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The Life Works Community Blog

Recent blog posts

Scottish cocaine useThe latest UN report has found the Scotland tops the world in cocaine use. A larger percentage of Scots use the drug than in any other country with one in 42 using the illicit drug.

For Comparison, one in 50 people in England and Wales use cocaine according to the report.

Tagged in: cocaine addiction

teen binge drinkingScientists can now tell which teens will struggle with binge drinking using a new test. This test uses 40 factors to predict which 14 year olds will binge drink when they are 16.

The test has shown an accuracy rate or 70% but it will need some refining before it can be put into common use.

alcohol sponsorship and drinkingAthletes who are sponsored by alcohol companies are at greater risk of dangerous drinking according to new research. Scientists at the University of Manchester and Mash University in Australia have found a link between heavy drinking in athletes and alcohol sponsorship.

Tagged in: Alcohol Addiction

foetal alcohol syndrome and binge drinkingNew figures for England show that cases of foetal alcohol syndrome have tripled since health authorities started tracking the condition 16 years ago. This has many worried that English mothers are not getting enough information on the dangers of drinking while pregnant.  

In 2012-2013 252 people were diagnosed with the condition. That is compared with 89 people in 1997-1998.

Tagged in: Binge Drinking

Posted by on in Drug Addiction

cocaine overdose vaccine For years cocaine overdose was something that could only be managed. Medications and care could treat the symptoms but other than managing altered mental status, heart rate and preventing seizures, little could be done until the drug wore off. Now though scientists have found an enzyme that could offer fast acting treatment for cocaine overdose.

The new treatment is an enzyme that was actually discovered around the roots of coca plants. This naturally occurring substance processes the active cocaine and, for lack of a better word, eats it.

Tagged in: cocaine addiction

Posted by on in Alcohol Addiction

alcohol abuseResearchers in the US have found that excessive alcohol use is the fourth largest cause of death in the country. Over a 4 year period, the researchers studied the number of alcohol related deaths and the amount of potential life lost. The goal was to understand the true cost of alcohol and gauge its harm on society.

Tagged in: Alcohol Addiction

Posted by on in Depression

depression Many people who suffer from depression go to therapy sessions or take some form of medication to combat the mental illness but doctors are now prescribing books to help those with depression recover. The NHS has given the green light for doctors to write prescriptions for a variety of self-help books.

This new treatment is called bibliotherapy and is the brainchild of a 1916 clergymen named Samuel Crothers. Crothers proposed the treatment as a joke but since then doctors, nurses and others have taken the idea far more seriously.

Tagged in: Depression

painkiller addictionA US study has found that prescription painkillers are responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine overdose combined. The study, from McGill University compared a number of different sources of drug information before coming to their conclusion.

They found that there were a number of reasons behind the increase in painkiller use. Nicholas King, of the Biomedical Ethics Unit in the Faculty of Medicine said, "We found evidence for at least 17 different determinants of increasing opioid-related mortality, mainly, dramatically increased prescription and sales of opioids; increased use of strong, long-acting opioids like Oxycontin and methadone; combined use of opioids and other (licit and illicit) drugs and alcohol; and social and demographic factors."

Tagged in: Drug Addiction

Posted by on in Drug Addiction

MDMA and healthUntil recently, many people believed that taking MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, in low to moderate dosages was safe. But new research is showing that even low dosages could affect the body’s ability to cool itself and, in some cases, prove fatal.

The research showed that MDMA disrupted rats ability to cool their body. When the rats were alone and in room temperature environments, they were ok. The problem came when the rats were in groups in warmer environments. Without the ability to loose extra heat, the researchers found that the resulting conditions could be fatal.

Tagged in: Drug Addiction

Posted by on in Drug Addiction

drug addiction vaccineThe drug treatment community may soon be rocked by a new weapon in the war on addiction. Vaccines for methamphetamine, nicotine, heroin and cocaine are all progressing and look to be a viable option in the future.

For many years addiction treatment had two options. There were different forms of talk therapy and drug treatments like methadone. Talk therapy is very effective but it requires people to stick with it for the therapy to work while methadone does not treat the underlying addiction and simply acts as a substitute for the drug.

