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Browsing: Addiction

The latest news about addiction and substance abuse research

Early male friendship as a precursor to substance abuse in girls

A new study published in Journal of Research on Adolescence suggests that girls and boys experience this transition very differently. The findings show that girls tend to initiate the transition to a mixed-gender friendship network earlier than boys, and continue this transition at a faster pace during adolescence. As a result girls who experienced this transition early and fast were more likely to develop substance abuse problems during late adolescence.

Exercise can curb marijuana use and cravings

Vanderbilt researchers are studying heavy users of marijuana to help understand what exercise does for the brain, contributing to a field of research that uses exercise as a modality for prevention and treatment.

Genetic makeup and duration of abuse reduce the brain’s neurons in drug addiction

A study conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory demonstrated that drug addicted individuals who have a certain genetic makeup have lower gray matter density – and therefore fewer neurons – in areas of the brain that are essential for decision-making, self-control, and learning and memory.

Six out of ten male drug-addicts abuse their partners

According to a study conducted at the Department of Pedagogy of the University of Granada, about six out of ten male drug-abusers direct some type of violence against their intimate partners. Thus, the study revealed a high rate of domestic violence –both pysical and psychological– by male drug-abusers against women. The study also detailed the most recurrent forms of abuse, as well as the variables associated to them.

Binge eaters’ dopamine levels spike at sight, smell of food

A brain imaging study at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals a subtle difference between ordinary obese subjects and those who compulsively overeat, or binge: In binge eaters but not ordinary obese subjects, the mere sight or smell of favorite foods triggers a spike in dopamine — a brain chemical linked to reward and motivation. The findings — published online on February 24, 2011, in the journal Obesity — suggest that this dopamine spike may play a role in triggering compulsive overeating.

Training the brain to think ahead in addiction

The growing numbers of new cases of substance abuse disorders are perplexing. After all, the course of drug addiction so often ends badly. The negative consequences of drug abuse appear regularly on TV, from stories of celebrities behaving in socially inappropriate and self-destructive ways while intoxicated to dramatization of the rigors of drug withdrawal on “Intervention” and other reality shows.

Genetic variant that can lead to severe impulsivity identified

A multinational research team led by scientists at the National Institutes of Health has found that a genetic variant of a brain receptor molecule may contribute to violently impulsive behavior when people who carry it are under the influence of alcohol. A report of the findings, which include human genetic analyses and gene knockout studies in animals, appears in the Dec. 23 issue of Nature.

When video games get problematic so do smoking, drug use and aggression

A new study on gaming and health in adolescents, conducted by researchers at Yale School of Medicine, found some significant gender differences linked to gaming as well as important health risks associated with problematic gaming. Published today in the journal Pediatrics, the study is among the first and largest to examine possible health links to gaming and problematic gaming in a community sample of adolescents.

Unhappy children turn to sex and alcohol

Young children who don’t like school are more likely to be involved in underage drinking and sexual activity. A study reported in BioMed Central’s open access journal Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy, has found that pupils’ general wellbeing and specific satisfaction with school were both associated with the incidence of risky behaviors.

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