Addiction Policy Forum Blog

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Risks of Opioid & Alcohol Use for Women Increase with Age

By Mark Gold, MD on June 6, 2019

Alcohol use is very prevalent among Americans - more than half of U.S. adults drank last month - and alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death after tobacco and poor diet/physical inactivity.1,2 When coupled with prescription opioid use, drinking becomes especially dangerous.3 Women are at high-risk of experiencing these adverse health effects, which worsen with age. A recent study illuminates the repercussions of concurrent alcohol and prescription opioid use in older women.

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Ketamine and Naltrexone Combined Could Help Treat Depression and Addiction Simultaneously

By Mark Gold, MD on May 24, 2019

Ketamine was discovered by chemist Calvin Stevens in 1962 and its anesthetic effect was confirmed during testing with human prisoners in 1964. Ketamine was approved by the FDA in 1970 as KetalarĀ®, an injectable, rapid-acting general anesthetic. Because Ketamine does not cause respiratory depression or hypotension, it was released as a safer alternative to phencyclidine (PCP) that also provided excellent analgesia (pain relief).

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Liver Transplants and Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease

By Mark Gold, MD on March 28, 2019

Times have changed for those suffering from alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD), an umbrella term for liver conditions like fatty liver and alcohol-related cirrhosis that are caused by heavy or excessive drinking. Liver disease is one of the major consequences of alcohol use disorder, often resulting, ultimately, in liver failure. In the past, people whose liver health had deteriorated due to ALD would not have been considered for a transplant. One reason for this was the stigma surrounding alcohol use disorders and addiction. Another was a lack of understanding among physicians on how to improve outcomes for patients with ALD and in need of a transplant. Today, attitudes amongst doctors have changed along with the outlook for people with ALD. Of the 33,000 liver transplant recipients since 2002, 36.7% of them received a transplant due to ALD, up from 24.2% in 2002. Drs. Mitchell and Maddrey examined in a recent multicenter, prospective, national cohort study what has changed in the approach to evaluating transplant candidates in recent years.

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