.  This study is interesting because it is an experimental investigation of ebay bidding by healthy controls, current cocaine users and former cocaine users who had been abstinent for an average of four years.  Researchers looked at levels of impulsivity and reward responding in all groups. According to Medical News Today, "They found that active users showed abnormal activation in multiple brain regions involved with reward processing, and that the abstinent individuals who were previously cocaine dependent manifested differences in a subset of those regions." Their conclusion was that, "prolonged abstinence from cocaine may normalize only a subset of the brain abnormalities associated with active drug use."

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 17, 2014 9:59 AM


There's been a surprisingly lengthy disussion of this question in a LinkedIn discussion by addiction specialists recently, based on some not-so-recent survey research by NIDA that suggests that some alcoholics spontaneously remit later in life.  I find the survey research somewhat suspect in that substance abusers are not always the most reliable reporters of their psychiatric symptoms and patterns of drug and alcohol abuse.  This study is interesting because it is an experimental investigation of ebay bidding by healthy controls, current cocaine users and former cocaine users who had been abstinent for an average of four years.  Researchers looked at levels of impulsivity and reward responding in all groups. According to Medical News Today, "They found that active users showed abnormal activation in multiple brain regions involved with reward processing, and that the abstinent individuals who were previously cocaine dependent manifested differences in a subset of those regions." Their conclusion was that, "prolonged abstinence from cocaine may normalize only a subset of the brain abnormalities associated with active drug use."

Rescooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home from Addictions and Mental Health
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Boys' focus on body-building a risk factor for drug and alcohol abuse?

Boys' focus on body-building a risk factor for drug and alcohol abuse? | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
Adolescent boys with an intense interest in building muscle were more likely than their peers to start binge drinking and using drugs, a large prospective study found.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


Here's something to think and ask about when treating boys 12-18 in a health or mental health setting.  Chris Kaiser reports on The Gupta Guide that boys in this age group who have  a high concern about muscularity and who use  muscle or strength enhancing products may be  especially vulnerable to certain drugs of abuse  including cocaine, crack, ecstasy or methamphetamine.  This is according to a large prospective study published in JAMA Pediatrics that found this population to be   more than twice as likely as peers to use these drugs. 


Researchers suggested that until  DSM-5 criteria are revised to better capture this group of boys and adolescents, healthcare providers need to be made aware of this potentially vulnerable group.  They also said that clinicians should not necessarily focus on eating behaviors with these boys, but on cognitive syptoms, "namely undue influence of weight and physique on self-evaluation."

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 14, 2014 9:27 AM


Here's something to think and ask about when treating boys 12-18 in a health or mental health setting.  Chris Kaiser reports on The Gupta Guide that boys in this age group who have  a high concern about muscularity and who use  muscle or strength enhancing products may be  especially vulnerable to certain drugs of abuse  including cocaine, crack, ecstasy or methamphetamine.  This is according to a large prospective study published in JAMA Pediatrics that found this population to be   more than twice as likely as peers to use these drugs. 


Researchers suggested that until  DSM-5 criteria are revised to better capture this group of boys and adolescents, healthcare providers need to be made aware of this potentially vulnerable group.  They also said that clinicians should not necessarily focus on eating behaviors with these boys, but on cognitive syptoms, "namely undue influence of weight and physique on self-evaluation."

Rescooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home from Addictions and Mental Health
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Substance Abuse Prevention Programs that Involve Parents and Young Adolescents Dramatically Reduce Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse Prevention Programs that Involve Parents and Young Adolescents Dramatically Reduce Substance Abuse | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
Young adults reduce their overall prescription drug misuse up to 65 percent if they are part of a community-based prevention effort while still in middle school, according to researchers.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


I found this interesting because the intervention, PROSPER (Promoting School-Community-University Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) provides a combination of family-focused and school-based programs. This is in contrast to many prevention programs that only provide education and training for kids. The study involved 28 communities, in Iowa and Pennsylvania,and began with  students in the sixth grade.  The goal was   to teach parents and children the skills they need to build better relationships and limit exposure to substance use.  The focus on children and their parents seemed to have a powerful impact, which was assessed  through follow-up interviews with families and teens six years after completing PROSPER.  This is a good amount of time and the method is  superior to a lot of survey research in the field, which relies on self-report of users/potential users alone--people who may not be the most reliable reporters of substance use.


This article reports that "In a related study in a recent issue of Preventive Medicine, Penn State and Iowa State researchers  also found significant reduction rates for methamphetamine, marijuana, alcohol, cigarette and inhalant use. Teens and young adults also had better relationships with parents, improved life skills and few problem behaviors in general."

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 10, 2014 11:40 AM


I found this interesting because the intervention, PROSPER (Promoting School-Community-University Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) provides a combination of family-focused and school-based programs. This is in contrast to many prevention programs that only provide education and training for kids. The study involved 28 communities, in Iowa and Pennsylvania,and began with  students in the sixth grade.  The goal was   to teach parents and children the skills they need to build better relationships and limit exposure to substance use.  The focus on children and their parents seemed to have a powerful impact, which was assessed  through follow-up interviews with families and teens six years after completing PROSPER.  This is a good amount of time and the method is  superior to a lot of survey research in the field, which relies on self-report of users/potential users alone--people who may not be the most reliable reporters of substance use.


This article reports that "In a related study in a recent issue of Preventive Medicine, Penn State and Iowa State researchers  also found significant reduction rates for methamphetamine, marijuana, alcohol, cigarette and inhalant use. Teens and young adults also had better relationships with parents, improved life skills and few problem behaviors in general."

Scooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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More on Optogenetics and Addiction: Deterring Cocaine Seeking

More on Optogenetics and Addiction: Deterring Cocaine Seeking | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, wrote in the director’s blog at the online NIH site that a team of researchers from NIH and UC San Francisco had succeeded in delivering “harmless pulses of laser light to the brains of cocaine-addicted rats, blocking their desire for the narcotic.”

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

 

 

This study, performed by the NIH and the University of California at San Francisco was published in the magazine Nature.  It found that lab rats who carried light-activated neurons in the prefrontal cortex could be deterred from seeking cocaine.  Moreover, using laser light to reduce signaling in this part of the brain "led previously sober rates to develope a  taste for the drug." Researchrs chose to target three subcortical regions that are rich in dopamine receptors and they believe the results show that similar regions in the human prefrontal cortex  that regulate decision-making and inhibition of responses may be compromised in addicts.  They said, "We speculate that crossing a critical threshold of prelimbic corte hypoactivity promotes compulsive behaviors".

 

 When clinical trials are performed with human beings, it is likely that transcranial magnetic stimulation would be used in an attempt to alter brain behavior and diminish the motivation to use drugs.

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, December 18, 2013 10:11 AM

 

This study, performed by the NIH and the University of California at San Francisco was published in the magazine Nature.  It found that lab rats who carried light-activated neurons in the prefrontal cortex could be deterred from seeking cocaine.  Moreover, using laser light to reduce signaling in this part of the brain "led previously sober rates to develope a  taste for the drug." Researchrs chose to target three subcortical regions that are rich in dopamine receptors and they believe the results show that similar regions in the human prefrontal cortex  that regulate decision-making and inhibition of responses may be compromised in addicts.  They said, "We speculate that crossing a critical threshold of prelimbic corte hypoactivity promotes compulsive behaviors".

 

 When clinical trials are performed with human beings, it is likely that transcranial magnetic stimulation would be used in an attempt to alter brain behavior and diminish the motivation to use drugs.

Rescooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home from Addictions and Mental Health
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Adolescents, Omega-3s and Dopamine: Can nutritional interventions be useful in the prevention of major psychiatric illnesses?

Adolescents, Omega-3s and Dopamine:  Can nutritional interventions be useful in the prevention of major psychiatric illnesses? | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

"The symptomatic onset of major psychiatric illnesses, in particular schizophrenia and affective disorders, typically occurs during adolescence to early adulthood. Thus, this might be the critical age range for systematic intervention in at-risk individuals. Animal models of this dietary deficiency in adolescents that provide quantifiable behavioral measures are critical for understanding how n-3 PUFA deficiency influences overall behavioral health and symptoms of these illnesses."

 

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

 

The authors of this study developed a rat model involving consecutive generations of n-3 PUFA deficiency under the premise  that "dietary trends toward decreased consumption of these fats began 4–5 decades ago when the parents of current adolescents were born". Behavioral performance in a wide range of tasks as well as markers of dopamine-related neurotransmission were compared in adolescents and adult rats who were  fed diets that were either adequate or deficient in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA).

 

The study found that, in adolescents, n-3 deficiency across consecutive generations produced "impairment in cognitive and motivated behavior distince from the deficits observed in adults...(the) dietary deficiency affected expression of dopamine-related proteins in both age groups in adolescents but not adults..." 

 

It is known that psychiatric problems, incuding  schizophrenia and mood disorders are major risk factors for substance abuse and addiction.  As the authors of this study note, we are accustomed to thinking of stress exposure when we consider environmental risk factors for mental illness, but we should probably think more about nutrition as a  powerful enviromental factor as well. This might be particularly important for children who grow up in families where mental illness and addiction are highly prevalent, since there are probably genetic issues as well as emotional stressors that make them more vulnerable to both problems.

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, December 14, 2013 9:28 AM



The authors of this study developed a rat model involving consecutive generations of n-3 PUFA deficiency under the premise  that "dietary trends toward decreased consumption of these fats began 4–5 decades ago when the parents of current adolescents were born". Behavioral performance in a wide range of tasks as well as markers of dopamine-related neurotransmission were compared in adolescents and adult rats who were  fed diets that were either adequate or deficient in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA).


The study found that, in adolescents, n-3 deficiency across consecutive generations produced "impairment in cognitive and motivated behavior distince from the deficits observed in adults...(the) dietary deficiency affected expression of dopamine-related proteins in both age groups in adolescents but not adults..." 

 

It is known that psychiatric problems, incuding  schizophrenia and mood disorders are major risk factors for substance abuse and addiction.  As the authors of this study note, we are accustomed to thinking of stress exposure when we consider environmental risk factors for mental illness, but we should probably think more about nutrition as a  powerful enviromental factor as well. This might be particularly important for children who grow up in families where mental illness and addiction are highly prevalent, since there are probably genetic issues as well as emotional stressors that make them more vulnerable to both problems.

Rescooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home from Addictions and Mental Health
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Parental monitoring lowers odds of a gambling problem | PsyPost

Parental monitoring lowers odds of a gambling problem | PsyPost | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
Keeping an eye on your child can lower their odds for gambling by young adulthood, according to research conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


This study was conducted by researchers from Columbia and Johns Hopkins and followed 513 Baltimore youth who were questionned about parental monitoring and gambling.  It was published online in the journal  Addiction . A "Stable" class of subjects reported consistenly high levels of parental monitoring and was compared with a "Declining" group that reported slighly lower levels of parental monitoring at age 11 with declining rates to age 14.  The researchers found that even the small difference in parental monitoring was associated with   a significantly increased risk for problem gambling.

