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Addiction - Talking Points

Americans legalise pot – And then panic over tech addiction

By promoting the idea that technology is hijacking our brains and getting all of us addicted to our devices, techno-fearmongers elevate the exception rather...

How to kick cellphone addiction — And other bad habits

Changing old habits or forming new ones is hard. Yet, some people seem to struggle less than the rest of us. Who are these...

Lisa A Marsch develops digital interventions for opioid addiction

As a researcher and director of Dartmouth's Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CBTH) in New Hampshire, Dr Lisa A Marsch explores how to...

In Ethiopia, a rehab centre takes on khat addiction

While banned in many countries, chewing khat is commonplace in Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa region. Many see it as a cultural activity rather than...

Bias against e-cigarettes putting lives at risk – Dr Michael Siegel

Following 153 reported cases of severe, acute lung disease caused by ‘vaping’, United States authorities have advised people against e-cigarettes. But the cases appear to...

Juul says it doesn’t target kids – But its e-cigarettes pull them in

More than 3.6 million school students used e-cigarettes last year, up by 1.5 million over 2017. The use of Juul, the most popular brand, appears to have...

The challenge of going off psychiatric drugs

Millions of Americans have taken antidepressants for many years. What happens when it’s time to stop? asks Rachel Aviv in The New Yorker. This long, fascinating and...

Social media is helping Big Tobacco hook a new generation of smokers

Big Tobacco is increasingly using social media to find new ways to hook young people on smoking, circumventing decades of laws restricting the marketing of traditional...

Talking about drug use with your adolescent

Some parents would like to give in to that enemy in hiding, denial, and turn a blind eye to the possibility of psychoactive (mood and...

Cherry-picking of vaping research is reminiscent of tobacco industry days

An article in the American Journal of Medicine reports no association between current vaping and self-reported cardiovascular disease among never smokers. But among dual users there...

Psychedelic mushrooms can help depression, anxiety, addiction

Psychedelic (psilocybin) mushrooms are proving helpful for depression, anxiety and addiction, according to research being done at Johns Hopkins University, reports Kristin Dickerson for NBC5....

Twitter, an addiction among journalists

I saw the future of political reporting half a dozen years ago, writes David von Drehle for The Washington Post, and I’ve been hoping...

E-cigarettes redux: A society in fear of mistakes

From the iconic imagery of film noir where cigarette smoke swirls about the night air to the ever-present now of kids being ‘bad’, there is...

Cannabis smoking in teenage years linked to adulthood depression

Scientists believe they have identified about 60,000 cases of depression in adults under 35 in the United Kingdom, and more than 400,000 in America, that...

UK ‘addiction crisis’ as councils cut funding and alcohol deaths soar

Councils in the UK are making ‘deep cuts’ to addiction services despite soaring alcohol-related hospital admissions and deaths, with further cuts projected, writes Josh Gabbatisse for...

Prominence of e-cigarettes is a symptom of failure to address smoking

A real danger is that debate around e-cigarettes drowns out the work needed to implement the full range of tobacco control measures, writes Nicholas S...

Teen vaping is bad, but the alternative is worse

US Food and Drug Administration efforts to reduce teen vaping will likely result in worse health outcomes by prompting teens to switch to smoking cigarettes, argues...

What is love addiction (aka pathological love)?

Love is in the air. We are only a few days away from Valentine’s Day. I love love. And I love seeing people in love....

The dangerous stigma against pregnant women addicted to opioids

Being a pregnant woman in America is a complicated affair, writes Annalisa Merelli for Quartz. Once a woman starts expecting, social and medical attitudes...

In rehab, ‘Two warring factions’: Abstinence vs medication

A reluctant evolution is taking place in residential drug treatment for opioid addiction. In The New York Times, Abby Goodnought takes a look at one...

Alcohol misuse – The forgotten addiction

With all eyes in the United States on opioids, the massive unseen threat of alcohol misuse continues to claim lives, argues Dr John F Kelley,...

Unfounded e-cigarette panic puts public health at risk 

E-cigarettes pose a tiny percent of the risk of cigarette smoking, just 1% to 5% according to authorities like the United Kingdom government, writes...

Facing an overdose epidemic, some ERs offer addiction treatment

For Zachary Dezman, an emergency physician in heroin-plagued Baltimore, there is no question that offering addiction medicine to emergency room patients is the right...

'Watching our mates drop dead': New Zealand's synthetic cannabis crisis

Neighbourhoods in New Zealandare being ‘swallowed’ up by synthetic cannabis, writes Eleanor Ainge Roy for The Guardian.After the government banned synthetic cannabis four years ago,...

Investors pour money into addiction treatment, but quality questions remain

In the midst of a nationwide epidemic of drug addiction, the United States has a big shortage of high quality providers offering treatment to people...

What's fuelling South Africa’s smartphone addiction?

Last year was a turning point for the South African mobile industry as the smartphone emerged as the most popular communication device for consumers, leaving...

Australia's changing relationship with alcohol

Research at La Trobe University has revealed that 30% of Australians recently reduced the quantity of their alcohol consumption and a further 29% reduced the frequency...

WHO’s anti-smoking treaty clashes with nicotine vaping industry

The World Health Organization conference on smoking control has not endorsed industry arguments that new smokeless nicotine products are better alternatives to smoking traditional...

WHO’s afraid of vaping?

For the second time in two years, I sat in the public gallery at a United Nations conference in Geneva as a senior UN...

Did Big Tobacco buy Twitter? Tobacco Institute responds

A Bhekisisa article claiming that the tobacco industry was buying ads and Twitter coverage to thwart tobacco control in South Africa, elicited an irritated response...

Affordable vaping in developing countries is a ‘human rights issue'

Experts in Britain and Kenyan harm reduction advocate Joseph Magero have called for the cost of e-cigarettes to be cut to tackle harmful effects...

Not taught about addiction, doctors are ill equipped to deal with opioid epidemic

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addiction – to tobacco, alcohol or other drugs– is a disease that contributes to 632,000 deaths in the United...

New e-cigarette product puts anti-smoking campaigns in jeopardy

Adolescent use of electronic cigarettes initially took the US public health community by surprise, reports the New England Journal of Medicine. In 2011, less than 2%...

Whoonga: Durban municipality must put money where its mouth is

Durban has a drug crisis and the provincial and city government’s failure to respond adequately has made the whoonga problem worse, writes eThekwini Councillor Nicole...

British MPs call for tax cut on e-cigarettes

A committee of MPs says the UK government is missing an important opportunity to reduce deaths from smoking. They are calling for a cut...

Pain patients suffering and dying in US crackdown on opioid prescriptions

Jay Lawrence, an energetic truck driver in his late 30s, was driving a semitrailer across a bridge when the brakes failed. To avoid ploughing...

Opioid crisis – New pain drugs may lower overdose, addiction risks

As the opioid crisis continues to ravage US communities, scientists and drug companies have intensified their efforts to develop safer and less addictive pain medications,...