Addiction / 15.05.2024

Table of Contents:
  • Key Takeaways
  • The Importance of Community in Recovery
  • The Power of Sharing Journeys
  • Leveraging Virtual Gatherings for Support
  • The Enduring Benefits of Mentorship
  • The Support of Personal Networks
  • Engaging in Community Events
Key Takeaways:
  • Support systems are crucial for both the process of healing and individual growth.
  • Building and maintaining online and offline community connections can provide a balanced support system.
  • Engagement with various support structures, including mentorships and personal relationships, fosters recovery and growth.
The Importance of Community in Recovery Beginning the recovery journey is a deeply personal experience, but it cannot be done alone. Having the support of a community is essential. Seeing the successes of others provides guidance and a feeling of belonging that is crucial for those seeking sobriety. Studies have shown that these communities empower individuals, providing the necessary tools for resilience and self-advocacy. Formal and informal networks serve as safety nets, keeping individuals motivated and accountable on their path to sobriety. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Cannabis / 07.05.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pamela Maher, PhD Research Professor Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory SALK Institute for Biologic Studies La Jolla California   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several years ago, we tested several different cannabinoids for protection against the oxytosis/ferroptosis regulated cell death pathway and found CBN (cannabinol) to be one of the most effective. While THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidol) were also quite protective, we wanted to pursue non-psychoactive cannabinoids. Since we are interested in maintaining brain function in the context of aging and disease, we thought that a psychoactive compound could be problematic. In addition, there was already a lot of work on CBD, so we thought we could learn more and contribute more to the field by studying CBN. (more…)
Addiction / 24.04.2024

Addiction is renowned for being a complex condition, fundamentally, manifesting in an inability to stop using a substance or engaging in behavior despite detrimental consequences. Recognizing the signs of addiction is the first crucial step toward seeking help and recovery. If you are at a point where you have to consider the question, am I an addict? Here are ten signs that may indicate you are struggling with addiction. Increased Tolerance One of the earliest signs of addiction is an increased tolerance to the substance. This means you may need to consume more alcohol or drugs to achieve the same effect previously attained with smaller amounts. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 18.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amy Kennalley, MBS First Year Medical Student Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study Response: The legalization of medical marijuana (MMJ) and the number of qualifying conditions are expanding across the USA, emphasizing the need to understand the implications of MMJ dispensary distribution for equitable access. Pennsylvania (PA) legalized MMJ in 2016, with the first dispensary opening its doors in 2018. The state currently recognizes 24 medical conditions for MMJ use, including six for which there is insufficient or no evidence for their efficacy as a treatment. Prior research suggests that there is a link between proximity to dispensaries and overall MMJ use. However, a gap exists in our understanding of how dispensary locations might be associated with the specific qualifying conditions for which individuals receive their certification. In response to this knowledge gap, our study delved into the medical marijuana dispensary access in PA and explored associations with both MMJ certifications and the community demographics. Utilizing data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, we investigated how proximity to MMJ dispensaries related to the proportion of individuals certified for MMJ use within a specific area or Zip Code Tabulation Area. Additionally, we analyzed the proportion of certifications for conditions with varying levels of evidence supporting the efficacy of MMJ. This pioneering study represents the first of its kind in PA, shedding light on the association between MMJ dispensary locations and certifications. Likewise, it is the first in the US to investigate the link between dispensary locations and specific qualifying conditions. By examining these dynamics, we aim to contribute vital insights to inform policy and practice, ensuring equitable access to MMJ treatment for individuals with diverse medical needs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pain Research / 29.03.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jay P. Solgama Medical Student Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton PA   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The opioid crisis in the United States continues to escalate, with opioid-related deaths increasing by over 800% since 2000. Prescription opioids, particularly oxycodone, have been a contributor to this crisis, with substantial variations in their distribution observed across different states [1,2,3]. Against this backdrop, the study conducted by researchers from the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine aimed to characterize the distribution of oxycodone across US states from 2000 to 2021. By analyzing data from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s comprehensive Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-ranging ONline Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) databases, the study sought to identify trends and patterns in oxycodone distribution and their potential implications for opioid-related deaths [4,5]. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cannabis / 23.03.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian J. Piper, PhD Associate Professor of Neuroscience Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton PA 18411 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many cancer patients use marijuana to treat pain, nausea, or anxiety, often without communicating this with their health care providers. Two observational studies (1, 2) from a single institution in Israel purporting to find a dangerous drug interaction between medical cannabis and immunotherapy have been cited hundreds of times, including by clinical practice guidelines. The cannabinoid CB2 receptor is found on immune tissues so it is biologically possible that marijuana could make immunotherapies like nivolumab less effective. However, there were anonymous reports on PubPeer (3-5) of many irregularities in the data-analysis. If there were unappreciated differences on other important variables at baseline besides subsequent cannabis use, this could change the interpretation of these influential reports (1, 2). This investigation involved attempting to repeat and verify the data-analysis. (more…)
Addiction, Technology / 14.03.2024

