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…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pharmacology, Tobacco Research / 08.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Philip Lazarus, PhD Boeing Distinguished Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor, Dept of Pharmaceutical Sciences College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Washington State University Spokane, WA 99210   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Smoking and tobacco use remains a major health issue. Smokers use cigarette over the course of the day because the levels of nicotine, the addictive agent in cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, dimmish with time in the bloodstream due to the breakdown of nicotine by enzymes in the body. By inhibiting the breakdown of nicotine in smokers, one would expect that the levels of nicotine would remain higher after smoking a single cigarette, and that these individuals may not require lighting up another cigarette so quickly, reducing the number of cigarettes smoked over the course of a day. This could have a profound effect on reducing the overall harm incurred from smoking or from using other forms of tobacco. In a single previous study, smokers who used a CBD inhaler exhibited a 40% reduction in cigarette use. In addition, while cannabis users are often smokers, previous studies have indicated that they smoke less cigarettes than non-cannabis-using cigarette smokers. In previous studies published in 2021, we found that major cannabinoids present in cannabis like THC and CBD inhibit major metabolizing enzymes in our body, including several that are important in drug metabolism. We hypothesized that CBD and its major active metabolite, 7-hydroxy (OH)-CBD, may also be inhibiting one or more of the enzymes important in the metabolism (or breakdown) of nicotine. (more…)
Alcohol / 14.02.2023

For some people, luxury alcohol rehabs may seem like an unnecessary extravagance. But for many, these programs offer a better chance for long-term sobriety and provide a safe, comfortable place to heal from the effects of addiction. Let’s take a look at the advantages of luxury alcohol rehab and why they can be so beneficial.

Alcoholism

addiction-alcohol-opioidsAlcoholism is a serious problem that affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. It is defined as an addiction to alcohol, in which the person feels unable to control their drinking and continues to drink despite its negative consequences. Alcoholism can lead to health problems, family issues, financial difficulties, and even death Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease that is characterized by a strong craving for alcohol, difficulty controlling one's drinking, and continued drinking despite negative consequences. People with alcoholism often have trouble holding down a job, maintaining relationships, and taking care of their health. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it's important to get help as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help people recover from this disease. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Opiods / 07.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Piper, PhD MS Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Center for Pharmacy Innovation & Outcomes Geisinger School of Graduate Education MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Methadone is an evidence-based treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and pain. However, this Schedule II opioid can also cause respiratory depression, which can result in lethality. The need for supervised administration is a long-standing source of frustration in the U.S. for many opioid use disorder (OUD) methadone patients. However, there was an accommodation in early 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. This involved extending the take-home supply to up to 28-days for stable patients and 14 days for less stable patients. Prior research found that the implementation of supervised administration in England greatly reduced methadone overdoses [1]. The primary objective of this study [2] from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine was to determine if the relaxation of the take-home rules resulted in more methadone overdoses. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods / 29.12.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alden MiletoAlden Mileto, BA Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The drug buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, originally developed in the 1960s as an alternative to the stronger full opioid mu receptor agonists like morphine. Today, the drug is sometimes used for pain, but is more often used as a treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Since the 2002 federal approval for buprenorphine use in treatment of OUD, there has been an increase in buprenorphine prescription across all states. However recent studies have showed a disproportionate increase in buprenorphine prescriptions to rural/ less populated areas in comparison to urban/densely populated areas. The objective of this study [1] was to analyze the trends in buprenorphine distribution, overall and by three-digit zip codes, in Pennsylvania from 2010-2020. (more…)
Addiction / 27.12.2022

Addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people across the world. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, it’s important to know that there is hope. Drug rehabilitation centers provide individuals with the resources they need to break free from addiction and start living a healthier, more productive life.

What Is Drug Rehab?

