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Entries from July 2008

AA Meetings For Smokers and Coffee Drinkers

July 31st, 2008 · No Comments

cup of coffee Peter R. Martin, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology and director of the Vanderbilt Addiction Center at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, was a corresponding author for a recent research report that found Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) participants are heavy users of coffee and cigarettes.

“Most individuals (88.5%) consumed coffee and approximately 33 percent drank more than four cups per day. The most common self-reported reasons were because of coffee’s stimulatory effects: feeling better, better concentration, greater alertness.

More than half of the respondents (56.9%) smoked cigarettes; of those, 78.7 percent smoked at least half a pack per day, and more than 60 percent were considered highly or very highly dependent. The most common self-reported reasons were because of smoking’s reduction of “negative affect,” which refers to depression, anxiety and irritability. “Many of these negative affective states are described by patients as contributors or triggers to relapse after periods of sobriety,” said Martin.

Even though it does not seem to appear in the report, I am sure that most of those coffee drinkers are dumping large amounts of sugar (or sugar substitutes which are just as bad) into their coffee.

Why?

Because most alcoholics are hypoglycemic and have a difficult time processing sugar – they can’t get enough! They also may be addicted to caffeine.

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Tags: Alcohol Addiction

Drug Addiction in Mexico Increases Dramatically

July 30th, 2008 · No Comments

According to a recent report in USA Today and information from the Mexican Health Ministry, new patients at drug treatment centers quadrupled since 2000.

The new border fence and intensified patrols by both Mexican and U.S. federal agents have made it harder for Mexican cartels to get street drugs into the USA.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón warned last month that cartels are no longer just trying to get drugs to the USA, but generate consumers “here in Mexico who will buy them, and buy them for the rest of their lives.”

“We used to be mainly a country of transit for drugs. Now we’ve become a consumer,” says Ricardo Sánchez, director of research for the health ministry’s rehab centers.

Prices of drugs have increased in the USA but have decreased in Mexico making it more available.

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Tags: Street Drugs

Teen Smokers – Easy to Quit or Not?

July 29th, 2008 · No Comments

A five year study funded by The Canadian Cancer Society and carried out by the Unversity of Montreal, determined that kids begin to think about quitting smoking very soon after their first puffs but increasingly find it difficult to do.

As cravings, withdrawal symptoms and tolerance grew, novice smokers began to lose confidence in their ability to quit. After two years, many had discovered that breaking the habit was not so easy. In the course of the study, more than 70 percent of the teens wanted to quit, but only 19 percent actually managed to stop smoking for at least a year.

The research was published in the American Journal of Public Health by Dr Jennifer O’Loughlin. She is a professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Montreal and Canada Research Chair in the Early Determinants of Adult Chronic Disease.

Dr. O’Loughlin said the study shows that there are milestones in the process of becoming addicted to tobacco. Understanding the steps that lead to addiction could uncover critical periods when kids might be most open to education and support.

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Tags: Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

Marijuana Potency is Higher Than Ever

July 12th, 2008 · No Comments

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently released a report that revealed the levels of THC – the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – has reached the highest-ever amounts since scientific analysis of the drug began in the late 1970s.

According to the latest data on marijuana samples analyzed to date, the average amount of THC in seized samples has reached a new high of 9.6 percent. This compares to an average of just under 4 percent reported in 1983 and represents more than a doubling in the potency of the drug since that time.

The image shown is referred to as a “steam roller” (peace pipe). The pipe is used by marijuana smokers. The smokers fill the bowl with cannabis, then put the hand over the end of the pipe nearest the bowl and the other end in the mouth. After lighting and inhaling until the chamber is filled with smoke, you then remove the hand and quickly inhale the collected smoke to have a stronger high.

“The increases in marijuana potency are of concern since they increase the likelihood of acute toxicity, including mental impairment,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Particularly worrisome is the possibility that the more potent THC might be more effective at triggering the changes in the brain that can lead to addiction.

The increased potency of marijuana available in the United States also corresponds with other troubling research showing links between marijuana use and depression. See this article on marijuana and depression.

“Pot” smokers are self medicating to feel better but it is a false feeling as long term brain damage is being done, especially with heavy users.

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Tags: Marijuana Addiction