BACKGROUND: Cannabis use disorder is the most commonly reported illegal substance use disorder in the general population; although demand for assistance from health services is increasing internationally, only a minority of those with the disorder seek professional assistance. Treatment studies have been published, but pressure to establish public policy requires an updated systematic review of cannabis-specific treatments for adults.
Recent discoveries about the effects of drugs of abuse on the brain and the mechanisms of their addictions; new chemical compounds, including immunotherapies; and new actions of available medications are offering many opportunities for the discovery and development of novel medications to treat addictive disorders. Furthermore, advancements in the understanding of the genetic and epigenetic basis of drug addiction and the pharmacogenetics of the safety and/or efficacy of the medications are providing opportunities for more individualized pharmacotherapy approaches.
BACKGROUND: Prenatal cannabis exposure has been linked to addiction vulnerability, but the neurobiology underlying this risk is unknown. METHODS: Striatal dopamine and opioid-related genes were studied in human fetal subjects exposed to cannabis (as well as cigarettes and alcohol). Cannabis-related gene disturbances observed in the human fetus were subsequently characterized with an animal model of prenatal ?-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (.15 mg/kg) exposure.
DNA methylation, one of the main epigenetic mechanisms to regulate gene expression, appears to be involved in the development of schizophrenia (SZ). In this study, we investigated 7562 DNA methylation markers in blood from 98 SZ patients and 108 healthy controls. A linear regression model including age, gender, race, alcohol, nicotine and cannabis use status, and diagnosis was implemented to identify C-phosphate-G (CpG) sites significantly associated with diagnosis. These CpG sites were further validated using an independent data set.
The genetic analyses of addictions recently converted to genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and thanks to national and international consortia, allowed to recruit large cohorts of patients. This approach allowed the identification of the first susceptibility gene in addiction (tobacco), with genes CHRNA5, CHRNA3 and CHRNB4 encoding the ?5, ?3 and b4 subunits involved in the formation of nicotinic receptors, explaining 14% of the attributable risk for tobacco dependence.
The past decade has witnessed a number of societal and political changes that have raised critical questions about the long-term impact of marijuana (Cannabis sativa) that are especially important given the prevalence of its abuse and that potential long-term effects still largely lack scientific data. Disturbances of the epigenome have generally been hypothesized as the molecular machinery underlying the persistent, often tissue-specific transcriptional and behavioral effects of cannabinoids that have been observed within one's lifetime and even into the subsequent generation.
Despite evidence for heritable variation in cannabis involvement and the discovery of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, no consistent patterns have emerged from candidate endocannabinoid (eCB) genetic association studies of cannabis involvement. Given interactions between eCB and stress systems and associations between childhood stress and cannabis involvement, it may be important to consider childhood adversity in the context of eCB-related genetic variation.
International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Cannabis consumption is on the rise in the French-speaking Community of Belgium, especially among teenagers. The physical and mental harms related to that drug prompted us to search for factors associated with cannabis consumption. The aim of this paper is thus to identify a series of potential predictors of teenager's cannabis use and particularly the influence of peer and family integration. The data analyzed were taken from the 1998 data bank "Health Behavior in School-Aged Children", an international quantitative cross-national study, which takes place every four years.
Using data on 838 middle adolescents, the current study compared the associations between three types of romantic involvement and alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use. Off-time (i.e., serious romantic relationships) but not on-time (i.e., romantic socializing and dating) types of involvement were expected to be associated with increased odds of using each substance. Participating in romantic socializing was unrelated to substance use and dating was only positively associated with alcohol use.
Hypnosis was once a viable treatment approach for addictions. Then, due to hypnosis being used for entertainment purposes many professionals lost confidence in it. However, it has now started to make a comeback in the treatment of substance abuse. The approach described here, using hypnosis for treatment, is borrowed from studies effectively treating alcoholism by using intensive daily sessions. Combining the more intense treatment of 20 daily sessions with hypnosis is a successful method to treat addictions.