Drug rehab centers are treatment facilities that specialize in helping individuals overcome their addictions. These centers offer individualized treatments plans and support services designed to help individuals learn how to manage their cravings for drugs or alcohol and develop healthy coping skills that will allow them to resist temptation in the future. Additionally, drug rehab centers also provide educational programs and therapy sessions to help patients gain a better understanding of their addiction and how it has impacted their lives. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 27.12.2022

You might have heard good things about CBD oil. You heard that it can assist with numerous conditions and symptoms. However, what you heard might have been simply hearsay and not necessarily proven fact. What you want to know is the science-backed health benefits about CBD oil from actual studies and research, which we provide below.
  1. Alleviate Stress & Anxiety
Stress is something we all experience at some point in time. The worse it gets, the more debilitating it can be and the more it can, in turn, affect our daily lives. A study found that use of CBD oil can not only help one combat excess stress, but it’s also effective for those who struggle with anxiety. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews / 19.12.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lyle Isaacs, Professor      University of Maryland                                               Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryCollege Park, MD 20742 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Isaacs laboratory has a long-standing interest in molecular containers compounds and their molecular recognition properties toward chemically and biologically important targets.  Molecular containers include well known pharmaceutical excipients that help dissolve and deliver drugs (e.g. sulfobutyl-beta-cyclodextrin (SBE-b-CD)) and even sequester active pharmaceutical ingredients (e.g. Sugammadex reverses the effects of neuromuscular blockers). Our lab has previously studied a class of molecular containers called cucurbiturils and found that they bind tightly (nanomolar Kd) to hydrophobic cations in aqueous solution.  Recently, we translated our knowledge of tight binding to design and synthesize a novel tight binding molecular container known as Pillar[6]MaxQ and showed that it has superior binding affinity toward hydrophobic cations.[reference = Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2020, 59, 13313] (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Race/Ethnic Diversity, University of Pennsylvania / 15.12.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca Arden Harris, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The impact of the nationwide overdose epidemic on Black women has received little attention from policy-makers, researchers, or the press. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response:  Over the 7-year study period, preventable overdose deaths among Black women resulted in nearly 0.75 million years of life lost (YLL). Women aged 25-34 have suffered a rising proportion of this burden. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Pain Research / 01.12.2022

  MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lavinia Harrison Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA  18509 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:   The opioid meperidine (Demerol) was widely prescribed in the United States (US) as an analgesic to treat moderate to severe pain. Meperidine was the most used opioid in the US in 1987 and was considered safer than other opioids during acute pancreatitis. Over the past two decades, meperidine has shifted from being frequently prescribed to being used only when patients are experiencing atypical reactions to opioids (e.g., morphine and hydromorphone); to removal from the World Health Organization's essential medication list and receiving strong warnings against its use from many professional organizations including the American Geriatrics Society. The unfortunate Libby Zion (1965-1984) case increased concerns about serotonin syndrome with meperidine. According to a prior pharmacoepidemiology report, the distribution of meperidine in the United States decreased by 95% between 2001 and 2019 [1]. The aim of the study was to include updated information (2020 and 2021) as well as examine the changes among Medicaid patients [2]. (more…)
Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Education, JAMA, Pediatrics, Social Issues, UCLA / 06.10.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mitchell Wong, MD PhD Professor of Medicine Executive Vice Chair for Research Training Department of Medicine Executive Co-Director, Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program Director, UCLA CTSI KL2 Program UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Los Angeles, CA 90024 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is estimated that social factors like poverty, education, and housing have a large impact on health. Yet, there are few interventions that exist to directly address those issues.  Schools are a promising solution since society already invests heavily in education and schools are an everyday part of most children’s lives. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Methamphetamine / 02.09.2022

