About Addiction: Addiction Treatment, distress, kids with drugs, and your brain

This week our wrap-up includes articles about addiction, sometimes in kids, and the stress that can often accompany them As usual, we’ll educate you in 30 seconds flat and give you a window to this week’s hot stories.

Addiction treatment access

Boston Globe – Read about the often sad reality of American soldiers who become addicted to medications prescribed to them during service by medical staff and are then left holding the tab when it comes time to pay. Hopefully this practice is a thing of the past now that TRICARE, the military’s heath-insurance provider is allowing for future claims.  This should speed up the process and reimburse addicted service members for the out-of-pocket costs they have previously owed when they were using these drugs.

Addiction Inbox– Check out Charlie Lloyd’s account of the devastating effect of drug addiction stigma on treatment seeking. If we want to help, and not simply reinforce, the problem we must focus on education about addiction and not scare tactics.

Youth and drugs/addiction

Fox News– A two year old Indonesian boy has finally kicked his habit of smoking two packs a cigarettes a day. The toddler apparently first obtained the cigarettes from his father and became addicted quickly. Gives a whole new meaning to starting early…

The Vancouver Sun– Lindsey Lohan has opened up about her addiction in an interview with Vanity Fair. Lindsay conducted this interview before she went to serve her jail sentence and admitted that her actions were irresponsible and that she is addicted to prescription pills. LiLo would like to put the past behind her and get her career back. Good luck.

UPI– A Hawaiian man is suing a video games creator claiming that it lead to an addiction that left him unable to bathe, eat, dress, or wake during the day. Smallwood claims he spent more than 20,000 hours on his addiction and believes that the game should issue a warning that it may cause addiction because Smallwood still has a “compulsive urge and need” to play the game.

Body, brain, (di)stress, and death

Psypost – Young adults who get fewer than eight hours of sleep have a greater risk of developing  psychological mental  distress as well as depression and anxiety. This distress increased 14% for each hour lost in a night’s sleep. Get those ZZZZZZZZ’s !!!

Neurodynamics – A great read if you want to learn about the way in which the brain responds to stress. The amygdala,  the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex all play important parts, and this article will help you understand why and how.

Time– Abstainers apparently have shorter life expectancies than moderate drinkers. While the effect is similar to the reduced life-span of heavy drinkers, it’s a quirky finding that keeps showing up. There are a slew of suggestions and interesting ideas if you follow this article all the way to the study itself. The bottom line – Light and moderate drinkers likely do better than abstainers or heavy drinkers (alcoholics?) in the long run, even when a whole bunch of other factors are accounted for.

Breaking the cycles-What would you do if a police officer pulled you over and arrested you for driving under the influence if you BAC was not .08? This is a reality and the reason for the DUI is  the inability to drive a car with the same caution characteristic of a sober person. This inability to drive as carefully as a sober person is determined by the manner in which the car was driven, the physical signs and symptoms of the driver and the driver’s performance on field sobriety tests. This definitely give a new meaning to being careful when you have a few drinks and drive home.

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