Given the choice, zebrafish willingly dose themselves with opioids

As the opioid crisis escalates, the science behind addiction remains poorly understood. To address this need, researchers at University of Utah Health devised a system that allowed zebrafish, a small tropical fish, to self-administer doses of hydrocodone, an opioid commonly prescribed to people for pain. After one-week, the fish had increased their drug-seeking behavior, even when doing so required them to put themselves in risky conditions. Further, 48-hours after the last exposure, conditioned fish showed signs of anxiety, a hallmark of withdrawal.

Published August 25 online in the journal Behavioral Brain Research, this study offers a new approach to explore the biological pathways behind addiction and withdrawal that could lead to new therapies to treat dependence.

Full story at Science Daily

Presurgical Program Aims to Reduce Pain and Opioid Use After Surgery

Researchers at Stanford University are studying a pre-surgical online program that is designed to help patients better manage pain and reduce the use of opioid painkillers after surgery.

The program, called “My Surgical Success,” helps patients develop a personalized pain-management plan to control the anxiety associated with anticipating surgical pain. The program teaches patients to dampen the pain processing in their nervous system, so they have more control over how much pain is impacting them and how much medicine they need to manage their post-surgical pain.

Full story of pre-surgical online program to reduce opioid use at drugfree.org

Quantum Units Education: New CEU Courses

Prevention and Management of Wounds in Prison Populations

This CEU course provides guidance on the prevention and treatment of common types of wounds, including pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, venous insufficiency ulcers, and arterial insufficiency ulcers.  The focus of this course is to optimize treatment outcomes in the correctional environment.

Impact of Anxiety on Cognition

Anxiety disorders constitute a sizable worldwide health burden with profound social and economic consequences.  This advanced CE course examines the interaction between anxiety and cognition focusing on the translational threat of unpredictable shock paradigm.

Opioid Use, Misuse, and Overdose in Women

The prevalence of prescription opioid and heroin use among women is substantial.  In order to examine the prevention, treatment, and recovery issues for women who misuse, have use disorders, and/or overdose on opioids, this CEU course explores what is currently known about the opioid epidemic and describes promising practices for addressing opioid use disorder prevention and treatment for women.

Responding to Grief and Trauma After A Suicide

It is well established that exposure to death by suicide can be a significant risk factor for the development of many negative consequences in the bereaved, including an increased risk of suicide.  This CE course provides a unified, far-reaching blueprint for the development of suicide postvention at all levels of U.S. society, with the overarching goal of reducing deleterious effects of exposure to suicide and facilitate the process of healing from a suicide loss.

Cannabis Use for Cancer Patients

This short CEU course provides an overview of the use of Cannabis and its components as a treatment for people with cancer-related symptoms caused by the disease itself or its treatments.

For more on these courses and many more, visit Quantum Units Education

Addiction May be Linked With High Social Media Use in People With Depression

A new study suggests addiction may be linked with the high use of social media in people with depression. People who check social media most frequently throughout the week were 2.7 times more likely to be depressed than those who check it least often, the study found.

Compared with peers who spend less time on social media, people who spend the most time on social media throughout the day are 1.7 times more likely to be depressed, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found.

Addiction seemed to explain about three-fourths of the effect of social media use on depression, the researchers report in Depression and Anxiety.

“It may be that people who already are depressed are turning to social media to fill a void,” researcher Lui yi Lin said in a news release.

Full story of social media use, depression and addiction at drugfree.org

Teens Abusing Prescription Drugs May Not Just Want to Get High, Research Suggests

Many teens who use abuse prescription drugs are not trying to get high, but are using them to help them deal with an underlying problem such as anxiety, a newly published survey suggests.

“We think of teens as using drugs to party and to experiment,” says study co-author Barbara Delaney. “But because prescription drugs are designed to help with physical or emotional conditions, many teenagers are using them to help them with a specific problem, such as lessening anxiety, staying awake to study, or losing weight.”

The findings suggest the need for parents to understand physical or emotional problems their teen may be facing, which need to be addressed. “It’s not enough to simply tell them not to use drugs,” says Delaney, former Director of Research at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Parents need to understand what’s going on in their teens’ minds—what kind of stresses they feel.”

Full story of teens abusing prescription drugs at drugfree.org