Tagged in: Drug Addiction

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Medical-Marijuana-July-122011-21With so much news about cannabis lately it can be hard to keep up. Every other day there are stories outlining both positive and negative effects of cannabis and many of the old beliefs about the drug are being challenged. To help people better understand cannabis Life Works has put together a summary of the latest research.

Addiction Potential: Cannabis research has shown that the drug is addictive but it is not as addictive as nicotine, heroin or many other drugs. People who are most likely to become addicted are those who use daily or people who use when they are young. There is also some evidence that suggest cannabis can be a gateway drug but it is important to remember that this evidence also calls nicotine and alcohol gateway drugs.

Binge eaters may have their tongues to blame when they binge. New research shows that part of the desire to binge on sweets when stressed comes from taste bud receptors on the tongue.

Scientists have known for many years that stress can cause people to binge eat. This is because stress triggers the body to release hormones called Glucocorticoids or GCs. These hormones bind to receptors in certain cells and influence human’s food choices. For most people the hormones trigger a desire for sweet and high fat food.

The researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia PA decided to take this information and test whether taste buds have GC receptors.

cannabis and fertilityCannabis and children are not often mentioned in the same sentence, but for men, wanting one may mean giving up the other. A new study from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester found that smoking cannabis can harm sperm and reduce fertility.

Tagged in: Drug Addiction

Posted by on in Drug Addiction


drug production world mapDrug addiction is always making headlines but few people really know where the drugs come from. In this article we explore where the most used drugs are grown or created to help people better understand drugs and the drug trade.

Tagged in: Drug Addiction

alcohol addiction treatmentAccording to reports from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, HSCIC, the NHS spend more than £3 million on drugs to treat alcohol addiction in 2013. This is the highest spend ever for the UK.

The increased spend has been caused by a dramatic increase in the prescription of anti-alcohol abuse drugs. In 2012 the NHS prescribed around 184,000 drugs to treat alcohol abuse. That number rose by 3.1% in 2013 to 178,000. This is a 78.9% increase from ten years ago.

Tagged in: Alcohol Addiction

Posted by on in Drug Addiction

heroin addiction statsFor year heroin has been seen as a dirty drug. Its addictive qualities and low prices often led people to believe that it was a drug for the fringes of society. A new report from the US has shown that many people’s perception of what a heroin addict should be is all wrong.

The study found that the typical heroin user looking for treatment is a 23 year old white woman from the suburbs. This is a big change from 50 years ago where the average heroin user was 16 and black.

Tagged in: heroin addiction

juicerexiaThere have been a number of new health fads in recent years but one that has received a great deal of attention is juicing. This is the idea of drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables instead of eating meals.

This trend has been taken up by many celebrities and there are plenty of so called experts writing books and selling products to cater to those who wish to juice. The problem with all this is that juicing is not a healthy way to lose weight and many of the things juicers do are really just eating disorder behaviours.

Tagged in: Eating Disorder

Posted by on in Depression

Depression helpThe US Military is launching a plan to treat mental illness by implanting electric devices in the brains of sufferers. The new plan is a $70 million project by The Defence Advanced Research Project Agency, or DARPA, designed to tackle the high number of troops coming home with PTSD, depression and anxiety.

The new treatment is still in its earliest phase. Scientists will study volunteers who currently rely on brain probes to treat things like epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease.  This will allow scientists to record and understand the circuitry of the brain. Many of the people in the initial study will also have depression or anxiety so the researchers are hoping to map out the brain circuitry related to these diseases as well.

Tagged in: Depression

exercise addiction Most people know that alcohol addicts can go through withdrawal when they stop drinking but a new Danish study shows the same is true for fitness addicts. 

The research shows that people who develop an unhealthy need to engage in strenuous exercise have very real withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop. 

Tagged in: exercise addiction

Posted by on in Drug Addiction

synthetic drugsNew UN warnings have highlighted a global growth in the use of synthetic drugs and legal highs. These drugs are often just new formulations of methamphetamine or synesthetic versions of existing drugs like cocaine or cannabis.

This has put a strain on emergency services as they try to treat people who are using drugs they have never seen before. These new drugs have unknown side effects, and little is known about dosages or helping overdose victims. Many are far more dangerous than traditional drugs according to the UN.

Tagged in: Drug Addiction