Regional trends in overdose deaths reveal multiple opioid epidemics

The United States is suffering from several different simultaneous opioid epidemics, rather than just a single crisis, according to an academic study of deaths caused by drug overdoses.

David Peters, an associate professor of sociology at Iowa State University, co-authored the study, which appeared in the academic journal Rural Sociology. Peters and his co-authors conducted a county-level analysis of death certificates from across the country that noted opioid overdoses as the cause of death. The study found regional differences in the kind of opioids that cause the most overdose deaths, and these differences should lead to policymakers considering varying strategies to address the epidemics, Peters said.

“Our results show that it’s more helpful to think of the problem as several epidemics occurring at the same time rather than just one,” Peters said. “And they occur in different regions of the country, so there’s no single policy response that’s going to address all of these epidemics. There needs to be multiple sets of policies to address these distinct challenges.”

Full story at Science Daily

National Institute on Drug Abuse to hold teleconference discussing key findings of 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey on teen drug use

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will hold a teleconference on Wednesday, December 18, to discuss the results of the 2019 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey. The survey, funded by NIDA and conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan, tracks annual drug use and attitudes among eighth, 10th, and 12th grade students. NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

MTF – the only comprehensive federal government-funded survey on teen drug use that releases findings the same year the data is collected – will include findings on substance use and attitudes about e-cigarettes and vaping, marijuana, opioids and other prescription medications, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, synthetic cannabinoids (K2/Spice), alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Full story at NIDA

Is marijuana use associated with a higher risk of cancer?

As the use of marijuana is increasing in the United States, researchers are asking whether the use of this substance — particularly smoking joints — is associated with an increased risk of any form of cancer, and, if so, which.

Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs in the United States, with more than one in seven adults reporting that they used marijuana in 2017.

Statistical reports project that sales of cannabis for recreational purposes in the U.S. will amount to $11,670 million between 2014 and 2020.

According to recent researchTrusted Source, smoking a joint remains one of the main ways in which individuals use marijuana recreationally.

Full story at Medical News Today

Facing an existential crisis: What to know

An existential crisis may occur when a person frequently wonders whether or not life has any inherent meaning or purpose. A person may also question their own existence within a world that might seem meaningless.

Experiencing an existential crisis is common, and it is normal and often healthy to question one’s life and goals. However, an existential crisis can contribute to a negative outlook, especially if a person cannot find a solution to their questions of meaning.

Existential crises may be associated with a number of mental health conditions. For this reason, it is sometimes best to involve a doctor — especially if an existential crisis has the potential to lead to despair or suicidal ideation.

That said, there are some ways to face an existential crisis in a healthy way, ultimately benefiting a person’s mental health and well-being.

Full story at Medical News Today

16 myths about depression

Depression is a condition that negatively affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts, with symptoms persisting for at least 2 consecutive weeks.

In 2017, around 7.1% of all adults in the United States experienced at least one episode of major depression. This makes it one of the most common mental health conditions in the U.S.

Despite this, many myths continue to surround depression. This is mostly due to outdated science and cultural, social, and medical conceptions of it.

Keep reading to learn about some of the most common myths surrounding depression, why they are misleading, and the facts to know.

Full story at Medical News Today