Tag Archives: study

Many Attorneys Drink Alcohol At Unhealthy Levels

attorneys drink alcohol unhealthy levelsMillions of Americans, upon finishing their workday, will often times cap off their night with an alcoholic beverage or two. This is why drinking alcohol is commonly equated with unwinding or decompressing. The behavior of drinking alcohol after a stressful day is usually considered to be relatively benign; however, sometimes end of the day drinking can get out of hand which can become problematic – especially for those whose line of work is stressful.

New research suggests that more than one-fifth of licensed, actively working American attorneys drink alcohol at unhealthy levels, The Chicago Tribune reports. The study showed that many of those same attorneys suffer from depression and anxiety as well. The findings will be published this month in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. What’s more, the research showed that younger attorneys were affected by the aforementioned problems the most. The researchers hope that the new data will result in action.

“Any way you look at it, this data is very alarming, and paints the picture of an unsustainable professional culture that’s harming too many people. Attorney impairment poses risks to the struggling individuals themselves and to our communities, government, economy and society. The stakes are too high for inaction,” said study lead author Patrick Krill, in a news release.

The data comes from a sample of 12,825 attorneys in the United States who filled out surveys designed to assess both substance use and other mental health problems, according to the article. The findings showed that 28 percent of lawyers struggled with varying degrees of depression and 19 percent exhibited symptoms of anxiety.

“This is a mainstream problem in the legal profession,” said Krill, the Director of the Legal Professionals Program at a well respected treatment facility. “There needs to be a systemic response.”

This is the first major study on the prevalence of addiction among attorneys in 25 years, the article reports. The research was co-funded by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. This research is especially important because many attorneys are unwilling to seek help for mental health problems for fear they will be disbarred or lose their position.

PACE Recovery Center specializes in working with young adult males struggling with chemical dependency and behavioral health issues. During this important transitional phase our clinical team focuses on helping young adults put into practice skills gained while in addiction treatment and balance their lives as they begin to integrate back into real world settings. Our treatment program is designed to focus on and develop our clients’ life skills, including understanding when stress and anxiety can impact one’s program of recovery.

The Use of Marijuana Has Doubled

As the country becomes more accepting of marijuana use, with states voting in favor of medical marijuana and recreational use, it stands to reason that more people are using the drug. Historically, research involving marijuana was limited; however, in recent years there have been a number of studies conducted on the drug. The latest study involving marijuana has found that marijuana use has doubled since 2001, with nearly 10 percent of American adults reporting use in 2013, the Oregonian reports. With the increase of use, dependence and addiction follows in its wake.

“While many in the United States think prohibition of recreational marijuana should be ended, this study and others suggest caution and the need for public education about the potential harms in marijuana use, including the risk for addiction,” the report stated.

The research showed that the percentage of people reporting marijuana dependence or abuse doubled. In 2001, only 1.5 percent reported marijuana addiction, compared to nearly 3 percent in 2013, according to the article. Researchers found that 3 out of every 10 people (nearly 7 million Americans) have a marijuana abuse or addiction problem.

In the U.S., 23 states have adopted medical marijuana programs and four states have passed recreational use laws. More states are expected to follow suit, and people’s perception of the drug is likely to become more relaxed. However, it is important that teenage exposure to marijuana is limited; studies show that the drug can have an impact on developing brains, the article reports.

The report highlights potential problems that can arise from marijuana use, including:

  • Addiction
  • Cognitive Decline
  • Injuries
  • Psychiatric Symptoms
  • Psychosocial Impairments
  • Poor Quality of Life
  • Use of Other Drugs
  • Vehicle Crashes

The findings were published in JAMA Psychiatry.
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If you are or a loved one is abusing marijuana, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

The Future of Alcoholism Treatment

Dopamine stabilizers may be the future of alcoholism treatment. The findings of two separate studies indicate that dopamine stabilizers may reduce alcohol cravings in alcoholics, ScienceDaily reports. While more clinical studies are required, researchers have found that the dopamine stabilizer OSU6162 normalized the level of dopamine in the brain reward system of rats that had consumed alcohol for a long time period. The findings come from research conducted at the Karolinska Institutet and the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden.

