Substances Abuse

National Happiness Happens Day: Helping teen boys stay happy by expressing themselves

Adolescence can be a turbulent time for many. There are several issues which are characteristic of this formative stage, including those related to self-identity, mood swings, relationships and adoption of unhealthy habits such as substance abuse. Boys and girls cope differently with such challenges. On top of it stereotypes forced onto them by society can …

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Opioid addiction and its effect on the brain

Individuals who abuse opioids run many risks, and one of them is addiction. However, the list does not end there. In addition to addiction, individuals are also at a risk for various physical and mental disorders. The brain does not differentiate between prescription opioids like OxyContin and illicit drugs like heroin. Their effect on the …

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MRI brain scans may predict substance abuse risk in adolescents

The current epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States has had devastating repercussions, with many deaths due to overdose, national economic consequences and overwhelmed families and first responders. As with so many diseases, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A study was recently completed in the College of Liberal Arts …

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Not just ego: Low self-esteem can fuel substance abuse

“Self-esteem” is one of those terms which can cause some eyes to roll. Maybe it brings touchy-feely imagery to mind, or the suspicion that some people need to toughen up. The reality is a bit more complicated. Fundamentally, self-esteem is a person’s sense of value and worth. People with healthy self-esteem feel good about themselves, …

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Alcohol interventions are not reaching Greek college culture

College fraternities and binge drinking have gone hand-in-hand for decades. In spite of treatment professionals’ best efforts, alcohol interventions have largely failed to curb excessive alcohol consumption in Greek culture. There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to this destructive relationship.   Binge drinking in Greek culture In 2000, Harvard School of Health …

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The potentially fatal trend of abusing Imodium

A cast study on two fatalities caused by overconsumption of Imodium reveals a recent and strange trend in drug addiction: An increasing number of opioid addicts are resorting to abusing the over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication, with potentially lethal results.   Case report Overdose #1: A 39-year-old man in recovery for opioid addiction stopped using his buprenorphine …

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Some psychiatrists worry about a new, chewable ADHD drug

Is the latest ADHD drug a new, enticing drug of abuse? Or is it simply another way to help children who are coping with a stressful disorder? Adzenys XR-ODT is a drug that combines d- and l-amphetamine, two central nervous system stimulants that can help mitigate the symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). …

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Marijuana abuse diminishes the pleasure centers of the brain

Dopamine is one member of the pleasure quartet of neurotransmitters in the brain. It is released in response to pleasurable stimuli. The psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), temporarily boosts dopamine in the brain. Once substance use becomes a dependent disorder, however, the drug slows dopamine release to a long-term trickle in the brain, …

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Marijuana use can accelerate the onset of a psychotic disorder

The world sits audience to the tennis match of favoring and opposing marijuana use. We hear the audible shouts at each hit and contested return: Medicinal! Innocuous! OK for recreation! Brain deteriorating! Scientific data has been served from both sides. Meanwhile fair-weather fans of its usage worldwide continue to swarm to the winning team’s side, …

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