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.
Oct 14, 2019 01:01 AM EDT
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 10, 2019 - An old adage urges pregnant women to "eat for two." So with twins, is it "eat for three?" While that is likely bad advice, when it comes to twin pregnancies, clinicians don't have firm guidelines for ideal weight gain due to a lack of scientific study.
Oct 14, 2019 12:52 AM EDT
Oak Brook, IL - October's SLAS Discovery features part one of a two-part special issue on "Membrane Proteins: New Approaches to Probes, Technologies and Drug Design." Part two of this special edition will be featured in December. In her editorial, October's Guest Editor Mariafrancesca Scalise, Ph.D., (University of Calabria, Italy) outlines the importance of membrane proteins in drug design and explains her rationale behind the selection of articles included in the issue. Because of their involvement in the maintenance of cell homeostasis, membrane proteins have become attractive targets for the design of novel drugs which means a deeper knowledge of their biology is required now more than ever. In addition to Scalise's editorial, October's SLAS Discovery includes the following reviews and original research papers: Cysteine Residues of SLC Membrane Transporters as Targets for Drugs Targeting the Mitochondrial Potassium Channel Kv1.3 to Kill Cancer Cells: Drugs, Strategies, and New Perspectives A Therapeutic Role for the F1FO-ATP Synthase Identification of the Tetraspanin CD9 as an Interaction Partner of Organic Cation Transporters 1 and 2 High-Throughput Fluorescence Polarization Assay to Identify Ligands Using Purified G Protein-Coupled Receptor SLC6A14, a Pivotal Actor on Cancer Stage: When Function Meets Structure Dr. Scalise is a researcher in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnologies Unit at University of Calabria and has been studying plasma membrane, lysosomal and vesicular transporters of amino acids and organic cations since 2007. From 2009 - 2010, she worked for the World Health Organization in Lyon, France, where she was involved in the study of transforming properties of human papillomavirus.
Sep 28, 2019 02:37 PM EDT
Starting and running a business within your home country is nothing compared with going international. Not only do you have to spend the same effort, time, and money, you would have spent if you were investing at home, but you also have to incorporate additional fees, currency differences, transportation, as well as other cultural challenges that you may be confronted with.
Sep 23, 2019 01:55 PM EDT
Do you feel like there is a massive hole in your purse, and your account is screaming red? In difficult times like this, there is always one question popping to the mind, and that is how can one better his finances? Well, the fact that you've become cash-strapped in the first place shows that you've most likely been bad at money management.
Sep 21, 2019 02:31 PM EDT
If you've learned something important about the stocks and securities in your financial portfolio, and you're keen to start trading, you might not need to wait until the market opens to begin.
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 12, 2019 03:12 AM EDT
CHICAGO -- Having productive conversations about climate change isn't only challenging when dealing with skeptics, it can also be difficult for environmentalists, according to two studies presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.
The Lancet Global Health: Automatically Chlorinating Water at Public Taps Cuts Child Diarrhea by Almost a Quarter in Urban Bangladesh
Aug 09, 2019 03:44 AM EDT
A novel water treatment device that delivers chlorine automatically via public taps without the need for electricity, reduced child diarrhoea by 23% compared with controls (156 cases out of 2,073 child measurements [7.5%] vs 216/2,145 [10%]) over 14 months in two urban neighbourhoods of Bangladesh, according to a randomised trial following more than 1,000 children published in The Lancet Global Health journal.
Aug 09, 2019 03:43 AM EDT
A new economic study in the journal Science shows that thousands of farmers in northern India could increase their profits if they stop burning their rice straw and adopt no-till practices to grow wheat. Alternative farming practices could also cut farmers' greenhouse gas emissions from on-farm activities by as much as 78% and help lower air pollution in cities like New Delhi.
Aug 09, 2019 03:42 AM EDT
Long considered an extreme reaction to fears of Armageddon and imminent nuclear disaster, 'preppers' in the US have traditionally been portrayed as motivated by extreme right-wing or apocalyptic views. New research from Dr. Michael Mills, from the University of Kent, challenges this view.
Aug 08, 2019 03:49 AM EDT
Where there's a will to peddle soybeans in the global marketplace, there's a way, even if a trade war creates roadblocks.
Aug 08, 2019 03:48 AM EDT
When President Donald Trump signed an executive order in May banning US companies from trading information and communications technology with foreign businesses deemed a national security risk, it effectively prevented Chinese telecom giant Huawei from acquiring the American technology that it needs to market its products. On July 26th, China threatened to blacklist FedEx from the Chinese market.
Aug 06, 2019 04:13 AM EDT
East Hanover, NJ - August 2, 2019 - Economic indicators rose again for Americans with disabilities, outpacing the modest gains for people without disabilities, according to today's National Trends in Disability Employment - Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD).
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.