In recent years, technology has been increasingly harnessed to transform the landscape of substance addiction treatment and recovery. Technology integration has revolutionized traditional approaches, from innovative mobile applications to virtual reality therapy and artificial intelligence-powered interventions. These advancements offer new avenues for personalized, accessible, and effective care, significantly impacting the lives of individuals struggling with substance use disorders. In this article, we will explore the diverse range of tech-driven solutions that are reshaping addiction treatment. (more…)
Addiction / 14.03.2024

 There are individuals from many walks of life who get themselves into trouble with drugs. These people might start using a substance and think it’s harmless experimentation. They may get to the point where they’re using their drug of choice regularly, though. Their use of this drug, or multiple drugs, may last for years. Tricare addiction rehab facilities are always an option if you find yourself in the grip of drug abuse or addiction. You might also be wondering whether long-term drug use can physically alter your brain, though. It’s a subject worth considering, so let’s talk about it right now.  (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Opiods / 03.02.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua D. Madera, MD Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton PA What is the background for this study? Response: The US population continues to be drastically impacted by the opioid epidemic, with opioid-related deaths significantly increased compared to European countries. While prescription opioid distribution has gradually declined since its peak in 2011 [1], the rate of opioid prescriptions remains increased compared to 2000. Furthermore, there is considerable interstate variability in opioid distribution across the US. Identifying patterns in this variability may guide public health efforts to reduce opioid-related harms. Therefore, the primary objective of this study [2] from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine was to explore variations in production quotas and state-level distribution of ten prescription opioids between 2010 and 2019. (more…)
Addiction / 23.01.2024

Entering rehab to combat addiction is akin to embarking on a heroic quest. However, it is a journey fraught with challenges and many people have the ever-present fear of losing one's job looming like a relentless adversary. The Perilous Precipice The decision to confront addiction through addiction treatment is a courageous step, yet it can also be perilous. The shadow of job loss casts a long and foreboding silhouette over this undertaking. The stigma surrounding addiction and the lack of understanding from some employers can ignite a fear that burns fiercely in the hearts of those seeking help. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Aging, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 19.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Patricia Di Ciano, PhD Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology University of Toronto Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute Collaborative Program in Neuroscience MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is now fairly well established that cannabis has a detrimental effect on driving. The most consistently reported effect of cannabis on driving is to increase ‘weaving’ on the road. We know that cannabis use is on the rise in people over 65 years of age. In fact, over the past few years cannabis use is increasing the most in this age group. Despite this, there are few studies of the effects of cannabis on people over 65; most studies have been conducted on younger adults. We know that there are important age-related changes in the way the body works that may alter the impact of cannabis on the body. Also, older adults may have more experience with cannabis and this can change the effects of cannabis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Medical Imaging, Pulmonary Disease / 10.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jessie Kang, MD, FRCPC Assistant professor Department of Diagnostic Radiology Faculty of Medicine Dalhousie University   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Marijuana is the most widely used illicit psychoactive substance in the world.
  • Use has increased in Canada since legalization of non-medical marijuana in 2018.
  • It is commonly believed that smoking marijuana is not harmful to the lungs. There is an abundance of established research that identifies the harms of cigarette smoking. In contrast, very little is known about the effects of marijuana smoking, and even less research has been done on the combined effects of smoking marijuana and cigarettes.
To determine the effects of marijuana and cigarette smoking, we examined the chest CT images of four patient groups: non-smokers, cigarette smokers, marijuana smokers, and combined marijuana and cigarette smokers. Marijuana smokers included in the study had smoked marijuana at least four times a month for two years. Patients who ingested marijuana via edibles or oral drops were excluded from the study. (more…)
Addiction / 25.11.2023

