Study: Heroin Addiction Treatment Should Include Inpatient and Outpatient Therapy

Treatment for heroin addiction is most effective if it includes both inpatient and outpatient therapy, according to a new study.

Researchers at Boston Medical Center compared two groups of patients addicted to heroin: those who started buprenorphine treatment while in the hospital and then were referred directly to an outpatient buprenorphine treatment program, and patients who took a tapered dose of buprenorphine in the hospital to help with withdrawal, but only received referral information about local community treatment programs. Buprenorphine is an opioid substitute used to treat opioid addiction. It helps curb opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Full story of heroin addiction treatment therapy at drugfree.org

Meditation for Anxiety, Depression?

Some 30 minutes of meditation daily may improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, a new Johns Hopkins analysis of previously published research suggests.

“A lot of people use meditation, but it’s not a practice considered part of mainstream medical therapy for anything,” says Madhav Goyal, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of a study published online Jan. 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine. “But in our study, meditation appeared to provide as much relief from some anxiety and depression symptoms as what other studies have found from antidepressants.” These patients did not typically have full-blown anxiety or depression.

The researchers evaluated the degree to which those symptoms changed in people who had a variety of medical conditions, such as insomnia or fibromyalgia, although only a minority had been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Goyal and his colleagues found that so-called “mindfulness meditation” — a form of Buddhist self-awareness designed to focus precise, nonjudgmental attention to the moment at hand — also showed promise in alleviating some pain symptoms as well as stress. The findings held even as the researchers controlled for the possibility of the placebo effect, in which subjects in a study feel better even if they receive no active treatment because they perceive they are getting help for what ails them.

Full story of meditation for anxiety and depression at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Researchers Develop At-Home 3D Video Game for Stroke Patients

Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a therapeutic at-home gaming program for stroke patients who experience motor weakness affecting 80 percent of survivors.

Hemiparesis affects 325,000 individuals each year, according to the National Stroke Association. It is defined as weakness or the inability to move one side of the body, and can be debilitating as it impacts everyday functions such as eating, dressing or grabbing objects.

Constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy) is an intense treatment recommended for stroke survivors, and improves motor function, as well as the use of impaired upper extremities. However, less than 1 percent of those affected by hemiparesis receives the beneficial therapy.

“Lack of access, transportation and cost are contributing barriers to receiving CI therapy. To address this disparity, our team developed a 3D gaming system to deliver CI therapy to patients in their homes,” said Lynne Gauthier, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation in Ohio State’s College of Medicine.

Full story of 3D video game for stroke patients at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Too Much Texting Can Disconnect Couples

Couples shouldn’t let their thumbs do the talking when it comes to serious conversations, disagreements or apologies.

Brigham Young University researchers Lori Schade and Jonathan Sandberg studied 276 young adults around the country and found that being constantly connected through technology can create some disconnects in committed relationships.

Here are a few highlights from the report they published this week in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy:

  • For women: Using text messages to apologize, work out differences or make decisions is associated with lower relationship quality
  • For men: Too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality
  • For all: Expressing affection via text enhances the relationship

“Technology is more important to relationship formation than it was previously,” said Schade, who earned her Ph.D. from BYU in August. “The way couples text is having an effect on the relationship as well.”

The study participants weren’t just casually dating — 38 percent said they were in a serious relationship, 46 percent were engaged and 16 percent were married. Each participant completed an extensive relationship assessment that included questions about their use of technology in the relationship.

Full story of texting and couples relationships at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Facebook Infidelity Examined in New Research

Thanks to a new study by Texas Tech University researchers, treating infidelity among couples may change due to the unique aspect of social networking sites, specifically Facebook.

Using data from Facebookcheating.com, researchers found that although the stages of coping with online infidelity are unique, the infidelity itself creates similar emotional experiences for the partner who was cheated on.

“This is very important because there is a line of thought that if the infidelity was discovered online, or confined to online activity, then it shouldn’t be as painful,” said Jaclyn Cravens, a doctoral candidate in the Marriage & Family Therapy Program and lead author of the study.

During her master’s program clinical work, Cravens discovered many of her clients’ relationship issues stemmed from online infidelity thanks to an increasing number of people using social media sites, especially Facebook.

“Facebook already has changed the dynamics of relationships,” Cravens said. “We see when our ‘friends’ are getting into a relationship. We say a relationship isn’t ‘official’ until it’s ‘Facebook-official.'”

Full story of facebook infidelity at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education