With the pros and cons of recreational marijuana legalization being debated and even voted on around the country, discussing the dangers of drugs as a form of recreation has become more important. Teens and children soak up the prevailing attitude toward drugs and can be influenced to believe that marijuana and other substances are harmless or at least low risk. Recreational drug use has never been, and still isn’t, safe.
When you have a child, it’s natural to want only the best for him or her. As you watch your child start to grow up, you imagine all the different paths that he or she might take. You may think about education, possible career choices, marriage and maybe even grandchildren.
With a new school year just around the corner, parents and concerned family members might need to do more than ready their children’s wardrobes, technology devices and sports gear for the year ahead. Parents might consider giving themselves a refresher course in how to protect their children from the temptation to experiment with drugs.
The phrase “drug addict” typically brings to mind people who abuse street drugs, usually through injecting or smoking these substances. But there is another epidemic of drug abuse happening in America today. An increasing number of people are overdosing and sometimes dying from prescription drug abuse.
Acetyl fentanyl is the name of an opioid substance closely related to a powerful opioid painkiller called fentanyl. While fentanyl has a legitimate medical purpose, acetyl fentanyl does not. However, manufacturers of the street drug heroin sometimes add acetyl fentanyl to batches of the drug as a heroin extender or replacement. In a study published in August 2014 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte addressed the possibility that some of the current increase in heroin overdoses across the U.S. may actually be attributable to the effects of acetyl fentanyl.
Habitual cocaine uses have clear risks for the onset of stimulant use disorder, a diagnosis that covers both non-addicted cocaine abuse and cocaine addiction. Once addicted, cocaine users who enter treatment have considerable risks for relapsing back into active consumption, even if they successfully maintain drug abstinence for extended amounts of time. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal Neuron, a multinational research team examined a built-in brain response that apparently helps people affected by cocaine addiction diminish their relapse risks.
Drug cues are a range of internally and externally generated signals that support continued substance intake in a person with a history of substance use. In an individual affected by substance addiction, the presence of these cues helps foster the drug cravings that reinforce an ongoing pattern of uncontrolled substance use. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Addiction Biology, a team of Chinese and American researchers sought to determine if the intensity of the response to drug cues helps predict whether a person recovering from heroin addiction will relapse.
Anabolic steroids (more formally known as anabolic-androgenic steroids) are a group of medications intended to treat health conditions such as delayed-onset puberty, a lack of naturally occurring steroid hormones and unusual shrinkage of muscle tissue. However, some people abuse these medications by taking them in excessive amounts or taking them for reasons not sanctioned by a doctor. In a study published in June 2014 in the International Journal of Drug Policy, a team of British researchers explored the reported connection between anabolic steroid abuse and consumption of the powerful opioid drug heroin. These researchers concluded that heroin users sometimes have unique reasons for their anabolic steroid intake. Continue reading