Overdose Epidemic Death Toll Continues to Rise, and Other News

Pile of pills on prescription padOpioid overdoses, which killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, are now the leading cause of death among people younger than 50. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports prescription opioids have driven the increase in opioid overdose deaths over the last 15 years.

The number of opioids sold has nearly quadrupled since 1999, even though Americans report no more pain than they did 15 years ago. Opioid overdoses kill 91 Americans each day. Prescription opioids account for almost half of all opioid deaths. Ohio recently filed suit against five opioid manufacturers, claiming the drug companies misrepresented the addiction risk inherent in their products.

Researchers predict deaths from opioids and other drugs will exceed 59,000 when statistics for 2016 are finalized. The figure could be as high as 65,000.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced plans to reinvigorate the war on drugs. Those plans include harsh mandatory minimums for a range of drug crimes. President Donald Trump recently established a commission to fight opioid addiction. His administration has also been criticized for proposing a 95% cut to the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s budget.

3 Ways Tech Could Boost Your Mental Health at Work

Apps can be a distraction or source of stress at work, but they can also improve psychological well-being. The right app can be particularly effective at sharpening mindfulness, instilling good habits, and offering virtual therapy options.

UK Schoolchildren Attempting Suicide to Qualify for Mental Health Treatment, Say Charities and Teachers

Young people in the United Kingdom face long waits and other significant barriers to mental health care. Research shows about a quarter of children seeking care from the National Health Service (NHS) are turned away because their conditions are not serious enough. Some young people have attempted suicide to access the help they need.

LGBQ Students Often Go Off-Campus for Mental Health Help

Many LGBQ students may find campus mental health services inaccessible, causing them to seek care off campus. A new study suggests California LGBQ students need campus mental health services more, but use them less frequently. Compared to heterosexual students, LGBQ students were 87% more likely to seek mental health services, but most of them sought help off campus.

Airbnb Hosts More Likely to Reject the Disabled, a Study Finds

A variety of laws make it illegal for most businesses, including hotels, to discriminate against people with disabilities, including those with mental health disabilities. But a new study suggests owners of Airbnb rentals routinely discriminate against people with disabilities. Hosts pre-approved 75% of people who did not mention disabilities, but rates fell dramatically when disabilities were disclosed. Just 25% of people with spinal cord injuries were approved for an Airbnb stay, compared to 43% of people with cerebral palsy and 50% of people with blindness.

Mental Health Chatbot Woebot Debuts for Facebook

A new Facebook chatbot, which users can access through the social media platform’s messenger service, uses principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help users with mental health concerns. The bot is completely automated and does not offer therapy or serve as a substitute for therapy. Instead, it aims to help users feel less alone by offering support and referrals to mental health services.

Psychology Shows It’s a Big Mistake to Base Our Self-Worth on Our Professional Achievements

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People who tie self-worth to professional success—and who believe factors such as money, popularity, and financial achievements are the best measures of professional success—are more likely to be unhappy. Embracing this myth can make failure and struggle more painful. Instead, according to the author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters, people should cultivate skills such as generosity and wisdom.

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  • Doug A

    June 9th, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Mandatory prison sentences will not help with the drug addiction that is so prevalent. IT never has worked and I suspect that it never will. This is not what is needed to rehabilitate those who have gotten caught in the cycle of drug abuse. We need early intervention, lots of education, and cooperation from those in the medical community to stop making these drugs so really available to their patients.

  • Caroline

    June 12th, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    Try to think of it like this
    if the only thing that you base your self worth upon
    is a job
    what then happens to you if that job is ever lost?
    who do you become then?

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