Long-Term Anabolic Steroid Use Linked to Damage to Heart and Arteries

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New research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that long-term exposure to anabolic-androgenic steroids may be associated with substantial impairment of the heart, including a reduction in pumping performance and damage to the arteries. The observational study assessed a sample of male weightlifters age 34-54, comparing men who used anabolic steroids with non-users. Seventy-one percent of the steroid users had impairment of their heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently, compared to non-users, who had largely normal blood pumping capability. In addition, users had significantly higher coronary plaque volume than non-users. The authors suggest that long-term anabolic steroid use may represent a clinically substantial and largely unrecognized public health problem. The study indicates the need for improved awareness among clinicians who can discuss the potential adverse cardiovascular effects of steroids with patients and provide referrals to interventions as needed. Source: "Cardiovascular Toxicity of Illicit Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use"...
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SPOTLIGHT: Camden County (NJ) Affiliate’s Parenting Programs

SPOTLIGHT: Camden County (NJ) Affiliate’s Parenting Programs
The Camden County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Inc. (CCCADA) offers several programs designed to help parents guide their children through changes in development. Here are some of those programs. 1, 2, 3, 4 Parents! This program, written by national parenting experts, teaches about children’s stages of development and how parents can help them through those changes. The course covers: Discipline methods that work; How to prevent problems such as tantrums; Ways to build a loving bond with your child; The best ways to childproof your home; How to care for your child at different ages and stages; Great ways to care for yourself. The program consists of three 2-hour sessions for up to 20 parents. Active Parenting Today This program is for parenting children ages 2-12 and is a video–based, discussion-oriented program to equip parents with skills that are crucial in raising children to make wise choices in...
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Athletic Teens Less Likely to Transition from Prescription Pain Relievers to Heroin

Athletic Teens Less Likely to Transition from Prescription Pain Relievers to Heroin
Teens who participate in daily sports and exercise activities are less likely to transition from opioid pain reliever use to heroin, according to research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and published in Pediatrics . There have been anecdotal reports of teen athletes being prescribed opioid pain relievers for injuries, who later transition to nonmedical use of opioid pain pills and then turn to heroin. However, this study found that sports activities may have a protective effect related to that potential transition. Researchers from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor looked at 18 cross sections of eighth and tenth grade responses in NIDA’s Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, answered between 1997 and 2014. While the survey measures prevalence of drug use, it also collects secondary data, including information related to involvement in athletics. NIDA’s MTF survey is conducted annually by a separate team of scientists at...
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Co-Prescribing Naloxone In Primary Care Settings May Reduce ER Visits

Co-Prescribing Naloxone In Primary Care Settings May Reduce ER Visits
Research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that patients taking opioids for long-term chronic pain, who were given prescriptions for naloxone in a primary care setting, had 63 percent fewer opioid-related emergency department visits after one year compared to those who did not receive prescriptions for naloxone. This study presents the first large published data regarding co-prescribing naloxone for primary care patients on long-term opioid therapy for pain. Primary care providers were more likely to give naloxone prescriptions to patients on higher opioid doses and with prior opioid-related emergency department visits. The findings suggest that prescribing naloxone in primary care settings is feasible and may offer an additional benefit to reducing opioid-related adverse events. Study authors indicate they do not know how many patients filled their prescriptions, and their analyses suggests a behavioral impact of naloxone co-prescription, as patients become more aware of the hazards of...
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Addiction Treatment Patients Trained To Manage Their Healthcare May Have Better Outcomes

Addiction Treatment Patients Trained To Manage Their Healthcare May Have Better Outcomes
Research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reveals that teaching patients in addiction treatment how to communicate with physicians, and providing training on using an electronic health records portal, empowers them to better engage in their health management. This in turn may increase the likelihood that they will refrain from using drugs and alcohol, and remain in addiction treatment longer. In this six-month study, about half of the patients were assigned to LINKAGE, a program which provided health information, guidance on how to effectively communicate with healthcare providers, and training in the patient portal. The remaining participants were given Usual Care, which provided information on medical problems associated with alcohol and other drug use. All participants received standard treatment, including medical exams, detoxification, therapy groups, individual counseling, and 12-step meetings. LINKAGE, compared to Usual Care participants, logged into the portal more often, sent more messages to their...
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NIH Releases Summary of Research on Early Childhood Risk and Protective Factors

NIH Releases Summary of Research on Early Childhood Risk and Protective Factors
An online guide about interventions in early childhood that can help prevent drug use and other unhealthy behaviors was launched by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The guide offers research-based principles that affect a child’s self-control and overall mental health, starting during pregnancy through the eighth year of life. It recognizes that while substance use generally begins during the teen years, it has known biological, psychological, social, and environmental roots that begin even before birth. "Thanks to more than three decades of research into what makes a young child able to cope with life’s inevitable stresses, we now have unique opportunities to intervene very early in life to prevent substance use disorders," said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "We now know that early intervention can set the stage for more positive self-regulation as children prepare for their school years." Principles...
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SPOTLIGHT: Santa Barbara’s Drug Court Programs

SPOTLIGHT: Santa Barbara’s Drug Court Programs
The Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, NCADD’s Santa Barbara Affiliate, offers drug court programs as alternatives to incarceration. One of these programs, the Clean and Sober Court , was developed in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Police Department to provide nonviolent misdemeanor or felony offenders who plead guilty to their crime a chance to receive alcohol and drug treatment rather than face incarceration. The program offers a non-adversarial courtroom atmosphere where a single judge and a dedicated team of court officers and staff work together to break the cycle of drug abuse and criminal behavior. After an initial "dryout" in jail, clients are referred to an outpatient or residential treatment program, and/or a sober living facility. Adult offenders with felonies or misdemeanors participate in a minimum of six months of treatment. The outpatient treatment program is provided at Project Recovery, a comprehensive adult treatment center housing a variety of...
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FBI Video, “Chasing the Dragon,” Illustrates Opiate Addiction’s Toll

FBI Video, “Chasing the Dragon,” Illustrates Opiate Addiction’s Toll
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has created a documentary that illustrates the toll of opiate addiction, The Kansas City Star reports. The film, called “Chasing the Dragon,” will be distributed to school districts nationwide and can be downloaded for free. High school students are a principal target audience of the film. The documentary is designed to send a message of deterrence to young people thinking of trying drugs, or who are just starting to use them. The film features several people who either abused opiates or had family members who did so. Those who abused opiates explain how they began with prescription drugs. They describe how they devoted themselves to trying to maintain the initial high, and how they stole from or lied to friends and family members in an attempt to pay for their addiction. Among 46,000 drug overdoses counted nationwide in 2015, about half could be traced...
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