Drugs Round Up

Brain

Science Daily, Cocaine Addiction Linked To Voluntary Drug Use And Cellular Memory, Study Shows
Voluntary use, memory, and predisposition to use again—active choice matters, and from there, a short jump to meaning (why choose drugs…)

Alexis Madrigal, Memory Disruption Could Aid Addicts
Blocking associative memory in rats works. Are people next?

Hal Arkowitz and Scott Lilienfeld, Do-It-Yourself Addiction Cures?
Self-change happens, and it can work

Reuters, Feeling Poor Spurs Lottery Ticket Purchases
Research confirms what the lottery business already knows—feeling subjectively poor makes it more likely to buy that ticket to a quick-fix dream

Pure Pedantry, Ricardo Ricco & Epo Abuse and Heptaminol? Where Do They Even Find This Stuff
The scientific low-down on performance-enhancing drugs in the Tour de France

Jane Brody, Sorting Out Coffee’s Contradictions
Coffee and your health—sorting out the myths and the realities

Henry Fountain, It’s Always Happy Hour for Several Species in Malaysian Rain Forest
Alcohol-swigging small mammals like their fermented fruit

Mark Kern, The Seductiveness of Bad Habits
Health and unhealthy habits and addiction

Carla Johnson, Rapid Rise Seen in Fatal Medication Errors at Home
“Deaths from medication mistakes at home increased from 1,132 deaths in 1983 to 12,426 in 2004. Adjusted for population growth, that amounts to an increase of more than 700 percent during that time.”

Dirk Hanson, Ten Drug Myths Exposed
A great list, taken from Carlton Erickson’s book The Science of Addiction.

Jason Schwartz, Three Months
Brain adaptations during the first 90 days of recovery

Science Daily, Why Dopamine Freezes Parkinson Patients And Drives Drug Addicts
Two different brain systems and differential effects of dopamine—interesting though still too simplistic

Science Daily, Why Some Smokers Become Addicted With Their First Cigarette
Dopamine gets the too-easy blame, but there are some interesting experimental results

Vaughan Bell, Why There Is No Such Thing as Internet Addiction
A category error made popular—addiction is to activities, not to mediums

Society

Martha Rosenberg, Big Pharma Pushes Drugs That Cause Conditions They Are Supposed to Prevent
Creating new markets for new drugs—the social manufacture of risk and disease

Eugene Raikhel, Grandma’s Little Helper
The marketing of pharmaceuticals in the 1960s—an historical perspective on Big Pharma

Patrick Abbott & Duane Chase, Culture and Substance Abuse Impact of Culture Affects Approach to Treatment
Nice overview of culture in relation to addiction and recovery, with lots of good citations

Michael Merzenich, Drugs for Children with Bipolar Disorder
Just how off-label is the increasing usage of drugs in children? It’s bad

Furious Seasons, Baseball’s Other Drug Problem: ADHD Drugs
Do attention-deficit drugs help over a 162 game season?

Vaughan Bell, Don’t Get High on Your Own Supply
Addiction in anesthesiologists through analyzing their hair samples

Randolph Ramsay, Australia Bans Fallout 3
Guess what, the drug injecting stuff was too real and functional, and the comments erupt

Science Daily, Energy Drinks Linked To Risk-taking Behaviors Among College Students
A new industry, new social identifications, and plenty of caffeine

Mind Hacks, Mainlining the Active Ingredients of Cannabis
Injecting cannabis as part of a documentary—balanced considerations on “Should I Smoke Dope?”

Carla Johnson, After Combat, Citizen Soldiers Turning to Alcohol
US National Guard and Reserve troops show higher rates of alcohol abuse upon return from service abroad—less training and less post-combat support highlighted as problems. Results from the first major study of returning combat troops.

Patrick Healy, After ‘Osage’ Accolades, Time to Make Doughnuts
Playwright Tracy Letts mining pain and pathos, through familial addiction and his own alcoholism

David Carr, Me and My Girls
The writer and former coke addict traces his rise to redemption through becoming a father

Policy

Donald McNeil, Billionaires Back Antismoking Effort
Entrepreneurs turn their money to the world’s #1 preventable health problem

Dirk Hanson, Gates, Bloomberg Target Cigarettes
“Billionaires pledge $500 million, but will it do any good?” A contrarian take, plus a great graphic.

April Dembosky, More Smokers Seek Help With Quitting Since Latest Cigarette Tax Took Effect
Big price increases, and more people who want to quit completely—but does that lead to sustained effort?

Margaret, Wente, The Globe and Mail, Four Part Series on Drug Policy, in particular attacking the increasing use of harm reduction in Canada
Sick of Watching People Die
We Still Await the Scientific Proof of Harm Reduction’s Success
Europe’s Approach to Drugs Is More Enlightened… It’s Tougher
Legalization in Disguise

Jason Schwartz, More on Prohibition
Nice excerpts from the work of Mark Kleinman, one of the best thinkers in the field

Drug Reporter, Video: Is the War on Drugs Really Protecting Our Kids?
Ethan Nadelman talks policy, harm reduction, and alternatives to the drug war in a short clip

Trafficking

Simon Romero, Cocaine Sustains War in Rural Colombia
Despite recent advances, the same dynamics still work in trafficking’s favor, and the money leads to guns, violence and more

Thomas Schweich, Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?
Poppy and opium bring wealth and problems

David Samuels, Dr. Kush
“How medical marijuana is transforming the pot industry”
In-depth New Yorker reporting brings us context and people in stead of knee-jerk reactions

Alfredo Corchado, Mexico’s Drug War Shows a Virulent Feminine Side
Women and drug trafficking in Mexico

4 thoughts on “Drugs Round Up

  1. I do think science has a role to play in understanding addictions – however I do think there is a limit to the impact science will have in finding successful treatment methods.
    Addiction has numerous causes – which include genetic, psychological and environmental factors – and an addict only successfully comes clean or finds sobriety once they have made numerous lifestyle changes and continue to deal with the psychological effects that led to the addiction.
    It’s an ongoing process that requires vigilance and much responsibility on the part of the recovering addict and I’m not sure there is much science can do to aid that.

    • I don’t want to get into semantics here but what do you mean by science? I think science (and by that I include the pharmaceutical industry) has a large role to play, I am sure that there will come a time when there will be a tablet (and some believe that time has already come, Baclofen) that will tackle alcoholism successfully.

      I know there are many who believe that there will never be a ‘magical pill’ due to the multi-faceted character of addiction and I believe it is their skepticism (and vested interests) that contribute to the lack of will when it comes to resaerching alternatives to the complete abstention method so prevalent today.

  2. Yes, but isn’t that true of most diseases? If you substitute, say “Type 2 diabetes” or “sickle-cell anemia” for the word “addiction”, isn’t your statement above still true? (Except for the part about the “psychological effects that led to the addiction.” I don’t know what that means.) Yet wouldn’t diabetics and people with anemia also be expected to take medicine if it was found to be efficacious for their condition?

  3. Pingback: ‘Party on, dude,’ pre-Columbian style « Neuroanthropology

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