One out of eight Americans are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Of those with a substance abuse problem, at least 40 percent have a contemporaneous mental disorder of some type. While the root of addictive behavior varies from person to person, studies show correlations between an inability to process emotions and cope with stress in a healthy manner, and subsequent misuse of alcohol and drugs.
The estimated cost to our country in direct relation to alcoholics and drug addicts is over 250 billion dollars annually. With 70 percent of illegal drug users that are employed, the expense of substance abuse caused accidents, absenteeism and decreased productivity is on the rise. Health care costs are 300 percent higher for untreated alcoholics versus non-alcoholics.
Addiction treatment centers and agendas such as Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Step Program aim to minimize a person’s drive to drink alcohol or use drugs by addressing psychological and mental health issues. Using therapy techniques to calm, soothe and diminish anxiety, these programs are deemed helpful for those needing assistance.
Just as kids get vaccines that have made things like polio and smallpox obsolete, there may come a day when adults who are struggling with their weight can be vaccinated to suppress their appetite.
A new study involving mice successfully got the obese subjects to eat 50 percent less after they were given the vaccine, which was ghrelin (the hormone that stimulates hunger) attached to harmless virus-like particles.
The theory behind injecting ghrelin is that the body develops antibodies against the hormone, which would suppress the hunger-inducing substance. (more…)
I’ve long thought that there is a finer line between food and drugs than people may think. Now, studies are starting to prove that food cravings are a little more complicated than just being in a weak moment.
Researchers are now saying that the reaction to those guilty culinary pleasures is basically the same as how a drug addict reacts when they need a fix.
When experts looked at the brain activity in their subjects when presented with a chocolate milkshake, they found that simply seeing the sweet dessert activated the same parts of the brain as a drug addict who sees cocaine.
If this turns out to be accepted dogma in the scientific community, it could be a complete game-changer in the nutrition world.
“If food cues take on enhanced motivational properties in a manner analogous to drug cues, efforts to change the current food environment may be critical to successful weight loss and prevention efforts,” says a written statement by study experts. “Ubiquitous food advertising and the availability of inexpensive palatable foods may make it extremely difficult to adhere to healthier food choices because the omnipresent food cues trigger the reward system.” (more…)
The stereotypical image of a person smoking marijuana includes the ever present “munchie” food – certainly those who have tried smoking pot report a craving for salty, sweet and junky foods. But often, users report that they find weight loss to be an unexpected and welcome side effect. Is there any truth to the rumor?
In 1985, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Behavioral Biology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore conducted a study. Nine male volunteers were asked to spend 25 days in a secluded laboratory. During the first part of the day, each subject participated in planned work, and after that work was completed, they were allowed to socialize with the other participants. Cigarettes containing either marijuana or a placebo were provided and smoking was allowed during both the work and social times.
A new drug being tested to treat diabetes, Bydureon, has failed to show better performance than existing treatments on the market. The new drug was created by Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, but was shown in a study to be no more effective than its competitor, Victoza.
Both Bydureon and Victoza stimulate the body to use insulin to regulate blood sugar using synthetic versions of the peptide known and GLP-1. These drugs are considered better than insulin treatments because they are less likely to cause low blood sugar, and may help some patients lose weight. Bydureon is administered weekly, whereas Victoza is administered daily.
The study founds that hemoglobin A1C, a measure of blood sugar, was reduced by 1.5 percent for patients who took Victoza and 1.3 percent by patients who took Bydureon.