The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that people are capable of changing their behavior— surprisingly fast—when the stakes are high. Can we apply that resolve to other persistent issues that affect our health and quality of life?
In our inner cities, the COVID-19 pandemic comes on top of another crisis that has plagued our country for years: the opioid epidemic. The combined effects of these two events are immense, and highlight already-existing problems with our society and our health care system.
Because the very nature of recovery support involves face-to-face interaction, whether in support group meetings or dispensing medication, it is at odds with the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis, creating barriers to receiving support and maintaining recovery.
Kratom has been used for hundreds of years for various conditions, and today many people are using it to treat chronic pain and mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms. But there is no control or regulation of the product, and it can have serious side effects.
The CDC’s 2016 Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain was created to help providers and patients manage medication treatment at safe levels and avoid dependence. Any plan to taper medication dosage should be personalized to the patient’s needs.
Nearly three-quarters of employers say they have been affected by prescription drug misuse among their employees, resulting in lost productivity. Ideas like bringing treatment, counseling, and peer support groups to worksites can help employees feel more valued and invested in their own recovery efforts.
As the need for substance use treatment continues to grow, a small study showed that a computer-guided CBT program for substance abuse was slightly more effective than the same type of therapy delivered in person by a therapist, and resulted in a higher percentage of days abstinent from drug use.
If you are a parent concerned about teens and drugs, these tips can help you engage in a productive and positive conversation with your child about substance misuse and help you know when to intervene.
The prefrontal cortex does not fully develop until the mid-20s, which makes teenagers’ brains excellent at learning and absorbing new information, but it also makes them vulnerable to experimentation and the potential for substance use disorders.
Naloxone is an important tool in treating someone who has overdosed on opioids, but equally important is knowing CPR, which can keep blood flowing in a person who isn’t breathing until naloxone takes effect.