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Breathalysers, currently the most common way to estimate blood alcohol levels, are clunky devices that require patient initiation and are not that accurate. Tiny injectable sensor to help monitor blood alcohol levels better than breathalysers The new biosensor chip, developed in the US, measures roughly one cubic millimetre in size and can be injected under the skin in interstitial fluid, which surrounds the body’s cells. Breathalysers, currently the most common way to estimate blood alcohol levels, are clunky devices that require patient initiation and are not that accurate.(Getty Images/iStockphoto) Scientists have developed a miniature, ultra-low power injectable biosensor that could be used for continuous, long-term alcohol monitoring. The chip developed by engineers at the University of California San Diego in the US is small enough to be implanted in the body just beneath the surface of the skin. It is powered drugabuse wirelessly by a wearable device, such as a smartwatch or patch. “A tiny injectable sensor - that can be administered in a clinic without surgery - could make it easier for patients to follow a prescribed course of monitoring for extended periods of time,” said Drew Hall, a professor at the UC San Diego. The researchers designed the chip to consume as little power as possible - 970 nanowatts total, which is roughly one million times less power than a smartphone consumes when making a phone call. Breathalysers, currently the most common way to estimate blood alcohol levels, are clunky devices that require patient initiation and are not that accurate, Hall noted. A blood test is the most accurate method, but it needs to be performed by a trained technician. The new biosensor chip measures roughly one cubic millimetre in size and can be injected under the skin in interstitial fluid - the fluid that surrounds the body’s cells. It contains a sensor that is coated with alcohol oxidase, an enzyme that selectively interacts with alcohol to generate a byproduct that can be electrochemically detected. The electrical signals are transmitted wirelessly to a nearby wearable device such as a smartwatch, which also wirelessly powers the chip. Two additional sensors on the chip measure background signals and pH levels. These get cancelled out to make the alcohol reading more accurate. The researchers designed the chip to consume as little power as possible - 970 nanowatts total, which is roughly one million times less power than a smartphone consumes when making a phone call. “The ultimate goal of this work is to develop a routine, unobtrusive alcohol and drug monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs,” said Hall.

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Bar graph shows shorter hospital stays, less time in withdrawal treatment, and lower doses of morphine for the offspring of opioid-dependent women who received buprenorphine rather than methadone during pregnancy. “Buprenorphine may be a good option for pregnant women, particularly those who are new to treatment or who become pregnant while on this medication,” says Dr. Jones. “If a patient is on methadone maintenance and stable, however, she should remain on methadone.” MOTHER researchers observed that although the women in their buprenorphine and methadone groups benefited equally from treatment, the drop-out rate was higher in the buprenorphine group (33 vs. 18 percent). This difference was not statistically significant. nimh.nih.gov The researchers speculate that if it is meaningful, it may be owing to factors other than different responses to the two medications. They surmise that the experimental treatment protocols may have moved patients from morphine to buprenorphine too rapidly, causing discomfort, or that buprenorphine may have been easier than methadone to discontinue when women decided to become abstinent. The MOTHER study did not include women with some substance use disorders that are commonly comorbid with opioid abuse. “Future studies should compare neonatal abstinence syndrome, birth outcomes, and maternal outcomes of these two medications for pregnant women who also abuse alcohol and benzodiazepines,” Dr. Jones says. “The field also needs data on neonatal outcomes when pregnant women are treated with buprenorphine combined with naloxone, the current first-line form of buprenorphine therapy for opioid dependence,” Dr. Jones notes. The MOTHER study administered buprenorphine without naloxone to avoid exposing the fetus to a second medication with potential adverse effects. “Research challenges remaining after this brilliant study are to determine the factors that resulted in the differential drop-out rates between the two medications,” says Dr. Loretta P. Finnegan, who did pioneering work in the assessment and treatment of NAS. “Additionally, researchers need to conduct followup research on these children to determine the longer term significance of the differences in newborn withdrawal symptoms.” Dr. Finnegan, now president of Finnegan Consulting, was formerly the medical advisor to the director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health. “Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a terrible experience for infants, and there is a great need to improve care for this condition,” says Dr. Jamie Biswas of NIDA’s Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse . “Dr.

https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2012/07/buprenorphine-during-pregnancy-reduces-neonate-distress drug and alcohol helpline toronto drug and alcohol helpline toronto

It’s therefore not surprising that some turn to alcohol for solace. Mental health issues. Just like adults, young people are prone to depression, anxiety and a host of other mental health issues. Those who don’t receive help might decide to use alcohol to numb their feelings. Adolescence is a time of transition and change so it might be difficult to discern whether the changes in a child can be attributed to a drinking problem. However, the following warning signs can be strongly indicative of alcohol abuse: Loss of interest in hobbies or activities the teen previously enjoyed. Sudden changes in mood e.g. irritability, anger, depression. Switching their group of friends and becoming more secretive about their activities. Noticeable signs of drinking e.g. smelling alcohol on the breath, finding alcohol among the teen’s things, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and coordination difficulties. Although families and loved ones of underage drinkers, as well as the kids themselves, bear the greatest burden of underage drinking, it affects all of us. Some of the consequences include: Changes in brain development. As mentioned earlier, teens’ brains are still developing and prolonged alcohol use can have a negative effect on this, causing problems in cognitive or learning functions. Death. According to the CDC, underage drinking accounts for the deaths of more than 4,300 young people annually through alcohol poisoning, suicides, car crashes and homicides.

http://alcohol.addictionblog.org/%e2%80%8bthe-reality-of-underage-drinking/