All opioids carry inherent risks when abused, from illicit heroin to the OxyContin you may be prescribed by your doctor. Prescription drug abuse is at epidemic levels in the U.S., and when users can’t get high using their typical opioid of choice, previous experience shows that they’ll switch to other prescription opioids or even heroin. In this climate of widespread opioid addiction, new dangerous opioids like acetyl fentanyl pose immense risks to the population’s health. Experts have warned emergency physicians to be on the lookout for what appears to be ordinary opioid overdose, but might actually be attributed to acetyl fentanyl, a drug that’s five to 15 times more potent than heroin. Finding out more about this substance and its dangers helps you understand why public health officials are concerned about the upsurge in overdose cases.
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Energy drinks are a group of heavily caffeinated beverages commonly promoted for use as energy boosters, performance enhancers or wakefulness promoters. In the U.S., significant numbers of young people combine these stimulating beverages with alcohol, a powerful central nervous system depressant. In a study published in September 2014 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers from two U.S. universities sought to determine if frequency of involvement in the combined use of energy drinks and alcohol accurately predicts the chances that any young consumer will go on to experience seriously negative alcohol-related consequences in the near future.
Researchers and addiction specialists know that, overall, roughly half of any person’s lifelong risk for developing a physical dependence on alcohol (i.e., alcoholism) stems from the details of his or her genetic inheritance. In recent years, research teams from the U.S. and other countries have begun to identify some of the specific genes that contribute to increased odds of developing alcoholism. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers from several U.S. institutions outlined the newly discovered role that a gene known as Nf1 plays in boosting alcoholism risks.
Smartphones are here to stay. Most Americans have one and for good reason. With a smartphone you can connect to the Internet and social media sites, check email, text, and make a good, old-fashioned phone call. So much convenience in the palm of your hand is hard to resist. There are problems with smartphones, too. The constant connectivity can lead to obsessive use, compulsive behaviors, and even addiction. Smartphone use can make you sleep less and increase your stress. New research now tells us that obsessive use of smartphones can worsen other compulsive behaviors and addictions.
Substance use disorder and ADHD are two health conditions known for their ability to increase affected individuals’ involvement in unusually risky behavior. People diagnosed with ADHD have statistically increased chances of developing substance use disorder at some point in their lifetimes. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of Australian and Dutch researchers sought to determine if individuals with co-occurring cases of the two conditions have even higher chances of engaging in various kinds of risky behavior.
In this fast-paced world, there’s no shortage of daily demands. In the determination to accomplish everything, some things inevitably fall off the list or people find themselves less than satisfied with the results. A mounting sense of pressure can take its toll, even bringing on symptoms of depression.
On its website, the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) details the many important factors that influence whether an adolescent will choose to drink and the effects that alcohol use has on an adolescent’s development. Here are key excerpts from the posting:
If you ask the average person to tell you what they know about alcoholism, chances are they believe at least a few things that are false. There are many myths surrounding alcoholism, and some of them cause people to avoid getting the help they need. Here are some of the most common myths about alcoholics and alcoholism:
Many parents wonder how their parenting style might influence their child’s decision to use or not use drugs and alcohol. In fact, studies have shown that parents have significant influence over whether a child or teen will experiment with drugs and alcohol.
Alcohol control strategies are techniques and approaches used to limit the risks for involvement in patterns of drinking that significantly boost exposure to serious alcohol-related harm. The individual can implement some of these strategies, while others come from governments, public health organizations or other private or public institutions. In a study published in 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, a team of British researchers examined the attitudes that young adults and teenagers maintain toward alcohol control strategies. Specifically, they wanted to know which strategies young people think might help reduce one’s risk for drinking problems.