Mobile health (mHealth) usually refers to smartphone-based medical support for patients. mHealth can reinforce treatment from behavioral health professionals by offering patients evidence-based care at the moment they need it.
Psychopaths or psychopathic personality disorder currently fall under the guise of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). While it is true that not all people given the diagnosis of ASPD are psychopaths, there are many overlying factors between the two groups.
Law enforcement officials and public health professionals are currently concentrating their efforts on reducing opiate use, and for good reason, but they may be overlooking even more prevalent substance use disorders (SUDs).
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that in 2014, 21.5 million people in the United States age twelve and older had at least one substance use disorder (SUD), as cited in Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ; 2015).
The behavioral health field is engaged in a movement to expand the conventional medical treatment model of care that emphasizes diagnosis and subsequent treatment to the more comprehensive and inclusive model of population health. Improving “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group” (Kindig & Stoddard, 2003) is the critical focus of the population health model.
As an independent researcher, professor, and clinical officer in many venues for more than forty years, I am an insider who has grown to love struggling addicts and I invite you to face with me some of the elephants living in our rooms.
Like Sunday afternoon visits to London’s fetid insane asylums, we stare and gawk, fascinated yet repulsed, at unfortunates like Joseph Merrick (1862–1890). Joseph Merrick, incorrectly identified as “John Merrick” and also as “The Elephant Man,” his degrading stage name, attained a macabre celebrity status not because of wealth, success, or glamorous looks, but because of a grotesque physical deformity.
In April 2018, both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) advanced legislation to address the opioid epidemic. Addressed were issues pertaining to workforce, recovery residences, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT), among many others.
Of considerable concern, particularly to general or acute care hospitals, are patients who are high medical service utilizers (HMSUs), particularly those admitted for withdrawal management (i.e., detoxification). Staff complain that they see these people—who they uncharitably refer to as “high fliers”—over and over again for withdrawal management with no discernable improvement.
I am pleased to turn over this space to reprint a recent blog post from recovery historian William L. White, MA, himself a long-time contributor to this magazine. – Gary Seidler, Consulting Executive Editor
SUDs can cause or worsen numerous health conditions related to the central nervous system (e.g., impaired memory or seizures), digestive system (e.g., cancers of the mouth or esophagus; or inflammation of the pancreas), hepatic system (e.g., inflammation or destruction of the liver tissue; fatty, diseased, or scarred liver), cardiovascular system (e.g., weakening of heart muscle; stroke; high blood pressure), musculoskeletal system (e.g., broken bones; swelling of the joints; polyneuropathy or damage to nerve tissue), or respiratory system (e.g., lung damage or disease).
Therapists and counselors can have very different opinions on the role of psychotropic medications in mental health care. The majority of mental health professionals appear to agree that medications are necessary in the most severe forms of psychological disorders, especially when psychosis is present.
A new study found that a traditional Amazonian brew, known as ayahuasca, could lead to an additional treatment option for those suffering from a severe form of depression. Researchers at the Federal University of Rio Grande Do Norte discovered surprising results when investigating the DMT-containing concoction’s potential as an antidepressant agent (Le, 2018).
Canada has become the second country to pass legislation legalizing the recreational use of marijuana nationwide (“Canada legalises,” 2018). On July 19, 2018, the Canadian Senate approved The Cannabis Act, with fifty-two senators voting in favor and twenty-nine voting against (“Canada legalises,” 2018).
Despite the carnage wrought by the opioid epidemic, a recent survey indicated low support for two controversial harm reduction proposals. While both safe injection sites and needle exchange programs have been demonstrated to lower the risk of overdoses and the transmission of infectious diseases, less than 40 percent of adults surveyed supported either measure (Preidt, 2018).
According to a new study by the University of Missouri School of Medicine, “a single episode of binge drinking can affect the gene that regulates sleep” (Thakkar, Sahota, & Sharma, 2018).
The attorney generals of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas recently sued Purdue Pharma, marketer of Oxycontin, alleging the company violated their states’ consumer protection laws (Lardieri, 2018).
Hemp could be removed from the federal government’s list of controlled substances due to a provision in the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which was recently overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Agricultural Committee (Doheny, 2018). Differentiated from marijuana due to its low THC content, hemp is currently legal to grow only for research or under certain states’ pilot programs (Doheny, 2018).
U.S. Journal Training
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