Is Your Prescribing Serving a Hidden Addiction?

Is your prescribing serving a hidden addiction?

S Afr Med J. 2013; 103(6): 359-361
Bateman C

Addiction to prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines is a hidden, little-researched chronic illness – which could be significantly countered by destigmatisation, ‘up-scheduling’ certain medications, creating a single electronic database across dispensaries and boosting doctor awareness regarding long-term or repeat prescriptions. This is according to Dr Volker Hitzeroth, President of the South African Addiction Medicine Society and convenor of the addictions sub-group of the South African Society of Psychiatrists. HubMed – addiction


Acute ethanol administration affects zebrafish preference for a biologically inspired robot.

Alcohol. 2013 May 29;
Spinello C, Macrì S, Porfiri M

Preclinical animal models constitute a cornerstone against which the reward processes involved in drug addiction are often studied and dissected. While rodents have traditionally represented the species of choice, a growing body of literature indicates that zebrafish are emerging as a valuable model organism. Specifically, several studies demonstrate that the effects of ethanol at the level of emotional- and cognitive-related domains can be reliably investigated using zebrafish. The rapidly evolving nature of these efforts allows substantial room for the development of novel experimental paradigms suited to this freshwater species. The field of ethorobotics may prove particularly beneficial, due to its ability to convey fully controllable and easily reproducible experimental tools. In this study, we addressed the possibility of using a biologically inspired robot to investigate the emotionally related properties of ethanol in a preference task in zebrafish. To this aim, we evaluated wild-type zebrafish preference toward a robotic stimulus and addressed whether ethanol administration (0.25% and 1.00% ethanol/water concentration) may alter such preferences. In accordance with our previous studies, we observed that zebrafish exhibit a natural attraction toward the robot. Additionally, in agreement with our predictions, we showed that ethanol administration abolishes such preferences. This work is the first to demonstrate that robotic stimuli can be used in zebrafish to investigate the reward-related properties of alcohol. HubMed – addiction


Sex modulates approach systems and impulsivity in substance dependence.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 May 28;
Perry RI, Krmpotich T, Thompson LL, Mikulich-Gilbertson SK, Banich MT, Tanabe J

BACKGROUND: Personality traits such as pathological engagement in approach behaviors, high levels of impulsivity and heightened negative affect are consistently observed in substance dependent individuals (SDI). The clinical course of addiction has been shown to differ between sexes. For example, women increase their rates of consumption of some drugs of abuse more quickly than men. Despite the potential influence of personality and sex on features of addiction, few studies have investigated the interaction of these factors in substance dependence. METHODS: Fifty-one SDI (26 males, 25 females) and 66 controls (41 males, 25 females) completed the Behavioral Inhibition/Behavioral Activation System (BIS/BAS) Scales, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS-X). Data were analyzed with 2×2 ANCOVAs testing for main effects of group, sex and group by sex interactions, adjusting for education level. RESULTS: Significant group by sex interactions were observed for BAS scores [F(1,116)=7.03, p<.01] and Barratt Motor Impulsiveness [F(1,116)=6.11, p<.02] with female SDI showing the highest approach tendencies and impulsivity followed by male SDI, male controls, and finally female controls. SDI scored higher on negative affect [F(1,116)=25.23, p<.001] than controls. Behavioral Inhibition System scores were higher in women than men [F(1,116)=14.03, p<.001]. CONCLUSION: Higher BAS and motor impulsivity in SDI women relative to SDI men and control women suggest that personality traits that have been previously associated with drug use may be modulated by sex. These factors may contribute to differences in the disease course observed in male compared to female drug users. HubMed – addiction


Prescription opioid abuse: challenges and opportunities for payers.

Am J Manag Care. 2013 Apr; 19(4): 295-302
Katz NP, Birnbaum H, Brennan MJ, Freedman JD, Gilmore GP, Jay D, Kenna GA, Madras BK, McElhaney L, Weiss RD, White AG

Objectives: Prescription opioid abuse and addiction are serious problems with growing societal and medical costs, resulting in billions of dollars of excess costs to private and governmental health insurers annually. Although difficult to accurately assess, prescription opioid abuse also leads to increased insurance costs in the form of property and liability claims, and costs to state and local governments for judicial, emergency, and social services. This manuscript’s objective is to provide payers with strategies to control these costs, while supporting safe use of prescription opioid medications for patients with chronic pain. Method: A Tufts Health Care Institute Program on Opioid Risk Management meeting was convened in June 2010 with private and public payer representatives, public health and law enforcement officials, pain specialists, and other stakeholders to present research and develop recommendations on solutions that payers might implement to combat this problem. Results: While protecting access to prescription opioids for patients with pain, private and public payers can implement strategies to mitigate financial risks associated with opioid abuse, using internal strategies such as formulary controls, claims data surveillance, and claims matching; and external policies and procedures that support and educate physicians on reducing opioid risks among patients with chronic pain. Conclusions: Reimbursement policies, incentives, and health technology systems that encourage physicians to use universal precautions, to consult prescription monitoring program (PMP) data, and to implement Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment protocols have a high potential to reduce insurer risks while addressing a serious public health problem. HubMed – addiction



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