health

Regular marijuana users may have impaired brain reward centers

New research shows that regular marijuana users show impairments in the brain’s ability to respond to dopamine – a brain chemical that is involved in reward, among other functions. Although this research can’t determine if regular marijuana use causes deficits in brain reward centers – or if users take marijuana to compensate for less reactive dopamine systems – these results could help explain why regular marijuana users are more prone towards depression, anxiety, irritability, and…

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Data from the National Drug Early Warning System will promote rapid and effective public health responses

An innovative National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) is being developed to monitor emerging trends that will help health experts respond quickly to potential outbreaks of illicit drugs such as heroin and to identify increased use of designer synthetic compounds. The system will scan social media and Web platforms to identify new trends as well as use conventional national- and local-level data resources.The University of Maryland’s Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) will receive five…

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Health most common major stressful event in Americans’ lives last year, poll finds

A new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) poll released today that examines the role of stress in Americans’ lives finds that about half of the public (49%) reported that they had a major stressful event or experience in the past year. Nearly half (43%) reported that the most stressful experiences related to health. More than half of those who experienced a great deal of stress in the past month say too…

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Adults with mental illness twice as likely to use tobacco

Kansas adults with mental illness are twice as likely to use tobacco as adults without mental illness, according to a new report by RTI International and funded by the Kansas Health Foundation. The report found 37.8 percent of Kansas adults with mental illness smoke, compared to 17.3 percent of adults without mental illness. Nearly one-half of Kansas adults who experience mental illness reported smoking in the last 30 days. Smoking rates are highest among those…

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Review of ADHD drug approvals highlights gaps between approval process, long-term safety assessment

Over the last 60 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 20 medications for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) based on clinical trials that were not designed to study their long-term efficacy and safety or to detect rare adverse events, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital report today in PLOS ONE. The study highlights gaps in how the long-term safety of drugs intended for chronic use in children is assessed as part of the FDA approval…

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