Articles

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Common in Teens Who Use Marijuana

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Common in Teens Who Use Marijuana

Posted on April 17th, 2015

New findings from a group of U.S. researchers indicate that teenagers and preteens who use marijuana have statistically increased chances of experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, a condition associated with narcolepsy and other serious sleep disorders.

Teenage consumers of marijuana have significantly heightened risks for several seriously negative outcomes, including cannabis addiction and psychosis. In a study published in February 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers from three U.S. institutions used urine drug testing to estimate the odds that adolescent marijuana users will develop narcolepsy and other manifestations of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). These researchers found a strong connection between teen and preteen marijuana intake and the presence of certain EDS-related conditions.

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Middle-Aged Heavy Drinkers Have Increased Stroke Risks

Middle-Aged Heavy Drinkers Have Increased Stroke Risks

Posted on April 15th, 2015

People who qualify as middle-aged heavy drinkers have significantly increased chances of experiencing a stroke, regardless of other stroke-related factors, according to the results of a new study from a team of Czech, Swedish and American researchers.

Heavy drinking is a pattern of dangerous alcohol consumption primarily associated with increased chances of developing diagnosable symptoms of alcohol use disorder (alcoholism and/or alcohol abuse). In a study published in January 2015 in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, researchers calculated the impact that heavy alcohol consumption has on the odds that a middle-aged man or woman will experience a potentially fatal stroke.

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College Students Under Stress Turn to Alcohol

College Students Under Stress Turn to Alcohol

Posted on April 14th, 2015

New findings from a team of Canadian researchers indicate that the presence of short-term or acute stress has a significant impact on the amount of alcohol consumed by college undergraduates.

Compared to the general population, college students in the U.S. are heavily affected by a highly dangerous, drunkenness-inducing pattern of short-term alcohol consumption known as binge drinking. In a study published in March 2015 in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, researchers from Canada’s Queen’s University examined the impact that exposure to acute stress has on the amount of alcohol that college students consume in any given drinking session. These researchers concluded that there is a close connection between students’ alcohol consumption and level of acute stress exposure.

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Smartphone Addicts at Serious Physical Risk

Smartphone Addicts at Serious Physical Risk

Posted on April 11th, 2015

When people talk about smartphone addiction, it’s often not taken particularly seriously. Much of the public discussion about the overuse of smartphones centers on the death of real-life interaction, with families eating meals in silence, with everyone glued to their technological device of choice. One thing that can be said with some certainty is that the issue is not seen as being as vexing as drug or alcohol addiction or other behavioral addictions like sex addiction. Unfortunately, though, the risks associated with smartphone addiction are not solely psychological in nature. In fact, many deaths have been caused by excessive phone use, and even greater numbers have suffered from injuries as a result. Although smartphone addiction is just gaining recognition as an issue, it’s only a matter of time before we’re forced to take it more seriously.

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Older Adults Addicted to Opioids More Likely to Die Prematurely

Older Adults Addicted to Opioids More Likely to Die Prematurely

Posted on April 9th, 2015

An international team of researchers has found that people age 50 and older who are affected by opioid use disorder die more often than their younger counterparts.

In America and certain other countries, opioid use disorder is the diagnosis used to identify people addicted to an opioid drug or medication, as well as people who develop a dysfunctional pattern of opioid abuse in the absence of addiction. Inappropriate consumption of an opioid substance can have fatal consequences, whether or not an individual meets the criteria for this condition. In a study published in December 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of Australian, American and British researchers assessed the odds that an older person with opioid use disorder will die at a relatively early age.

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Nearly Half of Marijuana Users Transition to Other Drugs, Study Finds

Nearly Half of Marijuana Users Transition to Other Drugs, Study Finds

Posted on April 7th, 2015

New findings from a group of Spanish and American researchers indicate that nearly one-half of all people who use marijuana/cannabis will eventually transition into additional forms of drug use.

Marijuana/cannabis use is increasingly acceptable in American society, and this acceptance may lead to a significant underestimation of the short- and long-term harms associated with the intake of the drug. In a study published in February 2015 in the International Journal of Drug Policy, researchers from Columbia University and Spain’s University of Oviedo used a long-term project to help determine how often people who initially consume only marijuana/cannabis will eventually branch out into the consumption of other illicit or illegal drugs or medications. These researchers also identified some of the key factors that drive a transition from marijuana/cannabis intake to a wider pattern of drug use.

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Social Media Affects the Brain Like a Drug

Social Media Affects the Brain Like a Drug

Posted on April 4th, 2015

Facebook continued to be the most popular social media site in 2014, but evidence is mounting that much of its lure is due to social media addiction, which shares many similarities to drug addiction in the brain. Seventy percent of Facebook users interact with the website every day, according to a new Pew Research Center report, and 45 percent do so multiple times per day. However, studies showing how the brain responds to social media use, as well as general findings about who is most at risk of Facebook addiction, provide compelling evidence that—like the gambling and tobacco industries—social media sites are profiting from their customers’ addictions.

