Shining laser lights on a certain part of the brain in rats can eliminate compulsive cocaine seeking, according to a study published in Nature. Testing of a similar approach in humans may begin soon, although it will most likely involve electromagnetic stimulation from outside the scalp rather than direct stimulation of the brain by lasers.
Combining cognitive behavioral therapy and prize-based contingency management produces substantial benefits for cocaine program participants, a study finds.
Cocaine addiction is a fairly common form of substance addiction that unfortunately does not respond consistently to any type of medication-based treatment. For this reason, cocaine-centered treatment programs typically rely on at least one form of psychotherapy or counseling to help their clients/patients. In a study published in October 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from two Swiss institutions assessed the effectiveness of a combined approach that treats cocaine addiction with two forms of psychotherapy, known as cognitive behavioral therapy and prize-based contingency management.
Almost one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. are a result of alcohol-impaired driving, with one death every 51 minutes as a result of driving under the influence (DUI). In 2010, 1.4 million Americans were arrested for driving with alcohol or narcotics in their systems, but what does it mean if you become one of them? Does it mean you’re addicted? If you’re familiar with addiction, you might expect that the answer isn’t absolutely clear-cut, but our general understanding of addiction and studies looking at drivers who’ve been arrested for a DUI provides a broad answer: it’s a good reason to take a good hard look at your relationship with alcohol (and/or drugs).
Addiction is a complicated disease. It has genetic components, but having a gene or a set of genes for addiction does not mean you will become an addict. It isn’t a death sentence or even a life sentence for that matter. But it is scary. Whether you just found out the truth about those skeletons in your family’s closet or you have seen the addiction in your relatives up close, having a family history of addiction can be daunting. What do you do with this information? Do you have to avoid drinking and drugs altogether or can you exercise moderation? It is important that you learn more about addiction and how it works so that you can make informed choices.
Researchers have conclusively determined that much of any given person’s chances of developing problems with substance abuse or substance addiction are genetically based. However, no one fully understands all of the genetic factors that increase or decrease the odds of experiencing these problems. In a study published in late 2014 in the journal Addiction, a team of American researchers looked at the potential impact of small, common DNA variations on the odds of developing problems related to the consumption of several substances, including nicotine/tobacco, marijuana/cannabis, cocaine and alcohol.
Jay and Lea met like many couples do these days—on an Internet dating site. The two had a great deal in common, more even than they understood from the rampant get-to-know-you messages the two passed between them. Private messages soon turned into texting and video chatting, and eventually the pair decided to meet. Their attraction was undeniable. While they’d created something of an intimate connection through the course of their digital communications, this new medium—face-to-face—definitely heightened the experience. Both Lea and Jay felt certain they were “meant to be” together.
Sex addiction is a complicated issue. Some experts would argue that it is a true addiction, but all agree that people can develop unhealthy sexual attitudes, behaviors and compulsions. When sex addiction exists in a codependent relationship, two people are locked in a destructive way of living. Codependency is not uncommon, but when it comes together with sex addiction, it creates a situation that requires therapy and other treatments to correct.
America’s rapid explosion of prescription painkiller abuse has put health officials across the country on the defensive. Nowhere is this truer than in Tennessee, where a virtual epidemic of addiction is stressing the state’s health care system to the breaking point.
It’s hard to be objective when it comes to figuring out whether you or your loved one has a problem with drinking. Emotions run high, rationalizations and denials lead to confusion and it can seem hard to draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s going too far. Although the boundaries are fuzzy, issues with drinking are either classed as problem drinking or alcohol dependence. Problem drinkers don’t have a full-fledged addiction to alcohol, but their drinking may be starting to take its toll on their everyday lives and they are at greatly increased risk for becoming dependent later. So while some of the warning signs of alcoholism are technically signs of problem drinking, there is a lot of overlap, and identifying either one is cause for concern.
A new report has investigated the growing heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania, finding – among other things – that heroin is both easier to get than wine and cheaper than beer in the rural regions of the state. Heroin is a growing problem all across the U.S., and the rise in use of the drug is closely related to the prescription drug epidemic sweeping the nation. The report, which was compiled based on hearings hosted by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, looks at education and prevention, law enforcement and treatment approaches in the state, including ongoing and suggested strategies.