Opioid Use Among Teens Decreasing, Studies Suggest

Opioid use is declining among high school seniors, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at prescription opioid use nationwide among high school seniors from 1976 to 2015. Teens were asked whether a doctor had ever prescribed them opioids, and how often they had taken prescription opioids without a doctor’s instruction.

About one-fourth of seniors said they had used opioids at least once for any reason, NPR reports. The study found opioid use in this age group rose in the 1980s, decreased in the 1990s and increased in the early 2000s, before dropping again starting in 2013.

Full story of teen opioid use decreasing at drugfree.org

Mindfulness May Help Patients Reduce Suboxone Dose, Pilot Program Suggests

The practice of mindfulness, or paying attention “on purpose” to the present moment without judgment, may be helpful for people trying to reduce their dose of the opioid medication buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), according to Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD, Medical Director for Addictions and Executive Director for the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at the Cambridge Health Alliance.

Dr. Schuman-Olivier is co-leading a mindfulness-based group for individuals prescribed Suboxone to treat their opioid use disorder, who want to reduce the amount of medication they take, come off of it completely, or come to a place of acceptance with their medications. Of the first five people who participated in the program, three have reduced their buprenorphine dose, and two have been able to stop taking it completely with no relapse for six months with the help of another non-dependence forming addiction medication, naltrexone.

Full story of mindfulness and patients reducing opioid use at drugfree.org

Research reveals how family history can affect your memory of hangovers

People with a family history of alcoholism are already known to be at a greater risk of developing a drinking problem, but new research led by Psychologist Dr Richard Stephens at Keele University has found they are also more likely to hold onto the painful memory of hangovers.

Dr Stephens’ latest research paper, “Does familial risk for alcohol use disorder predict alcohol hangover?,” involved two studies focusing on hangover frequency and severity.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism people with a family history of alcoholism are four times more likely to develop a drinking problem. Based on this, Dr Stephens’ research explores whether hangovers — unpleasant effects felt the morning after drinking alcohol — impact on this.

Full story of family history affecting memory of hangovers at Science Daily

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Link between drug use and poor dental health confirmed

A new review published online today in the scientific journal Addiction has found that dental patients with substance use disorders have more tooth decay and periodontal disease than the general population, but are less likely to receive dental care. With drug use increasing by approximately three million new users each year, this is a problem that won’t disappear anytime soon.

Drug use affects oral health through direct physiological routes such as dry mouth, an increased urge for snacking, clenching and grinding of teeth, and chemical erosion from applying cocaine to teeth and gums. The lifestyle that often accompanies problematic drug use also affects oral health through high sugar diets, malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, and lack of regular professional dental care. Dental care can be further compromised by tolerance to painkillers and anaesthetics.

Full story of drug use linked to poor dental health at Science Daily