Opioid addiction: Long-term treatment for a chronic condition

Glen Buchberger, MD
Glen Buchberger, MD, Contributor

Studies suggest that extended medication-assisted treatment is more effective in treating opioid addiction than short term use. This strategy may prove an important part of addressing the opioid crisis.

Secret to brain success: Intelligent cognitive rest

Srini Pillay, MD
Srini Pillay, MD, Contributor

The ability to train one’s mind to activate the “unfocus” part of the brain, also called the default mode network, can help improve creativity and unlock access to the unconscious mind.

Acupuncture: A point in the right direction, or a stab in the dark?

Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS

Though some people surely benefit from acupuncture for the treatment of pain, its drawbacks (cost, length of treatment sessions, short duration of relief) mean that it may be a less effective choice than physical therapy or a medication.

5 things to tell your child about 13 Reasons Why

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

A new series on Netflix about a teen’s suicide has raised concerns that it may encourage similar real-world behavior, but the show presents an opportunity for parents to talk with their children about mental health challenges and how to cope with their problems.

Keep your seasonal allergies in check

Dominic Wu, MD
Dominic Wu, MD, Contributing Editor

There are a variety of treatments available for seasonal allergies, but they should be used with care in order to avoid any unwanted, or even dangerous, side effects. For example, nasal decongestant sprays may work well in the short term, but can worsen symptoms when used too often.

Chronic pain: The “invisible” disability

Laura Kiesel
Laura Kiesel, Contributor

Conditions that cause chronic pain are not always easy to diagnose, and sometimes doctors can be dismissive of people with pain that does not have a readily identifiable cause.

Disposing of your expired or unused medications gets a whole lot easier (and safer) this weekend

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Leftover or expired medications can be harmful or dangerous, so disposing of them properly is important. National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday provides a safe and convenient way to do so.

Treadmills: Tips for using this versatile piece of exercise equipment

Matthew Solan
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

With the variety of speeds and inclines and the pre-programmed terrain patterns included, a treadmill is a flexible piece of exercise equipment that can provide a thorough and varied workout. Because you can control pace and intensity, treadmills are also a good option for people returning to activity following injury or surgery.

Why vaccines are important for our country’s financial health, too

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Vaccinating babies and toddlers prevents many illnesses, but it also helps the avoid high costs associated with treating those illnesses, helps reduce sick time taken by parents, and contributes to greater immunity in a population.

Have kids, live longer?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

A study of Swedish people found an association between having children and living longer. That does not mean there is a direct, causal connection, but it’s still worth considering how these circumstances may in fact be related.