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Study of siblings finds moderate cannabis use impacts cognitive functioning

9/3/20--A new study compares adolescent siblings to determine the impact of early and frequent use of marijuana on cognitive function. This study contrasts with previous studies by finding that moderate adolescent cannabis use may have adverse effects that cannot be explained by the genetic or environmental factors that siblings may have in common. Read

Look beyond opioids to solve national substance use epidemic

8/28/20--A new study published reveals that three-quarters of participants in an inpatient addiction intervention program came into the hospital using more than one substance. The findings suggests that a singular focus on opioids may do more harm than good if doctors overlook the complexity of each individual's actual substance use. Read

Miscarriage risk increases each week alcohol is used in early pregnancy

8/10/20--Each week a woman consumes alcohol during the first five to 10 weeks of pregnancy is associated with an incremental 8% increase in risk of miscarriage, according to a study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers. Read

Miscarriage risk increases each week alcohol is used in early pregnancy

8/10/20--Each week a woman consumes alcohol during the first five to 10 weeks of pregnancy is associated with an incremental 8% increase in risk of miscarriage, according to a study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers. Read

Traditional PTSD therapy doesn’t trigger drug relapse

7/20/20--Researchers have now demonstrated that behavior therapy that exposes people to memories of their trauma doesn't cause relapses of opioid or other drug use, and that PTSD severity and emotional problems have decreased after the first therapy session. Read

Scientists discover that nicotine promotes spread of lung cancer to the brain

6/4/20--Among people who have the most common type of lung cancer, up to 40% develop metastatic brain tumors, with an average survival time of less than six months. But why non-small-cell lung cancer so often spreads to the brain has been poorly understood. Read

Users of high-potency cannabis four times more likely to report associated problems

5/28/20--Users of high-potency cannabis are four times more likely to report associated problems, and twice as likely to report anxiety disorder, than users of lower-potency strains, according to new research. Read

Minimum legal age for cannabis use should be 19, study suggests

5/13/20--A team of researchers at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, investigated how Canadians who started using cannabis at several young ages differed across important outcomes (educational attainment, cigarette smoking, self-reported general and mental health) in later-life. According to this new study, the optimal minimum legal age for non-medical cannabis use is 19 years of age. Read

New study could lead to therapeutic interventions to treat cocaine addiction

4/22/20--A new study explains how cocaine modifies functions in the brain revealing a potential target for therapies aimed at treating cocaine addiction. The study indicates that D2R activation in cholinergic interneurons is indeed central to the control of striatal neuronal circuits and significantly affects the motor and cellular responses to cocaine. Read

How much does it cost California cannabis growers to safety test?

4/23/20--The high cost of testing cannabis in California leads to higher prices for the consumer, which could drive consumers to unlicensed markets. A new study finds the safety tests cost growers about 10 percent of the average wholesale price of legal cannabis. The biggest share of this expense comes from failing the test. Read

Alcohol consumption by fathers before conception could negatively impact child development

3/30/20--Trouble for alcoholic fathers, hope for alcoholic mothers. Scientists have explored the relationship between parental alcohol consumption -- before conception in the case of fathers and during pregnancy in the case of mothers -- and offspring development. Read

Marijuana may impair female fertility

4/2/20--Female eggs exposed to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, have an impaired ability to produce viable embryos, and are significantly less likely to result in a viable pregnancy, according to an animal study. Read

Alcoholics Anonymous most effective path to alcohol abstinence

3/11/20--After evaluating 35 studies -- involving the work of 145 scientists and the outcomes of 10,080 participants -- Keith Humphreys, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and his fellow investigators determined that AA was nearly always found to be more effective than psychotherapy in achieving abstinence. Read

Artisanal CBD not as effective as pharmaceutical CBD for reducing seizures

2/27/20--Children and teens with epilepsy who were treated with pharmaceutical cannabidiol (CBD) had much better seizure control than those who were treated with artisanal CBD, according to a preliminary study. Read

Preclinical study links human gene variant to THC reward in adolescent females

2/12/20--A common variation in a human gene that affects the brain's reward processing circuit increases vulnerability to the rewarding effects of the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis in adolescent females, but not males, according to preclinical research. As adolescence represents a highly sensitive period of brain development with the highest risk for initiating cannabis use, these findings in mice have important implications for understanding the influence of genetics on cannabis dependence in humans. Read

Real risks associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy

1/17/20--A new study from researchers at Western University and Queen's University definitively shows that regular exposure to THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, during pregnancy has significant impact on placental and fetal development. Read

Scientists discover key neural circuit regulating alcohol consumption

12/12/19--New research gathered by UNC School of Medicine scientists, and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, pinpoints a specific neural circuit that when altered caused animal models to drink less alcohol. Read

