BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor will receive nearly $12 million in federal money to pay for its new center that will study drug addiction.
The lab’s new facility will be called the Center for System Neurogenetics of Addiction. It will study mice to see what traits predispose them to drug addiction and use those findings to inform research into human addiction.
Maine Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, say the center will build datasets to better understand human addiction. The grant will come in the form of five years of funding supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The nation’s epidemic of addiction to painkillers and heroin is fueling runaway demand for a once-obscure form of housing known as “sober homes,” where recovering addicts live together in a supervised, substance-free setting to ease their transition back to independence.
The facilities are rarely run by credentialed professionals and are only lightly regulated — a situation that has prompted at least five states to pass or consider legislation to impose basic rules on how they operate. Some homes have been accused of tolerating drug use and participating in insurance fraud.
“The ones that are good are fantastic,” said Pam Rodriguez, CEO of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, an Illinois nonprofit working to reduce prison time for nonviolent drug offenders. But the rapidly expanding field also includes “people exploiting the vulnerability of the population and their desperation to find a safe place to live,” she said.
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in New Jersey has become the first hospital in the country to implement a program that will manage patients’ pain in the emergency room without the use of opioid painkillers.
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Former Senator Patrick Kennedy is using his position in one of the most powerful political families in America to raise awareness about addiction and mental illness, and is urging the 2016 presidential candidates to do the same.
Does “winter blues” seem like way too cutesy of a name for what you go through this time of year? Do you find that instead of experiencing a minor sense of gloom when the seasons change, your everyday life is suddenly interrupted by exhaustion, crying spells, crankiness, and an inability to concentrate?
You may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, a type of depression influenced by the changing of seasons. According to NYC-based clinical psychologist Dr. Jephtha Tausig-Edwards, about 4-6 percent of Americans experience SAD. It’s a phrase that’s tossed around casually a lot (can you count how many times you’ve heard a coworker say “ugh, I hate snow, I must have SAD”?) so it comes along with a lot of misconceptions. If you think you’re experiencing SAD (or are a loved one of someone who is), take note of some of the things about it that are commonly misunderstood…
Five Sober Date Night Ideas
When it comes to dating, nothing loosens two people up like a few cocktails, right? But how well is alcohol really serving you when it comes to new relationships? Sure, it may calm your nerves and relax inhibitions, but it can also confuse things. All too often, you may find yourself wondering the next day if you really meant to kiss that person — or was it just the booze talking? Did you actually like them — or did all those cocktails simply lead you to believe you did?
Sober dating can be a scary prospect, but it’s also the most honest, direct way to discover how you really feel about someone. So whether you’re in recovery or just trying to figure out if the connection is real, alcohol-free dates are a great idea. No clue where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve come up with five great options!
1) Picnic — Few things are as romantic as a well-planned picnic. If the weather is warm, throw a blanket down and indulge in good food and great conversation. Skipping the wine will allow the two of you to enjoy the afternoon without any blurry side effects. And if it’s cold outside, do it anyway by getting cozy in front of the fire.
2) Hiking or a long walk — Jumpstarting the endorphins is a great way to create energy on a date. Plan a scenic hike that will provide a gorgeous backdrop, which will also give the two of you something to talk about. Chances are, you’ll both work up an appetite, which is the perfect excuse to extend the date for a bite to eat after.
3) Coffee — There are lots of delicious alcohol-free beverages you can enjoy on a date, coffee being one of them. Side up to each other over steaming hot macchiatos or ice-blended coffee drinks and let the conversation flow. Added bonus: you’ll both be extra-alert when getting to know each other.
4) Amusement park – Channel your inner children with an afternoon of rides and games. Grab hands on the roller coaster or hold each other close in the haunted house, then binge on cotton candy and other assorted treats. Without alcohol, you won’t have to worry about getting sick all over your new significant other!
5) Bowling — Is it silly? Yes. Are the shoes hideous? Absolutely. But bowling is a great icebreaker nonetheless. And don’t worry about who wins or loses, competition is sexy either way. And without booze, both of your games will be all the more on point.
At Reawakenings Wellness Center, we work closely with each individual patient to teach them how to enjoy all of life’s experiences — dating included — without drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you know wants to learn more about leading a substance-free life, call RWC today.
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