Addiction - Newsbytes

Menstuff® has compiled the following Newsbytes on addiction.

AA Helps Alcoholics Stay Abstinent Over The Long Term
Bipartisan Bond Over Addiction Recovery
Research Yields New Insights Into Molecular Control Of Addiction

Bipartisan Bond Over Addiction Recovery

Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) and Democrat Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) come from different ends of the political spectrum but have forged a close personal bond because of their struggles with addiction and recovery.

Research Yields New Insights Into Molecular Control Of Addiction

In research employing fruit flies, scientists at the University of Arizona have provided new insights into how molecules may control addiction, memory formation, and brain plasticity. Their research has provided the first evidence that the molecule AP1, which helps to regulate changes in the manufacture of certain proteins in brain cells, also is required for long-term changes in the function of synapses (the connections between brain cells).

AA Helps Alcoholics Stay Abstinent Over The Long Term

Individuals who were encouraged to cut down on their drinking by fellow Alcoholics Anonymous members were three times more likely to be abstinent a year after their first treatment for alcoholism, compared to individuals who received no support, a new study reports.

Individuals who received similar support from non-AA members, however, had nearly the same chance of being abstinent as if they had received no support at all, according to Lee Ann Kaskutas, P.D., of the Alcohol Research Group in Berkeley, Calif., and colleagues.

"This suggests that AA members offer types of social support that differ from those typically offered by nonmembers," Kaskutas says.

The study by Kaskutas and colleagues examined the relationship between AA involvement, social support and alcohol use in 722 adults a year after their first treatment for alcohol or drug abuse.

Although AA involvement did help many of these individuals cut down on their drinking, the program's influence was reduced by a third when the individuals also had relationships with people who were heavy or problem drinkers or who encouraged drinking, say the researchers.

The study was published as part of a special collection of research on the ways AA involvement may influence behavior in the March 2003 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

"We still have a poor understanding of what AA-exposed individuals actually do and how prescribed AA-related practices may mobilize and sustain behavior change," says J. Scott Tonigan, Ph.D., of the University of New Mexico.

Among the other findings reported in the issue:

Source: Center for the Advancement of Health,

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Chance you'll be hooked if you try...Tobacco - 32%; heroin - 23%; cocaine - 17%; alcohol - 15%; marijuana - 9%; psychedelic drugs - 5%; Pringles - 82%. GQ, 5/02


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