Visit Inside Addiction each week to break down the most important addiction and mental health news you need to know. These are the top news headlines for the week of July 29–August 4, 2018. 

Mental Health Problems Affecting Young People in Increasing Numbers

According to the National Health Service, almost 4,000 children and young people ages 18 and younger are in contact with the health service for mental health problems. The 2018 State of Mental Health in America report revealed that the rates of youth with severe depression increased from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. Experts suggest that because of the evidence, early identification and intervention can reduce the damage to young people’s mental health. [TheGuardian]

Can Screen Time Affect Children’s Mental Health?

The National Institute of Health estimated that kids are spending the same amount of time, or more, using screens for entertainment as they are spending in the classroom. Surveys have revealed that children are also facing increased rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders than previous generations did. There are other factors that contribute to these increased rates of mental health issues, but the use of smartphones, tablets and laptops is a huge contributing factor. Overall, children are spending less time on homework or engaging in physical and social activities. [Rogers Behavioral Health]

Ellie Soutter, Olympic Snowboarder, Took Her Life Because of Mounting Pressure And History of a Mental Illness

Ellie Soutter, a rising Olympic star in Britain, died on her 18th birthday which was on July 25th. She was found dead in the woods a week after she disappeared from a ski resort in Les Gets, France. Soutter was set to represent Britain next month in the Junior World Championships in New Zealand and was chosen for a place on Team Great Britain for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Her father said there were several contributing factors to her apparent suicide including a history of mental health issues combined with the pressure of competing. [FoxNews]

The Planet’s Mental Health Could be Affected by Climate Change

Ecological grief, the mourning of ecosystems and species and ways of life that disappearing as the planet warms, has already begun to affect the Inuits. However, as our planet experiences to rising seas, more intense storms, and higher temperatures, these conditions may be to blame for an increase in international mental health problems. Psychologist, Susan Clayton, says that disorders like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance addiction and domestic abuse tend to increase in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Clayton explains that as our planet continues to warm, more natural disasters will occur. [Wired]

 Are You Working in the Industry With the Highest Risk of Mental Health Issues? 

A study published on July 31st in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that service industry jobs like servers at a restaurant are more susceptible to mental health problems than any other industry. Researchers surveyed 2,815 women and 2,586 men (ages 24 to 33)  and found women in service industry positions are the most likely, when compared to people in other industries, to report that they have experienced depression, sleep problems and stress. [Market Watch]

Opioid Prescriptions Have Not Declined Despite the Opioid Epidemic

Recently published research by the Mayo Clinic has raised some questions about the medical field’s awareness of the seriousness of the opioid crisis. Opioid prescription rates have remained the same for insured patients during the last decade, according to data published in the British Medical Journal. Prescriptions given to Medicare patients have recently shown signs of evening out, prescribing rates for some are actually higher than they were a ten years ago. [Forbes]

Students Can Go to School and Continue With Addiction Recovery 

Rutgers University opened its residential recovery housing on campus in 1988, where students could seek treatment and remain on campus. Most collegiate recovery programs provide students with addiction counseling, support groups and substance-free social activities. Rutgers program, and others like it, offer dedicated meeting spaces and residence halls committed to sober living. In 2015, the state of New Jersey passed legislation that required four-year public colleges and universities to provide substance abuse recovery housing. [Yes Magazine]

Two Pharmaceutical Companies Speak Out Against Being Involved With Nebraska Execution

Two more pharmaceutical companies notified the state of Nebraska that they don’t want their drugs use in lethal injection scheduled to take place in less than two weeks. Representatives of Sandoz Inc. and Hikma Pharmaceuticals said they have not yet confirmed whether the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services has acquired their products. Hikma successfully joined the Nevada lawsuit on July 30th after learning that corrections officials there acquired the company’s fentanyl. [Omaha World-Herald]

Technology Is Being Used to Help Michigan Address Opioid Crisis

A statewide assessment was conducted in April to identify trends that can assist government agencies, lawmakers and local community officials to create law, identify resources and design innovative programs that can vastly improve the current opioid epidemic in Michigan. The assessment used artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies to reveal important insights into the opioid epidemic to allow for more advanced interventions and responses like an “overdose risk score” that can help predict the likelihood of a drug-related death. [Healthcare Informatics]

Massachusetts Creates Treatment Program for Inmates With Substance Use Disorders

The Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association released an establishment of a statewide pilot program to provide inmates with substance use disorder medication-assisted treatment (MAT) at five Massachusetts prisons. The goal of this program is to create innovation in the corrections facilities in an effort to increase public safety, improve the health of the public and save lives.

The program will continue treatment throughout the total sentence of an inmate with a MAT prescription verified by a doctor unless a qualified addition specialist decides otherwise. The program will also be made available for sentenced inmates 30 days before their release if an approved by a qualified specialist. Inmates who participate in the program will also be released with a coordinated post-release health plan to ensure the continuity of care. [WWLP]

If you think you or a loved one may be struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, recovery is possible. Call and speak with a representative at The Recovery Village to learn more about treatment options. The call is free, confidential, and there is no obligation to enroll.

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