Adults who mix cannabis with opioids for pain report higher anxiety, depression

A researcher from the University of Houston has found that adults who take prescription opioids for severe pain are more likely to have increased anxiety, depression and substance abuse issues if they also use marijuana.

“Given the fact that cannabis potentially has analgesic properties, some people are turning to it to potentially manage their pain,” Andrew Rogers, said in describing the work published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Rogers focuses on the intersection of chronic pain and opioid use, and identifying the underlying psychological mechanisms, such as anxiety sensitivity, emotion regulation, pain-related anxiety, of these relationships. Rogers is a doctoral student in clinical psychology who works in the UH Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory and its Substance Use Treatment Clinic.

Under the guidance of advisor Michael Zvolensky, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor of psychology and director of the lab and clinic, Rogers surveyed 450 adults throughout the United States who had experienced moderate to severe pain for more than three months. The study revealed not only elevated anxiety and depression symptoms, but also tobacco, alcohol, cocaine and sedative use among those who added the cannabis, compared with those who used opioids alone. No increased pain reduction was reported.

Full story at Science Daily

Physical fitness may help prevent depression, anxiety

Although there is evidence that exercise can boost mental health, scientists know less about whether physical fitness can prevent the onset of mental health conditions. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis take a closer look.

Common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, are a growing global issue.

They reduce overall wellbeing and life satisfaction, but they may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and increase mortality risk.

Although talking therapies and medication can help in many instances, they do not help everyone.

Full story at Medical News Today

Is this red wine compound the future of depression treatment?

Resveratrol, a compound that occurs naturally in red wine, has intrigued researchers for decades. A recent study in mice investigates how doctors might be able to use this chemical to reduce depression and anxiety.

In the United States and further afield, anxiety and depression are substantial challenges.

About 1 in 5 adults in the United States have experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year.

In addition, an estimated 7.1% of adults experienced a major depressive episode in 2017.

Full story at Medical News Today

False missile alert may have ‘benefited’ people with anxiety

New research from the American Psychological Association has examined the effects of a missile strike alarm — which turned out to be false — on the anxiety levels of Twitter users.

On the morning of January 13, 2018, the residents of Hawaii received an emergency alert urging them to seek shelter.

They received a message stating that a missile strike was headed toward them.

The message quickly became viral; an employee of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA) mistakenly sent the alarm over radio, television, smartphones, and other wireless devices, accompanied by the disclaimer “this is not a drill.”

Full story at Medical News Today

Music may replace sedatives for treating pre-op anxiety

Before undergoing an operation, most people experience some form of anxiety. Although this response is common, it is not unproblematic, and treatment often involves a sedative with a whole host of possible side effects. But new research may have found an alternative.

The biggest issue with preoperative anxiety is its ability to affect recovery, including wound healing.

Typically, people receive benzodiazepines — drugs that act as sedatives — to lower anxiety levels before receiving anesthesia.

Full story at Medical News Today