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Alcoholism: A Step Toward a Treatment

Scientists have pinpointed a population of neurons in the brain that influences whether one drink leads to two, which could ultimately lead to a cure for alcoholism and other addictions. A study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience by researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, finds that alcohol consumption alters the structure and function of neurons in the dorsomedial striatum, a part of the brain known to be important in goal-driven behaviors.

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Daily Marijuana Use Among U.S. College Students Highest Since 1980

Daily marijuana use among the nation's college students is on the rise, surpassing daily cigarette smoking for the first time in 2014.

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Polygamy and Alcohol Linked to Physical Abuse in African Marriages

African women in polygamous marriages or with alcoholic husbands have a significantly higher risk of being physically abused by their husbands than women in monogamous marriages or women whose husbands don’t abuse alcohol, new research shows.

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Study Documents Extent of Unexpected Sexual Consequences for Young Women Who Drink Alcohol

In-depth interviews conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine of 20 young women attending an urban sexually transmitted disease clinic have documented a variety of unexpected, unintended sexual encounters linked to their alcohol use before sex occurs.

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New Compounds Could Reduce Alcoholics’ Impulse to Drink

Alcoholism inflicts a heavy physical, emotional and financial toll on individuals and society. Now new discoveries and promising animal studies are offering a glimmer of hope that a new class of drugs could treat the disease without many of the unwanted side effects caused by current therapies. The scientists are presenting their work today at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

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Surge in Heroin Use Tied to Prescription Opioid Abuse, According to CDC

Heroin use has increased 63 percent over the last 10 years according to (CDC). That increase, according to the agency, is closely tied to the growing abuse of prescription opioids such as oxycodone (Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and codeine. An alarming 45 percent of Americans addicted to heroin are also addicted to prescription opioids.

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In First Year, Two Florida Laws Reduce Amount of Opioids Prescribed, Study Suggests

Two Florida laws, enacted to combat prescription drug abuse and misuse in that state, led to a small but significant decrease in the amount of opioids prescribed the first year the laws were in place, a new study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests.

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Study Finds Lack of Ultimate Meaning in Life Associated with Alcohol Abuse, Drug Addiction and Other Mental Health Problems

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One of the most commonly used treatment models in addiction is the 12-step model developed in the 1930s and rooted in spirituality. Yet, surprisingly, there is no clear understanding about how to nurture spirituality among people struggling with addictions.

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NYU Study Examines Top High School Students’ Stress and Coping Mechanisms

The study shows that there is growing awareness many subgroups of youth experience high levels of chronic stress, to the extent it impedes their abilities to succeed academically, compromises their mental health functioning, and fosters risk behavior. Furthermore, this chronic stress appears to persist into the college years, and researchers warns it may contribute to academic disengagement and mental health problems among emerging adults.

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Study Examines How and Why States Adopt Drunk Driving Laws

A study by researchers at NYU Steinhardt finds that the severity of drunk driving within the state is not the most important predictor of whether states adopt new laws to restrict drunk driving – nor is the political makeup of the state government. Instead, the two strongest predictors of states adopting their first drunk driving laws were having a large population of young people and a neighboring state with similar driving laws.

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New Book Co-Edited By SU Professor Emeritus Examines Twelve Step Program From Philosophical Standpoint

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Though many academic disciplines have studied the Twelve Step program of recovery, philosophers haven’t yet paid much attention. That may be changing. A recent collection of essays, Sobering Wisdom, co-edited by Salisbury University's Dr. Jerome Miller, offers a unique exploration of the program’s spirituality from a philosophical standpoint.

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Emergency Department Counseling Program Fails to Reduce Intimate Partner Violence or Heavy Drinking Among At-Risk Women

A large randomized clinical trial of an emergency department (ED)-based program aimed at reducing incidents of excessive drinking and partner violence in women did not result in significant improvements in either risk factor, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Falling Off the Wagon with Facebook

Despite the growing use of online support groups such as those on Facebook to help curb substance abuse, attending traditional face-to-face meetings may continue to be more effective for people trying to maintain sobriety, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association’s 123rd Annual Convention.

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Gastric Bypass Surgery Lowers Women’s Alcohol Tolerance

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Women who have gastric bypass surgery to lose weight should keep a close eye on their alcohol consumption, according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers found that changes in how alcohol is metabolized after surgery can speed its delivery into the bloodstream, resulting in earlier and higher peaks in blood-alcohol levels.

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Marriage Can Lead to Dramatic Reduction in Heavy Drinking in Young Adults

Research on alcohol-use disorders consistently shows problem drinking decreases as we age. Now, researchers collaborating between the University of Missouri and Arizona State University have found evidence that marriage can cause dramatic drinking reductions even among people with severe drinking problems. Scientists believe findings could help improve clinical efforts to help these people, inform public health policy changes and lead to more targeted interventions for young adult problem drinkers.

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Opioid Use and Sexual Violence Among Drug-Using Young Adults in NYC

The research seeks to identify the potential role of drug use in increasing risk of sexual violence among young adult opioid users in NYC, and to identify the specific social and contextual factors surrounding this group’s experiences of sexual violence.

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Teen Marijuana Use Not Linked to Later Depression, Lung Cancer, Other Health Problems, Research Finds

Chronic marijuana use by teenage boys does not appear to be linked to later physical or mental health issues such as depression, psychotic symptoms or asthma, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

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If You’re Using Drugs, Scientists Want to Help You Avoid Addiction

Abstinence is the best way to avoid drug addiction. But in many societies, drug use is the norm, not the exception, especially by youth. What keeps the majority of users from becoming addicted? How drugs are taken has something to do with it, according to pharmacology researchers at the University of Montreal.

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MSMR Analysis of Post Deployment Health Assessment Forms Indicates Risks of Alcohol Abuse Among Service Members Returning from Deployment

An analysis of responses to questionnaires administered to U.S. active component service members who had returned from deployment during a 7-year surveillance period found that 3.4 percent and 4.8 percent of them, respectively, indicated a severe risk for alcohol abuse.

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Biomarker Higher in Binge Drinkers

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A biomarker found in the blood of alcohol users is significantly higher in binge drinkers than in those who consume alcohol moderately, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The biomarker, called phosphatidylethanol (PEth), could be used to screen young adults for harmful or heavy drinking such as binge drinking.