‘Deaths of despair’ from drugs, alcohol and suicide hit young adults hardest

Young adults were more likely than any other age group to die from drugs, alcohol and suicide over the past decade, underscoring the despair Millennials face and the pressure on the health care system to respond to a crisis that shows little sign of abating.

Drug-related deaths among people 18 to 34 soared 108% between 2007 and 2017, while alcohol deaths were up 69% and suicides increased 35%, according to an analysis out Thursday of the latest federal data by the non-profit Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust.

The analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data found the increases for these three “deaths of despair” combined were higher than for Baby Boomers and senior citizens.

The Millennial generation is typically defined as people born between 1981 and 1996 – so are 23 to 38 years old today – although some definitions include young people born through 2000. They make up about a third of the workforce and the military.

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‘Mental Health Parity’ Is Still An Elusive Goal In U.S. Insurance Coverage

Amanda Bacon’s eating disorder was growing worse. She had lost 60% of her body weight and was consuming only about 100 calories a day.

But that wasn’t sick enough for her Medicaid managed-care company to cover an inpatient treatment program. She was told in 2017 that unless she weighed 10 pounds less — which would have put her at 5-foot-7 and 90 pounds — or was admitted to a psychiatric unit, she wasn’t eligible for coverage.

“I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to die,’ ” the Las Cruces, N.M., resident recalls.

Eventually, Bacon, now 35, switched to a plan that paid for treatment, although she says it was still an arduous process getting the services approved.

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People are sick of drinking. Investors are betting on the ‘sober curious’

Getaway in Brooklyn was comfortably full for a Saturday night, when I came in to try my first “shrub” — an acidic beverage made from vinegar, fruit, sugar, club soda and zero alcohol.

I ordered a carrot-and-ginger shrub and hoped it would be palatable. I was pleasantly surprised, drank the whole thing and, voila, was not even tipsy. Even more exciting: my bill. It was a mere $15 for two drinks and a bread bowl — to soak up the non-alcoholic beverages, of course.

Getaway is a sober bar, a new kind of dry nightlife option that is cropping up in New York City. The idea is to provide outlets for people who want to socialize in a bar-like location, but without having to drink alcohol.

They are part of larger trend. People are paying greater attention to their mental health and wellness, and many Americans are specifically looking to reduce their alcohol intake. People of all ages are drinking less beer, while millennials are drinking less overall. And Silicon Valley is taking note, with tech companies reevaluating their alcohol policies and investors looking to capitalize on people who prefer not to drink.

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Will poppy seeds really show up on a drug test?

Employee screening firm JDP recently analyzed 12 months of Google search trends data related to 150 of America’s biggest employers. A common search: “Does my company drug test?”

Drug testing for pre-employment, and even same-day random drug testing during employment, is common across industries. Penny McNerney, vice president of human resources for Atrium, a talent management firm in Kips Bay, points out that there’s a sound reason for the process. “It is the goal of any company to provide its employees with a safe and healthy workplace environment,” she says. “Employees who abuse illegal drugs may cause safety issues for themselves and co-workers.”

This practice does not come cheap. One large transportation company spent approximately $1.9 million last year on drug testing, according to Dr. Todd Simo, chief medical officer and vice president of business development at HireRight, a background-screening services company.

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Gummies for sale at some Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries

Edible gummies are finally available at some Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports a limited amount of gummies went on sale late last week. Just two of Ohio’s 39 planned marijuana processing facilities thus far have been certified to produce edibles and other cannabis products.

Only marijuana flowers had been available to people with a qualifying medical condition and physician recommendation to buy cannabis.

The gummies aren’t cheap. A package of 10, each containing 10 mg of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, sell for $80. Similar products at Illinois medical marijuana dispensaries sell for $25.

Ohio Cannabis Products in Coshocton sold out of gummies within a few days. Dispensary employee Missy Bethel says edibles are preferred by people with lung conditions and those who don’t want to vaporize buds.

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More Than 600,000 Opioid Abusers Raising Kids in U.S.

They might be too young to abuse opioids themselves, but America’s kids are suffering nonetheless because of their drug-dependent parents.

New research shows more than 600,000 American parents with kids under 18 are addicted to opioids.

That amounts to almost 1% of parents of minors, most of whom aren’t getting treated, the study found. In addition, about 4 million parents have substance abuse problems, such as alcoholism. Many in both camps have mental ills as well.

Less Pain, More Car Crashes: Legalized Marijuana a Mixed Bag

If Colorado is any indication, the legalization of marijuana does not come without health hazards.

New research shows that while it led to a decline in hospitalizations for chronic pain, there were increases in traffic crashes, alcohol abuse and drug overdoses in the state. However, there was no significant increase in overall hospital admissions.

“We need to think carefully about the potential health effects of substantially enhancing the accessibility of cannabis, as has been done now in the majority of states,” said study senior author Dr. Gregory Marcus, associate chief of cardiology for research at the University of California, San Francisco.

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Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks spoke about emotional pain and drug addiction before death

Austin Eubanks stood last month before an audience in Kentucky with a powerful warning: Millions of Americans are suffering with crippling emotional pain that we just don’t know how to fix.

The problem, he said, is that we are surrounded both by suffering – shootings and divorces and wars – and by addiction in the form of social media and powerful painkillers. Some people retreat online. Some drug themselves. Neither way is healthy, he said.

“We live in a culture today that is ill-equipped to address emotional pain in a healthy fashion,” Eubanks told attendees at the Kentucky Harm Reduction Summit on  April 9.

It was a message Eubanks himself learned after being shot in the hand and knee while he a was student at Columbine High School in 1999 during a mass shooting that killed his best friend and left him addicted to painkillers.

The painkillers prescribed in the hours after the attack worked, he said, insulating him from the tragedy surrounding him. The drugs also left him addicted and jailed, his years of abuse of Oxycontin, Adderall and Xanax growing worse until he lost his career in advertising and marketing, descending into a life he described as “Grand Theft Auto,” stealing cars and writing bad checks as he fed his addiction.

Continue reading the article here.

Lumineers Explore Spiral of Addiction With Shocking New Series of Music Videos

Last month, the Lumineers debuted their raw, emotive new single “Gloria” with an intimate performance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” complete with a living room stage design and vintage home movies looping in the background. The nostalgic, homegrown feel was intentional — an overt nod to their upcoming concept album, “III,” set for release in September. But there was little indication there of just how provocative the group would go with the “Gloria” music video, which is being released today, or two more thematically linked and equally startling clips, for “Donna” and “Life In The City,” which come out Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Ohio hemp legalization bill draws criticism from farmers and hemp advocates

Ohio hemp advocates and farmers warned lawmakers Tuesday against adding too many restrictions on the state’s proposed legal hemp program.

Supporters of industrial hemp said changes to Senate Bill 57 will prohibit many Ohioans from planting hemp, a non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana, or making products from the plant. Hemp is a cannabis plant with less than 0.3 percent THC, the active component of cannabis that generates a high.

The 2018 Farm Act made hemp an agricultural commodity and allowed states to regulate it. But on the state level, hemp remains illegal.

Ohio law makes no differentiation between hemp and marijuana, and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has maintained CBD, or cannabidiol, derived from hemp can only be produced and sold through Ohio’s medical marijuana program.

Senate Bill 57 aims to fix that by removing hemp from the definition of marijuana and establishing some rules required by the federal law.

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