Saturday April 20, 2019

Social environment may influence alcoholism and drug abuse

"Alcohol problems involve biological, psychological and social aspects. Therefore, intervening in the social connections of alcohol abusers may help to mitigate the damage done by alcohol misuse"

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Drug abuse Image Source: ncadd.org
  • The findings showed that the links between substance use and social connections are bi-directional and strong
  • Nearly 20 per cent of relationship terminations pose a relapse risk to the patients
  • On the other hand around 10 per cent of relationship terminations occur because of the patients’ continued use of substances.

Social relationships including family and friends play a key role in an individual’s recovery from substance-abuse problems and at the same time may also negatively influence them to become an addict, finds a study.

The findings showed that the links between substance use and social connections are bi-directional and strong.

“Our data show that social mechanisms substantially affect clinical outcomes over long periods of time,” said Robert L. Stout, a scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, a US based non-profit organisation.

Often after treatment for substance abuse problems, clinicians urge patients to avoid ‘bad’ social contacts and foster ‘good’ ones, the study said.

Alcohol desgracia Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Alcohol desgracia Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

“How clients change their social connections after treatment is a strong indicator of substance abuse outcomes one year and three years later,” Stout added.”

Nearly 20 per cent of relationship terminations pose a relapse risk to the patients.

On the other hand around 10 per cent of relationship terminations occur because of the patients’ continued use of substances.

Family and partner relationships are the least likely to end (roughly 20 per cent over two years), but about half of friendships seem to end over the span of two years.

Substance abuse strongly affects families and friends of alcohol abusers, accounting for much of the harm due to alcohol abuse, said the paper that underlines the importance of investigating how we can address social mechanisms in treatment to improve outcomes.

“Alcohol problems involve biological, psychological and social aspects. Therefore, intervening in the social connections of alcohol abusers may help to mitigate the damage done by alcohol misuse,” Stout suggested.

The team followed patients’ undergoing treatment for drugs and alcohol for two years to examine how changes in new and old relationships are linked to substance abuse.

They focused on factors associated with relationship break ups, observing how different types of relationships affect and are affected by substance use.

The researchers also looked at how relationship changes ultimately affected treatment outcomes.

The results were presented at the 39th Annual Research Society on Alcoholism in New Orleans, recently. (Source: IANS)

ALSO READ:

  • Aparna Gupta

    Its true that family play a very important role but one should also have strong will power and determination to get rid of alcohol.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes, social environment does affect a person’s indulgence in alcohol and drugs

Next Story

Parkinson Treatment Possible Through A Blood Pressure Drug

Felodipine was effective at reducing the build-up of "aggregates" in mice with the Huntington's and Parkinson's disease mutations and in the zebrafish dementia model. 

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blood pressure
"This is the first time that we're aware of that a study has shown that an approved drug can slow the build-up of harmful proteins in the brains of mice using doses aiming to mimic the concentrations of the drug seen in humans," said Professor Rubinsztein. Pixabay

Felodipine, a prescribed drug to treat high blood pressure, has shown promise against Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and forms of dementia in studies carried out in mice and zebrafish at the University of Cambridge.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists have shown in mice that felodipine may be a candidate for re-purposing.

A common feature of neurodegenerative diseases is the build-up of misfolded proteins.

drug

The hypertension drug was able to slow down progression of these potentially devastating conditions and “so we believe it should be trialled in patients,” he added. VOA

These proteins, such as huntingtin in Huntington’s disease and tau in some dementias, form “aggregates” that can cause irreversible damage to nerve cells in the brain.

A team led by Professor David Rubinsztein used mice that had been genetically modified to express mutations that cause Huntington’s disease or a form of Parkinson’s disease, and zebrafish that model a form of dementia.

Felodipine was effective at reducing the build-up of “aggregates” in mice with the Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease mutations and in the zebrafish dementia model.

The treated animals also showed fewer signs of the diseases.

“This is the first time that we’re aware of that a study has shown that an approved drug can slow the build-up of harmful proteins in the brains of mice using doses aiming to mimic the concentrations of the drug seen in humans,” said Professor Rubinsztein.

The hypertension drug was able to slow down progression of these potentially devastating conditions and “so we believe it should be trialled in patients,” he added.

brain

These proteins, such as huntingtin in Huntington’s disease and tau in some dementias, form “aggregates” that can cause irreversible damage to nerve cells in the brain.
Pixabay

In healthy individuals, the body uses a mechanism to prevent the build-up of such toxic materials.

Also Read: Facebook Reveals Millions of Instagram Passwords Stored on Servers

This mechanism is known as autophagy, or ‘self-eating’, and involves cells eating and breaking down the materials.

“This is only the first stage, though. The drug will need to be tested in patients to see if it has the same effects in humans as it does in mice. We need to be cautious, but I would like to say we can be cautiously optimistic,” said Professor Rubinsztein. (IANS)