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Recovering(me),heroin epidemic,substance use disorder,addiction,drug policy,opioid abuse,drug monitoring

Addiction experts plan innovative tech solution to heroin epidemic

By | Government, News, Recovering(me) | No Comments

In response to the surging drug epidemics seen across the country, national agencies and health experts are now developing an enhanced system for monitoring drug trends. In August 2014, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will start funding the National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS), which will provide more intensive monitoring of local drug use trends and allow experts to act more quickly to address outbreaks of drug abuse before they spread to other areas. The system will also take advantage of social media platforms to provide information and education to people living in areas where addiction outbreaks are occurring.

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Recovering(me),marijuana,addiction,triggers,substance use disorder,addiction treatment,addiction education,recovery program

Researchers look at how marijuana or other drug triggers activate the brain

By | News | No Comments

People in recovery learn to avoid triggers in order to stay sober. That’s because triggers will “activate” the part of the brain called the reward system on which drugs and addiction exert their influence. But a new research study has found that in people with strong addictions, it’s not just the reward system, but other areas having to do with memory, attention, and emotion that become active with exposure to triggers. The University of Texas at Dallas researchers also found that dependent users of marijuana who were exposed to a particular trigger—in this case, drug paraphernalia, or a pipe—showed much more activity in the affected brain regions than casual users, according to a ScienceDaily report.

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Recovering(me),Kentucky drug treatment,addiction,heroin epidemic,substance use disorder,substance use treatment,drug reform,medicaid,opioid overdose

Kentucky renews legislative efforts to expand addiction treatment

By | Recovering(me) | No Comments

Kentucky legislators in the House and Senate are reviving proposals to improve addiction treatment coverage and toughen criminal penalties for drug traffickers, according to a report in The Courier Journal. Similar proposals grouped under Senate Bill 5 failed to pass during the 2014 General Assembly, but several lawmakers hope that an agreeable bill can be reached in 2015, if not sooner. The goal of legislating better access to treatment appears to be even more urgent now, as treatment centers across the country are finding that a federal rule is severely limiting their ability to bill Medicaid for residential care.

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Recovering(me),addiction,substance use disorder,addiction research,drug dependency, addiction treatment

More research backs up the brain disease model of addiction

By | News, Recovering(me) | No Comments

Addiction researchers and substance use treatment professionals already have a fairly mature understanding of how addiction appears in the brain, knowing that it causes and is reinforced by long-term problems with the regulation of dopamine in the region of the brain known as the reward system. But scientists are still trying to understand the exact mechanism of the brain disease of addiction, so that better medication therapies—even vaccines—might be developed to reverse the condition of addiction. Recently Prof. Scott Steffensen and his colleagues at Brigham Young University published studies that may make clearer just what is going on when a brain transitions to a state of addiction.

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Recovering(me),drug policy,opioid epidemic,substance use disorder,addiction stigma,addiction treatment,heroin dependence, online recovery tools

President Obama’s 2014 drug policy promotes innovative online recovery tools

By | Government, News, Recovering(me), Web-based recovery | No Comments

The President’s annual update on national drug strategy, announced today by Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, emphasizes support for bringing innovative online recovery tools into the mainstream of U.S. health care. This emphasis on web-based tools appears in the report’s strategy regarding the expansion of access to addiction treatment and the merging of substance use disorder treatment into general health care centers, as designated by the new health care laws and mental health parity acts.

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Recovering(me),Substance use disorder,alcoholism,alcohol abuse,alcohol use disorder,drinking problem,addiction treatment

Study shows addiction limits career advancement, with women seeing worst effects

By | News, Recovering(me) | No Comments

Substance use disorders and addiction have a range of negative consequences, including problems in one’s work life. Having a hard time meeting the demands of your job, dealing with work stress, or even showing up is often a clear sign that your use of drugs or alcohol has become problematic and that you may need to seek help. But present conflicts on the job—even getting laid off as a result of your substance use—could be just the tip of the iceberg. A new research study has shown that long-term job prospects and career growth are negatively impacted by continuing problems with substance use. The challenge of finding fulfillment in work appears to be made much more difficult when you’re also suffering from an untreated substance use disorder.

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Robin Williams shows dedication to keeping his recovery on solid ground

By | News, recovery program | No Comments

Celebrities entering alcohol or drug rehab is usually the stuff of seedy Hollywood gossip, but sometimes a story comes along offering a more positive example of the importance of recovery and the necessity of good treatment programs. It was recently reported that Robin Williams entered a treatment center, but not following any kind of controversial behavior or relapse. Instead, the reason for the actor’s decision to spend a few weeks in treatment is said to be in order to recommit to his continued recovery and improve his recovery maintenance skills. Williams has not shied away from acknowledging his problems with substance dependency, and his public embrace of staying healthy through recovery programs shows that he’s not deterred by the stigma of addiction.

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Study provides new insights into the brain chemistry of addiction

By | News, Recovering(me) | No Comments

We know that addiction is a brain disease characterized by physical changes in the chemistry of the brain of someone who struggles with substance dependency. Medical research and opinion are clear: addiction changes the brain. That’s why one avenue of addiction treatment is the development of medications that intervene in the way addictive substances act on the brain’s normal chemical activities. But there’s still a lot to be done in the development of useful addiction medication treatments and research into the exact mechanisms of addiction. A new research study on the relationship between memory or learned behavior and addiction may provide direction for more research and treatment development, although its practical implications aren’t entirely clear yet.

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Nonprofit provides advice on dealing with addiction in the family

By | Addiction 101, Addiction Basics (101), News, online community | No Comments

Addiction is frequently called a family disease due to the unfortunate consequences it has not only for the person who is addicted, but for anyone who feels the impact of the addict’s changed behavior and health. Recent figures by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show that more than 8.3 million children under the age of 18 lived with at least one parent struggling with substance dependency. The costs of addiction in one’s family range from financial woes, to problems communicating and getting along, and even sometimes to endangerment and abuse, when it’s most crucial to seek help.

A new extensive guide for people who suspect addiction in the family has recently been published online by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit organization.

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Regional leaders identify barriers, discuss solutions to heroin and opioid epidemic

By | Government, Insurance, News, Recovering(me) | No Comments

In regions being hard hit by the scourge of prescription opioid and heroin addiction, communities and political leaders are ramping up their efforts to draw attention to the national substance use problem. In a recently published study spanning over two decades of scientific literature, researchers at McGill University found that prescription opioid drugs were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. The study considered likely reasons for the rampant misuse of prescription opioid medications, concluding that the widespread availability, prescription, and sale of opioids was a major factor, along with the combined use of opioids with other drugs and alcohol, particularly in people with substance use problems.

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