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Addiction Education Blog - www.cnsproductions.com

Addiction and Drug Education Blogs and Podcasts, looking at drug use trends and treatment, and how addiction is tied to the brain as well as the body

  • Is it possible to use heroin recreationally?

    Bruce asks: Is it possible to use heroin recreationally?

     

    Hi Bruce,
    The short answer to your question is yes but it comes with a whole bunch of caveats.
    The  1980 Am. Psychiatric Association estimated that only 23% of American heroin uses would meet diagnostic criteria for heroin use disorder meaning that most users would be either experimental or social/recreational users of heroin on any given day. However, there is most often a "honeymoon" period when one starts using drugs to when they may develop full blown addiction. That period is determined by genetic, environment (epigenetic) and pharmacological adaptive processes (allostasis). So at some point in their use of heroin most are actually in experimental or social/recreational use behaviors but continued use most often results in addiction. There is also the problem of denial resulting from both emotional and pharmacologic influences of heroin. Many users get emotionally attached to the feelings that heroin induces and are unwilling to looking at or totally ignoring the consequences that occur for their use of the drug. Heroin alters states of consciousness and cognition also making the user less able to be aware of or of consider consequences from use. So many heroin user may actually be addicted but are not able or unwilling to accept that fact. Experimental use of an addictive drug is limited to one or two lifetime exposures only with no drug seeking behavior and no reuse of the drug if negative consequences occur from their "experiment". Social/Recreational use of any addictive drug does consist of drug seeking behavior but use is sporadic, limited, with no developed patterns in use, and especially with no negative life, social or even spiritual consequence from using the drug. I have know a few social/recreational heroin users who remained at that level throughout their lives but would find it medically inappropriate and unethical to promote continued use for social/recreational purposes of any addictive substance and would fully educate and warn those who claim to be doing so. Addiction is horrible to those who develop it regardless of the drug whether it be marijuana or heroin and its development should strongly be avoided if possible. One of my clients in group last week wondered out loud why everyone who's ever tried heroin is not immediately a full blown addict to it. I also worked with Dr. George R. "Skip" Gay who wrote the book: Heroin, its so good don't even try it once. Though heroin is one of the most addictive drugs, nicotine is much more so with an estimated 32% of users being addicted to it any any one time in America.
    If a client or even a friend told me that they were a social/recreational user of heroin, I would immediate recommend and challenge them to stop use immediately to prove that they are not already fully addicted and if not to stay away from it to avoid ever developing addiction to it because of the catastrophic consequences that come with opiate/opioid addiction.
    Hope this helps Bruce and let me know if it is ok to post your question and my response on our CNS web sites. We can post it without identifying who posed the question if that is preferred.
    Best regards,
    Dr. Darryl Inaba
  • The 4 Traits That Put Kids at Risk for Addiction

    The 4 Traits That Put Kids at Risk for Addiction

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/well/family/the-4-traits-that-put-kids-at-risk-for-addiction.html?ref=oembed

    "I've seen this NY Times article and noted that it mirrors many other studies attributing traits generally by about the age of 10-12 when the brain is going through one of its cycles of development to future addiction. Based solely on thinking and behavioral aspects, I was impressed by the work of Drs. Richard and Mary Jessor in Colorado during the 1970s and then work by Dr. Steven Glenn from N. Carolina but he did research in California in the 80s and 90s. Brain imaging research by Dr. Susan F Tapert and the Scripts Institute about 2010 in San Diego found a link of early childhood non-adaptive behaviors as a link to future addiction and her work with Drs. Mark Paulus and Marc Schuckit is very compelling. Dr. David J. Linden in his 2011 Book, Compass of Pleasure has found that very positive traits in preadolescence like intelligence, creativity, drive to succeed, innovation, awareness, charisma, charm etc. were the traits of future addicts. 

    Still, the best indicator of future addiction in pre and early adolescence if age of first use of an addictive substance. Huge longitudinal studies and archival studies of those being treated for addiction solidly make this correlation. General numbers are that youth age 10-12 who start experimenting with alcohol, tobacco or marijuana are 4 to 5 times more likely to end up with an addiction than those who wait until they are 17-18 years old to start using. They are also 17-22 times more likely to become an addict compared to those who wait until they are 25 or older before experimenting with addictive drugs."

    -Darryl Inaba

  • Silent Epidemic: Addiction In Southern Oregon

    Recently our very own Dr. Inaba was involved with a news piece done by Jefferson Public Radio.

    Like many areas in the country, southern Oregon is experiencing what public health officials describe as an epidemic of addiction to heroin and prescription opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin and OxyContin. One symptom of this epidemic has been a sharp rise in deaths by overdose.

    The search for pain relief is turning respectable members of the community into drug addicts.

    It's happened for years, since the introduction of the highly effective and highly addictive opioid pain killers, like Oxycontin and Vicodin.

    Doctors are now trying to limit prescriptions to them, but that's sent some people turning to Heroin for relief.

    JPR reporter Liam Moriarty researched the issue in a series of reports, "The Silent Epidemic."

  • Caffeine, E-Cig news, Zohydro and other Opioid news and death

    Coffee and cigarettes have long been a part of the morning ritual ... now we have concerns about actual coffee/caffeine addiction. E-cig news includes a study earlier this year, finding cancer indications like tobacco, especially snuff, from using e-cigarettes. However, the study used specially prepared lung cells, not humans. And the FDA has released its draft regulations for e-cigarettes, prohibiting their sale to minors, requiring warning labels, and asking that new device be submitted to the FDA for testing and evaluation. Several more stories about opioids and heroin. Peaches Geldof, the daughter of Irish rocker Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and founder of Band-Aid , has died unexpectedly of a heroin overdose. Also there are a number of stories about pregnant women using and being addicted to prescribed opioids as well as heroin. And the protests continue about Zohydro, the new Vicodin-like medication that is 10 times stronger, and contains no acetaminophen.
  • Overview of Treatment, Brain Area Tied to Problem Gambling

    An overview of where treatment is at, and where it might be headed. A recent NBC series featured Tom McLellan, Deputy Director of the government Office of Drug Control Policy. A much respected addiction research psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, he found that treatment in general was in a sorry state, and he founded the non-profit Treatment Research Institute, aimed at developing science-based solutions to addiction. We also look at new research from the University of Cambidge which has identified the insula cortex as being an area where, when its overactive, lead compulsive gamblers to "chase their losses.'
  • MJ Reports, Legalizing CBD, Mandatory Sentence Attitudes, Phone Apps for Recovery

    Reports on medical and recreational marijuana and their business aspects frpm Darryl, who spoke recently at a conference in Hawaii. Utah is in the process of legalizing the medical use of "Charlotte's Web," the compound made of non-psychotropic molecules from marijuana. Pew Research released a report showing that public views on mandatory drug sentences have changed, with more than half now saying they should be modified and reduced, and wanting to see more treatment available. A Virginia-based company received FDA approval for an automatic injector of the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone, specifically tested and intended for use by caregivers, family members, or coworkers. And a new smartphone app for alcoholics in recovery, nicknamed A-CHESS, is being being developed and tested by the University of Wisconsin in Madison and others.

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