Buprenorphine/Naloxone Effective in Opioid Addicts With Co-Occurring Disorders

Buprenorphine-Naloxone-Effective-in-Opioid-Addicts-With-Co-Occurring-DisordersBuprenorphine and naloxone are two medications often used together to help individuals recovering from an addiction to opioid drugs or medications. A significant number of the people affected by an opioid addiction also have diagnosable problems stemming from a serious mental health issue such as major depression, bipolar disorder or an anxiety disorder. In a study published in March 2014 in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, researchers from five U.S. institutions sought to determine if the buprenorphine-naloxone combination still produces treatment benefits in recovering prescription opioid addicts also affected by a co-existing mental health problem.

Full Story

Indiana’s Drug Monitoring Program Results in Fewer Prescriptions for Scheduled Meds

Designer Drugs Multiplying at Alarming RateIn the face of a national epidemic of prescription drug abuse, many states are rolling out prescription drug monitoring programs, or PDMPs. The systems are essentially online databases of patient information that track use of scheduled medications.

Full Story

Parental Alcohol Problems Are a Risk Factor for Attempted Suicide

Secret AlcoholicsIt makes sense that problems in the home in childhood could affect a person’s emotional well-being as an adult. According to a study that appeared in the May 2014 edition of American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, if mom or dad had alcohol problems, then the children could face an 85 percent greater risk of trying to commit suicide.

Full Story

Addiction Begins With Overcorrection in Brain, Studies Find

Addiction Begins With Overcorrection in Brain, Studies FindAddiction is a disease. This simple fact is one that is only now finally taking root. For decades, most people, even the experts, viewed addiction as a moral weakness. The truth is coming to light now that researchers have uncovered the mechanisms in the brain that drive substance abuse and addiction. The newest of that research comes to us from three studies conducted at Brigham Young University’s neuroscience department.  Full Story

Counselor’s Approach Key to Success of Brief Motivational Interviewing

evolutionBrief motivational interviewing (also known as brief motivational intervention or motivational enhancement therapy) is a form of counseling designed to help at-risk people recognize their substance problems and make the decision to enter an appropriate treatment program. The technique has established benefits for individuals with alcohol-related problems, nicotine/tobacco-related problems and marijuana-related problems. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a team of American and Swiss researchers investigated the impact that the professional conducting a brief motivational interview has on the success of the approach among young adults who are at-risk for drinking problems.

Full Story

Gender Trends In Substance Abuse

Perhaps no two words in the English language used in conjunction with each other have ever been quite so obvious yet so mysterious at the same time as “gender differences.” We inherently understand that men and women are different and often behave in vastly different ways under similar circumstances, yet best-selling books like John Gray’s Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus spend hundreds of pages discussing gender differences in opposite-sex relationships alone. But it’s not just in these types of relationships that gender differences play a role; when it comes to our relationships with drugs and alcohol, there appear to be gender differences there as well.

Full Story

Sex and Marijuana: Risking Parenthood and Performance

Sex and Marijuana Risking Parenthood and PerformanceIf being called “Dad” is on your bucket list, studies say there are a few things you can do to get those sperm in fighting shape: exercise more, eat fewer fats, watch less TV (really), and lay off the marijuana.

Full Story

Alcoholism Among Older Adults: A Growing but Overlooked Problem

Alcoholism Among Older Adults A Growing but Overlooked ProblemAddiction is generally considered to be a problem that impacts younger people more than any other population demographic. We may be aware that it’s an “equal opportunity” issue, impacting the young, old, rich and poor alike, but when asked to picture an addict we inherently jump to the youthful heroin abuser before we think of the older woman downing a bottle of wine. However, substance abuse among seniors is on the rise, and the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence considers addiction among those 60 and over to be one of the fastest-growing health problems in the country. The main substances of concern are alcohol and prescription medicines, but the core problem actually lies in how society treats the issue.

Full Story

Understanding Global Shifts in Drug Use Can Guide Prevention Efforts

Designer Drugs Multiplying at Alarming RateThe U.N.’s newly released World Drug Report 2014 supplies critically important information on global drug use. The U.N. estimates that in 2012, 243 million people had used an illicit drug during the preceding 12 months. Those drugs were most likely to be cannabis, opioids, cocaine or an amphetamine-type stimulant. The numbers of users amounts to 5.2 percent of the world population.

Full Story

Alcoholism Can Lead to Vision Loss, Study Finds

Secret AlcoholicsPeople affected by long-term alcoholism have clearly increased risks for developing various forms of nerve damage or neuropathy. When this damage appears in either of the optic nerves that link the eyes to the brain, experts in the field commonly refer to it as optic neuropathy. In a pilot study published in June 2014 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a team of French researchers sought to determine how often optic neuropathy appears in people with alcoholism. These researchers concluded the condition appears in a relatively small but significant number of individuals.

Full Story