What is the link between anxiety and high blood pressure?

Anxiety and high blood pressure can sometimes go hand in hand. Anxiety may lead to high blood pressure, and high blood pressure may trigger feelings of anxiety.

Doctors characterize anxiety as feelings of intense worry or fear. It causes many physical symptoms, including increased heart rate and shallow breathing. Periods of anxiety may also temporarily increase blood pressure.

Meanwhile, having long-term high blood pressure — which doctors refer to as hypertension — can cause people to feel anxious about their health and future.

Full story at Medical News Today

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SUD Treatment Care Continuum and Program Standards (ASAM Criteria)

Needs assessments and other research have shown that not all state Medicaid programs offer the full continuum of services needed by individuals with a SUD.  This CE course provides information about the preventive, treatment, and recovery services and the levels of care comprising the continuum of SUD care.  An overview of nationally developed guidelines for SUD treatment criteria, including provider and service standards for each level of care is also provided.

Community Based Behavioral Health Services for Justice-Involved Individuals (For Social Workers)

Individuals with behavioral health issues are over-represented in jails and prisons across the United States.  Most of these individuals return to their communities, families, and social networks and subsequently require community-based behavioral and physical health care services.  This CE course explores the principles that provide a foundation for realizing a quality, community-based behavioral health treatment system that is responsive to all individuals with mental and substance use disorders and skilled in serving those with histories of justice involvement.

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Study outlines concerns around natural psychoactive substances

New research finds that over a period of 17 years, people in the United States increased their use of natural psychoactive substances, believing them to be safe. This has led to many reports of adverse symptoms in adults and children alike.

People have been using natural psychoactive substances for hundrends, or even thousands, of years in traditional medicine and as a part of spiritual practices.

Because these substances come from sources such as plants and mushrooms, many people believe them to be safe to use.

However, because they interfere with biological processes in the central nervous system, they can be a threat to human health. These interferences can also cause euphoria and altered states of consciousness.

Full story at Medical News Today

Judge Reduces Johnson & Johnson Opioid Verdict by More Than $100 Million

A judge in Oklahoma has reduced a verdict against opioid maker Johnson & Johnson by more than $100 million, NPR reports.

In August, state court Judge Thad Balkman ordered the company to pay $572 million over its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis. On Friday, Balkman cut that amount to $465 million. He acknowledged making a mathematical error in calculating the original amount. He had set aside $107.6 million to support addiction treatment programs for babies exposed to opioids in the womb, but had meant to set aside $107,600.

Full story at Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Brain biomarker predicts compulsive drinking

Although alcohol use is ubiquitous in modern society, only a portion of individuals develop alcohol use disorders or addiction. Yet, scientists have not understood why some individuals are prone to develop drinking problems, while others are not. Now, Salk Institute researchers have discovered a brain circuit that controls alcohol drinking behavior in mice, and can be used as a biomarker for predicting the development of compulsive drinking later on. The findings were published in Science on November 21, 2019, and could potentially have implications for understanding human binge drinking and addiction in the future.

“I hope this will be a landmark study, as we’ve found (for the first time) a brain circuit that can accurately predict which mice will develop compulsive alcohol drinking weeks before the behavior starts,” says Kay Tye, a professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratory and holder of the Wylie Vale Chair. “This research bridges the gap between circuit analysis and alcohol/addiction research, and provides a first glimpse at how representations of compulsive alcohol drinking develop across time in the brain.”

Full story at Science Daily