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, December 10, 2013 11:05 AM

 

This study was conducted by researchers from Columbia and Johns Hopkins and followed 513 Baltimore youth who were questionned about parental monitoring and gambling.  It was published online in the journal  Addiction . A "Stable" class of subjects reported consistenly high levels of parental monitoring and was compared with a "Declining" group that reported slighly lower levels of parental monitoring at age 11 with declining rates to age 14.  The researchers found that even the small difference in parental monitoring was associated with   a significantly increased risk for problem gambling.

Rescooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home from Addictions and Mental Health
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Executive functions of alcoholics deteriorate before general mental status: A confusing picture for family members and others.

Executive functions of alcoholics deteriorate before general mental status:  A confusing picture for family members and others. | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

 "Findings from a new study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine volumetric measurements of segmented brain structures suggest that executive function and general mental status are affected differently by long-term use of alcohol."

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

 

This study, from  the Neuromodulation Laboratory at Harvard Medical School, will be published in the April 2014 online-only issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

 

60 alcoholic subjects were given the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) as well as an MRI.  The researchers found that  "structural changes in specific prefrontal areas (of the brain) along with the cerebellum in the left side of the brain can predict executive performance in alcoholics," leading them to speculate that  an alcohol user may present executive dysfunctions even when clinical signs of alcohol dependence are absent or mild and their more global mental status is still preserved. 

 

The researchers explained that the frontal lobes control and inhibit primitive impulses that prevent people from taking  dangerous risks, or behaving in a deviant way, and damage in this region of the brain can cause people to exhibit inflexible behavior or thinking and difficulty controlling injurious behaviors.  Still, they noted, other neurological functions may be preserved, allowing people to perform quite well in some important daily tasks.  Researchers gave the example of a skilled professional who could perform at a high level at work, in activities requiring good "temporal and spatial orientation, naming things, and calculations" .  The same individual could still make a terrible decision when confronted with a situation that occurs while driving, such as when  "a soccer ball unexpectedly crosses in front of his or her car, likely followed by a child." 

 

The authors of the study hope that this research will "help relatives of those suffering from this condition to better understand some of the problems they see, especially how difficult is for an alcoholic to control his/her impulses towards alcohol or their behaviors affecting other people".

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, November 22, 2013 10:04 AM

 

This study, from  the Neuromodulation Laboratory at Harvard Medical School, will be published in the April 2014 online-only issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.


60 alcoholic subjects were given the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) as well as an MRI.  The researchers found that  "structural changes in specific prefrontal areas (of the brain) along with the cerebellum in the left side of the brain can predict executive performance in alcoholics," leading them to speculate that  an alcohol user may present executive dysfunctions even when clinical signs of alcohol dependence are absent or mild and their more global mental status is still preserved. 


The researchers explained that the frontal lobes control and inhibit primitive impulses that prevent people from taking  dangerous risks, or behaving in a deviant way, and damage in this region of the brain can cause people to exhibit inflexible behavior or thinking and difficulty controlling injurious behaviors.  Still, they noted, other neurological functions may be preserved, allowing people to perform quite well in some important daily tasks.  Researchers gave the example of a skilled professional who could perform at a high level at work, in activities requiring good "temporal and spatial orientation, naming things, and calculations" .  The same individual could still make a terrible decision when confronted with a situation that occurs while driving, such as when  "a soccer ball unexpectedly crosses in front of his or her car, likely followed by a child." 


The authors of the study hope that this research will "help relatives of those suffering from this condition to better understand some of the problems they see, especially how difficult is for an alcoholic to control his/her impulses towards alcohol or their behaviors affecting other people".

Chaise Shafer's curator insight, March 26, 2014 12:50 AM

It's well known, as was discussed in class, that there have been volumetric discrepancies between the frontal lobes of addicts and control groups. This article took this general observation and correlated it with performance on executive functioning tasks, and found that the brain abnormalities appear before a decline in mental performance is observed behaviorally. This brings up interesting question regarding the pathology of alcoholism; does the brain just reach a point where it can't compensate any longer?

Scooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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New rule dictates coverage for mental health, substance abuse | News | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon

New rule dictates coverage for mental health, substance abuse | News | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — It’s final: Health insurance companies now must cover mental illness and substance abuse just as they cover physical diseases.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

The 2008 mental health parity law affects large group plans. The Affordable Care Act requires individual and small group plans to treat mental health and substance abuse coverage the same way physical illness coverage is treated.

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Substance Abuse and Recovery During the Holidays

Substance Abuse and Recovery During the Holidays | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
Recovering from substance abuse is difficult regardless the time of year. However, the holidays present a special challenge for even the long-term recovering addict. Blatant drug and alcohol abuse is everywhere.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

The authors emphasize that  preparation is key and that it is important to  accept the inevitable stress of the holiday period and to identify personal relapse triggers and coping strategies well in advance.  See more at: http://www.womensdrugrehab.com/blog/2011/11/substance-abuse-and-recovery-during-the-holidays/#sthash.C80BUJx2.dpuf

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Pregnant women with substance abuse problems need doctor’s compassion, not stigma, report says

Pregnant women with substance abuse problems need doctor’s compassion, not stigma, report says | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
Seeing a pregnant women smoking a cigarette, imbibing a glass of wine or using drugs is sure to raise a societal eyebrow.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) released  a new report explaining that  women with substance abuse problems should be treated with compassion by health providers and society at large, especially during pregnancy, because addiction is a brain disorder and not a personal failing. The report noted that  many women are hesitant to seek treatment because of shame about drinking and drugging but that health care providers should focus on the origins of drug problems. The author of the report, Loretta Finnegan, who is the founder and former director of the Family Center, Comprehensive Services for Pregnant Drug Dependent Women in Philadelphia noted that  about 98 per cent of the women in her clinic had been sexually or physically abused as children or as adults.

