Posted: 16 Oct 2015 08:56 AM PDT
Seven out of 10 college students say it is somewhat or very easy to obtain controlled stimulants without a prescription, according to a new survey conducted on eight US campuses.
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 08:55 AM PDT
Nicotine use over time increases the speed that codeine is converted into morphine within the brain, by increasing the amount of a specific enzyme, according to new research in rat models. It appears smokers’ brains are being primed for a bigger buzz from this common pain killer — which could put them at a higher risk for addiction, and possibly even overdose. These findings are part a new way of seeing the brain’s role when it comes to drugs and toxins.
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 06:41 AM PDT
A few minutes of counseling in a primary care setting could be an effective tool in steering people away from risky drug use, and possibly full-fledged addiction, a new report suggests. The researchers found that this sort of intervention helped patients reduce their risky drug use by one-third.
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 05:48 AM PDT
Excessive alcohol use continues to be a drain on the American economy, according to a study. Excessive drinking cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink, a significant increase from $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006. Most of these costs were due to reduced workplace productivity, crime, and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking.
My friend Rodney died a year ago today. He wasn’t defeated by his addictions, because he had plenty of experience in dealing with them both inside and outside of treatment. He was killed by his choices.
Rodney and I were roommates in treatment. I was there — after 23+ years “sober” in the beverage and pharmaceutical programs — to deal at last with my sex addiction issues. Rodney was an equal opportunity addict like myself. He had varying lengths of time abstinent in AA and NA (several years, this time), but had never dealt with the feelings surrounding his sexual issues, including early abuse. He knew his triggers, too: he’d pick up the wrong guy, have a little liquid courage to facilitate the relationship, and eventually they’d end up doing drugs together. That had led to HIV and acute pancreatitis, among other things. He could not afford to drink again.
I don’t know what demons of his remained to be exorcised, but a few weeks after leaving residential treatment but while still in Intensive Outpatient, he made the choice to work on his chemical addictions while “taking a break” from his sex addiction program. A couple of weeks after that, he began avoiding my phone calls, and within a few more weeks I heard at a meeting that he was dead. He’d been found in his apartment, surrounded by empty beverage containers.
My friend knew that a relapse would kill him. He had trouble managing his physical issues when he wasn’t drinking. He also knew, from many previous relapses, that his Achilles’ heel was relationships. He sponsored people in AA. He was active in his fellowships. But for whatever reason, he failed to heed the multiple warnings of his experience, his therapist, his medical team and his friends in the program. He made the wrong choices, despite knowing better.
I’ll never know why, but I can make a pretty good guess. As a gay male, he had faced harassment all his life, including both sexual and emotional abuse from childhood. He had sought solace and to silence his demons through drugs and sexual acting out, but whatever those demons were, he ultimately made the choice to do the very things that he knew would probably kill him — and I know he knew, because he said so to me on several occasions.
We are powerless over our addictions, but we are not powerless over our choices. Relapses occur before we act out, and there is always a point where we can head in another direction, choosing our recovery over our fear of discovering more about who we are. Rodney taught me that, and a lot more. I miss him every day.
Rest in peace, my friend. You were a powerful support for lots of folks, including me. I sure wish you hadn’t chosen to be an example as well.
Posted from WordPress for Android
“One thing that addiction does is, it freezes you. You don’t develop, you don’t learn the skills by trial and error of having experiences and learning from them, and finding out what it is you want, and how to go about getting it, by relating with other people.”
Posted from WordPress for Android
Cannabis plus alcohol is one of the most frequently detected drug combinations in car accidents, yet the interaction of these two compounds is still poorly understood. A study shows for the first time that the simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis produces significantly higher blood concentrations of cannabis’ main psychoactive constituent, THC, as well as THC’s primary active metabolite than cannabis use alone.
We’ve all seen it. A celebrity falls victim to the effects of addiction and gets trashed in the press. Is there any empathy? Noooo… Are there any attempts to use this as an introduction into the dangers of alcohol and drugs? Noooo… Because such things don’t sell, and they don’t get clicks — and clicks, as we all know, are money in the bank.
Another thing that bothers me when people start trashing celebrity alcoholics and addicts is that it indicates, half a century after alcoholism and addiction were recognized officially as diseases, that as a society we still view them as an issue of morals. And it seems that most of us enjoy seeing icons brought down, speaking more to our character than that of the icons.
In my opinion, this is because nearly all of us have had our lives touched by addiction, and have experienced the chaos that addicts carry and leave behind them the way a tornado carries dust and debris. Continue reading “Trashing Celebs”
A pernicious distinction of the first decade of the 21st century was the rise in painki ller abuse, which ultimately led to a catastrophic increase in addicts, fatal overdoses, and blighted communities. But the story of the painkiller epidemic can really be reduced to the story of one powerful, highly addictive drug and its small but ruthlessly enterprising manufacturer.
Researchers at Yale and Boston University and their Russian collaborators have found that occasional heroin use by HIV-positive patients may be particularly harmful to the immune system and worsens HIV disease, compared to persistent or no heroin use.
The findings are published in the journal AIDS and Behavior. READ MORE…