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is often used recreationally. It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. The drug is highly addictive and should be used only under the supervision of a healthcare provider. Meth mouth is a slang term used to describe the dental problems resulting from methamphetamine abuse. The long-term use of methamphetamine can lead to meth mouth due to the detrimental effects the drug has on oral health. What Are the Signs of Meth Mouth? The signs of meth mouth can vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, some common signs and symptoms of meth mouth include:
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Tooth loss
  • Missing teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Cracked teeth
  • Yellow or brown stains on teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Dry mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Meth sores
(more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews / 30.07.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bryan Roth, MD, PhD Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor Pharmacology Director, NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program Eshelman School of Pharmacy Gavin P. Schmitz Department of Pharmacology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine Chapel Hill, North Carolina   Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: There is undoubtably a lot of enthusiasm for psychedelics as therapeutic tools right now both in research and more broadly; however, there are still so many questions that need to be answered. It has been established that SNPs are clinically relevant when considering how patients may respond to various atypical antipsychotic drugs, so we wanted to see if they also could impact psychedelic assisted treatment strategies. What we found is that genetics do matter; namely, our results indicate that patients with different genes will react differently to psychedelics. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods / 07.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Colleen G. Jordan, MBS Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Opioid addiction and misuse remain a prevalent issue in the United States (U.S.). There have been more than one-million drug overdoses in the U.S. since 1999 [1], largely driven by opioids, which exacerbate the strain on resources in hospitals, treatment centers, first responders, patients, and their families. The existing pharmacotherapies for opioid use disorder (OUD) are not working. Naloxone is a competitive mu opioid receptor antagonist used to reverse respiratory and CNS depression in those experiencing an opioid overdose but requires further dosing to prevent subsequent overdose. Naltrexone is a competitive mu opioid receptor antagonist, and has extended-release formulations intended to reduce relapse and promote adherence, yet patient noncompliance and retention continue to be limiting factors. Methadone is commonly used to treat opioid addiction as a replacement for illicit opiates but is itself an addictive substance which can result in overdoses [2] and can lead to withdrawal if not closely monitored by a licensed professional. Buprenorphine is currently used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), and while it reduces illicit drug use, it is less effective than methadone for retaining patients in treatment. For these reasons, there is an urgent need for new opioid misuse interventions. The objectives of this study [3] were to understand the implications of OUD and overdose treatments and determine the strengths and shortcomings of current treatments in comparison with the novel drug candidate methocinnamox (MCAM). These were completed through an extensive literature review into the history of the opioid epidemic in the United States, opioid receptors in the brain, current pharmacological treatments, and the pharmacological properties of MCAM. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews / 17.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Harriet De Wit, PhD Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience University of Chicago 

