Stress flips cocaine relapse to ‘on’; research switches it back to ‘off’

A heartbreaking phenomenon of addiction is that just a brief stressful episode can trigger relapse. In a detailed new cocaine addiction study conducted in rat models, which closely parallel human addictive behavior, scientists have identified what appears to be taking place in the mammalian brain to make that happen and uncovered the molecular biology that allows them to switch the stress-induced relapse back off.

The findings, published in the journal eLife, suggest a new way to develop medicines to combat relapse, even a day or so after stress has occurred.

“That’s so critical because you don’t want to be taking medication all the time in anticipation of stress,” said senior author Julie Kauer, a professor of molecular pharmacology, physiology and biotechnology at Brown University.

Full story of stress triggers cocaine relapses at Science Daily

Commentary: How to Navigate the Holidays in Early Recovery

With the holiday season upon us, many of us look forward to get-togethers with friends and family, and work celebrations with colleagues. From the smell of holiday cookies baking to hearing carols in stores, we’re primed to be in a holiday mood. But the season can also bring stress. Attending or planning holiday events can be exhausting and we often have high expectations that don’t always align with reality. For someone in early recovery – and their family members – it can be an especially stressful time.

Here are tips for those in early recovery on how to navigate the holidays.

Full story on navigating the holidays at drugfree.org

Quantum Units Education: New CEU Courses

Supporting Women with Substance Use Disorders in Co-ed Settings

Most women are served in co-ed settings, yet the design of behavioral health services rarely takes sex and gender differences into account.  This CE course provides principles and practices that co-ed centers can use to assess and improve their programs to better serve women.

Impacts of Sleep Loss and Stress

Sleep has been ascribed a critical role in cognitive functioning.  This advanced CEU course provides evidence linking sleep to mechanisms of protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity and synaptic scaling.  How disruption of sleep by acute and chronic stress may impair these mechanisms and degrade sleep function is also considered.

Breastfeeding: Influence on Socio-Emotional Development

Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) duration plays a prominent role in promoting healthy brain and cognitive development in human children.  This advanced CEU course examines whether and how the duration of EBF impacts the neural processing of emotional signals by measuring electro-cortical responses to body expressions in 8-month-old infants.

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

Introducing the Family Resource Center – Trusted Resources for Parents and Caregivers

Scientific advances now make it possible to prevent substance abuse from starting; to intervene early and stop emerging substance abuse; and to effectively treat even serious addictions using new medications and therapies. Despite this progress, parents of adolescents and young adults facing substance use problems still need to sort through the myriad amount of information available on the Internet; an often exhausting and sometimes discouraging task. The dearth of trustworthy information about preventing, intervening upon and treating adolescent substance use problems can sometimes be a deterrent to learning and taking action.

The Treatment Research Institute (TRI), through its new Family Resource Center website, wants to alleviate that stress for parents. By researching the most consistent, accurate and scientifically informed information, TRI sorted through the most widely available resources so parents and caring loved ones don’t have to. There IS good information to help adolescents and young adults. There ARE solutions. It DOESN’T have to be so overwhelming.

Full story of the Family Resource Center at drugfree.org

Let’s talk about more than sex: Parents in favor of expanding health education

Teaching kids about drugs, alcohol and sex appears to be less controversial than ever before with the majority of parents in a new poll saying schools should and do teach these subjects.

Many parents want more — saying those topics are not enough — finds the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. Researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of parents with kids in middle or high school.

Two-thirds of parents polled say schools should definitely cover emotional and mental health issues — which may include such subjects as dealing with depression, stress and bullying — yet only a third say these topics are currently covered by their child’s school.

Full story of expansion of sex education at Science Daily