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Could A New Pill Stop Addiction?

Could A New Pill Stop Addiction? | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
A new pill appears promising, and could pave the way for curing drug and alcohol use disorders. 
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A new pill called SOC-1 has reportedly cut cocaine urges by 90% and reduced methamphetamine use by 85% in mice.
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Meaning and purpose in life reduces problem drinking in older age

Meaning and purpose in life reduces problem drinking in older age | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Recent research suggests that the sorts of lifestyle factors promoted in Western Australia’s Act-Belong-Commit mental health promotion campaign could contribute to reductions in problem drinking in older adults. While most Australians enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine, with no risk to their health, some Australians’ drinking habits are harmful.
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Our recent article on Act-Belong-Commit indicators and risk for problem drinking.

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Substance Use-Induced Psychosis Highly Correlated With Later Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Substance Use-Induced Psychosis Highly Correlated With Later Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

As many as a third of all patients with substance use-induced psychosis may go on to develop schizophrenia or bipolar disorder within five years, according to a report published yesterday in AJP in Advance. The highest risk of conversion to either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder was for patients who experienced cannabis-induced psychosis, which had a conversion rate of 47.4%. The findings suggest the need for early identification and rapid treatment.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Study across 6,788 Danish patients find that as many as a third of all patients with any substance use-induced psychosis may go on to develop schizophrenia or bipolar disorder within five years. Almost 50% of those experiencing specifically cannabis-induced psychosis go on to develop either bipolar or schizophrenia.

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FDA clears nerve stimulator to aid recovery from opioids

FDA clears nerve stimulator to aid recovery from opioids | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

The nerve stimulator is the first device to treat such symptoms including joint pain, anxiety, stomach aches and insomnia. The announcement Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration comes amid an epidemic of opioid abuse, which includes both illegal narcotics like heroin and prescription painkillers. The device, known as NSS-2 Bridge, is worn behind the ear where several electrodes stimulate nerves in the brain and spinal cord to relieve symptoms. The FDA says a study of more than 70 patients showed a 30 percent decrease in symptoms within 30 minutes of using the device. Nerve stimulators have previously been approved to treat epilepsy and depression.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

The Food and Drug Administration has announced clearance of a brain-stimulating device for patients suffering from debilitating withdrawal symptoms caused by addiction to heroin and other opioids. The nerve stimulator is the first device to treat such symptoms including joint pain, anxiety, stomach aches and insomnia.

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

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD causes long-lasting changes in personality, study finds | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Mental health professionals have long struggled to find more effective for post-traumatic stress disorder. Scientists are currently investigating whether the illegal party drug known “ecstasy” or “molly” could help those suffering from the disorder.
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As part of that investigation, researchers have now published evidence showing that the combination of psychotherapy and MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) not only reduces PTSD symptoms but also causes long-lasting changes in key personality traits.

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Alcohol Is Worse for Mental Health than Psychedelics

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

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

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Study finds mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

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

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

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

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'Unnecessary' painkillers could leave thousands addicted, doctors warn

'Unnecessary' painkillers could leave thousands addicted, doctors warn | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Powerful and potentially addictive opiate painkillers are being handed out too readily, leading doctors have warned after it emerged that the number of times the drugs are being prescribed in the UK has doubled in the past decade.
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Prescriptions for powerful opioid painkillers have doubled from 12m to 24m in past decade, NHS Digital figures reveal.

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

Spend a Dollar on Drug Treatment, and Save More on Crime Reduction | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
The burden of substance abuse disorders can fall heavily on the families and friends of those who battle addictions. But society also pays a great deal through increased crime. Treatment programs can reduce those costs.
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For a dollar spent on addiction treatment, up to three dollars are saved in crime reduction.

