Substance Abuse Can Cost You That Beautiful Smile of Yours

Substance Abuse Can Cost You That Beautiful Smile of Yours
People who abuse substances are at a greater risk of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease than people with no substance use disorders, a study has found. The findings, led by Hooman Baghaie from the University of Queensland in Australia, showed that drug use affects oral health through direct physiological routes such as dry mouth, an increased urge for snacking, clenching and grinding of teeth and chemical erosion from applying cocaine to teeth and gums. The lifestyle that often accompanies problematic drug use also affects oral health through high sugar diets, malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, and lack of regular professional dental care. Patients with substance use disorders exhibited greater tooth loss, non-carious tooth loss and destructive periodontal disease. In addition, tolerance to pain killers and anaesthetics also contributes to poor dental care, the researchers said, in the paper published in the journal Addiction. Oral health has significant consequences on quality of...
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10% Decline in U.S. Smoking Rate Would Save $63 Billion One Year Later

10% Decline in U.S. Smoking Rate Would Save $63 Billion One Year Later
A new study estimates that a 10 percent reduction in the U.S. smoking rate would result in $63 billion in savings in healthcare costs one year later. Researchers say the cost savings would come from reductions in risks from smoking-related diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes. Fewer babies would be born prematurely, they report in the journal PLOS Medicine. In addition to savings from the healthcare costs of smokers, the nation would also have fewer costs related to the effects of secondhand smoke, HealthDay reports. “Our study shows that significant changes in health care expenditures begin to appear quickly after changes in smoking behavior,” study first author James Lightwood of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), said in a news release. The researchers looked at the healthcare costs associated with smoking nationwide between 1992 and 2009. They found when smokers quit, the risks from smoking-related diseases drop quickly. When...
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ASAM Celebrates as Addiction Medicine is Recognized as New Medical Subspecialty

ASAM Celebrates as Addiction Medicine is Recognized as New Medical Subspecialty
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) celebrates with the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), physicians, health care professionals, community leaders, and state and federal officials as addiction medicine is formally recognized as a new subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) under the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM). This recognizes addiction as a preventable and treatable disease, helping to shed the stigma of misunderstanding that has long plagued it and provides a new career option for medical students, residents and physicians interested in specializing in the treatment of addiction. "For decades, the recognition of addiction medicine has been promoted by ASAM. It has been a key part of our mission and couldn’t come at more critical time," said ASAM President Dr. Jeffrey Goldsmith. "With the staggering rise of substance misuse and addiction, expanding the expert workforce needed to address the challenge is paramount." Recognition will make...
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Who Am I?

I am in early recovery of an addiction to methamphetamine, which I used practically every day over the last 4 years. I recently decided to get clean because the realization was "I ABSOLUTELY HATED GETTING HIGH," even though the disease of addiction had such a hold on my life that I had a hard time stopping and therefore at the end I didn't like who I was.  The addiction has left me at a complete loss for who "Amanda" is – or was – and I am desperately working on my recovery in order not only to conquer sobriety, but to redefine who I am. -Amanda Z., Pennsylvania, sober since September 2014
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