The top substance abuse related scientific research in 2009 included a way for women to protect their unborn children, a warning for young men who smoke marijuana regularly, warnings for both moderate and heavy drinkers and the development of a possible vaccine to help cocaine addicts.
Having a home pregnancy test handy can lead women to seek prenatal care earlier and stop harmful behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, because they find out they are pregnant sooner, researchers found. A Michigan State University study of 198 women found that having a home pregnancy test available for women who were having unprotected sex could have a substantial impact on the health of their newborns.
If you are a male between the ages of 20 and 35, and you are a frequent or long-time marijuana smoker, you could be significantly increasing your risk of developing testicular cancer. If you do develop testicular cancer and you smoke marijuana, it will more likely be the fast-growing (non-seminoma) malignancy.
You might be a bit skeptical about the news that a vaccine has been tested to treat cocaine dependence, but when the announcement comes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it deserves a closer look. The NIDA said immunization with an experimental anti-cocaine vaccine resulted in a substantial reduction in cocaine use in 38 percent of patients in a clinical trial.
If you have high blood pressure, it may be wise not to drink alcohol at all, even in moderate amounts. Drinking alcohol within the recommended guidelines for moderate drinking may increase blood pressure more than previously believed, according to researchers at the University of Bristol in London, England.
Although few people change their core beliefs when they decide to stop drinking, those who increase their spiritual endeavors have a better chance of remaining sober. Researchers at the University of Michigan Addiction Research Center found recovering people who increase day-to-day spiritual experiences and their senses of purpose in life are most likely to be abstinent six months after beginning recovery.
The use of specially trained case workers, known as recovery coaches, for women who have given birth to substance abuse exposed children can reduce the number of future substance-exposed babies and increase the likelihood that mothers will be reunited with their children removed by child-welfare systems.
Early intervention for substance abuse could not only improve the health of aging Americans, but could save Medicaid millions of dollars in medical costs, according to a new study from the Center for Health Policy and Research. Older people with substance abuse problems have medical expenses that increase at a far higher rate than behavioral health costs, the study found.