Recent Blog Articles
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Denial: How it hurts, how it helps, and how to cope
Denial is a natural response at times when you're unable or unwilling to face the facts. As a defense mechanism, it can be helpful or harmful. Here's how to spot it in yourself and others, and how to move from denial toward meaningful change.
Opioid use disorder in older adults: More common than you might think
Adults over 60 are the largest users of prescription opioids in the United States. Opioid use disorder and death rates among older adults have skyrocketed in recent years. Various factors make people more likely to abuse opioids, including smoking or earlier substance use problems. People can avoid sliding into opioid misuse by taking opioids for the shortest possible time, using non-opioid medications, and trying alternative pain relief approaches.
New guidelines on opioids for pain relief: What you need to know
The CDC's 2016 guidelines for prescribing opioid medications aimed to reduce deaths from overdose. Recent revisions to these guidelines aim for refinement while emphasizing safety and the importance of finding the best treatment solution for each person.
Why life expectancy in the US is falling
Life expectancy is one measure of the general health of a population. In the US, life expectancy had been climbing for more than a century — until the pandemic. After dropping in 2020, it dropped again in 2021, and some population groups fared worse than others.
Opioid addiction and overdoses are increasingly harming Black communities
The ongoing opioid epidemic in the US has been perceived as an issue that mostly affects white people in rural areas, but a recently published report from the CDC shows that the epidemic is now disproportionately affecting Black people.
Sex, drugs, and depression: What your doctor needs to know
For many people, a visit to the doctor causes anxiety, and discussing sensitive subjects like sexual problems, substance use, or mental health issues is even more likely to induce discomfort. But these discussions can be less anxiety-inducing and more productive if people know what to expect.
Thinking of trying Dry January? Steps for success
Many people have been drinking more since the start of the pandemic. If you want to cut down on your alcohol consumption, or just want to start the new year on a healthy note, consider joining the Dry January challenge. Does a month seem like a long time? Here are steps you can take to improve your chances of success.
Poverty, homelessness, and social stigma make addiction more deadly
Addiction can affect anyone, but social determinants of health — the factors that influence a person's circumstances in life — can have a negative impact on a person's efforts to overcome addiction. Poverty, employment status, education level, and systemic racism can make it harder for people to reach and maintain recovery.
Right-sizing opioid prescriptions after surgery
It's common for doctors to prescribe opioid pain medications for their patients after surgery; however, prescribing large numbers of pills increases the possibility of dependence and overdose. Writing prescriptions for smaller quantities of pills while still monitoring people's pain is one way to reduce the likelihood that a person develops a problem.
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