Forces of habit: Addiction tough to beat
By Jerry D. Spangler
and James Thalman Deseret News staff writers Editor's note: Abuse of
alcohol and drugs is a Utah epidemic. One out of 20 Utahns has a substance
abuse problem needing treatment. The Deseret News examines addiction
in a five-part series focused through the eyes of former and current
addicts as they run the gantlet of political, social, economic and medical
factors associated with those addictions. Roger Ashworth smirks when
asked about anti-drug slogans. Roger Ashworth is supervised as he takes
his methadone at Discovery House. He had a $700-a-day drug habit that
he funded by stealing. Laura Seitz, Deseret News " 'Just say no.'
'Choose Life.' I didn't choose life, that's for sure," Ashworth
says, briefly looking down as if he's watching his 19 years as an addict
cross the clinic's vinyl floor. He pauses another second, thumbing his
ring emblazoned with the initials CTR — "choose the right."
"It wasn't life; it was something else," he says, absentmindedly
taking up the straw in the soda cup that was dry at least four sips
ago. "My life became my drugs. It was like I was the drugs. That's
all I did, that's all I wanted, that's all I was." When he was
arrested and jailed for shoplifting in 1997, Ashworth had been choosing
the wrong for some time. He had a $700-a-day heroin and cocaine habit.
He was underwriting it mostly by stealing expensive items like faucets
and front door handles from home improvement stores, then trading them
in at the customer service desk for money or vouchers. "It was
pretty common to make $1,500 in three hours." He shot seven years
and who knows how much money up his arm before he stopped for good two
years ago. He first started getting high in school, still going to church
on Sundays, "as normal and everyday as any kid." By the time
he kicked, his need to not get sick far outweighed any desire to get
high. "It's a very different motivation just to keep well,"
says Ashworth, who at 38 stays that way on a daily dose of methadone.
"At some point with everyone, the high flips over to needing the
drug just not to get sick. Every day after that becomes a chase, and
finally you just can't do it any more. You just wear out, and you stop,
or else you die. But one way or the other, you stop." Substance
abuse is hardly a problem confined to festering crack houses or the
shadows just off the State Street neon. It reaches into virtually every
social, religious and economic group in the state. There are suburban
moms addicted to pain pills, euphemistically called "Sandy candy,"
and working-class dads grappling with secret heroin habits. There are
children far too young to carry the monkey; there are grandparents too
old to remember their last moment of clarity. They come from good
ABC News Homepage: I Can't Help Myself!
Watching TV, you'd think
the whole country is addicted to something: drugs, food, gambling
- even sex or shopping. In Canada, some lawyers are suing the government,
saying it is responsible for getting people addicted to video slot
machines. (ABCNEWS.com) "The United States has elevated addiction
to a national icon. It's our symbol, it's our excuse," says Stanton
Peele, author of The Diseasing of America. There are conflicting views
about addiction and popular treatments. So, we talked with researchers,
psychologists and "addicts" and asked them: Is addiction
Addiction Research on Tobacco and Tobacco-Related Cancers
Goal Understand the causes
of tobacco use, addiction, and related cancers and apply this knowledge
to their prevention and treatment. Opportunity We have an unprecedented
opportunity to reduce the enormous burden of tobacco use on our nation's
public health. The investment proposed here will enable us to gather
knowledge that will inform policy makers and public health practitioners
about the best strategies for preventing and treating tobacco use and
tobacco-related cancers. Supporting information: Identifying and Targeting
Populations at High Risk for Tobacco Use Developing Optimal Smoking
Prevention and Cessation Strategies Capitalizing on Social, Legal and
Public Policy Developments Tobacco Statistics Identifying and Targeting
Populations at High Risk for Tobacco Use We have made enormous progress
in understanding at the molecular level the transformation of a normal
cell to a cancer cell following exposure to tobacco carcinogens. Scientists
have: Identified many cancer-causing agents contained in tobacco smoke.
Shown that different tobacco products and methods of nicotine delivery
influence the type and quantity of exposure to these agents. Determined
that these multiple agents seem to induce similar changes, regardless
of the cell's location in the body.
The Drug Addiction Treatment
Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) expands the clinical context of medication-assisted
opioid addiction treatment by allowing qualified physicians to dispense
or prescribe specifically approved Schedule III, IV, and V narcotic
medications for the treatment of opioid addiction in treatment settings
other than the traditional Opioid Treatment Program (i.e., methadone
clinic). In addition, DATA 2000 reduces the regulatory burden on physicians
who choose to practice opioid addiction therapy by permitting qualified
physicians to apply for and receive waivers of the special registration
requirements defined in the Controlled Substances Act.
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Drug Addiction Research and the
Health of Women
The mission of the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is to lead the Nation bringing the power
of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. Common Drugs of AbuseAcid/LSDAlcoholCocaineClub
(Phencyclidine)Prescription MedicationsPrevention ResearchSteroidsStress
& Drug AbuseTreatment ResearchTrends and Statistics National Institute
on Drug Abuse Drug Addiction Research and the Health of Women Editors:
Cora Lee Wetherington, Ph.D., Women's Health Coordinator Adele B. Roman,
M.S.N., R.N., Deputy Women's Health Coordinator --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Table of Contents Foreword-------i Drug Addiction Research and the Health
of Women-------1 Loretta P. Finnegan, M.D. Role of the Office of Research
on Women's Health-------5 Vivian W. Pinn, M.D. Women and Substance Abuse:
A New National Focus-------13 Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A. Women
and Addiction in the United States-1850 to 1920 -------33 Stephen R.
Kandall, M.D. Women and Addiction in the United States- 1920 to the
Present-------53 Stephen R. Kandall, M.D. Keynote Address: Neurobiological
Correlates of the Addictions: Findings From Basic and Treatment Research-------81
Mary Jeanne Kreek, M.D. Epidemiology The Epidemiology of Substance Use
and Dependence Among Women-------105 Denise B. Kandel, Ph.D.; Lynn A.
Warner, M.P.P.; and Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D. Biological/Behavioral Mechanisms
Cocaine Abuse and Reproductive Function in Women-------131 Nancy K.
Mello, Ph.D. Stress-Related Psychopathology as a Vulnerability Factor
in Drug-Taking: The Role of Sex-------151 D. Caroline Blanchard, Ph.D.
Biological/Behavioral Mechanisms Panel Gender Differences in Cocaine
Self-Administration in Rats: Relevance to Human Drug-Taking Behavior-------165
David C.S. Roberts, Ph.D., and Rachel Phelan, M.Sc. The Relevance of
Stress and Eating to the Study of Gender and Drug Use-------173 Neil
E. Grunberg, Ph.D., and Laura Cousino Klein, M.S. Translating Basic
Research on Drugs and Pregnancy Into the Clinical Setting-------187
James R. Woods, Jr., M.D.