By Hollie McKay
According to the 2008 National Survey of Drug Use & Health, the number of young adults abusing cocaine has dropped significantly. However, in Hollywood, the use and abuse of the illicit drug continues unabated.
In fact, snorting cocaine can be as commonplace as sipping a glass of champagne. After a night out in the clubs, the party typically goes back to an oversized mansion somewhere in the Hollywood Hills. There’s music, a pool table, more alcohol and a bunch of pretty people doing a line or two.
Dennis Quaid described a similar scene, telling Newsweek that his “greatest mistake” in life was the cocaine addiction he developed in the 1970s and 1980s when he first encountered show business’ pressures – and payoffs.
Full story at Fox News
By Julie Weingarden Dubin
At 23, Julie Boledovich Farhat decided to leave her boyfriend, three siblings and beloved hometown in Michigan to focus on saving her mother.
After watching her mom, Gail Boledovich, battle schizophrenia for three years and suffer from hallucinations and delusions, Julie resolved to take an engineering job in Bowling Green, Ky., and buy a house where her mom could live with her and have a beautiful garden and even an art studio to create her mosaics. Gail would be spared the stress of having to work or pay bills. Everything would work out, Julie thought.
But Gail Boledovich never made it to Kentucky. She took her own life on May 1, 2005, two days before her 49thbirthday. She died from an overdose of prescription-strength Benadryl pills that doctors had prescribed to her to help her sleep at night. Boledovich took the lethal dose in the middle of the day.
Full story at MSN Today Health
Removing a protein from cells located in the brain’s reward center blocks the anxiety-reducing and rewarding effects of nicotine, according to a new animal study in the July 27 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings may help researchers better understand how nicotine affects the brain.
Nicotine works by binding to proteins called nicotinic receptors on the surface of brain cells. In the new study, researchers led by Tresa McGranahan, Stephen Heinemann, PhD, and T. K. Booker, PhD, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, found that removing a specific type of nicotinic receptor from brain cells that produce dopamine — a chemical released in response to reward — makes mice less likely to seek out nicotine. The mice also did not show reductions in anxiety-like behaviors normally seen after nicotine treatment. Smokers commonly report anxiety relief as a key factor in continued smoking or relapse.
“These findings show that the rewarding and anxiety-reducing properties of nicotine, thought to play a key role in the development of tobacco addiction, are related to actions at a single set of brain cells,” said Paul Kenny, PhD, an expert on drug addiction at Scripps Research Institute, who was unaffiliated with the study.
Full story at ScienceDaily
By Storied Mind
Recovery from depression depends in part on what you believe is possible for the future. If you are to recover at all, you have to take action at some point. It could be a series of small steps about your daily routine – eating breakfast, walking out the door to get fresh air and natural light, making a point of talking to someone each day.
Or it could be much larger, like going to a psychiatrist and starting treatment, regularly meditating, exercising frequently, taking long walks. Whatever it is, you need to feel motivated to overcome the inertia, to stop the loss of warming energy to the cold stillness of depression.
To feel motivation, you need to believe, however tentatively, that you can change for the better, to expect recovery from the worst symptoms. You’re likely to hit a lot of barriers, though, that make it hard to keep up positive expectations.
Full story at storiedmind.com
By Maia Szalavitz
Another addiction death comes at age 27, with Amy Winehouse joining Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and most aptly, Janis Joplin among the rock icons who died from their disorder at the same point in their young lives. And sadly, her passing also presents another occasion for well-intentioned people who misunderstand addiction to push counterproductive solutions.
Janis Joplin once said that she made love to 25,000 people at her concerts, but went home alone. It’s that yearning for love and acceptance, that aching but unanswered need for connection that underlies both the drive for fame and the pain of addiction, which may be why the two are so often found together.
The pain that infused Winehouse’s voice seemed inextricable from her talent and was one thing that allowed her to move so many so profoundly. In counterpoint, her joyous sounds seemed that much more uplifting. It’s that deep and complex mix of feelings that helped her fans connect to her even as she herself never benefited from that connection. That paradox is at the heart of the addiction.
Full story at Time Healthland