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Entries from October 2008

ADHD and Smoking

October 30th, 2008 · No Comments

From past research, it’s known that the children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are at greater risk of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Young people with ADHD are not only at increased risk of starting to smoke cigarettes, they also tend to become more seriously addicted to nicotine and more vulnerable to environmental factors such as having friends or parents who smoke.

It appears that those with more ADHD related symptoms such as prominent inattention, distraction, overactivity or impulsivity of the smokers, the more serious their dependence on nicotine.

Dr. Timothy Wilens, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and co-author of a recent study, stated that, “it looks like interplay between the dopamine system, more substantially related to ADHD and addiction, and the cholinergic system related to smoking is probably important”. (The study was supported in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.)

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Tags: Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

Marijuana Brain

October 29th, 2008 · No Comments

Chronic, heavy marijuana use during adolescence, which is a critical period of ongoing brain development, is associated with poorer performance on thinking tasks, including slower psychomotor speed and poorer complex attention, verbal memory and planning ability.

Research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows that it is evident even after a month of stopping marijuana use. There may be partial recovery of verbal memory functioning within the first three weeks of abstinence from marijuana, but complex attention skills continue to be affected.

Not only are their thinking abilities worse, their brain activation to cognitive tasks is abnormal. The tasks are fairly easy, such as remembering the location of objects, and they may be able to complete the tasks, but the adolescent marijuana users are using more of their parietal and frontal cortices to complete the tasks. Their brain is working harder than it should.

Girls may be at an even greater risk than boys.

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Tags: Drugs and Brain Disorders · Marijuana Addiction

Methamphetamine Brain

October 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive and neurotoxic drugs of abuse and it produces large increases in dopamine, a brain chemical associated with feelings of pleasure and reward — both by increasing dopamine’s release from nerve cells and by blocking its reuptake.

Using positron emission tomography (PET) to track tracer doses of methamphetamine in humans’ brains, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory found that meth was slow to clear the brain.

“This slow clearance of methamphetamine from such widespread brain regions may help explain why the drug has such long-lasting behavioral and neurotoxic effects.” Methamphetamine is known to produce lasting damage not only to dopamine cells but also to other brain regions, including white matter, that are not part of the dopamine network” stated chemist Joanna Fowler, lead author on the study.

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Tags: Drugs and Brain Disorders

Drug Free Solutions to Mental Health Disorders

October 12th, 2008 · No Comments

Drug Free Solutions to Mental Health Disorders: Nutrition, Mindfulness & Detoxification

By Dr. Charles Gant

Program outline includes substance abuse and dependence, ADHD, anxiety disorders, and a roadmap to brain healing.


1- Understand the true meaning of the DSM IV definition of mental disorders as heterogeneous (many causalities).

2- Contrast drug treatments (disease suppression) and drug free nutritional treatments (life enhancement) goals and objectives, and define appropriate roles for both in the treatment of mental disorders.

3- Compare the four main kinds of interventions utilized by both Conventional and Non-conventional and distinguish subspecialties in each area and their roles.

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Tags: News - Addiction and Alternative Health

Naturopathic Physicians Offer Safe Effective Therapies

October 12th, 2008 · No Comments

Many people are unfamiliar with the term “Naturopathy.” The definition is presented here as recorded by Congress in 1931 in The Federal Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Section 079.101-014, “Naturopathic Physician.” This definition is based on a law passed by Congress in 1929 and signed into law by President Coolidge and is still in effect today. This law recognizes Naturopathy as an independent and non-medical healing art.

“Diagnoses, treats and cares for patients, using a system of practice that bases treatment on physiological functions and abnormal conditions on natural laws governing the human body: Utilizes physiological, psychological and mechanical methods, such as air, water, light, heat, earth, phototherapy, food and herb therapy, psychotherapy, electrotherapy, naturopathic corrections and manipulation, and natural methods or modalities, together with natural medicines, natural processed foods, and herbs and nature’s remedies. Excludes major surgery, therapeutic use of x-ray and radium, and the use of drugs, except those assimilable substances containing elements or compounds which are components of body tissues and are physiologically compatible to body processes for maintenance of life.”

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Tags: Drug Addiction Alternative Treatment

Use Holistic Medicine To Overcome Drug Addictions

October 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

It is possible to overcome drug addictions but you will probably have to look outside the box of “conventional” addiction treatment programs to find the answer. Standard treatment programs often don’t take into account the “physiological basis” of drug abuse, an oversight some see as the main reason for their low success rates.

Although it isn’t logical to enter a program where the success rate is low, people have been doing so for years. Part of the reason may be that most people don’t realize that alternatives exist – viable alternatives with excellent success rates using the holistic medicine approach.

Dr. Joan Mathews-Larson, one of the pioneers in the holistic treatment of alcohol addiction, stated: “the conventional treatment system is antiquated because it isn’t based on science. It’s based on someone’s notion that there is some psychological flaw in alcoholics and that if we talk to them long enough, we’ll straighten them out”.

The following graph was adapted from Dr. Joan Mathews-Larson’s book, “Seven Weeks to Sobriety”. Dr. Larson was the first to show that the Orthomolecular Medicine approach, when added to a conventional psychosocial treatment model, could double and even triple the expected long-term recovery rates for alcohol and drug addicted people.

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Tags: Drug Addiction Alternative Treatment