Breaking Cycle of Pain and Stress in Chronic Pain Patients Dependent on Opioids

July 31, 2015 Posted by

Doctors at Stanford University are trying to help people dependent on opioid painkillers break the vicious cycle in which physical pain and emotional distress exacerbate one another.

Through an intensive week-long inpatient program that combines physical and occupational therapy, lifestyle and behavioral modifications and medication, patients have experienced significant improvements in pain levels, emotional functioning and physical activity, according to Ravi Prasad, PhD, Assistant Chief of Stanford’s Division of Pain Medicine.

Dr. Prasad will be speaking about the program and its results at the upcoming American Psychological Association meeting in Toronto.

Full story of chronic pain patients dependent on opioids at

Department of Justice Wants More Inmates in Prison Drug Abuse Treatment Program

July 30, 2015 Posted by

The Bureau of Prisons, part of the U.S. Department of Justice, is proposing revisions to residential drug abuse treatment program regulations to allow greater inmate participation in the program, The Hill reports.

The bureau proposes to remove language from the regulations that require the automatic removal of inmates from the program if they have an incident, such as being caught using alcohol or drugs, being violent or attempting to escape. The proposed rule would allow the bureau more discretion in determining which inmates should be removed from the program.

Under the proposed rules, the bureau would give at least one formal warning before removing an inmate from the program, unless there was a documented lack of compliance, and the inmate’s continued participation would be an immediate problem for the staff or other inmates.

Full story of prison drug abuse treatment programs at

Childhood Psychiatric Problems May Lead to Difficulties in Adulthood

July 29, 2015 Posted by

Children with mental health issues appear to be more likely to have serious problems that make it more difficult to lead successful lives in adulthood, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found children who had a diagnosed psychiatric condition such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse were six times more likely than children with no mental health issues to have difficulties in adulthood including addictions, criminal charges, early pregnancies, education failures, residential instability and problems getting or keeping a job.

Children with more minor mental health problems that affected their daily life had three times the risk of experiencing difficulties in adulthood. Adult problems were more likely even in children whose mental health issues did not persist beyond childhood, Fox News reports.

Full story of childhood psychiatric problems and adulthood at

“Very Light” Smoking Appears Popular Among Young Women: Study

July 28, 2015 Posted by

“Very light” smoking, defined as smoking five or fewer cigarettes a day, appears to be popular among young women, a new study concludes.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin examined data from almost 9,800 women ages 18 to 25, and found about 30 percent were current smokers. Among these women, 62 percent were very light smokers, 27 were light smokers, and 11 percent were heavier smokers. About 71 percent of very light smokers were intermittent smokers, meaning they did not smoke every day.

Very light smokers were much more likely to be intermittent smokers, to be from a minority group, and to have some college education, HealthDay reports. The findings appear in Preventing Chronic Disease.

Full story of light smoking among young women at

Lab Analyzes Babies’ Umbilical Cords for Mothers’ Drug Use

July 27, 2015 Posted by

A lab in Utah is analyzing sections of umbilical cords to look for evidence of mothers’ drug use, Medical Daily reports. Quickly identifying which infants have been exposed to drugs, and which drugs they were exposed to, can provide valuable information to neonatal specialists treating the babies, the lab says.

ARUP Laboratories, which is affiliated with the University of Utah, was the second lab in the nation to offer umbilical cord testing, the article notes. Before umbilical cord testing was developed, doctors would analyze babies’ exposure to drugs through their meconium (first stool). Testing the umbilical cord is faster, according to the article. Umbilical cord testing can take up to 72 hours.

“Sometimes babies are already in the throes of withdrawal symptoms but physicians can’t determine what drugs they are dealing with until test results are available,” Dr. Gwen McMillin, Medical Director of ARUP’s Clinical Toxicology Laboratories, said in a press release.

Full story of analyzing umbilical cords from mother drug use at