What to know about alcohol and depression

Alcohol can make a person feel depressed and may even trigger or worsen depression. Depression is also a risk factor for using alcohol, since people who feel depressed may use alcohol to ease their symptoms.

Several studies, including a 2013 study that used a nationally representative sample, have found that people who drink to manage a psychiatric condition are more likely to abuse alcohol.

In this article, learn more about the links between alcohol and depression, as well as when to see a doctor.

Full article at Medical News Today

What to know about eco-anxiety

Eco-anxiety refers to a fear of environmental damage or ecological disaster. This sense of anxiety is largely based on the current and predicted future state of the environment and human-induced climate change.

According to a 2018 national survey, almost 70% of people in the United States are worried about climate change, and around 51% feel “helpless.”

Anxiety around environmental issues may stem from the awareness of a rising risk of extreme weather events, losses of livelihood or housing, fears for future generations, and feelings of helplessness.

Full story at Medical News Today

In The Fight For Money For The Opioid Crisis, Will The Youngest Victims Be Left Out?

Babies born to mothers who used opioids during pregnancy represent one of the most distressing legacies of an opioid epidemic that has claimed almost 400,000 lives and ravaged communities.

In fact, many of the ongoing lawsuits filed against drug companies refer to these babies, fighting through withdrawal in hospital nurseries.

The cluster of symptoms they experience, which include tremors, seizures and respiratory distress, is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. Until recently, doctors rarely looked for the condition. Then case numbers quadrupled over a decade. Hospital care for newborns with NAS has cost Medicaid billions of dollars.

Full story at Kaiser Health News

How to induce vomiting: What to know

Vomiting is one of the body’s natural defenses against germs, poisons, and drugs. Some people wish to induce vomiting to relieve nausea, whether the cause is an illness or a substance such as alcohol. Others induce vomiting if they believe that they have overeaten — this is a sign of an eating disorder.

However, vomiting carries risks. In particular, it is not safe to induce vomiting to prevent or treat poisoning.

People used to induce vomiting in children who swallowed poison. Parents and caregivers should not gag children or give them syrup of ipecac when they suspect poisoning or believe that the child has eaten rotten food. Instead, they should go to the emergency room or contact a poison control center.

Full story at Medical News Today

What to know about marijuana withdrawal

Whether they use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, people can develop withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it.

Marijuana, or cannabis, is the “most commonly used illicit drug in the United States,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In recent years, more states have legalized the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana. However, based on a 2018 survey from Washington State, legalization does not seem to have significantly increased marijuana use. That said, marijuana use has been gaining a lot of attention.

Full story at Medical News Today

Through my eyes: Addiction and recovery

Growing up, I had the picture-perfect family. I lived in a beautiful home in the suburbs of Detroit with my parents and younger brother. I had every opportunity in the world, attended private schools, and even made it onto the honor roll. I was involved in dance, theater, and many of the school sports teams.

Beneath the surface, however, I always felt a lot of pressure to be perfect.

I was the first of 12 grandchildren, and this led to me feeling that I had to be the best at everything I did, which gave me terrible anxiety from the early age of 5.

Full story at Medical News Today

Talent. A Football Scholarship. Then Crushing Depression.

Something was wrong. He could sense it.

The feeling had been stalking him for months. The lights were off in his bedroom, and the darkness closed in on him.

Isaiah Renfro, a top freshman wide receiver at the University of Washington, was at his home in South Los Angeles. He had to leave in the morning for spring practice, which was about to start in Seattle. But he could tell: Another storm was coming, a gale of anxiety and depression.

He slammed his suitcase shut and stood near his bed, steeling for a struggle that he was never sure he could win. He breathed hard, and tried to stay on his feet. Now the tempest was upon him. All the pressure. The worries. Football. Family. The feeling that he could never measure up.

Full story at The New York Times

Chronic pot use may have serious effects on the brain, experts say

As marijuana legalization builds momentum across the United States — with Michigan becoming the latest state to allow recreational use by adults — researchers are warning that more studies are needed on the long-term effects of chronic pot smoking on the human brain.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, but little is known about its effect on health or how addictive it is.

According to a 2017 poll conducted by Marist College and Yahoo News, more than half of American adults have tried marijuana at least once in their lives, and nearly 55 million of them, or 22 percent, say they use it currently. Close to 35 million are what the survey calls “regular users,” people who say they use marijuana at least once or twice a month.

Full story at NBC News

ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults

The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study led by researchers at Indiana University.

The risk of substance use problems during periods of medication use was 35 percent lower in men and 31 percent lower in women in the study. The results, based upon nearly 3 million people with ADHD in the United States, are reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“This study contributes to growing evidence that ADHD medication is linked to lower risk for many types of harmful behavior, including substance abuse,” said Patrick D. Quinn, a postdoctoral researcher in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, who led the study. “The results also highlight the importance of careful diagnosis and compliance with treatment.”

Full story of ADHD medication and teen substance abuse risk at Science Daily

Rewards treat alcohol abuse in those with mental illness

Researchers at Washington State University have shown that offering prizes — from simple shampoo to DVD players — can be an effective, low-cost treatment for alcohol abuse, the nation’s third leading preventable cause of death.

The treatment was studied in Seattle-area participants with serious mental illness. Their lifespan is estimated to be 20-25 years shorter than the average person’s.

A surprise benefit of the treatment was that it decreased study participants’ tobacco and drug use.

Findings from the study, which appears in the current American Journal of Psychiatry, could expand treatment options for an estimated 15 million U.S. adults who abuse alcohol.

Full story of treating alcohol abuse with rewards at Science Daily