Medical marijuana cards often sought by existing heavy users

12/4/19--According to new results published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, young adults who seek enrollment in state medical marijuana programs are often those who already use heavily rather than those with mental or physical issues that could be addressed by the drug. Read

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, problematic use increased among adults and teens

11/13/19--Problematic use of marijuana among adolescents and adults increased after legalization of recreational marijuana use, according to a new study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Read

Study reveals urban hotspots of high-schoolers’ opioid abuse

11/14/19--A new study has found that in several cities and counties the proportion of high-schoolers who have ever used heroin or misused prescription opioids is much higher than the national average. Read

Money spent on beer ads linked to underage drinking

11/18/19--Advertising budgets and strategies used by beer companies appear to influence underage drinking, according to new research. The findings show that the amount of money spent on advertising strongly predicted the percentage of teens who had heard of, preferred and tried different beer brands. Read

High numbers of youth report using prescription opioids in the past year

11/8/19--A new analysis of US data finds an unexpectedly high prevalence of prescription opioid use among youth. As recently as 2015-2016, 21% of adolescents and 32% of young adults said they had used these drugs in the past year. Nearly 4 percent and 8 percent, respectively, reported misusing opioids. Read

Insights on the effects of cannabidiol on severe form of epilepsy

11/7/19--Results from a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology may help explain why cannabidiol -- a chemical component of marijuana with no psychoactive properties -- reduces the frequency of seizures in patients with a severe form of epilepsy. The effect may be explained by a drug-drug interaction between cannabidiol and the anti-seizure medication clobazam. Read

Cannabis use disorder is declining among young adolescents and young adults

10/31/19--The prevalence of cannabis use disorder decreased in 2002 to 2016 among frequent users. Changes in social attitudes and the traits of frequent users may explain the decline, according to researchers. This is one of the first studies to examine the general health profile of people using cannabis daily or almost daily and the trends in the prevalence of cannabis use disorder in this population. Read

Parent and sibling attitudes among top influences on teenage e-cigarette use

9/30/19--Flavor, safety and family attitude toward vaping are among the greatest factors influencing teenage perception of e-cigarettes, new research finds.Published in the September-October issue of the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, the study is one of a few to examine the perception adolescents have of e-cigarettes and where these youth receive information about the products. Read

Fathers-to-be should avoid alcohol six months before conception

10/3/19--Aspiring parents should both avoid drinking alcohol prior to conception to protect against congenital heart defects, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Drinking alcohol three months before pregnancy or during the first trimester was associated with a 44% raised risk of congenital heart disease for fathers and 16% for mothers, compared to not drinking. Read

Spending on illicit drugs in US nears $150 billion annually

8/20/19--Spending on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine by Americans reached nearly $150 billion in 2016, with a large proportion of spending coming from the small share of people who use drugs on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a new RAND Corporation report. Read

Cannabis flower is an effective mid-level analgesic medication for pain

8/21/19--Using the largest database of real-time recordings of the effects of common and commercially available cannabis products in the United States, researchers found strong evidence that cannabis can significantly alleviate pain, with the average user experiencing a three-point drop in pain suffering on a 0-10 point scale immediately following cannabis consumption. Read

Marijuana legalization reduces opioid deaths

8/7/19--A new Economic Inquiry study examined how the changing legal status of marijuana has impacted mortality in the United States over the past two decades. Investigators found that legalization and access to recreational marijuana reduced annual opioid mortality in the range of 20% to 35%, with particularly pronounced effects for synthetic opioids. Read

Opioid use is reduced in patients treated with NSAIDS

7/11/19--According to a recent study, patients receiving a post-surgery prescription of ibuprofen with a rescue prescription of Percocet used less opioids than a group of similar patients who were prescribed just Percocet. The research was presented by a group from the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City today at the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting. Read

Safety concerns: Herbal supplement used to treat addiction and pain

7/9/19--The herb kratom is increasingly being used to manage pain and treat opioid addiction, but it's not safe to use as an herbal supplement, according to new research led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York. Read

Teens abusing painkillers are more likely to later use heroin

7/8/19--A USC study in the July 8 issue of JAMA Pediatrics shows that teens who use prescription opioids to get high are more likely to start using heroin by high school graduation. To further confirm their results, the researchers also evaluated whether marijuana, alcohol, and methamphetamine use were linked to later heroin use. But the association between prescription opioids and heroin use was stronger than the associations for heroin use with other substances. Read

Opioids: Leading cause of pregnancy-related death in new Utah moms

5/9/19--A new study at the University of Utah Health found that drug-induced death is the most common cause of pregnancy-associated death in Utah. Postpartum women who have previously or currently struggle with substance abuse are at greater risk of overdosing. Read

