Memory loss in marijuana users: The mitochondria connection

The most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, marijuana had 22.2 million users in the past month, as observed by the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). According to the Monitoring the Future Survey, in 2016, 9.4 percent and 5.4 percent of class eight graders reported marijuana use in the past year and the past month (current use), respectively. Among 10th graders, the prevalence of marijuana use was found to be 23.9 percent in the past year and 14.0 percent in the past month. Grade 12 students reported the highest prevalence (35.6 percent) of marijuana use during the year surveyed, 6.0 percent accepted to have used the drug daily or near daily. Read more

There is nothing like ‘moderate drinking’ when it comes to health

It is a wake-up call for all those who have been serving themselves generous doses of alcohol in the name of health, as a study has questioned the so-called benefits of moderate drinking. Many studies link moderate drinking with lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The benefits are known to be enjoyed alike by those who have no known heart-related ailment and those who have high risk of developing a heart attack or stroke. People living with type 2 diabetes, those with existing cardiovascular disease or gallstones could also get benefited from moderate drinking. Read more

New law increases marijuana dispensaries from 40 to 60 in Ohio

Several American states have laws that broadly legalize marijuana for medicinal use. However, a few states have the most expensive laws in place, under which pot is legalized even for recreational use. Overall, there is more public support today for marijuana reforms than ever before, with more than half of the country advocating the legalization act. Read more

Long-term use of alcohol in adolescence alters electrical activity in brain, says study

The age at which adolescents start drinking is lowering gradually, as highlighted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism that nearly 33 percent of teens have had at least one drink by the time they are 15 years of age. Early-age drinking is dangerous and can lead to serious alcohol-related problems in later life. Sadly, when adolescents start drinking at an early age, they are more prone to engage in behaviors that are harmful to themselves or others. Recent studies have shown that alcoholism is a chronic disease caused by certain factors such as genetics, predisposition to alcohol, and other social and psychological factors. Read more

How to stay sober when everybody around is drinking

When someone tries to stay away from one’s old habit of drinking, the biggest hurdle comes in the form of people who are drinking alcohol around him or her. Becoming sober as a matter of preference is not easy. It requires a lot of grit and determination to say a firm “no” to alcohol, especially in a social setting. But when the deteriorating health demands abstinence, one is left with no choice but to refrain from drinking at any cost. Even a mild slip up may lead to a relapse and mitigate the benefits of a detox.

For people recovering from alcohol addiction, the first few months can be extremely difficult. It takes time to conscientiously avoid alcohol in places where social drinking is a norm. However, though difficult, staying sober post recovery is not impossible. All it takes is some self-control and a persistent effort to resist the urge. Read more

Why crystal meth abuse gives one a gaunt look

Scientists have probably figured out why methamphetamine (also known as meth or crystal meth) abuse gives people a gaunt look or induces striking changes in their physical features. According to a study by the scientists from the Italian Institute of Technology and UC Irvine, published in the open-access online journal PLOS ONE, meth abuse leads to stark abnormalities in the fat metabolism of cells.

This malfunction triggers a rise in a type of molecule in the cells that causes premature aging and cell death. Further research has revealed that crystal meth by damaging the brain and other body organs causes diseases related to aging, such as coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs). Therefore, it is essential to understand the consequences of abusing crystal meth to avert the above-mentioned adverse effect. Read more