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

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

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

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

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

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The dangerous behaviors of teens who use fake weed

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

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

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The Hidden Link Between Autism and Addiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Smoking every day can increase psychosis risk, study finds

Smoking every day can increase psychosis risk, study finds | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Research has found links between psychosis and both tobacco and marijuana smoking — particularly in regard to schizophrenia-related psychosis. However, the precise reasons why people who experience psychosis are more likely to smoke are not clear. Some scientists think that smoking might act as a kind of "self-medication" — that is, people with psychosis might find that smoking relieves their symptoms, perhaps due to some unidentified neurological mechanism. Or, smoking might help to make people who have psychosis less bored or stressed, which could also alleviate symptoms. Recently, studies have started to investigate whether smoking itself might increase a person's risk of psychosis. Although much research has looked at whether smoking marijuana might contribute to an increased risk of psychosis, comparatively few papers have applied the same investigative approach to tobacco.

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Smoking at least 10 cigarettes every day or using marijuana at least five times may raise the risk of developing psychosis, according to two new studies.
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LSD's Health Benefits Convince Norway to Relax Punishment For Possession

LSD's Health Benefits Convince Norway to Relax Punishment For Possession | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
After hearing expert testimony from scientists, Norway's highest court decided that LSD isn't as harmful as once thought. "The judges agreed that LSD is less dangerous than amphetamine, and so reduced the sentence," says Teri Krebs, a former research fellow at the department of neuroscience at Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Would a scientific assessment of LSD's risk-profile—an evaluation of how harmful and toxic the drug is—warrant lowering the penalty? It has in Norway. And so it should be everywhere else.

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How marijuana legalization in Washington, Colorado and Oregon is working out so far

How marijuana legalization in Washington, Colorado and Oregon is working out so far | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it

Here's what we can learn from Washington, Colorado and Oregon states where marijuana use has been legalized.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

US states without legalized marijuana lose out on $28 billion per year in tax revenue. Marijuana prohibition costs the US $465 million per year for arrests, and $3.6 billion to enforce laws. When are the rest of us ready to change a losing game into a winning one?

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Neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart: People Are Dying in Opioid Crisis Because of Politicians’ Ignorance

Neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart: People Are Dying in Opioid Crisis Because of Politicians’ Ignorance | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
President Trump announced Thursday that he is directing the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency—walking back his plans, announced in August, to declare it a more serious “national emergency.” The shift means the federal government will not, as of now, direct any new federal funds to address the opioid crisis, which killed 64,000 Americans last year. We speak with Columbia University psychology and psychiatry professor Carl Hart, who argues people are dying because of ignorance, not because of opioids.

 

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People Are Dying Because of Ignorance, not Because of Opioids https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/people-are-dying-because-of-ignorance-not-because-of-opioids/?wt.mc=SA

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Carl Hart's take on resolving the opioid crisis: 1) inform the public about the dangers of combining opioids with other drugs, 2) set up free drug purity testing sites, 3) reduce CONSIDERABLY the price of Naloxone!

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

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

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

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Even moderate drinking can damage the brain, claim researchers

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

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

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

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Where you live may impact how much you drink

Where you live may impact how much you drink | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
Neighborhoods with greater poverty and disorganization may play a greater role in problem drinking than the availability of bars and stores that sell hard liquor, a University of Washington-led study has found.
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Socioeconomics are more powerful environmental factors in predicting problem drinking than access to psychoactive substances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Opioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix

Opioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix | Substance Use and Addiction | Scoop.it
30 percent of fatal opioid overdoses involved both types of meds, but number of people prescribed both has spiked
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Mixing opioid painkillers with common anxiety and sleep medications is a prescription for a deadly overdose, a new U.S. study shows.

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America’s opioid epidemic is worsening

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

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

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

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

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Brian Chew's comment, March 9, 2017 10:36 AM
I too hope that America's opioid abuse would start to decrease. It is tragic to see that medicine, which was created to help mankind, is getting abused. What is worse is that due to the abuse of consuming opioid, instead of actually getting the benefits of using opiods, those who abuse opiods instead die due to an overdose. I hope that this problem could be solved, as it is not a very complicated problem to solve like a disease. Instead precautions should be taken when prescribing medicine and we should adhere strictly to the prescription.
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If we want to save people from opioid overdoses, a new study shows naloxone works

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

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

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

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