Regular cannabis users require up to 220% higher dosage for sedation in medical procedures

4/15/19--Researchers in Colorado examined medical records of 250 patients who received endoscopic procedures after 2012, when the state legalized recreational marijuana. They found patients who smoked or ingested cannabis on a daily or weekly basis required 14% more fentanyl, 20% more midazolam, and 220% more propofol to achieve optimum sedation for routine procedures, including colonoscopy. Read

Indicators of despair rising among Gen X-ers entering middle age

4/15/19--Indicators of despair -- depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse -- are rising among Americans in their late 30s and early 40s across most demographic groups, according to new research. These findings suggest that the increase in 'deaths of despair' observed among low-educated middle-aged white Baby Boomers in recent studies may begin to impact the youngest members of Generation X more broadly in the years to come. Read

Medical marijuana laws linked to health and labor supply benefits in older adults

3/19/19--A study that examined older Americans' well-being before and after medical marijuana laws were passed in their state found reductions in reported pain and increased hours worked. The study suggests medical marijuana laws could be improving older Americans' health. Read

Binge drinking in adolescence may increase risk for anxiety later in life

3/11/19--A growing body of evidence supports the idea that alcohol exposure early in life has lasting effects on the brain and increases the risk of psychological problems in adulthood. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that adolescent binge drinking, even if discontinued, increases the risk for anxiety later in life due to abnormal epigenetic programming. The findings of the study, which was conducted in animals, was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Read

Adolescents are more likely than adults to use fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes, study finds

3/12/19--As the FDA looks for more information on e-cigarettes and e-juice flavors, a new study shows that adolescents and young adults cite appealing flavors as a main reason for using e-cigarettes, that they are more likely to turn to fruit- and candy-flavored cigarettes than adult smokers trying to quit who more commonly prefer tobacco flavors, and that the younger population are likely to use multiple e-cigarette flavors at the same time. Read

Could medical marijuana help older people with their ailments?

2/28/19--According to a preliminary study, medical marijuana may bring relief to older people who have symptoms like pain, sleep disorders or anxiety due to chronic conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, neuropathy, spinal cord damage and multiple sclerosis. The study not only found medical marijuana may be safe and effective, it also found that one-third of participants reduced their use of opioids. Read

Junk food purchases increase after recreational marijuana legalization

2/28/19--A study released this month from assistant professor of economics Michele Baggio found a link between state recreational marijuana legalization and increased consumption of certain high-calorie foods, suggesting there may be something more substantial to the urban myth of "the munchies." The trend was consistent across the three legalizing states included in the study. Read

Worsening of overdose crisis predicted: Limits of focusing on prescription opioids

2/1/19--A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Technology Assessment projects that the opioid overdose epidemic in the U.S. is likely to increase in coming years, and that measures based on restricting access to prescription opioids will have a minimal impact in reducing overdose deaths. Read

Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders

2/4/19--Impulsiveness and substance use share a genetic basis, according to genome-wide association studies published in JNeurosci by academic and industry researchers. With more than 20,000 participants, the research represents the largest genetic analysis of impulsive personality traits to date. Read

What drives patients to use medical marijuana: Mostly chronic pain

2/4/19--A new study seeks to understand whether people are using medical marijuana for evidence-based reasons. According to the report consisting of a comprehensive review of 10,000 scientific abstracts on the health effects of medical and recreational marijuana use, there was conclusive or substantial evidence that chronic pain, nausea, and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity symptoms were improved as a result of marijuana treatment. Read

Cannabis use disorder: The policy climate matters

1/23/19--Adolescents and young adults living in states with more liberal policies reported higher average rates of past-year marijuana use than those in states with more conservative policies, according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. However, the rates of marijuana use disorder -- abuse or dependence on the drug -- were significantly lower in states with more liberal policies compared to states with more conservative policies. Read

Worrisome statistics around medical cannabis users operating vehicles

1/9/19--More than half of people who take medical marijuana for chronic pain say they've driven under the influence of marijuana within two hours of using it, at least once in the last six months, according to a new study lead by Erin E. Bonar, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and a practicing clinical psychologist at the U-M Addiction Treatment Services. Read

Increased risk of harm from cannabis across Europe

12/31/18--Cannabis resin and herbal cannabis have significantly increased in potency and in price, according to the first study to investigate changes in cannabis across Europe. The study, published on Sunday, December 30 in the journal Addiction by researchers from the University of Bath and King's College London, draws on data collected from across 28 EU Member states, as well as Norway and Turkey by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Read

Cannabis-based drug in combination with other anti-spasticity

12/13/18--Oral spray containing two compounds derived from the cannabis plant reduced spasticity compared with placebo in patients already taking anti-spasticity drugs. Read

