Each week, Inside Addiction recaps timely stories and topics related to substance use and mental health disorders. Here are the top news headlines for the week of July 13, 2018.
Amid Opioid Crisis, Meth an Overlooked Problem in U.S.
While the opioid epidemic ravages communities across the United States, methamphetamine has quietly increased in popularity nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American deaths from stimulants like meth rose by more than 250 percent from 2005 to 2015. In recent years, Mexican cartels have shipped liquid forms of meth into the United States, causing the widespread re-emergence of the drug. [The Herald-Mail]
Minorities Experience High Levels of Mental Illness, Rarely Seek Treatment
July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Despite experiencing higher rates of mental illness, minority college students are less likely than white students to seek mental health treatment, according to a new study by Boston University. More specifically, minority Arab and Arab-American students experience the highest levels of mental illness yet are the least educated about mental health problems. Also, Asian students are the least likely to believe that they need mental health treatment. [The Boston Globe]
Pain Patients Ask FDA to Ease Their Access to Opioids
On July 9, the Food and Drug Administration listened as people spoke about their chronic pain and difficulties accessing enough medications to ease their discomfort. Many states have put a limit on opioid prescriptions to last for less than a week. As a result, chronic pain patients are often denied sufficient amounts of opioids needed to alleviate their pain. The FDA hopes to find a way to cater to the needs of chronic pain patients and also put an end to overprescribing practices that have contributed to the opioid epidemic. [NBC News]
Georgia Woman Donating Dogs to Veterans with PTSD
Bev Beres breeds German Shepherds in Georgia. For every puppy born, at least one will be donated to a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Beres recently donated a dog to a Colorado veteran who developed PTSD after years of service. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, dogs can provide companionship, offer emotional support and reduce stress in veterans with PTSD. [KUSA]
CDC Director: Opioid Crisis Deadlier Than AIDS Epidemic
Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the opioid epidemic is the public health crisis of our time. He also said that painkiller misuse has been deadlier than the AIDS epedemic, which occurred in the 1980s and 1990s. According to the CDC, 115 Americans die each day from an opioid-related overdose. [The Washington Times]
The Look of Depression: Young Woman’s Message Goes Viral
In an effort to demonstrate the realities of depression, an Indiana woman snapped a photo of a batch of clean dishes on her kitchen countertop and uploaded it to Facebook. She said that the picture shows what depression looks like. She was referring not to the clean dishes, but to the fact that they were once dirty dishes that depression kept her from cleaning. As she explained, depression can make normal tasks, like washing dishes, daunting. Since June 30, the post has been shared more than 200,000 times. [TODAY]
Inhaling Heroin Can Cause Brain Damage
New research shows that smoking heroin can cause holes in the brain to form. Also known as “chasing the dragon,” inhaling heroin creates an intense high similar to that of snorting the drug. However, this activity can result in the development of holes in the brain’s white matter, preventing brain cells from communicating with one another. When this happens, verbal communication problems, coma or seizures can occur. [Newsweek]
About 200 Prescription Drugs Can Cause Depression
A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association shows that about 200 prescription drugs list depression as a side effect. These drugs include prescription-strength ibuprofen, emergency contraceptives and anticonvulsants like gabapentin. According to the study, more than one-third of Americans take at least one prescription drug that can induce depressive symptoms, and people who use these substances have higher rates of depression. [The New York Times]
Adderall Does Not Help College Students Study
Many college students misuse the stimulant Adderall to stay up late to study for a test or to increase concentration. However, a joint study by the University of Rhode Island and Brown University found that healthy people who use Adderall without prescription can experience memory problems. The study also indicated that Adderall does not enhance reading concentration, but the drug can improve a person’s ability to pay attention. [Rhode Island Public Radio]
Living in Areas with Less Sunlight Can Lead to OCD
A report by Binghamton University in New York found that people who live at high latitudes are at an increased risk of developing or exacerbating symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) because they are exposed to less sunlight. These individuals often fall asleep later than desired and sleep in late, which disrupts their sleep-wake cycle. The study showed that individuals living in areas with less sunlight also have higher lifetime rates of OCD when compared with people in areas with more sunlight. [ScienceDaily]
Addiction and mental illness are common disorders in the United States. If you are experiencing substance use or mental health problems, it is important to seek treatment. The Recovery Village offers evidence-based treatment approaches for people dealing with co-occurring disorders. Call The Recovery Village to learn more about how treatment can help you heal.