Tag Archives: AARS

PHOTOS: Serramonte Health & Safety Fair 8-24-2013

Photos with NCPP, Asian American Recovery Services, and some of our friends from Health Plan of San Mateo, Filipino Mental Health Initiative, Library and Rec Services of Daly City, California Public Utilities, California Telephone Access, Legal Aid Society of San Mateo, North County Fire, American Medical Response, Senior Services, Seton Medical Center.  Sorry if we missed some of our other colleagues!

NEWS: Study finds that high-fat/sugar diets during mothers’ pregnancies put babies at risk of drug and alcohol abuse

Click here for the article referenced.

The animal experiments showed that offspring of rats that ate high-fat or high-sugar diets while pregnant weighed more as adults, drank more alcohol, and also had stronger responses to commonly abused drugs.

The majority of women int he U.S. at child-bearing age are overweight, most likely due to overeating. Because of the rising prenatal and childhood obesity and the rise in number of youths abusing alcohol and drugs, Nicole Avena, a research neuroscientist at the University of Florida, supports looking into all the possible causes of these problems.

This phenomenon is likely due to how overeating foods that taste good alters brain reward systems while diets with excessive fat and sugar can lead to increased appetite as well as some addiction-like behaviors.

In related news, another research study saw a bump in substance abuse treatment during pregnancy. Treatment is crucial since “any kind of substance use by pregnant women can result in miscarriage, premature birth or a variety of behavioral and cognitive problems in the children they carry,” SAMHSA administrator Pamela Hyde said.

SAMHSA, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, has a Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women which promotes the availability of substance abuse treatment, prevention and recovery support programs for low-income women and their young children.

Click the image below to visit the SAMHSA website to learn more.

samhsa

NEWS: Penn Medicine Study Finds that Topiramate May Help Curb Cocaine Addictions

 

Researchers in the department of Psychiatry at Penn Medicine conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial and found that the drug topiramate may help people addicted to both cocaine and alcohol. Because cocaine and alcohol addictions often go hand in hand, therapies that target both may be the best method for treatment. 170 alcohol and cocaine dependent people were tested in the 13-week clinical trial. The results showed that people with more severe cocaine withdrawal symptoms seemed to benefit the most from the drug. The drug also reduced alcohol cravings, but did not reduce drinking.

Topiramate is believed to reduce the dopamine release associated with cocaine and alcohol use, reducing the drugs’ euphoric effects.

“This study further supports topiramate as a promising medication for people who are both alcohol and cocaine dependent,” said Dr. Kampman. “Future studies are planned in which topiramate will be combined with other promising medications for the treatment of cocaine dependence in the hope of achieving even higher levels of cocaine abstinence than were achieved with topiramate alone.”

Topiramate is commonly used alone or with other medications to prevent and control seizures, prevent migraine headaches and decrease how often you get them, and aid in weight loss. Some side effects of topiramate include tiredness, drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, tingling of the hand/feet, loss of appetite, bad taste in mouth, diarrhea, and weight loss. Topiramate may also decrease your ability to sweat, making you more likely to get heatstroke. Those who use topiramate are advised to avoid activities that may cause them to overheat.

For more information about the Penn Medicine Study, click here for the Penn Medicine News Release.

Information about topiramate is from WebMD.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Pacifica Resource Center Events July 22-26, 2013

  • Wednesday, July 24th, 2013, 3:15 PM
    • Family Harvest – 100-120 pounds of free groceries once per month for Pacifica families with children under the age of 18. Food includes fresh fruit and vegetables, poultry, eggs, bread, pasta, and an assortment of canned, packaged, and frozen items. Families must pre-register for Family Harvest and meet income guidelines.
  • Wednesday, July 24th, 2013, 4:45 PM
    • “Singles” Harvest – Free groceries once per month for Pacifica households without children under the age of 18. Individuals must pre-register for “singles” Harvest, live in Pacifica, and meet income guidelines.
  • Wednesday, July 24th, 2013, 6 PM
    • LifeRing meeting at the PRC: Empowering Your Sober Self – For more information, email liferingscott@gmail.com.

NEWS: “Targeting Impulsive Adolescents May Reduce Drinking Problem” and information about addiction

In a recent research study at the University of Liverpool, scientists have shown that young people who show impulsive tendencies are more prone to drinking heavily at an early age. The research team tested inhibitory control, the ability to delay gratification, and risk-taking in more than 280 youth aged 12 to 13 for two years. Those who were more impulsive in the tests went on to drink more heavily or have problems with alcohol later on. Although there is a link between impulsive behavior and adolescent drinking, there is insufficient evidence to support how alcohol could lead to increased impulsive behavior in the short run.  Because of this research, they believe that targeting impulsive personality traits could possibly be a successful approach to preventing alcohol problems in adolescents later in life.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “addiction is a chronic brain disease that causes compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences”. Drug and alcohol use is the leading cause of preventable disease and premature death in the United States and is also associated with high-risk sexual behaviors and injection drug use.

Alcohol, a legal drug, can produce dangerous effects such as reckless behavior (a leading cause of serious injury and accidental death) when consumed in large quantities.  Besides recklessness, excessive drinking may lead to alcoholism, an illness that is often associated with depression. Although alcoholism can cause serious damage to our bodies, abruptly ending alcohol use in a person who is alcohol dependent can be dangerous. A person who is dependent on alcohol should consult a physician when he or she wants to stop the use of alcohol.