Growing up with animals could make you more resilient as an adult

A rural upbringing with lots of contact with animals might ensure immune system and mental resilience to stress more effectively than a pet-free city upbringing.

This was the conclusion of new research that was led by the University of Ulm in Germany and is now published in the journal PNAS.

This study is by no means the first to propose that growing up in urban settings lacking in microbe diversity can undermine physical health.

In that respect, it adds to the growing evidence in support of the theories that developed from the “hygiene hypothesis.”

Full story at Medical News Today

Conversion disorder: What you need to know

Conversion disorder is when a person experiences temporary physical symptoms, such as blindness or paralysis, that do not have a physical cause.

While the exact cause of conversion disorder is unknown, researchers believe it occurs in response to stressful situations or trauma.

In this article, learn about the common symptoms and treatment, as well as when to see a doctor.

Full story at Medical News Today

Addiction Issues Magnified During Hurricanes

Authorities planning for natural disasters such as hurricanes must prepare for its effect on people struggling with drugs or alcohol, experts tell the Associated Press. The stress of hurricanes leads to an increased danger of relapse and overdose.

Before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, a needle exchange program in Miami distributed extra syringes, while patients at methadone clinics picked up advance medication. Florida, in cooperation with the federal government, allowed methadone clinics to provide up to five days of medication ahead of the hurricane.

Full story at drugfree.org

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