 

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Psych Central News: Traumas May Have Immediate Impact on Kids’ Health

Psych Central News: Traumas May Have Immediate Impact on Kids’ Health | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

"Children who have experienced three or more stressful events are six times more likely to suffer from a mental, physical, or learning disorder than children who have never faced a traumatic experience, and these health problems may take hold immediately, according to a University of Florida study."

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


Investigators analyzed data from the National Survey for Child Health, which includes information on nearly 96,000 children across the United States. The survey queried parents about a number  of adverse experiences their children faced, including parental divorce, economic hardship, exposure to domestic and neighborhood violence, poor caregiver mental health, exposure to drug abuse, and having an incarcerated parent.  The parents also reported on any conditions their children had.


This report on Psychcentral.com says that, "Between 11 and 24 percent of parents reported their children had been diagnosed with at least one disorder. About four percent said their children had at least one disorder from all three categories — mental, learning, and physical."


The authors of the study speculated that the high incidence disorders among stressed children could be caused by changes in the neuroendocrine and immune systems of affected children, although the study could not prove that the negative experience caused the health problems to occur.

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, March 14, 2014 1:04 PM


Investigators analyzed data from the National Survey for Child Health, which includes information on nearly 96,000 children across the United States. The survey queried parents about a number  of adverse experiences their children faced, including parental divorce, economic hardship, exposure to domestic and neighborhood violence, poor caregiver mental health, exposure to drug abuse, and having an incarcerated parent.  The parents also reported on any conditions their children had.


This report on Psychcentral.com says that, "Between 11 and 24 percent of parents reported their children had been diagnosed with at least one disorder. About four percent said their children had at least one disorder from all three categories — mental, learning, and physical."


The authors of the study speculated that the high incidence disorders among stressed children could be caused by changes in the neuroendocrine and immune systems of affected children, although the study could not prove that the negative experience caused the health problems to occur.

Jose's curator insight, March 20, 2014 12:57 PM

When reading this article i found a lot of things interesting. One of which was that a child can be easily dramatized or can develop disorders way before doctors ever expected. Findings have found that children's lives can be effected at very young rather than when they become adults. Such problems like "  parental divorce, economic hardship, exposure to domestic and neighborhood violence, poor caregiver mental health, exposure to drug abuse, and having a parent in jail." As many can see there are plenty or variables that can cause these kids to be traumatized. Because there is no obvious cure, we as the people should take in consideration and act in a way where a child can only prosper from our behaviors. 

Anthony Mogg's curator insight, April 11, 2014 1:19 AM

This is why I'm studying Psychology.

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First sips of alcohol start in second grade

First sips of alcohol start in second grade | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
The age at which many children in the U.S. take their first sip of alcohol is surprisingly young, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


This study underscores the need for parents and teachers to begin substance abuse education at much earlier ages than once thought. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh queried 452 children in one Pennsylvania county each year from ages 8 and a half through 18 about how old they were when they first sipped or tasted alcohol, had a drink, had three or more drinks in a row, or were drunk. This article on the Medical Press website summarizes the results:


"By age 8, 37 percent had sipped alcohol. That number jumped to 66 percent by age 12. By age 18.5, nearly all (96 percent) had sipped or tasted alcohol. Also, 16 percent of 16-year-olds reported binge drinking (three or more drinks)."


The lead investigator on the study found the most alarming result to be that  over half of the children had tried sipping or tasting alcohol by age 11. He noted that earlier research indicated that "childhood sipping predicts early initiation of drinking" and said the study confirms that " we need  to be talking with our children and students at a much earlier age than most would think." He added that since most underage drinkers get their alcohol from family members or those of legal drinking age, there is a great need  to get adults to understand the risks of adolescent drinking.


Note:  Another reason this is alarming is that there is previous research to indicate that adolescents appear to be particularly sensitive to the positive effects of drinking, for example, feeling more at ease in social situations.  There is speculation that  young people may drink more than adults because of these positive social experiences and may be wiring their brains to associate pleasurable emotional experiences with drinking, This may be one reason that early onset of drinking predisposes people to develop substance abuse disorders. See:

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA67/AA67.htm

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, February 25, 2014 9:16 AM


This study underscores the need for parents and teachers to begin substance abuse education at much earlier ages than once thought. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh queried 452 children in one Pennsylvania county each year from ages 8 and a half through 18 about how old they were when they first sipped or tasted alcohol, had a drink, had three or more drinks in a row, or were drunk. This article on the Medical Press website summarizes the results:


"By age 8, 37 percent had sipped alcohol. That number jumped to 66 percent by age 12. By age 18.5, nearly all (96 percent) had sipped or tasted alcohol. Also, 16 percent of 16-year-olds reported binge drinking (three or more drinks)."


The lead investigator on the study found the most alarming result to be that  over half of the children had tried sipping or tasting alcohol by age 11. He noted that earlier research indicated that "childhood sipping predicts early initiation of drinking" and said the study confirms that " we need  to be talking with our children and students at a much earlier age than most would think." He added that since most underage drinkers get their alcohol from family members or those of legal drinking age, there is a great need  to get adults to understand the risks of adolescent drinking.


