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Addictions

Smoking Place in Idaho
Fall 2017

Holy smokes

The straggly plant is easy to dismiss. Narrow leaves and white, trumpet-like flowers, fade easily into Northwest fields and roadsides. But Nicotiana attenuata, commonly known as coyote tobacco, contains medicinal and ceremonial properties long revered by Native American cultures.

For thousands of years, coyote and other types of wild tobacco have provided what many consider a versatile healing remedy and meditative, spiritual channel to the Creator. Much of the botanical lore was muddled, however, with the arrival of Europeans and subsequent cultural upheaval.

At Washington State University, researchers Shannon Tushingham and David Gang ’99 PhD are using a combination of archeology and high-end molecular chemistry … » More …

Booze Sex Reality Check video
Fall 2013

Video: Booze, Sex, and Reality Checks program

Students at Washington State University are given the opportunity to explore what they expect and want from a university social experience, including alcohol use and sexual decision making, through the University’s “Booze, Sex and Reality Checks” outreach.

WSU counseling psychology doctoral student Adisa Anderson from Alcohol & Drug Counseling, Assessment, & Prevention Services (ADCAPS) explains the program, and how the harm reduction approach can effectively reduce risk and help students be safer and smarter in their social lives.

Read more about ADCAPS, the Booze, Sex and Reality Checks program, and the assessment of the program’s effectiveness.

Read the WSM article about the program» More …

Hands clasped
Fall 2016

Kristi Molnar-Nelson takes back her life

Veteran Kristi Molnar-Nelson invited us to a counseling session with her psychiatrist Matt Layton, a Washington State University clinical associate professor, at a Spokane methadone clinic where she’s being treated for opioid addiction.

Video by Rajah Bose

Read more about treatment for opioid and heroin addiction in “The Epidemic.”

Read about WSU’s research into understanding the prevention and treatment of addiction, and studies into the neuroscience of addiction.

Fall 2016

The Epidemic

“This program saved my life,” he says as he enters the room. Kris, 37, is in the Spokane Regional Health District methadone clinic where he has come for treatment of heroin addiction since 2008. The intense, dark-haired man speaks openly, earnestly, as if he has nothing left to lose.

Kris says his journey into addiction began, “Quite simply, by a doctor.” Struggling with pain from a minor car accident in 1999, he was prescribed increasingly stronger doses of hydrocodone and OxyContin over a nine-year period. The FBI eventually raided the unethical physician and closed his practice, leaving patients like Kris stranded and facing withdrawal when … » More …

Fall 2016

The long view

“I do not believe that any man can adequately appreciate the world of to-day unless he has some knowledge of … the history of the world of the past.” —Theodore Roosevelt, 1911

A hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt’s vision of conservation came to fruition with the establishment of the National Park Service. Although President Woodrow Wilson established the NPS, Roosevelt had doubled the number of national parks and passed the Antiquities Act in 1906 when he was in the Oval Office. Roosevelt believed that we must have a deeper and longer-term view of our country’s natural and historical heritage.

In the spirit of Roosevelt’s aims, … » More …

PEAR graphic
Fall 2016

Opiates, gender, and alternative pain relief

The WSU Spokane Program of Excellence in Addictions Research (PEAR) is a wide-ranging effort aimed at improving the understanding, treatment, and prevention of addictions.

Founded in 2006 by John Roll, senior vice chancellor at WSU Health Sciences, PEAR is today one of the primary addictions science programs at WSU, says director and assistant professor in the College of Nursing Celestina Barbosa-Leiker.

PEAR is currently in collaboration with the Spokane Regional Health District methadone clinic, led by medical director Matt Layton.

Barbosa-Leiker is working with Layton to identify individuals for a state-wide study comparing gender differences in opioid use and the ways … » More …

bad opioids
Fall 2016

Targeting the brain’s “bad opioids”

The stark reality of drug abuse hit home for Brendan Walker when two college classmates overdosed on heroin and Xanax. Their unsettling deaths steered Walker toward a career in the neuroscience of psychology and addictions.

Today, the associate professor of psychology and member of the Neuroscience Program at WSU is a leader in the study of alcohol and opioid drug dependence. His research is advancing the development of new pharmacotherapy treatments for addiction.

“Alcohol and abused opioids have a lot of similarity,” says Walker. “They both manipulate very powerful primitive systems in the brain that are critical for our motivation.”

One of those systems … » More …