Amidst the endless reports and studies that have been coming out in recent years regarding the opioid epidemic and the various problems caused by certain treatments for chronic pain, a recent article in The New York Times delves into an alternative remedy that has helped its author get through his own struggles. By exposing his own personal journey through the chronic pain that has plagued several years of his life, the author is helping to shine a light on another, and oftentimes less prescribed, method of recovery. This method calls on the patient to forgo the usual “props” of braces, assisted seats, and pills and instead focus on conscientious breathing and other forms of meditative thought. While this method would not be an effective form of recovery for all patients struggling with chronic pain, it does at least provide another option for those who have not yet found relief through other means of treatment.
A recent article written in a joint effort by The New York Times and ProPublica highlights some of the struggles that more and more Americans are dealing with when they go to the pharmacy to fill their prescriptions. Today, generic drugs are still largely the products preferred by insurance companies and, therefore, by the patients who rely on their insurance companies to help cover much of the costs paid for their prescriptions.
However, many drug companies who produce original brand name versions of these drugs have begun employing strategic methods of combating their generic-producing competitors. Many such methods include offering discounts to insurance companies and middleman drug sellers for favoring their brand name products over generic versions. Discounts, however, rarely trickle down to the patient who is then forced to pay more money out-of-pocket for brand name prescriptions. Check out the article to find out more about how to combat paying more money for your prescriptions and to get a better understanding of the oftentimes convoluted world of prescription drugs.
Earlier this month the commission tasked with combating America’s opioid crisis recommended that the president declare a national state of emergency related to this crisis. Over the last few years, the opioid problem in the United States has grown exponentially worse, and the number of annual drug-related deaths has officially surpassed the number of deaths claimed by the H.I.V. epidemic at its highest point.
To help generate more widespread understanding of this epidemic, its history, and the steps being taken to combat it, The New York Times has recently published an article that answers several foundational questions concerning America’s leading cause of death for those under the age of 50. The article usefully breaks down the differences between opioids and opiates, illustrates the areas of the country in which the crisis is at its worst, and helps explain why the problem has grown so much in recent years. Aside from answering the basic questions surrounding the opioid epidemic, the article goes on to explore the complexities of proposed remedies to the solution, including the pros and cons of a plan that focuses on prevention versus one that targets treatment.
As group exercise classes become more and more popular, doctors have started noticing a troubling trend among their patients who engage in these oftentimes intense forms of exercise. The condition is known as rhabdomyolysis, and it most often occurs when overworked muscles begin to die and tear apart at a rapid level. The side effects include excruciating pain in the muscles and joints, as well as darker colored urine, nausea, and extreme fatigue.
Healthcare providers have started to observe that among the recent uptick in patients with rhabdomyolysis, the most common thread appears to be patients who begin new exercise routines at high intensity rates without giving their muscles time to prepare for the amount of wear and tear they will likely experience. And as the popularity of group exercise classes such as SoulCycle, P90X, and CrossFit grow, the more likely people are to experience this previously extremely rare phenomenon. Check out this recent article in The New York Times to learn more about this condition and how you can help prevent it from happening to you.
It seems that every day the news is filled with heated debate and muddled conversation regarding the ongoing issues surrounding health care policy in the United States. Politicians, economists, and even large percentages of the general public are weighing in on the topic, and the dialogue surrounding health care seems to grow louder with each passing day.
Health care policy is so widely debated because not only is it one of the more complex and intricate market economies in this country, but it also affects such a wide array of people. A recent article in The New York Times aims to help clarify many of the more confusing elements of the current health care system in the United States. The author explains the intricacies of “externalities,” deconstructs the negative consequences of adverse selection, explores the factors that lead customers to over-consume health care products, and much more. Ultimately, this article serves as a great tool in helping to understand the perplexing and decisive market of health care.
As the United States economy struggles to hold onto its comparatively low unemployment rate of 4.4%, many companies are also struggling to find applicants who can pass routine drug tests during the interview process. A recent article in The New York Times shines a light on the consequences of more widespread drug use within the labor force. The combination of many states decriminalizing recreational marijuana use, or allowing more widespread access to medical marijuana, along with the ongoing opioid epidemic has put a lot of strain on employers who require clean drug test results from their applicants.
While this particular article focuses primarily on factories and mills in the Midwest, it is apparent that these issues are emblematic of a larger conflict that the nation as a whole will have to grapple with in order to maintain a strong workforce.
This remarkable article from the Washington Post reflects an American tragedy. The profile of this family shows the undercurrent of social, economic and personal dysfunction that impact individuals, communities and our nation. For those of us who work with patients and with individuals who apply for disability benefits, little in this article surprises. But it is rare to see such a candid portrayal of the individuals involved, in their own words.
A new report presented by the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care concludes that more than 1/3 of all dementia cases (including Alzheimer’s disease) can be traced to specific sociological, psychological, and physical factors. Since many of these factors are considered to be preventable, the scientific community is celebrating this development as a significant stride forward in the battle against dementia. Some of the primary factors that appear to be an early sign of potential memory loss include low levels of completed education, obesity, smoking, air pollution, and hearing loss.
This study comes at a time when many of the world’s countries are bracing for an exponential growth to their senior citizen populations. If the results of this study lead to widespread change among the general public, the reduction in the number of individuals suffering from dementia could lead to potential economic growth, continued productivity, and a more hopeful population of people heading toward old age. Read more about this report, as well as other developments in the field of memory loss, in this recent article from the Los Angeles Times.
As the number of opioid-related drug overdoses grows throughout the country, an article recently published in The New York Times spotlights one small town in New Hampshire, and the work being done by one man to help slow the epidemic.
Eric Adams, former law enforcement official, now works for the local Drug Task Force as a Prevention, Enforcement, and Treatment Coordinator. The title is important because it highlights the shift being made nationwide in the attitudes toward drug offenders by law makers and police officials who are seeing an exponentially high number of opioid and opiate related deaths. Eric Adams is one of the first people in the United States to have a job title that enforces the idea of addiction and substance abuse as a disease to be treated rather than just a crime to be imprisoned for. By shining a light on Eric Adams’ story, the article details the struggles, progress, and obstacles faced in the continuing fight against illegal drug use in America.
In the ongoing fight against the opioid epidemic within the United States, drug makers and independent scientists have begun looking into the development of marijuana-based painkillers as an alternative option for those suffering from chronic pain.
A recent article in Fortune details some of the steps that are currently being taken in the effort to develop alternatives to opioid-based drugs that are often prescribed to patients or purchased illegally on the street. The article outlines studies that show the benefits of marijuana-based recovery methods and how many pro-medical marijuana states have reported fewer opiate related deaths on average.
These statistics, combined with the fact that there are records of marijuana overdose induced deaths, have pushed many health care professionals to start seriously considering cannabis-based drugs as viable options. The current restrictions on the drug by the Federal Government, however, have slowed the research and development phases of these experiments considerably.