Addiction is a part of modern life. Some people have addictions that are regarded as minor and not particularly dangerous. Caffeine addiction is widespread, for instance. Other individuals become addicted to something like drugs or alcohol, though. Addiction therapy in Houston may be appropriate if you live there and feel your life is slipping out of your control. If you live elsewhere, you must look for inpatient or outpatient facilities close to you. Some people compare addiction to an anchor that weighs you down. We will talk about why that is an apt comparison right now. What Addiction Does to Your Spirit Anchors are things that incapacitate you, and many people who have a habit that is getting out of control feel that weight every day. It impacts you in many ways, but the spiritual exhaustion an addict feels might be the worst thing that happens to them. When you look at an addict, you might see what their addiction is doing to them physically, but what it is doing to them mentally and psychologically is often just as evident. They may slump as though they’re literally carrying something heavy on their shoulders. This is because they often have to lie and hide their addiction or the extent of it from family members, friends, and coworkers. There’s no way that can be anything but exhausting. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Stanford / 13.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Timothy C. Durazzo, PhD Clinical Neuropsychologist and Research Scientist Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Centers VA Palo Alto Health Care System Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Stanford University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? -There are a limited number of studies investigating changes in human brain structure, in individuals with an alcohol use disorder, with longer term abstinence after treatment. -Our study was the first to assess for change in cortical thickness over approximately 7 months of abstinence in those seeking treatment of alcohol use disorder. -Cortical thickness in humans is genetically and phenotypically distinct from other brain structural measures such as cortical volume and surface area. -Therefore, assessment of changes in cortical thickness with longer-term abstinence provides additional information on how human brain structure recovers with sobriety. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pain Research / 07.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leana Pande Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Buprenorphine is not a new drug. It was developed in the 1960s with the intent of providing the benefits of opioids, without the addictive side effects. Unlike many prescription opioids,1 use of this Schedule III drug is increasing.2 It is often characterized as a partial agonist at the mu-opioid receptor (Figure-Right). Buprenorphine is available in many routes of administration and also with (brand name Suboxone) or without naloxone. Buprenorphine is a first-line pharmacotherapy for pregnant women with OUD.3 This review was completed in order for the benefits, and risks, of buprenorphine to be more fully appreciated and inform utilization for both opioid use disorder (OUD) and the treatment of pain. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews / 25.09.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Elisabet Jerlhag Holm Department of Pharmacology Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology The University of Gothenburg MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a conditioned associated with morbidity, mortality and costs for society. There are today 4 approved medications, but given the heterogeneity of the disease the efficacy of these is limited and new medications are needed. Peptides of the gut-brain axis, such as GLP-1, have been implied as novel treatment targets. We therefore investigated the effect of an agonist for GLP-1, semaglutide, on alcohol drinking in rodents. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Education, Karolinski Institute / 15.09.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lotfi Khemiri
Centre for Psychiatry Research
Stockholm, SwedenLotfi Khemiri Centre for Psychiatry Research Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study used large-scale national register data in close to 2 million children, and found that parental abuse of both alcohol and drugs are associated with increased risk of intellectual disability in the offspring. Importantly, the risk increase was observed in both mothers and fathers which to the best of our knowledge is a novel finding, and may be explained by both genetic and environmental factors including toxic effects of substance intake on fetal development. (more…)

