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HEALTH

The Science Behind Blacking Out

Have you ever woken up panicked and confused, wondering how you got home after a night out drinking with friends? If this has happened, you might have experienced an episode of alcohol induced amnesia, also known as a blackout. This is different than passing out or losing consciousness. Your friends may report drinking and talking with you during the evening and you may have even driven home – but your memory of some or most of the night is wiped away.

The Smoke-Free Ban in Public Housing: Immediate Benefits of a New Policy

Beginning on February 3rd, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) required Public Housing Agencies nationwide to implement a “smoke-free” environment. This rule prohibits the use of flammable tobacco products – including cigarettes, cigars, and hookah – inside all indoor areas of public housing units and within 25 feet of buildings. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) nationwide now have until July of 2018 to implement the new smoke-free policy. Repeated violations will be enforced as a lease violation, meaning residents could be evicted from their homes.

The GOP’s Health Care Bill Will Harm People with Addiction

Congress is hotly debating a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and there is significant debate about whether the Republican’s proposed bill is a suitable replacement that will address the problems attributed to the ACA (or, “Obamacare”). Ongoing discussions are focused on who will be harmed by and who will benefit from this proposed bill, called the American Health Care Act. At Center on Addiction, we are most concerned with how this bill will impact individuals suffering from addiction. Our analysis, explained below in greater detail, concludes that the proposed bill will endanger the lives of people with addiction.

Unemployment and Addiction: How Health Insurance Could Increase the Number of Working People

One of the major themes of the 2016 presidential election was employment. The issue of high unemployment in certain areas of the country rose to national prominence and President Trump promised to bring jobs to these communities. Various causes were cited for unemployment, including globalization, trade agreements, technology, and regulations. Yet there was one contributing factor that was not discussed: addiction.  

Punishments Don’t Help Pregnant Women and New Mothers with Addiction

A consequence in the worsening opioid epidemic is the rising number of infants born with opioid dependence, also known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS is a health problem associated with fetal exposure to opioids which can cause excessive crying, rapid breathing, and slow weight gain. Seeking solutions for this issue, lawmakers have imposed reporting requirements for newborns that were exposed to opioids in the mother’s womb. Though NAS is a legitimate concern, these reporting requirements are not having their intended consequence. In fact, they are detrimental to the wellbeing of mothers with addiction and their infants.

MDMA and PTSD: Dangerous Mix or Potential Help?

Once known as a club drug, MDMA – commonly referred to as Ecstasy or Molly – is being studied as a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that results from a traumatic experience, like experiencing or witnessing an especially life-threatening, horrifying, or dangerous event. In addition to combat veterans, there are several other groups (for example, rape victims and emergency responders) who are at higher risk for this condition. PTSD can be characterized by flashbacks to the traumatic event, frightening thoughts, angry outbursts, and exaggerated feelings of guilt or blame, among other symptoms. 

The Devastating Impact of Addiction in Rural America and What’s Being Done About It

Recently, news stories have focused on how addiction is ravaging families and communities, particularly in rural areas. Around one in five Americans lives in a rural area, defined as a community with fewer than 2,500 people. Rural and urban communities both face the challenges of substance use, overdose, and the opioid epidemic. Although substance use rates in rural areas have kept pace with those in urban areas, rural communities seem to have been hit harder. For example, a recent statistic shows a greater increase in the proportion of babies born addicted to opioids in rural communities than in urban areas. 

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