Alcohol / 02.06.2021

Decisions have added weight after going through rehabilitation. The priority you put on these decisions will determine the scope of your recovery period. To avoid a relapse, seeking out healthy social circles is the key. Distance Yourself from Triggers There are emotional triggers that will make you want a drink. Once you figure them out, it becomes much easier to avoid. Common triggers are people, relationships, and stress. During drug and alcohol rehabilitation, overcoming your weak points is a part of the process. People can unintentionally make you feel inadequate during normal conversations. When every other conversation with a specific individual causes this problem, you have to speak up. Let them know you’re uncomfortable with a specific subject. If they refuse to acknowledge it, move on and remove that trigger from your life. Short-term and long-term relationships have a big impact on your life. Breaking up with someone makes your future look bleak. When finding someone new fails, a sense of hopelessness sets in. The answer to resolving this problem is to ‘fully’ break up with someone. Staying in contact and reliving happy memories will give you false hope. Staying away from a former relationship trigger prevents bouts of drinking for the future. Stress can sometimes be related to time, or the lack of it. Time management is the best way to avoid this trigger. Having a plan means that you’re in a better position to complete your tasks. There is no need for fancy scheduling, and it helps create a good habit. When you’re productive, stress tends to take a backseat to everything else. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Neurology / 22.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erica Grodin, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow Dept. of Psychology and Psychiatry University of California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The hallmark of addictive disorders, including alcohol use disorder, is drug use that continues despite negative consequences. This pattern of use is referred to as “compulsive” and is one of the major barriers to treating addiction. We don’t yet fully understand what brain regions are responsible for compulsive alcohol use. Our study used a neuroimaging method called functional magnetic resonance imaging which allows us to see which areas of the brain are more active when an individual is performing a task. To investigate what brain regions are involved in compulsive alcohol seeking, we designed a task during which study participants could try to earn alcohol and food points at the risk of receiving a negative consequence, an electric shock. Study participants were light drinkers (men who drank <15 drinks/week and women who drank <10 drinks/week) and heavy drinkers (men who drank ≥20 drinks/week and women who drank ≥15 drinks/week). We found that heavy drinking individuals were more likely to try to earn alcohol points that were paired with a potential negative consequence than light drinkers were. This behavior of compulsive alcohol seeking was associated with increased brain activation in the medial prefrontal cortex, anterior insula, and ventral and dorsal striatum. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Genetic Research / 05.11.2014

Victor M. Karpyak, M.D., Ph.D. Medical Director, Intensive Addiction Treatment Program Director, Mayo Clinic Addiction Services Consultant, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Mayo Clinic College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Victor M. Karpyak, M.D., Ph.D. Medical Director, Intensive Addiction Treatment Program Director, Mayo Clinic Addiction Services Consultant, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Karpyak: The staggering costs of alcohol use disorders call for the development and implementation of evidence-based treatment strategies. Several medications (acamprosate, naltrexone, and disulfiram) were approved for treatment of alcohol use disorders; yet, only a fraction of patients respond to each medication. Clearly, response predictors are needed to improve treatment efficacy and personalize recommendations for treatment selection. It is expected that pharmacogenomic research will aid the discovery of such predictors. (more…)