Archive for July, 2012

Emotion Detectives Uncover New Ways to Fight-Off Youth Anxiety and Depression

Posted by on Tuesday, 31 July, 2012

Emotion Detectives Fight Anxiety and DepressionEmotional problems in childhood are common. Approximately 8 to 22 percent of children suffer from anxiety, often combined with other conditions such as depression. However, most existing therapies are not designed to treat coexisting psychological problems and are therefore not very successful in helping children with complex emotional issues.

To develop a more effective treatment for co-occurring youth anxiety and depression, University of Miami psychologist Jill Ehrenreich-May and her collaborator Emily L. Bilek analyzed the efficacy and feasibility of a novel intervention created by the researchers, called Emotion Detectives Treatment Protocol (EDTP). Preliminary findings show a significant reduction in the severity of anxiety and depression after treatment, as reported by the children and their parents.

"We are very excited about the potential of EDTP," says Ehrenreich-May, assistant professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at UM and principal investigator of the study. "Not only could the protocol better address the needs of youth with commonly co-occurring disorders and symptoms, it may also provide additional benefits to mental health professionals," she says. "EDTP offers a more unified approach to treatment that, we hope, will allow for an efficient and cost-effective treatment option for clinicians and clients alike."

Full story of emotion detectives at Science Daily

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L.A. Approves Ban on Marijuana Dispensaries; Advocates Vow to Overturn Decision

Posted by on Monday, 30 July, 2012

LA Bans Marijuana DispensariesAfter the Los Angeles City Council voted this week to shut down the city’s 762 marijuana dispensaries, medical marijuana advocates said they will work to overturn the ban.

The City Council also approved a seemingly contradictory proposal to allow 182 marijuana dispensaries that registered with the city under a 2007 ordinance to stay open, NBC News reports.

Under the ruling that shuts down the marijuana dispensaries, groups of up to three patients and their caregivers are allowed to grow their own medical marijuana. The ordinance also gives exemptions to hospices, licensed clinics and home-health agencies.

At least 850 marijuana stores are currently operating in Los Angeles, city officials estimate.

Americans for Safe Access, a national medical marijuana advocacy group, said in a statement they will seek a referendum to reverse the new law.

Full story of ban on dispensaries at DrugFree.org

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Alcohol Could Intensify Effects of Some Drugs in the Body

Posted by on Friday, 27 July, 2012

Alcohol Intensifies Effects of Some DrugsScientists are reporting another reason — besides possible liver damage, stomach bleeding and other side effects — to avoid drinking alcohol while taking certain medicines. Their report in ACS’ journal Molecular Pharmaceutics describes laboratory experiments in which alcohol made several medications up to three times more available to the body, effectively tripling the original dose.

Christel Bergström and colleagues explain that beverage alcohol, or ethanol, can cause an increase in the amount of non-prescription and prescription drugs that are "available" to the body after taking a specific dose. Alcohol can change how enzymes and other substances in the body interact with many of the 5,000 such medications on the market. Some of these medications don’t dissolve well in the gastrointestinal tract — especially in the stomach and intestines. The researchers sought to test whether ethanol made these drugs dissolve more easily. If so, this would make the drugs more available in the body, possibly intensifying their effects when combined with alcohol.

Full story of alcohol and drugs at Science Daily

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NJ Governor Signs Measure Requiring Treatment for Low-Level Drug Offenders

Posted by on Thursday, 26 July, 2012

Treatment Required For Low Level Drug OffendersNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Thursday signed a measure that requires treatment for low-level drug offenders who otherwise would go to prison, according to The Star-Ledger.

The law establishes a $2.5 million pilot program that will expand drug courts in three New Jersey counties. It also expands the types of crimes that make inmates eligible for drug court, which will now be mandatory for those inmates. The article notes drug court programs require inmates to undergo intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment. In order to qualify, inmates must have a drug addiction, be receptive to treatment and be deemed able to be helped by treatment. The inmates appear regularly before judges, who determine whether they are meeting the terms of the five-year program.

“When I outlined this proposal six months ago, I made it clear that our commitment to our most vulnerable was not just a matter of dollars and cents, it was about reclaiming lives. No life is disposable and every life can be redeemed, but not if we ignore them,” Governor Christie said in a news release. “Once again by putting people before partisanship, we are providing optimism and hope to individuals and families torn apart by addiction. Once fully phased in over five years, this program will provide mandatory drug treatment to appropriate offenders who are not a threat to society and who suffer from the disease of addiction—redeeming lives and healing families.”

Full story of low level drug offenders at DrugFree.org

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Anxiety Disorders in Poor Moms Likely to Result from Poverty, Not Mental Illness, Study Suggests

Posted by on Wednesday, 25 July, 2012

Anxiety In Moms Likely Result To PovertyPoor mothers are more likely to be classified as having the mental illness known as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) because they live in poverty — not because they are suffering from a psychiatric disorder, according to Rutgers researchers.

Judith C. Baer, an associate professor in the School of Social Work, and her team, in the study, "Is it Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Poverty? An Examination of Poor Mothers and Their Children," published online in Child and Adolescent Social Work, argue that although high levels of stress over long periods can lead to psychological problems, there is no evidence that generalized anxiety disorder in poor mothers is because of an "internal malfunction."

The findings confirm earlier studies that the poorest mothers have the greater odds of being classified as having generalized anxiety disorder. But Baer and her team wrote, ." ..there is no evidence for a malfunction of some internal mechanism. Rather, "there is a physical need in the real world that is unmet and produces anxiety."

Full story of anxiety in moms at Science Daily

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