Vaccination for Nicotine Addiction Could be Lifesaver for Smokers

Posted on March 26th, 2015

Vaccination for Nicotine Addiction Could be Lifesaver for SmokersMike Zhang’s aunt struggled with nicotine addiction, and he ultimately had to look on as she died from lung cancer as a result of heavy smoking. Many Americans have this experience every year, watching while family members continue to smoke and ultimately risk their lives to keep dosing themselves with nicotine. Zhang, a professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, has just received the go-ahead – and $2.4 million from the National Institutes of Health – to develop a vaccine for nicotine addiction and conduct testing on mice. If successful, he may produce a medicine with the power to save the lives of over 400,000 Americans per year by short-circuiting the addictive nature of smoking and helping people quit. 

Cigarette smoke contains 250 toxic chemicals, and around 70 of those are known carcinogens. Smoking-related diseases cause an estimated 443,000 deaths in the U.S. per year, and around 8.6 million people suffer from at least one serious illness caused by smoking. Smoking is the most significant cause of preventable disease and premature death worldwide. Globally, it’s estimated that 1 billion smokers suffer from nicotine addiction, which is the core reason behind all smoking-related death and disease. Without the addictive effects of nicotine, there would be no reason to smoke.

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Do Children of Addicts Grow Up to Become Addicts?

Posted on March 24th, 2015

Do Children of Addicts Grow Up to Become Addicts?There is no doubt that having a parent who has a problem with drug addiction or alcoholism has an impact on children. A parent who is severely addicted may expose his or her children to a wide range of negative experiences that can range from unpredictable mood swings to financial struggles to violence. Children may grow up feeling ashamed, afraid or insecure.

Does it necessarily follow that children of addicted parents eventually become addicts or alcoholics themselves? Although in some cases this is what happens, in other cases a child manages to avoid repeating the pattern of addiction. Children of addicts are at higher risk for becoming addicts, yet many of them manage to escape this fate.

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Mindfulness Intervention May Help Prevent Drug Addiction

Posted on March 20th, 2015

Mindfulness Intervention May Help Prevent Drug AddictionParticipation in a specific form of mindfulness training may help prevent the underlying pleasure imbalances that foster and support drug addiction, according to recent findings from a team of U.S. researchers.

Among other things, drug addiction is characterized by long-term changes in the brain’s ability to respond appropriately to pleasurable sensations. In a study published in late 2014 in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, researchers from three American universities assessed the impact of the practice of mindfulness on the odds of developing these damaging brain changes. Specifically, the researchers looked at the usefulness of a particular approach to mindfulness-based intervention called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement or MORE.

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Six People Die Every Day From Alcohol Poisoning

Posted on March 17th, 2015

Six People Die Every Day From Alcohol PoisoningMore than 2,000 people die from alcohol poisoning every year in the U.S., according to a new report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which breaks down to about six fatalities every day. People dealing with alcohol dependence (i.e., alcoholism) are among the most commonly affected population groups.

Alcohol poisoning is the common term for an alcohol overdose, which occurs when the high level of alcohol circulating in a person’s body leads to a shutdown of the normal function of one or more vital organs. In its January 2015 report, the CDC examined recent trends in the number of alcohol overdose-related deaths that occur every day across the country. In addition, the agency performed a detailed breakdown of those segments of the population most likely to experience fatal episodes of alcohol poisoning.

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