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WellStar Health System and Pacira Pharmaceuticals to jointly develop comprehensive opioid minimization strategy

WellStar Health System and Pacira Pharmaceuticals to jointly develop comprehensive opioid minimization strategy The opioid epidemic ravaging across the United States is necessitating innovative risk management strategies to improve patient safety and reduce higher health care utilization costs. Although several players are involved in such strategies, pharmaceutical companies and health care providers have a critical role to play. Doing their bit to help control the epidemic, in January 2018, WellStar Health System (WellStar), the largest health system in Georgia, and Pacira Pharmaceuticals (Pacira), announced a partnership to develop a comprehensive strategy for minimizing opioid use and standardizing outcomes across surgical procedures. According to the strategic plan, WellStar and Pacira will work jointly in…

New app “Happy” seeks to provide emotional support to people with mental disorders

January 19, 2018 Mental Health

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New app “Happy” seeks to provide emotional support to people with mental disorders The last few years have seen an emergence of digital health technologies (DHTs) which have been developed for individuals with mental illnesses. Of these DHTs, smartphone apps constitute the largest share. A body of past research indicated high levels of usability and effectiveness of such apps. It was observed that users were generally engaged with these technologies and used them for monitoring their health and symptoms. For patients with mental disorders, receiving emotional comfort and support is among the most vital aspect in the treatment of their conditions. Traditional sources of emotional support – family, friends and even psychiatrists –…

4 years after student’s hazing death, fraternity banned for 10 years in Pennsylvania

4 years after student’s hazing death, fraternity banned for 10 years in Pennsylvania The dangers associated with fraternity activities assumed serious proportions in 2017 with a string of hazing-related deaths. The tragic incidents prompted calls for bringing serious charges against accused students and getting rid of fraternities completely. The year 2017 was not an isolated year for such incidents. In December 2013, Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng died from a traumatic brain injury suffered during a hazing ritual called “glass ceiling” while pledging the Pi Delta Psi fraternity. Deng was a student of Baruch College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY). On Jan. 8, 2018, four years after Deng’s death, a…

Effective ways to combat negative body image

effective-ways-to-combat-negative-body-image Body dissatisfaction, a predominant problem among women, is associated with a range of psychosocial difficulties and disorders like body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), eating disorders and severe depression. The problem of body dissatisfaction varies from the mild feeling of unattractiveness to extreme preoccupation with one’s physical appearance that impairs functioning and social behavior in daily life. Compared to males, women and adolescent girls are more conscious about their body due to the social status attached to their appearance. They consider their body size, much like their weight, as a decisive element of their personality. Due to their obsession for becoming slender…

Decriminalization of marijuana associated with fall in crime rates, says study

Decriminalization of marijuana associated with fall in crime rates, says study A new research reveals some unprecedented aftereffects of pot legalization. According to the study, “Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime,” the incorporation of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) has been responsible for a sharp decline (13 percent on average) in violent criminal activities in states bordering Mexico—the center of drug trafficking along with Colombia. It is also evident from the study that the decline in crime was most in counties situated less than 350 kilometers from the border. Further, there has been a spin-off effect of MMLs in the inland…

Childhood trauma, mental illness and chronic pain among main causes of Minnesota’s opioid epidemic

Childhood trauma, mental illness and chronic pain among main causes of Minnesota’s opioid epidemic No single cause can be attributed to the spiraling opioid epidemic in the United States. Doctors are guilty of overprescribing opioids for better pain management, pharmaceutical companies have been accused of fueling the epidemic to increase revenues, and socioeconomic reasons like unemployment, poverty and lack of health insurance are among the multiple factors which have been directly linked to the crisis. Just like the other American states, Minnesota also saw an alarming increase in drug overdose deaths, particularly related to opioids. A recent statement by Governor Mark Dayton highlighted that opioid overdose deaths had increased by 430 percent since 2000,…

Lawsuit filed against Obamacare insurer over lack of medical coverage

January 15, 2018 Treatment

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Lawsuit filed against Obamacare insurer over lack of medical coverage A for-profit health insurance company that made huge profits from a strong Obamacare business, Centene, has been sued for allegedly misleading the customers covered under its health plans about the availability of doctors. It has thus been accused of letting customers buy a much reduced insurance than the cover they had signed up for. The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of two Centene customers in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. It states that the customers of Centene are having a tough time in finding doctors who would accept their insurance as the doctors presented…

Study examines role of sexuality and sexual functioning in eating disorders recovery

Study examines role of sexuality and sexual functioning in eating disorders recovery Eating disorders (EDs) are complex mental illnesses which can strike anyone, irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Although there is still uncertainty regarding what exactly causes EDs, it is believed that a combination of psychological, biological and sociocultural factors is involved. The onset of EDs typically takes place during adolescence, and their symptoms can be long-lasting. Adding to the complexity of EDs is the presence of comorbid conditions, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and substance abuse. Past research suggests that EDs often co-occur with sexual dysfunction. Distorted body image issues can lead to sexual…

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Meeting mental health needs of human trafficking survivors

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Meeting mental health needs of human trafficking survivors Human trafficking is a global problem. The 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), highlighted that “victims are trafficked along a multitude of trafficking flows; within countries, between neighboring countries or even across different continents.” The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) defines human trafficking as a “crime that involves exploiting a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.” According to the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC), a part of the DOJ, the physical and psychological abuse experienced by human trafficking victims…

Colorado adopts new approaches to address mental health and substance use disorders

January 10, 2018 Addiction

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Colorado adopts new approaches to address mental health and substance use disorders Colorado is among the worst impacted American states by both mental health and substance use disorders (MH/SUD). Between 2000 and 2015, the state registered a 79 percent increase in suicides, with 2015 recording the highest ever number of suicide deaths in a single year. Mental health services have plunged to catastrophic levels and prisons and shelters have become places of last refuge in severe cases. Past surveys have also singled out Colorado as the only state where the population was the top consumer of four substances simultaneously: opioid painkillers, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol.
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