27 Oct 2012
British news reports say that as many as one third of citizens there feel that they are struggling with insomnia. Half of that number uses a prescription sleep aid to help them, but they are using them without their doctor’s knowledge. And14 percent of that group used them for at least six months. The problem of sleeping pill abuse is also a concern here in the U.S.
24 Oct 2012
College kids are stepping out into the wider world usually for the first time. They are learning not only facts and theories but hopefully how to think and reason well. Many of them, like the rest of us, will stumble through the learning process a bit. A new study reveals how prescription drugs can easily become a source of drug abuse among this population. Both young people and their prescribing doctors should be alert to the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Many studies on alcoholism have focused on how the symptoms of the disease hurt the individual and their family. Alcoholism can spur verbal and physical abuse. It can cause liver damage, impair the brain, and interfere with multiple other disorders of the body. Treatment can help alleviate these symptoms and rebuild better bodies, minds, and family/friend relationships. Few studies though have examined how alcoholism can hurt the pocketbook and how treatment can help families recover from the financial strain that alcoholism has placed on them.
The more we know about how a specific drug affects the brain and body, the more specialized can be the treatment and intervention when a person becomes addicted to that drug. While it is helpful to understand drug classifications and generalized side-effects, it’s potentially even more useful to tag specific outcomes to specific drugs.
16 Oct 2012
Cannabis, the plant behind the drug marijuana, has been used by humans for thousands of years and for many different purposes. For its psychoactive properties, it has been used for religious and spiritual ceremonies and for recreation. The seeds have long been used as a nutritious food and the fibers make strong textiles, called hemp. In more recent history, researchers have also discovered that some of the compounds in the cannabis plant have important medicinal properties and some states are now allowing use of the previously illegal drug in medical ways.
12 Oct 2012
It seems as if there is always something new in the world of drugs and other illegal substances. Black tar heroin is not exactly new, but its use is on the rise. The quick but short-lived high that users get from black tar heroin is tempting for many addicts and makes for an extremely addictive and dangerous drug that is readily found across the U.S. Sometimes called Mexican black tar, muck, or just ‘brown’, this alternative form of purer heroin is even more dangerous than the original. The rise in consumption of black tar heroin has law enforcement, policy makers, and addiction professionals and caregivers very concerned.