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Florida’s largest insurer to cease OxyContin coverage in favor of Xtampza

November 21, 2017 Addiction

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Florida’s largest insurer to cease OxyContin coverage in favor of Xtampza The severity of the opioid epidemic in the United States is demanding proactive measures to stem the crisis. Taking a step forward in this direction, Florida Blue, Florida’s largest health insurance company, recently announced that it will discontinue covering the cost of OxyContin prescriptions effective Jan. 1, 2018. OxyContin is a brand name for oxycodone, an opioid drug prescribed for moderate to severe long-term pain. The discontinuation of the coverage will apply to all group and individual health insurance plans other than Medicare Advantage plans. Instead of OxyContin, Florida Blue will cover Xtampza ER, an extended-release, oxycodone-based product. The makers…

Depression increases risk of men’s premature death by up to three times, suggests study

November 20, 2017 depression

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Depression increases risk of men’s premature death by up to three times, suggests study Depression, one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States and a leading cause of disability globally, affects people of all ages, be it children, adults or elderly. In midlife or older adults, the condition can occur simultaneously with other serious illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Untreated depression can lead to comorbid mental illnesses, recurrent occurrences and higher suicide risk. Past research showed an increased risk of mortality not only in instances of major depression but also in subclinical forms of the disorder. A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) in October…

Despite some promising trends, Colorado mental health data fails to impress

November 16, 2017 Behavioral Health

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Despite some promising trends, Colorado mental health data fails to impress Colorado is regarded as one of the physically healthiest states in the nation and thanks to an initiative by Mental Health Colorado, the state is on the path to becoming the mentally healthiest state too. The non-profit organization is the leading advocate for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders, and is helping people in their struggles. According to a new initiative by the organization, the state residents will now have ready access to information pertaining to mental health issues, suicide rates and prevention, opioid overdoses and uninsured rates. The intent for putting up the dashboard…

Rapper 360 on his struggle with drug addiction and bipolar disorder

November 13, 2017 Mental Health

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Rapper Matthew James Colwell, known by his stage name 360, was injured In July 2010 in a go-karting accident while celebrating his birthday in Sydney, Australia. He was hospitalized with severe, almost life-threatening injuries and had to be operated upon immediately. To help relieve the pain, 360 was prescribed a “cocktail of prescription medication,” primarily Endone, an oxycodone-based painkiller. This ultimately led to an addiction. Unable to get sufficient quantities of Endone during tours, 360 switched to painkiller Nurofen Plus. At one point, 360 started taking 90 Nurofen Plus tablets every day to prevent withdrawal symptoms and to avoid freezing…

Mental health problem, not gun problem, led to Texas shooting, says Trump

November 7, 2017 Mental Health

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Mental health problem, not gun problem, led to Texas shooting, says Trump As the United States tries to deal with yet another tragic gun massacre, critics and advocates of the nation’s gun control laws have renewed their debate on the pros and cons of gun ownership. As worshippers prayed in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2017, an armed man dressed in all black opened fire on them, killing 26 people and wounding several others. The shooter was identified as Devin Patrick Kelley (26), a former member of the U.S. Air Force who was discharged in 2014 due to bad conduct. While law enforcement officers and local government officials…

Mental health training for managers can help improve employee well-being, suggests study

Mental health training for managers can help improve employee well-being, suggests study Employee well-being has taken on an entirely different meaning in recent times. It is no longer enough to offer weekly wellness initiatives or deliver annual health lectures. Companies have started incorporating comprehensive employee health promotion measures as part of their core strategies, especially since wellness programs are directly linked to higher work productivity and significant cost savings related to insurance and absenteeism. However, manager support is critical for the successful implementation of such programs. Many managers feel ill-equipped to deal with employee sick leaves, especially if they relate to mental illnesses. Basic mental health training for managers can significantly improve…

Always linking mental illness to mass violence only adds to associated stigma

October 27, 2017 Mental Health

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Always linking mental illness to mass violence only adds to associated stigma Every episode of mass violence in the United States stirs up several questions about the ulterior motive of the perpetuator behind his or her action. And it seems like a norm when almost every massacre is attributed to the individual’s mental health problems. Similarly, speculations are rife about the mental health condition of Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old gunman responsible for the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. When asked if Paddock had any history of mental illness, his brother asserted, “Not a bit.” Even if Paddock was mentally ill, he probably would not have been deterred even…

ADHD Awareness Month: Promoting awareness about ADHD within community

October 25, 2017 ADHD

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Misinformation and skepticism are two common words associated with awareness about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD skeptics believe that the “so-called” ADHD-affected children need to be disciplined properly. Others believe that the disorder is a fabrication of pharmaceutical companies to help them sell stimulants. People also do not refrain from making scornful and mocking comments about ADHD in the workplace and within communities. Such behavior reflects the extent of the negative attitudes prevailing in the society about the disorder. Such misconceptions and prejudices impact both children and adults alike. Past research showed deep-rooted public stigma around ADHD-affected children, with nearly…

Rate of violence by patients on mental health staff goes up, say reports

October 20, 2017 Mental Health

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Professionals working in the healthcare industry often face verbal abuse and physical attacks at the hands of patients. This is especially true for mental health and addiction treatment caregivers. Struggling to Cope, a report recently published by Unison, one of the largest trade unions in the United Kingdom, highlighted this fact when it collate the personal experiences of more than 1,000 mental health workers from the National Health Service (NHS). The findings showed that more than two out of five (42 percent) mental health employees faced violent attacks by patients in the past 12 months, while36 percent witnessed patients violently…

Morning sickness in moms-to-be linked to high levels of anxiety in expectant fathers, says study

Nausea and vomiting are among the first signs of pregnancy, affecting 70-80 percent of expectant mothers. Although episodes of vomiting are termed “morning sickness,” they can occur at any time during the day. A recent research by the Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Australia found significantly high levels of anxiety among expectant fathers whose partners experienced mild morning sickness or severe hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). As part of the study, published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology in July 2017, the researchers evaluated 300 expectant fathers’ awareness of pregnancy-related nausea/vomiting and its effect on the fathers-to-be themselves. The research…
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