Millions of Americans struggle with substance abuse and tens of thousands die each year, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Though treating addiction has become a vast (and at times abusive) industry, the underlying causes of drug or alcohol dependency—and how to successfully treat these debilitating conditions—are still poorly understood by science. Now, researchers think they’ve found the germ of an answer in our genetic past. Continue reading Addictive behavior could trace back to an ancient retrovirus in our DNA
When historians trace back the roots of today’s opioid epidemic, they often find themselves returning to the wave of addiction that swept the U.S. in the late 19th century. That was when physicians first got their hands on morphine: a truly effective treatment for pain, delivered first by tablet and then by the newly invented hypodermic syringe. With no criminal regulations on morphine, opium or heroin, many of these drugs became the “secret ingredient” in readily available, dubiously effective medicines. Continue reading How Advertising Shaped the First Opioid Epidemic
America’s gun addiction is bad. But to understand just how bad it is, you’ve got to see the numbers.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Probuphine, the first implantable drug for the treatment of opioid dependence. It’s a welcome development at a time when scores of Americans are addicted to painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin.
Experts who research addiction have long argued that it is a disease of the brain. Now, in a new paper, they present a model of addiction, broken down into three key stages, to illustrate how the condition changes human neurobiology.
The U.S. Food and Drug Association approved the painkiller OxyContin for children ages 11 to 16 with pain “severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment,” according to a statement released on Aug. 14.
Methamphetamine is one of the nastiest drug addictions to overcome, in part because memories of the high are so powerful. But what if scientists could erase those drug-infused recollections? Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a drug that’s able to do just that in mice.