What's the Rush, RI?

Advocating for Evidence Based Marijuana Policy

Tag Archives: addiction

Cannabis use associated with reduced dopamine release

Heavy cannabis use associated with reduced dopamine release in brain: Effect similar to other addictions.

Source:  Columbia University Medical Center: 
“Heavy cannabis use associated with reduced dopamine release in brain: Effect similar to other addictions.” ScienceDaily. 14 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160414214826.htm>.

ScienceDaily Summary:
Evidence of a compromised dopamine system has been found in heavy users of marijuana. Lower dopamine release was found in the striatum — a region of the brain that is involved in working memory, impulsive behavior, and attention. Previous studies have shown that addiction to other drugs of abuse, such as cocaine and heroin, have similar effects on dopamine release, but such evidence for cannabis was missing until now.

What’s the Rush, Research and Analysis Team Note:
Researchers also that in all participants lower dopamine release was associated with worse performance on learning and working memory tasks.  Heavy use was defined as daily for seven years beginning at age 16.

Journal Reference:
E van de Giessen, J J Weinstein, C M Cassidy, M Haney, Z Dong, R Ghazzaoui, N Ojeil, L S Kegeles, X Xu, N P Vadhan, N D Volkow, M Slifstein, A Abi-Dargham. Deficits in striatal dopamine release in cannabis dependenceMolecular Psychiatry, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2016.21

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. 

Teens with medical marijuana cards much likelier to say they’re addicted

Teens with medical marijuana cards much likelier to say they’re addicted, but few teens have them

Source:
University of Michigan. (2015, July 23). Teens with medical marijuana cards much likelier to say they’re addicted, but few teens have them. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150723140207.htm
ScienceDaily Summary:
Teens using marijuana for medical reasons are 10 times more likely to say they are hooked on marijuana than youth who get marijuana illegally, a new study shows. The study is the first to report on a nationally representative sample of 4,394 high school seniors and their legal or illegal medical marijuana use as it relates to other drug use. In the study, 48 teens had medical marijuana cards, but 266 teens used medical marijuana without a card.

Journal Reference:

  1. Carol J. Boyd, Philip T. Veliz, Sean Esteban McCabe. Adolescents’ Use of Medical Marijuana: A Secondary Analysis of Monitoring the Future DataJournal of Adolescent Health, 2015; 57 (2): 241 DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.04.008

 

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