“The results of our studies are promising, but there is still a long way to go before we have a marketable drug,” says Pia Steensland, PhD, Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience of Karolinska Institutet, and co-author of both studies. “The socioeconomic costs of alcohol are huge, not to mention the human suffering. It is inspiring to continue working.”

Researchers examined the effect that OSU6162 had on cravings of those with a history of alcohol dependence. The participants were split into two groups, half were given OSU6162 and the other half was given a placebo, according to the article. The group that was given the dopamine stabilizer reported having less of a craving for alcohol after drinking one drink.

“At the same time, the OSU6162 group reported not enjoying the first sip of alcohol as much as the placebo group,” says Dr. Steensland. “One interesting secondary finding was that those with the poorest impulse control, that is those thought to be most at risk of relapse after a period of abstinence, were those who responded best to the OSU6162 treatment.”

“We therefore think that OSU6162 can reduce the alcohol craving in dependent people by returning the downregulated levels of dopamine in their brain reward system to normal,” says Dr. Steensland.

The findings were published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.
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If you are or a loved one is abusing alcohol, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

The First National Public Opinion Research On Opioids

The unprecedented spike in prescription opioid use in America has raised a number of questions with regard to how the country found itself in the grips of an epidemic. Certainly, most people who experience pain which requires an analgesic of some kind; the pain goes away and they stop taking the prescription. On the other hand, many people continue using prescription opioids long after the pain dissipates, resulting in dependence and/or addiction.

Many Americans understand that the country is in the midst of a prescription drug crisis, with thousands of overdoses every year and even more people in need of addiction treatment.
Some people will use prescription opioids that were prescribed for someone else, despite having the knowledge that opioids are dangerous and addictive.

A new study, which may be the first national public opinion research on opioids, has found that in the past year more than one in four Americans took a prescription opioid, ScienceDaily reports. What’s more, fifty-eight percent of those surveyed say they understand that opioid abuse is major public health problem. The study was conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“This study shows that many Americans have had direct experience using prescription pain relievers and a sizable share have misused or abused these medications themselves or have close friends or family members who have done so,” says study leader Colleen L. Barry, PhD, MPP, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School. “The seriousness of the issue has become salient with the American public.”

The findings indicate that the American public may be in a unique position to pass bills that could combat the opioid epidemic, according to the article. The public could support:

  • Better medical training for safely controlling pain and treating addiction.
  • Curbing “doctor shopping” (seeing multiple doctors for the same drugs).
  • Requiring pharmacists to check identification.

“We think this is the perfect time to work on passing policies that can truly impact the crisis of prescription pain reliever abuse,” says study co-author Emma E. “Beth” McGinty, PhD, MS, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School. “The issue has not yet been highly politicized like some public health issues such as the Affordable Care Act, gun violence or needle exchanges, so we may have an opportunity to stem this epidemic.”

The findings were published in the journal Addiction.

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If you are or a loved one is abusing opioids, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

A Link Between Marijuana and Prediabetes

This week, the state of Oregon began selling marijuana to adults for recreational use, now being one of four in the country to do so. With many Americans gearing up to vote on legalization next year, being informed about the drug is important. Over the last few years the amount of research on the drug has increased substantially, after decades of prohibition which limited who could study the drug.

A new study has found a link between marijuana use and poor blood sugar control, also known as “prediabetes,” Medical News Today reports. Although the researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis were unable to tie marijuana use to type-2 diabetes – the most common form of diabetes.

The research was led by Mike Bancks, a postdoctoral cardiovascular trainee at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Bancks and his research team focused on three questions:

  • Was there a link between marijuana use and prediabetes and/or type-2 diabetes?
  • Was being obese a factor to eliminate before connecting marijuana and diabetes.?
  • Does race/gender and sex/race play a part in the connection?

The researchers found that current marijuana users had a 65 percent increased chance of having prediabetes, according to the article. Interestingly, lifetime users of marijuana only had a 49 percent increase in the odds of having prediabetes. The researchers said:

Marijuana use was associated with the development and prevalence of prediabetes after adjustment. Specifically, occurrence of prediabetes in middle adulthood was significantly elevated for individuals who reported using marijuana in excess of 100 times by young adulthood.

Future studies should look to objectively measure mode and quantity of marijuana use in relation to prospective metabolic health.”

