About Addiction: Drug Marketing, Prescription Drug Use, and Binge drinking

Drug Marketing to teens?

The GuardianDrug marketing has been trying to target the youthful population in order to get new generations of consumers to buy products for generations to come.  Tobacco producers in particular are taking advantage of today’s electronic world by targeting individuals on social networking sites such as Facebook and going to music festivals to try to expose kids to their products.

Effects of exposure to cigarette ads

Addictive Behaviors – Increased exposure to cigarette ads is associated with increases in adolescent smoking. The reason is the adolescent’s self concept and how well they identify with models in cigarette ads. Younger individuals who are greatly influenced by others are more likely to smoke after being exposed to the models who are smoking in cigarette ads. Adults showed the opposite results – individuals who weakly identified with the models in cigarette ads were more likely to smoke and the individuals who were highly influenced by the models were less likely to smoke.

Prescription Drug Use

Addiction Inbox-Americans scored higher on prescription drug use than any other country, though this study looked at a set of drugs other than those that are traditionally considered when thinking about drug abuse. This British study study looked at prescription drug use for diseases such as cancer and Hepatitis C.

ABC News– In the last decade alone prescription drug abuse has gone up 400 percent. This finding held despite the increased number of individuals who are seeking treatment for prescription drug use problems.

Binge Drinking

Join Together– It is no surprise that college students drink, they do it for fun, to fit in, and in order to enjoy the freedom from parental supervision that is missing in college. Students however do not think of the repercussions that drinking may have on their body later on in life.  Everyone has heard that drinking to much can cause liver damage or failure but research has found that binge drinking can also cause osteoporosis later in life.

About Addiction: Smoking, Alcohol, Painkillers, Prescriptions

This are new, interesting articles about addiction. Check out the links to the articles, and give us your feedback.

Smoking and related issues

Health Day: Smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that robs people of their sight.

Reuters: When cigarette smokers quit smoking, chronic stress levels may go down. This should give smokers reassurance that quitting will not deprive them of a valuable stress reliever.

Reuters: A nicotine mouth spray may help prevent cigarette cravings three times faster than nicotine lozenges or chewing gum. This might help smokers who are trying to quit smoking.

Cesar Fax: The percentage of national tobacco retailers selling to minors appears to have leveled off. The average national retailer violation rate decreased from 40.1% to 10.8%, and stabilized at 10.8%.

wcstv: Under a proposed deal reached by Governor David Paterson and Albany legislators, cigarette taxes would increase by $1.60 per pack. In New York City, the price of one pack of cigarettes would cost over $10 in many stores. The hope is that this huge price increase will help smokers quit smoking and reduce overall levels of smoking in New York.

About addiction to alcohol, painkillers, and prescription medication

Hazelden: Abuse of alcohol, painkillers, and prescription medication is rising dramatically among older people. Signs of alcohol abuse and drug addiction are different in older adults than in younger people.

Science Daily: Religiosity can moderate genetic effects on alcohol abuse during adolescence but not during early adulthood. The heritability of an alcohol abuse phenotype depends upon the social environment within which it is measured.

Medical News TODAY: Sleep problems can predict the onset of alcohol abuse in healthy adults and relapse in abstinent alcoholics. Puberty is related to sleep problems and later bedtimes, which are associated with alcohol abuse.

Health Day: Exercise may be an effective treatment option for alcoholism. In addition, alcoholism disrupts normal daily circadian rhythms, which can lead to disrupted sleep patterns.

About addiction and mental illness

KansasCity.com:  To study drug addiction and mental illness researchers, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, have received a $1.8 million federal grant. One of the leading researchers states that conditions such as drug addiction and depression are major problems across the globe.

Nicotine vaccine? It seems addicts would love one!

Okay, so there’s no vaccine for nicotine yet, but if researchers ever find one (like they did for cocaine), this recent study by a group at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that smokers are ready and willing. In fact, more than half of them were biting at the bit!

In case you’re wondering (and don’t feel like reading), the vaccine would work by producing nicotine antibodies in the vaccinated individuals. Those antibodies would attach to any nicotine in the blood and prevent it from doing its thing (binding to nicotinic Ach receptors) thereby making smoking, well… boring. Hopefully, when smokers stop feeling the effect, they’ll stop smoking. Or that’s the thinking behind the whole idea anyway. Given other research that shows that nicotine smoking leads to some pretty strong contextual associations (read: “the environment and other associated stimuli become very rewarding”), I doubt whether the vaccine would work as well as people hope.

But, at least smokers seem willing to try it!

Kids perceive regular marijuana use less risky – Some tips.

The pendulum swings again. After years of decreases in use and in perceptions about use, a recent report indicates that high-school kids are once again beginning to use , and consider less risky the use of, marijuana.

The movement is no doubt part of a semi-regular cycle. After lack of awareness about prescription drugs and a significant increase in their abuse among children, this most recent trend shouldn’t be so surprising as the focus on marijuana has waned.

I think we need quite a bit of research to see if such increases do correlate with significant increases in individuals seeking help for marijuana-use-related problems. Yes marijuana advocates, those people exist whether you like it or not. For some proof, check out this link for a site put together by a recovering marijuana addict.

My quick, short, tips:

  1. If you use weed, use a vaporizer to avoid the toxic fumes that can cause cancer in much the same way cigarette smoke does.
  2. If your use becomes regular, whether daily or multiple times a week, consider talking to someone to help you figure out if you might be developing a problem use pattern. Those are much easier to stop early in their development.
  3. Pay close attention to the interference between your marijuana use and other life-commitments. This is a tale-tale sign of problems.