Tuesday July 23, 2019

Women Are More Prone To Drug Addiction Than Men

Women represent a particularly vulnerable population, with higher rates of addiction following exposure to drugs, said researcher Erin Calipari, Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University in the US.

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Women represent a particularly vulnerable population, with higher rates of addiction following exposure to drugs, said researcher Erin Calipari, Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University in the US. Pixabay

Women’s hormonal cycles may not only make them prone to drug addiction but are also affected by triggers that lead to relapse, new research has found.

When fertility-related hormone levels are high, females learn faster, make stronger associations to cues in their environment and are more inclined to seek rewards, according to a study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Women represent a particularly vulnerable population, with higher rates of addiction following exposure to drugs, said researcher Erin Calipari, Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University in the US.

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Females were willing to “pay” more in the presence of these cues to get cocaine, the findings showed. Pixabay

“Women becoming addicted to drugs may be a fundamentally different process than men,” she said. “It’s important to understand this, because it’s the first step in developing treatments that are actually effective,” Calipari said.

The next step, she said, would be to figure out specifics of how hormonal shifts affect women’s brains and, ultimately, develop medications that could help override those.

In this study, male and female rats were allowed to dose themselves with cocaine by pushing a lever, with a light set up to come on during dosing.

That’s similar to the environmental cues, such as drug paraphernalia, present when humans are taking drugs.

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The results are transferable to humans through behavioural economic analysis, which uses a complicated mathematical equation with values for the most and least a subject will do to get a payoff, said the study. Pixabay

When hormone levels were high, female rats made stronger associations with the light and were more likely to keep pushing the lever as much as it took to get any amount of cocaine.

Also Read: Conflicts with Your Mother in Childhood May Reduce Purpose in Life Later

Females were willing to “pay” more in the presence of these cues to get cocaine, the findings showed.

The results are transferable to humans through behavioural economic analysis, which uses a complicated mathematical equation with values for the most and least a subject will do to get a payoff, said the study. (IANS)

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Suspending Students Serve as Negative Turning Point in Adolescence; Makes Them More Prone to Hold Guns, Sell Drugs

Mowen and colleagues studied to what extent being suspended from middle and high school was a turning point that led to more deviant behaviour

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suspending students, drugs
Offending was defined as attacking or assaulting someone, possessing a gun, selling illegal substances, destroying property and stealing. Pixabay

Suspending students from school can do more harm than good, said researchers, suggesting that suspending students can serve as a negative and harmful turning point in adolescence, resulting in more crime like assaults, stealing and selling drugs in the neighbourhood.

The study by researchers at Bowling Green State University and Eastern Kentucky University and published in Justice Quarterly found that rather than decreasing subsequent offending, school suspensions increase such behaviour.

“Intensifying disciplinary strategies — what some have called the criminalization of school discipline — may do more harm than good and could result in more crime in schools, neighbourhoods and communities,” said Thomas James Mowen, assistant professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University.

Mowen and colleagues studied to what extent being suspended from middle and high school was a turning point that led to more deviant behaviour. They also examined whether school suspensions, the most common response to youth’s misbehaviour at school, amplified the likelihood that adolescents would offend as they grew into young adults.

suspending students, drugs
Powder drugs. Wikimedia Commons

Offending was defined as attacking or assaulting someone, possessing a gun, selling illegal substances, destroying property and stealing. The study found that exclusionary school discipline (suspensions) increased subsequent offending, substantially amplifying deviant behaviour as the youth moved through adolescence and into adulthood. Repeated suspensions further amplified subsequent offending.

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The researchers took into account a variety of factors that influence offending behaviour, including whether youth dropped out of school, how youth felt about their schools (whether they felt safe, though their teachers were interested in them, believed school discipline was fair), how they felt about their families and their families’ income.

“The findings point to the need for school officials and policymakers to recognize the negative consequences of these approaches, examine the underlying causes of students’ behaviour and change how we manage that misbehaviour,” said Mowen. (IANS)