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26th February 2017

Preoccupation with muscle mass may spur steroid use among non-athlete men

A new viewpoint written by scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Harvard Medical School describes that a growing number of young, non-athlete men are using androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) and other appearance and performance enhancing drugs. The authors suggest that this trend could be partly driven by an idealized male image that increasingly focuses on muscularity, as illustrated in magazines, movies, advertisements, and television. This, in turn, could help explain the rising number of young men who report dissatisfaction with their body size and shape, and preoccupation with increasing muscle mass.

AAS use is associated with other drug use disorders, needle-born infections, psychological consequences, and disease of the heart, kidney and liver. However, long term studies are needed to determine the prevalence, patterns of use, health consequences, and effective prevention and treatment strategies.

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25th February 2017

US study: Opioids are driving increase in cocaine overdose deaths

An examination of national trend data shows that heroin and synthetic opioids are driving a recent increase in cocaine-related overdose deaths.

The assessment was conducted by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The report showed that cocaine-related overdose deaths increased between 2000 and 2006, and declined between 2006 and 2010 (consistent with a reduction in supply and an increase in street prices). However, cocaine-related overdose deaths increased after 2010, despite decreased cocaine use.

The scientists found that this latest increase was related to cocaine-related overdose deaths involving opioids, primarily heroin or synthetic opioids. This also corresponds to the growing supply and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl in the United States. Data on drug overdose deaths were collected from the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System.

These findings underscore the importance of public health strategies, such as broader access to naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses, including providing naloxone to people using cocaine, and expansion of  medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders.

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23rd February 2017

NIDA: Study finds one in four high school e-cigarette users have tried “dripping”

A study of high school students found that one in four teens reported using e-cigarettes for “dripping,” a practice in which users produce and inhale vapors by placing drops of e-liquids directly onto heated atomizer coils. In a survey of 1,080 Connecticut high school students who used e-cigarettes, 26.1 percent of students reported this behavior. The survey found students engaged in dripping to produce thicker clouds of vapor (63.5%), improve flavors (38.7%), and produce a stronger throat hit (27.7%). The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products.

The authors emphasize that more research is needed about the potential risks of this practice and recommend future safety studies be conducted on the toxicities of hot vapors produced by this method of exposing of e-liquids to high temperatures. The authors also encouraged the development of prevention programs to educate youth about the potential risks of these alternative e-cigarette use behaviors.

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22nd February 2017

Digital Drugs: there is no scientific evidence that they cause addiction

Digital drugs, more accurately called binaural beats, are sounds that are thought to be capable of changing brain wave patterns and inducing an altered state of consciousness similar to that effected by taking drugs or achieving a deep state of meditation.

Binaural beats occur when two tones with slightly different frequencies are played together. Without headphones, the slight difference in the two frequencies is perceived by the listener as a single tone that wavers slightly. With headphones, however, the two tones are isolated and the listener hears each frequency clearly in a different ear. As the brain processes the two tones, it must take into account the slight difference between the frequencies. To the listener, this difference is perceived as rhythmic beats inside the head.

The brain processes rhythmic stimulus as electrical impulses. The goal of digital drugs is to purposely control the electrical impulses and encourage the listener’s brain to synchronize its brain waves with the binaural beats. This synchronization, which is achieved by selecting binaural tones within a particular frequency level, is called Frequency Following Response (FFF) and is part of a concept called entrainment. Entrainment, the synchronization of one biological rhythm to another, is not a new concept.  It forms the basis for many types of meditation and medical bio-feedback.

The effect of digital drugs are just a myth according to Dr. Qassem Amer, the head of the Statistical Division of the Sharjah Police Research Center (UAE).

In a lecture that he gave on Saturday as part of the Sharjah International Book Fair's Cultural Program, Dr. Amer said that there is no scientific evidence regarding the negative effects of Digital Drugs or the fact that they cause any form of addiction.

"The assumption is that the brain responds to two frequencies entering from the left and right ear in a way that stimulates it and in doing so creating the illusion of an altered state of mind that is similar to the state of mind that follows drugs consumption," he said, adding that international research shows that marketing strategy of these websites include telling users that they must follow a list of instructions including drinking water before listening to the beats to give the illusion of authenticity.

"The prices of these audio tracks range from $3 to $30 and some websites claim that they can create a customized track based on your needs but of course the price is higher, around $100," he said.

Dr. Amer explained that even though videos on the internet show young people going through moments of ecstasy and showing an acceleration in their breath and heart beats, in reality this is not true. He explained that in order to feel any effect, the person needs to be already consuming drugs.

However, historically binaural beats were used to treat certain conditions such as mild depression and anxiety, he explained. He added that the UAE Ministry of Health does not consider digital drugs as real drugs. "The real danger of digital drugs is that young people would be tempted to try real drugs," he said.

