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    Substance Abuse Article Review

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    Review the assigned Lopez-Quintero, et al. (2011) article describing results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Then review what you posted in u03d1 regarding the relative risks of a selected stimulant and depressant. How does the data regarding "remission from lifetime dependence" for the substances you selected impact your assessment of the level of risk for the substances you addressed in u03d1? How do teens surveyed in the current Monitoring the Future study perceive the risk of using these two substances and what strategies may be helpful to impact either increasing the perception of risk or the perception of availability? Be certain to cite scholarly literature to support prevention strategies.

    Depressants produce a relaxed euphoria that temporarily boosts self-esteem, Side effects include impairment in mental and motor functioning, and mood swing. For instance, alcohol appears as a stimulant, because it elevates moods. However, alcohol is a depressant as it depresses central nervous system activity, and bodily functions (Pinel, 2006). Lynch, Sanchez, & Smith (2013) note that physical activity, such as exercise has the potential for a treatment for drug addiction such as alcohol. Lynch et al discusses clinical and preclinical evidence for the efficacy of exercise at different phases of the addiction process. As they point out, neurobiological mechanisms are also discussed focusing on interactions with dopaminergic (dopamine) and glutamatergic (glutamate) signaling and chromatin remodeling in the reward pathway. Although, most exercise generally produces an efficacious response, certain exercise conditions may be either ineffective or lead to detrimental effects depending on factors such as: (a) the level/type/timing of exercise exposure, (b) the stage of addiction, (c) the drug involved, and (e) the subject population.

    For instance, according to Lynch et al (2013), during initial drug use and withdrawal, its efficacy may be related to its ability to facilitate dopaminergic transmission. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays various roles in the brain. It is made up of chemicals released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. Dopaminergic systems include cellular effects, the substania nigra dopamine system and motor control. Once addiction develops, its efficacy may be related to its ability to normalize glutamatergic and dopaminergic signaling and reverse drug-induced changes in chromatin via epigenetic interactions with brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) in the reward pathway. The authors conclude with future directions, including the development of exercise-based interventions alone, or as an adjunct to other strategies for treating drug addiction.

    Stimulants are drugs that increase the Central Nervous System (CNS) activity. According to Pinel (2006), Monosodium glutamate (MSG) affects the brain through neural activity. MSG is an amino acid -glutamic acid, and is the brain's most significant excitatory neurotransmitter. MSG is a major stimulatory neurotransmitter in the nervous systems of mammals. A concentrated dosage can be toxic. Pinel (2006) states that glutamate plays a pivotal role in regulating drug self-administration and drug-seeking behavior. Stimulants produce euphoria, buoyancy, elation and an energetic feeling (e.g. caffeine, nicotine and cocaine).

    Research suggests that while drug habits may be detrimental from a biological perspective. Alcohol appears to be more dangerous to the community and society. Studies cite both short term and long-term effects. Short-term effects from drinking too much include: (a) impaired judgment, (b) lowered concentration, (c) lack of coordination, and (d) over confidence. Additionally, based on the report, it takes (on average) one hour for a healthy liver to break down and remove one unit of alcohol. Alcoholic persons are reported to be responsible for a number of traffic deaths. Based on one report, alcohol's hidden harms usually only emerge after a number of years. And by then, serious health problems could have developed including: (1) liver problems, (2) reduced fertility, (3) high blood pressure, (4) increased risk of various cancers and (5) heart attack are some of the numerous harmful effects of persistent drinking above recommended levels (www.drinkaware.co.uk).


    Lynch W. J., Peterson, A. B, Sanchez V., A. J., Smith M. A. (2013) Exercise as a Novel Treatment for Drug Addiction: A Neurobiological and Stage- Dependent Hypothesis. Neuroscience Bio behavioral Review, 37(8): 1622-1644.

    Pinel, J. P. (2006). Biopsychology (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

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    Article Study - Substance Related Disorders

    Article -
    Lopez-Quintero, C., Hasin, D. S., de los Cobos, J. P., Pines, A., Wang, S., Grant, B. F., & Blanco, C. (2011). "Probability and predictors of remission from life‐time nicotine, alcohol, cannabis or cocaine dependence: Results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions," from Addiction, 106(3), 657-669.

    Quick Overview -
    This particular study was undertaken to look into the racial/ethnicity specific cumulative probability of developing dependence on substances like nicotine (smoking addiction), alcohol (alcoholism), cannabis and cocaine users for the purpose of identifying predictors that transitions occasional users to full-blown substance dependence/addiction. The researchers utilised data from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) focusing on subsamples of lifetime substance dependents. The results show that transition was highest for nicotine users followed by cocaine, alcohol and cannabis users. Cocaine and cannabis dependence occur the fastest although all had common predictors. Increased risk included individuals with mental health issues and people from minority groups.


    Q - How does the data regarding "remission from lifetime dependence" for the substances you selected impact your assessment of the level of risk for the substances you addressed in u03d1?

    A - According to Recovery Answers (2015), "An individual is in remission if they once met DSM-IV criteria for a substance use disorder, but no ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of reviewing information on a study in drug/substance addiction. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.