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

Quantum Units Education: New CEU Courses

Screening and Assessment of Co-Occurring Disorders in the Justice System

Use of evidence-based approaches for screening and assessment is likely to result in more accurate matching of offenders to treatment services and more effective treatment and supervision outcomes.  This CE course provides a guide for professionals who are interested in developing and operating effective programs for justice-involved individuals who have CODs.  Key systemic and clinical challenges are discussed, as well as state-of-the art approaches for conducting screening and assessment.

Psychological Issues for HIV Infected Women

Although healthcare providers for women living with HIV focus primarily on the physical manifestations of the condition, this CE course examines the understanding of the psychosocial, cultural, mental health, and substance abuse issues faced by HIV infected women in order to optimize care and makes recommendations for provider response, evaluation, and management.  Working with adolescent and palliative care populations is also discussed.

Violence During Pregnancy and Postpartum

Violence during pregnancy is a critical concern because it is often frequent and severe in nature.  This short CEU course provides research findings concerning violence against pregnant and postpartum women.

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Young Transgender Women at Higher Risk of Depression and Addiction: Study

Young transgender women are more likely than the general U.S. population to be affected by mental health issues such as addiction and depression, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital note mental health issues and addiction affect between 4 to 26 percent of people in the United States. Among the 300 transgender women in the study, about 42 percent had one or more mental health or addiction diagnoses. One-fifth had two or more diagnoses. The study participants ranged in age from 16 to 29.

About one-third of participants had been depressed at some time in their lives, and 15 percent were currently depressed. About 20 percent reported suicidal thoughts in the past 30 days. About 8 percent of participants had anxiety in the past six months, and about 10 percent had post-traumatic stress disorder. About 11 percent reported alcohol dependence in the past year, while 15 percent reported some other type of addiction.

Full story of young transgender women and depression at drugfree.org

Survey Suggests Medical Students May be at Risk for Alcohol Abuse

A new survey finds medical students have double the rate of alcohol abuse or dependence, compared with surgeons, U.S. physicians or the general public, HealthDay reports. The researchers cite burnout and school debts as possible factors.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic contacted 12,500 medical students. Of the one-third who responded, approximately 1,400 said they experienced clinical alcohol abuse or dependence. That translates to about one-third of respondents, compared with 16 percent of peers who are not medical school students.

The findings appear in the journal Academic Medicine.

“Our findings clearly show there is reason for concern,” study senior author Dr. Liselotte Dyrbye said in a news release. “We recommend institutions pursue a multifaceted solution to address related issues with burnout, the cost of medical education and alcohol abuse.”

Full story of medical students and alcohol abuse at drugfree.org

All Adults Should be Screened for Depression, Panel Advises

All adults should be screened for depression, according to a panel appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services. If initial screening tests indicate an increased risk of depression, health care providers are advised to conduct assessments to look for substance abuse or other medical conditions.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised that women be screened for depression during pregnancy and after childbirth, according to The Washington Post.

The task force wrote in JAMA that major depressive disorder is associated with suicide, and impacts the ability to manage other health problems. “Depression has a major effect on quality of life for the patient and affects family members, especially children,” the group wrote.

Full story of adults and screening for depression at drugfree.org