At brief, Digital Drugs are just a myth and the UN did not consider even researching it in any of its scientific meetings or world policy meetings.

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21st February 2017

The Khat, how many crops it has uprooted!

The Khat or Qat plant is known since ancient centuries. Relevant trees are grown on mountains and hills elevated between 600 to 800 meters approximately. A single Khat tree can reach 4 to 25 meters in height. Moreover, Khat is part of perennial plants that are characterized by evergreen leaves having a sharp end and are brown to red colored. Leaves are the important part of the tree particularly the ones at the top. Its active substance is the “Cathine”. Khat is mainly used as a stimulant and some believe that it cures grief and depression. The cultivation of Khat has spread in Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen and some southwestern areas of the Arabian peninsula, from which it moved to the African continent. The scientific name of khat is "Catha edulis".

According to modern science, Khat is a flowering plant containing the cathinone compound, an alkaline monoamine similar to stimulating amphetamines. It causes a loss of appetite and a state of imaginary hyperactivity; it has been classified by the World Health Organization as a harmful drug that leads to addiction. It should be noted that Khat is classified as an illicit substance in all countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as well as in most countries of the world. One of Khat’s damages is that it contains mind’s stimulants that increase its activity state for a period that lasts between one hour and a half to three hours, after which the abuser feels in a complete inactivity state with a raised blood pressure and infarction of heart muscle. Moreover, chewing Khat leaves for long hours leads to sudden heart attacks incidence. Khat is also a major cause of lack of appetite and the spread of malignant tumors in the mouth and gums, and is associated in medical problems including stomach ulcers, in addition to being a factor for lung cancer, especially if accompanied by smoking habits.

On the other hand, the consumption of Khat leads to family disintegration due to the depletion of the family’s financial resources, which in turn is reflected on the level of health and education. Indeed, the Khat abuser loses his desire to work and his productivity and mental abilities fall; he therefore becomes unable to meet the material needs of his family due to addiction.

Studies indicate that Khat drains large quantities of water that are undoubtedly needed by country in which it is grown. For example, Khat cultivation consumes more than half the amount of water devoted to the city of "Sanaa", which exposes its water resources to depletion. Besides, Khat has replaced useful crops in Yemen and work and production hours in this country have declined and unemployment has spread drastically. The poverty rate has also increased; children and youth in Yemen are currently experiencing a state of abandonment and deprivation, which has raised crime rates.

Finally I quote the Yemenite poet Mabrouk Marami:

"May God not forgive the Khat ...           

That has so many harmful ills

How many crops it has uprooted

In it the evil has rooted”

Dr Ali Ayed Al Humaidan - International Expert in the field of drugs and psychotropic substances

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20th February 2017

Scientists develop a new drug addiction treatment through electro-shock

A new medical study has found that electro-shock therapy (ECT) can alleviate heroin addiction by stimulating the area in the human brain responsible for addiction.

Scientists made a breakthrough discovery on mice at the Scarpes Research Institute in San Diego that encourages “addicted” mice to reduce drug use. The research team believes that these dazzling results give hope for a definitive and decisive treatment of addiction. During the study, they focused on the brain area called the "hypothalamus nucleus," which is responsible for inhibition, and earlier research has found that targeting this area can help alleviate Parkinson symptoms.

Other studies have also found that targeting this area reduces cocaine addiction, but with the new study, there is now the possibility of treating heroin addiction without resorting to drugs that can have devastating effects on the body.

The study's author, Oliver George, explained that: "It was very difficult to control the reaction to narcotic substances, so we used laboratory mice because heroin is a very addictive drug. Results were really impressive and met our expectations prior to implementing this treatment on humans.” Usually during the study, rates of drug use increase in laboratory mice that show also other addiction signs. After a two weeks period of addiction, the rates of mice’s consumption of narcotic substances decreased to the normal level. Yet, the study showed that, after a “sober” period, mice that did not receive electroshock tended to swiftly and extensively “relapse” into narcotic substance consumption.

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این آئی ڈی اے: مطالعہ سے معلوم ہوا ہے کہ ہائی اسکول کے برقی سگرٹ استعمال کرنے والے چار میں سے ایک نے ''ڈرپنگ''…

13 hours ago

Une étude révèle qu’un sur quatre lycéens utilisateurs de la cigarette électronique ont essayé le « dripping »…

13 hours ago

المعهد الأمريكي لتعاطي المخدرات: واحد من أصل أربعة طلّاب من مستخدمي السّجائر الإلكترونية جرّبوا "التّقطير"…

13 hours ago

NIDA: Study finds one in four high school e-cigarette users have tried “dripping”

13 hours ago

ڈجیٹل منشیات: اس کا کوئی سائنسی ثبوت نہیں ہے کہ یہ علت کا باعث بنتی ہیں

3 days ago