Private: News

Understanding Opioid Users’ Views on Fentanyl could help Reduce Overdoses

Kate McLean, Shannon Monnat, Khary Rigg, Glenn Sterner, & Ashton Verdery

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KEY FINDINGS

  • Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is a widespread additive to heroin in the U.S. Rust Belt.
  • Most people who use heroin want to avoid fentanyl, due to its association with overdose.
  • Some people who use prefer fentanyl due to its shorter, stronger high, even when snorted.
  • The ability to identify fentanyl in heroin through self-test strips might help all users reduce undesirable effects and overdose risk

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How Well do We Understand Mental Health?

Ashley Van Slyke

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Roughly 9.8 million adults in the United States, representing 4% of the U.S. adult population, have a diagnosis of a serious mental illness (SMI).1 An additional 16.1 million (6.7%) have a diagnosed depressive disorder.2 Millions more know people with serious mental illness or depression. Poor mental health is a massive and growing public health crisis. Its looming presence begs the question: Do we, as a society, truly understand different mental illnesses? In short, the answer is no, and we need community-based programs to help improve society’s mental health literacy. Continue Reading

There are Multiple and Geographically Distinct Opioid Crises in the U.S.

Shannon M. Monnat

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KEY FINDINGS

  • There are at least four distinct opioid overdose crises in the U.S. – prescription opioids, heroin, synthetic opioids, and multiple combinations of opioids.
  • U.S. counties vary both in the magnitude of their fatal opioid overdose rates overall and in their rates of fatal overdose from specific types of opioids.
  • Fatal overdose rates overall are higher in places with more economic disadvantage, more blue-collar and service employment, and higher opioid prescribing rates.
  • High rates of prescription opioid overdoses and overdoses involving both prescription and synthetic opioids cluster in more rural and economically disadvantaged counties with the highest rates of opioid prescribing.
  • High heroin and “syndemic” opioid overdose counties (counties with high overdose rates across all major opioid types) are more urban, have larger concentrations of professional workers, and are less economically disadvantaged

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Screen Media use is Higher among Preschool Children from More Chaotic Homes

Jennifer A. Emond, Sara E. Benjamin-Neelon
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KEY FINDINGS

  • In this national study of 385 parents, screen media use among preschool-age children was common.
  • Watching shows and movies was the most common screen activity, and many children used apps and viewed videos online (e.g., YouTube).
  • Children from more chaotic homes used screens more often during the week. Children in the most chaotic homes averaged 14 more hours of screen time per week than children from the least chaotic homes.
  • Children from more chaotic homes were more likely to use screens in a way that negatively impacts nighttime sleep. Continue Reading

Gratitude as an Antidote to Anxiety and Depression: All the Benefits, None of the Side Effects

Mary Kate Lee
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A gray cloud has been cast over the U.S. The epidemics of anxiety and depression have led to alarming declines in mental health. In fact, those who have been born since 1997 are reported to have the worst mental health of any current generation.1 Despite efforts among health care professionals, schools, and workplaces to address mental health issues, anxiety and depression remain pervasive public health concerns. Continue Reading

Economic Hardship during Childhood Increases the Risk of Premature Death Later in Life

Blakelee R. Kemp
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Experiencing economic hardship during childhood can have long lasting consequences for health. This is especially true for individuals who face multiple forms of hardship early in life. Adults over the age of 50 who reported experiencing several types of childhood economic hardship, such as moving due to financial difficulties or having poor family finances, were more likely to die over the next 10 years than adults who reported no economic hardship during childhood. Continue Reading

The Stories behind the Struggle: A Closer Look at First Experiences with Opioid Misuse

Khary K. Rigg, Shannon M. Monnat, Katherine McLean, Ashton VerderyGlenn Sterner
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KEY FINDINGS

  • Opioid misuse most often begins before age 25, peaking between ages 18-25.
  • Opioid misuse most often begins with prescription painkillers rather than heroin, but…
  • Most people obtain the opioids they misuse from friends and family, rather than a health care provider.
  • Experimenting and coping with life stressors are the most common motivations for starting opioid misuse.

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