The findings were published in Diabetologia.
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If you are or a loved one is abusing marijuana, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

Brief Interventions Reduce Underage Drinking

Teenagers and young adults are often times unaware of the consequences that can arise from risky alcohol consumption. Underage drinking occurs regularly at high schools and colleges throughout the country; health officials are always on the look for new and innovative ways to combat the problem. Past research has shown that emergency rooms are perhaps the most effective place to reach people about drug and alcohol use. A new study has found that administering a brief intervention to underage drinkers during an ER visit could result in a decrease in their alcohol consumption and problems related to drinking in the coming year, ScienceDaily reports.

Researchers from University of Michigan Injury Center conducted a five-year trial which was funded by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. The goal of the study was to examine how effective emergency room interventions were at curbing future alcohol use and the injuries often associated with underage drinking, according to an article.

Common alcohol related problems include:

  • Alcohol Related Injuries
  • DUI
  • Drug Use
  • Psychosocial Problems

The alcohol intervention was administered by a therapist or by a computer program. The researchers screened 4,389 patients, of which 24 percent reported risky drinking behaviors, the article reports. Either form of intervention was found to reduce underage drinking and the associated consequences.

“The study highlights that a single-session intervention in the emergency department can play a role in decreasing underage drinking among youth,” says Rebecca Cunningham, M.D., director of the U-M Injury Center and U-M professor of emergency medicine and public health. “Emergency department staff is focused on urgent medical care. The finding that the computer program brief intervention helped youth reduce risky drinking is very promising, especially as an approach that is easy for health care sites to use without requiring dedicated staff time to administer.”

The findings were published in Pediatrics.

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If you or a loved one is living with alcohol use disorder, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

Bodybuilding Supplements Linked to Eating Disorders

Staying physically fit is important to many Americans, and rightly so. It is widely accepted that those who exercise feel better than those who do not. In every major city there are private gyms littered throughout, providing outlets for those who would like to live a healthier lifestyle. However, there are times when working out can work against one’s health, becoming habit forming and often involving the use of bodybuilding supplements.

Researchers at the California School of Professional Psychology in Alhambra found that a large percentage of men that work out abuse legal bodybuilding supplements, and many are aware that they can be detrimental to health, The Los Angeles Times reports. The study showed that over 40% of men surveyed reported increasing their use of supplements over time, and 29% were aware of the damage that bodybuilding supplements wreak on one’s health.

Common bodybuilding supplements, marketed towards men for achieving an optimal body/fat ration include:

  • Protein Bars
  • Creatine Powder
  • Glutamine Capsules

The study authors go one step further, Richard Achiro and co-author Peter Theodore contend that the findings ‘should put risky supplement use “on the map” as an eating disorder that affects “a significant number of men”,’ according to the article. The researchers surveyed 195 men over the age of 18, all of which had reported working out at least twice a week and had used a legal supplement in the previous 30 days.

The survey showed:

  • 22% reported having used supplements as meal replacements.
  • 8% were told by a doctor to reduce or stop their use of supplements.
  • 3% reported kidney or liver damage that required hospitalization.

The researchers conclude:

Excessive legal APED [appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs] use may represent a variant of disordered eating that threatens the health of gym-active men.”

The findings were presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting in Toronto.
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If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder or supplement abuse, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

Back Pain, Anxiety, and Depression – Opioid Abuse

A large percentage of people who seek treatment for substance or alcohol use disorder also have other mental health disorders on board, such as depression or anxiety. When this is the case, it is referred to as having a co-occurring disorder, and successful recovery hinges on treating both. What’s more, people’s depression or anxiety may play a part in people forming an addiction.

In fact, new research suggests that people living with high levels of depression or anxiety, and experience chronic lower back pain, are significantly more prone to developing a problem with prescription opioids, Medical News Today reports. People with chronic lower back pain and high levels of depression or anxiety were 75 percent more likely to abuse opioids than people with low levels, and their back pain was less likely to improve.

The researchers involved in the study examined 55 patients with chronic lower back, as well as major or minor levels of anxiety or depression, according to the article. Over the course of 6-months, the patients were given oral forms of morphine, oxycodone or a placebo. The patient’s pain levels and the amount of drugs taken were recorded daily.

