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Medication may help patients with severe mental illness stay smoke-free

Smokers with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders are three times more likely to abstain from smoking over the course of a year if they take varenicline.


Talking to the Dalai Lama about Addiction Science

Recently, I had the privilege of visiting Dharamsala, India, for a dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama about addiction science, as part of a five-day conference at his Mind and Life Institute. I was very impressed at the Tibetan Buddhist leader’s personal interest in the brain, and in his desire to convene a small group of scientists from around the world along with Buddhist contemplatives and other scholars to discuss the topic of craving, desire, and addiction.

Women Benefit From Policies To Prevent Teens From Buying Tobacco

Women who reached their majority in states with policies that restricted teens’ access to tobacco products were less likely to smoke from ages 18-34 than women in states without those policies. The research did not demonstrate that the policies had a comparable impact on men’s smoking.

Early-Onset, Regular Cannabis Use Is Linked to IQ Decline

Regular cannabis use that starts in adolescence strips away IQ, a NIDA-supported study suggests. Participants who initiated weekly cannabis use before age 18 dropped IQ points in proportion to how long they persisted in using the drug. Persistent cannabis users’ cognitive difficulties were evident to friends and family and measurable on a battery of tests.

After Release, Jail Inmates’ Substance Use Patterns Relate to Their Choice of Friends

When the goal is to avoid using alcohol and illicit substances after being released from jail, it’s who one’s friends are that counts most. Self-control is important because it helps a person have the right kind of friends.

Two studies highlight strategies to reduce teen drug use

Teen girl leaning against a metal fence that has a sign stating No Smoking

Two studies have reported success in reducing teen drug use.


Study Endorses Onsite HIV Testing Without Risk Reduction Counseling

Patients were more likely to take a rapid HIV test when substance abuse treatment programs offered the test onsite rather than referred for offsite testing. Patients were equally likely to accept and learn their HIV status whether the offer of onsite testing was accompanied by 30 minutes of risk reduction counseling or by 5 minutes of brief information on the testing procedure. Onsite testing accompanied by brief information was cost effective, taking into account the projected lifetime costs of treatment and the gains in health and longevity for detected cases.

Prevention efforts focused on youth reduce prescription abuse into adulthood

Middle school students from small towns and rural communities who received any of three community-based prevention programs were less likely to abuse prescription medications in late adolescence and young adulthood.


SAAF‒T Reduces African American Teens’ Substance Use, Conduct Problems

Teens who participated in the intervention Strong African American FamiliesTeen at age 16 reported fewer conduct problems and depressive symptoms and less substance abuse at age 17‒18, compared to peers exposed to a control intervention.

Nicotine Makes Mouse Brain More Responsive to Cocaine

Nicotine sensitizes the mouse brain to the addictive effects of cocaine, according to recent NIDA-supported research. The results accord with the hypothesis that a person’s initial use of an addictive substance physiologically sensitizes his or her brain to the rewarding and addictive effects of other substances. If the findings carry over to people, then preventing youths from smoking might reduce their vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction, and cocaine-dependent individuals might ease their path to recovery by quitting smoking.

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