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

Quantum Units Education: New CEU Courses

Eating Hints: Before, During, After Cancer

People with cancer often need to follow diets that are different from what you think of as healthy.  This CE course describes common types of eating problems, along with ways to manage them.

Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self Sufficiency in Human Services

Research suggests that small, targeted interventions can improve engagement in safety net programs in the United States.  This CE course summarizes and synthesizes project lessons and findings by reviewing behavioral economics, the history of its research and policy impact, and the reasons for applying it to human services and other anti-poverty programs.

Unlimited CEs

Unlimited CEs for 1 year for individual accounts (not available for company accounts) now only $74.95!  Choose from hundreds of online CEs within the one-year period (ebooks required for some courses must be purchased separately). Your 1-year clock begins the date and time of your purchase. We DO NOT ‘auto’ renew your CE plan. 

Telling a ‘white lie’ may affect one’s ability to recognize emotions

If you lie to someone, you may find it more difficult to tell what that other person is thinking or feeling. This is the main takeaway of a new study that examines the ‘unintended consequences of dishonest behavior.’

Whether it is suffering or joy, empathy helps us feel what another person feels, and — a lot of the time — our ability to empathize is the reason why we choose to do good deeds and help one another.

But does this mean that empathy and ethical behavior are one and the same? What is the relationship between dishonest acts and empathetic feelings?

Full story at Medical News Today

Want To Feel Happier Today? Try Talking To A Stranger

The doors open wide, you enter, and they close behind you. As the elevator begins its ascent, you realize it’s just you and one other person taking this ride. The silence soon grows uncomfortable.

Pop quiz. What’s your go-to move?

  • A) stare at your shoes
  • B) pull out your cell phone
  • C) make brief eye contact
  • D) initiate chit chat

If your answer was B, you’re like far too many of us, eyes glued to our phones, attention focused on the digital world.

Many of us tend to do just about anything to avoid conversation or even eye contact with strangers. And smartphones make it easier than ever to do that: A recent study found the phones can keep us from even exchanging brief smiles with people we meet in public places. But a body of research has shown that we might just be short-changing our own happiness by ignoring opportunities to connect with the people around us.

Full story at NPR

What is the link between sleep apnea and depression?

New research has explored the link between sleep apnea and depression and suggests that the former may be one reason that depression treatments fail.

Around 20–30% of people with depression and other mood disorders do not get the help they need from existing therapies.

Depression is the “leading cause of disability worldwide.”

For this reason, coming up with effective therapies is paramount.

Full story at Medical News Today