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Latest News Around the Web

SAMHSA Releases Behavioral Health Barometer Report

TIME (6/12, Tweeten) reports that almost “10 million American adults have a serious mental illness, and a similar number have considered suicide during the past year, according to a new government report on the nation’s behavioral ills.” That report also found that some “15.7 million Americans abuse alcohol and 7.7 million abuse illicit drugs.”

HealthDay (6/12, Reinberg) reports the study found “mental illness is a growing problem among adolescents.” In 2015, “three million teens from 12 to 17 had major depression,” with “the problem” being “particularly acute among girls, the researchers found.”

According to Healio (6/12, Oldt), Beth Han, MD, PhD, MPH, of SAMHSA, and colleagues arrived at these conclusions after analyzing data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services for 2015. The report, called the “Behavioral Health Barometer: United States,” can be downloaded here.

Related Links:

— “Teens Are Getting More Depressed But Using Fewer Drugs,”Lon Tweeten, TIME, June 12, 2017.

Authorities Encounter Resurgence Of Opioid Sales Via Dark Web

The New York Times (6/10, A1, Popper, Subscription Publication) reports on its front page, “As the nation’s opioid crisis worsens, the authorities are confronting a resurgent, unruly player in the illicit trade of the deadly drugs, one that threatens to be even more formidable than the cartels.” More than ever, “law enforcement officials say, the drugs are being bought online.” The Times says “the problem of dark web sales appeared to have been stamped out in 2013, when the authorities took down the most famous online marketplace for drugs, known as Silk Road,” but “countless successors have popped up, making the drugs readily available to tens of thousands of customers who would not otherwise have had access to them.” According to the story, Congress has proposed strengthening the “requirements on information gathered by the Postal Service,” with USPS officials having told a Senate hearing last month that “they were working to collect information on more packages coming from China.”

Related Links:

— “The New York Times,”Nathaniel Popper, The New York Times, June 10, 2017.

WPost Analysis: Opioid Crisis Increases Death Rates For Most American Racial And Ethnic Groups

“Since the beginning of this decade, death rates have risen among people between the ages of 25 and 44 in virtually every racial and ethnic group, according to” a front-page analysis by the Washington Post (6/9, A1, Achenbach, Keating), which found “the death rate among African Americans is up 4 percent, Hispanics 7 percent, whites 12 percent and Native Americans 18 percent.” The Post added that “after a century of decreases, the overall death rate for Americans in these prime years rose 8 percent between 2010 and 2015,” increased “in large measure by drug overdoses and alcohol abuse, according to…mortality data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Robert Anderson, chief of mortality statistics for the CDC, said that based on preliminary 2016 data, “I think we’re in for another steep increase in the drug overdose deaths overall.” Leandris Liburd, director of the CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, asserted, “The data [are] very concerning.”

Related Links:

— “Drug crisis is pushing up death rates for almost all groups of Americans,”Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post, June 09, 2017.

Consuming Moderate Amounts Of Alcohol May Be Associated With Changes In Brain Structure, Increased Risk Of Worsening Brain Function, Scan Study Suggests

ABC World News Tonight (6/6, story 8, 0:20, Muir) reported that research suggests “moderate drinking may be riskier than previously” believed.

USA Today (6/6, Painter) reports that investigators found “moderate drinkers were more likely than abstainers or light drinkers to develop worrisome brain changes that might signal eventual memory loss.” Additionally, “they…were more likely to show rapid slippage on a language test, though not on several other cognitive tests.” The findings were published online June 6 in the BMJ.

Reuters (6/6, Kelland) reports that investigators came to these conclusions after analyzing “data on weekly alcohol intake and cognitive performance measured repeatedly over 30 years between 1985 and 2015 for 550 healthy” people “with an average age of 43 at the start of the study.” Reuters adds, “Brain function tests were carried out at regular intervals, and at the end of the study participants were given a MRI brain scan.” Also covering the story are CNN (6/6, Christensen) and HealthDay (6/6, Norton).

Related Links:

— “Study: Even moderate drinking might be bad for aging brains,”Kim Painter, USA TODAY, June 6, 2017.

Antipsychotic Medications, Clozapine Associated With Prevention Of Schizophrenia Relapse, Study Indicates

Healio (6/7, Oldt) reports, “Long-acting injectable antipsychotic medications and clozapine were associated with highest rates of prevention of relapse in schizophrenia,” researchers found after analyzing “linked data from nationwide databases to determine risk for rehospitalization and treatment failure among all individuals in Sweden with schizophrenia aged 16 to 64 years.” The findings were published online June 7 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Related Links:

— “Long-acting injectable antipsychotics best for relapse in schizophrenia,”Amanda Oldt, Healio, June 07, 2017.

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