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: There are numerous reports that psychedelics like LSD, taken in very small ‘microdoses’, help boost mood, cognitive function and productivity. The practice is popular in Silicon Valley and among media figures, who report remarkable beneficial effects from regular use of these microdoses. The possible antidepressant effects of LSD are plausible from a neurobiological perspective, as the drug acts directly on serotonin receptors, the same systems where SSRI’s act.  However, the effects of microdosing have not yet been validated in controlled research. In our study, we recruited healthy men and women to ingest repeated, low doses of LSD under double blind conditions.  They attended four laboratory sessions, separated by three to four days.  They were randomly assigned to one of three groups who received the same drug on all four sessions: placebo, 13 micrograms of LSD or 26 micrograms of LSD. Subjects were not told exactly what drug they were receiving until the end of the study.  We measured their mood, emotional reactivity and cognition. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, PLoS / 04.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Laurence Moss MD, PhD candidate Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR) Department of Anesthesiology Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) Geert Jan GroeneveldMD, PhD Neurologist | Clinical Pharmacologist | Professor of Clinical Neuropharmacology CMO/CSO Centre for Human Drug Research Leiden, The Netherlands  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a major source of morbidity and mortality, and the opioid epidemic in the Unites States (but increasingly in Europe also) has been well documented and reported on by the media. The alarming rise in opioid related mortality is largely driven by the increasing use of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, often surreptitiously mixed with heroin or other drugs such as psychostimulants or prescribed opioids. Opioid-induced respiratory depression in particular is a leading cause of opioid-related fatalities. Buprenorphine has been proven as an effective medication for the treatment of OUD. Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic partial agonist for the opioid receptor that firmly binds to these receptors and displays only partial respiratory depressive effects, meaning it does not cause the complete cessation of breathing as is the case with other potent opioids such as fentanyl. Due to its firm receptor binding, we hypothesized that at sufficient buprenorphine receptor occupancy, the effect of fentanyl on respiration would be limited, even at high fentanyl doses. This study aimed to provide proof of principle for this hypothesis, and demonstrate whether buprenorphine could reduce fentanyl-induced respiratory depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 07.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Myran, MD, MPH, CCFP, FRCPC Family and Public Health and Preventive Medicine Physician CIHR Fellow, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Department of Family Medicine Innovation Fellow University of Ottawa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Canada legalized recreational, or non-medical, cannabis in October 2018. Canada took phased approach to legalization initially only allowing flower-based cannabis products and oils and after one year permitting the sale of commercial cannabis edibles (e.g. THC containing candies, baked goods, and drinks). In this study we took advantage of this phased roll out of legal cannabis to understand the impact of legalization on cannabis exposures or poisonings in children aged 0-9 years and the contribution of different types of cannabis products to these events. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Opiods / 28.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julie O’Donnell, PhD MPH Division of Overdose Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control CDC National Network of Public Health Institutes New Orleans, Louisiana MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The estimated number of drug overdose deaths in the US surpassed 100,000 over a 12-month period for the first time during May 2020-April 2021, driven by the involvement of synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF)), according to data from the National Vital Statistics System. The State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) is a CDC-funded surveillance program that has collected detailed data on unintentional and undetermined intent drug overdose deaths since 2016 from death certificates, medical examiner and coroner reports, and full postmortem toxicology reports. SUDORS data allow for the analysis specifically of deaths involving fentanyl (rather than the larger category of synthetic opioids), and contain information about decedent demographics and other characteristics, as well as circumstances surrounding the overdose that might help inform prevention. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Neurology, Pediatrics / 15.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rayyan Raja Zafar BSc. MSc. MRSB. Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (MRC DTP) PhD Candidate Centre for Psychedelic research & Neuropsychopharmacology Division of Psychiatry Department of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine Professor David Nutt DM, FRCP, FRCPsych, FSB, FMedSci Faculty of Medicine, Department of Brain Sciences The Edmond J Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since 2018 medical cannabis prescription has become legal in the UK for patients to access. In spite of this legal change less than 3 NHS prescriptions have been made available and access to whole-plant medical cannabis products has been restricted largely to private prescriptions with very few clinicians prescribing such products. There has been a lot of anecdotal and real world evidence of the value of whole-plant medical cannabis in children suffering with treatment resistant epilepsy. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, University of Pennsylvania / 14.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashish Thakrar, MD Internal Medicine & Addiction Medicine National Clinician Scholars Program University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: About 1.8 million Americans are currently incarcerated, more than any other country in the world per capita. Of those 1.8 million, about 1 in 7 suffers from opioid addiction, putting them at high risk of overdose and death, particularly in the weeks following release. Opioid use disorder is a treatable condition, particularly with the medications buprenorphine or methadone, but historically, prisons and jails have not offered treatment. Over the past five years, a few states and municipalities have enacted policies to provide access for OUD treatment. We examined whether these policies were actually improving access to treatment.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Fertility / 30.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kanako Hayashi PhD Associate Professor Associate Director, Center for Reproductive Biology Washington State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There have been several correlative reports showing statistical associations between cannabis use and low sperm counts, dysregulated menstruation, abnormal placentation, preterm birth, stillbirth and offspring psychosis etc. However, the long-term consequences of cannabis use on reproductive functions and how it might impact the next generation have not been examined. In the present study, we examined the generational effects of cannabis vapor exposure on male reproductive function. Vaporization is the most common route of cannabis administration in humans. Therefore, in order to understand the generational effects of cannabis exposure on male reproductive functions, the present study was performed using an inhalation method as an administration route, by which adult male mice were exposed to dry cannabis plants to assess the toxicological effects of cannabis on F0, F1 and F2 male reproductive functions. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Addiction, Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 02.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeffrey Howard, PhD Associate Professor Department of Public Health College for Health, Community and Policy University of Texas at San Antonio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Drug and alcohol related mortality has been on the rise in the US for the past decade, which has drawn a lot of focus from researchers.  At the same time maternal mortality, deaths caused by pregnancy complications, is recognized to be higher in the US than in other developed nations. Very little has been reported about deaths among pregnant and recently pregnant women that are not caused by pregnancy complications, so my collaborators and I wanted to explore this.  We did not anticipate that drug and alcohol deaths and homicides would account for so many deaths among pregnant and recently pregnant women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 25.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carmen Lim BSc(Hons), MSc, CStat PhD Candidate National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences The University of Queensland Brisbane Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This review has systematically summarized the trends and products used for cannabis vaping using 17 studies published globally between Jan 1, 2003 and August 19, 2020. The pooled prevalence has increased for lifetime use (6.1% in 2013 to 13.6% in 2020), past-year use (7.2% in 2017 to 13.2% in 2020) and past-month use (1.6% in 2013 to 8.4% in 2020). Adolescents' preference for cannabis products may be shifting from less potent products (e.g., herbal cannabis) to highly potent vape oil and concentrates. (more…)