Addiction Research

Inactive Self-Control Systems in the Brain Tied to Risky Behaviors

Risky behaviors like unprotected sex or DUI seem to be the result of a driven personality that cannot seem to get enough of something. However, a recent study shows that it may be a lack of self-control instead of a pronounced level of desire that leads to risk-taking. The findings may lead to new ways of thinking about how to treat mental disorders, addictions and other disorders related to risk-taking. It may also have implications for how the criminal justice system determines the risk of a perpetrator becoming a repeat offender.

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People Engaged in Illicit Drug Use at Higher Risk for Suicide

Suicide is a great tragedy. It not only ends a life which may have been healed, but it devastates families and extended communities. Anguish over missed signals and an inability to help can haunt those who remain for years. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued its latest report on drug use in America, finding that drug abuse is one of the leading risk factors for suicide.

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PG-13 Movies Portray Same Amount of Alcohol Use by Violent Characters as R Movies

Parents often rely on the movie ratings system to help guide decisions about which movies their kids are allowed to see. For teens, parents may limit them to PG-13 movies, or only allow R-rated movies if they are pre-screened by the parents for content and language. 

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Drinking Alone During Adolescence an Early Warning of Future Problems

Adolescents who get someone to buy them alcohol for a weekend party or who sneak around with their friends to drink are facing some increased risks. Adolescents who try alcohol before reaching age 15 have been shown to face poor health futures, with two to three times greater risk of becoming substance dependent. A new study finds that when adolescents engage in solitary drinking their risks are even greater.

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Exploring Genetics of Addiction May One Day Lead to Cure

You are made of about 100 trillion cells. The sheer magnitude of this number is striking, representing each of the individual components that make up all of your organs, the majority of them specialized to a particular role and working in tandem with the rest of your body to keep you functioning. Every single one of these cells also contains a copy of your genetic instructions, which are like a basic blueprint for creating you. The tiny variations in the master code—brought about through fresh mutation or an old one inherited from your parents—are what make each of us unique. However, just as these mutations can be fortuitous, they are also known to contribute to a wide range of medical and psychological conditions, and addiction is just one of them.

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Girls Abusing Substances at Rates Sometimes Higher than Boys

Research has shown boys have traditionally engaged in more drug and alcohol abuse than girls. But that’s starting to change. Today more girls are abusing prescription drugs than boys and more girls are drinking than ever before, and it can be a struggle knowing if a teen girl has a substance abuse problem.

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Cocaine Prevents Fat Storage, Study Finds

Many people addicted to cocaine gain substantial amounts of weight once they enter recovery, and the mental/physical effects of this weight gain can contribute significantly to the risks for relapse and a return to drug use. Until now, doctors and researchers have tied weight gain in recovering cocaine addicts to the urge to replace drug consumption with food consumption. However, according to the results of a study published in August 2013 by the University of Cambridge, long-term cocaine use may actually lay the groundwork for recovery-related weight gain by altering the body’s ability to properly store fat.
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Cocaine Use Shown to Speed Brain Aging

Brain aging is a general term used to describe structural, chemical and psychological changes that commonly occur in the brains of older individuals. While this process doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, aging in the brain is associated with a number of significant health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Current evidence indicates that people who habitually abuse cocaine develop changes in their brains that point toward the onset of premature brain aging. In particular, habitual cocaine abuse can destroy grey matter, the material that forms the core of the brain’s communications network. Full Story

Study Explores Potential of Modafinil for Treatment of Alcohol Dependence

As humans, our ability to fight addiction is tied to our ability to control impulses. When this control is in place, we also control the consumption of those substances that generate rewards, including alcohol, food and drugs. Full Story

Drunk Not Drink Determines Future Problems for Kids

It has long been thought that if kids were exposed to alcohol at a young age, they were at a greater risk for developing life-long alcohol problems and other negative behaviors. Full Story