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Marijuana: Facts for Teens | NIDA

Marijuana: Facts for Teens | NIDA | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it

"Presented in question-and-answer format and targeted to teens, provides facts about marijuana and its potential harmful effects."
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-teens


Via Roxana Marachi, PhD
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Is It Possible to Leave Addiction Behind?

Is It Possible to Leave Addiction Behind? | Drug Information and addiction | 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?"

 


Via Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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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 9:58 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."

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."

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The D.S.M. Gets Addiction Right

The D.S.M. Gets Addiction Right | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it
As anyone familiar with the history of the diagnosis of addiction can tell you, the D.S.M.’s changes accurately reflect our evolving understanding of what it means to be an addict.

Via Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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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 2, 2013 11:15 AM

This interesting op-ed piece cites the importance of emphasizing changes in the brain when thinking about addiction.  Markel writes:

Over the past several decades, however, a burgeoning body of scientific evidence has indicated that an exogenous substance is less important to addiction than is the disease process that the substance triggers in the brain — a process that disrupts the brain’s anatomical structure, chemical messaging system and other mechanisms responsible for governing thoughts and actions.

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Definition of Addiction

Definition of Addiction | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it

Taken from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Short Definition of Addiction: Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual... http://ragingalcoholic.com/definition-of-addiction/


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Drug Facts | Tobacco

Tobacco is a carrier for the highly addictive drug nicotine. Once your body gets a taste for nicotine, it can quickly become a life-long addiction, with extremely fatal consequences.

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Economics | Drug War Facts

Did you know that the federal government alone has spent more than $208 billion on the drug war since 2004? Read about it in the Economics section of DrugWarFacts.org.

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy (CSDP), is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org, and we encourage you to check it out.


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Drug Addiction: Stats, Types, Classifications, Facts & Cost

Drug Addiction: Stats, Types, Classifications, Facts & Cost | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it
Infographic on Drug, its addiction, statistics, facts, types of drugs, Classifications of drugs, cost of drugs, ingredients of drugs in teenagers

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Marijuana: Facts for Teens | NIDA

Marijuana: Facts for Teens | NIDA | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it

"Presented in question-and-answer format and targeted to teens, provides facts about marijuana and its potential harmful effects."
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-teens


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Harvard Health: Addiction is a Matter of Memories

Harvard Health: Addiction is a Matter of Memories | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it

"What makes permanent recovery difficult is drug-induced change that creates lasting memories."


Via Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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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 17, 2014 11:41 AM


This Harvard Health publication explains that," Research on the brain is showing that addiction is a matter of memories, and recovery is a slow and hesitant process in which the influence of those memories is diminished."  The author notes that while the first target of psychoactive drugs in the reward circuitry in the brain (a region called the nucleus accumbens), which gets a "powerful jolt" from them that eventually causes the desire for drugs to trump most other interests,  what makes permanent recovery so hard to achieve is the drug-induced changes in the brain that create lasting memories:


"Addicts have learned too well to expect a rewarding experience from the drug. After a while, the addict's environment is pervaded with cues — reminders of the drug that cause the release of dopamine and predict a reward. This kind of learning is called behavioral conditioning, and the result is sometimes called cue-induced craving. It works even if the addict knows that a reward is not really coming because the capacity for self-control has weakened. The frontal cortex has become less effective at incorporating the information it needs to make decisions and judge the consequences of actions."


The article contains a clear and brief explanation of  how long-term memories are formed. The activity of  of transcription factors in the brain is central.  These substance   "switch on...genes that manufacture proteins,  (thereby) creating  new neural connections and strengthening old ones.    It notes that all rewards increase the concentration of transcription factor delta FosB in the nucleus accumbens.  "An excess of (delta FosB) can heighten the risk of relapse in addicts long after they have stopped taking the drug. Even after levels return to normal, addicts may remain hypersensitive to the drug and the cues that predict its presence, possibly because delta FosB has caused neurons to sprout more of the (branches) dendrites that receive signals."


The author makes the important point that not all drug users become addicts, and those that do are "usually burdened by special conditions and circumstances" including executive functions that have already become weakend, due to constitutional factors, external stressors or co-morbid psychiatric disorders.


The article stresses that relapse rates in addiction are similar to those of other chronic conditions and that a variety of treatments, including those that strengthen executive control and help addicts to avoid "people places and things" that trigger relapse are helpful, as well as drugs that reduce craving and reduce the rewards associated with drug use.

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Heroin Addiction May Alter the Brain's Ability to Change

Heroin Addiction May Alter the Brain's Ability to Change | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it

Researchers report that years of heroin addiction alter gene expression and brain plasticity.


Via Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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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 5, 2013 8:46 AM

 

A post-mortem study that compared  the brains of heroin abusers with those of matched controls was performed  at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, N.Y. Researchers  found that longer duration of heroin use was associated with changes in the shape and packaging of DNA in areas of the brain associated with drug addiction.  Specifically, the DNA of patients' brains were more "open" to gene expression and "overactive", leading the researchers to speculate that treatments which address this problem may help reduce addiction by "re-normalizing" the brains of  abusers.


This study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference.  It has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Melisa Tablada's curator insight, April 5, 2014 12:20 PM

Addiction is a brain disease and without treatment it will take away everything you love including your life.

Message me if you or your loved one needs help.

Melisa Tablada CDS, CATC II, NCRC-I, NCIP

Certified Addictions Counselor

Nationally Certified Recovery Coach

Nationally Certified Interventionist

Business Development and Treatment Consulting

melisa.tablada@gmail.com

 

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Can Methylphenidate Help Treat Cocaine Addiction?

Can Methylphenidate Help Treat Cocaine Addiction? | Drug Information and addiction | 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."


Via Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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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 9:19 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."


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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Drug Abuse Facts In The United States - Statistics | Sober Nation

Drug Abuse Facts In The United States - Statistics | Sober Nation | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it
The United States has one of the highest drug abuse rates in the world. Some of the facts and statistics are very alarming and shocking.

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Item of the Month: A Compleat History of Drugs

Item of the Month: A Compleat History of Drugs | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it
By Lisa, O'Sullivan, Director, Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health In light of the recent National Drug Facts Week, it seems a good time to ask: what constitutes a drug? The answer...

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NIDA National Drug Facts Week - Shatter the Myths - Plan Your Event

NIDA National Drug Facts Week - Shatter the Myths - Plan Your Event | Drug Information and addiction | Scoop.it
National Drug Facts Week (NDFW) is a health observance week for teens that aims to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse. Through community-?

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