Substance Abuse

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March 2021
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Study: Impact of COVID-19 on pediatric mental health

Editor's Note This study by FAIR Health on mental health claims for individuals aged 13 to 18 years in March and April 2020 finds: Mental health claims doubled, compared to the year before, while medical claims decreased by half, and this continued through November 2020. In the Northeast region, there…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 3, 2021
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Adverse mental health symptoms, substance use, suicide ideation during COVID-19

Editor's Note This follow-up survey of 5,285 US adults, which was completed in September 2020, finds that overall: 1,710 (33.0%) reported anxiety or depression symptoms 1,536 (29.6%) reported COVID-19 related trauma- and stressor-related disorder symptoms 781 (15.1%) reported increased substance use 618 (11.9%) reported having seriously considered trying to kill…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 22, 2021
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Johns Hopkins professor Marty Makary, MD, predicts herd immunity by April

Editor's Note In a February 18 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Marty Makary, MD, a surgeon and a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, predicts that the US will have herd immunity to COVID-19 by April. He notes that COVID-19 cases have dropped…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 22, 2021
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Association of psychiatric disorders with mortality in COVID-19 patients

Editor's Note In this study led by researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City, a diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum disorder was associated with an increased risk for mortality in COVID-19 patients, but diagnoses of mood and anxiety disorders were not. This analysis of 7,348 adult COVID-19…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 18, 2021
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Effects of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders on sleep, health, working patterns of US healthcare workers

Editor's Note This survey of healthcare workers finds that stay-at-home orders issued in March 2020, resulted in worsening mood and changes in sleep, work, and behavior patterns. A total of 834 healthcare workers across 41 states who responded to the survey report that that their mood worsened, and bedtime screen…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 17, 2021
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Support programs multiply as pandemic strains health systems

Burnout among healthcare workers was on the rise long before 2020, but it has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many healthcare organizations have stepped up efforts to support their staffs. “Maybe 20% of burnout is something an individual can control, but the other 80% is the work…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
February 17, 2021
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Editorial

Combatting COVID-19 is the top priority of President Joe Biden. On Day 1 of his presidency, he signed numerous executive orders, including one that aims to provide “a unified and effective response” to the crisis and one that mandates mask-wearing and social distancing on all federal properties. His strategy is…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
February 17, 2021
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CDC: Racial, ethnic disparities in prevalence of mental health conditions, substance abuse during COVID-19

Editor's Note This study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of current depression, increased or newly initiated substance use, and suicidal thoughts/ideation has been higher for some racial and ethnic minority groups, especially Hispanics. A survey of 1,004 US…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 9, 2021
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ECRI issues recommendations on safely integrating IT with behavioral health screening

Editor's Note ECRI’s Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety and the Electronic Health Record Association, on February 8, released a white paper with five safe practice recommendations and strategies that focus on health IT’s role in screening, documenting, and sharing of information for patients with behavioral health needs. Studies in…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 8, 2021
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COVID-19 takes a toll on employees’ mental health

Editor's Note The most recent Mental Health Index produced by Total Brain and the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions finds that employee mental health has plummeted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with workers reporting a 48% increased risk of depression in November and December, according to the…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 4, 2021
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