UNC Health Care

Category: Substance Abuse

Photo of a child surrounded by cigarette smoke.

March 10, 2015

Repeated exposure of children to secondhand smoke is child abuse, G...

Dr. Adam Goldstein, who is director of the tobacco intervention programs in the UNC School of Medicine, argues his point in an opinion piece published in the March/April 2015 issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Families, Substance Abuse, Tobacco

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Thomas L. Kash

March 9, 2015

Protein in the brain can ‘put the brakes’ on binge drin...

A new study led by UNC researchers identifies both where in the brain and how a protein in the brain, called Neuropeptide Y or NPY, can act to suppress binge alcohol drinking. These findings suggest that restoring NPY may be useful for treating alcohol use disorders and may also protect some individuals from becoming alcohol dependent.

Neurology, Research, Substance Abuse

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Jacqueline Halladay

February 25, 2015

Patients who smoke want respect from physicians

How can providers best interact with their patients who smoke and support their efforts to become tobacco-free? A new study by researchers from the UNC Department of Family Medicine and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center represents one of the first efforts to ask this and other critical questions. The study was lead by Jacqueline Halladay, MD, associate professor, Department of Family Medicine.

Substance Abuse

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Spectrogram of an infant cry provided by Elizabeth Cox-Lippard

October 22, 2014

Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy

The cries of babies whose mothers used cocaine during pregnancy have increased amounts of “hyperphonation,” a new study finds.

Research, Substance Abuse

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Prescription pill bottles with different medications.

May 15, 2014

Medications can help adults with alcohol use disorders reduce drinking

Although alcohol use disorders are associated with many health problems, including cancers, stroke and depression, fewer than one-third of people with the disorders receive any treatment and less than 10 percent receive medications to help reduce alcohol consumption.

Mental Health, Research, Substance Abuse

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Illustration of the concept of the thought process with colorful circles and arrows pointing to other circles with question marks.

March 4, 2014

Protocol developed by UNC researchers reduces alcohol-related hospi...

The new protocol helps health care providers determine which patients need hospital admission and those whose needs can be met with outpatient treatment.

Substance Abuse

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Thomas Kash

September 4, 2012

Heavy drinking rewires brain, increasing susceptibility to anxiety ...

After chronic alcohol exposure, mice are unable to control a learned fear response, shedding light on the link between alcoholism and anxiety problems like post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mental Health, Research, Substance Abuse

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This image depicts the facial features of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).  Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

August 23, 2012

Imaging study sheds new light on alcohol-related birth defects

The new imaging study in a mouse model for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders could enhance the diagnoses of birth defects caused by alcohol exposure in the womb and it illustrates how the precise timing of that exposure could determine specific kinds of defects.

Pregnancy, Studies, Substance Abuse

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In October 2011

July 23, 2012

Synthetic stimulants called ‘bath salts’ act in the brain like cocaine

The effects on the brain’s reward circuits of the drug mephedrone are comparable to those of cocaine, which supports the argument that the synthetic drugs be made illegal permanently.

Studies, Substance Abuse

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Photo illustration of baby getting a bath

June 4, 2012

Baby wash products linked to false positive screening results for m...

Sleuthing by a multidisciplinary team at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and UNC Hospitals revealed the culprit behind an unexpected spike in “false positive” cannabis exposure screening results.

Pregnancy, Studies, Substance Abuse

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On the left panel

March 21, 2012

Structure of ‘Salvia’ receptor solved

A research team has determined the structure of the kappa-opioid receptor — site of action of the widely abused hallucinogen Salvia divinorum – solving longstanding scientific mysteries and offering new insights for treating drug addiction, chronic pain and depression.

Genetics, Research, Substance Abuse

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