Adolescent cannabis use alters development of planning, self-control brain areas

11/6/18--Adolescent marijuana use may alter how neurons function in brain areas engaged in decision-making, planning and self-control, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The findings are the result of an animal model study focused on the structural development of the prefrontal cortex, or PFC, which controls high-level cognitive functions. Read

New insights into the neural risks and benefits of marijuana use

11/6/18--Research released today underscores both the dangers and the therapeutic promise of marijuana, revealing different effects across the lifespan. Marijuana exposure in the womb or during adolescence may disrupt learning and memory, damage communication between brain regions, and disturb levels of key neurotransmitters and metabolites in the brain. Read

Rat models of opioid use and addiction explore risk of abuse

11/6/18--New research revealed today highlights the power of animal studies to explore mechanisms of opioid addiction, withdrawal, and relapse to inform new prevention strategies and treatments for people. Read

Impact of opioid epidemic on children varies by state

11/6/18--A new report released by the Drug Enforcement Administration finds most overdose deaths are caused by prescription drugs, including opioids. While opioid abuse continues to plague certain states more than others, each state is unique in how it attempts to stem the crisis and its effect on families. These differences have resulted in significant variation across the country between opioid prescription rates and the number of children placed into foster care. Read

Teens who’ve tried marijuana have used it in more than one form

9/28/18--Most teens who've tried marijuana have used the drug in more than one form, including products that are smoked, eaten, or vaped, new USC research shows. The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, raises concerns about adolescent health amid a booming marijuana market that touts sleekly packaged products claiming an array of health benefits. Read

Increase in fentanyl — responsible for 44 percent of New York City overdose deaths — has led to apprehension and caution

9/12/18--The findings of a new study, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, demonstrate a high level of understanding among people who use drugs regarding ways to prevent an overdose and some adoption of these methods, but the researchers assert that more needs to be done to prevent overdoses. Read

Schizophrenia, cannabis use, and alcohol abuse are just several disorders that are related to accelerated brain aging

8/21/18--In the largest known brain imaging study, scientists from Amen Clinics (Costa Mesa, CA), Google, John's Hopkins University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Francisco evaluated 62,454 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans of more than 30,000 individuals from 9 months old to 105 years of age to investigate factors that accelerate brain aging. SPECT tomography evaluates regional cerebral blood flow in the brain that is reduced in various disorders. Read

Risk-taking, antisocial teens 5 times more likely to die young

8/10/18--Adolescents with serious conduct and substance use problems are five times more likely to die prematurely than their peers, with roughly one in 20 dying by their 30s, according to new CU Boulder research. The study, published today in the journal Addiction, also suggests that while drug and alcohol use among adolescents draws more attention, antisocial behavior -- including rule-breaking tendencies -- may be a more powerful predictor of early mortality. Read

College students may face pressures from opioid epidemic’s secondary effects

8/11/18--About one in five college students reported in a survey that they knew someone who was addicted to pain medications, and nearly a third said they knew somebody who overdosed on painkillers or heroin, according to a team of undergraduate Penn State Lehigh Valley researchers. "This secondary exposure to opioid abuse may shine a light on the collateral damage that is often left out of the current debate about the epidemic," said Jennifer Parker, associate professor of sociology, Penn State Lehigh Valley. Read

Alarming trend shows first-time smoking among young adults

7/9/18--Millennials living more dangerously and settling down later could be creating a new generation of addicted smokers and e-cigarette users, according to the surprising results of research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Statistics highlighted in today's article in the Journal of Adolescent Health showed greater numbers of new smokers and e-cigarette users among young adults compared to adolescents, marking a reversal of previous social norms. Read

Content of illicit cannabis extracts used to treat children with epilepsy revealed

7/5/17--A pioneering study has found Australian parents who turned to medicinal cannabis to treat children with epilepsy overwhelmingly (75 percent) considered the extracts as "effective." Contrary to parental expectations, extracts generally contained low doses of cannabidiol (CBD) -- commonly considered to be a key therapeutic element and that has been successfully used in recent clinical trials to treat epilepsy. Read

Smoking heightens risk of psychoses

3/12/18--Smoking at least ten cigarettes a day is linked to a higher risk of psychoses compared to non-smoking young people. The risk is also raised if the smoking starts before the age of 13. This has been shown in a study led by Academy Research Fellow, Professor Jouko Miettunen. The results were recently published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. Read

How does resolving cannabis problems differ from problems with alcohol or other drugs?

3/5/18--Individuals who report having resolved a problem with cannabis use appear to have done so at younger ages than those who resolved problems with alcohol or other drugs and were less likely to use any formal sources of assistance or support, report investigators from the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Read