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Talk to Your Teen About the Risks of Vaping

Talk to Your Teen About the Risks of Vaping

Posted on April 2nd, 2015

Vaping is all the rage these days, but if you don’t know what that means, you’re not the only one. Vaping refers to the act of “smoking” an e-cigarette. This is a device that is supposed to help smokers quit or allow smokers to get a nicotine fix without all the harm of tobacco smoke. An e-cigarette heats up a liquid with dissolved nicotine. The user inhales nicotine and exhales water vapor, not smoke. It should be safer than cigarettes, but the jury is still out on the other ways in which vaping could be bad for you. Teens may be at greater risk of these harms, and new research is telling us that more of them than ever are using e-cigarettes. 

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What Is a Recovery Coach and Do I Need One?

What Is a Recovery Coach and Do I Need One?

Posted on March 29th, 2015

A recovery coach is a professional sober life coach. This is someone who guides and supports a person in recovery from addiction and helps prevent relapses. Did you know that up to 65 percent of people in the first year of recovery will relapse at least once? Those are daunting odds. The goal of a recovery coach is to be actively involved in the life of a recovering addict in order to prevent a relapse from happening. He or she acts as a combination counselor, sponsor, friend and coach. Should you think about hiring a recovery coach?

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How to Drastically Increase Success of Addiction Treatment

How to Drastically Increase Success of Addiction Treatment

Posted on March 27th, 2015

Despite all of society’s efforts, drug abuse and addiction are still serious problems in the modern world. The answers to the problem aren’t easy to come by, but there are many intelligent people working on providing them. Professor M. Douglas Anglin is one of the most respected addiction and treatment researchers in the country, having conducted research in the field since 1972 — providing him with over four decades of experience. He was the founding director of the UCLA Drug Abuse Research Center and currently serves as senior advisor at the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the university. Professor Michael Prendergast, director of the Criminal Justice Research Group at UCLA, investigates drug treatment strategies in the criminal justice system and helps to evaluate treatment programs throughout California. The Fix caught up with these two experts to see what they thought about the state of addiction treatment and how society’s drug issues can best be rectified.

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Half of Fatally Injured Young Drivers Are Under the Influence

Half of Fatally Injured Young Drivers Are Under the Influence

Posted on March 23rd, 2015

According to a new study, half of all fatally-injured drivers aged 16 to 25 are driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or both.

Driving under the influence is a very risky practice, and in addition to estimating its prevalence and underlining its risks, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health were interested in the effects that policy—particularly the suggestion that the legal drinking age should be reduced to 18—could have upon usage rates of alcohol and marijuana and thereby DUI risk. The study suggests that reaching the legal drinking age makes using both marijuana and alcohol more common rather than replacing marijuana use with alcohol.

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Study: Young Opioid Addicts Benefit From Residential Treatment

Study: Young Opioid Addicts Benefit From Residential Treatment

Posted on March 20th, 2015

In America, young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have unusually high chances of consuming an illegal opioid drug or abusing a prescription opioid medication. For this reason, young adults have heightened risks for opioid use disorder (the collective term for diagnosable opioid abuse and opioid addiction). In a study published in November 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of U.S. researchers investigated the effectiveness of abstinence-oriented residential treatment programs in helping young adults with opioid use disorder. These researchers concluded that such programs may be especially useful for young adults affected by opioid addiction.

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How Often Do Older People Have Alcohol Problems?

How Often Do Older People Have Alcohol Problems?

Posted on March 18th, 2015

In a study review published in January 2015 in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, researchers from the United Kingdom’s University of Sheffield used data gathered from a range of the world’s industrialized nations to determine how often people in various countries age 51 and older experience diagnosable alcohol problems and subsequently modify their problematic drinking behaviors. In the U.S. and much of the rest of the world, alcohol consumption and problematic drinking behaviors tend to reach their highest levels in young people in the early stages of adulthood. However, while researchers and public health officials often focus their attention on these younger individuals, older adults also drink fairly frequently and experience exposure to alcohol-related harm.

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Can You Be an Alcoholic and Make Six Figures?

Can You Be an Alcoholic and Make Six Figures?

Posted on March 15th, 2015

It’s easy to tell that you’re an alcoholic when drinking causes you to become unable to hold a job or keep a job, or when it causes you to have major health problems or legal problems. It’s not quite as easy to acknowledge that you have a problem when you are very successful in your career, particularly when you make six figures.

An alcoholic who is able to be successful in his or her career or family life in spite of drinking too much is known as a functional alcoholic or a high-functioning alcoholic. This type of person appears so productive and responsible that the people in his or her life probably overlook the drinking problem.

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