There was 50 percent less improvement and 75 percent more opioid abuse among patients who had high levels of depression or anxiety, compared with patients with low levels. The findings suggest that doctors treating patients with lower back pain, who show symptoms of mental illness, should make sure that the mental illness is being treated rather than “refusing to prescribe opioids,” according to lead researcher Prof. Ajay Wasan, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. This may reduce the likelihood of opioid abuse and reduce pain.

“High levels of depression and anxiety are common in patients with chronic lower back pain,” Wasan said in a news release. “Learning that we are able to better predict treatment success or failure by identifying patients with these conditions is significant. This is particularly important for controlled substances such as opioids, where if not prescribed judiciously, patients are exposed to unnecessary risks and a real chance of harm, including addiction or serious side effects.”

The study is published in Anesthesiology.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction and depression or anxiety, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

Personalized Feedback About Alcohol Can Reduce Drinking

The consumption of alcohol is a common occurrence among college students, especially freshman – free from the nest for their first time. While many students are able to moderate their alcohol intake, there are those whose drinking gets out of hand, and can result in academic, social, and addiction problems.

Naturally, limiting alcohol consumption is a top priority for faculty members on every campus across the country. New research suggests that sending students personal feedback about their drinking habits via text message and websites can reduce alcohol consumption, The Wall Street Journal reports. In-person interventions appear to reduce drinking by as much as 13 percent.

Robert Leeman, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, says that electronic interventions “dramatically increases access to techniques that have been proven to work.”

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 4 out of 5 college students drink alcohol, and around half of them engage in “binge drinking” – the practice of drinking as much as you can as fast as you can. Opening up a dialogue with students about drinking practices can save lives, which is important when you consider that 1,825 students lose their life each year from alcohol-related injuries.

“Most students overestimate the amount and frequency that other students are actually drinking, and research has shown that if you can correct this misperception, students’ drinking tends to decrease to be more in line with the true norm,” said study co-author Jessica Cronce of the University of Washington.

In 2011, researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle published a study which indicated that electronic intervention programs were more likely than general alcohol awareness programs to reduce college drinking, according to the article.

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Excessive alcohol consumption is not only dangerous, it results in an alcohol use disorder. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol, please do not hesitate to reach out for help.

Differing Views Regarding E-Cigarettes

E-Cigarettes: A Smoking Cessation Aid or A Temptation?

In a short period of time, e-cigarettes have become extremely popular, with sales growing exponentially with every year that passes. While many e-cigarette users believe that the product(s) are effective smoking cessation devices and are healthier than traditional cigarettes, medical professionals and researchers have varying opinions.

A lack of governmental oversight and regulation has allowed e-cigarette sales to grow faster than research can keep up with. Without a complete and accurate understanding of e-cigarettes, many users may be mistaken in their beliefs.

A new study has found that a number of former smokers see e-cigarettes a temptation, one that may prompt them to begin smoking again, Reuters reports.

Because e-cigarettes are relatively new products we are only beginning to learn about the health risks,” said senior study author Amanda Amos, a researcher at the Center for Population Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh Medical School.

The Research

In Scotland, the researchers conducted interviews with 64 smokers. In the past year, the research team conducted 12 focus groups and 11 individual interviews with former and current smokers. The findings produced little consistency, the participants had differing views regarding the pros and cons of the devices, according to the article.

The varying opinions on e-cigarettes by the participants included:

  • Some found e-cigarettes as more satisfying than traditional cigarettes.
  • Some found the devices to be less satisfying.
  • Others found e-cigarettes to be a potential threat to smoking cessation.

The findings appear to indicate that, while e-cigarettes may help people quit smoking or be used as an alternative to traditional tobacco products, the findings suggest that smokers view e-cigarettes differently than gums, patches and medicines.

The findings were published in Tobacco Control.

An Outside View

This paper shows that the public’s view of e-cigarettes is far from being clear, with a great deal of ambiguity around the product and its intended use,” said Dr. Ricardo Polosa, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Catania.

Polosa wasn’t involved in the study, but he believes:

E-cigs are a much safer alternative to smoking and are intended for smokers who are unable to quit using other methods.”

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More research will be needed to determine if e-cigarettes are a promising smoking cessation option. Nicotine addiction is a difficult habit to recover from, and tobacco products are the leading cause of cancer. If you or a loved one struggles with nicotine addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out for help.

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