Ketamine, known to most as a party drug, has been receiving more attention in recent years for its potential medical uses. For decades, the use of psychoactive substances in medical research has been taboo. Now, more and more researchers are finding possible uses for them in the treatment of mental health conditions. The latest study demonstrates that ketamine is effective in relieving the devastating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Many individuals who enter drug abuse treatment for cocaine addiction experience a frustrating cycle of recovery and relapse. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 40 to 60 percent of those who receive treatment for addiction will relapse. At six months following treatment, the rates can climb to 80 percent.
Recent reports show that more than one quarter (27 percent) of California admissions for substance abuse treatment are related to amphetamines. In fact, the problem is pervasive among other western states as well. Admittance rates for stimulant drug treatment in those states tell the tale:
- Nevada – 25 percent
- Idaho – 25 percent
- Arizona – 18 percent
- Oregon – 16 percent
- Washington – 14 percent
There are plenty of places people can go to get the numbers on drug addiction in America. But there is something about putting a face to problems which somehow makes it more real for us. A campaign called “More Than Meth: Faces of Drug Arrests” offers a visual history of individual drug addiction in an effort to convince drug users to ask for help sooner rather than later.
Salvia is the commonly used name for Salvia divinorum, a hallucinogenic plant species that grows naturally in southern regions of Mexico and can also grow when cultivated in controlled circumstances. Although references to this plant in mainstream culture are fairly uncommon, it ranks in the top 10 of the substances used by U.S. teenagers for recreational purposes. Researchers from the University of Michigan follow ongoing trends in teen salvia abuse through a project called Monitoring the Future. Current findings from this project indicate that adolescent use of the plant/drug dropped somewhat in 2013.
With the help of demographic information gathered from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration tracks the factors that help determine the chances that any American age 12 or older will develop a diagnosable case of substance abuse or substance addiction.
Opioids are powerful medications and illegal drugs that strongly alter the normal function of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). People who take too much of one or more of these substances can develop a dangerous, potentially lethal problem called an opioid overdose. Public health officials know that prompt use of a medication called naloxone can steeply reduce the odds that an opioid overdose victim will die; however, until recently, access to this medication was largely limited to licensed physicians. In April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration simultaneously approved the sale of a naloxone-based product called Evzio and made this product available for use by people not trained as doctors.
Prescription opioids are widely prescribed medications commonly used to relieve medically serious pain. In the U.S., these medications rank as the most frequently abused legitimate pharmaceutical substances. Pregnant women who use prescription opioid medications have increased risks for bearing children with any one of a number of serious birth defects. However, according to the results of studies published in two journals in May 2014, intake of these medications by pregnant women commonly occurs. One of the studies covers usage patterns among women participating in the publicly funded insurance plan called Medicaid, while the other covers usage patterns among women with private health insurance.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug of abuse known for its ability to trigger physical dependence and addiction in repeated and heavy users. Researchers and addiction specialists are well aware that repeated exposure to the drug also has a widespread impact on the brain areas responsible for logical thinking and emotional processing. In a study published in March 2014 in the journal Addiction Biology, a team of Spanish researchers investigated the impact that cocaine addiction has on a person’s ability to deal with complex moral judgments known as moral dilemmas.