There were an estimated 1.5 million cocaine users in the U.S. in 2014, with rates of use holding steady since 2009. Learning what makes cocaine addictive is essential to understanding why so many Americans are drawn to the drug and tackling the underlying issue of cocaine addiction. Ultimately, cocaine is addictive for the same reasons many drugs are: the impact they have on dopamine levels in the brain.
Drug and alcohol problems cannot easily be ignored by human resource managers. Seventy percent of the estimated 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs are employed, and federal surveys indicate that around 24% of workers admit to drinking at work at least once in the past year.
Imagine the shock of finding marijuana in your child's room. A million thoughts instantly swarm your mind. You begin to panic and immediately feel like lashing out in rage and sadness. Are you a failure as a parent? Where did you go wrong? Where do you go from here?
New guidelines issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urge pharmaceutical manufacturers to adapt new methods of preventing or deterring the product tampering that helps facilitate prescription opioid misuse, abuse and addiction.
Health officials have long understood that if we’re serious about reducing tobacco use, we must target the young. That’s because the younger the person, the more sensitive they are to nicotine and the more likely they are to become addicted and to have trouble quitting. In fact, 96 percent of those who become cigarette smokers had their first puff by age 21. Almost no one becomes a smoker after age 25, according to Surgeon General data.
A prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) is an official database of information on prescribers and recipients of controlled substances. The idea is that when doctors and pharmacists can see exactly who is obtaining prescription drugs, the public’s ability to abuse those drugs will be minimized. The database is also open to law enforcement. A recent study found that Missouri’s decision not to enact a PDMP makes it a de facto hub for illegal or suspicious prescription drug activity.
Brett quit smoking four years ago, well after losing most of his teeth. By his mid-30s, gum disease from tobacco smoking had ravaged the bones and tissue supporting his teeth -- 16 removed in one surgery. At 42, nearly toothless, Brett still smoked. He soberly looks at the viewer in a new “scared straight” television ad as he shares his story, hoping smokers will take heed and quit. “My tip to you is, your smile says a lot about you,” says the New Mexico resident, who pauses to laboriously remove his fake teeth. He opens wide, displaying the void. "What does this say about you?" His discomfiting ordeal is part of the latest batch of “you can do it” ads in a campaign featuring ex-smokers sharing their smoking-related health traumas. Produced by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the gripping online, radio and TV spots offer an 800-QUITNOW phone line and practical get-started advice, plus other support to stop smoking.
Smoking cigarettes is linked to one in five deaths in the U.S., including those from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is nearly half a million deaths yearly due to nicotine addiction. For every smoking-related death, 30 more people suffer at least one or more chronic or serious ailment, the American Lung Association reports.
Soaring child poisonings from the fluid used in electronic cigarettes -- especially in summer months -- has prompted warnings about the risks of liquid nicotine exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that reports of adverse e-cigarette exposure to U.S. poison control centers climbed from one in September 2010 to 1,351 in 2013. More than half of the e-cigarette exposures involved children under 5 years old. And 365 people in the 2013 reports to poison control centers were urged to go to hospitals, triple the number in 2012.
One out of five smokers was able to quit tobacco cigarettes by inhaling on electronic cigarettes, which still deliver nicotine but in smaller doses, a new study out of the United Kingdom has found. Those trying to quit smoking cold turkey or with non-prescription nicotine patches or gum were 60 percent more likely to report succeeding if they used, or vaped, e-cigarettes, the U.K. researchers concluded. “By providing a vapor containing nicotine without tobacco combustion, e-cigarettes appear able to reduce craving and withdrawal associated with abstinence in smokers,” the researchers wrote, “while toxicity testing suggests that they are much safer to the user than ordinary cigarettes.”
The National Football League has been sued by more than 600 retired players, who have charged that they were wrongfully doped with addictive painkillers to keep them on the field at the expense of their health. This marks the second time in a week that makers of opiate drugs have been pulled into lawsuits. On May 21, the day after the NFL was sued, two California county district attorneys filed a consumer protection lawsuit charging five drug makers of fraudulently marketing opiates to doctors, resulting in a public health scourge of painkiller abuse. Among the drugs in question are the highly addictive OxyContin and Percocet.
The district attorneys of two California counties have sued five giant pharmaceutical companies, charging that they fraudulently marketed highly addictive drugs meant for terminal cancer patients as safe for chronic pain relief. The resulting explosion in prescription painkillers, the plaintiffs allege, has contributed to the nation’s alarming spike in opiate overdose deaths.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The importance of understanding the mechanisms of tobacco addiction and those most affected by it can hardly be understated, and a new study from Austria has provided evidence that women are more affected by nicotine addiction than men. This finding shows the importance of education regarding the apparent gender differences in nicotine addiction, as well as the increased risks associated with starting smoking earlier. Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna looked at the differences in smoking habits, patterns of use and how well nicotine is processed in men and women. The study showed that men start to smoke later than women and, more importantly, that there are differences in the times when men and women choose to smoke.
A new super-potent narcotic painkiller called Zohydro is set to enter the marketplace and critics fear the country will see a spike in opioid addiction and overdose deaths as a result. Zohydro, which was approved by the FDA last year in a controversial decision, is an extended release formula of pure hydrocodone. In spite of the warnings from experts that this drug is overly dangerous and should not be prescribed, the FDA gave it the go-ahead last fall.
If you can smell cigarette smoke in your house, hotel room, rental car or workplace, you may be damaging your health by exposure to third-hand smoke, a new study has found. Living, working or lodging in houses, offices, hotels and vacation rentals where cigarettes have been smoked may be as dangerous to your health as being an actual smoker, according to new research led by UC Riverside’s Manuela Martins-Green, who, along with colleagues from several other universities, conducted the first animal research on the effects of third-hand smoke.
Positive psychotherapy (PPT) is the name for a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that focuses on increasing and reinforcing a person’s positive emotional states rather than focusing on easing the effects of a person’s negative emotional states. In a study published in January 2014 in the Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers from several U.S. universities investigated the usefulness of this form of psychotherapy in helping people addicted to nicotine quit smoking. The researchers concluded that a modified form of positive psychotherapy, called positive psychotherapy for smoking cessation (PPT-S), shows clear promise as an integrated part of a larger smoking cessation plan.
Cigarette smoking is a highly addictive activity practiced by millions of U.S. adults and teenagers. Doctors and public health officials commonly try to identify smokers as part of an ongoing effort to prevent the severe health complications that often accompany cigarette use and nicotine addiction. However, according to the results of a study published in February 2014 in the journal Tobacco Control, a significant percentage of people who smoke cigarettes do not consider themselves to be “smokers,” even when they use tobacco/nicotine on a daily basis.
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