Addiction Article Recap: Week Of Dec 12
We’re just a few days away from the major December holidays, which means vacation days and (hopefully) some rest and relaxation. During the down time, we highly recommend taking a few moments to catch up on the addiction and recovery stories that matter. It’s always important to stay on top of events that impact our industry, especially since they tend to get buried deep beneath the Trump and Kardashian headlines. This week, we’re sharing articles of hope and articles of brutal honesty. Scroll through at your leisure and if you see one worth sharing, make sure to pass it on.
And, as always, we welcome your input too. If you’ve run across a headline that would perfect for our Addiction Article Recap, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Headline #1: The Needle Exchange Movement
This month, people around the globe honored World AIDS Day (and rightly so). And with that, came the discussion about how intravenous drug use strongly contributes to the spread of the disease. In south Florida, particularly, heroin usage has reportedly seen new HIV cases spike past three times the national average. So, in an effort to combat that stat, officials have a launched a needle exchange program; which provides clean syringes for users throughout the state. Many have found the move controversial, claiming that it promotes drug use. We, however, feel differently, especially since we know what a powerful grip heroin can have on the body. We salute Florida for acknowledging the disease of addiction and are hopeful those who do participate in the exchange, also receive assistance and contact information for nearby recovery clinics.
Headline #2: Harvard Opens Office To Address Underage Drinking
In an effort to curb the growing amount of “drunk incidents” on their campus, Harvard University announced this week that they will be creating an Alcohol Education Office. The department extends far beyond an auditorium lecture or monthly campaign. As program director Garrett O. Fitzgerald told TheFix.com, it is a year-round clinic, offering students recovery assistance and support with alcoholic temptations. “[Our goal] is to oversee the University’s efforts to address alcohol and health issues among its students,” he explained. Fitzgerald went on to say that the office is also available for people who have been directly affected by Harvard alcoholics, whether by violence, threats or even sexual assault. With the rise in alcohol-related rapes on college campuses, this is definitely an important department to have. Hopefully more universities will take notice and address the issue as well.
Headline #3: Genetics And Alcoholism
And finally, a little science to finish off the Recap. We found the latest alcoholism-related research from NBC News to be quite fascinating. Apparently, scientists have identified a specific gene (called beta-Klotho) attributed to drinking. Beta-Klotho reportedly exists in all humans, but can appear in two forms. One version of it existed in people who tend to over-drink and another in people who abstain. “There was a clear variation in this one gene in the people that liked to drink more versus less,” researcher Dr. David Mangelsdorf told the outlet. What does that mean, exactly? According to the people who conducted the study, it could revolutionize treatment for alcoholics. If they could approach it from a scientific standpoint, Dr. Mangelsdorf believes supplements or “counter-balance” treatments could help transform one variation of the gene to the other. Definitely fascinating stuff…And a story we plan to follow for many months to come.