Exposure to ecstasy or cocaine during adolescence increases the "reinforcing effects" that make people vulnerable to developing an addiction. This is the main conclusion of a research team from the University of Valencia (UV), which has shown for the first time how these changes persist into adulthood. "Although MDMA and cocaine are psychoactive substances frequently used by teenagers, very few studies have been done to analyse the short and long-term consequences of joint exposure to these drugs", JosÃ MiÃ arro, lead author of the study and coordinator of the Psychobiology of Drug Addiction group at the UV, tells SINC. The study, published in the journal Addiction Biology, shows for the first time that exposure to these drugs during adolescence leads to long-lasting changes that increase the reinforcing power of ecstasy or MDMA, and which last until adulthood.
Omeros Announces National Institute On Drug Abuse's Support For Phase 2 Clinical Study In Addiction Program
Omeros Corporation (Nasdaq: OMER) announced that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is providing support for the Company's Addiction program. NIDA will fund substantially all of the costs of a Phase 2 clinical study to be conducted by New York State Psychiatric Institute researchers. In its Addiction program, Omeros is developing proprietary compositions that include peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-gamma) agonists for the prevention and treatment of addiction to substances of abuse, such as opioids, nicotine and alcohol, as well as other compulsive behaviors, including eating disorders. The Company's data from earlier European pilot clinical studies and animal models of addiction have demonstrated a previously unknown link between PPAR-gamma and addiction disorders.
Exposure to severe stress early in life increases the risk of alcohol and drug addiction. Yet surprisingly, some adults sexually abused as children - and therefore at high risk for alcohol problems - carry gene variants that protect them from heavy drinking and its effects, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers, from the university's Midwest Alcoholism Research Center, say the finding could aid the development of therapies for alcohol dependence by offering suggestions for targeted treatments based on genetic traits and history of exposure to severe stressors. Scientists estimate that about half the risk for alcoholism is encoded in a person's genes.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Food and Drug Administration "this week released a draft of voluntary guidelines to assist drug makers in figuring out which compounds should be placed under the Controlled Substances Act. The law regulates the handling, record-keeping and dispensing of drugs deemed to be dangerous or addictive if misused -- in some cases imposing criminal penalties for misuse. The guidelines urge researchers to look beyond traditional indicators such as whether a compound is addictive and consider other characteristics that could lead to abuse." One example of a drug that could be more tightly restricted is the anesthetic propofol, part of the "cocktail of drugs that caused the death" of Michael Jackson (Zajac, 1/28).
A paper by a University of Hertfordshire academic due to be published tomorrow (29 January 2010), reports that excess ecstasy-related death rates in young users is a cause for concern. Professor Fabrizio Schifano at the University's School of Pharmacy, is lead author for a paper entitled Overview of Amphetamine-Type Stimulant Mortality Data UK, 1997 2007, which will be published in Neuropsychobiology online tomorrow. Professor Schifano and his colleagues at St George's, University of London's International Centre for Drug Policy, which runs the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (np-SAD), reviewed stimulant-related deaths from the np-SAD database and from the British Crime Survey 2001-2007 results and found that identified 832 amphetamine and methylamphetamine-related deaths and 605 ecstasy-related deaths.
The U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury jointly issued new rules providing parity for consumers enrolled in group health plans who need treatment for mental health or substance use disorders. "Today's rules will bring needed relief to families faced with meeting the cost of obtaining mental health and substance abuse services, " said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The benefits will give these Americans access to greatly needed medical treatment, which will better allow them to participate fully in society. That is not just sound policy, it's the right thing to do." "The rules we are issuing today will, for the first time, help assure that those diagnosed with these debilitating and sometimes life-threatening disorders will not suffer needless or arbitrary limits on their care, " said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.