Note:  Another reason this is alarming is that there is previous research to indicate that adolescents appear to be particularly sensitive to the positive effects of drinking, for example, feeling more at ease in social situations.  There is speculation that  young people may drink more than adults because of these positive social experiences and may be wiring their brains to associate pleasurable emotional experiences with drinking, This may be one reason that early onset of drinking predisposes people to develop substance abuse disorders. See:

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA67/AA67.htm


Ailish Manners's curator insight, April 9, 2014 12:09 AM

I find this wrong how children under 10 have being trying alcohol. If the kids turn out to be an alcoholic at an older age say 13-16 that would be the parents flout. Because they have let there children have a drink of alcohol at a young age. They can also have some damage to their brain that will effect them when they are older. 
If parents are going to be doing this and get caught they should spend a bit of time in Jail. But these days they just continue doing to. 

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It's Not Personal, It's Strictly...A Brain Disease

It's Not Personal, It's Strictly...A Brain Disease | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

 It is my experience that family members (and addicts themselves) still struggle greatly with the feeling that  excessive drug and alcohol use are essentially moral problems.  So I think it’s always important, in treatment, to look at  the mounting evidence that addiction to substances, as well as certain compulsive activities,  actually change the brain in ways that undermine the ability to make  healthy choices. 

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


I didn’t really expect the Godfather to figure prominently in any of my blog posts, but I thought that paraphrasing Michael Corleone  here might be a good way to start a discussion about addiction as a disease vs. addiction as a choice.  It is my experience that family members (and addicts themselves) still struggle greatly with the feeling that  excessive drug and alcohol use are essentially moral problems.  So I think it’s always important, in treatment, to look at  the mounting evidence that addiction to substances, as well as certain compulsive activities,  actually change the brain in ways that undermine the ability to make  healthy choices. Learning about the neurological impact of addiction can help everyone affected by it to find compassion for their struggle with a devastating illness.

There is an ever-increasing amount of data, including results  from neuroimaging studies, that support the definition of addiction held by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which is that,”Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry”.  Today we understand for example, how substance abuse and even activities like gambling, affect the action of dopamine in the brain.  Dopamine is the substance released by  neurons in the reward centers of the brain whenever we do something pleasurable.  The brain has evolved to reward us for doing things useful to the survival of the species–such as  eating and procreating, and a flood of dopamine is the reward we get for participating in these activities.  However, drugs of abuse, gambling, binge-eating  and even excessive internet use can cause the reward centers of the brain to release far more dopamine than we’re used to getting, and if this  happens on a regular basis, the brain remodels itself to defend against the flood of  dopamine it’s receiving.  It begins to produce less of the stuff on its own and it becomes less sensitive to  it as well.  As addicts develop this “tolerance” to their drug or activity of choice, they need more and more of it to achieve the pleasure they’re used to getting from their habit, and the brain’s reluctance to produce dopamine on its own means that they also feel less pleasure from doing the things that used to make them happy. Consequently, drug rewards eventually become more important to addicts than anything else. I believe addicts when they tell me that their need to get high  actually makes them stop thinking about other things, including food and including people, that are otherwise important to them.  I believe them because what they’re saying is completely consistent with changes that technology now allows us to  see in the reward centers of  addicts’ brains.

Other parts of addicts’ brains change too.   In addition to this malfunction of the reward circuitry, there is a weakening of the executive control mechanisms in the pre-frontal cortex.  This is the  part of the brain that  helps people to regulate emotions and impulsive behavior.  So heavy drinking (including intermittent binge drinking) undermines the very functions that are needed to make healthy decisions about future drinking. Moreover,   the brain isn’t so quick to heal once someone abstains from alcohol and other drug use. A recent study of current and former cocaine users for example,  found that even after 4 years of abstinence, there were abnormalities in some brain regions involved with reward processing.

But family members , friends and romantic partners can’t see a broken brain the way they can see a broken leg, and so the addict’s destructive behaviors  feel very  personal to them.  It really  hurts to come in a distant second, time and time again, to opportunities to drink or drug. It hurts to be lied to,  stolen from and blamed for everything that goes wrong in a relationship.  These and other terrible betrayals actually cause a cascade of stress-related changes in the brains of people who love addicts.  Or, to state it a little less clinically, the addict breaks their hearts.

One thing that is probably terribly confusing to  loved ones is that an addict’s “executive functions”, including the ability to make good decisions, are impaired well before there is an overall decline in mental functioning. A study out of Harvard, that will be published in April 2014, indicates that alcohol abuse causes damage to the frontal lobes of the brain that can cause people to  exhibit inflexible behavior and thinking  as well as difficulty controlling injurious behaviors,  even before they manifest common signs of alcohol dependence– and  even though they are able to do quite well at many every day tasks.  The researchers give the example  of a skilled professional who can perform at a high level at work, in activities requiring good “temporal and spatial orientation, naming things, and calculations” .  They note that the  same individual might still make a terrible decision when confronted with a situation that occurs while driving, such as when  ”a soccer ball unexpectedly crosses in front of his or her car, likely followed by a child.”(http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119193624.htm). This is a very  frightening scenario and a good explanation for why an addict’s terrible decisions feel so personal.

Is addiction ever a choice?  I think there are points in the course of the disease, and at various points in the disease process at which important choices including the choice to get help, can be made. And I think that even something that seems like a small decision, like getting out of bed to go to a meeting, or choosing not to drive by a favorite bar on the way home from work can have very important ramifications.  But I don’t believe that people freely choose the misery of a life of enslavement to a substance or an activity. Nor do I believe that addicts are in their right minds when they engage in behaviors that harm themselves or others. To carry forward with the cinematic theme I began with, genetics, trauma and brain chemistry are the usual suspects when people fall into addiction.  It’s a tough combo to beat, and shame about moral failings usually doesn’t help people get up and fight back.  Understanding and accepting that there is an impersonal and relentless disease process at work, and that there are interventions that can help a damaged brain to heal, just might.

