Mental Health & Addiction

In Texas, People With Mental Illness Are Finding Work Helping Peers

Jul 12, 2017

Recovery coaches and peer mentors – known in Alcoholics Anonymous as "sponsors" — have for decades helped people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Now, peer support for people who have serious mental illness is becoming more common, too. Particularly in places like Texas, where mental health professionals are in short supply, paid peer counselors are filling a gap.

A little-discussed provision in the Senate health care bill is designed to boost the number of hospital beds for psychiatric care, providing a long-sought victory for mental health advocates.

Esther Honig

At the Middletown, Ohio fire department, calls for actual fires are rare. These days the station responds to more calls for drug overdoses—four to five a day on average.

Patients With Mental Disorders Get Half Of All Opioid Prescriptions

Jun 28, 2017
Kaiser Health News

Adults with a mental illness receive more than 50 percent of the 115 million opioid prescriptions in the United States annually, according to a study released Monday. The results prompted researchers to suggest that improving pain management for people with mental health problems “is critical to reduce national dependency on opioids.”

It's a heartbreaking piece of arithmetic: In Massachusetts, the numbers of slots in inpatient psychiatric treatment centers just don't line up with the amount of people who need help. Where do would-be patients go in the meantime?

More than half of people say they've suffered lower back pain in the past year, according to the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll.

That's not a surprise; low back pain is very common, and one of the biggest reasons that people seek medical care. But people told us that they're making very different choices in how they treat that pain, with some stark differences among age groups and income levels.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Addiction experts are up in arms following remarks from Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, in which he referred to medication-assisted treatment for addiction as “substituting one opioid for another.”

U.S. House of Representatives / house.gov

More than 400 mental health and addiction treatment organizations across the country have spoken up against the most recent version of the revised Republican healthcare bill, which cleared the U.S. House Thursday afternoon.  

Ed Murray / http://murray.seattle.gov

Fueled by research conducted on such sites in other countries, the Massachusetts Medical Society's delegates voted to support studying a pilot program creating  a so-called "supervised injection facility," or SIF, in the commonwealth. 

Safe injection sites are designated areas where drug users can shoot up drugs under supervision of medical professionals, who can then intervene in the case of an overdose. They also provide clean needles and other supplies. If an SIF came to Boston, it would be the first safe injection space in the country. 

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