Tag Archives | Addiction

Injection rooms for addicts to open next year in Ireland

Todd Huffman (CC BY 2.0)

Todd Huffman (CC BY 2.0)

Can you imagine this happening in the US? Me neither. But it probably should.

Kitty Holland via The Irish Times:

Drug users will be able to use supervised injecting rooms in Dublin next year, followed shortly afterwards by Cork, Galway and Limerick, according to the Minister in charge of the National Drugs Strategy.

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who is set to announce the radical move in a speech to the London School of Economics on Monday, told The Irish Times that medically supervised injection rooms “will happen next year”.

In his address he will also outline plans to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, for personal use, as part of a “radical cultural shift” in the approach to drug addiction.

“I am firmly of the view that there needs to be a cultural shift in how we regard substance misuse if we are to break this cycle and make a serious attempt to tackle drug and alcohol addiction,” said Mr Ó Ríordáin.

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Prescription painkillers source of addiction for most women

Pick Your Painkiller

McMaster University via EurekAlert:

Hamilton, ON (Nov. 9, 2015) – Painkillers prescribed by doctors are the starting point for an opioid addiction for more than half of female methadone clinic patients, and they need different treatment from men with addiction, says a study led by McMaster University researchers.

The results, published in the open access journal Biology of Sex Differences today, show that more than half (52%) of women and a third (38%) of men reported doctor-prescribed painkillers as their first contact with opioid drugs, a family of drugs which include prescription medicines such OxyContin and codeine, as well as illicit drugs such as heroin.

The study of 503 patients attending Ontario methadone clinics identified significant gender differences between the men and women attending the clinics. Compared to men, women were found to have more physical and psychological health problems, more childcare responsibilities, and were more likely to have a family history of psychiatric illness.

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Cheese Is As Addictive as Crack

Are you hooked on cheese? Sorry, but you’re an addict, plain and simple, per the LA Times:

For years you’ve been telling your friends, family, co-workers and anyone who will listen that you’re addicted to cheese. It’s a part of every meal or snack, and you think about it constantly. According to a new study from the University of Michigan, cheese crack is a real thing. And so is your addiction.

Cheese Plate with Sriracha

The study, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, examines why certain foods are more addictive than others. Researchers identified addictive foods from about 500 students who completed the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure if someone has a food addiction.

Pizza, unsurprisingly, came out on top of the most addictive food list. Besides being a basic food group for kids, college students and adults, there’s a scientific reason we all love pizza, and it has to do with the cheese.

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Conversations With Stones: Lithography Helps Heroin Addicts

For all you fans of megaliths and other stone structures where humans traditionally held spiritual ceremonies, what do you make of lithography, the practice of using stones to come to terms with drug addiction? The New York Times describes the practice in heroin-heavy Kyrgyzstan:


Jengishbek Nazaraliev. Photo: Igorus77 (CC)

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Inside a yurt that was lavishly appointed with local prayer rugs and felt tapestries, a young man prepared for a ritual that is catching on here as a solution to a global problem but is, well, grounded in local tradition.

“Rock,” the young man said, “I admit that I am a drug addict.” On a carpet in front of the man sat the object he was speaking to: a river stone, rounded and mottled green, about the size of a loaf of bread.

A psychologist sat nearby, coaxing the addict — a lawyer who wanted only his first name, Arman, made public — to go further.

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The stigma against people who use heroin makes it harder for them to get help

Heroin use and dependence have grown dramatically in the US over the last decade. Between 2002-2004 and 2011-2013, past-year use increased by 62.5% and abuse/dependence by 90%. And the demographics of heroin use have changed as well. Over a decade ago, heroin was less prevalent and more specific to marginalized individuals in low-income areas and inner cities. But today, use and dependence have increased among all demographic groups. Heroin use has also doubled among those who have historically had low rates of use – women and white individuals.

The epidemic has the potential to affect anyone. I know this firsthand, not only as a drug researcher, but also from the death of my little sister, Tara, who died five years ago this week from acute intoxication involving heroin.

As heroin use and dependence have become more prevalent, the chances that each of us knows someone dependent on heroin (or opioid pills) have climbed.… Read the rest

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Addiction is not a disease: How AA and 12-step programs erect barriers while attempting to relieve suffering

Vangore (CC)

Vangore (CC)

Where do you stand on the addiction as disease debate? Marc Lewis firmly says addiction is not a disease while taking a slap at AA, writing at Salon:

The idea that addiction is some kind of disease is unquestionably the dominant view in government, medical, and most scientific circles around the world. So dominant in the West, for example, that US vice president Joe Biden introduced the Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act for debate in the US Senate on March 28, 2007.

S. 1011: Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act of 2007

(1) Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain’s structure and manner in which it functions. These brain changes can be long lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs.

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Could Psychedelic Drugs Make Smokers Quit?

A team of scientists are giving hallucinogens to smoking addicts to help them cut the habit. BBC Future‘s Tim Maughan visited the lab where this surprising research is emerging:

Nicotine patches, chewing gum, cold turkey. Giving up cigarettes can be tough, but there are many strategies smokers can try. Matthew Johnson wants to add another: he says he can help smokers quit by giving them another drug – psilocybin – that has been illegal for years in much of Europe and North America. And yes, he realises that sounds unconventional.

Smoke VII

“The idea that this research sounds counterintuitive, it makes sense to me,” he tells me as we sit in his office at Johns Hopkins’ Behavioural Pharmacology Research Unit in Baltimore.

Johnson is a behavioural pharmacologist who has been researching the relationship between drugs, the brain, and human behaviour for more than 20 years. The last 10 of those have been spent here at Johns Hopkins, where he and his team have focused on psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic and the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’.

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Breaking Convention 2015

unnamedThe program for the third Breaking Convention (largest psychedelics conference) has been officially released. If you’re in/near the UK or are a psychedelic aficionado, you’ll definitely want to check out this year’s line-up.

The academic program has been released for Breaking Convention 2015. The largest psychedelics conference in the known universe is taking place once again at the University of Greenwich, slap bang on the Prime Meridian at the centre of time and space. The event features more than 130 academic speakers, a Film Festival, a weekend Music Festival, a Visionary Art Gallery, 15 free workshops, mind-boggling journeys through pulsing light contraptions, dance performances, live icaros, traditional shamanic ceremonies (and much more besides) and is held in one of the most visually stunning buildings in the country. The Old Royal Naval College was designed by Sir Christopher Wren at the end of the 17th Century and has been described by The Independent as ”more breathtaking than the Versailles of Louis XIV”, and by UNESCO as one of the “finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the British Isles”.… Read the rest

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