Sesame Street Features New Muppet Whose Mother Struggles With Addiction

Sesame Street is introducing a new initiative to support children affected by parental addiction. The initiative features a Muppet named Karli, whose mother struggles with addiction, The Washington Post reports.

Videos and other online content feature Karli, along with Sesame Street characters including Elmo and Abby Cadabby. The content is part of the Sesame Street in Communities program.

“There’s nothing else out there that addresses substance abuse for young, young kids from their perspective,” said Kama Einhorn, a senior content manager with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. “Even a parent at their most vulnerable — at the worst of their struggle — can take one thing away when they watch it with their kids, then that serves the purpose.”

Full story at Partnership For Drug-Free Kids

What are the links between alcohol and anxiety?

It is not unusual for people to use alcohol to alleviate anxiety. However, over time or in excess amounts, drinking alcohol can lead to increased levels of anxiety and stress.

For anyone prone to anxiety, it can be easy for one drink to turn into more and lead to a growing dependence on alcohol.

According to a review study that looked at anxiety and alcohol use disorders, this relationship can become a dangerous, self-perpetuating cycle.

Full story at Medical News Today

One in three young adults receive medication for opioid use disorder after overdose

A new study found that one in three young adults receive medication for opioid use disorder within 12 months of a non-fatal opioid overdose. The study, led by researchers at Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), shows which medications — buprenorphine, methadone or naltrexone — are being taken, and how long after the overdose they receive the treatment. Published online in Annals of Emergency Medicine, the results provide important new data that can help increase access and time to medication for opioid use disorder for young adults who survive an overdose, including in an emergency department setting.

Nonfatal opioid overdose is a significant predictor for recurrent nonfatal and fatal opioid overdoses. Young adults (under age 25) have been disproportionately affected by the opioid epidemic, as data indicates that drug overdose deaths nearly quadrupled nationally between 1999 and 2016 in young adults between 15 and 24 years old. Research shows that young adults have distinct developmental differences that predispose them to substance use disorders, which requires strategically designed interventions to engage and retain them in treatment.

Full story at Science Daily

‘New lead’ in hunt for better schizophrenia drugs

The so-called negative symptoms of schizophrenia, which include anhedonia, can be particularly debilitating. One recent study attempted to identify their neurological roots.

Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that affects an estimated 1% of the United States population.

Scientists tend to divide symptoms into two broad categories: positive and negative.

Positive symptoms include delusions, racing thoughts, and hallucinations.

Full story at Medical News Today

In Russia, declines in alcohol consumption and mortality have gone hand in hand

Since the early 2000s, Russia has seen significant declines in overall alcohol consumption, and a new review shows that there has been a parallel, steep decline in the country’s mortality rates as well.

Much of this decline in drinking has been the result of economic factors, evolving patterns of alcohol consumption, and alcohol policies enacted by the government, according to the review, published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs.

In Russia today, life expectancy for men and women is 6.1 and 4.7 years longer, respectively, than it was in 1980, with alcohol consumption patterns playing a disproportionate role.

Full story at Medical Xpress