Drug Abuse

What Role Does Family Play in Drug Relapse?

Posted on October 6th, 2016

When people leave a drug rehab center, they’re prepared to face dozens of well-known relapse triggers — old drug-abusing friends, stress, anger, boredom, and poor nutrition and sleep, to name a few. What they may not be on the lookout for is their relationship with their family. Yet many addiction specialists agree that family dynamics can reinforce substance abuse and increase the risk of drug relapse. Here are a few reasons why.

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The Case for Student Drug Testing

Posted on July 5th, 2016

Some people see drug testing of high school students as an invasion of privacy, while others see it as a smart prevention technique. When considering the question of should high school athletes be drug tested, the law is on the side of proponents. For those who believe that any strategy that helps prevent the devastation or drug abuse and addiction in young people should be used, drug testing in schools is a no-brainer.

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Hookah Smoking Linked to Cigarette Use Within Two Years

Posted on August 27th, 2015

Hookah Smoking Linked to Cigarette Use Within Two YearsAccording to the CDC, between 22 percent and 40 percent of college students smoke a “hookah” each year. Along with persistent myths about the health consequences of hookah use in comparison to cigarettes, people who smoke water pipe tobacco are at an increased risk of taking up cigarettes within two years, a new study finds. Ultimately, this could lead to a lifetime of cigarette addiction, complete with the multitude of risks that the addiction carries with it.

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Stress and Addiction: A Vicious Cycle

Posted on April 23rd, 2015

Stress and Addiction: A Vicious CycleAround one in five Americans experience extreme stress, and stress has been closely linked to addiction in a multitude of studies. Stress Awareness Month aims to shine the spotlight on stress, to help us all think about ways to reduce our stress and, in the process, to help us move away from poor coping mechanisms for stress like using alcohol or drugs. Stress is ultimately unavoidable, but if the statistics on stress and addiction teach us anything, it’s that how you cope with stress really does matter.

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Understanding the Causes of Addiction

Posted on April 10th, 2015

Understanding the Causes of AddictionAddiction doesn’t have one single cause. If it did, treatment and prevention would be much simpler. Research has uncovered multiple “causes” for the disease of addiction, which are more like risk factors. Understanding what is behind addiction is important for anyone facing it. Whether it’s your own problematic drinking or drug use or you care about someone who is struggling with addiction, understanding why this disease manifests in some people and not others is crucial. It will help you be more compassionate and will guide you toward the treatment that will be most effective.

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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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