Oct 14, 2019 01:17 AM EDT
For several years, the national spotlight has shone on the need to prevent and rapidly treat opioid overdoses. But a new study suggests a need for more focus on the risk of alcohol overdoses among people who use opioids of all kinds, as well as cocaine, marijuana and certain prescription drugs. Researchers from the University of Michigan Addiction Center find that 90% of 660 people surveyed in a residential recovery center had overdosed on alcohol at least once in their lives - blacking out, or suffering alcohol poisoning severe enough to need medical treatment. That by itself may not be too surprising. But 80% of alcohol overdose survivors said that at the time of their overdose, they had also been taking other drugs, including street drugs and prescription drugs that have abuse potential. More than 43% said they'd been using marijuana, and around 1 in 4 said they'd been using sedatives such as sleeping pills, and/or cocaine or crack, and/or prescription opioids. Nearly 40% said they'd been using two or more drugs in addition to alcohol when they suffered their alcohol overdose. And the more substances they'd been using at once, the higher their chance that their alcohol overdose sent them to the hospital for emergency or inpatient care. 1+1 = 3 when alcohol interacts with drugs Alcohol ramps up the effects of other drugs that act on the brain and nervous system, and vice versa, which means faster, more dangerous effects on the brain and body, says Anne Fernandez, M.A., Ph.D., lead author of the new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. But people who drink and take these drugs at the same time may not fully realize the danger before it's too late, and they suffer an acute reaction that needs emergency care. Fernandez, an addiction psychologist, says many people don't realize that alcohol by itself kills six Americans a day. But many of the 130 opioid overdose deaths in the U.S each day may result from a combination of illicit or prescription opioids with alcohol, and perhaps other substances such as sleeping pills and anxiety medications that depress the central nervous system, she says. "As a society, we treat all these drugs as if they were in silos, as if people were just using one, when in fact it's much more blended, and they have an additive effect," says Fernandez, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the U-M Medical School. "We need to understand better how people mix substances, and how overdoses result from the interactions of those substances." Clinical implications Fernandez counsels patients about their alcohol use at U-M Addiction Treatment Services and at a specialty alcohol-related liver disease clinic at Michigan Medicine, U-M's academic medical center. She's also studying alcohol use among patients scheduled for surgery, in part because of the risk of interaction between what they drink and the pain medication they take after their operation. The new study, she notes, shows the importance of focusing on people in the highest-risk categories of "polysubstance" users. Because the data are from a limited number of people who had found their way to a residential recovery program in Michigan in the mid-2010s, and are not nationally representative, Fernandez and her colleagues call for more research on this phenomenon. For those who are receiving or leaving inpatient recovery care, she notes, the study also points out the importance of counseling around alcohol as a risk factor for severe overdose events. Need for further research The data don't provide insights into the intent of the patients at the time they used alcohol and multiple other drugs, nor whether they obtained prescription sedatives, prescription opioids and prescription stimulants such as ADHD drugs with a prescription or on the street. "We tend to think of opioids such as heroin and fentanyl as the ones that have the risk of an overdose, but people taking prescription opioids or sedatives for legitimate medical reasons are also at risk if an overdose if they combine those with alcohol," says Fernandez. "Alcohol may be more socially acceptable than other substances, but it's still one of our nation's biggest killers, in both its acute and long-term effects, and its role in raising the risk of serious injuries during other activities like driving." Fernandez also notes that research is severely lacking on the effect of marijuana and marijuana derivatives combined with alcohol, which is especially concerning given the recent legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in more states. "Research has shown combining alcohol with cannabis significantly increases levels of THC in the blood, and anecdotally we hear about people 'greening out' or 'whiting out' when they're using both," she says. But not enough is known about these effects.
Sep 10, 2019 04:40 AM EDT
Forex is, by far, one of the fastest ways to generate income consistently. If you have a few dollars to go, and a lovely strategy to work with, you can consider yourself rich already because you are just a few trades away from making money in forex. However, far from being the rollercoaster ride, many blogs portray it to be, Forex trading is not without its risks. And your level of risk management makes a world of difference between getting rich and running into penury.
Aug 16, 2019 11:52 AM EDT
If you only take away one thing from this blog, we would want it to be this: Never negotiate your commercial lease by yourself.
Aug 13, 2019 04:45 AM EDT
WASHINGTON -- Older workers whose reasoning abilities no longer allow them to meet the demands of their jobs may be more likely to develop chronic health conditions and retire early, which may not be ideal for the employee or employer, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Aug 06, 2019 04:14 AM EDT
Jeff Bezos and Arianna Huffington came up with brilliant ideas that turned into companies that are now household names -- Amazon and HuffPost. The secret ingredient for coming up with these ideas may be something we can all tap into -- a good night's sleep.
Jul 25, 2019 07:58 AM EDT
US President Donald Trump, perhaps more so than any of his predecessors, is famously forthright. There are many adjectives we can use to describe the 45thPresident of the United States, but the one that seems to fit the best is truculent; Trump likes to pick a fight. There's no judgment attached to that assertion, it's simply a statement of fact.
Jul 01, 2019 02:05 PM EDT
Tropical Storm Barbara formed on Sunday, June 30 in the Eastern Pacific Ocean over 800 miles from the coast of western Mexico. The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over the storm and measured the rate in which rain was falling throughout it.
Jul 01, 2019 12:49 PM EDT
If power plants, boilers, furnaces, vehicles, and other energy infrastructure is not marked for early retirement, the world will fail to meet the 1.5-degree Celsius climate-stabilizing goal set out by the Paris Agreement, but could still reach the 2-degree Celsius goal, says the latest from the ongoing collaboration between the University of California Irvine's Steven Davis and Carnegie's Ken Caldeira.
Jul 01, 2019 12:39 PM EDT
(Oslo, The stress of surviving the Holocaust has shown a lifelong and lasting negative impact on survivors' brain structure, as well as potentially impacting their offspring and grandchildren, a new study shows.
Jun 28, 2019 03:36 PM EDT
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have developed a low-cost, portable optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanner that promises to bring the vision-saving technology to underserved regions throughout the United States and abroad.
Jun 28, 2019 01:53 PM EDT
The archaeological site of 'Ein Qashish in northern Israel was a place of repeated Neanderthal occupation and use during the Middle Paleolithic, according to a study released June 26, 2019, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ravid Ekshtain of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and colleagues.
Jun 27, 2019 11:39 AM EDT
National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Empresa de Pesquisa Agropecuaria de Minas Gerais. Each day, more than 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide.
Jun 27, 2019 11:35 AM EDT
Malaria parasites develop faster in mosquitoes at lower temperatures than previously thought, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Exeter. The findings suggest that even slight climate warming could increase malaria risk to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people including travelers in areas that are currently too cold for malaria parasites to complete their development.
Jun 27, 2019 07:53 AM EDT
Bystanders will intervene in nine-out-of-ten public fights to help victims of aggression and violence say, researchers, in the largest ever study of real-life conflicts captured by CCTV.
Jun 25, 2019 01:25 PM EDT
A new study provides evidence to support a simple measurement for diagnosing clinically significant airflow obstruction, the key characteristic of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. The study found that a 70% ratio of two indicators of lung function proved as or more accurate than other thresholds for predicting COPD-related hospitalizations and deaths.