What is gaming disorder?

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified gaming disorder in their International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD-11 is a list of diseases and medical conditions that health professionals use to make diagnoses and treatment plans.

According to the ICD-11, people with gaming disorder have trouble controlling the amount of time that they spend playing digital or video games. They also prioritize gaming over other activities and experience negative effects from their gaming behaviors.

The WHO decided to classify the condition after reviewing the research and consulting with experts. The WHO claim that this classification will result in an increased focus on gaming disorder and its prevention and treatment.

Full story at Medical News Today

Major study finds ‘no evidence’ that cannabis relieves chronic pain

A large study stretching over a 4-year period challenges popular beliefs, as it finds “no evidence” that cannabis use improves the symptoms of chronic pain.

More and more people are taking prescription opioids for pain management, making the phenomenon “an emerging public health concern globally.”

Of all the countries in the world, North America has the “proportionally highest” use of prescription opioids.

Full story at Medical News Today

Study casts doubt on effectiveness of e-cigs for smoking cessation

A study found no evidence that smokers who used e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in the United States were more likely to quit smoking cigarettes than smokers who do not use these products. The study, looking at 2015-2016 data, found that 90 percent of people who used both ENDS and traditional cigarettes (dual users) were still smoking one year later. The research was conducted by researchers at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products.

While eighty-eight percent of people who used both ENDS and traditional cigarettes (dual users) reported that quitting smoking was an “important reason” for using ENDS and forty-six percent reported they tried to “completely quit” smoking during the one-year study, only nine percent reported having quit at follow-up. More than half continued to smoke traditional cigarettes and use ENDS (dual use), and more than 37 percent were still smoking, but discontinued ENDS. The authors did find that users of ENDS were more likely to try to quit smoking than those who did not use ENDS. However, this did not translate to greater success with quitting smoking compared to smokers who did not use ENDS.

Full story at drugabuse.gov

Play ball or go rogue? Oxytocin affects cooperative behavior

Oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “love hormone,” helps to regulate social and sexual interactions. Best known for its role in romantic and mother-infant bonding, scientists are now showing that it could also influence whether we cooperate with others in a team setting.

Researchers Jennifer McClung, Zegni Triki, and colleagues, from the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, have wondered about our unique ability to cooperate with other individuals, as well as to withdraw cooperation.

But how, and why, do we sometimes choose to be team players, whereas at other times we prefer to take our chances and go solo?

Full story at Medical News Today

Children’s Accidental Exposure to Buprenorphine on the Rise

Children’s accidental exposure to the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine is increasing, according to new data from U.S. poison control centers.

Between 2007 and 2016, poison control centers received 11,275 calls about children’s exposure to buprenorphine, CNN reports. Eighty-six percent of exposures were in children younger than 6, and 89 percent of the exposures were unintentional. Buprenorphine can dangerously slow young children’s breathing. Almost one-quarter of the children under 6 who are exposed spend time in intensive care, the researchers noted.

Full story at drugabuse.org