Brain’s Response to Sweets May Indicate Risk for Development of Alcoholism

Science Daily

 

Several human and animal studies have shown a relationship between a preference for highly sweet tastes and alcohol use disorders.  Furthermore, the brain mechanisms of sweet-taste responses may share common neural pathways with responses to alcohol and other drugs.  A new study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has found that recent drinking is related to the orbitofrontal-region brain response to an intensely sweet stimulus, a brain response that may serve as an important phenotype, or observable characteristic, of alcoholism risk.

“Our study was designed to determine which brain areas responded to sweet taste — as compared to plain water — and the extent to which these brain responses were related to subjects’ binge-drinking patterns, the number of alcoholic drinks subjects consumed per day when drinking,” explained Kareken.

Click here for full story…

School Policies Reduce Student Drinking – If They’re Perceived to Be Enforced

Science Daily

 

University of Washington professor of social work Richard Catalano and colleagues studied whether anti-alcohol policies in public and private schools were effective for eighth and ninth-graders.  What they found was that each school’s particular policy mattered less than the students’ perceived enforcement of it. So, even if a school had a suspension or expulsion policy, if students felt the school didn’t enforce it then they were more likely to drink on campus. But, even if a school’s policy was less harsh — such as requiring counseling — students were less likely to drink at school if they believed school officials would enforce it.

Click here for full story…

FDA Approves New Drug for Opiod Addiction

FDS

 

Pharmaceutical company proposes treating prescription drug addiction with another prescription drug, and has the green light from the FDA to begin selling the pill solution in the U.S. to combat opioid addition.

According to Reuters, the drug Zubsolv is designed to treat addiction to prescription opioids like codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and methadone (which is ironically the prescription solution for heroin addiction).  Together, these drugs are responsible for about 75 percent of prescription drug overdoses each year.

Click here for full story…

Long-Term Cannabis Use May Blunt the Brain’s Motivation System

Science Daily

 

Researchers found that dopamine levels in a part of the brain called the striatum were lower in people who smoke more cannabis and those who began taking the drug at a younger age.   They suggest this finding could explain why some cannabis users appear to lack motivation to work or pursue their normal interests.

The cannabis users in the study had their first experience with the drug between the ages of 12 and 18. There was a trend for lower dopamine levels in those who started earlier, and also in those who smoke more cannabis.  The researchers say these findings suggest that cannabis use may be the cause of the difference in dopamine levels.

Click here for full story…

Children of Military Families at Increased Risk for Substance Use

NIAA Spectrum

 

In a paper published in the journal Addiction, researchers report that children of military families have a higher risk for alcohol and other substance use than do their peers in nonmilitary families. On the basis of their findings, the researchers suggest that schools and health care providers consider parental military deployment as an opportunity to provide early intervention and screening for substance abuse for young people in military families.

The researchers’ data indicated that substance use overall was higher among those in the currently deployed or recently returned groups than in the nonmilitary group. Deployment often means that children were not living with a parent—which is itself a risk factor for substance use. They found that “substance use was accentuated by the disrupted living arrangements, with the largest effect seen in children with a deployed parent who were not living with a parent or relative.”

Click here for full story…