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Latest News Around the Web

Research Looks Into Dangers Of Opioids For Children, Teens

The Washington Post (3/20, Naqvi) reports that research published in Pediatrics indicates that “from January 2000 until December 2015, about 188,000 calls were placed to poison control centers regarding pediatric and teenage exposure to opioids.” The data indicated “sixty percent of the children exposed to opioids were younger than 5, while teenagers accounted for 30 percent.”

Reuters (3/20, Seaman) reports, “A companion paper in Pediatrics…reports a strong link between prescribed opioids and their recreational use.” The study indicated that “teens who abused opioids were often prescribed the drugs at some point by a” physician.

Related Links:

— “Poison control centers receive 32 calls a day about children exposed to opioids,”Jia Naqvi, The Washington Post, March 20, 2017.

Daily Dose Of Vitamin E Or Selenium Supplements Will Not Stave Off Dementia In Older Men, Study Indicates

HealthDay (3/20, Mozes) reports, “A daily dose of vitamin E or selenium supplements won’t keep dementia at bay in older men,” researchers found after studying some “7,500 males across the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada,” all of whom were aged 60 or older. The findings were published online in JAMA Neurology.

MedPage Today (3/20, Jenkins) and LiveScience (3/20, Rettner) also cover the story.

Related Links:

— “Vitamin E, Selenium Supplements Won’t Curb Men’s Dementia Risk,” Alan Mozes, HealthDay, March 20, 2017.

Department Of Veterans Affairs’ Suicide Hotline Still Sending Calls To Voicemail, Backup Centers, IG Investigation Finds

USA Today (3/20, Slack) reports the Department of Veterans Affairs’ “suicide hotline is still sending nearly a third of calls to outside back-up centers despite pledges by Veterans Affairs officials to stop the practice last year after a scathing report found the centers had routed veterans to voicemail, an inspector general investigation found.” According to the IG’s new report, 30% of calls received by the hotline “rolled over to backup centers” as of November.

The Hill (3/20, Kheel) reports the IG also found that “none of the recommendations made in the original February 2016 report have been fully implemented.”

Related Links:

— “VA suicide hotline still riddled with problems, investigation finds,”Donovan Slack, USA Today, March 20, 2017.

Politico Profiles Army General Who Made Fighting Suicide Top Priority

A greater than 5,500-word Politico Magazine (3/17, Hattem) “Friday Cover” story reported that facing a growing number of suicides among his soldiers, Fort Bliss commander Major General Dana Pittard made it a top priority to focus on how to combat the problem and to find “the roots and causes” to prevent more suicides. A solution he came up with, Politico said, was to “aggressively expand mental health services at the base.” This included increasing mental health staff, “creat[ing] new social spaces and nighttime services, [and] treatment for substance abuse and post traumatic stress disorder.” The services were made available to all, regardless of “whether or not there was any reason to believe they were at risk of killing themselves – because he believed everyone was vulnerable to suicide.”

Related Links:

— “The General Who Went to War On Suicide,”Ben Hatten, Politico Magazine, March 17, 2017.

US Veterans With Substance Abuse Problems May Have Higher Risk Of Suicide Than Veterans Without Such Problems, Study Suggests

HealthDay (3/17, Preidt) reported, “US veterans with substance abuse problems have a higher risk of suicide than veterans who don’t,” researchers found after examining data on “more than four million veterans.” The findings were published online March 16 in the journal Addiction.

Related Links:

— “Drinking, Drug Abuse Doubles Veterans’ Suicide Risk: Study,”Robert Preidt, HealthDay, March 17, 2017.

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