Abuse of stimulants in the form of cocaine, amphetamines or methamphetamine causes much greater damage to women’s brains than to men’s. That’s the conclusion of research findings released in July in the journal Radiology, based on a study conducted at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.
Chemical solvents and aerosol propellants disguised as a drug called poppers may be putting gay men at risk of illness and possibly even death. Poppers are inhaled, and the substances they contain have a relatively benign reputation that may or may not be deserved. But when toxic solvents and propellants are inhaled, this activity is most commonly referred to as huffing, and this practice is considered to be one of the most treacherous forms of substance abuse known to humankind.
The relationship between social media and addiction is a complicated one. There is growing evidence that the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter can itself be addictive. Research has also found that teenagers are more likely to drink or smoke if they see pictures of their Facebook friends engaging in substance use.
Mindfulness is commonly used shorthand for the ability to stay aware of the internal and external changes going on in your moment-to-moment reality. While certain practices can enhance this ability, each adult already has a baseline level of mindfulness. In a study review scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of researchers from Indiana University-Purdue University assessed the impact that this baseline awareness, known as trait mindfulness, has on the likelihood that any given person will use a range of mind-altering substances or develop significant problems related to substance use.
Drug cravings are the powerful urges that repeatedly reinforce a continuing pattern of substance intake in people dealing with addiction. The presence of these urges can easily derail an attempt to maintain substance abstinence during the recovery process from cocaine addiction. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Addiction Biology, researchers from two U.S. universities investigated the impact that a personal history of child maltreatment has on the strength of the drug cravings experienced by adult men addicted to cocaine.
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.
Addiction has long been limited to the abuse of chemical substances that leads to physical and emotional dependence. While still debated by some experts, many now agree that there are many similarities between traditional substance addictions, and what are called process addictions. These are addictions to any kind of activity or behavior, and do not involve ingesting a substance like a drug or alcohol.
Pluck the Twitter feed of any random 20-something on a Sunday morning and what are you likely to read about in 140 characters or less? Hangovers, massive hangovers. Excessive drinking among young adults in the U.S. and in Britain has simply normalized. Partying is just a way of life.
When I set out to write this article, I thought I’d provide some statistics to give readers a sense of just how prevalent traumatic experiences are for women—whether the trauma comes from being the victim of a violent crime, sexual abuse or a different source, I knew the statistics would be terribly high. I started researching and came across an article about walking alone at night, written by a woman who was sick and tired of the harassment—the catcalls, whistling and worse. Upon discussing this article with friends, I realized that I could share something much more powerful than percentages and numbers. I can share my personal experience: I don’t know an adult woman who has never experienced some sort of personal sexual violence. I’m going to repeat that because it bears repeating: of all the women I’ve spoken to in my life—friends, acquaintances, family members—100 percent have had at least one personal experience with trauma.