Almost 44 Million Americans Had Mental Illness in the Past Year

Almost 44 million American adults—18 percent—had some type of mental illness in the past year, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Among the states, mental illness estimates ranged from 15.83 percent in New Jersey to 22.72 percent in Oregon, HealthDay reports.

Full story at drugfree.org

How do people decide: Should I go, stay, drink?

Many studies of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) use tasks that involve monetary rewards or losses to examine individual decision-making vis-à-vis alcohol and other substance use. Yet drinking typically occurs in specific social and incentive contexts that do not involve economic decision-making. This study examined decisions about attending, and drinking in, hypothetical drinking/social contexts wherein several different incentive and disincentive options were provided to the individual.

Researchers used community advertisements to recruit 434 adults (240 men, 194 women), between 18 and 30 years of age, who varied widely in lifetime alcohol use as well as antisocial problems. Using a computer screen, all participants were presented with six different hypothetical scenarios of drinking at a party; incentives involved party-time fun activities and disincentives involved next-day responsibilities.

Full story at Science Daily

Drinking alcohol while pregnant could have transgenerational effects

Soon-to-be mothers have heard the warning — don’t drink while pregnant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued numerous statements about the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, as it can lead to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in newborns.

Despite this, many women drink during pregnancy, a choice that scientists have known for years could hurt these mothers’ children. Today, there is a new reason why an expectant mother should put down that glass of wine — drinking alcohol during pregnancy will not only affect her unborn child, but may also impact brain development and lead to adverse outcomes in her future grand- and even great-grandchildren.

Full story of alcohol during pregnancy and FASD at Science Daily

Very low rate of early use of prescription smoking cessation medications among older patients after heart attack

Only about 7 percent of older adults who smoked used a prescription smoking cessation medication within 90 days after being discharged from a hospital following a heart attack, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.

The immediate period after a myocardial infarction (MI; heart attack) represents a unique window of opportunity to encourage patients to quit smoking. Using data (from between April 2007 and December 2013) from a large MI registry, Neha J. Pagidipati, M.D., M.P.H., of Duke University, Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined patient factors associated with early prescription smoking cessation medication (SCM) use (defined as filling of a prescription within 90 days postdischarge or supply remaining from a pre-admission fill). Prescription SCMs included in the study were bupropion and varenicline.

Full story of SCMs use after heart attacks at Science Daily

Opioids and obesity, not ‘despair deaths,’ raising mortality rates for white Americans

Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according to new CU Boulder research.

The study, published online today in the International Journal of Epidemiology, also found that, contrary to widely reported research findings, suicide and alcohol-related deaths are not to blame for increasing mortality rates among middle-aged whites.

The results call into question recent reports suggesting that what have become known collectively as “despair deaths” — by suicide, alcohol and drugs — are on the rise among white Americans, particularly men, facing a lack of economic opportunity and an increase in chronic pain.

Full story of opioids and obesity at Science Daily