Learning to Forget: Manipulating Extinction and Reconsolidation Processes to Treat Addiction.

Learning to forget: manipulating extinction and reconsolidation processes to treat addiction.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012 May 26;
Torregrossa MM, Taylor JR

Finding effective long-lasting treatments for drug addiction has been an elusive goal. Consequently, researchers are beginning to investigate novel treatment strategies including manipulations of drug-associated memories. When environmental stimuli (cues) become associated with drug use, they become powerful motivators of continued drug use and relapse after abstinence. Reducing the strength of these cue-drug memories could decrease the number of factors that induce craving and relapse to aid in the treatment of addiction. Enhancing the consolidation of extinction learning and/or disrupting cue-drug memory reconsolidation are two strategies that have been proposed to reduce the strength of cues in motivating drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior. Here, we review the latest basic and clinical research elucidating the mechanisms underlying consolidation of extinction and reconsolidation of cue-drug memories in the hopes of developing pharmacological tools that exploit these signaling systems to treat addiction.
HubMed – addiction


Safety climate and workplace violence prevention in state-run residential addiction treatment centers.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Work. 2012 Jan 1; 42(1): 47-56
Lipscomb JA, London M, Chen YM, Flannery K, Watt M, Geiger-Brown J, Johnson JV, McPhaul K

Objective: To examine the association between violence prevention safety climate measures and self reported violence toward staff in state-run residential addiction treatment centers. Methods: In mid-2006, 409 staff from an Eastern United States state agency that oversees a system of thirteen residential addiction treatment centers (ATCs) completed a self-administered survey as part of a comprehensive risk assessment. The survey was undertaken to identify and measure facility-level risk factors for violence, including staff perceptions of the quality of existing US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) program elements, and ultimately to guide violence prevention programming. Key informant interviews and staff focus groups provided researchers with qualitative data with which to understand safety climate and violence prevention efforts within these work settings. Results: The frequency with which staff reported experiencing violent behavior ranged from 37% for “clients raised their voices in a threatening way to you” to 1% for “clients pushed, hit, kicked, or struck you”. Findings from the staff survey included the following significant predictors of violence: “client actively resisting program” (OR=2.34, 95% CI=1.35, 4.05), “working with clients for whom the history of violence is unknown” (OR=1.91, 95% CI=1.18, 3.09) and “management commitment to violence prevention” reported as “never/hardly ever” and “seldom or sometimes” (OR=4.30 and OR=2.31 respectively), while controlling for other covariates. Conclusions: We utilized a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to begin to describe the risk and potential for violence prevention in this setting. The prevalence of staff physical violence within the agency’s treatment facilities was lower than would be predicted. Possible explanations include the voluntary nature of treatment programs; strong policies and consequences for resident behavior and ongoing quality improvement efforts. Quantitative data identified low management commitment to violence prevention as a significant predictor of staff reported violence.
HubMed – addiction


Effects of environmental enrichment on the incubation of cocaine craving.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Neuropharmacology. 2012 May 22;
Chauvet C, Goldberg SR, Jaber M, Solinas M

Recent studies have demonstrated that exposure to environmental enrichment (EE) during withdrawal periods reduces the risks of relapse to drug-seeking behavior. In this study, we investigated whether EE could prevent the development of time-dependent increases in cocaine-seeking behavior (incubation of craving). In addition, we investigated whether EE could eliminate already developed incubation and whether the effects of EE would last when enrichment is discontinued. For this, we allowed rats to self-administer cocaine for 10 daily 6h sessions and measured cocaine seeking 1, 30 and 60 days after the last self-administration session. In between these tests, rats were kept in forced abstinence and housed either in EE or standard environments (SE). Between day 30 and 60 of withdrawal, half of the rats in each group were maintained in their original environmental condition and the other half was switched to the other environmental condition. We found that exposure to EE prevents development of incubation of cocaine craving and eliminates already developed incubation. In addition, contrary to our expectations, when EE was discontinued, its positive effects on incubation of craving disappeared. These results indicate that EE can reduce cocaine seeking but only temporarily and questions the hypothesis that EE can permanently eliminate the neural consequences of exposure to drugs of abuse. Therefore, stimulating environments could have positive effects on the treatment of cocaine addiction only if they are maintained for long periods of abstinence that encompass the time-frame during which addicts are most vulnerable to relapse.
HubMed – addiction


Obesity and risk taking: A male phenomenon.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Appetite. 2012 May 22;
Koritzky G, Yechiam E, Bukay I, Milman U

There is a growing tendency to regard overeating as an addiction, with obesity as its primary symptom. We propose that similar to other addictions, obesity is associated with excessive risk-taking in men, though not in women. To examine this suggestion we conducted two studies, one involving a sample of overweight and normal-weight students, and the other involving obese adults drawn from a dataset of health care clients, and a control sample of normal-weight adults. In both of these studies, we found that overweight and obese men took more risk in a laboratory task than normal-weight men, while overweight and obese women did not differ from normal-weight women in this respect. At the same time, obese women (but not overweight women) displayed higher impulsivity levels than normal-weight women. These findings shed light on the cognitive characteristics of obesity in men, and accent the importance of taking gender into account when developing research paradigms and treatment methods for obesity.
HubMed – addiction


Definitions refined for alcohol addiction

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Or is there a sliding scale of addiction, with many gradations of severity? That — in its simplest terms — is at the heart of a change in a psychiatric manual that could have a major effect on diagnosis and treatment of alcoholism and other …
Read more on Toledo Blade


Tyler James: 'The Voice Is The Best Therapy'

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

The Voice hopefuls Tyler James and Bo Bruce have described the BBC talent show as "like being in rehab". Both have previously sought treatment for addiction but claim appearing on The Voice has given them a serious boost.
Read more on MTV UK


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