Research Finds Many Links Between Alcohol and Suicide

A growing body of research points to the relationship between alcohol and suicide. Taking steps to reduce the availability of alcohol may help to reduce the number of suicides, says Raul Caetano, MD, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Oakland, California.

Dr. Caetano was a co-author of a study published in the journal Addiction in 2015 that found in the United States, the density of both on- and off-premises alcohol outlets in a county is associated positively with alcohol-related suicide.

“It’s pretty clear from that study that there is a relationship between alcohol outlets, such as bars, restaurants and liquor stores, and suicide,” he said. “That suggests that public health policies that affect the availability of alcohol in the community can also help prevent suicide. It’s an opportunity for prevention that hasn’t been fully utilized.”

Full story of links between alcohol and suicide at drugfree.org

Commentary: How to Navigate the Holidays in Early Recovery

With the holiday season upon us, many of us look forward to get-togethers with friends and family, and work celebrations with colleagues. From the smell of holiday cookies baking to hearing carols in stores, we’re primed to be in a holiday mood. But the season can also bring stress. Attending or planning holiday events can be exhausting and we often have high expectations that don’t always align with reality. For someone in early recovery – and their family members – it can be an especially stressful time.

Here are tips for those in early recovery on how to navigate the holidays.

Full story on navigating the holidays at drugfree.org

Scientists Developing New Painkillers With Fewer Side Effects

Scientists are working with three compounds that show promise in treating pain, without the side effects of opioids, CNBC reports.

One experimental drug, oliceridine, is in the final stages of human trials. It is administered intravenously. Studies show the drug relieves pain like morphine, without causing respiratory depression or constipation. However, it is no less addictive than morphine and it can only be used in hospitals. The company that makes oliceridine, Trevana, is developing an oral form of the drug.

Full story of new painkillers without side effects at drugfree.org

Let’s talk about more than sex: Parents in favor of expanding health education

Teaching kids about drugs, alcohol and sex appears to be less controversial than ever before with the majority of parents in a new poll saying schools should and do teach these subjects.

Many parents want more — saying those topics are not enough — finds the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. Researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of parents with kids in middle or high school.

Two-thirds of parents polled say schools should definitely cover emotional and mental health issues — which may include such subjects as dealing with depression, stress and bullying — yet only a third say these topics are currently covered by their child’s school.

Full story of expansion of sex education at Science Daily

Addiction May be Linked With High Social Media Use in People With Depression

A new study suggests addiction may be linked with the high use of social media in people with depression. People who check social media most frequently throughout the week were 2.7 times more likely to be depressed than those who check it least often, the study found.

Compared with peers who spend less time on social media, people who spend the most time on social media throughout the day are 1.7 times more likely to be depressed, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found.

Addiction seemed to explain about three-fourths of the effect of social media use on depression, the researchers report in Depression and Anxiety.

“It may be that people who already are depressed are turning to social media to fill a void,” researcher Lui yi Lin said in a news release.

Full story of social media use, depression and addiction at drugfree.org