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 22, 2014 8:49 AM


I didn’t really expect the Godfather to figure prominently in any of my blog posts, but I thought that paraphrasing Michael Corleone  here might be a good way to start a discussion about addiction as a disease vs. addiction as a choice.  It is my experience that family members (and addicts themselves) still struggle greatly with the feeling that  excessive drug and alcohol use are essentially moral problems.  So I think it’s always important, in treatment, to look at  the mounting evidence that addiction to substances, as well as certain compulsive activities,  actually change the brain in ways that undermine the ability to make  healthy choices. Learning about the neurological impact of addiction can help everyone affected by it to find compassion for their struggle with a devastating illness.

There is an ever-increasing amount of data, including results  from neuroimaging studies, that support the definition of addiction held by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which is that,”Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry”.  Today we understand for example, how substance abuse and even activities like gambling, affect the action of dopamine in the brain.  Dopamine is the substance released by  neurons in the reward centers of the brain whenever we do something pleasurable.  The brain has evolved to reward us for doing things useful to the survival of the species–such as  eating and procreating, and a flood of dopamine is the reward we get for participating in these activities.  However, drugs of abuse, gambling, binge-eating  and even excessive internet use can cause the reward centers of the brain to release far more dopamine than we’re used to getting, and if this  happens on a regular basis, the brain remodels itself to defend against the flood of  dopamine it’s receiving.  It begins to produce less of the stuff on its own and it becomes less sensitive to  it as well.  As addicts develop this “tolerance” to their drug or activity of choice, they need more and more of it to achieve the pleasure they’re used to getting from their habit, and the brain’s reluctance to produce dopamine on its own means that they also feel less pleasure from doing the things that used to make them happy. Consequently, drug rewards eventually become more important to addicts than anything else. I believe addicts when they tell me that their need to get high  actually makes them stop thinking about other things, including food and including people, that are otherwise important to them.  I believe them because what they’re saying is completely consistent with changes that technology now allows us to  see in the reward centers of  addicts’ brains.

Other parts of addicts’ brains change too.   In addition to this malfunction of the reward circuitry, there is a weakening of the executive control mechanisms in the pre-frontal cortex.  This is the  part of the brain that  helps people to regulate emotions and impulsive behavior.  So heavy drinking (including intermittent binge drinking) undermines the very functions that are needed to make healthy decisions about future drinking. Moreover,   the brain isn’t so quick to heal once someone abstains from alcohol and other drug use. A recent study of current and former cocaine users for example,  found that even after 4 years of abstinence, there were abnormalities in some brain regions involved with reward processing.

But family members , friends and romantic partners can’t see a broken brain the way they can see a broken leg, and so the addict’s destructive behaviors  feel very  personal to them.  It really  hurts to come in a distant second, time and time again, to opportunities to drink or drug. It hurts to be lied to,  stolen from and blamed for everything that goes wrong in a relationship.  These and other terrible betrayals actually cause a cascade of stress-related changes in the brains of people who love addicts.  Or, to state it a little less clinically, the addict breaks their hearts.

One thing that is probably terribly confusing to  loved ones is that an addict’s “executive functions”, including the ability to make good decisions, are impaired well before there is an overall decline in mental functioning. A study out of Harvard, that will be published in April 2014, indicates that alcohol abuse causes damage to the frontal lobes of the brain that can cause people to  exhibit inflexible behavior and thinking  as well as difficulty controlling injurious behaviors,  even before they manifest common signs of alcohol dependence– and  even though they are able to do quite well at many every day tasks.  The researchers give the example  of a skilled professional who can perform at a high level at work, in activities requiring good “temporal and spatial orientation, naming things, and calculations” .  They note that the  same individual might still make a terrible decision when confronted with a situation that occurs while driving, such as when  ”a soccer ball unexpectedly crosses in front of his or her car, likely followed by a child.”(http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119193624.htm). This is a very  frightening scenario and a good explanation for why an addict’s terrible decisions feel so personal.

Is addiction ever a choice?  I think there are points in the course of the disease, and at various points in the disease process at which important choices including the choice to get help, can be made. And I think that even something that seems like a small decision, like getting out of bed to go to a meeting, or choosing not to drive by a favorite bar on the way home from work can have very important ramifications.  But I don’t believe that people freely choose the misery of a life of enslavement to a substance or an activity. Nor do I believe that addicts are in their right minds when they engage in behaviors that harm themselves or others. To carry forward with the cinematic theme I began with, genetics, trauma and brain chemistry are the usual suspects when people fall into addiction.  It’s a tough combo to beat, and shame about moral failings usually doesn’t help people get up and fight back.  Understanding and accepting that there is an impersonal and relentless disease process at work, and that there are interventions that can help a damaged brain to heal, just might.

Rescooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home from Addictions and Mental Health
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Emotional Honesty in Alcoholic Families | Barbara L. Wood, Ph.D.

Emotional Honesty in Alcoholic Families | Barbara L. Wood, Ph.D. | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
This post describes the importance of honesty in alcoholic families, as well as the barriers to it.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


People often ask me whether...and if...to talk with children about a parent's addiction.  Here is why I think it's so important, and so hard to do.

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 16, 2014 11:53 AM


People often ask me whether...and if...to talk with children about a parent's addiction.  Here is why I think it's so important, and so hard to do.

Scooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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Children Exposed to Abuse and Addiction More Likely to Suffer Refractory Depression in Adulthood

Children Exposed to Abuse and Addiction More Likely to Suffer Refractory Depression in Adulthood | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

"Emerging research suggests remission from depression is slowed in adults who have experienced childhood physical abuse or parental addictions."

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


This is information that is important for clinicians to share with patients and clients--especially family members who are struggling with fears and other resistances to taking definitive action to intervene  with the behaviors of addicts who live in the home with children. 


A study  published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology   and reviewed by Rick Nauert on Psych Central noted findings by University of Toronto investigators that "The average time to recovery from depression was 9 months longer for adults who had been physically abused during their childhood and about 5 months longer for those whose parents had addiction problems” . The factors that make depression more refractory in these populations is not clear, but the researchers suggested that early adversity may interrupt normal development of stress regulation mechanisms in the central nervious system.  The investigators noted that previous studies show that " adult depression has been characterized by hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity, which affects stress regulation.











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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 13, 2014 9:05 AM


This is information that is important for clinicians to share with patients and clients--especially family members who are struggling with fears and other resistances to taking definitive action to intervene  with the behaviors of addicts who live in the home with children. 


A study  published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology   and reviewed by Rick Nauert on Psych Central noted findings by University of Toronto investigators that "The average time to recovery from depression was 9 months longer for adults who had been physically abused during their childhood and about 5 months longer for those whose parents had addiction problems” . The factors that make depression more refractory in these populations is not clear, but the researchers suggested that early adversity may interrupt normal development of stress regulation mechanisms in the central nervious system.  The investigators noted that previous studies show that " adult depression has been characterized by hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity, which affects stress regulation.

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 13, 2014 9:06 AM


This is information that is important for clinicians to share with patients and clients--especially family members who are struggling with fears and other resistances to taking definitive action to intervene  with the behaviors of addicts who live in the home with children. 


A study  published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology   and reviewed by Rick Nauert on Psych Central noted findings by University of Toronto investigators that "The average time to recovery from depression was 9 months longer for adults who had been physically abused during their childhood and about 5 months longer for those whose parents had addiction problems” . The factors that make depression more refractory in these populations is not clear, but the researchers suggested that early adversity may interrupt normal development of stress regulation mechanisms in the central nervious system.  The investigators noted that previous studies show that " adult depression has been characterized by hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity, which affects stress regulation.


Rescooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home from Parents in Recovery
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The Most Important Thing for Parents in Recovery to Know

The Most Important Thing for Parents in Recovery to Know | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

A child’s chances of remaining or becoming healthy when a family plunges into crisis, depends to a great extent, on the ability of at least one parent (or other significant adult caretaker) to remain emotionally sober–that is, stable, supportive and capable of holding the child’s most basic needs in mind.


Via Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

 

This post explains how one emotionally sober parent can preserve the psychological health of a child in a family that is struggling with alcoholism and other substance use disorders.  

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt.

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 4, 2014 6:56 PM

 

This post explains how one emotionally sober parent can preserve the psychological health of a child in a family that is struggling with alcoholism and other substance use disorders.  

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt.

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, January 4, 2014 6:58 PM

 

This post explains how one emotionally sober parent can preserve the psychological health of a child in a family that is struggling with alcoholism and other substance use disorders.  

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt.

Scooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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Optogenetics: A new way to study alcohol addiction

Optogenetics:  A new way to  study alcohol addiction | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers are gaining a better understanding of the neurochemical basis of addiction with a new technology called optogenetics.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

 

This article describes how researchers are using light to with rodents to explore important questions, for example, the role of dopamine in drinking-related behaviors.  Dr. Evgeny Budygin from Wake Forest says, "With this technique, we've basically taken control of specific populations of dopamine cells, using light to make them respond – almost like flipping a light switch,..These data provide us with concrete direction about what kind of patterns of dopamine cell activation might be most effective to target alcohol drinking."


The new technology differs from applying electrical currents to excite cells in that it allows researchers to control a specific population of dopamine cells in a part of the brain-reward system rather than exciting all the cells in a particular area of the brain. Researchers say that they are getting better  insight into how techniques like deep-brain stimulation might be used to treat alcoholism. "Doctors are starting to use deep-brain stimulation to treat everything from anxiety to depression, and while it works, there is little scientific understanding behind it," one member of the research team said. Budygin concurred with this view and added,  "Now we are taking the first steps in this direction," he said. "It was impossible before the optogenetic era."

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American Institute Health Care Professionals's curator insight, December 16, 2013 1:24 PM

Optogenetics:  A new way to  study alcohol addiction

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, December 18, 2013 10:12 AM

 

This article describes how researchers are using light to with rodents to explore important questions, for example, the role of dopamine in drinking-related behaviors.  Dr. Evgeny Budygin from Wake Forest says, "With this technique, we've basically taken control of specific populations of dopamine cells, using light to make them respond – almost like flipping a light switch,..These data provide us with concrete direction about what kind of patterns of dopamine cell activation might be most effective to target alcohol drinking."

 

The new technology differs from applying electrical currents to excite cells in that it allows researchers to control a specific population of dopamine cells in a part of the brain-reward system rather than exciting all the cells in a particular area of the brain. Researchers say that they are getting better  insight into how techniques like deep-brain stimulation might be used to treat alcoholism. "Doctors are starting to use deep-brain stimulation to treat everything from anxiety to depression, and while it works, there is little scientific understanding behind it," one member of the research team said. Budygin concurred with this view and added,  "Now we are taking the first steps in this direction," he said. "It was impossible before the optogenetic era."

