About Addiction: DUI, Psychedelics, Smoke, and the Brain!

You know it and love it – here is our weekly post about addiction research, news, and more interesting tidbits from the wonderful world of the internet. I guarantee you’ll know more about addiction, drugs, and the brain, after reading it!

DUI because you think you’re sober? Check your BAC

Science Daily– A study found that people recover their subjective feeling of sobriety before they recover functions important for driving, showing that the perception of intoxication is a bad indicator of ability to drive. A BAC of 0.02 doubles the relative risk of a motor vehicle crash among 16- to 20-year old males and this increases to nearly 52 times when the BAC is between 0.08 percent and 0.10 percent. It seems that portable BAC monitors might be a good idea to reduce DUI accidents.

Psychedelics and High-Tech Pills

Common Dreams– Scientists are giving psychedelics another look as a possible tool in psychotherapy. Many psychedelics like LSD and MDMA have been used in psychological-treatment settings before and the Swiss apparently think we should be giving them another turn. The researchers there focus on the effects of psychedelics on the brain systems involved in depression mainly. Who knows, maybe you’ll be given a little LSD or MDMA pill before beginning a weekly therapy session in the future. Probably not in the U.S. though…

Magic “smart” pill– How wonderful would it be if there was technology that alerted you as to when you are supposed to take a pill? A “smart pill” which would text individuals when they need to take it is being tested in the UK, so it may be a reality in the future! Just think about it, all those people who have to take some sort of ADHD pill won’t forget now that their pill sends signals to their phone – “Don’t forget to take meeeee!!!”

Cigarette Smoke

Science Daily– According to physician-scientists at New York-Presbyterian Hospital exposure to even low-levels of cigarette smoke, including second hand smoke, may put people at risk for future lung disease such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While research showing that second hand smoke is dangerous isn’t new, this new group showed alterations in the genetic functioning of cells in the airway of those exposed. The researchers do point out that the alterations are less pronounced than in heavy smokers but say that even such low levels of smoke exposure can increase disease risk.

Brain Chemistry and regulation of cocaine intake

NIDA–  A regulatory protein, called MeCP2, that is found in the brain and best known for its role in a rare genetic brain disorder may play a critical role in cocaine addiction by regulating cocaine intake and perhaps in determining vulnerability to addiction. The researchers here found a complement to earlier NIDA research showing that as brain miRNA-212 levels increase, cocaine intake decrease. Apparently, it’s the balance between miRNA-212 and MeCP2 that is important.

2 responses to “About Addiction: DUI, Psychedelics, Smoke, and the Brain!”

  1. I bet that the population of young males with a BAC of 0.02 are bigger risk takers than those with a BAC of 0. Is the alcohol having an effect or are they driving fast, trying to make yellow lights, driving to close to cars in front of them, eating food while driving, talking on the cell phone…

    Causation correlation…

    FDA has been fairly supportive of psychedelic drugs. I think there was a meeting with NIDA and FDA and researchers in the 90’s where they discussed psychedelics and human studies and what benefit they would have to science and it was the basis for the ressumption of psychedelic research.

    This research is going along in the us and has been done at the university of new mexico, ucla, john hopkins, NYU, Harvard and probably others I’m forgetting. If they demonstrate efficacy and safety it would take political intervention to stop the FDA from approving them.

  2. Thank you for all the enlightening information on chemical addiction. Living a healthy lifestyle should be easy for everyone. Unfortunately this is not the case. Education about the substances people become addicted to and are abusing is the front line of defense against their continued abuse. Breaking drug addiction habits are nearly impossible for a portion of society and thank god treatment is available. Dedicating your life to recovery after addiction is a all consuming endeavor. Keep up the good work of keeping us informed on the facts about the damage these substances are capable of doing.

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