Drinking and drug-use dreams in recovery tied to more severe addiction history

Vivid dreams involving drinking and drug use are common among individuals in recovery. A study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Recovery Research Institute, published in the January issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment after online release in October 2018, finds these relapse dreams are more common in those with more severe clinical histories of alcohol and other drug problems.

“Anecdotally, the occurrence of drinking and drug-using dreams is a known phenomenon among people in recovery, but very little is known from an epidemiological standpoint about the prevalence of such dreams, their relation to relapse risk, and how they decay with time in recovery,” says lead author John F. Kelly, PhD, founder and director of the Recovery Research Institute. “Given that these dreams can be deeply unnerving, more information could help treatment providers, those in recovery and their families know what to expect going forward.”

Recovery from every kind of substance use disorder — alcohol, heroin, cocaine, cannabis — has been characterized by dreams that follow a common pattern: in the dream the person has a drink or ingests their primary substance. They experience disbelief and are overcome with fear, guilt and remorse until they wake up, relieved to realize it was only a dream.

Full story at Science Daily

How does smoking marijuana affect sperm?

With the increased legalization of cannabis, especially medical marijuana, researchers are interested in finding out more about its effects on health. One area that is currently under exploration is that of marijuana’s effect on fertility.

As recent research shows, men in Western countries are facing a fertility crisis. Sperm count in males of reproductive age more than halved between 1973 and 2011.

According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, approximately 9 percent of men in the United States have faced infertility.

Full story at Medical News Today

Doctor-Targeted Marketing Linked With Rise in Deaths From Opioid Overdoses

Increased marketing of opioid drugs to doctors is associated with higher opioid prescribing rates and higher rates of overdose deaths, according to a new study.

Researchers found that counties where opioid makers offered doctors more meals, trips and consulting fees had higher overdose deaths involving prescription opioids, compared with counties where such marketing tactics were less aggressive, The New York Times reports.

The drug industry spent about $40 million to promote opioid medications to almost 68,000 physicians from 2013 through 2015, the study found.

Full story at drugfree.org

What is an herbal tincture? Recipes and uses

An herbal tincture is a concentrated liquid form of one or more herbs. To make a tincture, a person must soak parts of an herb for several weeks in alcohol or vinegar.

The soaking process extracts the active components of the herb or herbs. Alcohol is often the liquid of choice, as it can extract components, such as resins and alkaloids, that are not water-soluble.

People usually take tinctures orally by using a dropper to place the liquid under their tongue.

Full story at Medical News Today

Kratom: Everything you need to know

Kratom is a plant that grows in Southeast Asia. Its leaves have psychotropic and opioid-like pain-relieving effects.

People living in areas where kratom grows sometimes use it to treat diarrhea, pain, cough, and fatigue.

People living in the United States have shown increasing interest in using this substance as an alternative to opioid pain relievers. Other people use kratom to experience the psychotropic effects, or the “high.”

While kratom is currently legal in the U.S., the Drug Enforcement Agency list it as a “Drug of Concern” due to several potential safety issues.

Full story at Medical News Today