Scooped by Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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Can Methylphenidate Help Treat Cocaine Addiction?

Can Methylphenidate Help Treat Cocaine Addiction? | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

"The effects of methylphenidate within striatal and cortical pathways constitute a potentially viable mechanism by which methylphenidate could facilitate control of behavior in cocaine addiction."

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:


This was a small proof-of-concept study by investigators at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City who examined the neurological impact of  short-term administration of methylphenidate to 18 nonabstaining subjects with cocaine use disorders. 


The researchers found that the ADHD drug "reduced an abnormally strong connectivity of the ventral striatum with the dorsal striatum (putamen/globus pallidus)" and noted that  "lower connectivity between these regions during placebo administration uniquely correlated with less severe addiction."  Moreover, the methylphenidate strengthened several corticolimbic and corticocortical connections, which may explain why, in previous studies, the drug  improved performance in cocaine addicts who were performing certain cognitive tasks.  


The investigators concluded that, "that short-term methylphenidate can, at least transiently, remodel abnormal circuitry relevant to the pathophysiologic characteristics of cocaine addiction. In particular, the effects of methylphenidate within striatal and cortical pathways constitute a potentially viable mechanism by which methylphenidate could facilitate control of behavior in cocaine addiction."


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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, December 12, 2013 9:20 AM

This was a small proof-of-concept study by investigators at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City who examined the neurological impact of  short-term administration of methylphenidate to 18 nonabstaining subjects with cocaine use disorders. 

 

The researchers found that the ADHD drug "reduced an abnormally strong connectivity of the ventral striatum with the dorsal striatum (putamen/globus pallidus)" and noted that  "lower connectivity between these regions during placebo administration uniquely correlated with less severe addiction."  Moreover, the methylphenidate strengthened several corticolimbic and corticocortical connections, which may explain why, in previous studies, the drug  improved performance in cocaine addicts who were performing certain cognitive tasks.  

 

The investigators concluded that, "that short-term methylphenidate can, at least transiently, remodel abnormal circuitry relevant to the pathophysiologic characteristics of cocaine addiction. In particular, the effects of methylphenidate within striatal and cortical pathways constitute a potentially viable mechanism by which methylphenidate could facilitate control of behavior in cocaine addiction."

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BEER'S TASTE, SANS ALCOHOLIC EFFECT, TRIGGERS DOPAMINE IN BRAIN - News

BEER'S TASTE, SANS ALCOHOLIC EFFECT, TRIGGERS DOPAMINE IN BRAIN - News | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

"...scientists say that even the taste of beer (without the intoxicating effects of alcohol) can trigger that flow of striatal dopamine in the brain."

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

 

The authors of this research, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, scanned men's brains during a drinking game, looking for signs of dopamine relsease. Though the men didn't drink enough to become intoxicated, levels of dopamine  rose much higher when they  tasted their favorite beer than when they drank Gatorade.  Interestingly, this effect was much more pronounced in participants with a family history of alcoholism, suggesting that a spike in dopamine levels   in response to alcohol-related triggers could be a hereditary risk factor for alcoholism.   

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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, November 25, 2013 9:23 AM

 

The authors of this research, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, scanned men's brains during a drinking game, looking for signs of dopamine relsease. Though the men didn't drink enough to become intoxicated, levels of dopamine  rose much higher when they  tasted their favorite beer than when they drank Gatorade.  Interestingly, this effect was much more pronounced in participants with a family history of alcoholism, suggesting that a spike in dopamine levels   in response to alcohol-related triggers could be a hereditary risk factor for alcoholism.   

marknoo's curator insight, June 4, 2014 6:37 PM

Like Pavlov's dogs.  It is the anticipation of what is to come.

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Those Rocked by Recession Most Likely to Hit the Bottle: Study

Those Rocked by Recession Most Likely to Hit the Bottle: Study | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
Men and the middle-aged vulnerable, possibly because of bigger responsibilities at home
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

A study of  5,400 U.S. adults, found that those who lost a job or a home during the 2008-2009 recession had higher rates of problematic  drinking -- such as getting drunk or getting into accidents. The problem was mainly seen among people in their 30s and 40s, and men exhibited more difficulty than women.

Researchers observed that correlation is not equivalent to causation and that pre-existing drinking problems may lead people to lose their job and housing, but they also noted that  it is  well known that people commonly use alcohol to relieve stress and tension.  In any case, they suggest, "doctors should pay special attention to screening patients for alcohol problems." Of course, doctors and mental health professionals should screen routinely for alcohol and other substance abuse problems.

 

 

 

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» Family History of Alcoholism May Affect Adolescents’ Brains - Psych Central News

» Family History of Alcoholism May Affect Adolescents’ Brains - Psych Central News | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it

A new study has found that the brains of adolescents with a family history of alcoholism respond differently while making risky decisions than the brains of other teens."

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

This is especially interesting because there was atypical acitivty in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum in substance-naive teens who had a family history of alcoholism.

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People, places and adolescent substance use: Multiple dimensions of drug use

People, places and adolescent substance use: Multiple dimensions of drug use | Alcoholism and the Family | Scoop.it
Addiction is not just biological – there is a social dimension to understand. And how a teenager's friends, favorite hangouts and feelings and moods all interact to influence substance use can say a lot.
Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's insight:

This NIDA funded study found that peer influence was  different for different drugs.  Marijuana use was the most the most peer-influenced substance, and alcohol the least. Ethnicity also made a difference in adolescents' vulnerability to peer influence.  Whites were more influenced by peers than were blacks or Hispanics, and white females were the most influenced by their friends' attitudes, particularly toward tobacco and marijuana.

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