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NCADD Addiction Medicine Update

The NCADD Medical-Scientific Committee is made up of physicians, psychologists and others to provide advice and guidance to the NCADD Board of Directors, staff and National Network of Affiliates on activities related to medicine, health and addiction to alcohol and drugs. The Committee develops NCADD position papers, advisories, and other public statements for approval by the Board which reflect the latest medical and scientific understanding of the disease of alcoholism and drug dependence.

Best Ways to Chill Out We pay attention to our senses, which tell us about our bodies and the people and things around us. We notice our thoughts, movements, and feelings. In response to ailments or other concerns, we narrow our attention to particular body regions, organs, or organ systems—back, skin, or digestive tract, for example. But we rarely contemplate the smallest components of our bodies: the cells and molecules. Yet if you wish to chill out, you may want to take into account your brain cells and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)—a chemical messenger that quiets brain cells down—lest your preferred means of chilling leads to consternation rather than relaxation. GABA, a common neurotransmitter in the human brain, inhibits the firing of mature brain cells by making the electrical charge within those cells more negative. Fluids in large and small compartments throughout the body have electrical charges reflecting the net effect of the positive and negative chemical......

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