Scientists identify genes associated with heavy drinking and alcoholism
ne of the largest genomic studies of its kind has revealed new insights into the genetic factors that may make some people vulnerable to heavy drinking and alcohol use disorder (AUD). A total of 18 new genetic variants have been associated with heavy alcohol consumption, AUD, or both. The findings could lead to better treatments and screening methods for people who carry these risky genes. Read more
Four common myths about harm reduction
he US has historically been resistant to supporting harm reduction programs for people who use drugs. While some object to harm reduction approaches on ideological grounds—i.e., abstinence is the only way, drug use is immoral—most reject interventions like syringe exchange programs and maintenance medications based on commonly held myths.
Despite considerable research evidence being available to dispel such myths, confusion about common harm reduction strategies has stubbornly persisted in the wider population, preventing them from becoming mainstream. Read more
Research shows some in recovery continue to experience chronic physical disease
Excessive use of alcohol and drugs can lead to mental and physical health issues, some of which include anxiety, depression, diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease. Many of these conditions may improve after recovery, but some may linger and diminish the quality of life.
A study carried out at the Massachusetts General Hospital Recovery Research Institute in Boston analyzed the impact of recovery on medical conditions that are caused or aggravated by alcohol and drug abuse. The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Addiction Medicine
, in a paper titled "Medical burden of disease among individuals in recovery from alcohol and other drug problems in the United States."
"The prodigious psychological, social, and interpersonal impact of excessive and chronic alcohol and other drug use is well-characterized," Read more
China set to regulate all fentanyl-related drugs
China has announced that it would begin regulating all fentanyl-related drugs as a class of controlled substances, in a change officials in the United States had long advocated as a way to stem the flow of lethal opioids from the Asian nation. The sweeping change in the way China regulates drugs that mimic fentanyl takes effect on May 1.
"We firmly believe that listing the entire class of fentanyl substances will completely block the loopholes that enable lawbreakers to evade punishment by simply modifying one or several atoms, functional groups or other groups," Liu Yuejin, vice commissioner of China's National Narcotics Control Commission, said at a press conference on Monday. Read more
Health officials investigate e-cigarette risk
U.S. health officials are investigating whether electronic cigarettes may trigger seizures in some people who use the nicotine-vaping devices. The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it has reviewed 35 reports of seizures among e-cigarettes users, mainly in young people.
Regulators stressed it's not yet clear whether vaping is responsible. But they said they're concerned and encouraged the public to report information about the issue.
These cases warrant "investigation into whether there is in fact a connection," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. Gottlieb is stepping down on Friday after nearly two years heading the agency. Read more