Posts tagged with ‘Addiction Research’
Addiction research is the study of addiction to drugs and alcohol for the purpose of finding new and better ways to treat people who suffer from chemical dependency or compulsive behaviors such as gambling addiction and sexual addiction. Some major addiction research organizations include The National Institute on Drug Abuse and The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Addiction 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
Problematic alcohol use is firmly linked to increased risks for getting injured in an accident or receiving an intentional injury. Doctors and other health professionals can potentially reduce the chances that any given person will drink in hazardous ways with the help of informational and educational sessions called brief alcohol interventions. In a study published in May 2014 in the journal Substance Abuse, researchers from three U.S. universities assessed the effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions in people who receive hospital treatment for a serious alcohol-related injury. These researchers concluded that some groups of problem drinkers receive relatively major benefits from interventions in a hospital setting, while others receive smaller benefits.
In the U.S. and many other countries, early adulthood is known as a time of high alcohol consumption and involvement in risky, potentially life-threatening alcohol-related practices. For young adults (and the members of other age groups), the ability to limit alcohol intake is linked to a belief in one’s ability to control drinking urges and behaviors. In a study scheduled for publication in July 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers from Great Britain and Iran investigated whether young adults can learn to increase their perceived level of drinking self-control.
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.
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.
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.
“Other” (or unknown) substance-related disorders are a group of conditions listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which serves as the main U.S. reference text for diagnosing mental illnesses. The manual includes these conditions in order to provide mental health practitioners with a way to diagnose significant substance-related problems that don’t fit the definitions for any individually recognized substance-related disorder.
Early initiation of illegal substances such as alcohol and drugs can amplify many of their risks. Experts believe that some of the effects of drugs and alcohol may be more potent in teens because the brain is still developing, causing changes in cognitive structure and function.
Heroin is an illegal street drug synthesized from morphine. Once a very popular illicit drug, heroin took a back seat to prescription drug abuse. Now the pendulum is swinging back, with an alarming rise in the number of Americans reportedly addicted to heroin.
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.