Philadelphia Decriminalizes Marijuana

Decriminalizing pot is an action that many municipal governments have taken, but the term is confusing. Despite how it sounds, decriminalization is not the same as legalization. Attitudes toward marijuana are constantly shifting, as well as the laws that parallel them, and it becomes more and more important to understand what it all means. Decriminalization…

How Addiction Happens in the Brain

Addiction specialists and researchers have long known that the process of substance addiction begins when the brain’s pleasure center repeatedly experiences an abnormal buildup of a chemical called dopamine. However, they have not understood why a chronic dopamine buildup produces such dramatic changes in brain function. In a study published in June 2014 in The…

Heavy Alcohol, Drug Use Shortening Lives of Mentally Ill

Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Southern California recently undertook the largest-ever survey of drug, alcohol and tobacco use among people with severe mental illnesses. They found that people with significant psychiatric problems are far more likely to use alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs. The survey, published recently in the online journal…