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Category Archives: Risk Factors

Biology of Addiction: Drugs and Alcohol Can Hijack Your Brain

Biology of Addiction:
Drugs and Alcohol Can Hijack Your Brain

Source:  National Institute of Health Newsletter October 2015

https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/oct2015/feature1

“People with addiction lose control over their actions. They crave and seek out drugs, alcohol, or other substances no matter what the cost—even at the risk of damaging friendships, hurting family, or losing jobs. What is it about addiction that makes people behave in such destructive ways? And why is it so hard to quit?”

WTR-RI Research and Analysis Team Note:
This brief, readable and non-technical one page article is an excellent primer on the current state of knowledge on the any addictive substance gains control of the brain.  It is especially helpful in understanding the special vulnerability of adolescent brains (through age 25 to 28) to these substances. 

Race/Ethnicity Differences in Alcohol, Marijuana, and Co-occurring Alcohol and Marijuana Use Disorders

Race/Ethnicity Differences between Alcohol, Marijuana, and Co-occurring Alcohol and Marijuana Use Disorders and Their Association with Public Health and Social Problems
Lauren R. Pacek BS1, Robert J. Malcolm MD2 & Silvia S. Martins MD, PhD1

Identifying teens at risk for hashish use

Identifying teens at risk for hashish use

Source:
New York University. (2015, April 13). Identifying teens at risk for hashish use. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 14, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150413091645.htm
ScienceDaily Summary:
One in ten high school seniors has used hashish, a highly potent form of marijuana. Teens self-described as “hooked” on pot were twice as likely to use hashish.
Journal Reference:
Joseph J. Palamar, Lily Lee, Michael Weitzman. Prevalence and correlates of hashish use in a national sample of high school seniors in the United StatesThe American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2015; 1 DOI: 10.3109/00952990.2015.1011745

Parental alcohol dependence, socioeconomic disadvantage and alcohol and cannabis dependence among young adults in the community

Parental alcohol dependence, socioeconomic disadvantage and alcohol and cannabis dependence among young adults in the community

M. Melchior, M. Choquet, Y. Le Strat, C. Hassler, P. Gorwood

European Psychiatry Volume 26, Issue 1 , Pages 13-17, January 2011

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that socioeconomic disadvantage exacerbates the intergenerational transmission of substance dependence. Among 3056 community-based young adults (18–22 years, 2007), the prevalence of alcohol dependence (WHO AUDIT, 5.8%) and cannabis dependence (DSM IV criteria, 7.3%) was doubled in the presence of combined parental alcohol dependence and socioeconomic disadvantage.

The complete article is available at:

http://www.europsy-journal.com/article/S0924-9338(10)00057-X/abstract

Teens in child welfare system show higher drug abuse rate

Teens in child welfare system show higher drug abuse rate

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, November 4, 2013)  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. (2013, November 4). Teens in child welfare system show higher drug abuse rate. ScienceDaily.  Retrieved May 22, 2014 fromwww.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104035404.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

Teenagers in the child welfare system are at higher-than-average risk of abusing marijuana, inhalants and other drugs. However, the study also shows that parental involvement matters.

WTR-RI Research & Analysis Team Note:

This ScienceDaily article report that this study’s authors identified several significant differences in marijuana, alcohol and other drug use between socially vulnerable youth and youth in the general population.  They further note differences in drugs of choice, including the finding that “teens in the welfare system were more likely to have tried marijuana, inhalants or hard drugs – but not alcohol”.  ScienceDaily also observed that across all youth in the study both socially vulnerable and in the general population, “a key risk factor was delinquency”.  Implications for treatment and parenting support are also discussed.

Journal Reference:

Fettes, D. L., Aarons, G. A., & Green, A. E. Higher rates of adolescent substance use in child welfare versus community populations in the United StatesJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, November 2013

Gene implicated in schizophrenia risk is also associated with risk for cannabis dependence

Gene implicated in schizophrenia risk is also associated with risk for cannabis dependence

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, October 11, 2012)

Elsevier. (2012, October 11). Gene implicated in schizophrenia risk is also associated with risk for cannabis dependence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 8, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011085342.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

New research implicates a new gene in the risk for cannabis dependence. This gene, NRG1, codes for the ErbB4 receptor, a protein implicated in synaptic development and function.

