Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Behavior Therapy Plus Medication May Help Teens With Depression And Substance Use Disorders

ScienceDaily (Nov. 7, 2007) — The antidepressant fluoxetine combined with cognitive behavioral therapy appears as effective for treating depression among teens who also have substance use disorders as among those without substance abuse problems, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

"Adolescents with substance use disorders (SUDs) have higher rates of depression (15 percent to 24 percent) than adolescents in the general population," the authors write as background information in the article. "Comorbid [co-occuring] depression is also associated with more severe substance abuse, poorer drug treatment outcomes and higher relapse rates."

Paula D. Riggs, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Colorado Denver conducted a randomized controlled trial of the antidepressant fluoxetine in 126 teens (average age 17) who met diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder, lifetime conduct disorder and at least one substance abuse disorder other than tobacco. The adolescents were randomly assigned to receive either 20 milligrams of fluoxetine daily or placebo, along with cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of psychotherapy addressing the way individuals currently think and act rather than past events. The cognitive behavior therapy was focused on substance abuse rather than depression.

Click here to read entire article at Science

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Medication Plus Counseling May Help Teens Kick The Smoking Habit

ScienceDaily (Nov. 6, 2007) — The medication bupropion plus counseling appears to help adolescents quit cigarette smoking in the short term, according to a new report.

Almost one-fourth of U.S. high school students currently smoke cigarettes, according to background information in the article. Many teen smokers want to quit, but studies estimate that only about 4 percent of those who try are successful each year. The antidepressant bupropion has been shown to help adults quit smoking and also is used to treat attention deficit disorders in children.

Myra L. Muramoto, M.D., M.P.H., Scott J. Leischow, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Arizona, Tucson, conducted a clinical trial of 312 adolescents age 14 to 17 who smoked six or more cigarettes per day and had tried to quit at least twice before. They were randomly assigned to receive 150 milligrams (105 teens) or 300 milligrams (104 teens) of bupropion per day, or placebo (103 teens). Participants visited the clinic weekly for seven weeks--six weeks of treatment plus one week post-treatment--and received 10- to 20-minute individual cessation counseling sessions. They were interviewed by phone after 12 weeks and in person after 26 weeks.

Click here to read entire article at Science

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hypnotherapy For Smoking Cessation Sees Strong Results

ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2007) — Hospitalized patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods. A new study* shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit "cold turkey". The study also shows that patients admitted to the hospital with a cardiac diagnosis are three times more likely to quit smoking at 6 months than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis.

"Our results showed that hypnotherapy resulted in higher quit rates compared with NRT alone," said Faysal Hasan, MD, FCCP, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. "Hypnotherapy appears to be quite effective and a good modality to incorporate into a smoking cessation program after hospital discharge."

Dr. Hasan and colleagues from North Shore Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital compared the quit rates of 67 smoking patients hospitalized with a cardiopulmonary diagnosis. All patients were approached about smoking cessation and all included in the study were patients who expressed a desire to quit smoking.

Click here to read entire article at Science

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Highs And Lows Of Drug Cravings

ScienceDaily (Oct. 11, 2007) — The anticipation of a cocaine fix and the actual craving to abuse the drug are two closely related phenomena, according to new evidence published in the journal Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy.

The study, by Rinah Yamamoto and colleagues at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts assessed the suspected link by contrasting reactions to varying perceived availability of the drug. The researchers suggest that more appropriate care could be given if the degree of dependency and abuse were assessed in a natural environment with a potential access to the drug, rather than in a clinical setting.

Yamamoto explains that craving, is an intense and often irrepressible urge to seek and consume the drug, which can result in relapses even after extended periods of abstinence. In searching for effective therapies, understanding how craving, cognition and motivation are entwined is essential.

Click here to continue reading article at Science

Monday, September 10, 2007

Teen Binge Drinkers Risk Alcoholism And Social Exclusion As Adults

ScienceDaily (Sep. 10, 2007) — Teen binge drinkers are significantly more likely to become heavy drinkers as adults and find themselves with a string of criminal convictions, indicates a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The researchers monitored the health and prospects of more than 11,000 UK children born in 1970 (The 1970 British Birth Cohort Study) at the ages of 16 and 30.

They collected information on binge drinking during the preceding fortnight and habitual drinking during the previous year from the 16 year olds.

One in four of the 16 year olds were habitual drinkers, drinking more than two to three times a week.

Binge drinking was classified as two or more episodes in which four or more drinks had been consumed in a row. Almost 18% fell into this category of drinker, with more young men than women binge drinking.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Researchers Identify Alcoholism Subtypes

ScienceDaily (July 3, 2007) — Analyses of a national sample of individuals with alcohol dependence (alcoholism) reveal five distinct subtypes of the disease, according to a new study by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"Our findings should help dispel the popular notion of the 'typical alcoholic,'" notes first author Howard B. Moss, M.D., NIAAA Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research. "We find that young adults comprise the largest group of alcoholics in this country, and nearly 20 percent of alcoholics are highly functional and well-educated with good incomes. More than half of the alcoholics in the United States have no multigenerational family history of the disease, suggesting that their form of alcoholism was unlikely to have genetic causes."

"Clinicians have long recognized diverse manifestations of alcoholism," adds NIAAA Director Ting-Kai Li, M.D, "and researchers have tried to understand why some alcoholics improve with specific medications and psychotherapies while others do not. The classification system described in this study will have broad application in both clinical and research settings." A report of the study is now available online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Addiction Breakthrough May Lead To New Treatments

ScienceDaily (Mar. 5, 2007) — Scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered why some individuals may be predisposed to drug addiction and believe it may lead to better treatments for this brain disorder.

The new findings, published in today's edition of Science, may lead to more targeted treatments for addiction and other compulsive behaviour disorders with fewer side effects than current alternatives.

Certain changes in brain chemistry have been linked with drug addiction in humans. However, previous studies were unable to conclude whether individuals were predisposed to drug addiction because of these chemical changes or if chronic drug use itself caused the chemical changes in the brain.

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Monday, January 8, 2007

Study Will Test Antidepressant Patch That May Help Smokers Kick The Habit

ScienceDaily (Jan. 8, 2007) — Smokers trying to kick the habit face odds that only a bookie could love--just one in five succeeds in quitting. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers will test whether a new type of medication could help smokers quit and bolster their chances of staying smoke-free for good.

Researchers at the Stanford Prevention Research Center are looking for regular smokers to try a skin patch that delivers a medication used to treat depression. The drug, selegiline, could help smokers combat the cravings they feel when they try to quit, said study leader Joel Killen, PhD, professor of medicine.

The medication, which is marketed under the name Emsam, is produced by Somerset Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Meyers Squibb. The Food and Drug Administration approved the patch as an antidepressant treatment in February 2006.

The study seeks smokers between the ages of 18 and 65 who are interested in quitting, said Killen. Participants will wear a patch on their skin that delivers either selegiline or a placebo. Participants put on a new patch each day for eight weeks while trying to quit smoking.

Click here to read entire article at Science