From an examination of the fentanyl epidemic to the connection between ADHD medication and height, here are highlights from the week in Psychiatric Times.
This week, Psychiatric Times® discussed a wide variety of psychiatric issues and industry updates, from an examination of the fentanyl epidemic to the connection between ADHD medication and height. Here are some highlights from the week.
Fentanyl: Accelerant of the Adolescent Opioid Crisis
Deaths from unintentional opioid overdose have risen at an unprecedented rate over the past decade, with extraordinarily broad geographic and sociodemographic reach. Although there has been a significant focus on the opioid epidemic among adults, adolescents and young adults have experienced a greater increase in overdose mortality than the general population.
From 2010 to 2021, the annualized rate of drug overdose deaths among adolescents aged 14 to 18 years increased 2.3-fold, reaching a high of 5.49 per 100,000 youth. This sharp rise is primarily driven by the increased prevalence of illicitly manufactured fentanyl. During this same 12-year period, fentanyl-related fatalities increased by 23.5-fold among youth, with fentanyl identified in 77.14% of adolescent overdose deaths by 2021, compared with 5.76% for prescription opioids and 2.27% for heroin. Continue Reading
ADHD, Medication, and Height
There is mixed evidence for effects of medication treatment for ADHD on growth (height and weight). A recent meta-analysis of 18 studies found that long-term methylphenidate treatment might be associated with growth deficit, particularly height, with a small effect size (0.27), although the authors noted the possibility of residual confounding by genetic, prenatal, and/or socioeconomic factors.
There is also some evidence that ADHD itself many be associated with growth dysregulation, potentially due to effects of the disorder on the neuroendocrine system. Continue Reading
Integrating Mental Health Apps Into Care With Your Patients: What You Need to Know
Over the past decade, interest in mobile mental health apps has increased substantially among patients, and new research suggests that these apps have the potential to increase access to and even quality of care. As such, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are starting to integrate apps into their patients’ care, and for good reason. Apps can augment traditional care in various ways, from providing psychoeducation in early stages of treatment to enabling symptom and progress monitoring to supporting patients’ adaptive coping skill use outside of session and particularly at times of acute need.
However, as with any new technology, there are both benefits and risks to consider when it comes to integrating apps into care. Here, we explore the use of mobile mental health apps in psychiatric care and offer advice for effectively incorporating these tools into practice. Continue Reading
The July 4th Holiday and the State of Our Public Mental Health
As we approach our 4th of July holiday weekend, celebrating our country’s Independence Day, I associate to that famous phrase from our Declaration of Independence: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It has always struck me as an implied claim to health and mental health, especially if “life” refers to mortality statistics; “liberty” refers to freedom of the mind; and “pursuit of happiness” refers to an opportunity to pursue psychological well-being.
On Tuesday, Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, the outgoing director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote a guest essay for the New York Times titled “What I Need to Tell America Before I Leave the C.D.C.” In its own way, it is both a review of the current state of our public health and a warning about the need to considerably improve it for the future. Continue Reading
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