Drug Facts

Hunting for the brain's opioid addiction switch

Tue, 2016-05-31 09:27
New research is contributing to a better understanding of the ways opiate-class drugs modify brain circuits to drive the addiction cycle. The identification of these opiate-induced changes offers the best hope for developing more effective pharmacological targets and therapies to prevent or reverse the effect of opiate exposure and addiction.

International law allows for the legalization of cannabis

Mon, 2016-05-30 08:13
The regulated cultivation and trade of cannabis for recreational use is permissible on the basis of states’ positive human rights obligations. Pleas for the regulated cultivation and trade of recreational cannabis are often based on arguments related to individual and public health, the safety of citizens and the fight against crime: the so-called positive human rights obligations. To date, however, no study has been carried out to find out what the legal implications of legalizing cannabis would be.

Pharmacist prescribes education as key to curbing opioid abuse

Fri, 2016-05-27 09:26
Technologies that make it harder for people to abuse opioids -- like doctoring pills so that they produce unpleasant side effects if broken, crushed or injected --- likely will have limited effectiveness in stemming the global epidemic of opioid abuse,

As more states legalize marijuana, adolescents' problems with pot decline

Tue, 2016-05-24 12:49
A survey of more than 216,000 adolescents from all 50 states indicates the number of teens with marijuana-related problems is declining. Similarly, the rates of marijuana use by young people are falling despite the fact more US states are legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana use and the number of adults using the drug has increased.

Mechanism that reduces effect of cocaine on brain discovered

Thu, 2016-05-19 20:05
A type of brain cell known as microglia plays a key role in reducing the effects of cocaine in the brain, according to a new major study. The discovery establishes for the first time that microglia can diminish the adverse changes to neural circuitry brought on by the chronic use of cocaine and has significant implications for developing an effective treatment for addiction.

Canada's plans to legalize marijuana contravene UN's international conventions, say experts

Mon, 2016-05-16 10:53
The Canadian government's plan to legalize marijuana contravenes its current legal obligations to the United Nation's international drug-control conventions, states a new expert commentary.

Marijuana use in pregnancy is major risk for pre-term birth

Thu, 2016-05-12 08:09
For the first time, science has shown a direct link between continued marijuana use during pregnancy and pre-term birth. The results show that once all other major risk factors have been accounted for, continued marijuana use through to 20 weeks' gestation is independently associated with a five-fold increase in the risk of pre-term birth.

Fatal road crashes involving marijuana double after state legalizes drug

Tue, 2016-05-10 08:31
Fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington after the state legalized the drug, according to the latest research. New research also shows that legal limits for marijuana and driving are arbitrary and unsupported by science, which could result in unsafe motorists going free and others being wrongfully convicted for impaired driving.

Many patients abusing drugs, alcohol are self-medicating chronic pain

Mon, 2016-05-09 08:56
With opioid addiction and prescription drug abuse considered one of the biggest public health threats of our time in the US, many are asking why so many Americans are struggling with addiction to illegal drugs and prescription medications. New research suggests that chronic pain may be part of the answer.

Clinicians need to screen 'nicotine naive' teenagers for vaping, says addictions expert

Fri, 2016-05-06 14:01
An addictions expert calls on clinicians to screen for vaping among teens, who are either uninformed or misinformed about the dangers and risks associated with electronic cigarettes.

New treatment for children with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Fri, 2016-05-06 08:57
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) affects hundreds of thousands of people each year, many of them children. Now, a recent study investigates the effects of a new steroid treatment on children suffering from ARDS.

Driving under the influence sounds like a better idea while high on marijuana

Wed, 2016-05-04 15:53
A new study found that marijuana users who were high at the time they took the survey had substantially higher odds of believing it was safe to drive while under the influence.

Imodium abuse: Anti-diarrhea medication containing loperamide dangerous for self-treatment of opiod addiction

Tue, 2016-05-03 11:05
The over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication Imodium, or its key ingredient loperamide, is increasingly being abused by people attempting to self-treat their opioid addiction, with sometime fatal results.

Expand prescribing of buprenorphine for opioid abuse? Experts weigh pros and cons

Mon, 2016-05-02 09:12
Buprenorphine is a critical part of treatment for the growing epidemic of opioid abuse -- but also carries the potential for misuse and diversion. The debate over whether 'to expand or not to expand' prescribing of buprenorphine for opioid abuse is discussed in a new expert review.

Neuroscientists discover previously unknown function of cannabinoid receptor

Mon, 2016-05-02 09:12
In the brain, there is a delicate interplay of signaling substances and cellular activity. Scientists have now identified another key player within this ensemble. In a laboratory study they found that the 'cannabinoid type 2 receptor' influences information processing inside the hippocampus. The research results might help advance our understanding of schizophrenia and Alzheimer's, say the authors.

Legalization of marijuana in Washington had no effect on teens' access to drug

Sat, 2016-04-30 08:02
Despite concerns that legalizing marijuana use for adults would make it easier for adolescents to get ahold of it, a new study in Washington State shows that teens find it no easier now than before the law was passed in 2012.

One in six children hospitalized for lung inflammation positive for marijuana exposure

Sat, 2016-04-30 08:02
A new study found that one in six infants and toddlers admitted to a Colorado hospital with coughing, wheezing and other symptoms of bronchiolitis tested positive for marijuana exposure.

Modifying an obesity drug could reduce side effects like anxiety and depression

Thu, 2016-04-28 07:47
A new version of an obesity drug that caused serious psychiatric side effects could help people lose pounds without experiencing the anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts previously associated with it. The research shows that the new version of the drug can still work without reaching the brain in rats, avoiding the side effects.

Who gets hooked on drugs? Rat study finds genetic markers that influence addiction

Wed, 2016-04-27 06:09
Why does addiction vulnerability differ from individual to individual? For the first time, scientists have shown in selectively bred animals that the propensity for addiction is linked to differences in expression of genes for specific molecules in a specific brain region. It's also the first demonstration that a DNA tag called an epigenetic marker can predispose an individual to addiction and relapse.

Psychedelic drugs may reduce domestic violence

Tue, 2016-04-26 07:17
Psychedelic drugs may help curb domestic violence committed by men with substance abuse problems, according to a new study. The study found that 42 percent of US adult male inmates who did not take psychedelic drugs were arrested within six years for domestic battery after their release, compared to a rate of 27 percent for those who had taken drugs such as LSD, psilocybin (commonly known as magic mushrooms) and MDMA (ecstasy).
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