This article, published in The Globe and Mailon Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 describes a day in the life of Duncan Sallie, a young man trying to work his way out of Vancouver's notorious Downtown East-side. It provides a pretty-much text-book description of the difficulties people with ADHD have in establishing themselves in the work-force.
Robert Matas - Vancouver
He survived for years
on the street with a squeegee and sign: broke and hungry. Much of the money he
earned went for whatever drugs he could put his hands on. At night, he settled
into a spot under a bridge or in a park.
But last week, Duncan
Sallie, 26, had a formal job interview, possibly his first ever. Mr. Sallie did
not realize it, but the 2010 Winter Olympics have given him a chance to remake
The impact of the
Olympic Games on Canada's worst slum, Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, is often
measured solely by the new brick and mortar in the neighbourhood. The federal
and provincial governments have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the
area over the past decade. Much of the money was spent with an eye on sprucing
up the area before the world media arrive for the Olympics.
But finding work for
those who live in the neighbourhood has not been as easy. Several government-funded
programs have been struggling with the challenge of matching local jobs with
those who live in the area, many with spotty work records, drug dependencies
and mental health issues.
Mr. Sallie got his
opportunity through contact with agencies financed by government and business
and dedicated to ensuring the community shares in benefits from revitalization
of the neighbourhood.
To read the rest of the story... follow the link - www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/a-chance-to-change-fate/article1406274/
This article, published on December 10, 2009 in Addiction Professional shows that Pathological Gamblers respond to the same medications as other addicts, supporting the contention that addictions to substances and behaviours are different manifestations of the same patho-physiology
Nashville, TN — Pathological gambling can be successfully treated with medications that decrease urges and increase inhibitions, according to researchers at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP). Researchers found positive outcomes in gamblers treated with medications often used for substance addictions.
Dr. Jon Grant and his team at the University of Minnesota used tasks that measure cognition to identify what motivates this extreme type of gambling behavior. They enrolled men and women with a primary diagnosis of pathological gambling in one of three medication studies. Study sites varied in size from 70 to 100 participants.
In order to group individuals into categories that address differences in their biology, Grant separated pathological gamblers into two major subtypes: gamblers who are driven by urge (i.e., individuals who report gambling when the desire becomes too strong to control) and those who do not show normal inhibition of impulsive behaviors (i.e., individuals who report being unable to restrict behaviors even when urges are minimal or virtually non-existent).
In the first subtype, gamblers who are driven by urge responded well to treatment with medications that block the brain opioid system (e.g., naltrexone) or certain receptors for the neurotransmitter glutamate (e.g., memantine). Grant also found that family history plays an important role in refining this group even further. People with a family history of addiction responded even better to the opioid blocker, which has been shown in other studies to decrease the urge to use substances such as alcohol.
The second subtype, gamblers who have difficulty inhibiting their behaviors and react to the smallest desires, respond well to medications that act on a specific enzyme, catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT), which plays a major role in the function of the prefrontal cortex. Researchers found that decreasing the function of COMT can increase one's ability to inhibit their desire to gamble.
"By understanding these different subtypes, we are able to target the core biology of the illness with individualized treatment," said Jon Grant, MD, JD, MPH, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and ACNP member.