Posts tagged with ‘drug abuse’

Do Teens With Severe Substance Problems Benefit From Brief Interventions?

Do Teens With Severe Substance Problems Benefit From Brief Interventions?Researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School have assessed the potential effectiveness of brief interventions for teenagers involved in the serious misuse of alcohol or marijuana, concluding that brief interventions are more effective for mild to moderate instances of substance abuse than for severe cases.  Full Story

Wiping Memories to Treat Addiction

 Wiping Memories to Treat AddictionA professor and director of research at Cambridge University has completed research that could lead to a dramatic new method of addiction treatment: targeting and eliminating memories related to addiction.


Professor Barry Everitt, one of three winners of the 25th annual Neuronal Plasticity Prize of the Fondation Ipsen, recently revealed his research targeting the memory plasticity of rodents and its effect on their addictive substance use. Much of Everitt’s career as a behavioral neuroscientist has been directed toward understanding how learning and memory relate to addictive drug use. 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.

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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

Shame Is No Good for Recovery

Shame is a feeling that addicts know well. Sometimes the shame is connected to one particular event. Maybe you drank too much at a family wedding and made a fool of yourself. The next day, you feel overwhelmed by embarrassment and shame and vow never to do that again. Or maybe your shame runs deeper. Society takes a pretty low view of drug addicts and alcoholics. No matter how much new research tells us about addiction and the biological, neurological, and genetic connections, we shame addicts. Full Story

The War on Drugs is War on Women and Families

Men comprise the majority of drug abusers in the United States as well as the majority of federal prisoners. However, recent drug use and incarceration trends indicate that this may not always be the case. Women are the fastest-growing subset of the federal prison population in the United States. In addition, girls under the age of 15 are now more likely to use illegal drugs than boys of the same age. Full Story

Binge Drinking and Drug Use Soar in America

Binge drinking in the United States is a problem that continues to get grow. Not only does 23 percent of the population exceed the regular amount of daily drinks, but also many of the 23 percent are not even of legal age to consume. About 8 percent of underage drinkers illegally get drunk every week.

The Risks of Binge Drinking

In a recent study of states with the highest amount of binge drinkers, North Dakota took first place at 29.7 percent, while the District of Columbia followed in at 29.96 percent. Other states rounding out the top five are Wisconsin, Iowa, and Rhode Island. The state with the lowest percentage of binge drinkers is Utah with 14 percent. The average number across the United States is 23.4 percent.

Studies have shown that binge drinking can lead to many health problems. The risk of heart disease and diabetes are much higher, not to mention all the extra calories that are added to your body. If a woman finishes a bottle of wine in one sitting, that bottle can add up to four inches around the waist. The same habit for men can add up to two extra inches.

Drug Abuse Trends

While binge drinking is increasing at a high rate, another problem that is burdening the U.S. is the use of illicit drugs. In a recent report, it was found that in the past month, 6.4 percent of Americans and 10.8 percent in the past year have used marijuana.

When each individual state was looked at, it was discovered that Alaska had the highest rate of illicit drugs used in America at 13.5, and Rhode Island followed close behind with 12.6 percent. Vermont, Oregon, and Hawaii were also in the top five. The state with the lowest number of illicit drug users was Iowa with 5.29 percent. The average among all of the states is a staggering 8.3 percent.

In another report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it was shown that since the rates of drug use and binge drinking have risen, so has the rate of mental health disorders. Nearly 9 percent of all Americans have become dependent on illegal drugs or alcohol. In Americans over the age of 18, it was also reported that fewer than 5 percent have had a severe mental illness. Rhode Island is leading the count with 7.2 percent. Following are Hawaii and South Dakota, with the lowest reported numbers at 3.5 percent.

Illegal drugs are becoming such a big problem that tobacco is being seen as less risky. Smoking and tobacco use have fallen in the past two years, from 9.5 percent to now only 9 percent. Unfortunately more dangerous drugs, like cocaine and prescription drugs are becoming more of a problem and need greater attention and treatment.