Author Interviews, Cannabis / 30.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luke Cavanah, BS Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well-known that schedule II stimulants, which are those that are highly addictive and include amphetamine, methylphenidate, and lisdexamfetamine, have had increasing use and misuse in the US. Despite understanding the presence of this phenomenon, the reason for it is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to see if rising rates of schedule II stimulants are related to the legalization of medical marijuana. We were interested in this because schedule II stimulants are primarily used as the treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic cannabis use has been demonstrated to cause neurocognitive deficits resembling that of ADHD, and the conditions have been shown to affect similar brain regions. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Mental Health Research / 12.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jessica Kruger PhD Clinical Associate Professor of Community Health and Health Behavior University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The 2018 Farm Bill authorizing hemp production led to new cannabinoids in the consumer marketplace. As the market becomes increasingly saturated with suppliers, companies continually diversify available products. The rapid emergence of novel cannabinoids outpaces systematic research necessary to inform regulations and harm reduction. Empirical evidence is needed to guide policies, practices, and education of consumers. Product manufacturers, social media participants, and cannabis oriented on-line news sources have claimed that THC-O-acetate is a "psychedelic" cannabinoid, producing experiences similar to those associated with LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and DMT. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Opiods, Surgical Research, University Texas / 10.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul Potnuru, MD Assistant Professor Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine The John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston UTHealth MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The use of cannabis is on the rise in the United States, as it becomes increasingly legally accepted and is viewed as harmless. Furthermore, the potency of cannabis is steadily increasing over time. There is some evidence from previous studies that compared to non-users, cannabis users require more anesthetics, have higher pain after surgery that requires more opioids, and have an increased risk of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Given this context of increased usage and potential risks during surgery, we conducted a study to examine the impact of cannabis use on patients undergoing surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 07.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edward Liu, BA Second year medical student Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The use pattern of two FDA approved cannabinoids, dronabinol (Marinol) and cannabidiol (Epidiolex) has not been previously studied. Dronabinol has been approved in the United States since 1985 for chemotherapy induced nausea as well as vomiting and HIV-induced anorexia,1,2 whereas cannabidiol has been approved since 2018 to treat childhood epileptic disorders, Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome.3 This longitudinal study examined Medicaid claims between 2016-2020 for these two prescription cannabinoids to better comprehend the state-level pharmacoepidemiologic trends and distribution of these drugs in US Medicaid amidst the increasing use of non-pharmaceutical formulations of cannabis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 26.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alex P. Miller, PhD TranSTAR T32 Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Psychiatry Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adolescent cannabis use is increasing in the United States. Prior research suggests that people who start using cannabis earlier are more likely to engage in problematic use and also experience greater mental health challenges and socioeconomic disadvantages overall. For example, children who begin using cannabis early are more likely to have behavioral problems and disorders and are more less likely to complete school. In our study, we used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which is following nearly 12,000 kids across the nation to track behavior and brain development as well as health from middle childhood to young adulthood. We looked at what factors are associated with the initiation of cannabis use by age 12-14. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 24.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:   Tara M Lovestead, PhD, (She/her/hers) Group Leader | Fluid Characterization Group Applied Chemicals and Materials Division National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, MD   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2012, when cannabis was decriminalized for adult recreational and medical use in Colorado, I started thinking about how a cannabis breathalyzer could work. I knew that an alcohol breathalyzer model would be pursued for a field sobriety test, but also knew that THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, was a completely different animal, chemically speaking, than ethanol, the intoxicant in alcohol. I began by measuring the vapor pressure of THC and determined that it is a million times less volatile than ethanol. This is why the main strategy for measuring THC in breath is based on collecting breath aerosols with filters (ethanol is measured as a vapor in breath and does not need to be “collected”). My colleague, Dr. Kavita Jeerage and I began working together to design a study using a simple device that samples breath aerosols that hadn’t been used before. We designed this as a small study to piggyback on a larger study with our collaborator Prof. Cinnamon Bidwell at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Bidwell’s experience studying the effects of legal market cannabis product use on psychology and behavior was leveraged to launch the pilot study. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nature / 29.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexander S. Hatoum, PhD Research Assistant Professor Institute for Behavioral Genetics Washington University in St. Louis     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well known that someone with one substance use disorder will have another sometime in their lifetime or concurrently.  Further, individuals that do manifest two or more substance use disorders in their lifetime have the most morbid conditions. However, research often ignores the comorbidity and focuses on diagnosis of one substance use disorder at a time (i.e. opioid use disorder or alcohol use disorder). We set out to identify the biology behind the cross-substance liability. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, CDC, PLoS, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCLA / 23.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria-Rita D'Orsogna Ph.D. Professor, Mathematics California State University, Northridge Adjunct Associate Professor Department of Computational Medicine at UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Drug overdose deaths have been increasing in the USA for the past two decades. A ‘third wave’ of overdose fatalities started in 2013, with a shift from prescription opioids towards synthetic ones, in particular illicit fentanyl. To examine trends in drug overdose deaths by gender, race and geography in the United States during the period 2013-2020, we used an epidemiological database provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, extracting rates by race and gender in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. We considered the impact of four main drug categories psychostimulants with addiction potential such as methamphetamines; heroin; prescription opioids and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and its derivatives. (more…)