SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Psychoactive drug

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The classical serotonergic psychedelics LSD, psilocybin, mescaline are not known to cause brain damage and are regarded as non-addictive. Clinical studies do not suggest that psychedelics cause long-term mental health problems. Psychedelics have been used in the Americas for thousands of years. Over 30 million people currently living in the US have used LSD, psilocybin, or mescaline.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Clinical trial, Serotonin, Mental disorder, Psychoactive drug, Controlled Substances Act, Timothy Leary

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Because long-term opioid use often begins with treatment of acute pain (1), in March 2016, the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain included recommendations for the duration of opioid therapy for acute pain and the type of opioid to select when therapy is initiated (2). However, data quantifying the transition from acute to chronic opioid use are lacking. Patient records from the IMS Lifelink+ database were analyzed to characterize the first episode of opioid use among commercially insured, opioid-naïve, cancer-free adults and quantify the increase in probability of long-term use of opioids with each additional day supplied, day of therapy, or incremental increase in cumulative dose. The largest increments in probability of continued use were observed after the fifth and thirty-first days on therapy; the second prescription; 700 morphine milligram equivalents cumulative dose; and first prescriptions with 10- and 30-day supplies. By providing quantitative evidence on risk for long-term use based on initial prescribing characteristics, these findings might inform opioid prescribing practices.

Concepts: Opioid, Pain, Morphine, Psychoactive drug, Medical prescription, Chronic pain, Recreational drug use, Hydromorphone

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To assess the association between medical marijuana laws (MMLs) and the odds of a positive opioid test, an indicator for prior use.

Concepts: Cannabis, Psychoactive drug, Recreational drug use, Legality of cannabis by country

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To describe the incidence of recorded mental illness and challenging behaviour in people with intellectual disability in UK primary care and to explore the prescription of psychotropic drugs in this group.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Drug, Opioid, Psychoactive drug, Ketamine, Recreational drug use

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Tafenoquine is a new drug for malaria prevention. The goal of the present work was to conduct a specific neurobehavioral study in rats with histopathological assessment of the brain.

Concepts: Neurology, Psychoactive drug

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Morphine and other opioids are widely used to manage moderate to severe acute pain syndromes, such as pain associated with trauma or postoperative pain, and they have been used to manage chronic pain, even chronic nonmalignant pain. However, recent years have seen a renewed recognition of the potential for overuse, misuse, and abuse of opioids. Therefore, prescribing opioids is challenging for healthcare providers in that clinical effectiveness must be balanced against negative outcomes-with the possibility that neither are achieved perfectly. The current discourse about the dual ‘epidemics’ of under-treatment of legitimate pain and the over-prescription of opioids is clouded by inadequate or inaccurate understanding of opioid drugs and the endogenous pain pathways with which they interact. An understanding of the basic pharmacology of opioids helps inform the clinician and other stakeholders about these simultaneously under- and over-used agents.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Opioid, Pain, Morphine, Drug addiction, Psychoactive drug, Chronic pain, Recreational drug use

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Current levels and dangers of opioid use in the U.S. warrant the investigation of harm-reducing treatment alternatives.

Concepts: Opioid, Pain, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabis, Psychoactive drug, Chronic pain, Cannabis sativa, Legality of cannabis by country

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Recent publications have explored the possibility of using fingerprints to confirm drug use, but none has yet dealt with environmental contamination from fingertips. Here we explored the possibility of establishing an environmental cutoff for drug testing from a single fingerprint.

Concepts: Drug addiction, Heroin, Psychoactive drug, Drug injection, Methamphetamine, Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, Sherlock Holmes, Fingerprint

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Prescription opioid use is highly associated with risk of opioid-related death, with 1 of every 550 chronic opioid users dying within approximately 2.5 years of their first opioid prescription. Although gabapentin is widely perceived as safe, drug-induced respiratory depression has been described when gabapentin is used alone or in combination with other medications. Because gabapentin and opioids are both commonly prescribed for pain, the likelihood of co-prescription is high. However, no published studies have examined whether concomitant gabapentin therapy is associated with an increased risk of accidental opioid-related death in patients receiving opioids. The objective of this study was to investigate whether co-prescription of opioids and gabapentin is associated with an increased risk of accidental opioid-related mortality.

Concepts: Experimental design, Epidemiology, Death, Drug, Opioid, Morphine, Psychoactive drug, Recreational drug use

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Despite its cultivation as a source of food, fibre and medicine, and its global status as the most used illicit drug, the genus Cannabis has an inconclusive taxonomic organization and evolutionary history. Drug types of Cannabis (marijuana), which contain high amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are used for medical purposes and as a recreational drug. Hemp types are grown for the production of seed and fibre, and contain low amounts of THC. Two species or gene pools (C. sativa and C. indica) are widely used in describing the pedigree or appearance of cultivated Cannabis plants. Using 14,031 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 81 marijuana and 43 hemp samples, we show that marijuana and hemp are significantly differentiated at a genome-wide level, demonstrating that the distinction between these populations is not limited to genes underlying THC production. We find a moderate correlation between the genetic structure of marijuana strains and their reported C. sativa and C. indica ancestry and show that marijuana strain names often do not reflect a meaningful genetic identity. We also provide evidence that hemp is genetically more similar to C. indica type marijuana than to C. sativa strains.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Evolution, Cannabis, Psychoactive drug, Recreational drug use, Cannabis sativa