WTR-RI Research & Analysis Team Note:

Of particular relevance to mental health, according to this ScienceDaily article, is the possible connection of this study’s results and the fact that “… (these) findings may help to explain the already established link between cannabis use and the risk for developing schizophrenia.  A number of epidemiologic studies have attributed the association of cannabis use and schizophrenia to the effects of cannabis on the brain rather than a common genetic link between these two conditions.”

Journal Reference:

Shizhong Han, Bao-Zhu Yang, Henry R. Kranzler, David Oslin, Raymond Anton, Lindsay A. Farrer, Joel Gelernter. Linkage Analysis Followed by Association Show NRG1 Associated with Cannabis Dependence in African AmericansBiological Psychiatry, 2012; 72 (8): 637 DOI:10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.02.038

Smoking cannabis increases risk of depression in the case of genetic vulnerability

Smoking cannabis increases risk of depression in the case of genetic vulnerability, study finds

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, October 13, 2011)

Radboud University Nijmegen. (2011, October 13). Smoking cannabis increases risk of depression in the case of genetic vulnerability, study finds. ScienceDaily.

Retrieved June 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111010074853.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

Young people who are genetically vulnerable to depression should be extra careful about using cannabis: smoking cannabis leads to an increased risk of developing depressive symptoms, according to a tumblr post carried out by researchers in the Netherlands. Two-thirds of the population have the gene variant that makes one sensitive to depression.

Journal Reference:

Roy Otten, Rutger C. M. E. Engels. Testing bidirectional effects between cannabis use and depressive symptoms: moderation by the serotonin transporter geneAddiction Biology, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2011.00380.x

Mental illness linked to heavy cannabis use

Mental illness linked to heavy cannabis use

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, April 2, 2013)  Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2013, April 2). Mental illness linked to heavy cannabis use. ScienceDaily.

Retrieved June 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402124817.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

People with mental illnesses are more than seven times more likely to use cannabis weekly compared to people without a mental illness, according to new research.

WTR-RI Research & Analysis Team Note:

The ScienceDaily article also notes the study found that “… although cannabis use is generally higher among younger people, the association between mental illness and cannabis use was pervasive across most age groups” and that “… individuals with mental illness were 10 times more likely to have a cannabis use disorder.”

Journal Reference:

Shaul Lev-Ran, Bernard Le Foll, Kwame McKenzie, Tony P. George, Jürgen Rehm. Cannabis use and cannabis use disorders among individuals with mental illnessComprehensive Psychiatry, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2012.12.021

Large study shows substance abuse rates higher in teenagers with ADHD

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, February 11, 2013)  University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2013, February 11). Large study shows substance abuse rates higher in teenagers with ADHD. ScienceDaily.

Retrieved June 10, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130211134850.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

A tumblr post revealed a significantly higher prevalence of substance abuse and cigarette use byadolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) histories than in those without ADHD. Researchers also found that, contrary to previous findings, current medications for ADHD do not counter the risk for substance abuse or substance abuse disorder.

WTR-RI Research & Analysis Team Note:

With respect to Marijuana use, ScienceDaily reports, among other findings, this study reported that “When the adolescents were an average of 17 years old, marijuana was particularly problematic with 13 percent versus 7 percent of the ADHD and non-ADHD groups, respectively, having marijuana abuse or dependence.

Childhood defiance correlated with cannabis abuse

Childhood defiance correlated with drug dependence

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, August 1, 2012)  Université de Montréal. (2012, August 1). Childhood defiance correlated with drug dependence. ScienceDaily. 

Retrieved June 10, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120801112607.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

Childhood defiance is correlated with drug dependence whereas inattention suggests a susceptibility to smoking.

WTR-RI Research & Analysis Team Note:

ScienceDaily also reported the study found “in strongly oppositional children, the risk of tobacco abuse, once other factors were taken into account, was 1.4 times higher than in children who exhibited little oppositional behavior. The risk is 2.1 times higher for cannabis abuse and 2.9 times higher for cocaine abuse.

Journal Reference:

J-B Pingault, S M Côté, C Galéra, C Genolini, B Falissard, F Vitaro, R E Tremblay. Childhood trajectories of inattention, hyperactivity and oppositional behaviors and prediction of substance abuse/dependence: a 15-year longitudinal population-based study. Molecular Psychiatry, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2012.87

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