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People Drink More When Using Stimulant Drugs, Energy Drinks

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People Drink More When Using Stimulant Drugs, Energy Drinks Stimulants are a diverse group of legal and illegal substances that have the common effect of increasing (i.e., stimulating) the baseline rate of activity inside the brain and spinal cord. When used by a person consuming alcohol, these substances can potentially mask that person’s awareness of his or her level of alcohol intoxication. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Addiction, researchers from several Australian institutions sought to determine if people out for a night of drinking experience an increase in their alcohol intake and blood-alcohol levels when they also consume either illegal/illicit stimulant drugs or high-caffeine beverages known as energy drinks.

The Tragedy of Overdose Deaths for Parents

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The Tragedy of Overdose Deaths for ParentsMany people suffer when a drug user takes a fatal overdose. Friends and family members grieve the senseless loss of a loved one, but for the parents of an overdose victim, the tragedy is unthinkable. The unexpected death that drugs can cause seems especially unfair, tragic and preventable. As overdose deaths rise in the U.S., more and more parents are going through this awful experience. 

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Cough Syrup Abuse Linked to Impulsivity

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Cough-Syrup-Abuse-Linked-to-ImpulsivityCodeine-based cough syrup is a prescription medication that contains a powerful opioid substance capable of triggering drug addiction and other serious health problems. In the 2000s, public health officials have noted a rise in the abuse of this syrup in a concoction known by nicknames such as “sizzurp” and “purple drank.” In a study published in August 2014 in the American Journal of Neuroradiology, a team of Chinese researchers assessed the impact that chronic codeine cough syrup abuse has on the structural integrity of the brain’s supporting tissues, as well as its impact on the likelihood that affected individuals will act in unusually impulsive ways.

More High School Seniors Abusing Amphetamines

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Using Stimulants as Study Aid Carries Serious RisksAmphetamines are a group of stimulant drugs and medications capable of creating serious changes in the normal function of both the brain and body. Habitual users of these substances can get addicted to their effects over time. Through a funding partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, researchers from the University of Michigan track the rate of amphetamine abuse among U.S. teens each year. In 2013, the rates for amphetamine abuse stopped falling among younger teenagers and rose slightly among older teenagers.

Fewer Teens Abusing Cough and Cold Medicines

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MD002363Non-prescription cough and cold medicines, also known as OTC (over-the-counter) cough and cold medicines, are a group of medications that either suppress the natural urge to cough or help expel excess mucus from the body. Some of these medicines contain dextromethorphan (DXM), a potential makeshift drug of abuse that can produce some of the effects normally associated with hallucinogenic substances. In December 2013, researchers from the University of Michigan released a report detailing the current trends in teenage misuse of non-prescription cough and cold medicines. The findings from this report indicate that the popularity of these medications as recreational substances fell slightly from 2012.

Painkiller Abusers Turning Into Heroin Addicts

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AfterKickingtheColdStowAwaytheMedsThe epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse has been going on for decades. As doctors overprescribed these highly addictive narcotics, millions of people succumbed to a dependence on them. Some did so by intentionally abusing the medications of others, while many people slowly slid into addiction while using painkillers because they genuinely needed them. Now, with tightening restrictions on these medications, many addicts are turning to heroin, which is often cheaper and easier to get. If someone you know is abusing painkillers you need to be aware of the possibility of heroin abuse and addiction.

Prescription Drug Proposal Highlights Dangers of Hydrocodone

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admin-ajax (1)The rise of the popularity of prescription drugs has led many experts to wonder if the regulations surrounding those medications need to be heightened. Emergency departments are reporting high numbers of overdose cases involving medications prescribed for pain, anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Save Lives

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OpioidOverdosePreventionProgramsSaveLivesOpioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs) are organized, community-centered efforts designed to decrease the chances that people who abuse opioid narcotic drugs or medications will die of an overdose. These programs have gained increasing popularity across the U.S., partly in response to the fairly common abuse of prescription opioids and rising rates for heroin use. In a study review published in June 2014 in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, researchers from the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine used a large-scale analysis to assess the effectiveness of OOPPs in preventing narcotics overdoses. These researchers concluded that opioid overdose prevention programs typically work well when their members receive proper training.

After Kicking the Cold, Stow Away the Meds

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AfterKickingtheColdStowAwaytheMedsWhen people think of drug abuse they generally think of methamphetamines, opioids, heroin and marijuana. But prescription and over-the-counter drugs can be abused as well, with serious, life-threatening consequences. Cough and cold medicine abuse can cause serious health problems and can affect the brain in ways that are similar to illegal drugs.