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Archives for July, 2014

Addiction

Mindfulness with CBT May Rewire the Brain Sensitized by Addiction

One secret to addiction recovery may be rewiring the brain. Image: Flickr/Geekr cc license.

Why do addicts seek their drug? Why can’t they stop? The 21st century view is that an addict’s brain becomes literally hardwired to crave the drug. It’s called “incentive-sensitization” – the theory has been around since 1993 and was made mainstream by an article in the journal Addictionin 2000. Basically, the incentive-sensitization view of addiction says that drugs...
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Addiction

Children Who Experience Family Members’ Trauma at Twice the Risk for Substance Abuse as Adults

We know the effects of childhood traumas like abuse and neglect on later substance abuse. But what impact does second hand trauma have? A study published in the August issue of the journal Addiction shows that when a child under age 15 is exposed to a family member’s trauma ( a parent or sibling being the victim of violent assault or a parent’s cancer diagnosis), that child has approximately twice the risk of...
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Addiction

Opioid Drug Deaths Cost Half a Million Years of Life in the U.S. Each Year

In 1991, the band Nirvana released the classic album Nevermind and Kurt Cobain was the face of the grunge scene that spread from Seattle across the United States. If you’re old enough, remember back: it was a gritty time that seemed defined by self-destructive heroin use. A new study on early view at the journal Addiction shows that, at least in terms of opioid-related deaths, 1991 was nothing compared to today. Between 1991 and...
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Addiction

Does Food Addiction Really Exist?

When people use heroin, their brains become physiologically dependent on the drug and the behavioral patterns of use become written alongside this need. That’s addiction: both behaviorally and biologically, heroin addicts need the drug. When they don’t get it, they crave it, even though they may no longer like it and know the drug is bad for them. If the drug is withheld long enough, the addict experiences symptoms of withdrawal.

Now, an important review...
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Addiction

People on Autism Spectrum at Increased Risk for Substance Abuse

Generally, people on the autism spectrum tend to be personally cautious and socially withdrawn. As you would expect, previous research shows that people with autism tend to have low rates of substance abuse – the preference for low risk and avoidance of social situations means less drinking or drug use. But new research from the Washington University School of Medicine found the opposite: in their study of 3,080 Australian twins, people with symptoms of...
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