Addiction Round Up

The posts go from the biological all the way through policy, so pick the spot that suits you best.

PZ Myers, Evolution of Alcohol Synthesis
Yeast fermentation and learning to drink your own poison

NewsWise, New Research Tracks Effects of Addictive Drugs on Brain
Summary of the Science article “Design Logic of a Cannabinoid Receptor Signaling Network that Triggers Neurite Outgrowth”—how signaling driven by drugs can lead to changes in cell connections and cytoarchitecture (surprises? roles for breast cancer proteins and “distributed decision-making” in neurite outgrowth)

Alok Jha, Scans Pinpoint Alcohol’s Effects on the Human Brain
Dampening fear and avoidance, and upping reward

BlogMeister, Genes and Environment Shape Women’s Path to Alcoholism
Study of the transitions towards alcoholism; genetics all the way through, different environmental factors at different stages (see the original study here)

The Neurocritic, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee?
Now this is epigenetics! Smelling coffee gets the genes going

Vaughan Bell, Wake Up and Smell the Caffeine
The cognitive boost from caffeine due to tolerance and withdrawal? I need my coffee in the morning, otherwise I’d do badly too on those tests

Science Daily, Excessive Drinking and Relapse Rapidly Cut in New Approach
Recent animal research on the role of the brain protein glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the ventral tegmental area—injections of GDNF bring down motivation to drink and lever pressing for alcohol in rats

Charles Blow, Why Mom Is In Rehab
Older women and hard drugs—the Tatum O’Neal phenomenon

Psychology Today, Blog Topics: Addiction
The popular magazine brings together posts from its many affiliated bloggers in one handy reference site. Pop sci, so it’s a mixed bag at times.

Pauline Askin, Video Game Addicts Are Not Shy Nerds
Extreme gamers are not escaping social problems

Pagan Kennedy, ‘Craft Addicts
Interview with psychiatrist Jerald Block, specialist in MMORPG addiction. Gamers respond in force and in debate here.

John Tierney, The Science of Toga Parties
Field research on student parties—or costumes and gender and how much you drink

Ransom Riggs, Gin, Sitcoms and the Cognitive Surplus
Getting drunk to waste time during the Industrial Revolution; today we’ve got TV

Hope Yen, Study: Marijuana Potency Increases in 2007
Now more than twice as strong as in 1984

Jesse McKinley, Marijuana Hotbed Retreats on Medicinal Use
Mendocino County confronts the complexity of legal growing when there is still plenty of non-legal demand

John Tierney, Medical Marijuana Links
The Tierney Lab provides some useful consideration of the issues around federal raids, pain relief and tumor treatment

Stanton Peele, Dying of Medicine
Prescription drugs as the real killers, not marijuana, heroin or meth. See the NY Times article too.

Science Daily, Virtual World Therapeutic for Addicts
Practicing against temptation in a virtual world

Science Daily, Pivotal Breakthrough Made in Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Topiramate works against both cravings and physiological problems linked to abusive drinking in a new clinical study

Think MTV Substance Abuse
A community/activist/education round up of online resources

Center for Science in the Public Interest, Alcohol Policy
Can the scientists help out? Here’s a comprehensive and reasonable site

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