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

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 This is mostly due to outdated science and cultural, social, and medical conceptions of it.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

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

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

What to know about generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes feelings of intense anxiety, worry, or nervousness about everyday life. People with GAD struggle to control these feelings, and the condition tends to interfere with daily activities and personal relationships.

GAD, a type of anxiety disorder, is very common. It affects 3.1% of the population (or 6.8 million adults) in the United States in any given year. It is more common in women.

Living with anxiety can be challenging. However, like other anxiety disorders, GAD is highly treatable. Some of the most effective treatments include psychotherapy, medication, and making lifestyle changes.

Full story at Medical News Today