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Entries from May 2008

World No Tobacco Day

May 31st, 2008 · No Comments

This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.

The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.

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Tags: Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

Marijuana and Depression

May 11th, 2008 · No Comments

dried marijuanaResearch shows that some teens are “self medicating” by using street drugs like marijuana to try and overcome feelings of depression. What they do not realize is that marijuana can actually compound the problem.

A recent report from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, shows a staggering two million teens felt depressed at some point during the past year, and depressed teens are more than twice as likely as non-depressed teens to have used marijuana during that same period.

Depressed teens are also almost twice as likely to have used illicit drugs as non-depressed teens. They are also more than twice as likely as their peers to abuse or become dependent on marijuana. Marijuana use is associated with depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts.

“Marijuana is not the answer. Too many young people are making a bad situation worse by using marijuana in a misguided effort to relieve their symptoms of depression,” said John P. Walters, Director, National Drug Control Policy. “Parents must not dismiss teen moodiness as a passing phase. Look closely at your teen’s behavior because it could be a sign of something more serious.”

More teens use marijuana than all other illicit drugs combined. The new report shows the following:

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Tags: Marijuana Addiction

Hookah Smoking

May 7th, 2008 · No Comments

A Hookah is a water pipe device used for smoking and more U.S. college students are smoking tobacco using the device. (Egyptian Hookah pictured)

It is becoming a growing public health issue, according to a new study led by a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher, Thomas Eissenberg, Ph.D.

The research was reported in the May issue of The Journal of Adolescent Health which is the official journal of The Society of Adolescent Medicine.

In a hookah, tobacco is heated by charcoal, and the resulting smoke is passed through a water-filled chamber, cooling the smoke before it reaches the smoker.

More info about Hookah’s at Wikipedia

Some waterpipe users perceive this method of smoking tobacco as less harmful and addictive than cigarette smoking.

The World Health Organization Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg) presented an advisory note in 2005 on hookah tobacco smoking and concluded that “waterpipe smoking is associated with many of the same health risks as cigarette smoking, and may, in fact, involve some unique health risks” and recommends that “waterpipes and waterpipe tobacco should be subjected to the same regulation as cigarettes and other tobacco products.”

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Tags: Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

Virtual Reality and Coping Skills

May 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

Most addicts have a difficult time coping with life, so here is a new idea to think about for drug addiction treatment . . .

A new study by University of Houston Associate Professor Patrick Bordnick found that a virtual reality (VR) environment can provide the climate necessary to spark an alcohol craving so that patients can practice how to say “no” in a realistic and safe setting.

He investigated VR as a tool for assessing and treating addictions. He studied 40 alcohol-dependent people who were not receiving treatment (32 men and eight women). Wearing a VR helmet, each was guided through 18 minutes of virtual social environments that included drinking.

The participant’s drink of choice was included in each scene. Using a game pad, each rated his or her cravings and attention to the alcohol details in each room. Each then was interviewed following the experience.

“What we found was that the VR environments were real enough that their cravings were intensified. So, now we can develop coping skills, practice them in those very realistic environments until those skills are working tools for them to use in real life,” Bordnick said.

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Tags: Drug Addiction Alternative Treatment