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Heroin Becoming Equal Opportunity Killer

Posted on September 22nd, 2014

Heroin Becoming Equal Opportunity KillerThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report in July 2014 charting the rise in drug poisoning deaths involving heroin between the years 2002 and 2011. The report revealed that while deaths among the Hispanic and black populations of the U.S. rose slightly during this period, deaths among the country’s white population more than doubled.

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Lack of Impulse Control Blamed for Many Addictions

Posted on September 20th, 2014

Lack of Impulse Control Blamed for Many AddictionsImpulse control is one of core abilities of the fully developed human brain. Lack of this control in adulthood is linked to a range of mental health concerns, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), personality disorders, certain forms of bipolar disorder and diagnosable problems with substance abuse/substance addiction. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of Australian researchers used a large-scale analysis of previous study results to determine which forms of addiction are most clearly associated with impulse control problems. In addition to substance addiction, the researchers looked at two forms of non-substance-based behavioral addiction: gambling disorder and Internet addiction.

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Marijuana Addiction Changes Brain’s Response to Drug Cues

Posted on September 19th, 2014

Marijuana Addiction Changes Brain’s Response to Drug CuesAll marijuana users have a chance of developing a cannabis addiction (part of a larger condition called cannabis use disorder). Addicted and non-addicted users commonly experience drug cues that make marijuana intake more likely to occur in certain circumstances. In a study published in July 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas used modern brain imaging techniques to determine if people who are addicted to marijuana respond to drug cues differently than their counterparts unaffected by addiction. These researchers found important changes in the brain responses of addicted users.

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Men More Likely to Seek Treatment for Alcoholism

Posted on September 15th, 2014

Men-More-Likely-to-Seek-Treatment-for-AlcoholismWomen and men differ significantly in the amount of alcohol they can safely consume, as well as in the types of harm they suffer from excessive alcohol intake. However, researchers don’t really know if women and men also differ in their likelihood of seeking treatment for serious alcohol-related problems. In a study published in March 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from two U.S. universities used survey data from a nationwide, federal project to compare women’s rate of treatment utilization for alcoholism to men’s rate of treatment utilization. These researchers also investigated whether racial/ethnic background has an influence on each gender’s likelihood of seeking alcoholism treatment.

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GI Tract Inflammation May Predict Bipolar Disorder

Posted on September 10th, 2014

GI Tract Inflammation May Predict Bipolar Disorder The line between mental and physical health is becoming less clear. Recent studies have shown a connection between clinical depression and systemic inflammation.

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine examined the inflammation problems that may predict the onset of bipolar disorder. The findings were particularly helpful for identifying gastrointestinal (GI) tract problems connected with patients recently experiencing psychotic episodes. Inflammation in the GI tract may indicate the need for dietary adjustments and anti-inflammatory treatments for some patients. 

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