Friday Roundup – Shots, Bubbles, and The Rise of Heisenberg



Attention lovely readers! We at Healthshire will be providing you with a weekly Friday roundup of the latest in mental health news. Let us do all the work and be your one-stop-shop for all things current!

Friday Roundup – The Latest in Mental Health News

(and other stuff)

Killer Shots, Shots, Shots

The New York Times reports that alcohol use, including binge drinking, accounts for 10 percent of deaths among working-aged American adults. The data comes from a recently released report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol-related deaths ranging from medical complications associated with alcohol consumption to automotive accidents were estimated using an online application called the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact tool. Binge drinking was defined as consuming four consecutive drinks for women and five consecutive drinks for men. The article highlighted that drinking excessively is the fourth most common preventable death in America, following poor nutrition, being physically inactive, and smoking.

“It’s a huge public health problem any way you slice it,” said Robert D. Brewer, a co-author of the paper and the director of the alcohol program at the C.D.C.“There are things that we can do about it,” like raising the alcohol tax and encouraging doctors to talk to their patients about alcohol abuse, “but a lot of those strategies tend to be underused.”

Killer Stress, Stress, Stress

In a surprising turn of events, stress is apparently bad for your health. And poor health greatly increases stress. NPR reports on a national poll on stress conducted in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The survey finds that disability and poor health are commonly found in people who experience significant amounts of stress. According to the poll, 4 out of 10 American adults report struggling with a “great deal of stress.” Caregivers are especially prone to developing health conditions associated with the stress of caring for someone. Healthcare professionals are urged to discuss stress and its physical and psychological consequences with their patients.

Bursting Your Teen’s Bubbles

If you’ve overheard your teens talking about fruity flavors, you might want to investigate a little further. CNN reports on the rise of hookah use among high school seniors in recent years. According to a recent study published in Pediatrics, almost 20% of seniors have tried smoking hookah. Although the number of people smoking cigarettes is reducing, experts say that statistic is skewed by the onset of e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco merchandise, and hookahs, all of which can have harmful effects on health. A CDC report finds that almost 1.5% of middle schoolers have tried hookah and 40% of college-aged students use hookah.

 U and I Put the Unity in Diversity

Just kidding. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) already did that. The APA has designated July as Diversity in Mental Health Month. APA’s aim is to call attention to the disparities in mental health and focus on the mental health needs of diverse communities. The APA offers valuable resources highlighting the disparities in particular diverse populations as well as material that enhance cultural competence.

Heisenberg Lives On

Based on a recent report, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), methamphetamine use is on the rise again. The report evaluated emergency department (ED) visits for negative consequences linked to methamphetamine use, finding that rates of adverse events rose from around 68,000 in 2007 to almost 103,000 in 2011. According to Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.,  “this report shows that methamphetamine use may be on the rise again, and we must do everything we can to address this serious public-health problem.”

Over the Borderline

A new study, recently published in AJP in Advance, finds using the antipsychotic medication Quetiapine as an effective line of treatment for borderline personality disorder. The researchers, led by Donald Black, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, commented: “A variety of psychotherapies have been developed [for BPD], and while research on the use of medication is ongoing, no drug has been approved in the United States or elsewhere for its treatment. This study was designed to provide a rigorous test of extended-release (ER) quetiapine in the treatment of borderline personality disorder.”

Telling Our Stories

It’s important to share your journey with others. In an effort to bring mental illness out of the shadows and reduce stigma, we are especially interested in hearing about you and your stories related to mental health. Be sure to visit Healthshire’s “Telling Our Stories” section. Spend some time reading the stories or submit your own!

This week’s roundup is dedicated to diversity. Embrace our differences!! And by embrace, I mean high five.


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